FORT WORTH, Texas (Friday, Oct. 10, 2003) -- Felipe Giaffone will start Sunday's Chevy 500 IRL IndyCar Series season finale on the outside of the second row while Mo Nunn Racing teammate Tora Takagi will start on the inside of the sixth row after...
FORT WORTH, Texas (Friday, Oct. 10, 2003) -- Felipe Giaffone will start Sunday's Chevy 500 IRL IndyCar Series season finale on the outside of the second row while Mo Nunn Racing teammate Tora Takagi will start on the inside of the sixth row after qualifying this evening on the Texas Motor Speedway 1.5-mile tri-oval.
Giaffone and the #21 Hollywood/Mo Nunn Racing Toyota-powered Panoz G Force toured the circuit with a fast lap of 23.5995 seconds (221.954 mph) to claim the fourth spot on the starting grid. After the day's twin 30-minute practice sessions prior to qualifying, Giaffone was ninth on the timesheet combining the two sessions.
Takagi and the #12 Pioneer/Mo Nunn Racing Toyota-powered Panoz G Force had a promising start to his day, finding himself third on the timesheet combining today's two practice sessions. His best qualifying lap of 23.7564 seconds (220.488 mph) was good for 11th on the starting grid for Sunday's race.
Gil de Ferran, who will retire after Sunday's race, earned the pole with a fast lap of 23.5031 seconds (222.864 mph). Scott Dixon qualified second in 23.5040 seconds (222.856 mph), followed by Tomas Scheckter in third at 23.5988 seconds (221.960 mph).
Practice resumes Saturday at 9 a.m. local time (10 a.m. EDT) with the 30-minute final practice session set for 12:30 p.m. local time (1:30 p.m. EDT). The green flag flies for Sunday's 200-lap race at 2:45 p.m. local time (3:45 p.m. EDT) with a live ESPN broadcast set to begin at 3:30 p.m. EDT.
"I think we're pretty happy with where we are. It's not necessary to start up front to be able to have a good finish here, but it sure doesn't hurt. I'm happy that we're back where we should be after the really tough weekend we had at Fontana. We improved from the first to the second (practice) session today, and I was hoping for a top-six or top-seven qualifying position. So fourth definitely has us feeling pretty good about things, so far. But tomorrow's another day, and we all know that anything can happen here on Sunday. There are four or five guys who will be fighting for the championship. I wish I could be one of them, but I'm not. But I definitely have sponsors and a team who want to win probably just as badly as the championship contenders, so I'm going to give it my best shot."
"I think we're going to be alright for the race on Sunday, even though we didn't qualify as high as we thought we were going to. We had a really good race car here for the race in June, and I expect that things will be about the same for this Sunday's race. I'm not sure what happened with our qualifying setup, but we're not too concerned. The most important thing this weekend is to have a good race, and you can do that from anywhere on the starting grid."