Ford showed the depth of its Champ Car program today as four of the top-five and seven of the top-ten finishers in today's Miller Lite 225 Ford-Cosworth powered. Leading the Ford parade was Michael Andretti who drove an aggressive race to ...
Ford showed the depth of its Champ Car program today as four of the top-five and seven of the top-ten finishers in today's Miller Lite 225 Ford-Cosworth powered.
Leading the Ford parade was Michael Andretti who drove an aggressive race to come home second and Team Player's driver Patrick Carpentier, who is coming off wrist surgery, piloted his Ford-Cosworth to third.
Rounding out the top-five were Kenny Brack, who has scored points on both one-mile ovals this season, and Roberto Morneo who continues his way to the top of the driver's championship points standings.
MICHAEL ANDRETTI -6- Big Kmart/Texaco/Havoline Ford-Cosworth - Qualified 10th / Finished 2nd-
"I was really working hard to catch up. Juan was actually having more trouble in traffic than me and I saw that he was stuck there and I knew it. I was doing everything I could to get there with five laps to go, but I ran out of laps. It would have been interesting with ten more laps to go."
DID THE CRASH YOU HAD IN THE MORNING WARM UP ON SATURDAY IMPACT YOUR RACE?
"It only affected the race for the pole. It was really disappointing because I felt we had a shot at it. But as for the race itself, it didn't affect it. I had a good start which got me up there and I was able to just keep going."
CAN YOU TALK A LITTLE ABOUT JUAN'S EFFORT TODAY AND OVER THE LAST COUPLE OF RACES?
"Juan is doing a great job. They have everything going for them. He is doing a good job, but the team is doing a great job too. He has a real good car under him. Everything is working for him right now and coming off the momentum of Indy probably didn't hurt either. They got a few brakes and ended up winning the race that unfortunately I finished second in."
CAN YOU ADDRESS THE ISSUE OF SPEEDS ON THESE SMALL OVALS? THE CURRENT RULES SEEM TO HAVE TAKEN A LITTLE OF THE PUNCH OUT OF WHAT USE TO BE A VERY ENTERTAINING RACE. DO YOU HAVE ANY SUGGESTIONS?
"I would go back to last year's wings and take a bunch of horsepower away. Then I think then you would have better racing. If you take the horsepower away and limit the downforce you can drive the car a little more with the throttle which in my opinion would be better racing."
CHRISTIAN FITTIPALDI -11- Big Kmart/Route 66 Ford-Cosworth - Qualified 5th / Finished 9th -
"We didn't finish where we wanted. We managed to get a couple of points though. I thought we were going to have a better day than this."
YOU HAD AN INCIDENT IN THE PITS WITH THE VENT HOSE. WHAT HAPPENED?
"I don't know why the car went forward. I just engaged the clutch."
PATRICK CARPENTIER -32- Player's Ford-Cosworth - Qualified 3rd / Finished 3rd -
"I am very happy with the job the guys did today. Michael did a great job in the pits too. My car was a little conservative to pass the other people. But we have a good package this year and hopefully we will be here more often in the points."
DO YOU LOOK AT THIS FINISH AS A SPRINGBOARD FOR YOU THE REST OF THE SEASON?
"Yes I am pretty happy with the podium today because it's really going to help us with the points. I think we are going to be strong this year, especially on the road circuits, which are coming up. So hopefully we will be there to fight for the championship, but it's going to be tough."
ALEX TAGLIANI -33- Player's Ford-Cosworth - Qualified 13th / Finished 22nd
"We came in for fuel and the car was in neutral on the jacks. Everything was fine. The car dropped down, I put my foot on the clutch and put the car in first with my foot on the brake. When I started to roll into the throttle, even with my foot on the brake, the car just went forward. Then the guys started dumping water on me. I am all right."
WAS IT AN ISSUE OF AN OVERHEATED CLUTCH?
"I think so."
MAX PAPIS -7- Miller Lite Ford-Cosworth - Qualified 9th / Finished 7th -
"I am extremely happy for the Miller Lite crew. We did a fantastic race today. I thought that the Ford engine stayed with me all race and it was great on fuel mileage. I think we came in later than most of the other people. Unfortunately with this new wing - it's just not good racing. I don't enjoy it because there is huge buffeting out there and you take a huge risk when you come into the pits and when you some out. With the new wing, we race more in the pits and on restarts than on the track and that's not good."
KENNY BRACK -8- Shell Ford-Cosworth - Qualified 16th / Finished 4th -
"We were able to get very good mileage today and that saved us. We were able to pit under two yellow flags when many guys pitted under green. I ran most of the race in sixth gear, which helped. It was interesting to race on such a flat track. It's much different than the high banks of the IRL."
ADRIAN FERNANDEZ -40- Tecate/Quaker State Ford-Cosworth - Qualified 19th / Finished 8th -
YOU LOST A LOT OF POSITIONS DURING THE LAST RESTART. WHAT HAPPENED?
"I went wide in turn one and two trying to pass Castro-Neves and I got into the marbles. I got off line and that was it. If I wouldn't have made that mistake, we had an easy top-five finish. I thought they cleaned the track and I didn't see the marbles up there and got about a foot higher than I should have and that got me into the marbles."
ROBERTO MORENO -20- Visteon Ford-Cosworth - Qualified 7th / Finished 5th -
"The Visteon team did a great job with strategy. We had a car that was very loose for three-quarters of the race and we worked on it during each pit stop. It wasn't until the last stop that we got it good."