Max Papis, Driver -- ...
Max Papis, Driver -- #51 Tecate/Quaker State/Telmex Honda/Lola/Bridgestone:
Qualified: 14th 67.410 120.587 mph
"Overall we progressed every session and improved the setup of the car. You can't really be happy with 14th position but we have to be happy with the progress that we made. I think we found a better direction to run the car and that is something very encouraging for the future. We still need to understand how we can gain a little bit more speed. Coming into the race tomorrow, I think we are strong. Don [Halliday] and the crew are proving that they have a good strategy and this is long and very physical race. I have been training as hard as I can even though I have been out of the car for a couple of months. With the Honda power, I think we are going to be able to do something pretty good tomorrow."
FAST FACTS: Will be making his seventh Champ Car appearance at Mid-Ohio and his 105th Champ Car career start ... made Champ Car career debut at Mid-Ohio in 1996 with Arciero-Wells Racing ... best finishes at Mid-Ohio were fourth in 2000 and fifth in 1999 ... best starting position at Mid-Ohio was sixth in 2000 ... scored podium finishes (third) in two of five races contested this season ... last race was the Bridgestone Grand Prix of Monterey on June 9 ... has missed the past five Champ Car races due to Sigma Autosport's withdrawal from the series ... has three career wins - Homestead (2000), Portland (2001) and Laguna Seca (2001) ... claimed two career pole positions at Chicago (1999) and Portland (2001) ... finished sixth in the championship last year ... currently sits 16th in the championship with 32 points.
Shinji Nakano, Driver -- #52 Alpine/Mitsuba Honda/Lola/Bridgestone:
Qualified: 17th 67.905 119. 708 mph
"We were out first and the track was not good. I think we made a mistake there. The track was getting better and the car was getting better, but there was no time to change the car to keep up with the [track] conditions. We have some more work to do on the car for tomorrow."
FAST FACTS: Will be making his third Champ Car appearance at Mid-Ohio and his 48th career Champ Car start ... finished 18th at Mid-Ohio last year after starting 23rd ... started 20th in 1999 but spun on Lap 59 and was credited with 19th place ... has posted points-paying finishes in the past five events, including a career-best fourth-place finish at Toronto ... has made 15 career road course starts, claiming three points-paying finishes ... is in his third season of Champ Car competition, and second year with Fernández Racing ... currently sits 15th in the championship with 33 points.
Tom Anderson, Co-Owner/Managing Director:
"We were the first out today and the track conditions were a little bit different after the Formula Ford race that went on between practice and qualifying. The track was certainly much different today and we didn't compensate as well for that condition and ended up 14th and 17th. It is going to be a long race tomorrow and very hard on the drivers with the heat and humidity. I'm sure attrition will take its toll. If we run a good, safe race, I think we will have a strong result."
For more information, please visit www.fernandezracing.net and our media photo resource site at www.fernandezracing.net/media. Additional information on Max Papis can be found at www.maxpapis.com. For additional information on the CART FedEx Championship Series, please visit www.cart.com.