CHAMPCAR/CART: Portland: Player's race report

Second straight top-five finish propels Team Player'S driver Patrick Carpentier to sixth place overall in CART standings. Portland, Oregon, June 16, 2002 After gaining six positions following a terrific start, Team Player's driver Patrick ...

Second straight top-five finish propels Team Player'S driver Patrick Carpentier to sixth place overall in CART standings.

Portland, Oregon, June 16, 2002 After gaining six positions following a terrific start, Team Player's driver Patrick Carpentier ended Sunday's race in similar fashion by jumping from 12th to sixth in the championship standings following his fifth-place finish in the G.I. Joe's 200 at Portland International Raceway.

Following three aborted attempts to get the race under green, the Canadian driver who started 13th on the grid stayed on the inside lane of the opening Festival Curves and took advantage of the ensuing logjam to move up with the leaders. From that point on, he never looked back and as a result, Carpentier has now finished in the top-5 in three of the last four events.

"I made a point during the morning warm-up of trying different lines on the approach to corner 1 and I found that the inside worked best, but I was amazed that I was able to get by virtually uncontested," said Carpentier, who picked up 10 points to bring his season total to 38. I'm happy with the result because the car was loose for most of the race and it was a pretty trying weekend in terms of set ups, but we managed to score more points than I could've have expected."

His teammate Alex Tagliani wasn't as fortunate, although his race also got off to a flying start as he jumped to third place, a position he held for 26 laps. However, on his first stop, a wing nut on the front left wheel wasn't completely tightened ,which meant a costly return to the pits for Tagliani, who fell two laps behind the leaders.

"It's hard to take because I believe it cost us a chance to finish on the podium, but I come away from this race secure in the knowledge that we had one of the fastest cars on the track (he was fastest during warm-up) and that Team Player's will be a force to be reckoned with the rest of the way," said Tagliani, who never lost in focus and managed to collect a point by finishing 12th, one lap behind the leaders.

Race winner Cristiano da Matta of Brazil increased his lead in the drivers' standings to 20 points (74-54), ahead of Sunday's second-place finisher, countryman Bruno Junqueira and Mexico's Michel Jourdain. Scotland Dario Franchitti finished third to move to fourth place in the championship.

-player's

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Bruno Junqueira , Patrick Carpentier , Alex Tagliani , Dario Franchitti , Cristiano da Matta , Michel Jourdain