CHAMPCAR/CART: Las Vegas: Newman/Haas race report

Sebastien Bourdais, No. 2 McDonald's Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "The McDonald's team worked night and day to get this win. They changed an engine before the warmup and again right before the race and worked their butts off. We were a bit...

Sebastien Bourdais, No. 2 McDonald's Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone:

"The McDonald's team worked night and day to get this win. They changed an engine before the warmup and again right before the race and worked their butts off. We were a bit down on power to Bruno but I stuck it on the inside and nobody could pass me. I needed the tow from the lapped cars in front of me. I just tried to follow the line of the backmarkers to keep the lead. When I made my move for the lead, Mazzacane was fairly slow and I had to make my move. It was a pretty aggressive move but I had no choice; Bruno was so close. I took the draft off of Mazzacane and Bruno took it off of Alex (Tagliani) and Alex backed off so I was able to get ahead. It's always a very difficult race on an oval; there is a lot of pressure and it's kind of scary sometimes. We had a problem on the first stop and fell back to seventh place. I was in the pits and saw people passing me and thought "This isn't looking too good' but the team did every stop perfect after that. Respect on track was very good. It was the key to not sticking your car in the wall. Bruno was right there and was very close to me. If he kept that close to me much more linger I was thinking of backing off because if we would have touched at that speed it would have been very, very bad. There are two difficult races ahead of us. We've shown we deserve the championship but that doesn't mean we're going to win it. I don't really want to think about the championship. I just want to have good races in Australia and Mexico City and let the rest work itself out."

* FAST FACTS: Was his first race here...Has won SIX races and seven poles in 12 events...Set a Champ Car record as the first driver to start in the top three in the first 12 events to begin a season...Has led a lap in each of the last nine events which earned him the distinction of having the longest streak of consecutive races led since Cristiano da Matta led nine in a row in 2002...Beginning with Cristiano da Matta's victory in Australia of '01, NHR has won 21 of the past 51 races (40% win average)...With tonight's victory, Bourdais earned his NINTH in the series in his 30th start ('03 - England, Germany, Cleveland and '04 Monterrey, Portland, Cleveland, Toronto, Denver & TONIGHT). It was his SIXTH win of the season in 12 races to date...Leads the point standings with 307.

Bruno Junqueira, No. 6 PacifiCare Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone:

"I'm very frustrated with the outcome of today's race. The PacifiCare car was perfect. But when you finish a race like this in one piece, it's a good race. I got a good start and got into second place then took the lead from Carpentier. At one point I thought we had everything to win this race. I thought it was just a matter of having good pit stops. I was leading the race at one point and I don't know why they put me back behind (Alex) Tagliani. Later I was driving with Ryan (Hunter-Reay, lapped car) and Tagliani. Ryan chopped my air and I lost five or six positions. Then I was moving to the front again and Sebastien was leading the race and I was catching him but the yellow came out. We were racing side by side for so many laps. Inside the car it looks pretty close but you know that both drivers are good and are trying to be safe. I'm sure it was very exciting for the fans. The high line was a little longer and slower and it was a matter of who was ahead. This finish is very good for Newman/Haas. When you say Sebastien and me were one and two, it's really the team that is one and two. This race was 99 percent car and one percent driver."

* FAST FACTS: Will be his first race here...Finished in the top-four eight times in 11 races, including one win (Montreal) and five second-place finishes. Set the fastest race lap three times...Is second in the point standings with 251.

* NEWMAN/HAAS RACING FACTS: The team has won TWO races in the city of Las Vegas (TODAY & 1983 -- Mario Andretti). Andretti's victory came on the temporary oval course around Caesar's Palace after starting third. He also started and finished second in 1984. The team has FOUR PODIUM FINISHES in Las Vegas -- TWO of which are from LVMS: (1st in 1983, 2nd in 1984 on temporary course; 1st & 2nd in 2004 )

-nhr-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Bruno Junqueira , Mario Andretti , Sébastien Bourdais , Cristiano da Matta