The Milwaukee Mile Centennial 250 Presented by Miller Lite pre-race Quoteboard PAUL TRACY ( ...
The Milwaukee Mile Centennial 250 Presented by Miller Lite pre-race Quoteboard
PAUL TRACY (#3 Player's/Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "I'm looking forward to defending my Milwaukee championship this year. One of my incentives is to get win number 4 there, and that would be the most wins that I have at any track in the series. I know that they have made quite a few renovations at The Milwaukee Mile, but to me it will always have that certain quaintness and uniqueness. Milwaukee has a racing atmosphere that you can practically taste and smell, and it certainly ranks as one of my favorite places. We don't race on too many ovals, but I'm glad that we're still racing on what I consider to be one of the best I've run laps on. Celebrating The Milwaukee Mile 100th anniversary should make this year's race even more of an event than usual. The lead that Team Player's built in the standings after the first three races is a thing of the past, and now we just have to regroup and try to start another winning streak. I've been in the sport long enough to know that you're going to have highs and lows during the course of a long season. The important thing is to go into every race with the feeling that you can win it, and going to a track where I've had quite a bit of success simply adds to the feeling of confidence."
BRUNO JUNQUEIRA (#1 PacifiCare Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "I think it (The Milwaukee Mile 250) will be a difficult race. I have never run high downforce on a short oval. In Milwaukee we are used to downshifting but maybe we won't need to brake now because of the aero package. It will be the first time I have raced at night so that will be exciting. I like racing on the one-mile ovals a lot and I think the PacifiCare team can have a good race in Milwaukee. I think that it's never too early to think about the championship. Every race gives you the same number of points so every one is just as important as the next. Being tied with Paul [Tracy] and having our next race take place at The Milwaukee Mile where he is very good would make taking over the points lead after the race even better. In order to finish in front of Paul Tracy in Milwaukee, I think I am going to have to win the race. He's going to be very strong."
PATRICK CARPENTIER (#32 Player's/Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "It's going to be a new experience for me, because I can't recall ever racing under the lights before unless it was under some street lamps when I was karting a long time ago! I think it's great for everyone in the series, the fans and the drivers that we have night races in Milwaukee and Cleveland. And what better to have the first one in Milwaukee, where the track has so much history. I don't expect it to be difficult to get adjusted to night-time racing. Once you've run a few practice laps, you usually get adjusted to any conditions. I look at Milwaukee as a great opportunity to score some major points in the standings. I'm not exactly pleased with the way things have gone through the first five races, but we've been able to get more points every time out. Actually, with 34 points in the first five races, it's the best start I've had in any season, including last year, when I was in the race for the drivers' title almost to the end. I feel that a good chemistry has developed between the Team Player's crew and I with every race, and we're ready for a good one on the short oval."
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS (#2 Lilly Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "Even though we won (on the oval) in Germany, to me Milwaukee will be my first race on an oval. With the aerodynamic setup that everyone ran on the cars in Germany, it was not as much of an oval feel as the Milwaukee race will be. Milwaukee, to my point of view, is going to be my first proper oval experience because you have to lift and sometimes brake in Milwaukee. It will be more like driving at Phoenix (International Raceway) because there is no banking and you will need to brake instead of being flat on the pedal like in Germany. It will take a while for us to get up to speed there because we will need to make sure we don't have any big moments with the wall. It will be hard not to make a mistake. I think the experienced drivers are going to be very strong there, and I still need to learn a lot about ovals. You need really to take your time on an oval. It's definitely the safest way to do it. And in another hand, confidence can be your biggest enemy, so you need always to be cautious with that. Experience will be a big factor at this race so Bruno [Junqueira], Paul [Tracy], Michel [Jourdain] and all of the guys that have experience on this type of track will be strong. It will be the most challenging weekend we have had so far but the Lilly team will steadily prepare for the new experience as they have for the other races."
