Mid Ohio 1996 PPG Indy Car World Series

Race No. 13

Miller Genuine Draft 200
Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
Lexington, Ohio
August 9-11, 1996

Sunday Quotes from drivers and managers at Mid Ohio Sports Car Course:
Index of Quotes available

Vasser Pict #12 Target
Chip Ganassi Racing
Reynard Honda


[finished second]: "I was trying as hard as I could to take the lead so I could do something spectacular and make it on SportsCenter. I didnt have anything for Alex. He was just a tick faster all the way around. I drove a little conservatively to save fuel and make sure I got points for the championship. I've been up before in the points and then it was back down to one point, so its good to be up by a few [17] points again. I wont start counting points until Vancouver."

Andretti Pict #6 Kmart/Texaco/Havoline
Lola Ford Cosworth XD


[finished third]: [On Bryan Hertas bid to overtake him late in the race] "I knew it was going to happen, because he had done it on the other restart. He just had a lot more straightaway speed. And when we were all bunched up, he was able to get a run on me. I took the inside line and just tried to brake as late as I could. And I was able to hold my line the first time. The second time, he was ready for me as well. We went in a little harder, and I was able to get myself far enough up on him that he wasn't able to come down and steal the inside line. I knew I could trust Bryan, because he is a really good driver, a good fair driver. I was totally confident that we would both come out of that in one piece.

"Well take the points. We did everything right and came away with what we deserved."

Pupo Pict #34 Data Control
Lola Ford

Roberto Moreno

[finished 23rd]: "The car was running fine. The Payton-Coyne [team] had it set up very well for the race. The gearbox broke. Something happened when I was changing gears out there. It just locked up. I was running behind Stefan Johansson, trying to pass him, and the gearshift broke. That was the end of the day."

Blundell Pict #21 PacWest
Reynard Ford Cosworth


[finished 10th]: "Balance-wise, the car was pretty good all day. Its just that traffic was so bad, it was really tough to put together some good, consistent lap times. I really had to work hard with the car to get by anybody. Once I got alongside another car, it was difficult getting that little extra from the car to pass."

C. Fittipaldi Pict #11 Kmart/Budweiser
Lola Ford
Newman/Haas Racing


[finished seventh]: "The car was loose all day. Something really changed from this mornings practice to when we got in the race. We were battling, chasing the car the whole day and I was not very comfortable out there. Its tough, we just didn't have the car. We did well to finish as strong as we did."

Papis Pict #25 MCI
Arciero Wells
Reynard Toyota


"We had several problems today with the car, but that is part of developing a new engine. This is what we have to expect. It has been a fun weekend, though. This is a very competitive series and I feel like I am in a good place. We'll be back next weekend."

de Ferran Pict #8 Pennzoil Special
Reynard Honda
Hall Racing


[finished 17th]: [On first lap incident] "If I hadn't have screwed it up, we could have had a top four finish, no doubt about it. I misjudged the start. It was my mistake and I feel bad about it because I messed up someone elses race and made it difficult for me to catch up in the championship."

Herta Pict #28 Shell
Reynard Mercedes-Benz
Team Rahal


[finished fourth]: "We ran a good race today. I lost a couple of shots due to traffic. But Im thrill to be a part of this team. It took us awhile to learn each other. Youve seen Team Rahal really come on in the second half of the season. At the end of the race, I made a serious run on Michael [Andretti] and we really battled through the corners. We touched a little bit but he is tough. That kind of racing is really fun. I've said I'm very happy to be on this team because of the hard work and dedication everyone put in this year. We've had a lot of bad luck early but were getting closer to the winners circle. I still think we have a good shot to win this season."

Zanardi Pict #4 Target
Chip Ganassi Racing
Reynard Honda


[finished first]: "We started the weekend with a good car on Friday and then we made some changes on Saturday and the car was fabulous. Id have a 10-second lead, and then they would throw the yellow and my lead would disappear. It was a concern because Jimmy was right behind me and I know what he can do, but when the race started again, I was able to pull away. Im so happy to finish first and second, and I'm so happy for Chip and the team.

