"We'll come back strong for the next race in Milwaukee" Patrick Carpentier Nazareth, Pennsylvania, May 27, 2000 Although Team Player's drivers Patrick Carpentier and Alex Tagliani were forced to retire midway through today's 225-lap Grand...
"We'll come back strong for the next race in Milwaukee" Patrick Carpentier
Nazareth, Pennsylvania, May 27, 2000 Although Team Player's drivers Patrick Carpentier and Alex Tagliani were forced to retire midway through today's 225-lap Grand Prix of Nazareth, there some positive aspects for both of them in this fifth event of the FedEx CART Championship, which saw only 14 of 23 drivers finish the race.
Carpentier returned after a seven-week absence because of a broken left wrist and experienced no repercussions from the injury. He was running 11th and poised to pick up some points when the power began cutting out on the car, forcing him out of the race. Tagliani, meanwhile, was on the verge of moving into sixth place after an outstanding pit stop when an oil leak occurred, putting an end to a promising race.
The victory went to Gil de Ferran the 100th career win for owner Roger Penske while Mauricio Gugelmin and Kenny Brack completed the podium. There have been five different winners in the first five races of the CART season.
"The Player's crew did a great job with the set-up of the car, and it was running really well until we came out of a pit stop and the power to the engine started cutting out," Carpentier remarked, in explaining his retirement from the race. "I didn't want to spin the car so I came in, and once I did, it shut down completely. Today was just one of those things, but we'll come back strong for the next race in Milwaukee. The wrist felt fine today. I only wish I could have put in more laps to really test it."
Tagliani, who was among a group of drivers that headed to the pits once they opened following a caution near the midway mark of the 225-lap race, advanced from 14th to 8th place with two drivers ahead of him out of pit-stop sequence, he was poised to take over 6th place before retiring on lap 127.
"We aren't sure whether it was water or oil, but something started leaking and we had to bring the car in," related Tagliani. "It's too bad because just a few minutes before, my engineer, Alex Timmermans, had told me the engine was looking fine and that I only had to concern myself with fuel consumption. He thought we would probably be able to finish without another pit stop. I really believe we had a car to finish in the top 5. We may not have been able to finish the race today but with the great pit stops, it augurs well for Milwaukee."
Paul Tracy, who finished 10th today, remains atop the drivers' standings with 59 points, 11 more than Jimmy Vasser. Gil de Ferran and Roberto Moreno are tied for third with 42 points.
Round 6 of the FedEx Championship takes place next Sunday, June 4, on The Milwaukee Mile oval.