Team Ford Racing driver Christian Fittipaldi posted the second quickest time, 19.306 seconds, around the .946-mile tri-oval in very blustery wind conditions. Fittipaldi was nipped by the last qualifier of the day, Juan Montoya, who charged...
Team Ford Racing driver Christian Fittipaldi posted the second quickest time, 19.306 seconds, around the .946-mile tri-oval in very blustery wind conditions. Fittipaldi was nipped by the last qualifier of the day, Juan Montoya, who charged around the circuit in 19.255 seconds.
Four drivers in the Ford camp were forced to qualify in their backup cars for Sunday's race due to incidents this morning and on Friday. The Ford drivers in that position included Kenny Brack and Patrick Carpentier, who both found the wall yesterday, and Adrian Fernandez and rookie Takuya Kurosawa were victims of Turn Three in this morning's session.
Teams however will likely be forced to scrap the setups they have been working on all weekend as a cold front, expected to drop close to thirty degrees, will push through the Nazareth area tonight bringing high winds, much cooler temperatures and the chance of snow. Stay tuned . . .
CHRISTIAN FITTIPALDI -11- Big Kmart/Route 66 Ford-Cosworth - Qualified 2nd
"The condition were pretty tough, but they were the same for everyone out there. You lost a little bit of downforce when you came out of turn four, especially when you get in the power, the car tended to slide a little bit. If I could qualify again, I reckon I could have gone a little quicker. I am very happy to start on the front row and I think the top-four or six are going to have a big advantage in the race tomorrow because passing is going to be difficult."
HOW WILL THE TEMPERATURES AFFECT THE RACE TOMORROW IF THEY COOL DOWN AS PREDICTED?
"It may be a little like the 1998 race when it was really cold. You just have to make the best out of it. Hopefully I won't do the same thing I did then and spin out on the parade lap."
MICHAEL ANDRETTI -6- Big Kmart/Texaco/Havoline Ford-Cosworth - Qualified 15th
"This hurts a lot. This is a huge disappointment. We just can't get the balance of the car right for my style of driving. I was hoping for a top-five, but now I just hope to be in the top-fifteen."
PATRICK CARPENTIER -32- Player's Ford-Cosworth - Qualified 10th
YOU HAD A BIT OF A WIGGLE OUT THERE DURING ONE OF YOUR QUICK LAPS. DID IT ALMOST GET AWAY FROM YOU?
"The back-up car was really loose this morning and it was that way during my qualifying run too. When I go into corner one, the back of the car always gets away from me."
HOW CLOSE OF A CALL WAS THAT?
"On a scale of one to ten, I'd say it was a five or six, so I still have a bit of a margin. When it goes to an eight, you are in deep trouble."
ALEX TAGLIANI -33- Player's Ford-Cosworth - Qualified 13th
WITH ALL THE PROBLEMS WE HAVE SEEN PEOPLE HAVE IN TURN THREE THIS WEEKEND, AS A ROOKIE, DOES THAT CONCERN YOU?
"Coming out of turn three we had a loose moment. Our car was a little conservative so that helped make the car a little more comfortable. The winds were pretty bad out there."
MAX PAPIS -7- Miller Lite Ford-Cosworth - Qualified 16th
"The wind conditions were really terrible. It was very difficult to feel what the car was doing. Overall we are not bad. We have a very strong racecar and we will be there tomorrow."
KENNY BRACK -8- Shell Ford-Cosworth - Qualified 6th
"Everyone is guessing a little bit with the setup because of the wind. It's windy and it really moves the car around a lot. But that's why we get paid I guess."
EVERYONE IS SAYING THAT TOMORROW IS GOING TO BE VERY COLD AND WINDY, HOW MUCH DOES THAT CONCERN YOU?
"I heard it's going to snow too, so maybe my experience driving on the ice back in Sweden will help. We will see."
ROBERTO MORENO -20 Visteon Ford-Cosworth - Qualified 7th
YOU CAME INTO THIS WEEKEND A LITTLE UNNERVED ABOUT THIS PLACE, BUT YOU MENTIONED THAT THE TEAM HAS REALLY HELPED YOU BECOME MORE COMFORTABLE WITH THIS TRACK . . .
"Yeah, they gave me a good car which made me go quick straight out of the box. That helps build your confidence very quickly. It was a great achievement for the team. This still isn't the best place for me here, but every lap I run, I get a little more comfortable."
HOW DID THE WINDS AFFECT YOU?
"We were a little bit cautious with the setup. We were a little worried about the wind. I had a small push but we can get rid of it. I think we will have a great car for the race tomorrow."
ADRIAN FERNANDEZ -40- Tecate/Quaker State Ford-Cosworth - Qualified 9th
"The car responded well. We basically went with the setup Roberto had on his car and I just didn't go too aggressive because I didn't really know just what he had. In the morning my car was a little bit unstable, but we made some changes that helped for this afternoon. Unfortunately the wind was really heavy and you had to be really careful how to apply the power in turn three because that's where I crashed in the morning session. On my first lap, I got it a little bit sideways so I decided to be a little more conservative on the second lap."
Takuya Kurosawa -19 - MTCI Ford-Cosworth
"For this being my first time on an oval I am happy with my position. I crashed the primary car this morning so we had to qualify in the backup car. I made a small mistake. The T-car is good. The wind made qualifying very difficult. The car has potential tomorrow."