MADISON, Ill. (Sunday, Aug. 25, 2002) -- Felipe Giaffone and the ...
MADISON, Ill. (Sunday, Aug. 25, 2002) -- Felipe Giaffone and the #21 Hollywood/Mo Nunn Racing Chevrolet G-Force lost valuable ground in his fight for the 2002 Indy Racing League championship when a mechanical problem forced him to retire from today's Gateway Indy 250 at Gateway International Raceway. Giaffone started seventh, gained two positions during the first round of pit stops, and then worked his way up to third, where he was when the mechanical problem occurred on Lap 106 of today's 200-lap event. Giaffone was just 17 points behind pre-race points leader and defending series champion Sam Hornish, Jr. By placing 21st, Giaffone is now 46 points behind new points leader and today's runner-up Helio Castroneves. Gil de Ferran was today's winner, with Alex Barron third and Hornish fourth. Castroneves now has 437 points with two races remaining, while his teammate de Ferran is just one point behind at 436. Hornish is now in third with 429 points, and Giaffone has 391. Barron is a distant fifth with 318 points.
Next up on the 2002 Indy Racing League circuit is in two weeks (Sept. 6-8) at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. The series wraps up Sept. 15 at Texas Motor Speedway.
"It's a shame. I heard a strange noise from the engine 40 laps before it broke, but he car was still good, so I just kept on going. These things happen in racing. The car had no other problems. We lost some points in the championship, but it's not the end of the world. There are still 100 points to fight for in the championship. The only thing is we need the people in front of us in the points to have problems in the last two races, and that's a bad thing. We'll just have to be sure to finish well in both races and hope for the best."