Sunday Afternoon Pit Notes

Welcome back to Portland International Raceway as Champ Car fans await the start of the CART FedEx Championship Series G.I. Joe's 200. At 12:21 p.m. the temperature is 61 with a 9 mph wind from the southwest.

NOTEWORTHY:

Cristiano da Matta (#6 Chevron Toyota/Lola/Bridgestone) starts on pole this afternoon with a time of 59.679 seconds (120.800 mph), with Kenny Brack (#12 Target Toyota/Lola/Bridgestone) flanking on the outside of row one for the second straight weekend.

Michael Andretti (#39 Motorola Honda/Lola/Bridgestone) has proved that he can get it done at Portland, winning this event three years in a row from 1990-92.

The course layout at Portland measures 1.969-miles in length and plays host to one of the longest Champ Car races of the season. The CART FedEx Championship Series G.I. Joe's 200 will consist of 110 laps (216.590 miles).

Fuel Allotment - The calculated distance of the race is 222.497 miles, including 2 parade laps and 1 pace lap. The fuel allotment for this race is 120.3 U.S. gallons based on 1.85 miles per gallon, pursuant to 9.6.1B of the 2002 Rule Book.

Pit Stops - The maximum lap interval for pit stops will be 30 laps.

Gil de Ferran holds the current race record at Portland at 109.564 mph (2:00:46.002) based on 112 laps (220.528 miles) in 2000.

#33 TAGLIANI paced this morning's warm-up, turning the fastest lap at 1:00.621 (116.930 mph).

At 12:35 p.m., The command "Gentleman Start Your Engines" is given to the field.

At 12:36 p.m., Champ Cars roll off the grid.

At 12:41 p.m., The pace car lights are out in Turn 7. Now the pace car dives off in Turn 12 and CART FedEx Championship Series Starter Jim Swintal waves the YELLOW FLAG over the field. CART officials report that #12 BRACK was out of line at the start which triggered the yellow. The clock has started and the lap counted.

At 12:43 p.m., No start again as #12 BRACK gets out of line again.

On Lap 2, YELLOW FLAG again on the start for #12 BRACK who once again got out of line.

GREEN FLAG on Lap 4 followed by a YELLOW FLAG in the chicane for a three-car incident involving #51 FERNANDEZ, #5 TAKAGI and #44 DIXON. #20 BELL and #8 VASSER shortcut the course. #12 BRACK got the jump and leads the field followed by #6 DA MATTA, #4 JUNQUEIRA, #33 TAGLIANI and #27 FRANCHITTI.

On Lap 6, #39 ANDRETTI, #5 TAKAGI, #44 DIXON and #51 FERNANDEZ in the pits.

GREEN FLAG on Lap 8, #12 BRACK leads the field into Turn 1. Everyone is through cleanly this time.

On Lap 9, #12 BRACK leads #6 DA MATTA by 0.507 seconds followed by #33 TAGLIANI, #27 FRANCHITTI and #4 JUNQUEIRA.

On Lap 11, #12 BRACK leads #6 DA MATTA by 0.943 seconds, followed by #33 TAGLIANI (2.102 seconds back), #27 FRANCHITTI (3.112 seconds back) and #4 JUNQUEIRA (4.111 seconds back).

On Lap 12, #26 TRACY reported four wheels off driver's left in Turn 11.

On Lap 13, #5 TAKAGI is in the tire wall driver's left in Turn 4. Local YELLOW FLAG is displayed in the area as the Simple Green CART Safety Team removes the car.

On Lap 15, #12 BRACK leads #6 DA MATTA by 0.885 seconds.

On Lap 17, #12 BRACK leads #6 DA MATTA by 0.703 seconds, followed by #33 TAGLIANI (2.959 seconds back), #27 FRANCHITTI (4.189 seconds back) and #4 JUNQUEIRA (5.551 seconds back). CART officials have decided to place the car of #5 TAKAGI in a safe area tucked in Turn 4 and continue under green.

On Lap 23, #12 BRACK leads #6 DA MATTA by 0.770 seconds. No changes in the top five.

On Lap 24, #39 ANDRETTI makes a move on #52 NAKANO in Turn 2 for 14th which results in side-to-side contact. #39 ANDRETTI gets by but carries too much speed and loses the position as #51 FERNANDEZ goes around in the wake of the incident.

On Lap 27, #12 BRACK leads #6 DA MATTA by 0.879 seconds as they approach stops on Lap 30.

On Lap 29, #12 BRACK runs his fastest lap at 1:00.921 (116.354 mph).

On Lap 30, The leaders all on pit lane. #12 BRACK beats #6 DA MATTA out.

On Lap 31, #4 JUNQUEIRA passes #33 TAGLIANI on the backstretch for third.

