CHAMPCAR/CART: Fittipaldi, da Matta in Detroit top seven


CHRISTIAN FITTIPALDI, #11 Kmart Toyota-Lola: "Considering the fact that I had only done five laps in this car before I had to race it, I will take a fifth place finish. But considering the fact that I passed Moreno on the first lap and he finished third after a pretty normal race, I think we gave away a podium finish. The car wasn't brilliant in the race but considering the fact that track position is everything here and we lost positions on both stops, it was a tough day. I'm still disappointed that we didn't score the 12 points (4th place) that were in the bag from Milwaukee so its good to close in on the front runners in the standings with some points here. If we would have the 12 points from Milwaukee as well, we would definitely be looking better. We'll have to start finishing in the top-three from now on to make some real progress. The lug nut fell out of the air gun on the right front on both pit stops and that hurt us. I'm looking for a trouble free race in Portland. I like racing there and we typically have a good race car."

NOTE: Fittipaldi had to race in his back-up car that he had only ran for five laps this weekend after a morning warm-up incident that damaged the rear of his car including his gearbox. As a reference point, Fittipaldi passed Roberto Moreno, who subsequently finished third, on Lap 1 before problems with the outside front airgun in both pit stops. Fittipaldi maintained his 11th place in the point standings despite collecting 10 points.

Fittipaldi is on his way to observe team co-owner Paul Newman film scenes for "The Road to Perdition" in Los Angeles prior to travelling to Portland on Wednesday night to be the guest of honor at the annual Boy Scouts Breakfast on Thursday morning -- early. Previous honorees include Roger Penske, Tony George, Al Unser and more.

CRISTIANO da MATTA, #6 Texaco/Havoline/Kmart Toyota-Lola: "The balance was okay in the car for the race but it obviously hurt us to start in 17th place so our goal was to just collect some points. If we had started in the front, we would have been able to think about a win. That's the goal in Portland. Our (engine) power was good compared to the others. It was good to finish a race and get some points. I was tired of having 40 points. Now I have 46 and hope to add a lot of points to that in Portland."

NOTE: da Matta dropped from third place in the CART FedEx points standings to fourth place behind Kenny Brack (74), Helio Castroneves (69), Michael Andretti (48) with 46 total points for da Matta.


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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Roberto Moreno , Kenny Brack , Al Unser Sr. , Paul Newman , Roger Penske