CHAMPCAR/CART: Denver: Newman/Haas race quotes, notes

Havoline driver da Matta finished third in the Shell Grand Prix of Denver; possible third place finish eluded Lilly driver Fittipaldi who finished fifth. 3rd: Cristiano da Matta (started 7th) th: Christian Fittipaldi (started 5th) CRISTIANO DA...

Havoline driver da Matta finished third in the Shell Grand Prix of Denver; possible third place finish eluded Lilly driver Fittipaldi who finished fifth.

3rd: Cristiano da Matta (started 7th)
th: Christian Fittipaldi (started 5th)

CRISTIANO DA MATTA, #6 Havoline Toyota-Lola-Bridgestone: "I pushed as hard as I could with the car that I had under me. I have to thank the crew for giving me good stops and Toyota for giving me a good engine under these difficult conditions. Everything worked well today and we were able to get some good points toward the Championship. We started the weekend good but somewhere along the way we went the wrong way with the car set-up. We didn't have the car to fight for the win but hopefully in England we can go for the win again. We struggled a bit this weekend but we know we are capable of better. It is still not time to relax. We can afford to have races where we don't win but definitely it is better for us to finish in the top-three each time.

· NOTES: Started the race in seventh place and ran as high as third. He has won EIGHT of past 16 CART events dating back to his first three-peat (Australia and Fontana in 2001 and Mexico in 2002) where he became the first driver to accomplish the feat since Juan Montoya (1999). Led 30 laps in Long Beach and built a strong lead before a pit accident derailed his bid for a CART record-tying fourth consecutive win. Wins in Laguna Seca, Portland, Chicago and Toronto enabled him to tie two others (Unser, Jr., and Zanardi) with a CART record fourth consecutive win although he failed to score a fifth consecutive win in Cleveland after he lead the first 19 laps from pole but retired with mechanical failure. Led 36 laps in Vancouver before a drive shaft failure ended his race. Was in second in Mid-Ohio when he slid off-course and ultimately finished 13th. His win two races ago in Elkhart Lake was his eighth in 14 races. Was his first event at the track. He is currently leading the standings with a total of 175 points (52 more than second place).

CHRISTIAN FITTIPALDI, #11 Lilly Toyota-Lola-Bridgestone: "We would have finished third and gained one position of fourth in the Championship but we had two bad stops. The airjack shot out of the car and it dropped in the middle of our stop. It's happened before and we still don't know what causes it but it cost us a third place finish. I have confidence in my guys and I'm pretty sure they can find a solution. Two cars crashed in front of me and I knew the yellow would come out and I was approaching the pit entrance so I came in. I made a mistake by coming into the pits and the team had problems on two of the three stops so it was a tough day for us. Considering all of that, at least we finished fifth."

· NOTES: Started the race in fifth place and ran as high as fourth but would have returned to the track after his final stop in third place because previous third place runner Nakano retired from the race before returning to the track. Although it was his first time to race at this high altitude, he received private instruction prior to the IronMan Training Camp in Boulder in 1999. Will be his first Champ car race here. He is currently 5th place in the point standings, 77 points back from leader and teammate Cristiano da Matta.

-nhr-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Christian Fittipaldi , Cristiano da Matta