Quotes from qualifying

Helio Castroneves sat happy and content in the post qualifying press conference having taken his third career CART pole.

Quotes from qualifying

"I have to thank everyone at Marlboro Team Penske," he began in true pole-winner's syle. "I am still learning, and I know I am still going to be learning even when I retire - which I'm not thinking about yet! We had problems in the morning session, and we were swapping between the primary car and the spare.

"But we knew the car was good for qualifying," Helio continued, "but no-one knew what was going to happen with the weather. It started hot and sunny, but some of the clouds looked bad. So we decided to put the new tyres on early, and set a time.

"It was a good move because I had no traffic at all, it was a great time to do a run. And as it proved a load of yellows at the end meant no-one else could improve. I know what that's like - in Cleveland we had a car good for the front row, but ended up 10th.

"The race here is all about being patient, and looking after the car. It is a tough track, and you need to stay clear of trouble. It helps starting from the front."

Starting alongside Castroneves is fellow Brazilian, Cristiano da Matta. "I am particularly happy, said the PPI Motorsports driver. "We didn't start well here yesterday, and we changed a lot on the car overnight. This morning I wasn't even up to full speed but I could feel the car was much better.

"Then we fine-tuned for qualifying. I also got a completely clear lap, no traffic, and the tyres came in at the right time - everything came together at the right time. It was a good run.

"We don't have to worry about scoring our first win," Cristiano continued. "As long as we keep doing what we are doing, and working like we are, wit will come naturally.

"People always ask me if I'm happy to be faster than Montoya..."

"Come on, tell the truth!" interrupted Castroneves.

"Well, people ask me if I'm happy to be faster than Montoya," Cristiano continued. "The only things we have the same are the tyres and the Toyota engine. Everything else is different, so you can't really make comparisons. Of course I'd be lying if it didn't make me happy..."

Michael Andretti lines up third, the American a little frustrated after qualifying had lost his best lap to traffic. "The car was good. We put in a quick lap early, again because we couldn't tell what the weather was going to do.

"Then we made a change, and the car was even better. But Montoya blocked me on my best lap. It probably wasn't enough to beat Helio, but it would have been good for the front row.

"Juan didn't block me on purpose, he was just slowing down to make a gap for himself on his quick run. I've done it myself to others before. But the fact you need to do that shows just how important qualifying is now. All the teams are so close that you have to make every lap count.

"But we are coming on strong with the Lola now, and traditionally we've had a better second half of the year, so hopefully we can get a good run going."

Andretti is the only driver to win the Molson Indy race from pole in its 15-year history. "For now," interrupted Castroneves...

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