Robby Gordon ...
#22 Johns Manville/Panasonic/Menards Toyota-Swift
Qualifying Notes/Quotes - Saturday, August 7, 1999 TENNECO AUTOMOTIVE GRAND PRIX OF DETROIT Round 13 of 20 in the CART FedEx Championship Series The Raceway at Belle Isle -- Detroit, Mich.
Robby Gordon turned a quick lap of 75.101 seconds in Saturday's final qualifying for Sunday's Tenneco Grand Prix of Detroit. Gordon will sit 19th on the starting grid. Today's qualifying session was cut short for Gordon when a throttle sensor switch failed 10 minutes into the session. The malfunction was shutting down the engine when Gordon would apply full power through the pedal. Efforts were made to remedy the problem by changing electronics in the car, but the sensor could not be fixed in time. Tomorrow's race begins at 3 p.m. EDT with an ABC-TV broadcast set to start an hour later at 4 p.m. EDT.
ROBBY GORDON - "The car was really good before the throttle sensor went bad. My first hot lap with the tire pressures where we wanted them was seven- tenths faster than yesterday. I was all ready to make an extended run and keep chipping away, but all of a sudden the car just died under full throttle. We thought initially that it might be the electronics, so we came in and swapped all that out. But it didn't fix it. Soon after, we realized what it was and there was no way to fix it. I feel good about tomorrow, though. The car is good right now. We'll just have to work from the middle on and run all day."
BRIAN BERTHOLD (engineer) - "I have to believe that without the throttle sensor problem we would have been in the 14's. The session was going that way. All the stars were aligned. But this type of thing happens from time to time. Even considering the troubles we've had, progress has been good. I think tomorrow's race car will be competitive."
MIKE HELD (co-owner) - "This is the most frustrating of moments. We know we're better than this today. To have something as random as a throttle sensor go bad -- which you have no control over -- is very aggravating. Robby and all of us were geared up for a good session. It's too bad.
STEVE ABRAHAMS (hospitality coordinator) - "He almost lost it coming off the back straight into that right-hander. I have to give him credit for saving the lap. It's a little disappointing to see him pull the car in with a stupid problem like he had, but that's the way it goes around here, sometimes. One day the people love your lasagna, and the next they hate your chicken. Seriously, I do my job every day with no control over the food. You just have to move on and fine tune your menu. Maybe be a little nicer, as well!"