CHAMPCAR/CART: So close for Andretti at Gateway



"We didn't have a great car but then again a lot of people didn't have  
a great car.  We were running with (Roberto) Moreno and Oriol (Servia)  
on the second stint but unfortunately the last set of tires were not    
good and we lost ground.  They finished in the top five but we dropped  
back.  It has been a tough weekend to get the car right.  We are hoping 
for a better finish in the Texaco/Havoline Grand Prix of Houston."      

MICHAEL ANDRETTI , # 6 Big Kmart/Texaco/Havoline Ford-Cosworth Lola FINISHING POSITION: 20th

Andretti's car suffered a valve train failure, which induced  
a catastrophic lower end engine failure. Almost scored back-to-back     
victories after winning in 1999.  Has led the race in each of his four  
CART starts here.  Will be his fourth start at Gateway.  Has led every  
CART event held at the track.  Won the event in 1999 after starting     
11th and leading 91 laps.  Led 133 laps in the 1998 event but finished  
second.  Led 66 laps in the inaugural event in 1997 before a wing       
problem dropped him to an 11th place finish.                            

"We were one car shy of lapping the field and that would have been a great boost for the team. I lost power and just tried to hang and then the thing just blew up. We built a sizeable lead and that went away over the next few laps after we noticed the problem. It is a huge, huge, huge loss because of the Championship. This one is right up there as one of the biggest losses in my career because of the Championship. We were lucky that Paul dropped out and that Gil didn't score too many points. A win would have put us in the lead though and that hurts. The guys did a great job today. It would have been a real tribute to them to win this one after a bad stint but I guess we're snake bitten right now."

Mario Andretti on the radio to Michael as he stopped on course:  "Nobody
drives like you do.  You did a great job today."

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Mario Andretti