CHAMPCAR/CART: Michigan Ford Post-Race Note

MAX PAPIS -7- Miller Lite Ford-Cosworth - Finished 7th -"Besides the last three-fourths of the laps today, it was the nicest day of my life. Even with the last lap this was the nicest day of my life. We dominated and we did a fantastic job. I...

MAX PAPIS -7- Miller Lite Ford-Cosworth - Finished 7th -"Besides the last three-fourths of the laps today, it was the nicest day of my life. Even with the last lap this was the nicest day of my life. We dominated and we did a fantastic job. I am very proud of everyone on my team and this is just life. We will become tougher and stronger and come back. I really wanted to have my flag on the podium, but I couldn't. I am going to have it there one day." WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST INDICATION THAT YOU WERE OUT OF FUEL? DID THE ENGINE SPUTTER? "I had no clue. I was waiting to pass the start/finish line and it just stopped completely. We had no clue. The lap before they told me to go down on the mixture and I went down on the mixture. Today was not our day. Today was our day, but, just not at the start/finish line. We need to go away from there with a smile on our face knowing that we were the best, because we were, except for the last half-lap." WHAT WAS YOUR IMMEDIATE EMOTION AFTER THE ENGINE WENT DEAD? "I said many bad words in Italian that I cannot repeat. But my first emotion was like, 'My god.' I can't say much more. Bobby gave me a fantastic car and was with me all the way. We are a very tight team. Today we showed what I told you guys at the beginning of the season. Just wait, because when we get our chemistry right, we will dominate. But, I am very glad for Tony (Kanaan) because he is a nice guy and deserves to win." WAS IT SURPRISING HOW YOU COULD BREAK AWAY FROM THE DRAFT AND EVERYONE ELSE KEPT GETTING FURTHER AWAY IN YOUR MIRRORS? "I knew what we could do. I just let them play with each other, kept it flat, and pulled away." YOUR PIT STOPS WERE THE FASTEST ON PIT ROAD TODAY . . . "We were a half-second faster in Toronto than anyone in the pits. Jim and all my guys have a lot of experience. They did a great job. We just have to go home with a smile on our face. This is racing, just think all of the people who lost the World Championship on the last day. I could have won it today, but, I will win another." BOBBY SAID YOU HAD NOT TELEMETRY, WHAT DID THE DASHBOARD LOOK LIKE? "Nothing. The dashboard was completely frozen. I kept asking the guys what was happening and they didn't know either. We think maybe it stayed full-rich. I had no rev-counter, no nothing." WHAT KIND OF PROBLEMS DID THAT GIVE YOU IN DRIVING" "I just kept concentrating and looking in the mirrors all the time. I was picking up maybe 10 to 15 percent in the corners, pulled away, thought the race was ours." PRIOR TO THAT, WERE YOU HAVING THE TIME OF YOUR LIFE? "I had the time of my life all race. I had a fantastic car and we did a good job. It's sad we didn't win it but it gives me more confidence that next time we will be on the podium."

TIM CINDRIC - Team Manager, Team Rahal - "Our fuel meter quit working after the last pit stop. We thought we were fine on fuel." WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO SAY TO MAX? "Sorry. They did everything right in the pits. Max drove a hell of a race. He was the class of the field with out a doubt. But, to come home with nothing is a bitter disappointment without a doubt. But we showed everybody today who Mad Max is."

BOBBY RAHAL - Owner, Team Rahal - "The telemetry froze on us earlier in the race and luckily there was a yellow. So we turned it off, and turned it back on, and it worked again. But after the last stop it did the same thing, so we had no idea what kind of fuel mileage we were getting and where we were on the mixture. We turned Max's car down lean and we were very confident that we had enough fuel. So we need to go back and look at the data and talk to the software people because there is a possibility when the telemetry goes down the car automatically goes full rich. Max was running quite lean after the last stop and we thought he could maintain it and I guess we were as surprised as anybody. Obviously, I am devastated for Max because he dominated and his performance was the most dominating performance I have seen in this place. Like I said to him, he won the race, we lost it for him."

BRYAN HERTA -8- Shell Ford-Cosworth - Finished 20th / Suspension -"The car never really felt comfortable today. At the beginning of the race we had a little trouble with an electrical problem which is why I pitted and changed the steering wheel. After the change, everything was working well. Once everything settled down after the start, the car began to develop a slight handling problem. The handling of the car, after that, just continued to get worse and worse. The team thinks we had a suspension problem in the rear. It got to the point where the car would just not work at all. It was just better to park the car."

ADRIAN FERNANDEZ -40- Tecate/Quaker State Ford - Finished 6th - "For some reason I could just not stay with the slipstream. We don't know why. We don't know if we geared too tall to stay with the leader or what. My car would push on its own, but it was a little loose in traffic. At the end of the race we found a little bit of a problem with the Gurney. It was a hard race with not may yellows. The condition of the track was not as good as it was last year. It was a safe race which was good and we wanted to get to the finish today and we did."

P.J. JONES -20- Visteon Ford-Cosworth - Finished 16th - WHAT HAPPENED THAT CAUSED YOU TO GET INTO THE WALL? "We were behind the game all weekend. We struggled with the car all weekend and at the start of the race the car was really loose. So, I was just hanging on there and when we got the first yellow we made a wing change and it got better. We never really got a handle on it. Then Patrick (Carpentier) and I were racing side-by-side, just hanging in there, and I think Patrick pushed up a little on me and when he did that I got into the loose stuff and it went right into the wall."

MICHAEL ANDRETTI -6- K Mart/Texaco/Havoline Ford-Cosworth - Finished 4th - "We just didn't have enough power down the straights and were slow in the corners. I was eaten alive in the corners. The Ford engine was great, but we just didn't run enough downforce in our car. Max was on it. He was in a class of his own. You have to drive all 500-miles to win though. It's too bad for him after running so strong. His day will come though. Today he proved he could run strong. It was a long day for us. I was very happy to get some points to keep pace with Montoya and Dario in the standings. Everyone drove well today. Everybody took care of each other."

CHRISTIAN FITTIPALDI -11- Big K Ford-Cosworth - Finished 8th - "The car was not bad but it was not great either. We had too much drag and not enough speed on the straights. After I lost the draft it was too hard to catch up. Forget it. I would get beside someone and loose the draft and a lot of positions in the process. When I was in the top-five I could keep up with everyone because we had the draft. On the last stint, everyone was quicker than I was. My rear bar was broken so that made it tough but we don't know at what point during the race it broke. I am very happy to leave here with points. We have a good position in the standings."

MICHEL JOURDAIN, JR -19- Herdez Viva Mexico Ford-Cosworth - Finished 21st / Drive Shaft - WHAT FORCED YOU TO RETIRE? "I picked up a vibration in the right rear of the car. I brought the car in and the crew found a broken CV-joint. We worked on it a bit but we decided it was not worth it to continue. It's hard to race under conditions like that when the only thing you can do is follow the pack."

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Series IndyCar