CHAMPCAR/CART: Milwaukee Saturday Pit Notes

FedEx Championship Series Pit Notes-Saturday, June 5, 1999 * Good Morning from sunny Milwaukee for Qualifying Day at the Milwaukee Mile! Unlike yesterday's off and on showers, today has started out with bright sunshine and a warm...

FedEx Championship Series Pit Notes-Saturday, June 5, 1999

* Good Morning from sunny Milwaukee for Qualifying Day at the Milwaukee Mile! Unlike yesterday's off and on showers, today has started out with bright sunshine and a warm breeze flowing in from the second Turn. Today's CART on-track activities start with a 75-minute practice session taking the Green Flag at 9 a.m. followed by the start of qualifying for the Miller Lite 225 at 1:15 p.m. * GREEN FLAG waves at 9 a.m. to start the morning practice session. Firestone engineers report a track temperature of 76 degrees F. and an ambient temperature of 76 degrees F. at the start of the session. * At 9:10 a.m., 10 minutes into the session, the fastest driver is #27 FRANCHITTI with a lap of 167.487 mph (22.182), followed by #17 GUGELMIN (165.267 mph; 22.480 seconds) and #26 TRACY (164.834 mph; 22.539 seconds). FRANCHITTI comes from 17th-fastest overall yesterday to the top of the board in the first 10 minutes this morning. * At 9:20 a.m., 20 minutes into the session, the fastest driver is #27 FRANCHITTI with a lap of 167.487 mph (22.182), followed by #17 GUGELMIN (165.635 mph; 22.430 seconds) and #26 TRACY (164.834 mph; 22.539 seconds). * At 9:30 a.m., 30 minutes into the session, the fastest driver is #26 TRACY with a lap of 168.459 mph (22.054 seconds), followed by #9X CASTRO-NEVES (167.510 mph; 22.179 seconds) and #27 FRANCHITTI (167.487 mph; 22.182 seconds). * At 9:40 a.m., 40 minutes into the session, the fastest drivers and speeds remain unchanged from the 9:30 a.m. report. Halfway through the session, there are a few notable improvements in speed from yesterday's clockings. #5 de FERRAN is seventh fastest after a 30th ranking from yesterday. FRANCHITTI is now third-fastest after his 17th ranking yesterday and #40 FERNANDEZ is up to tenth from his 23rd-quickest posting yesterday. * At 9:50 a.m., 50 minutes into the session, the fastest drivers and speeds remain unchanged from the 9:40 a.m. report. * The BLACK FLAG is shown at 9:53 a.m. to #11 FITTIPALDI for a Pit Road speed violation. FITTIPALDI subsequently pits the car to comply with the Black Flag. * The BLACK FLAG is shown at 9:57 a.m. to #40 FERNANDEZ for a Pit Road speed violation. FERNANDEZ subsequently pits the car to comply with the Black Flag. * At 10 a.m., one hour into the session, the fastest driver of the session and the weekend is #9X CASTRO-NEVES with a lap of 169.884 mph (21.869 seconds), followed by #26 TRACY (168.459 mph; 22.054 seconds) and #27 FRANCHITTI (168.101 mph; 22.101 seconds). * The BLACK FLAG is shown at 10:02 a.m. to #7 PAPIS for a Pit Road speed violation. PAPIS subsequently pits his car to comply with the Black Flag. * At 10:10 a.m., 70 minutes into the session, the fastest drivers and speeds remain unchanged from the 10 a.m. report. * The BLACK FLAG is shown at 10:11 a.m. to #10 HEARN for a Pit Road speed violation. HEARN subsequently pits the car to comply with the Black Flag penalty. * CHECKERED FLAG waves at 10:15 a.m. to end the session with #9X CASTRO-NEVES the fastest driver with his earlier lap of 169.884 mph (21.869 seconds), followed by #26 TRACY (168.459 mph; 22.054 seconds) and #27 FRANCHITTI (168.101 mph; 22.101 seconds). FedEx Championship Series drivers introduced 27 different cars to the track in this morning's session with the top 20 cars within one second in lap times of the fast lap set by CASTRO-NEVES. Secondary cars were utilized by #9X CASTRO-NEVES, #99X MOORE, #20X JONES, #5X de FERRAN, #19X JOURDAIN Jr., and #6X ANDRETTI. CART drivers logged a total of 1368 incident-free laps during the session. * You can call it the most competitive racing series in the world, call it the most talented racing series in the world, and call it the safest racing series in the world. So far, the talented field of Champ Car drivers has completed 3635 laps this weekend with only one non-contact spin by #8 HERTA. Going back to St. Louis last week, the CART drivers have logged 7299 practice laps on short ovals with no contact and only two spins! * GREEN FLAG waves at 1:15 p.m. to start qualifying for Sunday's Miller Lite 225. The drivers will have up to four times by the flag stand to start their official lap time. Firestone engineers report a track temperature of 111 degrees F. and an ambient temperature of 89 degrees F. at the start of the session. * #34 VITOLO's top speed: 157.164 mph; 23.639 seconds, first lap. * #16 S. HATTORI's top speed: 162.314 mph; 22.889 seconds, second lap. * #24 PRUETT's top speed: 164.601 mph; 22.571 seconds, first lap. * # 2 UNSER Jr.'s top speed: 163.435 mph; 22.732 seconds, second lap. * #22 GORDON's top speed: 162.363 mph; 22.882 seconds, first lap. * #44 KANAAN's top speed: 164.135 mph; 22.635 seconds, first lap. * #40 FERNANDEZ's top speed: 164.411 mph; 22.597 seconds, second lap. * #19X JOURDAIN Jr.'s top speed: 164.063 mph; 22.645 seconds, first lap. * #5X de FERRAN's top speed: 164.564 mph; 22.576 seconds, second