(Milwaukee, Wi) – PacWest Racing’s Mauricio Gugelmin has given himself a chance of another podium finish in the FedEx Championship Series tomorrow after qualifying eighth for the Miller Lite 225 at the Milwaukee Mile in Wisconsin.
Gugelmin clocked a time of 21.116 seconds on the fastest of his two qualifying runs in his #17 Nextel PacWest Mercedes-Benz – just 0.217 of a second slower than pole sitter Juan Montoya.
#18 Motorola PacWest Mercedes-Benz driver Mark Blundell has battled bruising and muscle soreness all weekend after a major accident at Nazareth last Saturday, but still managed to qualify 17th.
Gugelmin, who finished second at Nazareth after qualifying 12th on the one-mile oval, was again the fastest of the Mercedes-Benz-powered runners with Tony Kanaan in 11th place in the Mo Nunn Racing entry.
Montoya set a pole time of 20.899 seconds and was followed by Dario Franchitti (20.954s), Patrick Carpentier (20.954s), Gil de Ferran (20.975s) and Christian Fittipaldi (21.005s).
MAURICIO GUGELMIN - # 17 NEXTEL PACWEST MERCEDES-BENZ – 8th
Morning Session: 21.131s – 12th; Qualifying: 21.116s
“To be honest I am really looking forward to the race tomorrow,” said Gugelmin.
“I am not really concerned where we qualified, although I am certainly not disappointed with eighth - we proved at Nazareth last week that running on these short ovals is all about being consistent.
“Things like driveability and fuel mileage from the Mercedes-Benz helped us enormously at Nazareth and there is no reason why we will not have that tomorrow.
“I want to cruise for 200 laps tomorrow and race for 25.
MARK BLUNDELL - # 18 MOTOROLA PACWEST MERCEDES-BENZ – 17th
Morning Session: 21.418s – 17th; Qualifying: 21.379s
“We have had a couple of tough weeks and we have to work our way back,” said Blundell.
“After a couple of big hits in a row it takes a little while to get your confidence back, but it is certainly coming.
“The package is getting closer and once we get is completely dialed in I will have the chance to go out and do my stuff.
“We went quicker today by about 0.3 of a second, but unfortunately so did everyone else.”