"We were fighting a little understeer in turns one and two this morning, but made a final set of changes for qualifying and the Marlboro Team Penske car was handling really well. I was able to get on the throttle through turns one and two with no...
"We were fighting a little understeer in turns one and two this morning, but made a final set of changes for qualifying and the Marlboro Team Penske car was handling really well. I was able to get on the throttle through turns one and two with no understeer so it was a good run for us.
"Tomorrow will be a tough race as traffic is always an issue on short ovals. It helps to start up front (de Ferran qualified on the pole) but there is still a lot of work ahead of us so I was happy for about 30 seconds after capturing the pole and then it was time to get focused on the race."
-- Gil de Ferran, Marlboro Team Penske, Two-Time CART Champion
-- #6 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet
-- Pole position - 175.120 mph (25.6967 sec.)
"The Marlboro Team Penske car was really fast today, so I'm a little disappointed with how we qualified (Castroneves qualified third). We were faster in turns one and two than we were in practice; we just lost speed in turns three and four. It's tough when you work so hard - you want to be on the pole, but at least we're starting up front. The big day is tomorrow and that's what we have to focus on now."
-- Helio Castroneves, Marlboro Team Penske, 2001 & 2002 Indianapolis 500
-- #3 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet
-- Qualified third - 174.939 mph (25.7232 sec.)
This is Gil de Ferran's fourth pole of the 2002 season, his first pole at Gateway International Raceway and his 20th career Indy car pole.
· De Ferran has won the pole in four of the thirteen IRL events to date (31%) and leads the Series in pole positions; he also leads in top-five finishes (9) (with teammate Helio Castroneves) and laps led (520).
· This is de Ferran's eighth career pole on an oval track; his other oval poles include: Richmond 6/28/02, Pikes Peak 6/15/02, Nazareth 4/20/02, Germany 9/14/01, Fontana 10/28/00, Homestead 3/25/00 and Japan 4/10/99.
· Marlboro Team Penske has captured the pole at five of the thirteen IRL events to date (38%) - (Castroneves - Phoenix; de Ferran - St. Louis, Richmond, Nazareth and Pikes Peak), including three front row sweeps (Nazareth, Pikes Peak and Richmond) and ten front row starts.
· Earlier this season, de Ferran won the pole at Richmond International Raceway when he recorded a qualifying lap of 168.705 mph (16.0043 sec.) and broke the track record of 160.417 mph (16.8311 sec.) set by Jacques Lazier last season.
· De Ferran holds the World Closed Course Speed Record with a qualifying lap of 241.428 mph at the California Speedway (10/28/00). He set this time on his way to clinching his first CART Championship.
This marks Castroneves' seventh top-three qualifying effort.
· This is the 140th pole for Team Penske.