The debut of the CART Champ Cars under the lights at the legendary Milwaukee Mile was a hard-fought battle which resulted in a debut winner; Michel Jourdain, Jr. Friday's rain gave way to cooler temperatures which felt decidedly...
The debut of the CART Champ Cars under the lights at the legendary Milwaukee Mile was a hard-fought battle which resulted in a debut winner; Michel Jourdain, Jr. Friday's rain gave way to cooler temperatures which felt decidedly cold by the time the race started just after 8:00 pm local time. Despite driving the first two laps of the race under yellow-flag conditions in an attempt to get enough heat into the tires, lap three brought the first incident of the race when Bruno Junquiera lost control of his Newman-Haas machine and spun mid-pack. Both Patrick Lemarie of PK Racing and Herdez Competition's Roberto Moreno were also taken out in this incident. Jourdain took the lead at this point and with the exception of 13 laps led by Carpentier and one by Mario Dominguez in the first third of the race, was never really challenged again. He led for a massive 234 of the 250-lap race distance.
Three other single-car incidents (Ryan Hunter-Reay of American Spirit Team Johansson, Joel Camathias of Dale Coyne Racing, and Rodolfo Lavin of Walker Racing) brought out caution flags though none were injured. The final excitement of the day was provided by Paul Tracy's Player's Forsythe team who failed to properly attach the rear inside wheel during the final scheduled pit stop. The additional stop required to replace the wheel dropped him down a lap and to a distant 12th, the last points-paying position. His teammate Patrick Carpentier had a blistering final pit stop and moved into third place at race end. Second position was taken by Oriol Servia who started seventh.
Mario Dominguez - Driver, Car 55
"I think this was the toughest race so far of this season. We did not have a good car and really couldn't run that well in traffic. But the pit strategy was great and so were the pit stops. We got as much as two laps down but were able to fight back to be on the lead lap for the end of the race. We got lucky on the early race incident; after Bruno spun in front of me I thought it was all over. But the crew did a fantastic job getting a new nose put on the car under the yellow and getting me back out there. It's not as good of a result as we had hoped for but we gutted it out and brought home some points which is very important. I'd also like to say congratulations to Michel Jourdain for his win tonight. He's been working toward this for nine years and he did a great job out there tonight. I'm very happy for him."
Roberto Moreno - Driver, Car 4
"I wasn't really involved in the first accident but got caught up in it anyway. Bruno (Junquiera) spun in front of me and I moved so that I would be able to get through without a problem unfortunately someone, I think it was Lemarie, spun behind me and slid into me from the back. That is what pushed me into Bruno. I've very disappointed for the team that we weren't able to finish both cars. We're showing a lot of reliability and speed. Unfortunately for us, this is the second time this season that we've been put out of the race by someone else's accident."