CHAMPCAR/CART: Milwaukee: Team Players qualifying report

Impressive drive in Team Player's backup car lands Patrick Carpentier on row 2 for CARTt race on Milwaukee Mile. Milwaukee, Wisconsin, June 1, 2002 In what his Team Player's crew described as the most impressive qualifying performance of his ...

Impressive drive in Team Player's backup car lands Patrick Carpentier on row 2 for CARTt race on Milwaukee Mile.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin, June 1, 2002 In what his Team Player's crew described as the most impressive qualifying performance of his CART career, Patrick Carpentier climbed into the back-up car moments before Saturday's session on the Milwaukee Mile and proceeded to clock the third-fastest lap to qualify on Row 2 for Sunday's Miller Lite 225.

Carpentier had to resort to the backup after the rear of his primary car came completely around while he was running a morning practice lap. The car went off the track and was damaged as it brushed against the retaining wall. The Team Player's crew quickly got the backup ready and Carpentier took the maximum allotment of five warm-up laps before making his two qualifying runs. His first fast lap of 22.324 seconds and 166.422 mph (267.823 km/h) put him on the provisional pole until he was displaced by fellow Canadian Paul Tracy and by eventual pole-sitter Adrian Fernandez, whose lap was 22.176 seconds and 167.532 mph (269.610 km/h).

Early on in the qualifying session, Carpentier and his Team Player's teammate Alex Tagliani shared the provisional front row, after Tagliani put in a fast lap 22.511 seconds and 165.039 mph (265.598 kms/h) on the hot and rather slippery Milwaukee oval. Tagliani's time put him on the inside of Row 6 for Sunday's race, the fourth of the season in the CART series.

"I wanted to take all the warm-up laps available to me because I wanted to make sure everything was right with the backup," said Carpentier. "The backup turned out to be better than the primary. That's a credit to all the guys on Team Player's. They made the backup almost identical to the primary car but they changed the aerodynamic package at the rear and that gave it a different twitch. I'm really surprised the way things turned out, but this is great."

"The guys did a fantastic job. This is the car we've been looking for since we got here this weekend. The set-up we have now is a lot closer to the one we used in our testing sessions on the Milwaukee oval a few weeks ago. We should have a good race because from our spot on the grid we're not going to have problems passing back markers."

Tagliani recorded his fastest lap of the weekend on his first qualifying lap. He was one of six drivers who managed to grab the provisional pole doing so despite having to deal with a car that had some looseness on the slick track and some push at the exits of the corners.

"Overall, the car was better today than it has been," said Tagliani. "We've been a bit of a step behind all weekend but now it looks like we're going in the right direction. As far as our race strategy, we'll just have to see during the warm-up before the race on Sunday because weather could be a factor."

Racing fans can follow Team Player's progress at the Miller Lite 225 throughout the weekend by logging on to the team's website at www.teamplayers.ca. They can also watch the race live on The Sports Network starting at 12:30 p.m. ET on Sunday.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Patrick Carpentier , Alex Tagliani , Paul Tracy