CHAMPCAR/CART: Fittipaldi, Andretti two laps off pace at Laguna Seca



Still sick with flu-like symptoms since Saturday, Fittipaldi was two laps shy of a probable third place finish and took the checkered flag in 10th place today. The team elected to top off at the end of a long yellow when he was in fifth place with the strategy to move up when the front runners needed to pit later. Due to the length of the yellow, the longest in CART history at Laguna Seca, the frontrunners did not need to pit.

"The car was absolutely a disaster. It was undriveable. We sort of kidded ourselves about how the car was on Friday and kept insisting to keep it a certain way and it was obviously the wrong choice. I don't know how I made it to the end without spinning it. It is pretty visible how bad our day was since there are two black marks on the car. Vasser hit me at the beginning of the race and I almost went off in the grass and he and Oriol got by me. That was one black mark. Then Tracy hit me and got by for position later. The yellow was too long or we would have finished in the top-three. I felt a lot better this morning but being sick certainly puts you down a little in the middle of the race but this is our job so we keep driving."

MICHAEL ANDRETTI, # 6 Big Kmart/Texaco/Havoline Ford-Cosworth Lola

Andretti was in fourth place when he pitted under green for a splash of fuel and dropped to 15th place. The extended length of the yellow period did not play into the team's strategy and he did not move up because the front runners were able to make it to the end of the race without stopping.

"I still am not feeling good but you have to put that out of your mind and concentrate on the task at hand and that was finishing strong for the Championship. We weren't able to do that today. The car was okay but not great today. If the yellow hadn't been that long we would have made up a lot of ground and probably had a fifth place finish but it took them too long to get the field sorted out. The yellow went two laps too long for our strategy to work. I guess we should have stuck with our original plan to do what the masses did in terms of pitting. The car was okay but not great today. We need to come back strong next weekend and hope that the other frontrunners run into trouble."

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Series IndyCar