Felipe Giaffone and the ...
Felipe Giaffone and the #21 Hollywood/Mo Nunn Racing Chevrolet G-Force finished third in today's Michigan Indy 400 Indy Racing League event at Michigan International Speedway. He started 12th but got off to a great start and found himself in sixth after just the first tour around the 2-mile high-banked tri-oval and ran with the leaders the rest of the way. Giaffone was fourth by Lap 7, and took the lead for the first time by Lap 70. He led five times for a total of 24 laps, including Laps 190-193 of today's 200-lap, 400-mile event. But Tomas Scheckter passed him on Lap 194 and pulled away for an easy victory. Scheckter's teammate Buddy Rice, making his first-ever IRL start this weekend, passed Giaffone for second place on Turn Four of the very last lap. It was Giaffone's third third-place finish of the season, the others coming at the Indy 500 and Richmond. He remained in fourth place in the driver standings with 330 points, but closed the gap on leaders Gil de Ferran (377), Helio Castroneves (365) and Sam Hornish, Jr. (359). Teammates de Ferran and Castroneves, and defending series champion Hornish, finished fifth, sixth and seventh today, respectively.
The next event on the 2002 Indy Racing League calendar is the Belterra Casino Indy 300 at the Kentucky Speedway 1.5-mile tri-oval in Sparta, Ky. (Aug. 9-11).
"It was an exciting race and I am very proud of my team, as they gave me a great race car and we made the fastest pit stops of the race. I had a good start, jumping from 12th to sixth on the very first lap, and to fourth on Lap 7. I just had to make an adjustment in the front wing in the first part of the race, and after that I had one of the best cars on the track. But I knew it wouldn't be easy to fight against the Infinitis. During the race I could go along with the guys from Cheever Racing, who started on the front three positions. But now I know they were saving the equipment, as they had so many problems with the reliability in prior races. When there were just 10 laps to go, I was leading the race after a good fight against Sarah Fisher, who has an Infiniti engine, as well. But then came (Tomas) Scheckter and (Buddy) Rice, using full power. I couldn't hold them off anymore. Third place is good. We are closer to the leaders, still fourth in points. This is our third third-place finish this season, so we are still in very good shape. We just had to postpone the first victory."