Race No. 7

Miller 200
The Milwaukee Mile — West Allis, Wisconsin
May 30-June 1, 1997

Sunday Quotes from drivers and managers at Milwaukee:
Index of Quotes available


Vasser PictTarget
Chip Ganassi Racing
Reynard Honda
Photo: Scott Hughes
"We leaned it out all the way to the finish and my dashboard showed that I had a lap and a half [of fuel] left at the end. I wasn't in a position to hold off Mike [Andretti] at the end. He was running full rich with fresh tires and I had been running full lean for a long time with old tires, so a podium finish is fine."

Moore PictForsythe
Reynard Mercedes-Benz
"I was saving fuel a little and Michael was catching up on me. That's when the team told me I was OK on fuel and I stepped on it. Towards the end, I was much more concerened about Alex Zanardi in front of me and all the traffic to contend with. I'm so happy for the Player's team. The guys did a great job all weekend long. We gambled on pit stops and made the right decision. On that second pit stop, I stripped the first gear and had to go into another. That's when Bobby Rahal cut in front of me. I worked all my life to be here and win my first CART race. I'm just so happy. I can tell you that the last lap was quite long."

Andretti PictKmart/Texaco/Havoline
Swift Ford Cosworth XD
"Our strategy was to pass 13 cars but unfortunately I only passed 12. I don't know how they made it without pitting for a splash of fuel. We took a gamble under the yellow and pitted for a splash of fuel because we wanted the points. The Goodyear tires were good so we were able to save time by not changing them. Moore gambled and didn't pit for fuel and it paid off for him. I was pushing all the way to the end. I was clawing my way up to the front. I was driving as hard as I could but it wasn't good enough. We were definitely in a position to win, which is good news. We didn't do so well at the last race. I was having fun the last 10 laps. I was just gritting my teeth and going for it. I'm very happy with the finish considering we started 14th. It was a little frustrating at the beginning because we started so far back. Our car was good in traffic but not alone. Greg was faster than we were when he was running by himself.

[On strong record in Milwaukee] "That entered my mind. You think maybe it's gonna happen again. I guess our luck ran out. We didn't start off good here. We found something overnight and made a huge change for today. After only one lap [in morning warm-up] we knew we had a race car again. The fact that there were three different engines on the podium shows you the commitment that the engine companies have made to this series. They're pushing it to the limit. Greg has been on the podium in CART before. I think this is probably the first of many."

Unser PictMarlboro
Penske Mercedes
"The transmission is what got us again. After I pitted [on lap 108], I pushed the pedal down and the clutch wasn't there. I had first and second gear, but nothing beyond that. It's a shame. My guys worked so hard. After our first stop [lap 55], we picked up four positions [to fifth place] because of their awesome work on that pit stop. We were really working on my Marlboro car all day. It kept going loose on me and we couldn't get the right balance, but as the race went on we were getting closer to a comfortable set-up and then we had the problem with the clutch, which obviously ended our day."

Pruett PictBrahma Sports Team
Reynard Ford
"The Ford engine ran fine all day. At the end we decided to come in for fuel, and for Raul's team decided to stay out. It didn't turn out to be the move we were hoping it would be. The car was fine for most of the day, we just didn't get any breaks again."

Blundell PictPacWest Motorola
Reynard Mercedes
"We didn't have a very good start because we got stuck in fourth gear. I went to fifth, but it clicked back to fourth again, so we lost a few spots. The balance of the car was very good apart from the last 25 laps when I had understeer and a bit of a vibration. Apart from that, everything was fine. We probably should have made our quick fuel stop a little bit earlier, because we probably lost a bit of track position, but I'm reasonably happy with the result. We got a lonely PPG Cup Point. We're getting on top of things and it's coming together."

Pupo PictKmart/Budweiser
Swift Ford
Newman/Haas Racing
"It's fantastic to score the first points for the Kmart/Budweiser team. If I were a betting man, I would have thought it would have come on a road course first. I'm more comfortable on ovals and actually had a lot of fun in the race. The car was good in the first stint but the car was un-balanced on the second stint. We lost a position on each of our first two stops. The fuel took a long time on one of the stops. The car had a huge vibration on the last 35 laps. I was seeing two corners sometimes. It was like I had double vision because my head was bouncing so much."

Jourdain PictHerdez Competition
Lola Ford Cosworth
"The car just went loose in the corner. I was trying to keep it under me, but I went into the wall. The chassis has been difficult to setup here all weekend really. I thought we could get more out of it than we did, but it was pretty severe out there very early on."

Jasper PictHype
Lola Ford Cosworth
"It was good to finish a race. That was the first goal we had, and now we've done it. I've tried to be realistic with my plan for racing in CART with these guys. I know I was slow, but I just wanted to have a clean race and let the guys know that I can see them out there. And I think I did that. It's just a beginning. We've had some tough breaks and we're learning. I've learned more here than I think I have at any other race. The car wasn't quite there balance-wise, and we weren't quite there with the speed, but it's coming. And we'll be back. It's just a matter of time."

