CHAMPCAR/CART: Elkhart Lake Saturday Track Notes

Pit Notes Texaco/Havoline 200 -Saturday, July 10 , 1999 ANDRETTI REPEATS AS TEXACO/HAVOLINE 200 POLESITTER WITH DRAMATIC LAST-SECOND CHARGE AT ROAD AMERICA Good Morning from sunny Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin for the final day...

Pit Notes Texaco/Havoline 200 -Saturday, July 10 , 1999

ANDRETTI REPEATS AS TEXACO/HAVOLINE 200 POLESITTER WITH DRAMATIC LAST-SECOND CHARGE AT ROAD AMERICA

Good Morning from sunny Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin for the final day of qualifying for Sunday's Texaco/Havoline 200! Today's weather has started out beautiful with crisp blue skies and a cool breeze flowing into the track from the northwest. Thursday night's storms are just a memory now; the threat of rain looks nil at this point of the weekend. CART on-track activities begin with a 75-minute practice session taking the Green Flag at 9 a.m., followed by the final round of qualifying beginning at 12:45 p.m. and Checkering at 2 p.m. MICHAEL ANDRETTI sits on the provisional pole with yesterday's top clocking of 143.781 mph (1:41.354), well short of his track record of 145.745 mph (1:39.988) from the 1998 qualifying sessions. With more rubber on the track now and somewhat cooler temps, the speeds should increase in today's final round. Please Note: #33X PATRICK CARPENTIER will lose his third-best qualifying times from yesterday's sessions due to the fact that the car was destroyed in a Turn 1 incident immediately after his fastest lap of the session. CARPENTIER will be in the #33 machine in today's final round of qualifying.

GREEN FLAG waves at 9 a.m. to start the morning practice session. Firestone engineers report a track temperature of 77 degrees F. and an ambient temperature of 68 degrees F.

At 9:10 a.m., 10 minutes into the session, the fastest driver is #4 MONTOYA with a lap of 139.125 mph (1:44.746), followed by #26 TRACY (138.554 mph; 1:45.178) and #27 FRANCHITTI (138.178 mph; 1:45.464).

At 9:16 a.m., #44 KANAAN slides into the gravel pit at Turn 8 but regains control and continues on course.

At 9:18 a.m., #26 TRACY stalls at the entrance to Pit Road. CART safety workers get the car towed to the Pit Lane where the Team Kool Green crew pushes the car to their Pit Box. The crew quickly readies the #26X for use in the remainder of the morning session.

At 9:20 a.m., 20 minutes into the session, the fastest driver is now #99 MOORE with a lap of 141.842 mph (1:42.740), followed by #4 MONTOYA (141.649 mph; 1:42.880) and #6 ANDRETTI (141.298 mph; 1:43.135).

RED FLAG waves at 9:25 a.m. after #15 GIDLEY stalls on the front straight with fire showing at the rear of the car. The driver is uninjured in the incident and CART safety workers quickly tow the car back to the Pit Area. The crew begins to ready the #15X for use in the remainder of the session.

At 9:30 a.m., 30 minutes into the session and under the Red Flag, the fastest driver is now #11 FITTIPALDI with a lap of 141.854 mph (1:42.731), followed by #99 MOORE (141.842 mph; 1:42.740) and #27 FRANCHITTI (141.693 mph; 1:42.848).

GREEN FLAG waves at 9:32 a.m. to resume the practice session.

At 9:36 a.m., #22 GORDON makes contact with his right front tire against the left rear tire of #4 MONTOYA as the cars enter Turn 11. Both drivers maintain control and continue on course. GORDON has sustained slight damage to the front wing and immediately pits the car.

At 9:40 a.m., 40 minutes into the session, the fastest driver is #11 FITTIPALDI with a lap of 143.531 mph (1:41.531), followed by #40 FERNANDEZ (143.375 mph; 1:41.641) and #5 de FERRAN (143.278 mph; 1:41.710).

At 9:41 a.m., #27 FRANCHITTI slides into the shortcut at Turn 5 and continues to the track entrance at Turn 13A and continues on course with no apparent damage to the car.

Also at 9:41 a.m., #36 SALLES and #24 PRUETT slide into the gravel pit at Turn 8. Both cars continues running and make their way back on course and to their Pit Area.

