PAUL TRACY GRABS 24TH POLE IN CLEVELAND Mario Dominguez Posts 7th-Best Time of the Day CLEVELAND, Ohio -- June 25, 2005 -- On a very hot day on the shore of Lake Erie, Paul Tracy and Forsythe Championship Racing used a combination of strategy,...
PAUL TRACY GRABS 24TH POLE IN CLEVELAND
Mario Dominguez Posts 7th-Best Time of the Day
CLEVELAND, Ohio -- June 25, 2005 -- On a very hot day on the shore of Lake Erie, Paul Tracy and Forsythe Championship Racing used a combination of strategy, skill and some good fortune to take Pole Position for Sunday's Champ Car Grand Prix of Cleveland Presented by US Bank. Driving the #3 Mountain Grand Resort/Avalanche Bay Lola/Ford-Cosworth/Bridgestone car, Tracy turned an off-track excursion and a loss-of-fastest-lap penalty into his 24th career Champ Car Pole and 3rd Pole here at Burke Lakefront Airport in Cleveland, Ohio.
"We decided to try and get some open space on track by going out early in the session" said Tracy. "We had a good warmup session on old tires so we knew the car was going to be fast, but unfortunately I started the session off by spinning at the last corner as I launched a lap, breaking a wing and flat-spotting the tires. Then while I was regrouping I got in Sebastien's way at Turn 1. I didn't see him coming but balked him and that means a penalty that costs me my quick time in the session."
"So the mindset was for two fast laps since I was going to lose one" continued Tracy. "We decided to go out early again and had a bit of open track, so I was able to post two laps quick enough for pole. I don't think anybody has ever gotten a fast lap penalty and still grabbed the Pole before. The Bridgestone tires were really impressive since my normal style is to go fast for a lap and then cool them off, but I had to crank out some consecutive laps and the red alternate tires really performed great. We were a bit lucky that a Red Flag ended the session early, but we won't ever know if anybody could have gone faster. It should be a good race tomorrow."
Tracy's teammate Mario Dominguez, driving the #7 INDECK Lola/Ford-Cosworth/Bridgestone car, was disappointed to qualify 7th in a car that had the potential to be much faster.
"Paul's good luck was our bad luck" commented Dominguez. "We were third quickest in the morning practice session just behind Paul and Cristiano (da Matta). We had the car nice and balanced and I was just warming up the tires and looking for space on the track when the Red Flag came out for A.J.'s (A.J. Allmendinger's) crash with about 4 minutes left. There wasn't enough time for them to clean up the accident so they threw the checkered flag and that was it. But we're starting in 7th so that's not too bad and I know we have a really good car. If we can make it through the first turn we should have a good day."
The Champ Car Grand Prix of Cleveland Presented by US Bank gets underway at 2pm local/ET (18:00 UTC), with LIVE coverage on CBS beginning at 1:30pm ET. Fans can also follow the race Live with Race Director on the ChampCarWorldSeries.com website, featuring six video feeds and live in-car audio for all the drivers, plus live timing, telemetry and text commentary.