CHAMPCAR/CART: Denver: PKV Racing Saturday report

PKV Racing Duo To Start 12th and 18th in Tomorrow's Mile High Street Fight in Downtown Denver DENVER (August 14, 2004) -- Tomorrow's 192nd straight Champ Car start for American Jimmy Vasser ( ...

PKV Racing Duo To Start 12th and 18th in Tomorrow's Mile High Street Fight in Downtown Denver

DENVER (August 14, 2004) -- Tomorrow's 192nd straight Champ Car start for American Jimmy Vasser (#12 Gulfstream Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) will tie Al Unser Jr.'s all-time record for consecutive starts in the Champ Car World Series, but the Canoga Park, Calif. native will have an uphill battle once the record is tied, as he will have to drive his way through the 18-car field from the 12th starting position for Sunday's 90-lap Centrix Financial Grand Prix of Denver. PKV Racing teammate Roberto Gonzalez (#21 Nextel Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) of Mexico will be looking to move up from his 18th starting position when the green flag drops at 1:00 pm local time.

Vasser could not improve on his first round time of 1:01.334 (97.258 mph) in today's final qualifying session, and the 1996 Series Champion will most likely be spending the better part of tonight discussing setup with his PKV Racing engineers.

"I'm just baffled right now," said Vasser, who stands seventh in the championship with 127 markers. "We expect to be running in the top group of contenders every session, but it just seems to be a mystery right now to us why the Gulfstream car isn't up to speed. Starting 12th will be a challenge to say the least. Hopefully we can come up with some answers tonight and move forward."

Teammate Gonzalez struggled to get up to speed in a session that saw red flags early and often, and between traffic and an ill-handling race car, the Nextel-sponsored pilot could only post the 18th fastest time at 1:02.507 (95.433 mph).

"It's just another disappointing qualifying session for us again this weekend," said Gonzalez. "I was pushing as hard as I could, fighting the car every lap. I was trying to find that perfect lap, but our rhythm kept getting interrupted by red flags. I was optimistic for this session because the changes we made in the Nextel car showed in the warm up. At the end of qualifying we changed springs and made some tire pressure adjustments, but they turned out to be the wrong changes I guess."

Watch Vasser and Gonzalez tomorrow, August 15th on Spike TV (4:00 pm ET/PT) or HDNet (2:30 pm ET, Live) as they compete on the beautiful 1.657-mile temporary street circuit in downtown Denver, Colo. in Round 9 of the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered By Ford.

-pkv-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Al Unser Jr. , Jimmy Vasser , Roberto Gonzalez