Giaffone top Chevy finisher in Michigan Indy 400. BROOKLYN, Mich., July 28, 2002 -- The Indy Racing League's inaugural race at Michigan International Speedway was a tough day for the home team as Chevrolet's 10-race winning streak came to an end.
Giaffone top Chevy finisher in Michigan Indy 400.
BROOKLYN, Mich., July 28, 2002 -- The Indy Racing League's inaugural race at Michigan International Speedway was a tough day for the home team as Chevrolet's 10-race winning streak came to an end. Felipe Giaffone garnered a podium finish for the championship-winning Chevy Indy V8, finishing third to Team Cheever drivers Tomas Scheckter and Buddy Rice.
"My car was really good for the race," said Giaffone, who finished 1.7388 seconds behind Scheckter, a first-time winner. "It seemed that at the end we were missing just a little bit, but we're getting closer to a win.
"We concentrated on the race since the first day we got here, working on the race setup," Giaffone noted. "We weren't that worried about qualifying because it was a 400-mile race. My car was just on the edge -- not a lot of downforce. We were right there with the car.
Sam Hornish Jr. was in contention for his fourth win of the season, but he was shuffled back to seventh in the closing laps.
"The Chevrolet horsepower was there all day long," said Hornish. "We could pass people, but we were in the wrong place at the wrong time.
"We lost fifth gear at the end," Hornish reported. "Fourth was too short, sixth was too long, and fifth was what we wanted. We came back from so many problems that we had, from a couple of stalls in the pits to having to recycle the ECM so the engineers could read it again. Tomas and Buddy were fast today; we could keep up with them and might have had something for them at the end, but we just didn't have the right gear."
The field set a torrid pace in the closing laps when racing resumed on lap 174 after the final caution period. Cars raced three-wide as they jockeyed for position. The race's 179.345 mph average speed was the second fastest in IRL history.
"Chevrolet races to win, but we are realists and know that you can't win them all," said Joe Negri, GM Racing group manager. "Winning is a tradition for Chevrolet, but experience has shown that there are many variables in getting a car into the winner's circle. Today's results strengthen our resolve to build on the 10 victories we have already achieved this season, and to continue to develop the next-generation Chevy Indy V8 into a formidable powerplant to take on new competition in 2003."
The IRL season will enter the home stretch on Aug. 11 at the Belterra Casino Indy 300 at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Ky. The 200-lap race on the 1.5-mile oval will be televised live on ABC at 1:30 p.m. EDT.