CHAMPCAR/CART: Michigan PacWest efforts go unrewarded

(Brooklyn, Mi) – PacWest Racing drivers Mauricio Gugelmin and Mark Blundell and their Nextel and Motorola crews again gave 100 percent in today’s Michigan 500 at the Michigan Speedway – their result? – zero. Gugelmin, driver of the ...

(Brooklyn, Mi) – PacWest Racing drivers Mauricio Gugelmin and Mark Blundell and their Nextel and Motorola crews again gave 100 percent in today’s Michigan 500 at the Michigan Speedway – their result? – zero.

Gugelmin, driver of the #17 Nextel PacWest Mercedes-Benz, battled hard all day and was in the shadow of his second-best FedEx Championship Series result of the year when a mechanical problem forced him into the pits with just nine laps remaining in the 500-mile enduro.

Mark Blundell, driver of the #18 Motorola PacWest Mercedes-Benz, was positioning himself for one his best finishes of the season when he was forced out with mechanical problems on lap 131. Blundell, who lost a lap early in the race, had fought his way back on to the lead lap and was as high as 11th and making ground with good fuel mileage when he came to a stop at turn two.

The CART FedEx Championship Series will continue with the Target Grand Prix at the Chicago Motor Speedway next Sunday July 30.

MAURICIO GUGELMIN - # 17 NEXTEL PACWEST MERCEDES-BENZ – 13th

“That’s the hardest day’s work I have ever done for no result,” said Gugelmin.

“We battled hard all day - everyone. The Nextel crew did a fantastic job on all my pit stops and I really feel for them because we came up nine laps short.

“This race is a thinking man’s race and we really had to think about our strategy today because we knew we did not have the pace to run with the leaders.

“I tried to conserve fuel all day to keep us in touch and I had a little in reserve when we had the failure.”

MARK BLUNDELL - # 18 MOTOROLA PACWEST MERCEDES-BENZ – 19th

“I could see things getting hotter and could feel things getting tighter,” said Blundell.

“I made a stop to check everything and went back out, but it was all over before I got to turn two. I guess an autopsy will be done when it is pulled apart.

“It is very disappointing because we had worked hard to get our lap back we lost earlier in the race and were running some quick laps and making good fuel mileage.

“The Motorola crew did everything in its power to get us back in the race with our stops.

“If you think I am frustrated spare a thought for the guys. We all deserved better today.

“We need to re-group and see if we can put on a decent show in Motorola’s home town of Chicago next weekend.”

TOP 12: 1: Juan Montoya; 2 Michael Andretti; 3: Dario Franchitti; 4: Patrick Carpentier; 5: Helio Castroneves; 6: Adrian Fernandez; 7: Paul Tracy; 8: Oriol Servia; 9: Max Papis; 10: Memo Gidley; 11: Luiz Garcia; 12: Tarso Marques.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Michael Andretti , Memo Gidley , Max Papis , Adrian Fernandez , Tarso Marques , Patrick Carpentier , Dario Franchitti , Mauricio Gugelmin , Oriol Servia , Mark Blundell , Luiz Garcia