(Madison, Il) â€“ The car of PacWest Racingâ€™s Mauricio Gugelmin failed technical inspection after qualifying for tomorrowâ€™s Motorola 300 at the Gateway International Raceway and will start from the last row of the grid. The ...
(Madison, Il) – The car of PacWest Racing’s Mauricio Gugelmin failed technical inspection after qualifying for tomorrow’s Motorola 300 at the Gateway International Raceway and will start from the last row of the grid.
The #17 Nextel PacWest Mercedes-Benz was five pounds under the official weight minimum of 1550lbs and Gugelmin was eliminated from official qualifying results. Gugelmin had clocked a time of 25.713 seconds on the first of his two flying qualifying laps and was set to start from 11th place on the grid.
Mark Blundell, driver of the #18 Motorola PacWest Mercedes-Benz, picked up 1.3 seconds in the morning practice session after overnight changes, but he suffered from a major under steer during his qualifying run and only managed a time of 26.154 seconds. Blundell also has plenty of work ahead of him, starting 20th in the 26-car field on the 1.27-mile oval.
Defending series champion Juan Montoya has taken pole position with a time of 25.353 seconds and he was followed by Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Jimmy Vasser (25.368s) and Team KOOL Green’s Paul Tracy (25.500s).
MAURICIO GUGELMIN - # 17 NEXTEL PACWEST MERCEDES-BENZ – DNQ
Qualifying: No time
“To work as hard as hard as we did and fail tech is enormously frustrating and disappointing,” said Gugelmin.
“It is going to be hard enough to pass here tomorrow as it is without starting at the back of the grid.
“There will be a lot of places to be gained with the right pit strategy, but I don’t know about 25 places. The pit stops and re-starts are almost certain to decide this race.”
MARK BLUNDELL - # 18 MOTOROLA PACWEST MERCEDES-BENZ – 20th
“I simply had way too much push in qualifying and you see the time as a result,” said Blundell.
“We made up 1.3 seconds in the morning session compared to yesterday, but we were still a fair way down the list.
“It’s sad because we definitely have a quicker car under there somewhere.
“It is going to be a long day tomorrow, but maybe we will finally get some luck go our way and we can make up plenty of time in the pits and on the re-starts. It would be nice to finish with a points-paying finish with Motorola sponsoring the race this weekend.”
QUALIFYING TOP 10: 1: Juan Montoya 25.353s; 2: Jimmy Vasser 25.368s; 3: Paul Tracy 25.500; 4: Dario Franchitti 25.514; 5: Patrick Carpentier 25.516; 6: Tony Kanaan 25.561; 7: Adrian Fernandez 25.573; 8: Alex Tagliani 25.642; 9: Helio Castroneves 25.671; 10: Cristiano da Matta 25.679.