ELKHART LAKE, Wisconsin (August 18, 2002)-- Patience and perseverance paid off today with a points finish for Team Motorola and driver Michael Andretti at the 4.048-mile road course of Road America. Â After starting 14th, Andretti was struck from...
ELKHART LAKE, Wisconsin (August 18, 2002)-- Patience and perseverance paid off today with a points finish for Team Motorola and driver Michael Andretti at the 4.048-mile road course of Road America. After starting 14th, Andretti was struck from behind in a first lap incident with Tony Kanaan and immediately dropped back two laps while waiting for a restart from the safety crew. "It was a tough way to start the day," said Andretti. "After I got hit we developed the problem with my shift switch so I just couldn't catch a break. But we stayed with it and came home with a few championship points, so that is what is important." Although Andretti didn't have the power to catch the leaders he stayed in the hunt and with the eventual attrition in the field, brought the Team Motorola car home in 10th place, earning three championship points in the process. "Team Motorola still soldiered on today," commented Kim Green. "We had good pit stops and all we can do on a day like today is collect the points and move on."
Cristiano daMatta won his sixth race of the season today while Alex Tagliani finished second. Bruno Junqueira, who won this event last year, finished third. Today's 10th place finish earned Michael 3 points and gives him a total of 77 points and eighth place in the championship race.
Andretti's technical partners Paul Tracy and Dario Franchitti both had a difficult day. Paul Tracy started the race strong after making a commanding move from fourth to first place on the opening lap but contact with Kenny Brack on lap 40 ended his podium hopes and relegated him to a 13th place finish. Dario Franchitti was running strong today as well but a mechanical failure on lap 43 ended his podium hopes and he ended the day 12th. Cristiano daMatta continues to lead the championship with 143 points, while Patrick Carpentier is still in second place with 101 points. Bruno Junqueira continues to hold onto to third place with 101 points. Franchitti is still in fourth place with 85 points and Tracy is in ninth place with 69 points.
Team Motorola will now return to their shop in Indianapolis and begin preparations for the Molson Indy Montreal to be held on August 25 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Michael Andretti -- #39 Honda-Lola-Bridgestone
"I wouldn't say today was a good finish, I would say it was a lucky finish. Tony Kanaan hit us in the back on the first lap and that put us down two laps right away. Tony came down and apologized and said he locked up his brakes and tried to avoid me. Then we had a problem with my shift switch and so I had to manual shift and when I did that, the pop-off valve was stuck open on all the straightaways so I was losing a second each time. I really didn't have the power to catch anyone because of the problem with my shifter so I just tried to hang in there and stay on track to collect points."
Start: 14th Finish: 10th Status: Running Laps Led: 0 Laps Completed: 58
of 60 Points Earned: 3 for 77 total, 8th in Championship
Kim Green -- General Manager
"It was certainly a frustrating day for Michael and Team Motorola. We had a mechanical problem as well as having someone run into the back of us on the first lap so both of those situations hurt us and put us down a couple of laps right away. We had some problems with our "shift without lift" situation and that slowed us down and made it difficult to make up any time. Team Motorola still soldiered on and we had good pit stops and picked up some championship points with our tenth place finish. All we can do is collect the points and get on to the next one."