Papis PictMCI
Arciero Wells
Reynard Toyota
"We were having trouble with the boost this morning and in the race we were running OK, but with a lot of push in the car. We went up with the wing on the first stop but we did not take away the push. On the second stop, we made another wing change and in the center of the corner the car was too heavy. I almost lost it on the restart behind Zanardi, there I was pushing hard. I found myself a little sideways and caught the car twice. This was really a good weekend for us. I'm sorry I couldn't go to the end, but I experienced the wall and hit pretty hard. Now I know what the car does when it slides on an oval."

Salles PictPennzoil Special
Reynard Ford
Davis/Craig Racing
[Suffered bruised knees, but is otherwise in good condition following contact with Juan Fangio II] "I had no place to go when the accident happened. I saw Fangio start to spin and I had to go high on the track to avoid him, but he just kept coming up the track and I had no place to go, and he collected me. When we hit, we hit the wall hard and I hurt my left knee. It's going to be bruised later, but I'll be fine for Detroit. Up until the accident, the car was OK, just a slight push in the corners."

Herta PictShell
Reynard Ford
Team Rahal
"Our car was never good all weekend, and we just never found a good setup and it was long day. You look at the way the fuel issues entered into deciding the race, and we didn't even have enough going right for that to be a problem. With the problems we've had during the last couple of weeks, I'm looking forward to changing the scenery to a road course. I'm ready for a different challenge, and this is as big of a switch as you can get in going from an oval to a street course."

Johnstone PictTeam Kool Green
Reynard Honda
"The car made a really swift transition from a huge push to neutral to loose to way loose, in just a couple of laps. I had to slow down because the car was loose, which is why I ended up losing a couple of positions there. But slowing down meant that I lost some downforce in the turns, and the car jumped over the bumps. When I went over a bump in Turn Two, and the car jumped way out and I spun."

Zanardi PictTarget
Chip Ganassi Racing
Reynard Honda
"There's not much to say, I've had better handling race cars. I was loose all day. It finally got better at the end, but by then we were too far down."

de Ferran PictValvoline/Cummins/Craftsman Special
Reynard Ford
"It was a good race for us in the sense that the car was running okay. I thought we were looking good for a fourth place finish. Once again, my crew did a great job in the pits, I picked up three positions on my last stop, and no one passed me on the track all day. But it all came down to strategy again. I'm a bit confused as to how the top guys made it to the end on fuel, we'll have to go back and look at all the data and see what we can learn from today."

Carpentier PictBettenhaused Racing
Alumax Aluminium
Reynard Mercedes-Benz
"The car was good today — it was good all weekend. We were fast at the beginning and I had a lot of fun dicing with Al Unser Jr. I had a problem with oversteer when I got in traffic, but I could [see] that the guys in front of me were having the same problem. When I ran by myself, I had one of the fastest cars on the track. During the last yellow, we decided to make that stop for fuel and a lot of guys in front of us because they didn't stop. It wasn't a mistake on out part. We were just surprised they didn't have to stop because we haven't seen anybody go that far yet. The main thing is that we got some more points."

Fangio PictCastrol/Jockey
AAR Racing
Reynard Toyota
[about the accident with Salles] "We went into the turn together and I lost the back end of the car. He went to the outside going into the turn but I had the position. This is a difficult track to pass on because you have to fight for the position in the turns, not on the straightaway."

Rahal PictMiller Lite
Reynard Ford
Team Rahal
"I can't believe it [that the fuel shortage] happened again. Our guys played the strategy like Moore, Vasser, and Raul. We thought we were getting good mileage but it wasn't enough. It's frustrating to drive up towards the front and then lose all of those spots on the last lap. I tried to keep Tracy and Gugelmin back at the end and I was able to pull away from them. Unfortunately, I guess we used up just a little to much fuel in that run. Again, we needed another lap of yellow. But no luck. That's been the way all year for us."

Gugelmin PictHollywood
Reynard Mercedes
"That was frustrating because I thought we deserved better than fifth. We had a good car, which we were always able to maintain the balance of. The car was pretty good in all the stints compared to everybody else and we raced with the leaders all the time.

I can't believe three guys were able to go 92 laps on 35 gallons of fuel that's unbelievable. Tracy, Michael, and myself all did the same thing by coming in. Some guys took more risks than we did and they got away with it Rahal didn't, but three others did. I guess we have to roll the dice and be prepared to throw a few away before we get one."

Boesel PictBrahma Sports Team
Ford Cosworth
"I ran well all day and the Brahma Sports Team did a great job in the pits. The second set of tires had to much understeer and that made it very hard to overtake in traffic. The last set of Firestone tires worked. I'm very happy for Brahma that I was able to make it to the end and keep making points. The Ford engine, ran lock a clock."