CHAMPCAR/CART: Ford Racing Chicago race notes

BRACK CLAIMS HIS THIRD CAREER CHAMP CAR VICTORY - Team Rahal driver Kenny Brack led 59 laps, including the final 19, en route to capturing his third career CART victory at the Target Grand Prix. Player's/Indeck driver Patrick Carpentier followed...

BRACK CLAIMS HIS THIRD CAREER CHAMP CAR VICTORY - Team Rahal driver Kenny Brack led 59 laps, including the final 19, en route to capturing his third career CART victory at the Target Grand Prix. Player's/Indeck driver Patrick Carpentier followed up his first career Champ Car victory in Michigan with a second place finish, while Gil de Ferran finished third. Brack's margin of victory was 4.481 seconds and his 132.031 mile-per-hour average speed established a new track record. With the win, Ford-Cosworth [171 points] moves into second in the manufacturers' championship behind Honda [190 points] and Toyota [166 points]. Brack [104 points] also extends his lead in the drivers' championship and now holds a 22-point lead over Helio Castroneves [82 points].

NOTEWORTHY - In six career starts on one-mile ovals, Kenny Brack has never finished worse than fourth ... Brack has also scored four podium results in five starts this season on oval tracks ... Patrick Carpentier has scored 36 of his 51 championship points in the last two races.

KENNY BRACK (#8 Shell Ford-Cosworth) - Finished 1st -

YOU MADE A HUGE GAIN THE POINTS TODAY.

"We've been struggling for a while, but today things came together and that's always nice, especially coming after last weekend where I had a misunderstanding with my teammate when we crashed. It was a great win for the team and it was a textbook race for us really. The car ran fine all day and we did good pit strategy and had good pit stops, so it was fairly easy."

TAKE US THROUGH THE PASS OF HELIO [CASTRONEVES] ON THE INSIDE ON THE FIRST RESTART.

"It was actually Max [Papis] who opened the door for that move because he got side-by-side with Helio on the straight. He [Max] went by and then Helio went down and he didn't go all the way to the white line, so I shoved my car down there just having the right wheels on the asphalt and the rest of the car on the green stuff. That was something I practiced on a little bit this morning because we were informed yesterday that that would be the rules for this race, so those exercises came to fruition for us."

DID THE TRACK CHANGE IN YOUR MIND AND DID YOU HAVE TO MAKE ANY ADJUSTMENTS TO YOUR CAR BEFORE THE RACE?

"We were fast on Friday and Saturday and then qualifying; that rain came through and the jet dryers came out. Then we went out and we had no grip to qualify so we weren't very good in qualifying. We thought we were going to be really good in qualifying but we just couldn't run fast. This morning we had a good car but we made some other changes because I think this must have been one of the hottest days we'll ever race on. On a short oval when it's hot it's brutal for the tires, so we made some changes. We had a good car, but were actually loose in the beginning of the race so we kept adjusting to get rid of that during the race."

AFTER YOUR SECOND STOP, WERE YOU CONFIDANT THAT THOSE OTHER GUYS AHEAD OF YOU WOULD HAVE TO STOP TOO?

"I think so because whenever everything was said and done I think we were 12th or something [15th] and we picked our way to maybe eighth. We knew that everyone else had to pit so we sat there. We overtook when we could but we didn't take any big chances. Scott [Roembke] told me to sit there and not take any big chances and we didn't, we just sat there. Then the yellow came and everyone went in and then we were the leaders. I think we had 15 or 20 laps to go from there and it was pretty easy from there."

PATRICK CARPENTIER (#32 Player's/ Forsythe Ford-Cosworth) - Finished 2nd

NOT A BAD RUN FOR TWO WEEKENDS IN A ROW.

"I'm really happy. Even this one didn't look like we were going to make it because the guys wanted me to stop in the pits and I didn't so there was some confusion, but that confusion paid off for us. A little bit of luck for us today but we'll take it any time."

HOW IS YOUR CONFIDENCE BEHIND THE WHEEL AFTER A BACK-TO-BACK WIN AND SECOND PLACE FINISH?

"I'm very happy. That last restart Dario [Franchitti] did it to me in Detroit and I was hoping to get by and I did it to him today. It was fantastic racing today."

HOW MUCH DID YOU FEED OFF OF LAST WEEK'S VICTORY?

"I think to finish at the front you need a little bit of everything, especially luck, and today we definitely had a little bit. The car was not good this morning and the track was very different, so we decided to make some changes. Not too much because last year was much the same story, but I had a very good car for the race. We were just playing the fuel game during the beginning part of the race and I was actually starting to lift halfway down the straightaway in sixth gear trying to save as much [fuel] as possible, and it paid off. It's really funny, but it's the first time that confusion actually paid off for us. I was supposed to come into the pits and we misunderstood each other and I didn't come in and we thought we wouldn't have enough fuel to run to the end. The guys were all ready in the pit box and they took the tires back out and we decided to take a chance because we couldn't stop again. Then we had the yellow at the end and we could finish the race, so it paid off for us today."

DID YOU MAKE ANY WING ADJUSTMENTS DURING THE RACE?

"No, we really didn't change a lot. I had a lot of stuff to adjust in the car as the car was changing so I was playing with that and that was plenty for me. But we changed the wing a little bit. We did one turn and then we didn't touch the car from then on until the end of the race because it was pretty stable."

ALEX TAGLIANI (#33 Player's Forsythe Ford-Cosworth) - Finished 6th -

PIT STRATEGY WAS IMPORTANT IN THE RACE TODAY. DID YOUR WORK OUT FOR YOU?

"I think so. The team did a good job and we ended up finishing the race, which is very important. We've scored points in five of the last six races so we're getting up there and I like that. We've had some very good results in the last few races, so if we can continue to do that it'll be very good."

YOU'VE SHOWN THAT YOU CAN CONSISTENTLY SCORE POINTS, BUT WHAT DO YOU NEED TO DO TO TAKE IT TO THE NEXT LEVEL?

"We're very close and I don't think we need to change very much. We just need to continue what we're doing and I think we'll continue to do well."

MAX PAPIS (#7 Miller Lite Ford-Cosworth) - Finished 13th -

"I was very proud of my effort today and I think the team did a fantastic job. The car was very loose on the first stint and it got a little bit better during the second stint and I was just attacking like hell. But I don't know what happened at the end because the engine switched off on the last half lap [fuel pump] and that was it. I drove really hard to get the 12th-place point and still I go home with zero and I don't think I deserve that."

HOW DID THE CAR CHANGE FROM THE BEGINNING OF THE RACE UNTIL YOU PASSED HELIO CASTRONEVES ON THE RESTART?

"I think the wing package that we are running in CART is absolutely ridiculous at the moment. It just proves that when you're out front you have the best car and you can just 'go.' Otherwise you'd pull up to the back of people and you couldn't pass anybody and the show was extremely poor. John Dick did a fantastic job and the engineers did a fantastic job, but it's just that it's very difficult to start last and achieve something. We already had one point out of the deal at the end, but unfortunately we didn't get that either."

DESPITE THE WING PACKAGE, YOU PASSED AN AWFUL LOT OF CARS.

"We were running a little richer than most other people and I was catching people by surprise. It was a lot of effort because I was sliding a lot, but when you have the will you can do a lot of things."

-Ford Racing

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Gil de Ferran , Patrick Carpentier , Kenny Brack