CHAMPCAR/CART: Team Player's ready for Michigan endurance test

Pit work and engine reliability are key ingredients to success Brooklyn, Michigan, July 20, 2000 Coming off strong performances last Sunday in Toronto, Canadian drivers Patrick Carpentier and Alex Tagliani will be looking to continue their ...

Pit work and engine reliability are key ingredients to success

Brooklyn, Michigan, July 20, 2000 Coming off strong performances last Sunday in Toronto, Canadian drivers Patrick Carpentier and Alex Tagliani will be looking to continue their climb up the standings as the CART series begins the second half of the season with the first 500-mile event on the schedule at Michigan International Speedway.

Second in the rookie standings with 36 points, Tagliani will get his first taste of racing wheel-to-wheel at speeds in excess of 240 mph, but he seems undaunted by the challenge that awaits him.

"We had a good test here about a month ago when I ran laps that matched last year's pole time and Team Player's always seems to be strong on superspeedways, so it gives me a lot of confidence going in to the weekend," said Tagliani, who trails Sweden's Kenny Brack by 30 points for top rookie honours.

"Conditioning is a key factor if you want a shot at winning a 500-mile race and I believe that will play to my strengths because my training regimen has been largely focused on trying to build stamina and maintaining a high level of concentration over long periods," added Tagliani, whose best result of the season came at Long Beach with a fourth-place finish.

His teammate Patrick Carpentier is equally excited about his prospects for the Michigan 500 as he goes for his maiden victory in the CART series, after collecting an impressive total of 53 points in the seven events he has entered so far this season.

"Racing at Michigan is like running a marathon," said Carpentier, who is 10th in the overall standings, only 20 points back of fellow Canadian Paul Tracy in fourth. "It's always a challenge in terms of race management, because you need to pace yourself to be among the leaders at the end. Pit work will also be extremely important with 7 or 8 stops during the race and I know the Player's crew will be up to the task."

"So far this season, it seems that our cars get better over the length of a race, so it wouldn't surprise me at all to find ourselves at the front when the checkered flag is waved after 250 laps. It will be my 60th start in the CART series and I think I've waited long enough for that first win. It happened to Tony (Kanaan) here last year and I'm hoping that my turn will come this weekend."

Racing fans can watch the Michigan 500 live on The Sports Network at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday and track the progress of Carpentier and Tagliani all weekend long by logging on to our website at www.teamplayers.ca

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Patrick Carpentier , Alex Tagliani , Kenny Brack