FONTANA, CA . . . Team Rahal Shell driver Kenny Brack claimed third on the starting grid narrowly missing his seventh pole position of the 2001 season and Miller Lite driver Max Papis qualified sixth for Sunday's CART season finale, The Marlboro...
FONTANA, CA . . . Team Rahal Shell driver Kenny Brack claimed third on the starting grid narrowly missing his seventh pole position of the 2001 season and Miller Lite driver Max Papis qualified sixth for Sunday's CART season finale, The Marlboro 500 (3:30 PM EST Live on ESPN) at the California Speedway.
Brack, second in CART points and the series leader in wins, poles and laps led, has six podium results in the seven oval races this season. Brack has already clinched second in the championship and is looking to finish a stellar 2001 season by winning the 500-mile event and the million dollar prize for victory.
Papis has led more laps on the super speedways over the last three seasons (371) than any other driver in the series and is searching for his first super speedway victory. Papis carries a five race point streak into tomorrow's season ending race.
Alex Tagliani captured the pole, his second of the season, an paced a Ford-Cosworth onslaught that captured five of the top-seven spots on the grid.
Max Papis (Miller Lite Ford-Cosworth/Lola) - "I felt like we had a car to beat this morning in practice (when he was 2nd fastest). Then, entering qualifying, I felt the car would be good and it was. With this new wing, qualifying is always a roll of the dice. But the track got a little hot and the conditions weren't as good as earlier in qualifying. We needed a little different gear but we'll be good for the race. Overall, I still think we have a great car for the race. I wanted to win the pole with my last race in the Miller Lite car for Team Rahal. I'd love to win a 500-mile race. It's an American tradition and I think we have a great chance on Sunday."
Kenny Brack (Shell Ford-Cosworth/Lola) - "It's not too bad of a run. I was flat on the throttle. That was all I had today. I think Sunday's race will be very similar to what Michigan was this year. The wing package now for the super speedways really makes the field very tight. We'll be packed up all day. The new wing package makes the car a little more comfortable when you are by yourself. But in traffic, it's just like before. You slide around a little. We might be able to go two abreast in the corners with the current groove but it won't be easy. There will be many more lead changes in this race than in past year's at Fontana. It should be very exciting. I want to be up at the front on the 499th mile and then get to the 500th mile. I haven't been able to do that in the CART super speedway race so far. It's going to be a real crapshoot to the line Sunday. I'd just like to get there first."