CHAMPCAR/CART: Nazareth Saturday Summary and Notes

FedEx Championship Series Practice Notes Nazareth, PA (April 25, 1998) -- * Good morning from Nazareth Speedway for qualifying day for Sunday's Bosch Spark Plug Grand Prix Presented by Toyota. Today's weather has beautiful blue skies...

FedEx Championship Series Practice Notes

Nazareth, PA (April 25, 1998) -- * Good morning from Nazareth Speedway for qualifying day for Sunday's Bosch Spark Plug Grand Prix Presented by Toyota. Today's weather has beautiful blue skies here at Nazareth Speedway with an air temperature of about 60 degrees F. and a moderate breeze out of the northwest with the prediction for the spring-like conditions to continue all day. Today's CART on-track activities begin with a 75-minute practice session scheduled for 9 a.m. CART qualifying will begin at 1:15 p.m. and last for 90 minutes.

* A unique photo opportunity will be available Saturday, April 25 at 5 p.m. at the Start/Finish line. Four generations of Andrettipictures led by Michael's grandfather, ALVISE "GIGI" ANDRETTI, MARIO ANDRETTI, MICHAEL ANDRETTI, and Michael's son, MARCO ANDRETTI.

* GREEN FLAG waves at 9 a.m. to start the morning practice session. #26 TRACY is the first car to take to the track. Firestone engineers report a track temperature of 72 degrees F. and an ambient temperature of 61 degrees F. at the start of the practice.

* At 9:10 a.m., 10 minutes into the session, the fastest driver is #6 ANDRETTI with a lap of 177.366 mph (19.201 seconds), followed by #40 FERNANDEZ (177.218; 19.217 seconds), and #26 TRACY (177.107 mph; 19.229 seconds).

* At 9:15 a.m., AL UNSER JR. enters the track in the #3 Penske car.

* At 9:20 a.m., 20 minutes into the session, the fastest driver is now #5X DE FERRAN with an lap of 178.800 mph; 19.047 seconds), followed by #16 CASTRO-NEVES (178.033 mph; 19.129 seconds) and #33 CARPENTIER (177.606 mph; 19.175 seconds).

* YELLOW FLAG waves at 9:23 a.m. for a track inspection.

* GREEN FLAG waves at 9:29 a.m. to resume the morning practice session.

* At 9:30 a.m., 30 minutes into the session, the fastest drivers are now #5X DE FERRAN, and #6 ANDRETTI with identical laps of 178.800 mph; 19.047 seconds), followed by #16 CASTRO-NEVES (178.033 mph; 19.129 seconds) and #33 CARPENTIER (177.606 mph; 19.175 seconds).

* At 9:38 a.m., #6 ANDRETTI logs the fastest lap of the session with a speed of 180.200 mph (18.899 seconds).

* At 9:40 a.m., 40 minutes into the session, the fastest driver of the session is still #6 ANDRETTI with his earlier lap of 180.200 mph; 18.899 seconds), followed by #26 TRACY (179.924 mph; 18.928 seconds) and #8 HERTA (179.725 mph; 18.949 seconds).

* At 9:42 a.m., #1 ZANARDI sets the fastest lap of the session and the weekend with a lap of 180.601 mph (18.857 seconds).

* At 9:50 a.m., 50 minutes into the session, the fastest driver is still #1 ZANARDI with a lap of 180.601 mph (18.857 seconds), followed by #5X DE FERRAN (180.248 mph ; 18.894 seconds), and #6 ANDRETTI (180.200 mph; 18.899 seconds).

* YELLOW FLAG waves at 9:52 a.m. for a track inspection.

* At 10 a.m., one hour into the session and under a full-course yellow flag, the fastest drivers and speeds remain unchanged from the 9:50 a.m. report.

* GREEN FLAG waves at 10:01 a.m. to resume the practice session.

* At 10:07 a.m., #33 CARPENTIER records the fastest lap of 181.149 mph (18.800 seconds).

