CHAMPCAR/CART: Ford Racing Michigan practice notes

Michael Andretti led all Ford drivers in Friday's practice for the Michigan 500 at Michigan International Speedway (MIS). The winner of last weekend's Molson Indy was the fourth-fastest driver around the two-mile track, completing a lap in...

Michael Andretti led all Ford drivers in Friday's practice for the Michigan 500 at Michigan International Speedway (MIS). The winner of last weekend's Molson Indy was the fourth-fastest driver around the two-mile track, completing a lap in 30.699 seconds, averaging 234.765 miles per hour. Paul Tracy was quickest at 30.412 seconds (236.749 mph), while Helio Castroneves was second quickest at 30.592 seconds (235.356 mph). Other Ford drivers in the top 10 included rookie Kenny Brack sixth at 30.907 seconds (232.957 mph) and teammate Max Papis eighth at 30.990 seconds (232.333 mph),

MICHAEL ANDRETTI (#6 Big Kmart/Texaco/Havoline Ford-Cosworth) - 4th in practice - WHAT'S IMPORTANT TO RUNNING WELL HERE? "You've got to get the car to work for you ... you can't do it yourself. The key is just working on the set up and getting it to fit your style and you should be okay."

ALEX TAGLIANI (#33 Player's Ford-Cosworth) - 12th in practice - "We feel very confident. The car is good. We focused on race set up, and Players' has a very good car in races, especially on ovals. We are where we needed to be at the end of the day. We followed our plan and tested many things. We changed the car to what it's going to be in the race, and it's now very consistent so I'm pretty pleased. We still have too much understeer that causes the right front tire to have too much pressure and temperature, but we know how to fix it and tomorrow we'll start on qualification set up."

CHRISTIAN FITTIPALDI (#11 Big Kmart/Route 66 Ford-Cosworth) - 14th in practice - "There's no doubt that it's a very fast track and a long race. We basically ran the majority of the day setting up the car for the race. The car feels very, very good. And tomorrow for qualifying ... it's nice to be up there at the front, but I'm not really worried. I think that if you have a very good car in the race you have a much better shot at it than if you start from pole."

ADRIAN FERNANDEZ (#40 Tecate/Quaker State Ford-Cosworth) - 17th in practice - "We were a little bit better this afternoon and I think the car will be good at the end. We just ran out of time. We had some problems this morning with some electronics, and we were a little bit late getting the car ready for practice because we had a turbo problem, something with the seal. So we were a little bit behind, but we made some progress through the session."

PATRICK CARPENTIER (#32 Player's Ford-Cosworth) -19th in practice - HOW'S THE CAR? "It's almost there. We still need 20 to 25 percent more stability in traffic, but we think we know what we're doing. So, we're just preparing for the race, not for qualifying right now.

COMPARE LAST WEEKEND TO THIS WEEKEND. "Last week in Toronto was crazy. (I had) a very busy schedule, it was a very tough weekend and we didn't seem to know what the car was doing. Here we seem to know a little bit more. We're going to make some improvements for the race, but it's such a long race we'll see what happens."

DO YOU FEEL OPTIMISTIC? "Yeah I feel optimistic. We should have a good car for the race. It's not to our liking right now, but the team is working hard and it should be good."

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Michael Andretti , Max Papis , Kenny Brack