CHAMPCAR/CART: Portland Saturdy lap notes

Budweiser/G.I. Joes's 200 Presented by Texaco/Havoline FedEx Championship Series Lap Notes- Saturday, June 20, 1998 Portland, Oregon - The final day of qualifying for Sunday's Round 9 of the FedEx Championship Series, The Budweiser/G.I....

Budweiser/G.I. Joes's 200 Presented by Texaco/Havoline FedEx Championship Series Lap Notes- Saturday, June 20, 1998

Portland, Oregon - The final day of qualifying for Sunday's Round 9 of the FedEx Championship Series, The Budweiser/G.I. Joe's 200 Presented By Texaco/Havoline on-track activities today begin with a 75-minute practice session scheduled for the Green Flag at 9 a.m. followed by the final round of qualifying at 12:45 p.m. This afternoon's qualifying session will be a split-group format with the fastest qualifiers from yesterday comprising Group Two.

GREEN FLAG waves at 9 a.m. to start the morning session. Firestone engineers report a track temperature of 78 degrees F. and an ambient temperature of 60 degrees F. at the start of the session.

At 9:05 a.m., five minutes into the session, the fastest driver is #11 FITTIPALDI with a lap of 117.141 mph (1:00.450), followed by #24 GORDON (116.447 mph; 1:00.795) and #6 ANDRETTI (116.011 mph; 1:01.039 seconds).

At 9:10 a.m., ten minutes into the session, #33 CARPENTIER is the fastest with a lap of 119.468 mph (59.273 seconds), followed by #7 RAHAL (118.699 mph; 59.657 seconds) and #20X PRUETT (118.591 mph; 59.211 seconds).

At 9:13 a.m., #40 FERNANDEZ spins at Turn 5 and continues on course without damage to the car.

At 9:14 a.m., #98 JONES and #17 GUGELMIN make side-to-side contact at the chicane and continue on course without damage to either car.

At 9:15 a.m., 15 minutes into the session, the fastest driver is still #33 CARPENTIER with his earlier lap of 119.468 mph (59.273 seconds), followed by #8 HERTA (118.924 mph; 59.544 seconds) and #7 RAHAL (118.699 mph; 59.657 seconds).

At 9:19 a.m., #10 HEARN spins off-course at Turn 8. HEARN gets the car re-started and continues on-course without damage to the car.

At 9:20 a.m., the fastest drivers and speeds are unchanged from the 9:15 a.m. report.

At 9:25 a.m., the fastest drivers and speeds are unchanged from the 9:20 a.m. report.

At 9:30 a.m., 30 minutes into the session, #33 CARPENTIER still has the fastest lap with a speed of 119.468 mph; 59.273 seconds), followed by #40 FERNANDEZ (119.166 mph; 59.423 seconds) and #8 HERTA (118.924 mph; 59.544 seconds).

RED FLAG waves at 9:32 a.m. after #7 RAHAL spins off Turn 2 and stalls the car. During the slowdown, #5 DE FERRAN and #18 BLUNDELL make side-to-side contact at Turn 3. Both cars continue to their respective pits.

GREEN FLAG waves at 9:36 a.m. to resume the practice session.

At 9:40 a.m., the fastest drivers and speeds remain unchanged from the 9:30 a.m. report.

At 9:45 a.m., the fastest driver is still #33 CARPENTIER with his earlier lap of 119.468 mph (59.273 seconds), followed by #40 FERNANDEZ (119.166 mph; 59.423 seconds) and #20 PRUETT (118.966 mph; 59.523 seconds).

At 9:48 a.m., #27 FRANCHITTI spins off-course but continues without damage to the car.

RED FLAG waves at 9:48 a.m. after #18 BLUNDELL spins off course at Turn 8. CART safety workers get the car re-started and BLUNDELL continues to his pit area.

GREEN FLAG waves at 9:51 a.m. to resume the practice session.

At 9:55 a.m., the fastest drivers and speeds remain unchanged from the 9:45 a.m. report.

At 9:56 a.m., #8 HERTA logs the fastest lap of the session with a speed of 119.929 mph (59.045 seconds).

At 9:57 a.m., #1 ZANARDI and #11 FITTIAPALDI make side-to-side contact but continue on to their respective pit areas.

At 9:58 a.m., #19 JOURDAIN JR. spins off-course at Turn 4 and continues on course without damage to the car.

At 9:59 a.m., #34 VITOLO and #40 FERNANDEZ make side-to-side contact at Turn 6 and continue on course without damage to either car.

At 10 a.m., #8 HERTA is still the fastest with his earlier lap of 119.929 mph (59.045 seconds), followed by #40 FERNANDEZ (119.746 mph; 59.135 seconds) and #33 CARPENTIER (119.468 mph; 59.273 seconds).

At 10:05 a.m., the fastest drivers and speeds remain unchanged from the 10 a.m. report.

