Notes: TEAM RAHAL DRIVER KENNY BRACK QUALIFIES SECOND - Kenny Brack lost a last lap qualifying duel with Helio Castroneves and will start second for tomorrow's Grand Prix of Long Beach. Brack, who will be making his second consecutive front row...
TEAM RAHAL DRIVER KENNY BRACK QUALIFIES SECOND - Kenny Brack lost a last lap qualifying duel with Helio Castroneves and will start second for tomorrow's Grand Prix of Long Beach. Brack, who will be making his second consecutive front row start (was the polesitter in Monterrey), briefly sat on the pole with his time of 1:09.097 before Castroneves knocked him off with a time of 1:08.556. Tony Kanaan (1:09.223) qualified third and Cristiano da Matta (1:09.312) fourth, while Castroneves' teammate, Gil de Ferran, will start fifth. By qualifying second, Brack will be making his best career start on a street course after starting seventh on three occasions during the 2000 CART season.
JOURDAIN JUST MISSES HIS FIRST CART POLE POSITION - Herdez Bettenhausen driver Michel Jourdain, Jr., almost scored his first career Champ Car pole when it began raining following the first qualifying session. While the rain was sufficient enough to wet the track, it gradually dried throughout the second qualifying session during which he was overtaken by some faster cars. As it is, Jourdain will be making his best Champ Car start since qualifying fifth at the California Speedway in 1997, and his best career start on a road course.
KENNY BRACK (#8 Team Rahal Ford-Cosworth) - Qualified 2nd - "This session we were hoping that the first qualifying session would dry the track up for us, and we got a bit disappointed when it started to rain after they were finished. From that point on it was just a matter of trying to be fastest in the group on the rain tires first, but I think Michael (Andretti) put on slicks and went faster, so then we did that too. In the end it got down to who had the last lap and I braked a little too late on mine and went straight ahead instead of turning the corner so that was it for us. But I'm happy for Team Rahal because we've had a bit of an up and down weekend with small glitches here and there. Yesterday we had a short circuit in the car so we really didn't know what our dry setup was, so I guess we're extremely happy that the car ran well today."
MICHEL JOURDAIN, JR. (#16 Herdez Bettenhausen Ford-Cosworth) -
Qualified 7th - "I was praying for rain like this. It's unfair for the
race but it's good for me. I'm very happy. The car is very good and the
team has done an amazing job - they really deserve this. We have to work
tonight to get a very good set up for the race tomorrow but I think we
have a very good racecar."
HOW MUCH MORE CONFIDENT ARE YOU THIS YEAR AS OPPOSED TO LAST YEAR?
"I have an amazing team and I really couldn't ask for more. This is my sixth year in CART and this is the first time that I really have everything - I can't ask for anything more with the people or the package. Herdez has been really good for me and has given me a lot of opportunities and I'm sure this year will be very good for them."
ALEX TAGLIANI (#33 Player's/Forsythe Ford-Cosworth) - Qualified
11th - "We had a car that was set up for the dry so we thought that with
some more fuel in the car that we had a chance to get a good time. But
instead some of the other guys chose to go out softer cars and they slid
off. We only did a couple of laps and everyone was crashing and there was
a lot of red flags."
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE RACE TOMORROW?
"We have a very good car and it's been very fast since the beginning of the weekend. I think we have a chance for a good finish as long as the car holds up."
MAX PAPIS (#7 Miller Lite Ford-Cosworth) - Qualified 13th - "I never felt really confident with the car. The rear end was sliding all over and I felt like a passenger and not the driver of the car. With the changing conditions we had our rain set up on the car so that made it even more difficult for us."