CLEVELAND, Ohio (July 13, 2002)-- Team Motorola and driver Michael Andretti had their best qualifying effort of the season today on the 2.106-mile road course at Burke Lakefront Airport with Michael coming in fifth with a time of 57.645 seconds.
CLEVELAND, Ohio (July 13, 2002)-- Team Motorola and driver Michael Andretti had their best qualifying effort of the season today on the 2.106-mile road course at Burke Lakefront Airport with Michael coming in fifth with a time of 57.645 seconds. "The car has been so much better this weekend," said Andretti. "So I have to admit I'm a bit disappointed because I know we had more speed but I just got caught up in traffic."
Andretti had two runs in this afternoon's qualifying session and unfortunately was caught by traffic on both outings. "I think Michael missed out on a little bit of speed in today's qualifying session," general manager Kim Green remarked. "But I think we're in a great position for the start of tomorrow's race."
Michael has had success in the past at Cleveland with a victory in 1991 and his last podium here was in 1999 when he finished third. "The first turn of this race can be pretty tricky," said Andretti. "You just have to be in the right place at the right time." Andretti will line up next to Tony Kanaan for the start of tomorrow's race.
Cristiano daMatta took today's pole; his fourth of the season, and one championship point with a time of 57.040 seconds while Patrick Carpentier was second with a time of 57.470 seconds. Michael's technical partner Dario Franchitti rounded out the top three with a time of 57.482 seconds.
Paul Tracy, a second technical partner to Michael was 11th overall with a time of 57.827 seconds. Team Motorola will resume practice tomorrow morning at 9:30 a.m. with the 115-lap race, airing live on CBS, set to begin at 1:30 p.m. ET.
Michael Andretti -- #39 Honda-Lola-Bridgestone
"The car was really pretty good so I am disappointed that I wasn't able to put it on the front row today. I got caught up in traffic on both runs so I definitely think I could have gotten a couple more tenths out of the car. We just weren't able to put together the perfect run today but I am still happy that we've qualified better and I think it will definitely make a difference for tomorrow's race. The first turn in Cleveland is really a crap shoot so you just try to be in the right place at the right time."
Sunday will be Michael's 299th start of his career.
In 2001, Michael started 21st and finished 15th in this race.
Sunday will be Michael's 10th top-five start at Cleveland.
Michael leads all active Champ Car drivers with 298 race starts, 42 wins, 32 poles and 6,563 laps led.
<pre> Sat. Practice Prov. Qualifying Final Qualifying Position 4th 4th 5th Speed 130.977 mph 130.468 mph 131.522 mph Time 57.885 seconds 58.111 seconds 57.645 seconds
</pre> Kim Green -- General Manager
"We're very pleased with today's qualifying performance. Everyone on Team Motorola has worked very, very hard coming into this race and Michael has a race car that he doesn't have too many complaints about and that's very good. I think Michael missed out on a little bit of speed in today's qualifying due to traffic situations on both runs which is really unfortunate because he was just a couple of tenths off of the front row. I think this puts us in a great position for tomorrow's race and we know that on race day Michael can do as good as anybody in the field."