P.J. JONES - Visteon Ford-Cosworth - Finished 2nd - YOUR SECOND PLACE TODAY ECLIPSES YOUR PREVIOUS CAREER BEST (9TH DETROIT, 1996). YOU HAVE TO BE ELATED? "Patrick Racing and the Visteon guys gave me a great car today. It just worked out. We...
P.J. JONES - Visteon Ford-Cosworth - Finished 2nd - YOUR SECOND PLACE TODAY ECLIPSES YOUR PREVIOUS CAREER BEST (9TH DETROIT, 1996). YOU HAVE TO BE ELATED? "Patrick Racing and the Visteon guys gave me a great car today. It just worked out. We need to keep improving the car and we will only get better. I am just so happy today." CAN YOU DESCRIBE THE BATTLE YOU WERE HAVING WITH JUAN WHERE IT LOOKED AS THOUGH YOU TOUCHED WHEELS? "It was pretty exciting from my standpoint. After I caught him I knew that the only way to pass him was to use another car as a pick. We were just trying to be patient and I saw an opportunity and got a good run on Helio out of (turn) three and Juan ran into some traffic so I had a shot at him as well. I was real loose at that point in traffic and got into the kink a little bit too hot, got the car sideways and once I did I was just focusing on keeping the engine running. Although it happened, it happened at a good time because the caution came out. At the end of the race the car was not quite as fast as it was during the middle of the race. The car was getting loose at the end of the race. I knew that I needed some points and even if I caught (Juan) I knew that my only opportunity to get by him was to use traffic but I didn't want to push it. So, I just hung back and tried to stay out of traffic. WHAT DOES THIS RESULT DO FOR YOUR CONFIDENCE? "I have been working with a new team, new tires a different engine and different a chassis each week. It took me a little bit longer to get comfortable. For me, I have to be comfortable with my surroundings and the car has to be there with me to go fast. I think we are getting there. During the first few oval races I was not that comfortable with the car. I may have been relying on Adrian's setup a bit too much. This weekend we were in totally different cars and I think that allowed me to work on it myself. When I was with Dan (Gurney) we always had good oval cars. I think it just comes down to being comfortable with my surroundings."
ADRIAN FERNANDEZ -40- Tecate/Quaker State Ford - Finished 5th - ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, YOU HAVE TO BE HAPPY WITH YOR FIFTH PLACE . . . "We really didn't have a car for the finish we had. It is a good result. We didn't test with this car (the Reynard) we tested with the Swift so P.J. should give me half of his prize money. We learned a lot but we still don't have the setup on the car." YOU DID GAIN POINTS IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP WITH YOUR FIFTH PLACE FINISH. YOU ARE ONLY TWO POINTS BEHIND MONTOYA . . . "Yes, that's what we are looking at this year. We need to stay consistent."
MICHAEL ANDRETTI -6- K Mart/Texaco/Havoline Ford-Cosworth - Finished 6th - YOUR FINISHING POSITION WAS NOT INDICATIVE OF HOW STRONG YOUR CAR WAS. . . "We were very good. I think one of the best cars out there. The track position, starting fourteenth, killed us today. But, as you saw we were one of the only people out there passing cars. The rules make it really tough to pass out there. I think we are getting much closer but again, we need to win one of these things. " YOU DID MANAGE TO MAKE UP SOME GROUND ON THE CHAMPIONSHIP. YOU ARE ONLY FIVE POINTS BEHIND MONTOYA . . . "We are definitely in the championship fight. We have to stay consistent and are certainly in there. We have to finish better and win one of this things."
CHRISTIAN FITTIPALDI -11- Big K Ford-Cosworth - Finished 7th - "It was very hard to pass out there today. Sometimes you would get a break and were able to pass but apart from that it was really tough to pass out there. I think the wings did help cut the speed of the cars but I don't think it's the right solution. I think we have the speeds correct in the corner but this is not the right solution for the race. The racing today was not that exciting and maybe we need to look at what we did and revise the rules." ANOTHER CONSISTENT RUN FOR THE NEWMAN-HAAS CREW AND CONSISTANCY IS WHAT WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS . . . "Yes, lets keep it up. We had another good showing today and we need to keep on building on that." ARE YOU EXCITED TO BE GOING BACK TO YOUR HOMETOWN TO RIO IN TWO WEEKS? "I am excited. We had a good race there last year and I think we have a good setup over there and it should be an exciting race."
MAX PAPIS -7- Miller Lite Ford-Cosworth - Finished 13th - YOU HAD A SOLID RUN UP UNTIL YOUR SECOND PIT STOP. CAN YOU DESCRIBE WHAT HAPPENED? "I feel very disappointed today. The Miller Lite crew gave me a very good car. We had a car to get us on the podium. But again, we had bad luck on our second pit stop as we were in the pits as the yellow came out. I feel bad because I came into the pits and the brakes didn't work properly and I slid into Jim Swanson our (left rear) tire changer. Thanks goodness Jim is okay after going to CART's medical center. But we were given a stop and go penalty. That just killed our chances. It's hard because the team gave me a great car today."
BRYAN HERTA -8- Shell Ford-Cosworth - Finished 22nd - WHAT WAS THE REASON YOU GUYS DECIDED TO PARK THE CAR? "It's a shame. I hate not to finish the race. The guys worked so hard this weekend. The car was really loose. The weight jacker in the car broke on us and I couldn't adjust the car. We came in and tried to make other adjustments to solve the problem but it just got no better. We decided it was better if we just brought the car in and park it." WHAT WAS IT LIKE OUT THERE IN TRAFFIC? "It was hard for me to get a good feeling. My car was very loose. What I was experiencing out there had nothing to do with the wings it was something mechanical with the car."
MICHEL JOURDAIN, JR. -19- Herdez/Viva Mexico Ford-Cosworth - Finished -16th - YOU WERE ON YOUR WAY TO A SOLID RUN UNTIL YOU GOT CAUGHT ON PIT ROAD WHEN THE YELLOW CAME OUT DURING YOUR SECOND STOP . . . "The car I had today was one of the best cars I had in my Champ Car career. We had a car that could have won the race. We made some mistakes though and some in the pits as well. Without those mistakes it would have need a different story."