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Vasser Hails PKV Milestone

Jimmy Vasser hailed his Milwaukee pole as a morale-booster for the fledgling PKV Racing team of which he is a part-owner - but refused to be lulled into the complacent assumption that the third-year outfit is now a bona fide frontrunner

The veteran rocked the Champ Car establishment by securing PKV's maiden pole at the Wisconsin State Fair Park on Friday, ending a personal three-year drought. The achievement was particularly timely since Vasser is set to make his 200th consecutive Champ Car start when he takes the green flag tomorrow afternoon.

"I'd much rather talk about pole positions and possible race wins than 200 consecutive starts," he quipped. "I've got the grey hair to show it..."

Asked whether he felt a particular satisfaction at putting one over his younger brethren, the 39-year-old replied: "I'd like to think I could still do the job. You know, it's very satisfying. Not from an egotistical standpoint about my age compared to the young guys, but more that I came into this team and was made a partner in this team to help build it and turn it into a potential race winner. That's where all the satisfaction comes for me."

Vasser acknowledged that, while the strong performance of both himself and teammate Cristiano da Matta (who qualified fourth) bore witness to progress, PKV still has a long way to go before it can consistently take the fight to Newman/Haas and Forsythe Racing.

"This is good for us, but certainly we don't feel like we've arrived," he said. "We've got a lot of work to do. There are a lot of programmes in place to move PKV forward.

"You know, we've been working real hard, making some changes technically [developing an improved shock package], in our driver line-up [replacing journeyman Roberto Gonzalez with former Champion Cristiano da Matta] and in our management [the addition of legendary Champ Car team manager/chief mechanic Jim McGee].

"This is a good spirit-builder and a good confidence-builder for the team. One of the key factors in building a team, in my experience, is good chemistry and energy. I think this goes a long way to help build that."

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