West Allis, Wisconsin, June 3, 2000 Serving notice that he is back in form from a wrist injury that sidelined him for several weeks, Team Player's driver Patrick Carpentier clocked the third-fastest time in today's qualifying session for the...
West Allis, Wisconsin, June 3, 2000 Serving notice that he is back in form from a wrist injury that sidelined him for several weeks, Team Player's driver Patrick Carpentier clocked the third-fastest time in today's qualifying session for the Miller Lite 225, which will be run Sunday on the Milwaukee Mile oval.
"It's pretty satisfying for the Player's team to get into the top three in qualifying, particularly since I've been out of competition for almost two months - except for the one-day race at Nazareth last weekend," remarked Carpentier, who began the day by recording the quickest lap in the morning practice session. "The car has a real good set-up, and I'm looking for a good race tomorrow."
Juan Montoya of Colombia has the pole for the sixth event of the season on the FedEx CART Championship schedule, while Scotland's Dario Franchitti shares the front row of the grid. Brazilian Gil de Ferran is beside Carpentier on Row 2.
Carpentier, the last driver to qualify by virtue of his fastest time in the morning run, put in a fast lap of 20.964 seconds with his first qualifying lap, only .065 seconds behind Montoya. Despite a determined effort to lower that time on his second run, Carpentier had to settle for third.
"I knew my first run wasn't quick enough for the pole," admitted Carpentier. "I thought I had a good shot at it until corner 2 on my last run. In fact, if I had been an inch closer to the wall in corner 2, I don't think I would have been able to bring the Player's car back in the pits. I tried to put in a better time by getting on the throttle before reaching the apex, but I went over some bumps and the car went loose. I decided to keep going but it didn't get any better."
While Tagliani narrowly missed qualifying among the top 10 he was 13th with a time of 21.183 seconds - he improved several positions from his Friday practice run, where he encountered some problems with under- and over-steer, as well as the balancing of the car. The Player's crew changed shocks, springs and bars today, and Tagliani said these efforts "brought the car pretty close to everyone else."
"I'm not worried about the starting position," added Tagliani, who has demonstrated so far this season that he is very capable of moving up the field during a race. "Sure, I would have liked to be starting up closer to the front, but with the way things went today, I know we're going to have a good car for the race. It's going to come down to strategy and taking advantage of every opportunity that you're given. We were able to make some big advances with our pit stops in Nazareth last weekend. I'm confident that with the fine work of the Player's crew during pits stops we can do the same thing tomorrow."
Racing fans can watch the Miller Lite 225 live on The Sports Network at 4 p.m. (ET) on Sunday.
In Atlantic action today, Andrew Bordin, a Canadian driver supported by Player's, earned hi s second consecutive podium with a second-place finish behind Argentina's Martin Basso.