Dover: Newman/Haas preview

BRUNO JUNQUEIRA, ...

BRUNO JUNQUEIRA, #1 PacifiCare Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone:

- IN MILWAUKEE: It will be his third race here and first at night in a Champ Car. Junqueira started fifth in the 2002 race, led four laps and finished 10th. He started 12th in his first race here and finished fourth.

- TIED FOR FIRST PLACE IN STANDINGS: Was second fastest in provisional qualifying in St. Pete but his fastest qualifying lap in final qualifying (potentially third) was disallowed because he brought out a red flag when he spun and stopped on course. More red flags during the session prevented him from running faster than the time he set on Friday and he started seventh. Dropped to 14th in race due to losing many positions on his first of three pit stops when the air hose of the inside rear tire changer's air gun disengaged. Charged to a 3rd place finish...More problems in qualifying led to a seventh place start in Mexico despite being fastest in both pre-qualifying practice sessions as he also did in St. Pete. Ran as high as third in the race but spun and dropped to ninth. Many on-track passes enabled him to finish fifth...Started fourth in Long Beach and finished third...Set second fastest qualifying time in England but started third due to Bourdais earning the second-place, front row start by setting the fastest time in final qualifying. Finished second...Started second in Germany and finished fourth after he led 23 laps and ran in top three most of the event...Is currently tied for first place in the point standings with Paul Tracy, each with 66 points.

- 45th START/THIRD SEASON: The race will mark his sixth event with NHR and 45th overall (39 starts with Ganassi Racing). His past two championships have come in his third season in those series.

SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS, #2 Lilly Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone:

- IN MILWAUKEE: Will be his second race on an oval and first in Milwaukee. Has raced at night in 24-hour endurance events in his hometown of Le Mans, France and Spa (Belgium).

- OVAL RACING: Prior to his victory in his oval racing debut at the previous race in Germany (5-11-03), Bourdais tested for two days at Phoenix International Raceway on April 16-17.

- RANKED FOURTH IN STANDINGS: By earning the pole position in his Champ car debut in St. Pete, Bourdais became the first driver to accomplish the feat since Nigel Mansell won the pole for the '93 Australian event - also while driving for NHR...Bourdais led 30 laps in St. Pete and became the first driver in the 25 year history of series to lead the first laps of his inaugural Champ car race...He also set the fastest race lap...Won his second pole in the series in Monterrey as well as set a track record. He led the first 16 laps but a faulty radio led to a missed pit stop. Also had a troubled pit stop and later brushed the wall entering the pits which ultimately led to retire from the race in 17th place...Started fifth in Long Beach, led three laps in the race and retired in 16th place due to engine failure after he completed 70 of 90 laps...Earned his first Champ Car victory in only his fourth event at Brands Hatch after starting second and leading 95 laps...First driver in series history to win from pole in his oval racing debut in Germany after he led 74 laps in the closest finish (0.08) since 2000 Michigan race...He is currently ranked 4th in the point standings with 49 points.

- BONUS POINTS: Has earned FIVE bonus points this season (St. Pete - Fri. & Sat. qual; Mexico - Sat. qual.; Germany - qual. & leading most laps).

- RANKED 2nd IN LAPS LED -- 218: Led 30 - St. Pete., 16 - Monterrey, 3 - Long Beach, 95 - England (victory) and 74 - Germany (victory). Ranked second behind Paul Tracy (227) for most laps led so far in 2003.

- REIGNING 2002 CHAMPION: Like his teammate Junqueira, Bourdais won the F3000 championship honors. He won three races (Imola, Italy; Monaco; Nurburgring, Germany) six pole positions (Interlagos, Brazil; Imola, Italy; Barcelona, Spain; Monaco, Nurburgring, Germany; Spa, Belgium) and finished on the podium a total of seven times en route to the 2002 Championship while driving for Team Super Nova Racing. Also set the fastest race lap three times (Interlagos, Spain, Belgium).

- FORMULA ONE HISTORY: Was invited to test for the Arrows team in the summer of 2002 and for Renault in December.

What They're Saying About...

BRUNO JUNQUEIRA, #1 PacifiCare Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone:

"I think it (Milwaukee Mile 250) will be a difficult race. I have never run high downforce on a short oval. In Milwaukee we are used to downshifting but maybe we won't need to brake now because of the aero package. It will be the first time I have raced at night so that will be exciting. I like racing on the one-mile ovals a lot and I think the PacifiCare team can have a good race in Milwaukee.

SINCE ONLY FIVE OF 19 RACES HAVE PAST, IS IT TOO EARLY TO THINK ABOUT CONSISTENTLY EARNING POINTS FOR THE CHAMPIONSHIP? "I think that it's never too early to think about the Championship. Every race gives you the same number of points so every one is just as important as the next. Being tied with Paul and having our next race take place at the Milwaukee Mile where he is very good would make taking over the points lead after the race even better. In order to finish in front of Paul Tracy in Milwaukee, I think I am going to have to win the race. He's going to be very strong."

SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS, #2 Lilly Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone:

"Even though we won (on the oval) in Germany, to me Milwaukee will be my first race on an oval. With the aerodynamic setup that everyone ran on the cars in Germany, it was not as much of an oval feel as the Milwaukee race will be. Milwaukee, to my point of view, is going to be my first proper oval experience because you have to lift and sometimes brake in Milwaukee. It will be more like driving at Phoenix (International Raceway) because there is no banking and you will need to brake instead of being flat on the pedal like in Germany. It will take a while for us to get up to speed there because we will need to make sure we don't have any big moments with the wall. It will be hard not to make a mistake. I think the experienced drivers are going to be very strong there, and I still need to learn a lot about ovals. You need really to take your time on an oval. It's definitely the safest way to do it. And in another hand, confidence can be your biggest enemy, so you need always to be cautious with that. Experience will be a big factor at this race so Bruno, Paul (Tracy), Michel (Jourdain) and all of the guys that have experience on this type of track will be strong. It will be the most challenging weekend we have had so far but the Lilly team will steadily prepare for the new experience as they have for the other races."

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Paul Tracy , Nigel Mansell
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing