ANDRETTI CAPTURES POLE AT ROAD AMERICA Ford Facts: * Andretti's pole is the second of the season for Ford-Cosworth. The other coming at the hands of Andretti's Newman-Haas teammate Christian Fittipaldi in Rio. * This is Andretti's...
ANDRETTI CAPTURES POLE AT ROAD AMERICA
Ford Facts: * Andretti's pole is the second of the season for Ford-Cosworth. The other coming at the hands of Andretti's Newman-Haas teammate Christian Fittipaldi in Rio. * This is Andretti's 32 career pole and his second at Road America (1998, 1999) * Elkhart Lake was the site of the first win for Newman-Haas Racing. It came at the hands of Michael's father Mario in 1983.
MICHAEL ANDRETTI -6- K Mart/Texaco/Havoline Ford-Cosworth - Qualified 1st - WHAT WAS GOING THROUGH YOUR MIND AS YOU WATCHED MONTOYA'S LAST RUN ON THE MONITOR? WERE YOU WORRIED? "I was really worried. I know what Montoya is capable of doing. It was a great day today though. I have to give credit to Ford on this one. The engine was perfect. I mean this is the best engine I have ever had. We were just flying down the straightaways and I think that had a lot to do with how we got the pole and the Kmart/Texaco guys were there too. It was a great day and hopefully we can get it right tomorrow. I also have to dedicate this pole to my guy Ty (Manseau) who I ran over in Milwaukee. This is his pole." I UNDERSTAND HE IS BACK WORKING HERE THIS WEEKEND . . . "That's right he is back and it's great to see him." CAN YOU TAKE US THROUGH YOUR QUALIFYING LAP? "The car felt good all day. On my first set of tires I could not get a clear lap. I was behind Jimmy (Vasser) a couple of time and I kept passing him and once I did I had a really good lap going. Then I came up on Memo Gidley and he decided to stay on the line and when I went to pass him I locked up my left front and flat spotted that set of tires. After we changed tires we didn't know when to go out. If you go out right away you have the chance of catching guys putting on new tires and slowing down. But that is what we decided to do. We went out and we got two laps in and I went for my flyer and I caught someone going into turn one. That may have been a quicker lap than my pole lap. Then I had to come in because I was out of fuel. Again, I have to give credit to Ford. This is the strongest engine I have ever had and this is a good place to do it. This is where you want to go fast. The rest of the car is really good and hopefully we can put it together for tomorrow." YOU MENTIONED FUEL EARLIER. HOW MUCH OF A CONCERN IS IT TO YOU WHEN YOU ARE ON THE TRACK? "You are not thinking about that. You leave it up to the guys in the pits. You just hope they put enough in." WHEN YOU ARE ON A FLYER WHAT ARE YOU DOING DIFFERENTLY? WHAT GOES THROUGH YOUR MIND? "You close your eyes, suck it up, and hold your breath. You know to get a quick one in you have to brake really late and carry a lot of speed through the corners especially coming onto these straightaways." WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE DECISION TO SHORTEN THIS RACE SO IT DOESN'T TURN IN TO A FUEL ECONOMY RACE? "Last year you had some guys on a two stop strategy and others on a three stop strategy. There were times when you had guys going 20 mph slower on a straight and I was doing like two seconds a lap quicker. I think now you are going to have a situation where everybody just goes for it." YOU LOOK ON THE TRAP SPEED REPORTS AND THE FORD-COSWORTH POWERED CARS ARE CONSISTENTLY ATOP THE CHART. WHAT DOES THAT SAY ABOUT THE ENGINE? "I think the Ford is the best engine out there and I am very glad to have them in our camp. I think the speeds they have been putting up are very good. The Ford guys have been making big gains all year."
CHRISTIAN FITTIPALDI -11- Big K Ford-Cosworth - Qualified 4th - "Michael did a great job today. It is a good day for Newman-Haas. Now we can both say we got a pole this year. For a single lap this time he was tough to beat I have to admit. But at the same time I am pretty confident that we have a pretty consistent car for the race. I came here confident that I could put this car on the pole -- no doubt about it. But, starting in second row gives me a great chance to win the race tomorrow."
ADRIAN FERNANDEZ -40- Tecate/Quaker State Ford - Qualified 5th - "Today was much better than yesterday. We made some mistakes yesterday but we were able to catch up and put together a good run. I am just really happy with the way we rebounded from a frustrating day yesterday when we knew we had a better car than we showed. We didn't test here which I think was a big factor in being a little behind tomorrow but we caught up today and were strong in the morning and in qualifying. It is always better to start up front. It allows you to run your own pace and work your own strategy which is very important here." WHAT WAS THE MAIN DIFFERENCE BETWEEN TODAY'S SETUP AND YESTERDAY'S? "We changed the setup of the car completely." HOW SO? "We put a little more downforce on the car and rebalanced it again."
P.J. JONES -20- Visteon Ford-Cosworth - Qualified 21st - "We just could not get the car balanced. We just lack overall grip. I am very disappointed with our qualifying effort today. We just aren't fast. I feel that I can race the car but we are starting so far back. It's going to be tough tomorrow because we are starting 21st and that's a long way back. It's very frustrating."
BRYAN HERTA -8- Shell Ford-Cosworth - Qualified 12th - "I knew that I was going to end up around 12th. We lost a whole day yesterday with braking problems which hurt. We knew the track was going to get better and not being in the second session is a big problem. We knew it was going to be tough day. Not being in the second qualifying session hurt." MAX PAPIS -7- Miller Lite Ford-Cosworth - Qualified 14th - "We were just sliding around too much. We are two to three miles per hour faster than Michael (Andretti) on the straightaways but our downforce isn't where we want it. We had more grip this morning in practice. I think the track temperature is 30 degrees higher in qualifying than in practice. We are struggling a bit but I still like running here. I love attacking the corners."