ADRIAN FERNANDEZ -40- Tecate/Quaker State Ford - Finished 4th - TODAY'S RACE TURNED INTO ONE OF FUEL ECONOMY. HOW LEAN WERE YOU GUYS RUNNING? "Very lean. I was surprised how good the Ford was running in terms of the leanness of the engine. We...
ADRIAN FERNANDEZ -40- Tecate/Quaker State Ford - Finished 4th - TODAY'S RACE TURNED INTO ONE OF FUEL ECONOMY. HOW LEAN WERE YOU GUYS RUNNING? "Very lean. I was surprised how good the Ford was running in terms of the leanness of the engine. We have never run the engine that lean. The fuel mileage was excellent and the pace was excellent which was a key for us to pass Paul Tracy at the end. I am very pleased with the progress that Ford has made with the engine. We are looking good right now and we just need to keep up the pace. It was a first race with our '99 Reynard and we showed a lot of potential here."
P.J. JONES -20- Visteon Ford-Cosworth - Finished 21st - "We were okay but not great. If we could have got up to 15th we could have probably finished 10th or so. I spun the car when I was trying to pass lap traffic and locked the rear brakes." WERE YOU FRUSTRATED THAT NO ONE WAS COMING OUT TO HELP YOU RESTART THE CAR? "I sat there for three laps. I was really more frustrated with myself. When I spun I was trying to get by Robby (Gordon) and I thought he was going to let me go and then he began to close the door and I got hard on the brakes locked the rears (brakes)."
MICHAEL ANDRETTI -6- K Mart/Texaco/Havoline Ford-Cosworth - Finished 10th - CAN YOU TAKE ME BACK TO THE FIRST PIT STOP WHEN THE CAR STALLED . . ."Our race came down to the engine stalling. The engine just stopped on me when I went to leave the pits. I don't really know what the problem was. They think it is the same problem that Christian (Fittipaldi) had in Long Beach with the ECU. It was not a bad finish since we did drop down to 25th at one point. We did make up a lot of ground but we certainly didn't get as many points towards the championship as we wanted. We need to make up points during this portion of the season. This is just very disappointing because the problem we had was out of our control."
CHRISTIAN FITTIPALDI -11- Big K Ford-Cosworth - Finished 14th - "When I came in for my last splash of fuel the car stalled. I don't think it was because we didn't have enough revs or because we were on the limiter. It's hard to say whether or not it was my fault or the ECU. That cost us some points towards the championship. I don't know why the others didn't have to stop for fuel. If I would have run any leaner we would have gotten blown away down the straights by the other guys. This can't happen again. This finish is disappointing because we could have scored some points."
MAX PAPIS -7- Miller Lite Ford-Cosworth - Finished 8th - "We were conserving fuel every lap. Maybe sometimes it's better to go flat out sometimes though. It was just a different strategy than what (de Ferran used). It just comes down to some races everything goes right and some races everything is a struggle. I made the wrong call on the start of the race. When the green flag dropped I went left and everybody stopped. Usually I pick the right line on the start and I can make up a few positions but this time I didn't and I lost one. It didn't cost me that much but if you can get a spot on the start you can use that to do better. Overall we are still gaining experience. Team Rahal deserves to be better but to be better you first need to learn."
BRYAN HERTA -8- Shell Ford-Cosworth - Finished 6th - YOUR SIXTH PLACE IS NOT WHERE YOU HAD HOPED YOU WOULD BE AT THE END OF THE DAY BUT GIVEN YOUR STRUGGLES RECENTLY ON THE OVALS IT'S A POSITIVE START TO THE ROAD COURSE SEASON . . ."It was a fuel economy race for everybody and I didn't have the pace in the race that some of the others did. We did out best to try and make it to the finish and luckily we did. One thing that hurt us was during one of the restarts I almost spun and that allowed Adrian (Fernandez) to get a run on me and then I got tangled up with Memo Gidley in the Festival and Dario (Franchitti) got around me so I lost two spots there. That hurt us. Those two spots were important."