CHAMPCAR/CART: Nazareth PacWest Racing notes

Nazareth Review Rain washed out all of Friday's activities except for a one hour IndyCar practice session which got underway after 5:20 p.m. Guglemin was forced into his back-up car for the last half hour of the session when he reported smoke...

Nazareth Review

Rain washed out all of Friday's activities except for a one hour IndyCar practice session which got underway after 5:20 p.m.

Guglemin was forced into his back-up car for the last half hour of the session when he reported smoke in the car. Although he recorded a time just .6 over that of session leader Scott Pruett, Gugelmin was 18th fastest. Sullivan wound up 25th in the session with a time of 21.216.

Saturday's practice sessions were split into groups due to Firday's lost time. 10 minutes into the session Gugelmin was once again forced to the back-up car due to smoke in the car. He climbed as high as third before finally finishing the session fifth with a time of 19.927. Sullivan was still chasing the set-up on his Reynard chassis and his best time was a 21.512.

The late morning session was interrupted by rain. However, Sullivan and Gugelmin were able to post times of 20.948 and 20.342 respectively.

Sulivan was third to qualify and he shaved nearly a second off of his previous best time. Everyone else was fast too and Sullivan's time of 20.144 placed him 22nd on the grid. Since Gugelmin had spent so much time in the back-up car he decided to qualify the "X" car. Gugelmin's qualifying time of 19.678 was his best of the weekend, placing him 12th on the grid.

On race day, both drivers experienced loose conditions. Gugelmin finished 17th and Sullivan finished 18th, 15 laps down. Sullivan pitted four times with his ill handling Reynard but didn't find a solution until late in the race.

"We had a bad day and bad weekend, but the ironic thing is, we made a tire pressure change during the last stop and the car finally felt good for the last two laps of the race" Sullivan said.

Gugelmin ran as high as 9th and was looking to collect some points when he spun on lap 106. He managed to avoid making contact but the tires were badly flat-spotted and had lost some pressure. Gugelmin required a tow to the pits which cost him 8 laps and sent him to the rear of the field.

"The car was loose all day. I was pushing it very hard and I just lost it." said Gugelmin of his spin "It's a terrible feeling because the car goes loose and it just leaves you hanging there."

PacWest will stay at Nazareth to test on Monday and Tuesday before moving to Milwaukee for two days of testing starting May 1.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Scott Pruett