Ganassi comeback falters on Friday

Target Chip Ganassi Racing's return to the Indianapolis 500 hit a snag in Friday practice as Juan Montoya and Jimmy Vasser only managed to run seventh and 15th quickest respectively

Ganassi comeback falters on Friday

The pair had both topped the timesheets on separate occasions earlier in the practice week.

'The car was on and off today,' Vasser said. 'And I was happy with the speed. We just need to do some minor adjustments on the steering. The car was a little loose, but we should be ready for qualifying tomorrow.

'We're fortunate to have the resources and ability to do both the Indianapolis 500 and compete in the CART series. It's a testament to this team and quality personnel that we have. It feels good to be back here. I think, especially for an American driver, it doesn't get any bigger or better than this. I'm glad to be back.'

This is Vasser's fifth Indianapolis 500 but the first for Montoya, the defending CART champion.

'We were trying some things today, and we made some gains on the car,' Montoya said. 'It was just a little bit, but we're comfortable where we are at. Testing today was a lot of fun, and it gives me a chance to see the tendencies of the other drivers.'

Reigning IRL champion Greg Ray set the pace on Friday. He paid tribute to the Ganassi team, winners of the past four CART championships with Vasser, Montoya and Alex Zanardi. However, the Team Menard driver added that he also hoped to prove the high standard of the IRL field by beating the cream of CART.

'What more compliments can you make for that team?' Ray asked. 'They have won four championships with three different drivers. That isn't an accident, they are a very good team with two great drivers. But, they are just another team as far as I'm concerned.

'There are a bunch of great teams out there and I'm not putting any more focus on them than anybody. I think for the fans and for the media and for the Indy 500, it's a good thing. Things have been competitive since the CART/IRL split, and I don't think the media have given a lot of the IRL drivers the credit they deserve for as talented as they are.'

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