P.J. Jones, subbing for the injured Adrian Fernandez in the Tecate/Quaker State Ford-Cosworth, posted the best qualifying lap of his career with the second fastest time in second day qualifying in Vancouver. Jones, who's previous best ...
P.J. Jones, subbing for the injured Adrian Fernandez in the Tecate/Quaker State Ford-Cosworth, posted the best qualifying lap of his career with the second fastest time in second day qualifying in Vancouver. Jones, who's previous best qualifying effort was eighth at Nazareth, went on finish a career best second in that race. Jones will start along side pole winner Juan Montoya for tomorrow's Molson Indy Vancouver.
P.J. JONES -20- Tecate/Quaker State Ford-Cosworth - Qualified 2nd - WERE YOU SURPRISED BY THE LAP YOU PUT TOGETHER? "I knew we were good, but sometimes you just don't know what you are going to get. Sometimes you are a half-second off when you thought you were all right, and sometimes it the other way. It is a good run for me and the guys on the team." A LAP AFTER YOU POSTED YOUR QUICK TIME YOU ENDED UP TAGGING THE WALL. WHAT HAPPENED? "I used the tires up pretty well trying to get that fast lap and I just turned in a little too early and clipped my left front and it just sent me off just enough to put me into the wall. I didn't bend up the car that bad." HOW ARE YOU GOING TO APPROACH THE START OF THE RACE TOMORROW HAVING NEVER STARTED ON THE FRONT ROW BEFORE? "The start is going to be crucial. Starts are tough here on the street circuits. We need long braking areas with tight corners and that seems to be where we do our best passing. It's rough down there. I tell you though, in turn five if your car is not working well you may be able to get a run on someone there. But we need to make it through the first time tomorrow. It's tight. Everyone needs to be careful tomorrow or you could wipe out a lot of cars." YOU AND ADRIAN ARE FRIENDS, HOW MUCH DID THAT PLAY INTO THE DECISION TO GIVE YOU THE RIDE AFTER ADRIAN BROKE HIS ARM? "It's his car, he controls it and it's his decision who he puts in it. Obviously he needs to talk it over with Pat (Patrick) and the guys but it was his decision. We are really good friends and he knew the problems we were having with the Swift and that was part of the decision." THERE WERE A LOT OF FINGERS POINTED YOUR WAY AFTER A BLOCKING INCIDENT AT CHICAGO. WHAT WAS YOUR TAKE ON THAT SITUATION? "When you are running seventh on the lead lap, I don't know, I was running as fast as everybody but I got caught up in lapped traffic too. If I was guilty that would be one thing, but I wasn't. When you go and complain and whine like that, it really surprised me." IS THERE A BIT OF FRUSTRATION WITH THE SUCCESS YOU HAD TODAY IN? YOU KNEW YOU WERE CAPABLE ALL ALONG, BUT IT WAS NOT UNTIL YOU GOT IN THE REYNARD WERE YOU ABLE TO SHOW IT . . . "It is really satisfying. It's been a real confidence tester all year. I never really had the support behind me all year. I have been asking to get in the Reynard all year. We were not that good in Mid-Ohio in the Reynard, but everyone else tested there and we didn't so we were a little behind there too." HOW DESPERATELY FOR YOUR FUTURE DO YOU NEED TO HAVE A GOOD RACE TOMORROW? "I hope to be there in the top-five all day. If we can be in the top-five then we have a chance to win the race." WHAT DO YOU SEE AS YOUR FUTURE? "I don't know. I have talked to a lot of people in NASCAR, CART -- there are a lot of places to go for me out there."
ADRIAN FERNANDEZ -40- Tecate/Quaker State Ford-Cosworth - HOW ABOUT THAT, IT LOOKS LIKE P.J. IS TAKING A LIKING TO DRIVING YOUR CAR . . . "This is fantastic! He needed that big time. He has been going through a lot of things during the year and I am really happy for him. He is really starting to communicate well with John (Ward, chief engineer) now and that takes some time to do. It takes a few races. I am very proud of him. I am proud because he is driving my car and he has my sponsors up on the front row. We still have to get the sponsors up on the front row even when I am not there." SINCE THIS WILL BE HIS FIRST TIME STARTING UP ON THE FRONT ROW, DO YOU PLAN ON GIVING HIM ANY ADVICE? "I am just going to tell him that you really need to concentrate and keep looking in your mirrors. You also have to be careful that you don't get too excited and make a mistake. I am just going to tell him to stay focused."
ROBERTO MORENO -11- Big K Ford-Cosworth - Qualified 6th - "We continued to dial in the car a bit after the first set of tires but we just didn't get a good run to break into the top three. Every time you go faster you learn some things but you are also using up your tires at the same time." HOW DIFFICULT IS PASSING GOING TO BE TOMORROW? "Passing opportunities are going to be very limited. If someone wants to bloc it is very difficult to pass. Everyone needs to cooperate here."
MICHAEL ANDRETTI -6- K Mart/Texaco/Havoline Ford-Cosworth - Qualified 8th - "The red flag that P.J. Jones brought out with about three minutes left in the session really hurt us. We caught up a lot since yesterday. We took some of Moreno's setup and it really helped us but we were always a little step behind. The car is a lot better and if that last yellow would not have come out we might have been able to do a lap that would have put us in the top two or three but I don't think we had it to bump Montoya." WHAT DO YOU THINK THE RACE WILL BE LIKE TOMORROW? "It's going to be interesting, especially if it rains."
MAX PAPIS -7- Miller Lite Ford-Cosworth - Qualified 12th - "It's a bit unfortunate because on my fast lap I ran up on two cars and that cost us some time. We improved our car a lot from yesterday, especially in the front end. Tomorrow is going to be a long race and we will just need to stay patient. A lot of people are going to make a lot of mistakes tomorrow and we just need to be the guys who don't." GETTING IN AND OUT OF THE PITS QUICK IS GOING TO BE A PRIORITY TOMORROW, ISN'T IT? "We have been working all weekend on improving our times. It's important to get in and out tomorrow quick because it's going to be really difficult to make up positions on the track and I think our guys are ready. I think tomorrow is also going to be a fuel race."
JAN MAGNUSSEN -20- Visteon Ford-Cosworth - Qualified 21st - "Believe it or not we did improve the car from yesterday. On the straightaways we are not that fast as some of the other cars but overall the car is pretty good. We just could not get a clean lap together." IT LOOKS LIKE P.J. JONES FOUND SOMETHING IN THE CARS SETUP. DO YOU THINK IT CAN HELP YOU? "Well he is using some of the things we are working on. So it'd good to see that we are going in the right direction."
MEMO GIDLEY -71- Herdez/Viva Mexico Ford-Cosworth - Qualified 20th - "I didn't get a good run on my second set of tires to really put together a good lap. The car feels pretty good. It's too bad this was not the first qualifying day because we would be a lot better off if we were to do it again tomorrow. The qualifying car was good but we just were not able to stretch our legs today. Traffic also hurt us."
MICHEL JOURDAIN, JR. -19- Herdez/Viva Mexico Ford-Cosworth - Qualified 18th - "The car is really, really loose. I was sideways all over the track. We definitely need more downforce." I NOTICED THAT YOU A RUNNING A SERRATED WICKERBILL. WHAT IS THE REASON FOR THAT? "Well it's something that the engineers came up with. I don't know. I can't really tell a difference yet. If we were qualifying up front I might be a little more convinced but they say it helps, so we will keep using it."