CHRISTIAN FITTIPALDI, ...
CHRISTIAN FITTIPALDI, #11 Big Kmart/Route 66 Ford Lola: PROVISIONAL QUALIFYING POSITION: 4th TIME: 1:06:131
"The car has improved a little since we tested here. We got off to a slow start after we lost 30 minutes in the first session because of a problem but I am happy that we were able to put it in the top-four. I hope to put it in the top-three tomorrow. I don't know how that lap was quick enough to be fourth fastest because I was all over the place. There has to be more in the car to catch the Penskes. I really want to finish the race on Sunday really, really high, really, really bad. This is a nice track. It's a true racing track. The fans are great as well.
"In racing, we operate at 110 percent and I am 100 percent right now. I tested at Road America last week and had some swelling in my back but I am better now. (On the effectiveness of the HANS:) As far as I am concerned, it is a good safety device. As for whether it helped in that specific incident is hard to say but I have confidence in it. Maybe if it weren't for the HANS, I wouldn't be here now. A lot of people have hit the wall at one time or another this year but they unbuckled themselves and got out. I didn't but that's not to say I wasn't the lucky one."
MICHAEL ANDRETTI, # 6 Big Kmart/Texaco/Havoline Ford-Cosworth Lola PROVISIONAL QUALIFYING POSITION: 9th TIME: 1:06:627
NOTES: This will be his 16th start at Mid-Ohio. He has won two races (1990, 1991); three poles (1990, 1991, 1992); scored two third-place finishes (1989, 1996) and eight top-10 finishes. Has led a total of 188 laps at Mid-Ohio. In six of his 15 starts he retired with mechanical failures. He leads the CART point standings by 22 over Roberto Moreno who has 98. The last time he led the Championship standings this late in the season was in 1991 when he won his lone CART Championship.
"I think the car was good enough to be where Christian is although the qualifying time doesn't show it. I got caught up in traffic and it slowed up my lap. I caught Tracy twice on the same run (on one set of tires). The car is better than it has been the last three years when we ran a Swift so I am happy about that. We are farther along at this point than we have been in the previous years. We need to just finish this race with some good points and continue on building a lead. There are any number of drivers who can win this race. If we can just have a good race and be there at the end, we will be in good shape points-wise."