Tracy Laments Lost Pole

Paul Tracy reckoned he would have taken provisional pole at Cleveland but for an encounter with a stray tyre from a corner apex just as he was keying himself up for a final challenge

Tracy Laments Lost Pole

As it was, the 2003 Champ Car title-holder missed out on the bonus point and guaranteed front-row starting spot by a miniscule four-thousandths of a second.

"The car was quick on the 'reds' [softer Bridgestone tyres] and we should have had the pole," said Tracy.

"On my next-to-last lap I had just cooled down my tyres and brakes and had clear track so I was laying down a quick one. But I came into the last chicane and found one of the corner-marking tyres had been kicked out onto the track. I clipped it with my front wing and broke it, so that was that.

"I'm a bit disappointed that we weren't able to use the red tyres effectively, but we'll be back tomorrow with a strong car and we'll see what we can do."

Tracy last won at Cleveland as a baby-faced wunderkind driving for Marlboro Team Penske in 1993. He qualified on pole last season but was an innocent victim of an all-too-regular Cleveland first corner fracas and walked away empty-handed.

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