ADRIAN FERNANDEZ (#51 Tecate/Quaker State/Telmex Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "Racing under the lights at Milwaukee is obviously going to be something different for everyone, and I think it will be very exciting and a good show for the fans. We came in second at Milwaukee last year and should have won that race. We dominated the whole weekend and I hope that the setup we had then can transfer to what we have this year. After our bad results the last two races, we have to come back strong. I like racing at Milwaukee and it is going to be interesting to see how close we can run with the [high downforce] wing package we are using here. The whole purpose of bringing these bigger wings is to be able to pass and run closer together. If it is similar to Germany, it will be a great race."
ROBERTO MORENO (#4 Herdez Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "There are three things that are making me really look forward to returning to The Milwaukee Mile. First we are going to be racing with a lot more downforce than in previous years. For a long time we've wanted to bring back the great side by side racing that Champ Cars are known for on ovals. With the configuration we will have this year it will give the cars a lot more downforce and grip so the racing should be great. Second, The Milwaukee Mile may be an old circuit with 100 years of history but there is nothing like it in the rest of the world. We have heard that a lot of improvements have been done to the track area so I'm really looking forward to seeing all of that. Last, but not least, I'm very excited about the new challenge presented by racing at night under the lights. It should be very exciting for the fans... and for the drivers too!"
JIMMY VASSER (#12 American Spirit Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone): "Milwaukee will be my third oval race of the month, it is always a very special event. Racing under the lights there should be pretty cool, should be a great show for the fans and obviously a different experience for us. One thing that I am especially looking forward to, sleeping in, I think I can get used to this night racing thing!"
ALEX TAGLIANI (#33 Johnson Controls Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "This is a short oval where the lap times always used to be quick, but it's been a long time since the series has run road course wings on the oval in Milwaukee. It will be interesting to see how fast we will actually go there. I think the cars will be full throttle all the way around. We used to down shift one gear, but with the new wing package, I don't think we will and this is going to make for very fast racing."
DARREN MANNING (#15 RAC/Walker Racing Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone): "I think it's great that we're celebrating Milwaukee's 100th Anniversary with the series' first night race. It's going to be a great experience to see the Champ Cars run under the lights. The #15 Walker Racing team has steadily been improving over the last several races with qualifying and with finishes. I made my first top-five start in Germany and finished eighth, our fourth top-ten this season. If we keep this up, we're bound to make it on the podium soon."
RYAN HUNTER-REAY (#31 American Spirit Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone): "Milwaukee brings back bittersweet memories for me. I led nearly the whole race there last year [in Toyota Atlantic] and my engine blew, it would have been my first win of the season, so I feel like I have some unfinished business at the historic Milwaukee Mile. Hopefully I can make up for it this year. I am really excited about racing at night. I think that it should be awesome and create a great show for the fans. It makes sense to do something special at Milwaukee because it is a very unique place. We really worked on our oval set-up at Germany, the car was still not where we needed it to be by the end of the weekend, but we learned a lot and we look forward to improving at The Mile."
PATRICK LEMARIE (#27 PK Racing Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) "I don't know the track, but it seems interesting and tricky. Racing at night is going to be fun if the lights are strong enough to have good visibility. I'm really confident, because we're getting better each race, and we're going to get what we deserve soon!"
JOEL CAMATHIAS (#19 Dale Coyne Racing Ford-Cosworth/Lola/ Bridgestone): "After a few days at home in Lugano [Switzerland], I'm now ready to meet the event of Milwaukee. I think I have learned a lot at the two races in Europe, and the fact I could reduce my round time in comparison of the best ones, let me be confident for the next race. The circuit and the night will be two new elements for me, but I really look forward to race at night. It must be a fantastic experience, and my wish is to compete with the other drivers for a place in the top 12."
RODOLFO LAVIN (#5 Corona Competition Team Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone): "The Walker Racing Corona team has some momentum coming into this race. We're coming off the best weekend of our season on the German oval. And, I finished second here last year in Toyota Atlantic. All those things give me confidence for the weekend. I'm also excited for the first night race of my career. I think it's going to be a great experience for everyone - the drivers, the team and especially the fans."