Fresh off his first CART career victory at Detroit last weekend, Helio Castroneves scored a record-setting pole position at final qualifying for Sunday's Freightliner/G.I. Joe's 200, round eight of the FedEx Championship Series. Castroneves' lap...
Fresh off his first CART career victory at Detroit last weekend, Helio Castroneves scored a record-setting pole position at final qualifying for Sunday's Freightliner/G.I. Joe's 200, round eight of the FedEx Championship Series. Castroneves' lap in 57.738 seconds (122.768 mph) of the 1.969-mile permanent road course was 0.082 seconds ahead of provisional polesitter, defending race champion and Penske teammate Gil de Ferran.
Gugelmin Overcomes Problems But is Disqualified PacWest Motorola Mercedes pilot Mark Blundell will start 16th after lapping the circuit in 59.382 seconds (119.370 mph).
"I feel happier than I have all weekend," said the British driver. "We're getting on with the development of the Mercedes-Benz engine, and it's moving in the right direction. We have a good, predictable car for the race. Saving your rear tires and being patient will be crucial tomorrow."
Herdez/Bettenhausen Motorsports Mercedes driver Michel Jourdain Jr. qualified on the tenth row (59.624 seconds/118.885 mph). Bryan Herta, substituting for injured Tony Kanaan in the Hollywood/Mo Nunn Racing Mercedes-Benz, lost most of the morning's track time due to a mechanical problem. In the qualifying session, Herta turned a lap of 59.746 seconds (118.642 mph) to take 20th position on the grid.
"We didn't get as many laps in today as we wish we could have, and the car still isn't the way I like it, yet" said Herta. "But we'll make some more changes for warm-up tomorrow, and keep chipping away at it. We're gaining experience and we haven't lost anything yet. The race is tomorrow. We just need a few breaks."
Luiz Garcia Jr. had a solid morning practice session and clocked top-10 lap times before qualifying his Hollywood/Arciero Project Racing Group Mercedes-Benz 22nd in the afternoon (60.061 seconds/118.020 mph).
The green flag for the Freightliner/G.I. Joe's 200 waves Sunday at 1 p.m. PDT (ESPN2, 7 p.m. ET).