CHAMPCAR/CART: Milwaukee Saturday race notes

Good Morning from sunny Milwaukee for Qualifying Day for Sunday's Miller Lite 225! Most of the world wishes they could wake up to this kind of weather this morning -- crystal blue skies and cool spring temperatures moderated by light breezes from...

Good Morning from sunny Milwaukee for Qualifying Day for Sunday's Miller Lite 225! Most of the world wishes they could wake up to this kind of weather this morning -- crystal blue skies and cool spring temperatures moderated by light breezes from the west. Not a cloud in the sky and none predicted, a perfect day for racing. First up on the CART on-track schedule this morning is a practice session in the usual split-group format, with the faster drivers from yesterday making up Group Two. The practice sessions are followed by qualifying for Sunday's Miller Lite 225, taking the Green Flag at 1:30 p.m. and lasting 90 minutes.

GREEN FLAG waves at 9:30 a.m. to start the first session of the weekend. Firestone engineers report a track temperature of 76 degrees F. and an ambient temperature of 62 degrees F. at the start of the session.

YELLOW FLAG waves at 9:34 a.m. after #16 JOURDAIN JR. encounters a mechanical problem with the engine as he enters Turn 1 on his seventh lap. CART safety crews quickly dispatch to inspect and clean the track as JOURDAIN JR. heads to his Pit.

GREEN FLAG waves at 9:39 a.m. to resume the session.

At 9:40 a.m., 10 minutes into the Group One session, the fastest Group One driver is #20X MORENO with a speed of 171.484 mph (21.665 seconds), followed by #33 TAGLIANI (169.419 mph; 21.929 seconds) and #12 VASSER (166.990 mph; 22.248 seconds).

BLACK FLAG is shown to #96 SERVIA after CART course observers report a spray from the rear of the car while at speed on course. SERVIA subsequently pits his car to comply with the Black Flag.

At 9:50 a.m., 20 minutes into the session, the fastest Group One driver is now #8 BRACK with the fastest lap of the weekend with a speed of 175.031 mph (21.226 seconds), followed by #20X MORENO (173.892 mph; 21.365 seconds) and #18 X BLUNDELL (173.462 mph; 21.418 seconds).

At 9:54 a.m., #8 BRACK ups his top speed and the overall weekend's fastest speed to 176.780 mph (21.106 seconds) on his 18th lap. BRACK's overall fastest time yesterday was 171.342 mph (21.683 seconds).

YELLOW FLAG waves at 9:58 a.m. after CART course observers report debris in Turn 3. CART safety workers quickly dispatch and locate a hose clamp in Turn 3.

At 10 a.m., 30 minutes into the Group One session, the fastest driver is still #8 BRACK with his earlier lap of 176.780 mph (21.106 seconds), closely followed now by #20X MORENO (176.218 mph; 21.083 seconds) and #12 VASSER (175.934 mph; 21.117 seconds).

GREEN FLAG waves at 10:02 a.m. to resume the Group One session.

BLACK FLAG is shown at 10:05 a.m. to #25 GARCIA JR. after CART course observers report a spray of fluid at the rear of the car while on-course at speed. GARCIA JR. subsequently pits the car to comply with the Black Flag.

BLACK FLAG is shown at 10:09 a.m. to #96 SERVIA for a Pit Road speed violation, incurred at Pit Out. SERVIA subsequently pits his car to comply with the Black Flag drive-thru penalty.

At 10:10 a.m., 40 minutes into the Group One session, the fastest drivers and speeds remain unchanged from the 10 a.m. report.

BLACK FLAG is shown at 10:12 a.m. to #18 BLUNDELL for a Pit Road speed violation incurred at Pit Out. BLUNDELL subsequently pits his car to comply with the Black Flag drive-thru penalty.

At 10:14 a.m., #8 BRACK again ups his speed to 177.150 mph (20.972 seconds).

CHECKERED FLAG waves at 10:15 a.m. to end the Group one session with #8 BRACK the fastest with his 36th lap speed of 177.150 mph (20.972 seconds), followed by #20X MORENO (176.218 mph; 21.083 seconds) and #12 VASSER (175.934 mph; 21.117 seconds). MORENO showed the largest increase in speed this morning over yesterday's speeds with an increase of 6.225 mph, followed by TAGLIANI (6.071 mph) and BRACK (5.808 mph).

GREEN FLAG waves at 10:30 a.m. to start the Group Two practice session.

YELLOW FLAG waves at 10:36 a.m. after #6 ANDRETTI breaks traction exiting Turn 2 and spins into the wall, making hard contact with the left front against the outside wall. The car then slides to the bottom of the track and the driver exits the car under his own power. The car sustains major damage to the front and left side and ANDRETTI's crew readies the secondary car for use in the remainder of the session. ANDRETTI's secondary car was the faster of the two in yesterday's sessions by a large margin. ANDRETTI had only logged two laps and was 13th-fastest overall with a lap of 171.825 mph (21.622 seconds) when the incident occurred.

