Alex Tagliani finishes seventh at chicago Motor Speedway, while Michel Jourdain, Jr., scores his seventh consecutive top-10 finish. Notes: JOURDAIN SLIPS TO FOURTH IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP - Player's/Forsythe driver Alex Tagliani finished seventh in...
Alex Tagliani finishes seventh at chicago Motor Speedway, while Michel Jourdain, Jr., scores his seventh consecutive top-10 finish.
JOURDAIN SLIPS TO FOURTH IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP - Player's/Forsythe driver Alex Tagliani finished seventh in the CART Grand Prix of Chicago at Chicago Motor Speedway to lead all Ford-powered drivers. Cristiano da Matta scored his third consecutive victory and fourth of the season, followed by Bruno Junquiera and polesitter Dario Franchitti. With the win, da Matta (95 points) increased his lead in the championship over Junquiera (70 points), Franchitti (64 points) and Michel Jourdain, Jr. (57 points), who finished 10th to record his seventh consecutive top-10 result of the season.
ALEX TAGLIANI (#33 Player's/Indeck Ford) - Finished 7th
"We had a good car at the beginning, but this was a difficult race. On my first pit stop the team did a great job and helped me to get the lead. Then we were pulling away and were kind of in control and I was supposed to go one lap further but they called me in to pit at the last minute so I had to dive in really quick. I lost some ground there and when I came out I came out right behind (Bruno) Junquiera. I tried to pass him on the outside, but I ran in the marbles and lost some positions there, but we were having a good race until then. Then it was the usual stuff from Paul (Tracy). He tried to pass everybody on the restart, we touched and that was about it."
TALK ABOUT THE HEAT TODAY. "It was difficult and not easy, but I kept drinking and hydrating all day long and it was okay. It was a tough race."
HOW DID THE NEW PIT SPEED LIMITER WORK FOR YOU TODAY? "I think it was good because if you pit under green and you don't have that extra speed to go on the last section you can lose more than one lap. I think it was a good decision, but CART really needs to look at the wing we use here."
MICHEL JOURDAIN, JR. (#9 Gigante Ford) - Finished 10th
TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR DAY. "It was a very, very long day. The way this track is you can't pass anybody and that makes it very difficult."
YOU LOST YOUR AIRJACKS EARLY IN THE RACE, BUT COULD YOU TALK ABOUT THE EFFORT YOUR GUYS GAVE YOU IN THE PITS DESPITE THE PROBLEM? "I think my guys did a super job with the problems we had. I'm so proud of them and have no doubt that I have the best crew in the paddock. They've given me a good car and we've finished all the races. We didn't have the fastest pit stops of the race today, but they were very fast considering the circumstances my guys were working under."
WHAT HAPPENED IN THE INCIDENT YOU HAD WITH TOWNSEND BELL? "I don't know. I saw him coming in close and try to beat me to the corner, but I was already there and he hit me. That was it. We didn't lose too many positions, but we lost a set of tires and that's not good."
YOU'VE GOT SEVEN TOP 10 FINISHES IN SEVEN RACES. THAT'S SOMETHING YOU HAVE TO BE PROUD OF. "Yeah, it's very good. We keep finishing races and that's important, but we need to get back to finishing in the top five like we were earlier in the season."
MARIO DOMINGUEZ (#55 Herdez Competition Ford) - Finished 11th
"I thought the team gave a very, very good effort today. To tell you the truth I think we lost a lot of positions on the first pit stop because I came in too hot and we lost valuable seconds. My car was really fast today and I've got to give credit to the team, the engineers and the mechanics. We did some fast laps today, but the problem was I got caught behind people that were very slow and that caused me to lose time overall. We finished the race - I was hoping to finish a little bit better, but we scored some points and we'll get ready for the next race."
THERE WERE A LOT OF INCIDENTS OUT THERE TODAY WITH GUYS TRYING TO MAKE PASSES. IS THAT A PRODUCT OF DRIVERS TRYING A BIT TOO HARD TO OVERTAKE? "Exactly. People go to the very edge and sometimes it's just not going to happen. It's almost impossible to pass here and if nobody gives any room they're going to crash for sure."
WHAT KIND OF PHYSICAL TOLL DID THE HEAT TAKE ON YOU TODAY? "It was very hard because it was hot and my shoulder is sore from the HANS Device so I had some problems with that. But I work out and stay in good shape and that certainly helped me finish the race today."
PATRICK CARPENTIER (#32 Player's/Indeck Ford) - Finished 16th (mechanical)
"We had problems from the beginning of the race and the engine wasn't running too well. I think something was wrong with the valves and it got worse and worse and I didn't have any power. We pitted to try and change some things but it was no help. It's very disappointing because my car was pretty fast, especially mid-way through the corners. But the power just continued to go away and I couldn't keep up on the straightaways."
JIMMY VASSER (#8 Shell Ford) - Finished 17th (contact)
"We must have a black cloud over us right now because that's another first lap incident. Passing here is tough and I guess some people just wanted to try and gain a few positions right off the bat and you saw what happened. It was tight going into turn one and I was looking for a hole. I was going to follow Paul (Tracy) through the corner but then I got hit on the right front and I went for a ride. I never even saw Kenny (Brack) at all. I know everybody is trying to get a jump at the start, but I'm not sure where Kenny was going at that point."