CHAMPCAR/CART: Nazareth Player''s Racing qualifying notes

Nazareth, Pennsylvania, April 8, 2000 Maintaining their poise and composure on the wind-whipped Nazareth Speedway oval, Team Player's drivers Patrick Carpentier and Alex Tagliani qualified on the fifth and seventh row respectively for Sunday's ...

Nazareth, Pennsylvania, April 8, 2000 Maintaining their poise and composure on the wind-whipped Nazareth Speedway oval, Team Player's drivers Patrick Carpentier and Alex Tagliani qualified on the fifth and seventh row respectively for Sunday's Bosch Spark Plug Grand Prix.

Carpentier clocked a fast lap of 19.554 seconds (174.164 miles per hour) for the 10th spot on the grid, while Tagliani's time of 19.695 seconds was good for 13th place. The pole position went to Juan Montoya, his second straight pole at Nazareth. Christian Fittipaldi shares the front row of the grid, while Helio Castro-Neves and Paul Tracy fill up row 2.

The gusty winds that buffeted the oval were a factor throughout the day. Carpentier, who is using the backup Player's Reynard because the primary car was damaged during Friday's practice session, recorded his best lap in his first attempt. He ran into some difficulty on his second lap.

"I came real close to losing it on my second lap, because I could feel the car starting to get away from me," he explained. "There was a burst of wind and that caused the car to wiggle quite a bit. The backup car is not as stable as the primary car, so I had a bit of a tough time out there."

Carpentier, however, was able to make the best of some adverse circumstances and the veteran driver said he and the Player's crew will "make good use of the warmup session we have before the race tomorrow."

Tagliani also had to cope with a stiff breeze while qualifying. At one point, when the rookie driver was coming out of corner 3, he could feel the car practically lifting off the ground. But Tagliani remained cool under fire and put himself in a position to be a factor in Sunday's race.

Looking ahead to the race the second of his CART career, after a ninth-place effort in the opener at Homestead two weeks ago, Tagliani said he expects it will require some adjustments.

"Because the track here is shorter than the one at Homestead, I expect there will be a lot more traffic to contend with," he explained. "But I'm confident I'll be up to the challenge."

Racing fans can watch the 225-lap Bosch Spark Plug Grand Prix of Nazareth live on The Sports Network at 1 p.m. (ET) on Sunday.

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Patrick Carpentier , Alex Tagliani , Christian Fittipaldi , Paul Tracy