CHAMPCAR/CART: Milwuakee Pre-race Quotes

JUAN MONTOYA (Target Toyota Lola), on the momentum generated by his victory in Sunday's Indianapolis 500: "We had an unbelievable win at Indy and it's given our team a lot of confidence. We are starting to become a family and we're really racing...

JUAN MONTOYA (Target Toyota Lola), on the momentum generated by his victory in Sunday's Indianapolis 500: "We had an unbelievable win at Indy and it's given our team a lot of confidence. We are starting to become a family and we're really racing well. I couldn't believe how quick we were in the pits on Sunday. We've had some small problems this year, but we showed how good we can be. Everyone is anxious to have a CART win this year and give Toyota its first victory. We are really racing well and I have a good feeling about the Milwaukee race."

PAUL TRACY (KOOL Honda Reynard) remembering last year's win in the Miller Lite 225: "Last year's victory at Milwaukee was one of the more memorable wins of my career. It was my first win for Team KOOL Green, the first win with Tony Cicale as my engineer and it was the beginning of a streak of consistent finishes [12 top-fives in the past 19 events] that have us leading the championship today. We've had a good start to the season but we can't afford to get complacent. We've got a lot of races coming up and we need to score points to stay ahead of the other guys. Another victory in Milwaukee would be sweet. I've always enjoyed racing at The Mile. It's one of the better tracks for passing and racing. With its wide and flat corners you can make a move on either the inside or outside, which makes for some pretty wide-open racing."

MICHAEL ANDRETTI, (Big Kmart/Texaco/Havoline Ford Lola), on his long-term run of success at The Milwaukee Mile: "Both Newman/Haas [Racing] and myself have had a great track record at Milwaukee. I won a couple of races for Kraco and then won three for Newman/Haas. I just love the race track. I think it's a great race track to drive and I have fun there. It seems to suit my style. What it's going to take to win another [race] there is just finishing the race without a problem. If we don't have any problems, I think we will be right up front. The races are always pretty exciting there because there is always something going on. I'm hoping that the new money going into the race track will help solidify a date for the race for many years to come, because I love going to Milwaukee. The entire Big Kmart/Texaco/Havoline team has started to build some momentum by scoring some points and we plan to keep it up in Milwaukee. It has really hurt us that we have been starting so far back. Track position is hard to make up in the races with the competitive field. We need to start qualifying better so we can make the job a little easier on ourselves during the race."

JIMMY VASSER (Target Toyota Lola), on the excitement of competing in back-to-back events at Nazareth and Indianapolis last weekend: "This past weekend was a pretty amazing experience, but I think we're looking forward to getting back to a more regular routine. I was hoping for a little better than seventh in Nazareth and Indy, but I gained a few points on [championship leader] Paul [Tracy], so that was a positive. I'd say the learning process is pretty much complete with the new car, so now it's time to put all that knowledge to use. I've had some success at Milwaukee in the past, and I'm hoping another good race here can get me even closer to the points lead."

CHRISTIAN FITTIPALDI (Big Kmart/Route 66 Ford Lola), on the success of the Newman/Haas Racing Team at The Milwaukee Mile: "Newman/Haas has obviously always had a very good setup in Milwaukee. Michael [Andretti] had three wins and Nigel [Mansell] and Paul [Tracy] managed to win one for the team as well. After Paul left, Michael only won once more and then I started racing with him. There was a period of time where Newman/Haas was very strong in Milwaukee. Things have changed a little bit in the way you run the cars nowadays, but there is no reason why we shouldn't be competitive again this year. We were very strong for qualifying in Nazareth and I was very happy with the car there so I don't see why we couldn't go on to Milwaukee and be very competitive again. I enjoy racing on the short oval tracks. I finished sixth in the race last year, and managed to score a little bit more points and that was good for the championship at that point. The Big Kmart/Route 66 car has been consistently scoring points but they have not been the big amount of points we are shooting for."

[On performing well at Milwaukee and Road America, where team co-owner Carl Haas is the promoter] "I wouldn't say there is more pressure in Milwaukee, but it's like Elkhart last year. Carl is involved in both tracks and they are close enough that the entire team can come to the race. Even the shop-based guys and the test team. We had basically a dream weekend, and hopefully we can do it again. Obviously, everywhere we go where Carl is involved in the track, it's very nice if we can have a great race there and that is what we are striving for. But as far as a matter of extra pressure, I don't really see that."

