Miller Ford driver Max Papis, who was clocking some of the quickest laps all day, drove a patient race and put himself in position to win with twenty laps to go. The fiery Italian pressed Helio Castro-Neves for the lead over the closing laps,...
Miller Ford driver Max Papis, who was clocking some of the quickest laps all day, drove a patient race and put himself in position to win with twenty laps to go.
The fiery Italian pressed Helio Castro-Neves for the lead over the closing laps, but was forced to settle for his fifth podium of his career and gain some very valuable championship points. His second place finish vaulted him into a tie for fourth place in the Championship, 12 points behind current leader Paul Tracy.
MAX PAPIS -7- Miller Lite Ford-Cosworth - Qualified 5th / Finished 2nd -
"The Miller Ford was very fast today. The guys in the pits did a great job. The second pit stop was a little chaotic with Christian coming out and Gil coming in. I got squeezed a bit and I didn't want to create a mess, so I backed off a bit. I was not a good situation there. On the last restart I put a lot of pressure on Helio and locked up the front tires and that was it. I couldn't catch him anymore. Today, the progress the Ford has been making showed on the track. We were very competitive."
YOU AND HELIO BOTH STRUGGLED BEFORE YOUR FIRST WIN. DID YOU LEARN ANYTHING FROM THAT?
"When I came here in 1996, it was a special moment because we were developing the Toyota engine. When Helio was in front of me and Oriol was behind me I could almost hear the guys in the pits on Helio's radio. I know Tim Cindric real well. For me, it was my first race with Larry Ellert calling the race, because Bobby couldn't be there. I could almost hear Tim Cindric telling him to save fuel and be careful. And to share this with the PPI group and Oriol, is a very special moment. I think CART is a special racing series. It gives people like Helio the chance to prove himself. When I came over, I was not patient. But you learn with a good teacher and with people who want to help you. Bobby did the same thing. He gives me the right engine with the Ford and a good package."
KENNY BRACK -8- Shell Ford-Cosworth - Qualified 7th / Finished 24th -
"I got wide off of Turn 10 and tapped the wall a little bit with the rear wheel and bent the toe in. The track is definitely different than it was this morning."
MICHAEL ANDRETTI -6- Big Kmart/Texaco/Havoline Ford-Cosworth - Qualified 12th / Finished 13th / Engine -
"The car was terrible and I was just holding on. On the penalty for the speed violation, I had my finger on the button of the pit lane control and it felt like it cut out. We were running good after the drive through penalty and got up to seventh until the engine let go. At the end, I was driving on flat spotted tires after I was trying to hold off Tagliani and got sideways. This was a big race for the team and we struggled all weekend. It was frustrating but we need to work hard and be quick off the truck at Portland."
CHRISTIAN FITTIPALDI -11- Big Kmart/Route 66 Ford-Cosworth - Qualified 8th / Finished 19th / Contact-
"I touched Blundell but everything was under control. What put me into the tire wall was Gil. He basically braked way too late and pushed me into the wall. You know, I don't care about the other guys who are running behind me. I am running my race. I am not going to worry about that. Normally, according to traffic rules the guy who hits you from behind needs to pay attention. That's the way it works on the normal road."
ALEX TAGLIANI -33- Player's Ford-Cosworth - Qualified 9th / Finished 6th -
"WE SAW A LITTLE MORE PASSING OUT THERE THAN I THINK PEOPLE ANTICIPATED. WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS?
"I think I passed a lot of cars. I worked really hard. This is an easy track to block on. I was running side by side with Michael for a while and that was a good battle. He was tough to pass. At least we got the car back home in one piece."
THERE WAS A LOT OF CONCERN WITH SOME DRIVERS ON THE TRACK BLOCKING. DID YOU GET BLOCKED?
"Yeah. I hope there are enough TV cameras to see what was going on out there and hopefully we will talk about it."
PATRICK CARPENTIER -32- Player's Ford-Cosworth - Qualified 9th / Finished 5th -
"We had a good Sunday drive today. The team did a great job. We had good power but the car was so loose at the end of the day, we had so much tire build up at the end, I couldn't do anything with the car. I went extremely loose and I couldn't get fats on the restarts and every time I would loose a few positions."
YOU AND YOUR TEAMMATE HAD A NICE LITTLE BATTLE THERE FOR A FEW LAPS. BATTLING IN THERE WITH YOU THOUGH WAS THE LAPPED CAR OF KUROSAWA. WAS THE LAPPED TRAFFIC A PROBLEM THIS AFTERNOON?
"I didn't even know Alex was behind me. I though it was one of the Kool cars. It was a good battle but I was battling the car as well. When I got build up on the front tires there was not much I could do."
ADRIAN FERNANDEZ -40- Tecate/Quaker State Ford-Cosworth - Qualified 14th / Finished 21st -
HAVE YOU EVER HAD A TEAR OFF FROM YOUR HELMET GET SUCKED INTO THE TURBO INLET BEFORE?
"Never. That was very unfortunate. We were running very well and we were working on gaining positions all day. I tried to put down the power down and there was something in the cockpit that was not letting me put the pedal down and get the power down. I knew something was wrong and John (Ward) was telling me to flip it few times and that was what I was doing and coming into that corner and suddenly it went to full throttle and it spun me out. It's too bad because the guys were working real hard."
TAKUYA KUROSAWA -19- Sports Today Ford-Cosworth - Qualified 22nd / Finished 12th - "I am disappointed that they brought me in for the penalty. I had to give way to Carpentier first, not Moreno. I was going left and right but where they were I didn't have much of a choice. Gugelmin was coming in behind too."