At 9:44 a.m., #19 JOURDAIN Jr. slides off course at Turn 14 but continues on course to his Pit Area.

At 9:45 a.m., #18 MORENO spins but continues on course at Turn 6.

RED FLAG waves at 9:46 a.m. after #12 VASSER spins off course into the gravel pit at Turn 8 and stalls the car. CART safety workers tow the car back to the track and get it restarted and VASSER continues to his Pit Area.

At 9:50 a.m., 50 minutes into the session and under the Red Flag, the fastest driver is now #40 FERNANDEZ with a lap of 143.990 mph (1:41.207), followed by #33 CARPENTIER (143.608 mph; 1:41.476) and #11 FITTIPALDI (143.351 mph; 1:41.531).

GREEN FLAG waves at 9:52 a.m. to resume the practice session.

BLACK FLAG is shown at 9:53 a.m. to #44 KANAAN for a Pit Road speed violation that occurred at 9:42 a.m. at Pit In. KANAAN subsequently pits the car to comply with the Black Flag drive thru penalty.

BLACK FLAG is also shown at 9:53 a.m. to #26 TRACY for a Pit Road speed violation that occurred at 9:47 a.m. at Pit In. TRACY subsequently pits the car to comply with the Black Flag drive thru penalty.

At 9:56 a.m., #17X GUGELMIN slides off track at Turn 14 and makes contact against the outside wall with the left side of the car. The driver is uninjured in the incident but the car sustains damage to the right side suspension. GUGELMIN takes the long hike up the hill to the Pit Area to await the end of the session.

At 10 a.m., one hour into the session, the fastest driver is now #27 FRANCHITTI with a lap of 144.866 mph (1:40.595), followed by #40 FERNANDEZ (143.990 mph; 1:41.207) and #11 FITTIPALDI (143.856 mph; 1:41.301).

At 10:01 a.m., #44 KANAAN takes the shortcut off turn 5 and continues on course at Turn 13A.

At 10:03 a.m., #26 TRACY slides into the shortcut at Turn 5 and continues on course at Turn 13A.

RED FLAG waves at 10:06 a.m. after #22 GORDON slides into the gravel pit at Turn 14 and stalls the car. CART safety workers hook the car up and tow it back to Pit Lane.

At 10:10 a.m., 70 minutes into the session, the fastest driver is still #27 FRANCHITTI with his earlier lap of 144.866 mph (1:40.595), followed by #40 FERNANDEZ (143.990 mph; 1:41.207) and #11 FITTIPALDI (143.856 mph; 1:41.301).

GREEN FLAG waves at 10:11 a.m. to resume the session.

At 10:15 a.m., #36 SALLES spins off course at Turn 5 and stalls in the gravel trap. SALLES stays in the car to await the end of the session.

CHECKERED FLAG waves at 10:15 a.m. to end the session with #6 ANDRETTI the fastest driver and the fastest of the weekend so far with a speed of 145.075 mph (1:40.450), followed by #40 FERNANDEZ (144.951 mph; 1:40.536) and #27 FRANCHITTI (144.866 mph; 1:40.595). FedEx Championship Series drivers introduced 29 different cars to the track in this morning's session with secondary cars utilized by #26X TRACY, #17X GUGELMIN, and #15X GIDLEY. CART drivers logged a total of 353 laps during this morning's session. Of yesterday's fastest drivers in the practice session, those posting the largest gains this morning were #27 FRANCHITTI with an increase of 2.860 mph, followed by #11 FITTIPALDI (+2.770 mph) and #33 CARPENTIER (+2.457 mph). For the most part the front runners are practicing at 1.5-2.5 mph faster than yesterday's session on a "green" racetrack, with the top three drivers closing in on ANDRETTI's official track record.

Next up is the final round of qualifying starting at 12:45 p.m.

GREEN FLAG waves at 12:45 p.m. to start the final qualifying session for the Group One drivers. Firestone engineers report a track temperature of 98 degrees F. and an ambient temperature of 76 degrees F. at the start of the session.

At 12:48 p.m., #27 FRANCHITTI runs off course at Turn 8 but continues on course to his pit without apparent damage to the car.

