Qual 1: Tracy fastest so far

Paul Tracy set down his marker for this weekend's race at Mid-Ohio by setting provisional pole in one of the most exciting sessions of the season. Tracy took the pole with a 67.204s lap with fourteen of the forty minutes remaining, but the order constantly changed through the depth of the field. But Jimmy Vasser brought out the red flag with a minute or so remaining, ending the drama and potentially preventing several drivers from improving on their final laps

Qual 1: Tracy fastest so far

"It's always important to respond to a challenge," said Tracy, after locking up his ninth front row start of the season. "We dominated the last few races, but Bruno (Junqueira) responded in spades at Elkhart Lake while I made a mistake and ran off the track in the first lap. There's no sense in being upset about last week - we just have to roll with it and keep doing our best."

Alex Tagliani came closest to beating Tracy, clocking a 67.477s lap despite missing most of the morning practice sessions with a blown engine. "We didn't have a very good test here, but we came to the race with a lot of differences on the car. I was lucky in qualifying to get a good lap in early and a lot of the quicker guys didn't have a chance to improve on their final laps."

Patrick Carpentier qualified third despite losing his best lap from the session as a penalty for blocking Jimmy Vasser. However, Carpentier's second best effort of 67.611s did the job. "So-so," Patrick remarked. "The car was pretty good, probably better than the times we did. I got a lot of traffic and I know I messed Max Papis up at one point. But I couldn't afford to let him get ahead of me because you know that Max is one of those guys who won't let you back past."

Mario Dominguez would achieve a CART career best if he can carry his fourth place grid position through final qualifying. Michel Jourdain of local favourites Team Rahal ran fifth ahead of Sebastien Bourdais and Oriol Servia.

Championship leader Junqueira saw his points lead cut from three to two and he struggled with traffic to provisionally qualify 11th. "I think we had a top-three car but I couldn't get a clear lap," he stated. "It was a difficult session."

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