* At 10:10 a.m., 70 minutes into the session, the fastest driver is still #33 CARPENTIER with his earlier lap of 181.149 mph (18.800 seconds), followed by #17 GUGELMIN (180.908 mph; 18.825 seconds), and #26 TRACY (180.755 mph; 18.841 seconds).

* CHECKERED FLAG waves at 10:15 a.m. with the fastest driver of the session and the weekend #33 CARPENTIER with his earlier lap of 181.149 mph (18.800 seconds), followed by #17 GUGELMIN (180.908 mph; 18.825 seconds), and #26 TRACY (180.755 mph; 18.841 seconds). Qualifying set-ups were definitely the focus of the session as seven drivers topped the 180 mph-mark, mostly turning those hot laps at the very end of the practice. CART drivers introduced 30 different cars to the track with the top 27 cars logging laps within one second of the fastest speed set by CARPENTIER. Secondary cars were utilized by #5X DE FERRAN, #10X HEARN, and #3X RIBEIRO. Cart drivers turned at total of 1920 laps during this session, incident-free.

* It has been announced by J. Kirk Russell, CART Vice President of Competition, that pursuant to 9.12.4K of the 1998 CART Rule Book, Goodyear has elected to withdraw the tires that they supplied to teams on Friday, April 24, 1998. The teams using the Goodyear tires Friday have had their respective times withdrawn from the Friday results as well. If any of the media requires a copy of the revised Friday times, please contact the CART press office at the track.

* GREEN FLAG waves at 1:15 p.m. for the start of qualifying for Sunday's Bosch Spark Plug Grand Prix Presented by Toyota. Firestone engineers report a track temperature of 108 degrees F. and an ambient temperature of 67 degrees F. at the start of qualifying. A steady wind from the northwest is blowing over the first turn wall towards the third turn.

* #77 MEIER's top speed: 174.093 mph; (19.562 seconds); second lap.

* # 3 RIBEIRO's top speed: 171.161 mph; (19.897 seconds); first lap.

* #98 JONES's top speed: 176.164 mph; (19.332 seconds); second lap.

* #34 VITOLO's top speed: 177.810 mph; (19.153 seconds); second lap.

* # 2 UNSER JR's to speed: 178.444 mph; (19.085 seconds); second lap.

* #36 BARRON's top speed: 173.339 mph; (19.647 seconds); second lap.

* #25 PAPIS's top speed: 178.136 mph; (19.118 seconds); first lap.

* #19 JOURDAIN JR.'s top speed: 177.255 mph; (19.213 seconds); second lap.

* #10X HEARN's top speed: 180.238 mph; (18.895 seconds); second lap.

* #21 KANAAN's top speed: 179.252 mph; (18.999 seconds); second lap.

* #18 BLUNDELL's top speed: 178.099 mph; (19.122 seconds); second lap.

* #24 GORDON's top speed: 176.419 mph; (19.304 seconds); second lap.

* # 9 LEHTO's top speed: 179.403 mph; (18.983 seconds); second lap.

* #20 PRUETT's top speed: 180.362 mph; (18.882 seconds); second lap.

* #16 CASTO-NEVES's top speed: 178.210 mph; (19.110 seconds); second lap.

* # 7 RAHAL's top speed: 180.966 mph; (18.819 seconds); second lap.

* #40 FERNANDEZ's top speed: 180.697 mph; (18.847 seconds); second lap.

* #27 FRANCHITTI's top speed: 179.204 mph; (19.004 seconds); first lap.

* #11 FITTIPALDI's top speed: 182.528 mph; (18.658 seconds); second lap.

* # 8 HERTA's top speed: 181.874 mph; (18.725 seconds); second lap.

* #99 MOORE's top speed: 182.822 mph; (18.628 seconds); second lap.

* # 6 ANDRETTI's top speed: 182.743 mph; (18.636 seconds); second lap.

* # 5X DE FERRAN's top speed: 182.704 mph; (18.640 seconds; second lap.

* #12 VASSER's top speed: 182.586 mph; (18.652 seconds); second lap.

