CHAMPCAR/CART: Denver: Team Player's race report

10th-straight points-paying finish little consolation for Alex Tagliani. Denver, Colorado, September 1, 2002 New venues have not been kind to Team Player's so far in 2002 after scoring only two points in last weekend's inaugural Molson Indy ...

10th-straight points-paying finish little consolation for Alex Tagliani.

Denver, Colorado, September 1, 2002 New venues have not been kind to Team Player's so far in 2002 after scoring only two points in last weekend's inaugural Molson Indy Montreal and managing a single point in Sunday's Grand Prix of Denver as Alex Tagliani finished 12th in the 100-lap race around the city's street circuit.

It was the 10th-straight points-paying finish for Tagliani, but the Canadian driver found little consolation in the achievement after the race.

"We struggled with the set-up all weekend and it wasn't much better during the race, except when we were light on fuel, but the lack of grip made it impossible for us to compete with the leaders," said Tagliani, who finished one lap behind and survived a early scare when Paul Tracy collided with Dario Franchitti behind him in corner five on the opening lap.

"That was the only bit of luck we had today, but we simply need to erase this weekend from our minds and move forward, with the hopes that the car will be competitive in two weeks on the oval at Rockingham," concluded Tagliani.

His teammate Patrick Carpentier endured an even more frustrating day as gearbox problems forced him to retire on lap 62 while running in seventh place.

"The gear selector was downshifting by itself, which caused me to slow down abruptly in the corners and that's why Michael (Andretti) hit me," said Carpentier, who was surprised that there were so few yellows flags (1) and retirements (4) during the race.

"Because of the thin air and the bumpy surface, I thought attrition would play a bigger role in the outcome, but it was a clean race with very few incidents, which says a lot about the quality of the drivers in this series," added Carpentier.

Polesitter Bruno Junqueira of Brazil led wire-to-wire to record his second win of the season, edging teammate Scott Dixon and countryman Cristiano da Matta. In the championship standings, da Matta holds a 52-point lead over Junqueira (175-123), while Dario Franchitti maintains his grasp on third place with 106 points. Carpentier sits fourth with 101 points with Alex Tagliani still in 8th place with 83 points.

After four races in four weeks, the FedEx Championship Series will enjoy a well-deserved break before heading to Europe for the Rockingham 500 in Corby, England, on Sept. 14.

-player's

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Bruno Junqueira , Patrick Carpentier , Alex Tagliani , Paul Tracy , Dario Franchitti , Scott Dixon , Cristiano da Matta