CHAMPCAR/CART: Milwaukee Friday Afternoon Practice

Turning the Key at the Milwaukee Mile Juan Montoya sets the pace at the Friday afternoon practice. by Robin Miller WEST ALLIS, Wis. -- Juan Montoya believes experience is the key to the Milwaukee Mile, the oldest Champ Car track in America....

Turning the Key at the Milwaukee Mile Juan Montoya sets the pace at the Friday afternoon practice. by Robin Miller

WEST ALLIS, Wis. -- Juan Montoya believes experience is the key to the Milwaukee Mile, the oldest Champ Car track in America. He said that about 10 minutes after setting the fastest practice lap of Friday's second session.

The 23-year-old rookie rocket from Colombia continued to show his older competition the quick way around as he turned a lap of 22.171 seconds (167.570 mph) in the rain-shortened afternoon practice round.

"The car is OK but we still need to make some improvements," said Montoya, who leads the FedEx Championship going into Sunday's Miller Lite 225. "I've got a lot of push in the middle of the corners and we need to get that better for the race."

While Montoya set the tone in the second session, the Canadian trio of Paul Tracy, Greg Moore and Patrick Carpentier wound up with the three quickest laps -- all turned in the morning. Tracy turned 20.025 (168.681 mph) in the KOOL Reynard/Honda/Firestone.

"The car was good right off the trailer and that's a tribute to Dario [Franchitti], because he did the testing here and we're basically using his setup," said Tracy. The driver ended up against the wall last weekend in St. Louis after he tangled with his teammate battling for second place. Moore, who won the season opener at Homestead, has been struggling on short ovals since that race in March. However, he came through with a 20.052-second clocking (168.475 mph) in the Player's Reynard/Mercedes/Firestone. "We tested here for two and a half days and we need to get our momentum back for sure," said Moore.

Carpentier, whose race in St. Louis ended in the ambulance after an accident that wasn't his doing, had the third-best lap of the day. He turned 22.108 seconds in the other Player's Special.

"I was pretty sore, but I'm fine, and I'd be a whole lot better if we could win a race," said Carpentier, whose luck has moved from bad to worse since joining his country's premier motorsports operation in 1998.

After chasing Michael Andretti to the checkered flag, Helio Castro-Neves came to Milwaukee looking to improve by one position. He looked strong with a lap of 22.117 seconds in Carl Hogan's Lola/Mercedes/Firestone.

There were no wall contacts Friday and the only incident saw Bryan Herta spin coming off turn 2.

Source: NASCAR Online

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Michael Andretti , Patrick Carpentier , Paul Tracy , Bryan Herta , Greg Moore , Robin Miller