BRACK WILL START SIXTH AT MOTEGI - Team Rahal driver Kenny Brack posted the sixth-fastest lap (26.044 seconds; 213.976 miles per hour) during qualifying for the Firestone Firehawk 500, and will start from outside the third row for Saturday's race.
BRACK WILL START SIXTH AT MOTEGI - Team Rahal driver Kenny Brack posted the sixth-fastest lap (26.044 seconds; 213.976 miles per hour) during qualifying for the Firestone Firehawk 500, and will start from outside the third row for Saturday's race. Polesitter Helio Castroneves led a Honda sweep of the top four qualifying positions with his lap of 25.849 seconds (215.591 miles per hour), while Dario Franchitti qualified second with a lap of 25.991 seconds (214.413 miles per hour). Gil de Ferran (25.993 seconds; 214.396 miles per hour) qualified third, while Tony Kanaan (26.022 seconds; 214.157 miles per hour) and rookie Bruno Junquiera (26.035 seconds; 214.050 miles per hour) rounded out the top five. Ford-Cosworth drivers who qualified in the top 10 included Michel Jourdain, Jr. (26.057 seconds; 213.870 miles per hour), who will start seventh, and Patrick Carpentier (26.147 seconds; 213.133 miles per hour), who will start 10th. Brack's teammate, Max Papis, qualified 17th, followed by Oriol Servia (18th), Alex Tagliani (19th) and Bryan Herta (22nd).
QUALIFYING STREAK COMES TO AN END IN JAPAN - Ford-Cosworth's streak of consecutive qualifiers on the front row came to a halt today during qualifying for the Firestone Firehawk 500. Dating back to the last race of the 2000 season at the California Speedway, Ford-Cosworth had at least one driver qualify on the front row in each of the last five CART FedEx Championship events. Michael Andretti started second at Fontana last season, while Kenny Brack had earned four straight front row starting positions this season, including pole positions at Monterrey and Texas, and outside pole positions at Long Beach and Nazareth.
SPARK PLUGS - The winner of the race at Motegi has never started worse than 8th (Fernandez 2nd in '98; 4th in '99 and Andretti 8th in '00) ... Michel Jourdain, Jr., will be making his third top-10 start in the last four CART races after qualifying seventh for the Firestone Firehawk 500. Jourdain's previous best start at Motegi came last season when he qualified 18th en route to finishing 12th ... Patrick Carpentier has earned three top-10 starts this season after qualifying 10th for tomorrow's race at Motegi (6th at Monterrey and 2nd at Texas) ... Kenny Brack has qualified no worse than 8th in each of the last six CART events dating back to the 2000 finale at the California Speedway ... despite winning the only three events ever held at Motegi, Ford-Cosworth has never won from the pole.