CHICAGO, Illinois (June 30, 2002)-- An excellent start to today's race for Team Motorola and driver Michael Andretti unfortunately didn't work to their advantage when a mechanical problem ended their day early on lap 79 of the 250-lap CART Grand...
CHICAGO, Illinois (June 30, 2002)-- An excellent start to today's race for Team Motorola and driver Michael Andretti unfortunately didn't work to their advantage when a mechanical problem ended their day early on lap 79 of the 250-lap CART Grand Prix of Chicago. "We had gained some good track position today," said Andretti. "It's unfortunate because we had moved up and I think we were in a good position for today's finish." General Manager Kim Green isn't certain what the problem was, but felt it might have been related to the exhaust. "I think we broke an exhaust pipe or something but we'll have to examine the car to be certain of what failed."
Andretti started today's race in 14th position and had moved into 11th place on the first lap. Andretti continued to run solidly and had moved up to eighth position by lap 30 and the team were feeling confident that the day might end on a positive note. "Michael did a great job at the start, gained a lot of positions and was doing a really good job on fuel mileage today." Said Green. "It was certainly a disappointment not to finish but now we'll just have to gather ourselves up for the next one in Toronto." Andretti's finish position was 15th.
Cristiano da Matta won today's race and continues in first place in the championship with 95 points. Bruno Junqueira finished second and also is second in the championship race with 70 points. Michael's technical partner Dario Franchitti, who started from the pole today, rounds out the top three in both today's finish and championship position with 64 points. Team Motorola still has 34 championship points and is in tenth place in the hunt. Michael's other technical partner Paul Tracy finished ninth in today's race and is currently in eighth place in the championship with 36 points.
Team Motorola will now return to their shop in Indianapolis and begin preparations for the Molson Indy of Toronto to be held next Sunday, July 7.
Michael Andretti -- #39 Honda-Lola-Bridgestone
"The Team Motorola car was running so good today. I don't know what happened with the car, I just started to get smoke in the cockpit, and then lost power so we were done. It was definitely disappointing because we had been running well. We had gained pretty good track position through our pit stops and had some good restarts. You never like to end a race early but now we'll have to get focused on Toronto for next weekend and try to have some better luck."
Finish: 15th Status: Mechanical Laps Led: 0
Laps Completed: 79 of 250
Points Earned: 0 for 34 total, tenth in the CART FedEx Championship
Today was Michael's 297th start of his career.
In 2001, Michael started 17th and finished 24th in this race.
Michael leads all active Champ Car drivers with 297 race starts, 42 wins, 32 poles and 6,563 laps led.
Kim Green -- General Manager
"A very disappointing finish for Team Motorola today. I think we broke an exhaust pipe or something like that; we'll have to examine the car to be certain of what failed. Michael did a great job at the start, gained a lot positions and was doing a really good job on fuel mileage today. I felt we were in for a solid finish. Now we'll just have to gather ourselves up for the next one in Toronto. That's where we take out Michael's Canadian passport and rely on history and expect to win another one up there."