CLEVELAND, Ohio (July 12, 2002)-- Today's provisional qualifying effort by Team Motorola and driver Michael Andretti showed a marked improvement in performance with Andretti running in the top three for most of the session and only being bumped to...
CLEVELAND, Ohio (July 12, 2002)-- Today's provisional qualifying effort by Team Motorola and driver Michael Andretti showed a marked improvement in performance with Andretti running in the top three for most of the session and only being bumped to fourth in the waning seconds of qualifying by Tony Kanaan. "The car was so much better today, " said Andretti. "The Team Motorola guys made some changes that really suit my driving style and I think that was apparent today." Andretti turned a quick time of 58.111 seconds (130.468 mph) on the 2.106-mile road course at Burke Lakefront Airport and General Manager Kim Green was quick to point out that the effort the team has put forth lately is starting to pay off. "These guys have been working their butts off since we made the change to the Lola chassis and today that effort equaled our result."
Cristiano da Matta took today's provisional pole and one championship point with a time of 57.641 seconds while Tony Kanaan was second with a time of 58.092 seconds and Scott Dixon rounded out the top three with a time of 58.094 seconds. Michael's technical partners Dario Franchitti and Paul Tracy were seventh and ninth in today's qualifying with times of 58.515 seconds and 58.648 seconds respectively. Team Motorola will resume practice tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. with final qualifying to follow at 1:45 p.m. ET. Sunday's 115-lap race is set to begin at 1:30 p.m. and will be shown live on CBS television.
Michael Andretti -- #39 Honda-Lola-Bridgestone
"I am really happy with the car today. It feels ten times better than it did last weekend so I definitely think we're making progress and that showed today. The Team Motorola guys did a great job and we made some big changes that really seem to be suiting my driving style. I brake really hard and the changes we made tried to help that situation and that's what I need to be able to go out and drive aggressively and really attack the brakes. I think we're getting closer; we still need to gain more speed to stay competitive tomorrow. I love coming to Cleveland, it's a great track but it can be hairy out there and I was hanging it out pretty good today."
Kim Green -- General Manager
"I'm very pleased for Michael and everyone on Team Motorola. These guys have been working their butts off since we took on the Lola project both at the race track and at the shop so I think we're starting to see the fruits of our labor. Michael put some very good laps together today and certainly, we need to go faster for final qualifying because everyone else is going to go quicker as well. I'm very pleased for everyone on Team Motorola and I'm a firm believer that effort equals results."