Milwaukee 1999 - Qualifying

Qualifying
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Scott Pruett walks out to his car on the pit road. According to my new friend Patricia in the Omega Timing booth, Scott's move to the Arciero Wells team this season is rumored to be in connection with the new speedway that Cal Wells is building in Sacramento. Currently the oldest driver in CART, Scott is tipped for a management role in Sacramento when he retires from driving.

13:01 Kodak Advantix 200

Pruett in the Pits
Nice Haircut, Robby

Robby Gordon also prepares himself for his qualifying attempt. Nice haircut, Robby!

13:13 Kodak Advantix 200

Al Unser Jr. sports a severe new haircut himself! This weekend he's the sole Penske driver and has the team's new Lola.

13:17 Kodak Advantix 200

Nice Haircut, Al
Silly Beard Club

Michael Andretti psyches himself up for his run.

Is the new small wing package going to make much of a difference to the kind of racing we are going to see tomorrow? "It's going to be OK. I think it is going to be an exciting race and you should see some good passing."

13:28 Kodak Advantix 200

Michael in the car waiting for his turn.

How much is the weather going to play a role in the race? "Racing in hot weather is never any fun. Our car is really sliding around right now."

13:51 Kodak Advantix 200

Michael Ready
Michael Waiting

As for all speedways, qualifying is done one car at a time, with two full laps per driver to set a fast time. Note the low-slung front wing on the Swift car.

13:52 Kodak Advantix 200

Mario looks on pensively as Michael qualifies poorly to pick up only eleventh position. Michael: "This is a really disappointing run for me. The race is another thing though and I believe we can improve the car tomorrow morning."

13:59 Kodak Advantix 200

Mario Watching
Jimmy's Swimming Goggles

Last year's winner, Jimmy Vasser, waits patiently for his turn. Note the funny glasses - no they're not swimming goggles! He posts an excellent time at 22.088 seconds, that stands on pole right up to the last minutes of the session.

13:59 Kodak Advantix 200

Christian Fittipaldi qualifies thirteenth: "I am a little disappointed. I used up too much of my tires on my third time by. There is no grip out there either, but it's the same for everybody. It's going to be a very difficult race tomorrow. Around here starting in the back of the field makes it difficult to pick up positions. I really should have taken my fast lap a bit earlier. It was my mistake."

14:04 Kodak Advantix 200

Christian Visor Up
Montoya Rarin' to Go

JP qualifies a respectable fifth, but would prefer to be further up the grid.

14:06 Kodak Advantix 200

Co-owner of the Newman-Haas team and owner of the Milwaukee Mile track, Carl Haas rides by sucking on his signature big cigar.

14:08 Kodak Advantix 200

Team Owner, Track Owner
Patrick Set

Patrick Carpentier is next up...

14:08 Kodak Advantix 200

...while Dario waits alongside. They are both Reynards, but the Kool cars have their own straight front wings instead of the standard drooping ones. However, the Player's cars have additional mini-airfoils on the nose, so both teams are making their own aerodynamic modifications.

14:09 Kodak Advantix 200

Dario in the Shade
Patrick Go

"I think being in the fourth row on the grid will give us a safer race start and a chance to get settled and work our way into a good position in the race."

14:09 Kodak Advantix 200

Greg Moore in the other Player's car: "You always would like to get the pole but being on the inside of Row 2 is a great position for the start of the race. I feel very confident about giving Player's a finish in the top points tomorrow."

14:13 Kodak Advantix 200

Greg Ready
Paul Attempts Pole

Paul Tracy qualifies sixth: "The whole run was extremely loose, I was crossed up with opposite lock. We were sideways all the way around. The car was really loose and I almost lost it on the warm-up lap. I just hung onto it the best I could. We got the best out of the Team KOOL Green car that was there."

14:15 Kodak Advantix 200

Christian walks back to the Newman-Haas pit after completing his qualifying run.

14:18 Kodak Advantix 200

Christian Back
Hogan and Helio

And finally Helio Castro-Neves goes out and grabs the first pole of his CART career at 21.931 seconds. "I'm very happy for Carl Hogan [standing to the left], because he is the one who gave me this opportunity. Today, I'm going to enjoy this moment. I think I'm the happiest driver in the world right now, but tomorrow is a very important day as well."

14:19 Kodak Advantix 200

Greg Moore being interviewed for local radio and television by Metro Networks after qualifying third.

Hey, isn't that Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone in the background? According to Parker Johnstone, he was at the race.

14:28 Kodak Advantix 200

Bernie and Greg
Racing Car Graffiti

Someone made an impression on the wall during the day. The cars go anti-clockwise, so that means the car spun and traveled backwards right to left along the wall.Note the mark of the nose cone and where the wheels strike. The wall was back to being pure white by the following morning.

15:28 Kodak Advantix 200

Saturday | Qualifying | Sunday | The Race

Paul Jasper's Web Site | Racing | Milwaukee 1999

1999 Paul Jasper. Last updated Friday May 06, 2005.