CHAMPCAR/CART: Motegi Newman/Hass qualifying notes

Under cloudy skies as well as cooler and windier conditions, the teams and drivers tried to anticipate the right setup needed due to the change in weather from the morning session. Christian Fittipaldi ( ...

Under cloudy skies as well as cooler and windier conditions, the teams and drivers tried to anticipate the right setup needed due to the change in weather from the morning session. Christian Fittipaldi (#11 Big Kmart/Route 66 Ford/Lola) qualified 6th based on his lap time of 26.536 seconds (210.145 mph).

"I was expecting more, but there is only one point given today. Tomorrow is what is important," Fittipaldi said. "We just weren't aggressive enough with our changes. The temperature dropped a lot and we weren't expecting it. We could have been 3rd-quickest. We didn't have enough for pole, but third place was possible. Part of the game is guessing and we missed it a little bit.

"The race will not be easy," Fittipaldi added. "It is definitely important to finish here and it is a long race. I like coming here so it would be nice to have a good finish. It would be good to bring the Big Kmart/Route 66 car to victory lane. I think the race will be a little different tomorrow with the different wing. I think there will be definitely more tow."

Newman/Haas teammate Michael Andretti (#6 Big Kmart/Texaco/Havoline Ford/Lola) was just a tick behind his teammate at 26.657 seconds (209.191 mph), netting himself a starting position of 8th. Andretti had turned a fast lap of 26.493s. during the morning practice but was unable to improve on that time for qualifying.

"The car was pushing and was also loose," Andretti said. "It's the same story for us in qualifying. We have a good racecar but are missing a little in qualifying. I just can't run the car neutral enough in qualifying for my driving style. The car is good in the race, but it would be nice to start up front.

"We have traditionally run well here so I am looking forward to the race," Andretti said. "The Big Kmart/Texaco/Havoline team is really concentrating on a strong finish and we have a good shot at this one."

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Michael Andretti , Christian Fittipaldi