At 12:50 p.m., five minutes into the session, the fastest driver is #27 FRANCHITTI with a lap of 140.849 mph (1:43.464), followed by #9 CASTRO-NEVES (138.943 mph; 1:44.883) and #20 JONES (138.055 mph; 1:45.558).

At 12:55 p.m., 10 minutes into the session, the fastest Group Two driver is #27 FRANCHITTI with a faster lap of 142.627 mph (1:42.174), followed by #8 HERTA (141.204 mph; 1:43.204) and #20 JONES (140.955 mph; 1:43.386).

At 1 p.m., 15 minutes into the session, the fastest driver is still #27 FRANCHITTI with a faster lap of 142.827 mph (1:42.031), followed by #40 FERNANDEZ (142.738 mph; 1:42.095) and #18 MORENO (142.544 mph; 1:42.234).

At 1:04 p.m., #9 CASTRO-NEVES pulls off course at Turn 4 with smoke visible at the rear of the car. CASTRO-NEVES exits the car, apparently through for the rest of the session.

At 1:05 p.m., 20 minutes into the session, the fastest driver is still #27 FRANCHITTI with a faster lap of 143.583 (1:41.494), followed by #8 HERTA (142.917 mph; 1:41.967).

At 1:09 p.m., #40 FERNANDEZ clocks the fastest Group Two lap with a speed of 143.923 mph (1:41.254).

RED FLAG waves at 1:09 p.m. after #22 GORDON spins at the exit of Turn 1 and stalls in the middle of the track. CART safety workers get the car restarted and GORDON continues to his Pit Area.

At 1:10 p.m., 25 minutes into the session and under the Red Flag, the fastest driver is still #40 FERNANDEZ with a lap of 143.923 mph (1:41.254), followed by #27 FRANCHITTI (143.583 mph; 1:41.494) and #8 HERTA (142.917 mph; 1:41.967).

GREEN FLAG waves at 1:12 p.m. to resume the Group One qualifying session.

CHECKERED FLAG waves at 1:15 p.m. to end the Group One session with #40 FERNANDEZ the fastest driver with a speed of 144.452 mph (1:40.452), followed by #27 FRANCHITTI (144.345 mph; 1:40.958) and #25 da MATTA (143.357 mph; 1:41.654). FERNANDEZ's speed puts him at the top of the speed board but the faster cars from yesterday's session are waiting to take to the track in the Group Two session.

At 1:16 p.m., #10 HEARN makes contact with the inside wall at Turn 14. The driver is uninjured in the incident but the car sustains damage to the front of the car.

#33 CARPENTIER will serve an eight-minute penalty at the end of the Group Two session today for delaying the qualifying in the Group One session yesterday when he was involved in a one-car incident at Turn 1.

GREEN FLAG waves at 1:30 p.m. to start the final Group Two qualifying session.

At 1:35 p.m., #2 UNSER Jr. pulls off course at Turn 5 with a fire at the rear of the car. UNSER Jr. is uninjured in the incident but UNSER Jr. is through for this qualifying session.

At 1:38 p.m., #99 MOORE spins off Turn 7, crosses the track, winds up in the gravel pit at Turn 8 and stalls the car. The driver is uninjured in the incident but the car sustains damage to the front wing. MOORE will receive an eight-minute penalty for delaying the qualifying session. MOORE will serve the penalty in the last eight minutes of the Group Two session currently under way.

RED FLAG waves at 1:39 p.m. to allow CART safety workers to retrieve the stalled car of MOORE. CART safety workers get the car restarted and MOORE continues to his Pit Area.

At 1:40 p.m., 10 minutes into the Group Two qualifying session and under the Red Flag, the fastest driver is #11 FITTIPALDI with a lap of 143.320 mph (1:41.680), followed by #4 MONTOYA (142.995 mph; 1:41.911) and #26 TRACY (142.840 mph; 1:42.022).

GREEN FLAG waves at 1:42 p.m. to resume the Group two qualifying session.

At 1:45 p.m., 15 minutes into the Group Two session, the fastest three Group Two qualifiers are unchanged from the 1:40 p.m. report.

