VASSER QUALIFIES FOURTH TO LEAD TOYOTA AT MID-OHIO - Jimmy Vasser (Visteon Toyota) registered a season-best fourth in qualifying to lead Toyota for Sunday's Miller Lite 200. His previous best 2001 start were fifths at Milwaukee and Detroit in...
VASSER QUALIFIES FOURTH TO LEAD TOYOTA AT MID-OHIO - Jimmy Vasser (Visteon Toyota) registered a season-best fourth in qualifying to lead Toyota for Sunday's Miller Lite 200. His previous best 2001 start were fifths at Milwaukee and Detroit in June. The start is the best of the season for Patrick Racing.
THREE TOYOTAS TO START IN TOP-10 - Christian Fittipaldi (Kmart Toyota) and Bruno Junqueira (Target Toyota) will join Jimmy Vasser in starting tomorrow's race in the top-10. Fitttipaldi leads a string of four straight Toyota-powered cars in ninth, with Junqueira 12th. Fittipaldi's teammate, Cristiano da Matta (Texaco/Havoline/Kmart Toyota) is in the 11th position next to Toyota rookie Scott Dixon (Powerware Panasonic Toyota).
Jimmy Vasser, #40 Visteon Toyota: "The Visteon Patrick Toyota was very good in qualifying. It was very competitive out there today so a couple of tenths was really important. I thought I had a lap that was a couple of tenths faster, but somehow I lost time in the last corner. The Visteon/Patrick Racing team did a good job this weekend preparing the car. Overall, we are happy starting fourth on the grid, but the main thing is to have a good race tomorrow and score a lot of points so we can get our season back on track."
Christian Fittipaldi, #11 Kmart Toyota: "After running the fourth-fastest time yesterday, we didn't make many gains today like other guys did and dropped to ninth fastest in qualifying. This is the type of race track that keeps getting better and better the longer we run on it and lay rubber down and you can't let yourself be fooled into thinking the car is getting better even if you are going faster because the reason could be simply that the track is getting quicker instead of your car. After we ran in the morning session, we knew we weren't where we should be. We qualified the best we could given the way the car is handling. We just need to work on our race set-up and make the most out of the car we have for the race.
Cristiano da Matta, #6 Texaco/Havoline/Kmart Toyota-Lola: "The car feels a lot better than yesterday, but we are still not up front. I don't know if everyone else has picked up more grip. The Penske's are on a completely different level. There is one-half of a second between us and third place and they (the Penske's) are a full second quicker than us. We are struggling to find one-tenth of a second, imagine how hard it is to find one full second."
Toyota Drivers Mid-Ohio Qualifying 4. Jimmy Vasser 9. Christian Fittipaldi 10. Bruno Junqueira 11. Cristiano da Matta 12. Scott Dixon 15. Roberto Moreno 17. Memo Gidley 21. Mauricio Gugelmin 22. Tora Takagi
MILLER LITE 200, ESPN, 12:00 noon EDT/9:00 a.m. PDT