At 10:08 a.m., #34 VITOLO runs off course and continues at Turn 1 without damage to the car.

At 10:10 a.m., the fastest driver is #8 HERTA with a lap of 120.208 mph (58.908 seconds), followed by #20 PRUETT (120.047 mph; 58.987 seconds) and #40 FERNANDEZ (119.746 mph; 59.135 seconds).

RED FLAG waves at 10:12 a.m. after #77 MEIER spins at the entrance to the chicane and stalls in the middle of the track. CART safety workers get the car re-started and MEIER continues to his pit area.

CHECKERED FLAG waves at 10:15 a.m. with #8 HERTA still the fastest with a lap of 120.208 mph (58.908 seconds), followed by #20 PRUETT (120.047 mph; 58.987 seconds) and #1X ZANARDI (119.890 mph; 59.064 seconds).

CART drivers introduced 33 cars to the track in this morning's session with 18 cars within one second of the fastest time set by HERTA. Secondary cars utilized by #1X ZANARDI, #12X VASSER, #19X JOURDAIN JR., #5X DE FERRAN, #20X PRUETT, #26X TRACY, #3X RIBEIRO, #98X JONES, and #16X CASTRO-NEVES. CART drivers logged 584 laps during the morning session.

Among the fastest drivers from today's morning session, JOURDAIN JR. logged the biggest gain from yesterday's qualifying speeds, improving from 117.448 mph to 119.419 mph. ZANARDI also made a big improvement; 118.136 mph to 119.890 mph. The biggest drop-off in speed was shown by yesterday's provisional pole winner DARIO FRANCHITTI, clocking a tenth-best speed this morning at 118.932 mph. FRANCHITTI holds the provisional pole with yesterday's best lap at 120.386 mph.

GREEN FLAG waves at 12:45 p.m. to start the Group One qualifying session. Firestone engineers report a track temperature of 122 degrees F. and an ambient temperature of 73 degrees F. at the drop of the Green Flag. The first driver to log a lap is #21 KANAAN with a lap of 115.009 mph (1:01.051).

At 12:50 p.m., five minutes into the session, the fastest driver is #7 RAHAL with a lap of 118.868 mph (59.572 seconds), followed by #21 KANAAN (118.832 mph; 59.590 seconds), and #19X JOURDAIN JR. (118.437 mph; 59.789 seconds).

At 12:55 p.m., the fastest driver is #1X ZANARDI with at lap of 119.890 mph (59.064 seconds; second-fastest overall), followed by #7 RAHAL (118.868 mph; 59.572 seconds, tenth-fastest overall), and #21 KANAAN (118.832 mph; 59.590 seconds, 13th-fastest overall.)

At 1 p.m., 15 minutes into the session, the fastest driver is still #1X ZANARDI with his earlier lap of 119.890 mph (59.064 seconds; second-fastest overall), followed by #7 RAHAL (119.134 mph; 59.439 seconds, ninth-fastest overall), and #21 KANAAN (118.832 mph; 59.590 seconds, 13th-fastest overall.)

At 1:05 p.m., 20 minutes into the session, the fastest drivers, speeds, and overall positions remain unchanged from the 1 p.m. report.

At 1:08 p.m., #7 RAHAL clocks a lap of 119.781 mph (59.118 seconds; second-fastest of the Group and third-fastest overall.)

At 1:10 p.m., the fastest driver is still #1X ZANARDI with his earlier lap of 119.890 mph (59.064 seconds; second-fastest overall), followed by #7 RAHAL (119.781 mph; 59.118 seconds, third-fastest overall), and #21 KANAAN (119.411 mph; 59.301 seconds, sixth-fastest overall.)

At 1:15 p.m., #98 JONES stalls off the track at Turn 8.

CHECKERED FLAG waves at 1:15 p.m. with #11X ZANARDI with his earlier lap of 120.259 mph (58.883 seconds; second-fastest overall), followed by #7 RAHAL (119.781 mph; 59.118 seconds, third-fastest overall), and #21 KANAAN (119.411 mph; 59.301 seconds, sixth-fastest overall.)

GREEN FLAG waves at 1:30 p.m. to start the Group Two qualifying session.

At 1:33 p.m., #99 MOORE slides off course at Turn 8 and slightly impacts the tire barrier, damaging the front wing.

At 1:34 p.m., #8 HERTA grabs the top speed with a lap of 121.341 mph (58.358 seconds).

At 1:35 p.m., five minutes into the Group Two session, the fastest driver is #8 HERTA with a lap of 121.341 mph; (58.358 seconds), followed by #20 PRUETT (120.710 mph; 58.663 seconds) and #12X VASSER (120.222 mph; 58.901 seconds).

At 1:37 p.m., #8 HERTA spins off-course at Turn 3 and continues on course to his pit area.

