Alex Tagliani qualifies career-best second at Chicago Motor Speedway TAGLIANI TO MAKE THIRD STRAIGHT START INSIDE THE TOP 10 - Player's/Forsythe driver Alex Tagliani qualified second for tomorrow's CART Grand Prix of Chicago at Chicago Motor ...
Alex Tagliani qualifies career-best second at Chicago Motor Speedway
TAGLIANI TO MAKE THIRD STRAIGHT START INSIDE THE TOP 10 - Player's/Forsythe driver Alex Tagliani qualified second for tomorrow's CART Grand Prix of Chicago at Chicago Motor Speedway, lapping the 1.029-mile oval in 23.434 second and an average speed of 158.078 miles per hour. Dario Franchitti claimed the pole with his lap of 23.428 seconds (158.118 mph), while championship points leader Cristiano da Matta qualified third with his effort of 23.443 seconds (158.017 mph). Tagliani claimed outside pole position despite blowing a motor late in the morning session and changing engines during the two-hour break between morning practice session and qualifying.
ALEX TAGLIANI (#33 Player's/Indeck Ford) - Qualified 2nd - "When you don't put on a new set of tires and you don't get a good run you go into qualifying with a little less confidence. We wanted to be aggressive this morning, but we didn't have the chance because we lost an engine. The car had a little bit of understeer, but it was still good for my run. The car was good, but we didn't have a lot of time at the end of the morning session to put on a new set of tires. The car was good, but I think we might've been a little conservative. The car is much better than it was this morning, but I don't think I'm fast enough to hold the pole."
HOW DOES THE TRACK FEEL? "It feels good. Our car improved and we had a good setup, but I think we could've gone a little bit faster if we had a setup that was more aggressive."
PATRICK CARPENTIER (#32 Player's/Indeck Ford) - Qualified 7th - "The car was really loose. We put in more front wing because it was getting hotter and we thought it would help the front, but it tipped it over a lot and it was extremely loose and I couldn't get around the track."
WHEN IT'S THAT LOOSE WHAT DO YOU DO? HOLD YOUR BREATH AND DO THE BEST YOU CAN? "Well you've got to stand on it. When you stand on it the car gets sideways and it's like going forwards. We were sideways quite a few times and it's not very fast. When the car's loose, you lose positions."
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE SHORT WEEKEND FORMAT AND HOW DID IT AFFECT YOU? "I think it's good. We had a good car this morning and we just overturned it. We just way too much front wing in and the car went really loose and that was it."
JIMMY VASSER (#8 Shell Ford) - Qualified 10th - "I got a little loose coming off Turn Four on my quick lap there on my last lap. The car was pretty neutral all through the run and I thought I could push a bit and give it some throttle and the rear stepped out on me. We definitely went a lot quicker this morning and were hoping for a lot better starting spot than this, but I think we'll be strong for the race. Team Rahal and the Shell car won this race last year, so the pressure's on me."
TALK ABOUT YOUR RUN. "We made some changes and didn't get a chance to try them out. We thought we'd stick with them and in hindsight maybe we shouldn't have run with them because the car was loose in qualifying."
HOW ARE THE TRACK CONDITIONS? IS THE SURFACE HOT AND STICKY? "Yeah, but it's all about balance. The tires are new and they can overcome some of the heat, but certainly it's a little bit slick and if your car is neutral or has a bit of an understeer, it's going accentuate the problem."
MARIO DOMINGUEZ (#55 Herdez Competition Ford) - Qualified 15th - "Our run wasn't as good as I hoped and should've been and to tell you the truth I thought we had a lot more. We made some changes to the car that we thought would help us during qualifying, but they weren't as good as we thought and unfortunately we didn't put our best effort forth out there. Tomorrow is a long race and hopefully we'll be ready.
YOU RAN WELL IN MOTEGI, SO ARE YOU COMFORTABLE DRIVING THESE CARS ON THE SHORT OVALS? "Yeah, and I tell you what; Tom Brown has a lot of experience and it really helps me a lot. When you come to an oval with a good car it almost does the job for itself; you know you're just a passenger enjoying the ride. It's very nice to be working with someone who has so much experience on the ovals."
MICHEL JOURDAIN, JR. (#9 Gigante Ford) - Qualified 18th - "I think the track has changed a bit from this morning and we lost something in the setup because I'm slowing down way too much going into the corners. I think the car is much better than this so hopefully we'll be ready for tomorrow."
HOW IS THE CAR? "It's not the best car, but I've had a lot worse. I'm slowing down too much going into the corners and being the first one out doesn't help us at all. We'll see what happens tomorrow. It's a very long race, but starting from the back is going to make things very difficult."
HOW DOES YOUR CAR WORK IN RACE TRIM? "Well, we haven't really had a chance to run it in race trim with the short weekend today. We were off the pace this morning and had to work on getting the car ready for qualifying."