McDONALD'S DRIVER BOURDAIS WON THE POLE IN MILWAUKEE FOR THE TIME WARNER CABLE ROAD RUNNER 225 AND BROUGHT TEAM FIRST POLE HERE SINCE 1985; JUNQUEIRA RECOVERED FROM CRASH IN PRACTICE TO QUALIFY SECOND Sebastien Bourdais, No. 1 McDonald's ...
McDONALD'S DRIVER BOURDAIS WON THE POLE IN MILWAUKEE FOR THE TIME WARNER CABLE ROAD RUNNER 225 AND BROUGHT TEAM FIRST POLE HERE SINCE 1985; JUNQUEIRA RECOVERED FROM CRASH IN PRACTICE TO QUALIFY SECOND
Sebastien Bourdais, No. 1 McDonald's Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "I'm very happy, very happy for me and for the McDonald's team.JThis team has been struggling quite a bit here, especially during the race. But still, it really never is a smooth ride, so I just really enjoyed it (today). This morning we looked just like Bruno, the car really started strong and I was a little bit chicken to start with and didn't feel like we had the balance exactly right there. So I took it easy and guys kept on crashing and, you know, for me who doesn't really have a whole lot of experience. When I go back out I'm always wondering if there's going to be something wrong with the track. So I just took it a little easier and I took a little bit extra time to kind of bring myself up to speed and it paid off. We made some nice changes and the car came to us; the track came us to, too, and after that, we were fairly confident that the car was going to be good for qualifying, which happened.
"We were right where we wanted to be. I looked at the last time, I knew I could do a little bit better but in the meantime, there's no need to be 3/10s, 4/10s ahead of everybody if you're taking chances to achieve that. I knew the second lap was going to be a little bit riskier, I just decided that it really might be a little painful so we just called it a day and I'm very happy with what we got. I'm especially very happy for Bruno because I think he's had the toughest beginning of the season that I've seen for a long time. And not that he's not been fast; it's just that he's had terrible luck and this morning was not a very good example. As he said his car wasn't exactly what it was supposed to be (in qualifying), but still to be on the first row, I'm very happy for the team and very happy for Bruno, and hopefully we can have a clean and nice and smooth race tomorrow and solid finish.
"I think confidence leads to be overconfident and this place bites you when you do that. So I'd rather be a little conservative and think we might have a little bit of work ahead of us and kind of take it small step by small step, rather than just going at it and making a big mistake and hurting myself. So at the end of the day, I'm fairly confident with what we've got, but we'll see where we're at and that's just going to try and stay concentrated all weekend and just get the job done, really."
- FAST FACTS: Today was his third pole of the year (Long Beach, Monterrey) It was his 21st pole position, third on an oval as well as his FIRST in Milwaukee...Will be his be his fourth race here. Started sixth in 2005 and was in podium contention when he exceeded the speed limit (55 in a 50) on his last stop and dropped to a sixth place finish to regain the points lead with 77 over second place Justin Wilson, 70. Started second in 2004 but crashed while fifth and finished 18th. Qualifying was rained out in 2003 and the drivers started the race based on practice times. Bourdais started 13th and was forced to pit prior to the start of the race due to an overheating engine. He finished ninth....Currently leads the series point standings with 103 points to Justin Wilson's 77...Will attempt to become the first open wheel driver to win three consecutive championships since Ted Horn did so from 1946-1948.
Bruno Junqueira, No. 2 Hole in the Wall Camps Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone:
REGARDING HIS ACCIDENT IN TURN 4 DURING THE MORNING PRACTICE: "It was a mixed emotion today. This morning we started really well. My Newman/Haas car was quite fast, unfortunately, on a low-speed lap I ended up crashing. "I ran up on traffic so I slowed to back off and give myself a gap. I just got on the throttle again and the car spun. I had just put my first set of new tires during the session and I did a couple of laps. The second one still was at that time a good lap, not my best lap, there was a little bit of traffic, and I saw two guys in front of me. So I slowed down on the back straight; there was nobody behind me. So a little bit through turn three, I started to accelerate again to go up to speed to start another lap. I did turn three and was in turn four and was already full throttle and the car just stepped out on me. It was a really, really strange feeling, actually. I've been racing in America for six years and have run 17 or 18 oval races, but it was the first time ever that I crashed, apart from when an engine blew up. It was a pretty strange feeling to have the car step out. There is not a lot you can do. It was a shame because the car was really, really good and when we tested yesterday for the long run, it was great. But I was quite happy that I had a big crash and had no problems at all in my back, so I have a little bit of mixed emotions on that.
"Then I went to qualify in the backup car and the backup car did not have all the parts that we had on the primary car but still we guessed a little bit on the setup. We tried to make sure the car had a little bit more understeer, and with the car being quite loose, I just drove around and didn't really want to push, and I had just one lap. I was very conservative, especially in turns three and four. But it was good; I ended up in second position, front row. It's strange because we set up the backup car the same as the primary car but we did not have all of the same parts, so we had to kind of guess. But we set up the car conservative to have understeer, so at the same timewe were hoping to get a top five, top six start, whatever, but the car was pretty loose and then we stopped our run and made some changes then went back out and the car was still a little bit loose. I could be a little disappointed that I didn't have my primary car to be able to maybe challenge Sebastien for the pole. It's hard to feel bad though. It's a mixed feeling; I'm not on the pole, but I could be in the hospital because of the crash. You know, I'm P-2, I cannot complain. The team did a very good job. We've been struggling at this track before, and last year we were a little bit better and this year, I mean, we seem to be even better. So at least we have the qualifying and let's see for the race. I hope we can have good speed for the race as well. At the end of the day I'm happy with the result. So I hope I can do it with the race tomorrow."