2006 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX SUNDAY NOTEBOOK NASCAR drivers enjoy day at Indy; Trulli happy with points INDIANAPOLIS, Sunday, July 2, 2006 - NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series driver Jimmie Johnson and his wife, Chandra, flew to Indianapolis after the ...
2006 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX SUNDAY NOTEBOOK
NASCAR drivers enjoy day at Indy; Trulli happy with points
INDIANAPOLIS, Sunday, July 2, 2006 - NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series driver Jimmie Johnson and his wife, Chandra, flew to Indianapolis after the Pepsi 400 NASCAR race July 1 at Daytona International Speedway to attend the United States Grand Prix.
"The F1 cars are amazing," Johnson said. "I'm a big fan of all motorsport. It's great to have F1 here in Indianapolis, and it is nice to be here and be part of it."
Other visitors at the USGP included NASCAR drivers Jeff Gordon, Kurt Busch, Brian Vickers and Erin Crocker, Champ Car champion Sebastien Bourdais, IRL team owner and former driver Adrian Fernandez, Champ Car team owner Carl Haas, NASCAR team owner Ray Evernham and former F1 driver and Indianapolis 500 veteran Stefan Johansson.
Trulli happy: After failing to score points in the first eight races of the season, Panasonic Toyota driver Jarno Trulli finished sixth in the Canadian Grand Prix and fourth in the United States Grand Prix.
He started the Indianapolis race from the pit lane because the crew needed to change the rear suspension on his car after it had failed in qualifying.
"Even though I was starting from the pit lane, I knew we had a big chance today because the car was quick," Trulli said. "It was a pity about yesterday, but nevertheless I knew we could make up ground by pushing hard. I had a bit of luck because I could profit from the pile-up at the first corner and the Safety Car period.
"I'm the kind of person who always wants more, so we're disappointed to have narrowly missed out on the podium. But after everything that has gone wrong for me this year, it's great to have a day when everything goes right. Now I'm really confident for the rest of the season."
Schumacher extends record: Michael Schumacher now has 87 victories in 242 Grand Prix starts. Alain Prost is second in the record books with 51 victories, followed by Ayrton Senna with 41 wins, Nigel Mansell (31), Jackie Stewart (27), Jim Clark (25), Niki Lauda (25) and Juan Manuel Fangio (24).
Worst finish: Fernando Alonso's fifth-place finish in the United States Grand Prix was his worst of the season. In his previous nine starts, reigning World Champion Alonso has won six times and finished second three times.
Massa's best: Felipe Massa's second place was the best finish of his F1 career and it was his second visit to the podium. He took third place in the European Grand Prix earlier this season.
Bridgestone unbeaten: Bridgestone tires have won all seven United States Grand Prix races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
"The Bridgestone tires were perfect today," Ferrari Technical Director Ross Brawn said. "We saw on Friday that they would go well here. It turned out that we were really quite dominant today, and we were able to have a smooth race.
"Everything worked really well: tires, car, drivers. When all these factors come together, you get the performance we had today."