FERNANDEZ AND BRACK CLAIM PODIUM FINISHES AT ROAD AMERICA. Adrian Fernandez and Kenny Brack finished second and third at Road America as Paul Tracy claimed his second victory of the season. Less than half the field finished the 220-mile race as a...
FERNANDEZ AND BRACK CLAIM PODIUM FINISHES AT ROAD AMERICA. Adrian Fernandez and Kenny Brack finished second and third at Road America as Paul Tracy claimed his second victory of the season. Less than half the field finished the 220-mile race as a result of on-track incidents or mechanical failures. Roberto Moreno came home in fourth place and Max Papis claimed his second straight top10 result with a seventh place finish (4th at Mid-Ohio) as cars powered by Ford-Cosworth claimed three of the top five positions.
MORENO MOVES INTO SECOND IN THE POINTS CHAMPIONSHIP. With both Michael Andretti (CV joint) and Gil de Ferran (mechanical) retiring, Roberto Moreno moved into second place in the points championship 13 points behind Andretti (125 to 112) with six races remaining in the 2000 season. De Ferran stands third in the points (106) followed by Adrian Fernandez (103 points), Kenny Brack (102) and Paul Tracy (100).
ADRIAN FERNANDEZ (#40 Tecate/Quaker State Ford-Cosworth) - Finished 2nd - GIVE US HIGHLIGHTS OF YOUR DAY. "Well the start I knew was going to be tight. I remember we started accelerating pretty quickly out of the last corner and I remember that coming into the first corner I was right on the gearbox of (Alex) Tagliani and Helio (Castroneves) was really close to me on the left side (and) we all went side by side. Helio pulled himself to the outside and I went to the inside of the next corner into turn two and (Cristiano) da Matta and I think Helio went off there somehow, I don't know how, I stayed on the inside"
KENNY BRACK (#8 Shell Ford-Cosworth) - Finished 3rd - YOU'VE GOTTEN PRETTY COMFORTABLE ON THESE PERMANENT ROAD COURSES. "I think we've done well. We were sixth in Portland and second in Cleveland so we've actually scored better on the road races than we have on the ovals so far this year, but I think we've run well on both types. I had a good day today. Yeah, we hit Paul (Tracy) in the beginning as he said - there was not a lot of room in the beginning. But I was a little surprised because first that happened and then the other Kool Green car outbraked me going into turn five and I really thought that was Paul, and then he came up behind me and I was sure he was a lap down. I (would've) tried to give him a little bit harder time to get past (me) if I had known it was for position, but he was very fast today so I don't think there was anything we could do."
ROBERTO MORENO (#20 Visteon Ford-Cosworth) - Finished 4th - "It's just fantastic for the team today. Unfortunately we lost third gear again, but I was able to shift in a different way (and) it was just amazing what I had to do driving. I would go into a corner that's supposed to be in third gear in fourth (gear), go through it in fourth, then change to third (and) accelerate out because if I had to back off in third gear it would come out of gear and make a big noise. (Jim) McGee reminded me to drive like Long Beach and that's what I did. But here we were able to continue with a consistent speed at the end and I'm so, so pleased because when third gear went I thought it was the end of our day. It was a fantastic fourth place for us, very valuable points for the championship and I'm very glad and thankful for the team for another great job they've done."
TALK ABOUT THE POINTS SITUATION. A LOT OF PEOPLE IN FRONT OF YOU IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP HAD PROBLEMS TODAY. "Well everybody had trouble and this is the name of a competitive game. Although we had some problems, we were able to overcome them and be there at the end. Our strategy worked very well - I was trying to save fuel at the beginning so we made a pit stop much later than anybody (else) and we were able to come out two or three positions in front of what I came in the pits. After that I was ready to push hard and then I lost third gear, so I just had to keep a pace to finish the race."
MAX PAPIS (#7 Miller Lite Ford-Cosworth) - Finished 7th - "The popoff valve was gone shortly after the first lap so I probably had 150 or 200 less horsepower and I couldn't do much. I was up there and had a good start and I knew I could go up to the top, but with this trouble ... we tried to reconnect it during the first pit stop but nothing happened. I was able to bring home a seventh place (finish) which is good points, but I could've done a little bit better."
ALEX TAGLIANI (#33 Player's Ford-Cosworth) - Finished 14th - WHAT HAPPENED? "We had a broken gearbox - the same thing that we had in Cleveland. I don't why it happened, but we need to fix the problem. This is the second time we've had this problem, so hopefully we'll be able to fix it and it won't happen again."
TALK ABOUT YOUR START. "I did a pretty early start and I had a very long straightaway in which to draft him (Franchitti). Gil (de Ferran) was on the outside so he had nobody in front of him and I had a good run."
CHRISTIAN FITTIPALDI (#11 Big Kmart/Route 66 Ford-Cosworth) - Finished 15th - "We had a broken exhaust header. After all the effort I can't believe it - I was doing my job driving the car as fast as possible (and) we definitely had a chance to be up there. It's very disappointing."
MICHAEL ANDRETTI (#6 Big Kmart/Texaco/Havoline Ford-Cosworth) - Finished 19th - "I felt the drive for the rear wheels go away and I looked back and saw pieces of the CV (joint) flying around. It's a shame because we were looking good with Gil (de Ferran) having his problems. I was just going to really collect some points and this hurts a lot. We were able to go a little bit longer than the other guys on the fuel stint so I thought we were really looking good for the race. The CV (joint) broke, something in the drive broke, I think it was the CV (joint)." HAVE YOU EVER HAD THIS HAPPEN TO YOU BEFORE? "No, it's the first time I've ever heard of it breaking (and) it's very disappointing. This really isn't a track that's real hard on them (CV joints) either, so I'm just really quite surprised."
GUALTER SALLES (#19 Sports Today Ford-Cosworth) - Finished 20th - "We improved the car a lot for the race. We had just done our first pit stop and I was on the out lap when the oil pressure alarm came on and a lap later the engine just let go. It's a pity because we had such a bad weekend. I was hoping to bring the car to the finish and get some points, but it wasn't to be today."
PATRICK CARPENTIER (#32 Player's Ford-Cosworth) - Finished 21st - IT'S BEEN A TOUGH WEEKEND FOR YOU. "Yeah, it's been one of the worst weekends I've ever had. From losing the brake pedal down at the bottom of the cockpit to not qualifying and stuff, it's been a tough weekend and today it finished like it started. For some reason at Elkhart Lake I've never succeeded in finishing a race and this place has always been extremely bad luck for me. But we'll put this behind us and we'll go next weekend - it's not going to be the same as this weekend. We're going to put this thing (car) more towards the front and we're going to give it one heck of a shot because this weekend we had nothing but bad luck."
TARSO MARQUES (#34 Panasonic Ford-Cosworth) - Finished 23rd - TOUGH WAY TO END YOUR DAY. "Yeah, unfortunately I turned a little bit too early and I don't know what happened. I think I was probably losing the brakes in the rear because I was braking very early and I couldn't stop the car very well. (Then) the front wheels locked and I couldn't turn and stop the car in time."
HOW WAS THE CAR TODAY? "Pushing too much. I think our best bet was to save some fuel and try to get some good laps before the yellow flags because we weren't able to go much faster than that."