CHAMPCAR/CART: PacWest Fontana race notes and quotes

Race recap: The pit strategy for PacWest heading into this 500-mile marathon was to conserve fuel and save tires early. Dixon and Gugelmin were just cruising when their luck began to fail. On lap 154, Gugelmin suffered a mechanical failure on...

Race recap: The pit strategy for PacWest heading into this 500-mile marathon was to conserve fuel and save tires early. Dixon and Gugelmin were just cruising when their luck began to fail. On lap 154, Gugelmin suffered a mechanical failure on the main straight and his race was over in a cloud of smoke. Later, with five laps to go, Dixon was climbing the leader board fast, and running in fifth position, when he made contact with the turn four wall and came to rest in the grass at the entry to pit lane. Dixon was not injured in the accident, but his racecar was. His race was also over early.

SCOTT DIXON - # 18 NEXTEL POWERWARE PANASONIC PACWEST TOYOTA
Starting position: 10th Finishing position: 17th Laps: 215

"The CART Safety Team guy's said that I was smoking coming out of turn three and that I may have cut a tire," said Dixon. "I don't know what happened, but I got loose and started drifting towards the wall. The lap before my crash, I lost a little momentum on the track and I was just starting to get back in the groove. I definitely think we would have had enough power to get us back up to the lead pack. I don't know if I could have won the race, but it (the finish) would have been interesting. I'm fine."

MAURICIO GUGELMIN - # 17 NEXTEL PACWEST TOYOTA
Starting position: 15th Finishing position: 20th Laps: 154

"We were conserving fuel and taking good care of our tires all day," said Gugelmin. "We were basically just cruising along until the last stop when we were going to go racing. I think I was making over 3 miles-per-gallon, so we probably would have been in pretty good shape. We were looking good and doing exactly as planned when the car started smoking down the main straight. Its too bad things didn't work out as we had hoped."

-PacWest-

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Series IndyCar