CHAMPCAR/CART: da Matta, Fittipaldi Milwaukee starting postions


CRISTIANO da MATTA, #6 Texaco/Havoline/Kmart Toyota-Lola: "If we had started the race based on our Friday practice times, we would have started second but since we are starting based on points we are third which isn't too bad either although we would have liked to put on a show for the fans instead. We are hired to drive racecars not watch the rain so it is disappointing that we did not get in the car today. It was amazing the number of fans that stayed and came to the autograph session. They were cold and wet but they stayed. I'm glad we were able to at least sign some autographs for them. Hopefully they are even bigger fans now.

(On Texaco's promotion for the MCI Most Popular Driver Award:) "I was able to get Tony (Kanaan) and Christian to do some campaigning for me during the down time. Christian has a "Vote for da Matta" decal on his helmet and Tony has one on his bike now. It's good that I have such great friends who are campaigning for me instead of themselves. I'm trying to decide who to get as my campaign manager. I worked with MCI in the past and am confident they won't have a problem with the ballot count."

* NOTE: Will be his third Champ car race in Milwaukee. He finished 14th in 2000 and 7th in 1999 for PPI Motorsports. His highest finish to date at Milwaukee came in the Indy Lights series where he finished 4th in 1997.

CHRISTIAN FITTIPALDI, #11 Kmart Toyota-Lola: "We learned a lot on Friday but we were 20th so I am glad they based the starting grid on points instead of practice times from Friday. We will need to work very hard in the 30 minute warm-up to get the car ready for the race but it is not as bad as if we needed to get the car ready for qualifying. I'm pretty confident that the car will be good. The crew put the set-up that Cristiano liked on my car on Friday night but we obviously didn't get to run it today. I'm pretty confident though since we like our cars mostly the same. As a team we have been pretty consistent in terms of having a good car in the races. We have struggled a little trying the get the car good for qualifying but the rain ended that challenge for us. We would have rather ran for sure because that is what we are supposed to do but you can't fight Mother Nature. The forecast looks okay for tomorrow so we plan to put on a good race."

* NOTE: Will attempt to score Lola's 100th victory in his 100th Champ car start this weekend. Has four top-10 finishes in four starts here. The last race he won was also on an oval - the 2000 season-finale Marlboro 500, just five races ago. Will be his fifth start in Milwaukee. Best finish was sixth place in 1996 and best start was third in 1996.

Qualifying for the Miller Lite 225 will air 4:30 p.m. ET Saturday on ESPN2. CART 2Day airs at 11 a.m. ET Sunday on ESPN2, while ABC-TV's live race broadcast begins at 4 p.m. ET on Sunday, June 3.


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Series IndyCar