* # 1 ZANARDI's top speed: 181.836 mph; (18.729 seconds); second lap.

* #26 TRACY's top speed: 180.937 mph; (18.822 seconds); second lap.

* #17 GUGELMIN'S top speed: 179.459 mph; (18.977 seconds); second lap.

* #33 CAPRENTIER'S top speed: 184.896 mph; (18.419 seconds); second lap.

* CHECKERED FLAG waves at 2:25 p.m. to end the qualifying session with #33 CARPENTIER winning his first pole in FedEx Championship Series competition. He earns the $10,000 Marlboro Pole Award with the opportunity to collect an additional $165,000 in rollover bonus money with a victory Sunday.

* This is the second consecutive time this season that teammates have started on the front row. BRYAN HERTA and BOBBY RAHAL accomplished the same feat at Long Beach two weeks ago. This has only happened three times in the last 40 CART races.

* There are 25 cars in the starting field within one second of the pole-winning effort by CARPENTIER out of the 26 cars starting the race. The top 13 drivers are separated by less than one half-second in lap times. The top ten drivers in today's qualifying broke the existing track record of 18.831 seconds set in 1997 by PAUL TRACY. #27 BARRON and #3 RIBEIRO failed to qualify for the race and will not make the starting grid.

* CARPENTIER wins $10,000 for his first pole-winning effort this afternoon with a possibility of winning a roll-over bonus of $165,000 if he can win Sunday's race. CARPENTIER's previous best starting effort was here at Nazareth last year with a third-place start.

* Today represents GREG MOORE's tenth top-ten start in the last 11 oval races in CART competition and the second career front-row start. MOORE started from the pole at Homestead this year.

* MICHAEL ANDRETTI's third-place start will be his tenth top-ten start in the last 11 races at Nazareth. This also represents ANDRETTI's seventh top-five start at Nazareth, including three on the front row.

* GREEN FLAG waves at 2:33 p.m. to start a CART practice session to fill in the rest of the remaining qualification time slot.

* CHECKERED FLAG waves at 2:45 p.m. to end the additional practice period with #5 DE FERRAN the fastest with a lap of 175.610 mph (19.393 seconds), followed by #16 CASTRO-NEVES (175.041 mph; 19.456 seconds), and #2 UNSER JR. (173.049 mph, 19.680 seconds). Nineteen cars took to the track in this final practice session on Saturday with secondary cars utilized by #10X HEARN, #25X PAPIS, and #3X RIBEIRO. CART drivers completed 348 laps in this session incident-free.

* Driver quotes from today's qualifying follow.

* PATRICK CARPENTIER, Player's/Indeck Reynard Mercedes: "Our engineers exchange a lot of information and it was very beneficial for both of us. Greg ran well this afternoon and I felt like the foundation was in place and we were able to build on it. It's a long race, but I know that if you qualify on the pole there's a good chance of winning. With the times the guys were running, I was hoping that the conditions would have been a little bit better this afternoon, because I couldn't have run that [pole-winning] time this morning. Our team orders are not to let Michael by. The pole means a lot in terms of confidence. We had a good season last year on ovals, not so good on road courses. We tested last week at Portland, and we were very quick on the road course. I think it's gonna be a good year, not only on ovals but on road courses."

* GREG MOORE, Player's/Indeck Reynard Mercedes: "I think Patrick getting the pole and me starting second is going to light a fire under everyone on this team. There aren't any team orders, other than to try not to take each other out, that's for sure. We're two different drivers with two different styles."

* MICHAEL ANDRETTI, Kmart/Texaco/Havoline Swift Ford: "The car is really good. I'm kind of disappointed because I thought we had a shot at the pole, and it's been a long time since the last pole [1995, Long Beach]. I thought I might have had it until I went into Turn 3 and developed a push. We need to get the ball rolling again. It would be great to win tomorrow in front of the hometown fans."

* This concludes the pit notes for today. We'll see you tomorrow for the running of the Bosch Spark Plug Grand Prix Presented by Toyota.

Source: CART Online

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series IndyCar