Robby Gordon ...
Robby Gordon #22 Johns Manville/Panasonic/Menards Toyota-Reynard
Qualifying Notes/Quotes - Saturday, April 17, 1999 TOYOTA GRAND PRIX OF LONG BEACH Round 3 of 20 on the CART FedEx Championship Series At Long Beach, California
Robby Gordon and the #22 Johns Manville/Panasonic/Menards Toyota-Reynard will start from 21st on the grid after a frustrating second day of practice and qualifying for Sunday's Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. The morning practice session ended a half-hour early for Team Gordon, which rolled the #22 car into the garage in a search for mechanical gremlins. In the final qualifying session, Gordon turned a fast lap of 1 minute, 2.671 seconds, an average of 104.776 mph over the 11-turn, 1.85-mile temporary road course overlooking Long Beach Harbor. Tony Kanaan, the 1998 CART FedEx Championship Series Rookie of the Year, earned his first-ever pole in 1:01.109 (107.454 mph). The green flag for Sunday's featured event falls at 4 p.m. EDT. It will air live on ABC-TV. Today's qualifying show will be aired on ESPN2 at 1 a.m. EDT.
ROBBY GORDON - "What this all comes down to is time ... how much quality time you can spend getting your car right. Essentially, you can call this our second day of winter testing because this is only the second day we've ever run this car on a road course. It hurts to lose 30 minutes of track time, like we did this morning. We came out for qualifying about where we left the practice session this morning. Things are so incredibly competitive out here, it's essential that you get the most out of each and every session on the track. Looking ahead to the race, there's definitely more left in the car. But it sure would've been nice to work on the things that needed working on out on the track today."
MIKE HELD (Co-Owner) - "The 'Magic of Motegi' seems like a distant memory, doesn't it? Then again, we started 14th there and it was less than a lap before we worked our way to fourth and ran with the leaders most of the rest of the way. You can't expect that to happen on this tight street course. So the key will be to run a good, steady race and keep it off the walls. It's a little disappointing to be 21st on the grid, but what do you expect? We've been playing catch-up since we took delivery of these Reynards a week-and-a-half before (the season opener at) Homestead. Meanwhile, if you look closely at the starting grid, the top 10 cars all spent significant testing time testing at Sebring, which has a lot of the characteristics of this street track."
KENNY ANDERSON (Race Engineer) - "We're not totally unhappy with where we are. We're just disappointed we're not further up on the grid. I'd say we're about where you'd expect to be for a team that hasn't tested. I think we should be alright in the race, provided we stay out of trouble. Typically, this race has its share of incidents. The key will be to not get caught in the wrong place at the wrong time."