On Lap 32, #33 TAGLIANI is slow on course and losing positions rapidly.

On Lap 33, #26 TRACY and #11 FITTIPALDI have contact driver's right in Turn 5 after #26 TRACY tried a move to the inside. #26 TRACY limps back to the pits with heavy suspension damage. #11 FITTIPALDI is in the tire wall where a local YELLOW FLAG is being displayed.

On Lap 35, #26 TRACY returns to pit lane and has retired.

On Lap 36, #11 FITTIPALDI is started on the bump and makes his way to the pits.

On Lap 38, #12 BRACK leads #6 DA MATTA by 1.269 seconds, followed by #4 JUNQUEIRA (13.474 seconds back), #27 FRANCHITTI (15.559 seconds back) and #20 BELL (23.190 seconds back).

On Lap 43, #12 BRACK leads #6 DA MATTA by 0.769 seconds.

On Lap 44, #6 DA MATTA cuts the lead to 0.541 seconds.

On Lap 48, #12 BRACK and #6 DA MATTA approach lapped traffic.

On Lap 49, #8 VASSER smoking heavily. #55 DOMINGUEZ off course in Turn 5. #52 NAKANO off is Turn 7. #8 VASSER pulls off driver's left in Turn 4 after losing the gearbox.

On Lap 50, #12 BRACK leads #6 DA MATTA by 0.368 seconds.

On Lap 52, #12 BRACK leads #6 DA MATTA by 0.878 seconds, followed by #4 JUNQUEIRA (1.240 seconds back), #27 FRANCHITTI (8.659 seconds back) and #20 BELL (15.225 seconds back).

On Lap 60, #12 BRACK leads #6 DA MATTA by 0.705 seconds, followed by #4 JUNQUEIRA (1.212 seconds back), #27 FRANCHITTI (3.335 seconds back) and #20 BELL (13.124 seconds back). Now the leaders are in for stops. #12 BRACK beats #6 DA MATTA out of the pits, but starts to slow in Turn 2 as the left rear tire slowly separates itself from the car after losing the lug nut. #12 BRACK pulls off course driver's right which results in a FULL COURSE YELLOW. #6 DA MATTA assumes the lead, followed by #4 JUNQUEIRA, #27 FRANCHITTI, #20 BELL and #32 CARPENTIER. #51 FERNANDEZ and #39 ANDRETTI manage to remain on the lead lap as a result of the incident.

GREEN FLAG on Lap 65, #6 DA MATTA holds the point. #20 BELL moves into third after passing #27 FRANCHITTI on the restart. #44 DIXON passed #39 ANDRETTI in Turn 1.

On Lap 67, #6 DA MATTA leads #4 JUNQUEIRA by 1.678 seconds, followed by #20 BELL (2.515 seconds back), #27 FRANCHITTI (3.774 seconds back) and #32 CARPENTIER (4.727 seconds back).

On Lap 68, #4 JUNQUEIRA cuts the lead to 0.957 seconds.

On Lap 72, #6 DA MATTA leads #4 JUNQUEIRA by 0.961 seconds, followed by #20 BELL (2.263 seconds back), #27 FRANCHITTI (4.003 seconds back) and #32 CARPENTIER (6.912 seconds back).

On Lap 75, #6 DA MATTA leads #4 JUNQUEIRA by 0.857 seconds.

On Lap 77, #27 FRANCHITTI shortcut the chicane in Turn 1. CART officials determine that no advantage was gained and he will continue without penalty.

On Lap 81, #55 DOMINGUEZ makes his final pit stop and is the first car that can go the distance.

On Lap 85, #6 DA MATTA leads #4 JUNQUEIRA by 1.127 seconds, followed by #20 BELL (2.862 seconds back), #27 FRANCHITTI (7.869 seconds back) and #32 CARPENTIER (14.465 seconds back).

On Lap 87, #11 FITTIPALDI is slow exiting Turn 3, allowing the leaders to get by cleanly.

On Lap 88, #51 FERNANDEZ comes out of the pits on cold tires in front of #6 DA MATTA and #4 JUNQUEIRA, gets loose in Turn 7 as the leaders approach and contacts the wall in Turn 7. Local YELLOW FLAG in Turn 7. #20 BELL is in for his final stop.

On Lap 90, #6 DA MATTA, #4 JUNQUEIRA and #27 FRANCHITTI in for their final required stops. #6 DA MATTA out first.

On Lap 91, #44 DIXON, who hasn't made his final stop, passes the leader #6 DA MATTA in Turn 9 then makes his way to the pits.

On Lap 95, #6 DA MATTA leads #4 JUNQUEIRA by 1.784 seconds, followed by #27 FRANCHITTI (7.897 seconds back), #20 BELL (9.654 seconds back) and #32 CARPENTIER (14.244 seconds back).