GIL de FERRAN (Marlboro Honda Reynard), on continuing his recent success on one-mile ovals at The Milwaukee Mile this weekend: "All signs are positive for us going into the Milwaukee race. While I haven't tested at the track this season, my teammate Helio (Castroneves) had a good test there in April. I think we have a decent set-up going into the weekend since our Nazareth set-up should translate fairly well to Milwaukee. If you put that together with our most recent finish [a victory last Saturday at Nazareth, the 100th in the history of Penske Racing], I think it bodes well for Marlboro Team Penske this weekend."

HELIO CASTRONEVES (Marlboro Honda Reynard), on his enjoyment of The Milwaukee Mile: "I love racing at The Milwaukee Mile. It's a great track and a special place for me because I captured the first pole of my Champ Car career there last year. I think we've got a good set-up for short ovals and I'm very comfortable racing on this type of track. Marlboro Team Penske brings a lot of momentum into the race after getting Roger's (Penske) 100th win in Nazareth, so we're looking forward to a good weekend."

DARIO FRANCHITTI (KOOL Honda Reynard), looking to turn his season around at this weekend's Miller Lite 225: "Obviously, things could be going better for us. But, having said that, I feel that we'll be competitive this weekend in Milwaukee. We've run fairly well there in the past and had a decent test there last week. Team KOOL Green have given me a good car and we've got great personnel on the team, so it's not going to take much to get things turned around. I'm confident the results will come if we just work smart and stay focused. Milwaukee is a great track to race on in a Champ Car because it's so wide there's a couple of different lines and you've got lots of room for passing."

PATRICK CARPENTIER (Player's Forsythe Racing Team Ford Reynard), on the tradition of The Milwaukee Mile: "It's always a special feeling when you're racing on The Milwaukee Mile because the track is so unique, with such a sense of history. You just have to look at the great names in motor racing who have driven and won on this track to realize it has plenty of tradition. It would be great for the Player's team if we can duplicate the pole we won there two years ago. Getting back to a normal race weekend routine of practice, qualifying and then the race is going to be good. I couldn't really put my wrist to the test in Nazareth last weekend because we were on the track just that one day for the race. Still, I managed to put in more than 100 laps and I think the wrist held up quite well. I expect the fast Milwaukee oval, with its tight turns, will put my wrist to the test, which is good because I want to put in as many laps as possible before the first street course of the season in Detroit." ALEX TAGLIANI (Player's Forsythe Racing Team Ford Reynard), on regaining the momentum he enjoyed at the start of the FedEx Championship Series season: "I've said since the start of the season that there are going to be times when the going gets a bit rough and you have to be able to deal with the adversity. The last two races have been tough but there were still quite a few positives, especially the tremendous pit-stop work by the Player's team at Nazareth that put us right in contention. It augurs well for the race in Milwaukee. I want to reward the Player's crew for the great work they're doing in giving me a competitive car, and I've got my sights set on recapturing the lead in the CART rookie standings. We've seen so far this season that anything can happen during a race. We've had five different winners in the five races and strategy and reliability have been big factors in the outcome."

TONY KANAAN (Hollywood/Mo Nunn Racing Mercedes Reynard), on the fortuitous timing of the Miller Lite 225: "Milwaukee is happening at the best time possible for this team. We're coming off of my best finish yet on a one-mile oval [eighth at Nazareth last Saturday] and the first thing you want to do after an experience like that is to get back in the car and do it again. We'll get our chance this weekend, that's for sure. Other than the fact that it's a one-mile oval, Milwaukee is an entirely different kind of track than Nazareth. But, like Nazareth, it's so full of history. It's a flat track, so you really have to feel comfortable in the race car, or else you'll go backwards in a hurry. It's another place, like Nazareth, where I haven't done too well my first two seasons. But Morris [Nunn, team owner] definitely has a way to make me feel comfortable in the race car, so that could only lead to good things this weekend. I'm very much looking forward to it."

LUIZ GARCIA JR. (Hollywood/Embratel/Tang/Banco Sofisa Mercedes Reynard), on the challenges of The Milwaukee Mile: "I really like The Milwaukee Mile, but I think it's getting too small for the cars. It's really tight and you have to be extra-careful around there. We tested there prior to Nazareth and had a good test run. We at least have a good idea of what [setup] we are going to run."


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Series IndyCar
Drivers Mo Nunn
Teams Team Penske , Team Penske