At 1:40 p.m., 10 minutes into the session, the fastest driver is #8 HERTA with a lap of 121.341 mph (58.358 seconds), followed by #27 FRANCHITTI (121.077 mph; 58.485 seconds) and #12X VASSER (120.722 mph; 58.657 seconds).

At 1:45 p.m., 15 minutes into the session, the fastest drivers, speeds, and overall positions remain unchanged from the 1:40 p.m. report.

At 1:50 p.m., 20 minutes into the session, the fastest driver is still #8 HERTA with his earlier lap of 121.341 mph (58.358 seconds), followed by #27 FRANCHITTI (121.156 mph; 58.447 seconds) and #12X VASSER (120.722 mph; 58.657 seconds).

At 1:55 p.m., 25 minutes into the session, the fastest drivers, speeds, and overall positions remain unchanged from the 1:50 p.m. report.

At 1:57 p.m., #20 PRUETT moves into the third-fastest slot overall with a speed of 120.747 mph (58.645 seconds).

RED FLAG waves at 1:58 p.m. after #11 FITTIPALDI stalls on-course at Turn 2.

CHECKERED FLAG waves at 2 p.m. with BRYAN HERTA winning the pole for Sunday's Budweiser/G.I. Joe's 200 Presented by Texaco/Havoline with a speed of 121.341 mph (58.358 seconds). HERTA wins the Marlboro Pole Award of $10,000 with a possibility of winning $240,000 more if he can win the race on Sunday. This is HERTA's fifth career pole and the second of the 1998 season. HERTA also sat on the pole at Long Beach.

Starting second will be DARIO FRANCHITTI with his lap of 121.156 mph; 58.447 seconds). This is FRANCHITTI's best start since Brazil, where he sat on the pole.

Third on the grid will be SCOTT PRUETT, clocking in at 120.747 mph; 58.645 seconds). This is PRUETT's fourth top-three start at Portland in his CART career.

There are 12 other drivers within one second of HERTA's pole winning speed. CART drivers logged 310 laps in the two Group qualifying sessions today. The top thirteen drivers broke the existing track record of 119.246 mph (59.383 seconds) set by SCOTT PRUETT in 1997.

Quotes from today's qualifying sessions follow.

BRYAN HERTA, Shell Reynard Ford: "We made a few changes but we really didn't change that much [from Friday qualifying]. We felt that the race track kept changing and coming back to our setup, and I was really pleased about that. I couldn't get a time on my second set of tires. I was worried about Scott and Dario, but they had a few problems of their own and we were able to hang onto it. I came here on a mission. I felt that we could get the pole based on testing. I'm really stoked about it. It seems like we're working awfully hard. The nature of the track and the conditions seems to be that to go fast, you really need to put yourself out on that thin line. I'm expecting it to be a physical race I don't know how to describe it, but the desire to win a race is big, and as you keep getting closer, it just gets bigger. The longer you go without it, the more you want it. I want to do this because I'm good enough to do it, and I think you have to win to win to prove you're good enough. I don't want to do this not anybody else, or for the sponsor or the team. I want to do it for myself."

DARIO FRANCHITTI, KOOL Reynard Honda: "We started off kinda slow, trying to conserve tires. Our qualifying plan was to run one set of tires if we could. On the last lap, we made a mistake in Turn 10. I'm glad we got the front-row start, and I'm looking forward to the race. Tires and fuel will be important."

SCOTT PRUETT, Visteon Reynard Ford: "For the Visteon team, we made a big step forward. I think we have a good race car. I'm pleased and happy. We've got a great place to start the race tomorrow, and if we keep racing like we have, it's going to be a great. This biggest reason to qualify first this weekend is the Marlboro Pole Award money. We'll see what kind of deals we can make [with Bryan Herta] on the side. It's always great to start up front."

PPG Industries, Inc. is pleased to announce that Bruce McCaw, president of PacWest Racing Group has been named as PPG's Colorful Character for the Budweiser/G.I. Joe's 200 at Portland International Raceway. McCaw and his PacWest Racing Group, scored their first ever CART victory last year at Portland, as Mark Blundell won the closest race in Champ Car history, 0.027 seconds. In addition to guiding PacWest and serving as director on the board of Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc., McCaw is deeply involved in a number of charitable and community activities. McCaw is also a licensed commercial pilot and is a qualified Lear Jet captain. When time permits, he still competes in vintage racing activities. "Bruce McCaw has brought his own personality and a Pacific Northwest sense of style to the competition for the PPG Cup," said Mike Sack, PPG's Director of Sports Marketing. "We are pleased to recognize Bruce as our latest PPG Colorful Character."

Created in 1995 by PPG Industries, co-title sponsor of the 1998 CART FedEx Championship, the PPG Colorful Character award recognizes members of the racing community who add color, style, personality and fun to the series.

Source: CART Online

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Bryan Herta , Mark Blundell , Bruce McCaw