As always in Chicago, passing was at a premium and the race seemed to be decided in the pits. Gugelmin and his Nextel crew had a tough first stop, but really came together as the event wore on. Unfortunately, Mauricio was the victim of a ...
As always in Chicago, passing was at a premium and the race seemed to be decided in the pits. Gugelmin and his Nextel crew had a tough first stop, but really came together as the event wore on. Unfortunately, Mauricio was the victim of a hit-and-run on lap 200, and his spin (without contacting the wall) dropped him back five laps. He finished in 22nd position. Dixon played the fuel mileage game once again and led this race after 84 laps. When he finally pitted out of sequence with the others, his crew gave him an excellent stop. Scott needed a late pit stop on lap 205 for fuel and tires to go the distance, and finished his race in 4th position - moving him up to sixth in the point's championship battle.
SCOTT DIXON - # 18 POWERWARE PANASONIC PACWEST TOYOTA
"This was a good result, but not the one we were looking for," said Dixon. "I got really loose after running on one set of tires for most of the second half of the race. I was hoping we could go the distance without new tires but when the late yellow came out, and my car was getting worse, I knew we needed stickers for the last run. I needed the front end of my car to be a bit stronger to make a run at de Ferran. We could have used a few more yellows, but we got huge fuel mileage out of my Toyota and that really helped us a lot. Overall I'm very happy because we were able to secure another 12 points. Consistency will be the key down the stretch, and every point will count."
MAURICIO GUGELMIN - # 17 NEXTEL PACWEST TOYOTA
"We had a long first pit stop and lost a few positions, but I though we fought back pretty good," said Gugelmin. "Again, PacWest gave me a great pit strategy and we were able to save a lot of fuel. We ran about 100 laps on one set of tires, and after such a long run we started getting really loose. Our next stop was under green conditions, and when I left the pit I went wide in turn one and my sticker tires got dirty. Just after that, I was hit and sent into a spin and my race was over. We continued, but we didn't come away with any points - so it wasn't a good result for us."