CLEVELAND, Ohio (July 14, 2002)-- Team Motorola and driver Michael Andretti capitalized on their fifth place starting position in today's Marconi Grand Prix of Cleveland and brought the No. 39 car home in second place. "Today was a very...
CLEVELAND, Ohio (July 14, 2002)-- Team Motorola and driver Michael Andretti capitalized on their fifth place starting position in today's Marconi Grand Prix of Cleveland and brought the No. 39 car home in second place. "Today was a very competitive day," said Andretti. "The Team Motorola guys did a great job on our pit stops and we were just solid the entire day." Today's podium finish was Michael's seventh in Cleveland and his fourth second place finish here, his last being in 1998.
Andretti started the day in fifth position and remained in the top-five for the balance of the day. "It was an almost perfect weekend," said general manager Kim Green. "Michael drove one hell of race and the guys gave him outstanding pit stops." Andretti moved into third position after the first round of pit stops at lap 27 and bounced between second and third place throughout the 115-lap event. During the final stint of the race there was a slight bit of concern when a winglet (aerodynamic piece on the car) worked itself loose. "I could feel it and I think we lost some downforce, but I wasn't really concerned because Kim told me we were still running pretty consistent lap times," explained Andretti. Ultimately, the winglet didn't cause any race ending problems and Andretti continued to keep pace with race winner Patrick Carpentier and held on for a second place finish.
Patrick Carpentier won today's event while Michael's technical partner, Paul Tracy, rounded out the podium with a third place finish. Cristiano daMatta remains in first place in the championship race with 120 points and Bruno Junqueira remains in second with 70 points. Michael's second technical partner, Dario Franchitti, who led 29 laps in today's race, holds onto third place with 64 points. Today's second place finish and 16 championship points moved Michael into eighth place in the championship with 52 total points. Paul Tracy is now in 11th place in the championship with 50 points.
Team Motorola will now return to their shop in Indianapolis and begin preparations for the Molson Indy Vancouver to be held on July 28.
Michael Andretti -- #39 Honda-Lola-Bridgestone:
"Today was a really good day for Team Motorola. We've slowly been creeping up on the Lola and I think this past week we found some changes that suit my driving style. My hats off to the Team Motorola engineers, they did a great job. This was a tough race. The track is pretty rough and they lengthened the race by 15 laps so it was a physically demanding day. I knew when I saw Cristiano (daMatta) go out early in the race that today was going to be a good day to make up ground in the championship race so I was really going for it all day. When I had the problem late in the race (lap 103) with the winglet I really wasn't worrying too much because Kim (Green) told me we were still running good times, so I just kept at it to bring home a podium finish for Team Motorola."
Kim Green -- General Manager
"Today topped off an almost perfect weekend, a first place finish would have been fantastic. Michael drove one hell of a race in an almost green flag race the whole way on a very demanding track. Team Motorola had great pit stops today and I think we gave Michael probably one of the best race cars we've had at Team Motorola. My hat is off to Honda and Bridgestone today, they were both great too. This is great momentum going into our next stretch of five races in six weeks so I'm very pleased for everyone on Team Motorola."