At 1:50 p.m., 20 minutes into the Group Two session, the fastest Group Two driver is #5 de FERRAN with a lap of 143.733 mph (1:41.388), followed by #4 MONTOYA (143.625 mph; 1:41.464) and #11 FITTIPALDI (143.320 mph; 1:41.680).

At 1:53 p.m., #33 CARPENTIER pits to start his eight-minute penalty and this ends his qualifying session.

At 1:55 p.m., 25 minutes into the Group Two session, the fastest Group Two and overall driver is now #6 ANDRETTI with a lap of 144.806 mph (1:40.637), followed by #5 de FERRAN (143.733 mph; 1:41.388) and #4 MONTOYA (143.625 mph; 1:41.464).

At 1:58 p.m., #5 de FERRAN logs the fastest lap of the Group Two session with a speed of 144.921 mph (1:40.557). As de FERRAN approaches Turn 1, the car stalls and de FERRAN pulls off course just past Turn 1, apparently through for the session.

At 1:59 p.m., #4 MONTOYA logs the fastest lap of the Group Two session and the weekend with a speed of 145.103 mph (1:40.431) to take over the top speed.

CHECKERED FLAG waves at 2 p.m. to end the Group two qualifying session with #6 ANDRETTI winning the pole for Sunday's Texaco/Havoline 200 with a top speed of 145.428 mph (1:40.206), followed by #4 MONTOYA (145.227 mph; 1:40.345) and #5 de FERRAN (144.921 mph; 1:40.557).

MICHAEL ANDRETTI wins his first pole of the 1999 season today. This is ANDRETTI's first pole since winning the pole here in 1998. This represents ANDRETTI's 32nd-career pole, ranking him second on the all-time career CART list, led by RICK MEARS with 39. ANDRETTI has won 24 of those career poles on road/street courses. JUAN MONTOYA will start second in tomorrow's Texaco/Havoline 200. This is MONTOYA's eighth consecutive top five start and his fifth front-row start.

7 GIL de FERRAN will start third on tomorrow's grid. This is de FERRAN's top three start and the fifth start among the top four spots this season.

CART drivers introduced 26 different cars to the track in this morning's session with secondary cars being utilized by #17X GUGELMIN only. The top eight drivers are separated by less than one second in lap times. CART drivers logged a total of 185 laps in the two qualifying sessions.

PATRICK CARPENTIER has dropped from 16th to 17th on the grid after J. KIRK RUSSELL, CART Vice President of Competition, announced that CARPENTIER's last lap (which was his fastest) would not count as his fastest qualifying lap. The driver was eight seconds into the eight-minute penalty period that CARPENTIER was assessed for delay in the Friday qualifying session when CARPENTIER hit the timing line to start his fastest lap. Therefore, his fourth and final lap of the session was denied.

Quotes from the top-three qualifiers follow:

MICHAEL ANDRETTI, Kmart/Texaco/Havoline Ford Swift: "I knew today was going to be quicker; I think everybody did. We made a change overnight and thought it would improve the car and it did. On the first set of tires, I couldn't get a clear lap, and when I came in to put on a second set of tires, I didn't know whether to go out right away or wait. We decided to go out and did three laps, then I came in because I was out of fuel. When we went back out, I was able to do my 'flyer,' which says something about these tires. And this is the best engine I think I've ever had here. It really puts down the power and this is a good place to do that. Hopefully, we'll be able to do just as well tomorrow."

JUAN MONTOYA, Target Honda Reynard: "We had a really bad car this morning. It wasn't where I wanted it to be. I started qualifying with too much understeer, so now I'm pretty pleased. It's good for Michael to get the pole, and I'm pretty pleased with what we did because I thought coming in here that I would probably start eighth or ninth."

GIL de FERRAN, Valvoline/Cummins Special Honda Reynard: "I didn't feel that the time we did yesterday [eighth] was representative. This morning we concentrated on race setup and I was pretty confident about the car. We made some changes for qualifying and had a good first run, then we made a few more changes and put on a second set of tires, and the car was really good. Unfortunately, we ran out of fuel, so I wasn't able to make a better time. It was a shame because the car was really handling well. I'm really looking forward to tomorrow."

This concludes the Pit Notes for today. We'll see you tomorrow for the running of the Texaco/Havoline 200! CART

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