lap. * # 8 HERTA's top speed: 161.748 mph; 22.969 seconds, second lap. * #10 HEARN's top speed: 164.237 mph; 22.621 seconds, first lap. * #20X JONES's top speed: 164.849 mph; 22.537 seconds, first lap. JONES brushes the wall with the right rear tire coming out of Turn 4 on his last qualifying lap. The car does not appear to sustain any damage in the incident. * #25 da MATTA's top speed: 166.706 mph; 22.286 seconds, first lap. * #18 MORENO's top speed: 165.798 mph; 22.408 seconds, second lap. * # 6 ANDRETTI's top speed: 165.739 mph; 22.416 seconds, second lap. * #36 BARRON's top speed: 165.776 mph; 22.411 seconds, second lap. * #17 GUGELMIN's top speed: 165.186 mph; 22.491 seconds, first lap. * # 7 PAPIS's top speed: 164.491 mph; 22.586 seconds, second lap. * #12 VASSER's top speed: 168.200 mph; 22.088 seconds, first lap. VASSER sits on the pole with his lap at this point of the qualifying session. * #11 FITTIPALDI's top speed: 165.105 mph; 22.502 seconds, first lap. * # 4 MONTOYA's top speed: 166.960 mph; 22.252 seconds, first lap. * #33 CARPENTIER's top speed: 166.295 mph; 22.341 seconds, second lap. * #27 FRANCHITTI's top speed: 167.843 mph; 22.135 seconds, first lap. * #99X MOORE's top speed: 167.858 mph; 22.133 seconds, second lap. * #26 TRACY's top speed: 166.818 mph; 22.271 seconds, second lap. * #9X CASTRO-NEVES's top speed: 169.404 mph: 21.931 seconds, first lap. CASTRO-NEVES's lap is good enough to unseat VASSER and win the pole for Sunday's Miller Lite 225! * HELIO CASTRO-NEVES wins his first pole of his FedEx Championship Series career. * CASTRO-NEVES's pole winning effort also represents chassis manufacturer Lola's first pole position since ANDRE RIBEIRO's pole at Toronto in 1996. The last Lola FedEx Championship Series victory was by MICHAEL ANDRETTI at Vancouver in 1996. This also represents CASTRO-NEVES's fourth top-four start of the season. This is also HOGAN RACING's second career pole as FRANCHITTI won the pole for Hogan in 1997 at Toronto. This is the second pole of 1999 season for Mercedes and the sixth pole in seven races for Firestone. * JIMMY VASSER, last year's Miller Lite 200, lines up second on Sunday's grid by virtue of his 168.200 mph, 22.088 second-lap. This represents VASSER's best start of the 1999 season as well as his best start since a second-place effort at California Speedway in 1998. * GREG MOORE, the 1997 Miller Lite 200 winner, is third on the grid with a qualifying lap of 168.200 mph (22.088 seconds). MOORE logs his second top-three start in the last two years. MOORE started second last year. MOORE has also started in the top ten in 14 of his last 15 oval-track starts. * Quotes from today's top three qualifiers follow: * HELIO CASTRO-NEVES, Hogan Motor Leasing, Inc. Mercedes Reynard: "I'm very happy for [team owner] Carl Hogan, because he is the one who gave me this opportunity. Basically, our car has been very fast and had a very good setup on ovals, and we've been working very hard as a team to get to this point. Today, I'm going to enjoy this moment. I think I'm the happiest driver in the world right now, but tomorrow is a very important day as well. I have a lot of confidence in my car and a lot of confidence in my team, we just have to be patient and smart tomorrow because it's a long race and this series is so competitive." * JIMMY VASSER, Target Honda Reynard: "We've had a tough weekend. We came off the truck really good with a 22.2 [second lap time] and basically continued to dial the car out all weekend, so for qualifying, we just went back to our setup off the truck. It's nice to see you folks [the media] again. I haven't been to one of these parties all season long. But I'm confident that we're starting to turn things around. The big picture is the championship, and the championship is won by points. Over time, we've been pretty consistent, but while I've had one opportunity to win a race this year, we've had many more opportunities to score points and that's been kind of disappointing. But we keep our heads up and keep working hard. There are 14 races to go; we're not out of it by any means." * GREG MOORE., Player's/Indeck Mercedes Reynard: "Trying to get a good lap and trying to get a good time [during practice] was really difficult, because it was an accordion out there. But we tested great here two and a half weeks ago, and all in all, we've been improving on our short oval setup, so we feel good about our chances for tomorrow." * There are 24 cars out of the 26-car field within one second on the pole-winning effort by CASTRO-NEVES. * Toyota celebrates with two cars in the top ten starting spots for the first time in Champ Car history. CRISTIANO da MATTA's seventh-place effort coupled with ALEX BARRON's tenth-position starting spot earned the honor for Toyota. In addition, BARRON's run is the best starting spot for Dan Gurney's All American Racers team since the team's return to Champ Car competition in 1996. * This concludes the Pit Notes for today from the Milwaukee Mile. We'll see you tomorrow morning for the traditional 30-minute warm-up at 10 a.m. followed by the Green Flag for the Miller Lite 225 at 2 p.m. Have a safe evening!

Source: CART.com

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Dan Gurney