"This is a very good win. It was more work than Portland because I had that red car behind me the entire time. Im very happy he [Vasser] could finish second and score a lot of points for the championship."

Ribeiro Pict #31 LCI International
Lola Honda
Tasman Motorsports Group


[finished eighth]: "It was a very fast race. There were a lot of marbles on the track so overtaking was a challenge. It was very difficult if you went off line and very slippery. At the end, the car was running well. Unfortunately Greg Moore didn't do a right move and collected my rear tire and put a puncture in it. He tried to pass me on a situation that he never had the gap or distance to do it. He is becoming too aggressive without the control of the situation. I hope the CART people, after so many instances, do something."

Fernandez Pict #32 Tecate Beer/Quaker State
Lola Honda
Tasman Motorsports Group


[finished sixth]: "I think the team gave 100 percent and I did on the track. We didnt have the best car but we never gave up and we should be pleased because of that. At the beginning, the car had a lot of push and we managed to correct some of that in the first pit stop. In the second stop, we put too much and that made the car very loose. I had a few big moments in Turn One. At the end I was really just trying to keep on the track."

Gordon Pict #5 Valvoline/Cummins/Craftsman Special
Reynard Ford


"The car handled pretty good at the beginning of the race. The biggest disappointment was how slow we were in the straights." [On his incident with #31 Andre Ribeiro and #3 Jan Magnussen]: "Ribeiro took my line. There was no choice for me to go anywhere else but to the dirt. Then Magnussen, I guess he figured I was going to drive the rest of the next corner in the dirt, too. I had to get back on the track sometime. We pitted under the green, which wasn't too bad."

[On his engine failure] "It made lots of noise. We were just hoping to finish and get points and we were in a position to do that. We just didnt run long enough."

Johansson Pict #16 Bettenhaused Racing
Alumax Aluminium
Reynard Mercedes-Benz


[finished 11th]: "It would have been nice if the race had lasted another lap, because we would have gained two more positions, but beggars can't be choosers. Considering the fact that we werent in a points-scoring position when we took the white flag, were certainly grateful for the two points we got. After getting a slow start to the season, we now have finished five of the last six races, so its good that weve gained some reliability. However, I didn't have a car that I could attack with today, so really, all I could do was try to hang on and capitalize on other peoples mistakes."

Rahal Pict #18 Miller Racing
Reynard Mercedes-Benz
Team Rahal


[finished fifth]: "We were one of the few cars to pass on the track. We went from ninth to fifth and all on the track, not in the pits. I got held up early by Adrian [Fernandez] and the car was loose, sliding the rear end. But we changed the tire pressure at the first and second pit stops and the car was great. I think we were one of the fastest cars one the track the second half of the race. This is a good finish for the team with Bryan [Herta] and myself. I had a great seat for that battle with Bryan and Michael [Andretti] at the end. I was waiting for the contact. The Goodyears were competitive. Im not sure theyre with the Firestones yet but theyre getting closer."

Gugelmin Pict #17 Hollywood
Reynard Ford


[finished 26th]: [On first-lap contact with #8 GIL de FERRAN] "Gil must have missed his breaking point by 200 yards - I got through the first turn o.k. then I felt a bullet in my back. He hit me so hard I still had the nose of his car in my rear tire. Both right rear suspension arms were damaged so it would have taken 10-15 laps to repair it."

PJ Pict #98 Eagle Mk-V Toyota
photo Mike Levitt


[finished 25th]: "I was going good for awhile. I thought our Eagle Toyotas were getting better and better as we got going. We were picking up speed, but we just had an oil leak and it created a fire. It's unfortunate, but thats what you get with a development program."

Fangio Pict #36 Eagle Mk-V Toyota


[finished 20th]: "I think the Eagle Toyota was good enough to hang in there. I dont know if we got all of the potential out of the car, but it was possible for me to be confident during the race. I tried to keep up with the pace as much as I could. But then, I heard a different noise. Something didnt sound in the exhaust system. When they called me in for a pit stop [Lap 57], I saw the fire coming out of the back of the car on the back straightaway. I went to the brakes at the end of the straight and the brakes were completely down and I went off the track."