CHAMPCAR/CART: Las Vegas: PKV Racing Friday report

LAS VEGAS (September 24, 2004) -- With a blistering lap of 26.278 seconds (205.495 mph), former Series Champion and current Las Vegas resident Jimmy Vasser ( ...

LAS VEGAS (September 24, 2004) -- With a blistering lap of 26.278 seconds (205.495 mph), former Series Champion and current Las Vegas resident Jimmy Vasser (#12 Gulfstream Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) put his PKV Racing machine on the outside of the front row for tomorrow night's 166-lap race as Las Vegas Motor Speedway in his best qualifying drive of the season. Vasser's rookie counterpart Roberto Gonzalez (#21 NII Holdings, Inc. Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) posted a career best qualifying effort of 10th after turning a 26.579-second lap (203.168 mph) around the high speed 1.5-mile desert oval.

After clocking in third in the afternoon practice session, Vasser put his oval experience to work in Champ Car's first timed session at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. When all was said and done, the 1996 Series Champion had notched the 23rd front row starting position of his illustrious career, and his best staring position of the season to boot. His previous best gridding position on the season was a third at Elkhart Lake.

"Not a bad effort for PKV Racing today in Las Vegas," said Vasser. "I was able to get the time we posted because of the shorter line I took around the track. It paid off. We ran well (fourth) in the only other oval race in Milwaukee this year, and we're looking to improve upon that run here and get the Gulfstream car to the front when it counts-- near the end of the race. It's always good when you do something under the lights in Vegas, so I know tomorrow night's Champ Car race will be exciting."

Teammate Gonzalez turned some heads as the first-year pilot bested his previous top qualifying mark of 11th at Portland International Raceway-- in only his second career oval event. The Mexican will start 10th and was quick to thank his experienced veteran teammate.

"We had a pretty good run. We were able to improve our time from the morning practice session, so I'm pleased with the result," said Gonzalez. "We picked up the speed we needed, and here we are. I like this oval much better than the oval in Milwaukee, that's for sure. This race is going to be much more of a mental game I think. It should be very exciting near the end to see how things play out. Working with Jimmy Vasser has helped me in all aspects of my racing career, and it showed in our result today."

Catch the PKV Racing duo of Vasser and Gonzalez tomorrow night at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, or tune in to Spike TV Sunday, September 25th (4:00 pm ET/PT) for the Bridgestone 400 Presented By Corona, Round 12 of the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered By Ford.

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Jimmy Vasser