On Lap 98, #6 DA MATTA leads #4 JUNQUEIRA by 0.673 seconds.

On Lap 100, #6 DA MATTA leads #4 JUNQUEIRA by 0.805 seconds. #27 FRANCHITTI follows in third (6.170 seconds back).

On Lap 102, #6 DA MATTA leads #4 JUNQUEIRA by just 0.742 seconds.

On Lap 103, The lead is now down to 0.610 seconds.

On Lap 105, #27 FRANCHITTI shortcut Turn 1. #27 FRANCHITTI gained no advantage and will not be penalized.

On Lap 106, #6 DA MATTA extends to a 0.876-second lead over #4 JUNQUEIRA.

On Lap 108, #6 DA MATTA leads by 0.726 seconds.

WHITE FLAG for #6 DA MATTA who leads by 0.487 seconds.

CHECKERED FLAG for #6 DA MATTA of Newman/Haas Racing who wins for the second-straight week (Laguna Seca) and third time this season (Monterrey, Mexico). #4 JUNQUEIRA of Target Chip Ganassi Racing finishes 0.625 seconds back, followed by #27 FRANCHITTI of Team KOOL Green (7.761 seconds back), Visteon/Patrick Racing's #20 BELL (8.455 seconds back) in a career-best finish and Player's/Forsythe Racing's #32 CARPENTIER (21.475 seconds back).

Bridgestone Tire engineers report that track temperatures ranged from 85 to 88 F, and air temperature from 68 to 69 F, during the event.

CHAMP CAR TOP-THREE QUOTES

CRISTIANO DA MATTA (#6 Chevron Toyota/Lola/Bridgestone): "It was a very tough race from beginning to end. Kenny [Brack] put a lot of pressure on me at the start of the race. He probably thought that if he couldn't get around me at the start, he wouldn't be able to get around me at all. Later on after Kenny had the problem, Bruno started closing in on me and I didn't have time to breath out there. My team did an outstanding job. It was one of the toughest races I've ever driven in." (On Brack falling out after losing the left rear) "I think the Target Chip Ganassi Racing crew thought they had to push because my team was getting me out of the pit on his tail after every stop."

BRUNO JUNQUEIRA (#4 Target Toyota/Lola/Bridgestone): "It was a shame with what happened to Kenny. It would have been a great way to finish with Kenny and myself up there. My car was really good. I was able to close the gap on Kenny and Cristiano. I thought I was a little faster than Cristiano and would have made a move if I had the opportunity. I tried to make Cristiano make a mistake but he is a good driver and we both have the same Toyota engine. Plus it's too early in the championship to be making a move like that."

DARIO FRANCHITTI (#27 KOOL Honda/Lola/Bridgestone): "One of the biggest and most important things at Portland is the start of the race. It was one of the first really good starts we've had here, going from seventh to fourth. We lost a place to Bruno on the first stop, but after a few problems with the brakes we ran just fine. We've got to get things sorted out before Chicago and definitely before the next road course if we are going to compete with Target Chip Ganassi Racing and Cristiano."

NOTEWORTHY:

Townsend Bell (#20 Visteon Toyota/Reynard/Bridgestone) recorded the highest finish of his Champ Car career with a fourth this afternoon. It allowed him to extend his streak of improving his finishing position in each of the seasons' first six races.

Michel Jourdain Jr. (#9 Gigante Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) finished inside the top 10 for the sixth straight race, becoming the first driver since Christian Fittipaldi (#11 Lilly Toyota/Lola/Bridgestone) to start the season with six consecutive top-10s (1999).

Cristiano da Matta (#6 Chevron Toyota/Lola/Bridgestone) and Kenny Brack (#12 Target Toyota/Lola/Bridgestone) tied for the most laps led with 55. Da Matta was awarded the point for leading the most laps by virtue of his higher finishing position. This is the first time that two drivers have led the same amount of laps in a race since Alex Zanardi and Bryan Herta each led 41 laps at Laguna Seca in 1996. Zanardi was awarded the point for finishing first.

This concludes the CART FedEx Championship Series pit notes for Round 6 of the 2002 season. Next up for the series is the CART FedEx Championship Series CART Grand Prix of Chicago from Chicago Motor Speedway in Cicero, Ill., for the running of Round 7 on the 1.029-mile oval, June 30. Congratulations once again to Cristiano da Matta of Newman/Haas Racing for winning the G.I. Joe's 200. The win in Portland makes it two straight and three on the season for da Matta. On behalf of Championship Auto Racing Teams, have a safe weekend and thank you once again for your interest and continued support of the CART FedEx Championship Series. Good Night!


Courtesy CART

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