CHAMPCAR/CART: Michigan Ford Qualifying Notes

ADRIAN FERNANDEZ -40- Tecate/Quaker State Ford - Qualified 2nd - "Yesterday the car was very strange. The car was very evil. It was loose and it had a push. I just couldn't drive it. I felt the rubber (on the track) was a big part of it but...

ADRIAN FERNANDEZ -40- Tecate/Quaker State Ford - Qualified 2nd - "Yesterday the car was very strange. The car was very evil. It was loose and it had a push. I just couldn't drive it. I felt the rubber (on the track) was a big part of it but then you saw other cars going quick. But this morning we made a lot of changes and I think we found the problem. This morning the car was very quick and well balanced, but unfortunately, we didn't have enough time to figure out the new wings on the 1999 Reynard because it is a little bit different. On my qualifying run we were a little loose. I wanted to take two warm up laps and on my first flying lap I wanted to give the car little bit of push because it was a little bit too neutral. But instead of hitting the weight-jacker I hit the fuel mixture. When I realized it, I was entering turn one and right in the middle of the turn I was trying to set it back to zero which is normal fuel. That cost me a little bit because I could feel the hesitation in the engine. After that I saw my first lap was 229.4 and I lifted a little bit in turn one. I don't know what is happening in Turn 1 this year because it seems to have two different levels. I don't remember it being that way last year. I knew on my second lap if I kept my foot flat I was going to hit the wall like I did last year in Fontana and I didn't think it was worth it and decided to just bring it home." WHAT CAN WE EXPECT IN THE RACE TOMORROW? "You are just going to need a good racecar for tomorrow. It's tough to know what to expect especially after the rubber is put down from the trucks. At Homestead for the race the track was terrible (after the trucks ran). We have to be very careful how we set up the car for tomorrow because I don't think anything we did today is going to help you tomorrow because the track is going to change a lot. It's going to be a guessing game."

P.J. JONES -20- Visteon Ford-Cosworth - Qualified 22nd - "My car is perfectly balanced and we ran flat out all the way around the track. We are just slow. I have no idea why. We can't run faster than 222 or 223 mph by ourselves. By myself we should be running 227 to 228 mph but we are not. We are not even fast enough to be in the draft for tomorrow." WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS GOING INTO TOMORROW? "It's going to be a long race, but for us, it's going to be a long, long race. We are struggling. The only thing I can do is go wide open and I have that down but we just can't get out of the 223 mph range."

MAX PAPIS -7- Miller Lite Ford-Cosworth - Qualified 6th - "I am really looking forward to tomorrows race. I really want to win an oval this year. We were a little on the loose side during qualifying today. I would say we had a good run. We were aiming for the pole today and came up a bit short, but, it's nice to be in the first three rows for tomorrows start. The Miller Lite guys did a great job and I am looking forward to the race. I think we will be strong tomorrow."

BRYAN HERTA -8- Shell Ford-Cosworth - Qualified 7th - "The track was a little more slippery during qualifying than it was in practice this morning. The car feels comfortable. I think the car is pretty good and I am looking forward to tomorrow. Maybe we could have trimmed out the car a little more and gotten a better result. I am pretty happy we got a solid run in there though." WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE RACE TOMORROW? "You can go from tenth to first to tenth in two laps as everyone saw last year so it's going to be exciting. We just need to stay clean so we can be there at the end."

MICHAEL ANDRETTI -6- K Mart/Texaco/Havoline Ford-Cosworth - Qualified 4th - "I didn't think I was going to have such a strong run today. So, it good we did. I am very happy right now. We made a change right before we went out and based on what Christian came back and said and the car was better. I have to give credit to the Ford engine. That thing was strong"

CHRISTIAN FITTIPALDI -11- Big K Ford-Cosworth - Qualified 16th - "Our run could have been a little bit better. I had the car wide open but we didn't have anything more in it." WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON TOMORROWS RACE? "I think it will be a good race. We definitely need to finish the race first and make sure we have a competitive car at the end. The key for tomorrow is having a car that works well in traffic. It's long race and I am sure we can improve the car tomorrow and be there at the end."

MICHEL JOURDAIN, JR -19- Herdez Viva Mexico Ford-Cosworth - Disqualified/Under Weight/Starting 26th - "The car has too much drag but there isn't anything we can do. We have not grip in the corners either. I don't know what we can do. It is frustrating. The guys are working very hard right now to make the car better. We have a long day ahead of us tomorrow but I think we can improve."

DENNIS VITOLO -34- Team NicoDerm Ford-Cosworth - Qualified 23rd - "I would qualify our run as quite good. We have had to make quite a few adjustments to the car but we have been improving quite a bit. The balance was not bad. We had a little understeer but it was not bad. Today is the best it has been. On a track like this, which is so fast, you don't want to make drastic changes. Going into qualifying the gamble is how big of a change do you want to make."

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Series IndyCar