TEAM RAHAL'S BRACK SECOND QUICK - Team Rahal driver Kenny Brack was the second fastest driver around the Chicago Motor Speedway on Friday, lapping the 1.029-mile oval in 23.731 seconds (156.11 mph). Bruno Junquiera set the fastest lap of the day...
TEAM RAHAL'S BRACK SECOND QUICK - Team Rahal driver Kenny Brack was the second fastest driver around the Chicago Motor Speedway on Friday, lapping the 1.029-mile oval in 23.731 seconds (156.11 mph). Bruno Junquiera set the fastest lap of the day with a time of 23.714 seconds (156.212 mph), while Tora Takagi was third fastest with a lap of 23.766 seconds (155.870 mph).
KENNY BRACK (#8 Shell Ford-Cosworth) - Second-fastest during Friday's practice - "Both the primary and backup cars were fast today and I'm pretty happy with how things went. We made some changes to both of the cars, but everybody else is making changes too so it's all relative. We'll make a couple of more changes to the car tonight and see what we can find before qualifying tomorrow."
PATRICK CARPENTIER (#32 Player's Forsythe Ford-Cosworth) - 10th-fastest during Friday practice
AFTER YOUR WIN AT MICHIGAN, HOW DIFFICULT HAS BEEN FOR YOU TO GET BACK TO WORK THIS WEEKEND?
"It wasn't too hard, but it did take like 10 or 15 laps to get back into it and start focusing on the day and to forget about that. I was running around the track and I realized that I have to be in the same mode as I was last week, but it came back to me and we just need to keep working. I think we feel good, but the car needs to be better. The rear is loose a little bit, but we're improving and that's good."
AND THIS IS A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT STYLE OF RACING THAN WHAT YOU EXPERIENCED AT MICHIGAN.
"It is -- it's very different. It's like a semi-road course and a semi-oval because you've got really hard braking going into the corners, downshifting a couple of gears and then hard acceleration, so getting the power down is a bit of a problem where at Michigan you're flat out all the time. It's very different and I don't think you're going to see 167 lead changes." [laughing] It's going to be tough to pass so that's why qualifying well is very important here."
WHAT DO YOU AND THE TEAM NEED TO DO TO KEEP YOUR MOMENTUM GOING AFTER WINNING LAST WEEKEND?
"It was good for the guys and we're working to be in that position every weekend now that we've tasted it. In the last few races before Michigan we had been running pretty well and had just a little bit of bad luck, so the good luck just needs to keep going on our side and we need to minimize the mistakes."
NOW THAT YOU'VE HAD SOME TIME, REFLECT BACK A LITTLE BIT ON WHAT YOUR WIN AT MICHIGAN MEANT TO THE TEAM AND TO YOU PERSONALLY.
"The team had not win since Greg [Moore] won at Homestead in 1999 at the beginning of the year, so it was fantastic. I think that Greg was kind of the master at the track in Michigan so it was good for the team and I think the boys poured some champagne on the racetrack after the race. For me it means that I've got about 1,000 pounds less on my shoulders this weekend and I feel much lighter walking around, so it's much easier. I don't care where I dumped it as long as it's off my shoulders!" [laughing]
ALEX TAGLIANI (#33 Player's Forsythe Ford-Cosworth) - 15th-fastest during Friday's practice
YOU'VE SCORED CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS IN FIVE OF YOUR LAST SIX RACES. HOW DO YOU GO ABOUT KEEPING YOUR MOMENTUM?
"I think our guys are very mentally strong this year. Even though we had a lot of bad luck at the beginning of the season, they never gave up and were always behind the engineers and me. Sometimes we had mechanical problems and sometimes we had bad luck on the racetrack, but they were always behind us and that's why we're coming on strong. Now that we're doing well and scoring points, I think that if we continue to do what we're doing we'll be able to finish the season on a strong note."
AFTER LAST WEEKEND'S 500-MILE RACE ON A WIDE, FAST TRACK WITH A LOT OF PASSING, HOW DIFFERENT IS IT COMING HERE WHERE THE TRACK IS TIGHT AND NARROW?
"I think that strategy in a race like this has to include very fast pit stops, making up positions in the pits and trying to conserve fuel because that's how you're going to pass here. We saw a little bit of passing here last year but a lot of it ended up in crashes, so it's going to be difficult."
MICHEL JOURDAIN, JR. (#Herdez Bettenhausen Ford-Cosworth) - 18th-fastest during Friday's practice -
"We struggled a little bit with our handling today and worked to try and improve the balance of the car. The car is better than it was during this morning's session, but we have to work on making more changes in order for it to be better tomorrow."
HAS IT BEEN HARD TO FOCUS AFTER BEING ON SUCH A HIGH A WEEK AGO?
"Not really because that race was over on Sunday afternoon and the party was over on Sunday night. Once Monday morning came around the team and I have been concentrating on Chicago and what we need to do have a good result."
MAX PAPIS (#7 Miller Lite Ford-Cosworth) - 25th-fastest during Friday's practice -
"This morning was not too bad. We made a lot of changes to the car and we made a lot of improvements. This afternoon was a different story as the primary car developed a big vibration in the brakes that made it made it very difficult to steer in the corners, so we decided to change to the backup. Unfortunately the backup car was set up differently and we only managed 10 laps in traffic before the session ended. We're going to try and fix the problem with the brakes on the primary car tonight and we should be ready to go tomorrow."