At 10:40 a.m., 10 minutes into the Group Two session and under the Yellow Flag, the fastest Group Two driver is #27 FRANCHITTI with a lap of 174.701 mph (21.266 seconds; sixth-fastest overall), followed by #32 CARPENTIER (173.697 mph; 21.389 seconds; seventh-fastest overall) and #1 MONTOYA (172.808 mph; 21.499 seconds; 11th-fastest overall). Most of the drivers had just warmed up their tires when the Group Two session was halted for the ANDRETTI incident.

GREEN FLAG waves at 10:43 a.m. to resume the Group Two session.

At 10:50 a.m., 20 minutes into the Group Two session, the fastest Group Two driver is now #17 GUGELMIN with a lap of 174.825 mph (21.251 seconds; fifth-fastest overall), followed by #7 PAPIS (174.718 mph; 21.264 seconds; sixth-fastest overall) and #27 FRANCHITTI (174.701 mph; 21.398 seconds; seventh-fastest overall).

At 10:57 a.m., #32 CARPENTIER cracks the fastest lap of the weekend with a speed of 177.438 mph (20.938 seconds) as the Canadian drives to the top of the speed board.

At 11 a.m., 30 minutes into the Group Two session, the fastest driver is still #32 CARPENTIER with his earlier lap 177.438 mph (20.938 seconds; first overall), followed by #6X ANDRETTI (176.511 mph; 21.048 seconds, 3rd-fastest overall) and #2 DE FERRAN (175.254 mph; 21.199 seconds; 6th-overall).

At 11:10 a.m., 40 minutes into the Group Two session, the fastest driver is still #32 CARPENTIER with his earlier lap of 177.438 mph (20.938 seconds; first overall), now followed by #2 DE FERRAN (177.201 mph; 20.966 seconds; second-overall) and #1 MONTOYA (176.645 mph; 21.032 seconds; fourth-overall).

At 11:11 a.m., #27 FRANCHITTI logs the fastest lap of the weekend with a speed of 177.548 mph (20.925 seconds) on his 43rd lap of the Group Two session. FRANCHITTI immediately pits his car, finished for the session.

At 11:13 a.m., #32 CARPENTIER retakes the top spot of the speed board on his 29th lap of the session with a lap of 177.710 mph (20.906 seconds).

CHECKERED FLAG waves at 11:15 a.m. to end the Group Two session with #32 CARPENTIER the fastest driver of the morning with his earlier lap of 177.710 mph (20.906 seconds), followed by #27 FRANCHITTI (177.548 mph; 20.925 seconds) and #1 MONTOYA (177.514 mph; 20.929 seconds). Group Two drivers snared the top four spots with CARPENTIER logging the largest Group Two speed increase over yesterday's sessions with a jump of 6.107 mph, followed by FRANCHITTI (5.842 mph) and MONTOYA (5.530 mph).

The morning session ends with #32 PATRICK CARPENTIER the fastest driver in his Players Forsythe Racing Team Ford/Reynard by virtue of his 177.710-mph lap. #27 DARIO FRANCHITTI winds up second in his Team KOOL Green Honda/Reynard with his 177.548-mph circuit. Third goes to #1 JUAN MONTOYA with his 177.514-mph clocking in his Target Chip Ganassi Racing Toyota/Lola. FedEx Championship Series drivers introduced 25 different cars to the track in this morning's session with secondary cars utilized by #6X ANDRETTI, #20X MORENO, #18X BLUNDELL, and #97X DA MATTA. There are 22 cars of the 25 this morning within one second of the top speed set by CARPENTIER. CART drivers logged 949 laps during this morning's sessions.

GREEN FLAG waves at 1:30 p.m. to start qualifying for Sunday's Miller Lite 225. The drivers will have up to four times by the Start/Finish line before starting their official timed lap. Firestone engineers report a track temperature of 106 degrees F. and an ambient temperature of 68 degrees F. at the start of the session. This is the hottest track temperatures seen by the Champ Car drivers this weekend.

#25 GARCIA JR.'s top speed: 164.317 mph; 22.610 seconds, second lap.

#16 JOURDAIN JR.'s top speed: 169.814 mph; 21.878 seconds, second lap.

#34 MARQUES' top speed: 173.745 mph; 21.383 seconds, second lap.

#5 NAKANO's top speed: 173.332 mph; 21.434 seconds, second lap.

#96 SERVIA's top speed: 174.570 mph; 21.282 seconds, second lap.

#97X DA MATTA's top speed: 170.877 mph; 21.742 seconds, second lap.

#18X BLUNDELL's top speed: 173.788 mph; 21.379 seconds, first lap.

#11 FITTIPALDI's top speed: 176.872 mph; 21.005 seconds, second lap.

#7 PAPIS' top speed: 175.909 mph; 21.120 seconds, second lap.

