CHAMPCAR/CART: Ford Racing Motegi Saturday notes

Michael Andretti and his Kmart/Texaco Havoline team were about the only people at Twin Ring Motegi today happy to see the rain. Andretti suffered a broken throttle position sensor after completing only five laps in this morning's delayed, and...

Michael Andretti and his Kmart/Texaco Havoline team were about the only people at Twin Ring Motegi today happy to see the rain.

Andretti suffered a broken throttle position sensor after completing only five laps in this morning's delayed, and then abbreviated, fifteen-minute morning warm-up. The repair, which takes about 45-minutes to perform and requires an extensive disassembly of the car, would not have been completed between the end of today's warm-up and the beginning of the race. That would have forced the Kmart/Texaco/Havoline team to roll out the back-up car, relinquish his 8th starting spot, and start the race from the back of the grid had the rain not postponed the event until Sunday.

MICHAEL ANDRETTI -6- Big Kmart/Texaco/Havoline Ford-Cosworth - Qualified 8th

YOU SUFFERED A BROKEN THROTTLE POSITION SENSOR DURING THE MORNING WARM-UP. HOW MUCH DID THIS RAIN OUT HELP YOU?

"This rain really helped us. Now I can get in my racecar for tomorrow otherwise we would have had to start the spare car. Theoretically, the spare car should be exactly the same, and ninety-percent of the time it is, but there is always that ten-percent chance that it isn't. So, it's nice to know we will be able to run our race car tomorrow."

NOTE: Andretti suffered from a broken throttle position sensor (TPS) during this morning's fifteen-minute warm-up session. The TPS sensor, located underneath the engine, requires approximately 45 minutes to change. Given the compressed time schedule CART employed this morning in an attempt to get the race in, Andretti would have been forced to start the race in his back-up car from the back of the grid.

KENNY BRACK -8- Shell Ford-Cosworth - Qualified 2nd

HOW IS THIS GOING TO AFFECT YOU FOR TOMORROW?

"Not much really, we are going to go back to the hotel, eat, come back tomorrow, and do the race."

ARE YOU CONCERNED AT HOW MUCH THE RAIN IS GOING TO CHANCE THE TRACK?

"It changed with the rain this morning and I don't think it will change much more than that. The track was pretty green yesterday - not as much as this morning - but I don't think it will be much different. I could be wrong, but that's my thinking."

ADRIAN FERNANDEZ -40- Tecate/Quaker State Ford-Cosworth - Qualified 15th

HOW MUCH DOES THE RAIN CHANGE THINGS FOR YOU TOMORROW?

"The track is going to be green, that's for sure. You could feel it this morning's session. It's a little bit of a gamble for the setup. You can definitely feel it out there and it's a matter of seeing who gets the better tune-up for tomorrow. Conditions have changed a lot. It keeps raining more and more. A lot of it is going to be a guess tomorrow. All the rubber is being washed out especially with the brushes that are on the trucks trying to dry the track."

WHAT KIND OF CHANGES TO THE CAR WILL YOU LOOK AT MAKING FOR TOMORROW'S RACE?

"Well, in a situation like this, you definitely don't want to be loose. That's bad news. The question is where do you put the balance. There are a lot of times during a normal race day where you go into the warm-up and the car is pushing and you start the race and the car is loose. Those are the things that nobody can predict. We just need to find time tomorrow to race the whole race. I would prefer that rather than to race just a hundred laps and have it called because of more rain because I am starting in the back of the grid. Even though we have always been strong here, you want to give yourself a good chance to get to the front. It's just a shame we couldn't run today."

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Michael Andretti