#33 TAGLIANI's top speed: 175.386 mph; 21.183 seconds, second lap.

#26 TRACY's top speed: 176.184 mph; 21.087 seconds, first lap.

#17 GUGELMIN's top speed: 175.942 mph; 21.116 seconds, second lap.

#55 KANAAN's top speed: 175.510 mph; 21.168 seconds, first lap.

#12 VASSER's top speed: 174.603 mph; 21.278 seconds, first lap.

YELLOW FLAG waves at 2:07 p.m. after VASSER breaks traction in the middle of turn 4 on his second timed qualifying lap and slides backward into the wall at the outside of the corner. The car makes hard contact with the rear left corner and snaps around, sliding to the infield on the front stretch with a brief oil fire erupting at the rear of the car. The driver exits the car under his own power and is uninjured in the incident, but the car sustains severe damage to the rear suspension.

GREEN FLAG waves at 2:20 p.m. after CART safety workers complete a clean-up of the Turn 4 area from the VASSER incident.

#20X MORENO's top speed: 176.109 mph; 21.096 seconds, first lap.

#6X ANDRETTI's top speed: 175.743 mph; 21.140 seconds, first lap.

#3 CASTRONEVES' top speed: 175.502 mph; 21.169 seconds, second lap.

#40 FERNANDEZ's top speed: 173.616 mph; 21.399 seconds, second lap.

#8 BRACK's top speed: 174.185 mph; 21.329 seconds, second lap.

#5 DE FERRAN's to speed: 177.125 mph; 20.975 seconds, second lap.

#1 MONTOYA's top speed: 177.769 mph; 20.899 seconds, second lap.

#27 FRANCHITTI's top speed: 177.303 mph; 20.954 seconds, second lap.

#32 CARPENTIER's top speed: 177.218 mph; 20.964 seconds, first lap. On the second lap, CARPENTIER's car breaks loose and slides up the Turn 4 banking until the driver regains control, just missing the Turn 4 wall. The slide cost CARPENTIER a possible pole win.

CHECKERED FLAG waves at 2:43 p.m. to end qualifying for Sunday's Miller Lite 225 as CARPENTIER crosses the Start/Finish line.

JUAN MONTOYA wins the Pole for Sunday's Miller Lite 225 by virtue of his 177.769-mph lap in his Target Chip Ganassi Racing Toyota/Lola. Saturday's pole win is the Colombian driver's 10th pole of his CART career, tying for ninth on the all-time CART Pole wins list.

DARIO FRANCHITTI will start on the outside front row after logging a 177.303-mph lap in his Team KOOL Green Honda/Reynard. This represents the best start of the 2000 season for the Scotsman, his previous best start being an 8th at Brazil.

PATRICK CARPENTIER will start 3rd tomorrow in his Player's Forsythe Racing Ford/Reynard after clocking a 177.218-mph lap in today's qualifying session. This represents the best start of the 2000 season for CARPENTIER, his previous best being a 10th-place start at Nazareth.

Toyota logs its fourth pole in the manufacturer's Champ Car career, three coming this season, all by MONTOYA.

There are 22 of 23 cars in Sunday's grid that qualified within one second of the top lap speed set by MONTOYA.

A statistical curiosity reared its numerical head in Saturday's qualifying session. Thirteen drivers qualified before JIMMY VASSER in today's session and each driver bettered his time over their respective practice times by .1 to 3.2 mph save for GARCIA JR., DA MATTA and KANAAN. After VASSER broke loose and backed into the wall at turn 4 on his second timed lap, the following nine drivers fell off their best practice times, again by .076 to 3.3 miles per hour, save for MONTOYA, who bettered his best practice lap by only .255 mph.

Quotes from today's top three qualifiers follow:

JUAN MONTOYA: "I came out this morning and the car was much better than yesterday. We made some changes before qualifying and put some wing in it and the car was really loose. The wind was really hurting us; it really picked up from this morning. I'm surprised I got the pole.

(On race day problems thus far) "How many times have we been so close? The engine isn't failing now, but it's just little things. We had a puncture, we've been very unlucky. Look at Japan. That race was mine and 20 laps from the end, did a pit stop, and had the problem there. We just haven't been lucky."

DARIO FRANCHITTI: "The car was pretty loose on the first lap, so I waited for the tire pressures to come up and then I stood on it. The second lap was much better than the first. It's nice to be up front again after such a dreadful beginning to the season."

PATRICK CARPENTIER: "It was pretty good, the wrist is OK. Yesterday we did long runs and there was no pain. It's a lot different than Nazareth, there was a lot of pain. The first lap was very good, but I had a big push on the second lap in turns 1 and 2 and again and 3 and 4. Both ends are very different, this end (turns 1 and 2) is a lot different than this one (turns 3 and 4), but it did it again. If we can keep up with these guys [Montoya and Franchitti] it'll be very good. I want to keep up with those guys."

    -CART-
 

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Chip Ganassi
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing