Sorry if these columns for autosport.com aren't exactly the Prozac of auto racing journalism, but our tale of disaster continued in Champ Car rounds five and six. Like I told you last time, Portland isn't one of my best tracks. I've never won there, and only taken one pole there. Even so, I didn't expect things to go so badly that I'd finish seventh. But when I tell you it went better than Cleveland, you get the picture.
At Portland I was just struggling the whole weekend with lack of grip, which is why we ended up qualifying tenth, and in the race I was struggling with tyre wear issues, pretty much throughout.
Obviously the start caused a fair bit of controversy, because the pole-sitter ended up only fourth into the first turn, but I think Bruno [Junqueira] was playing around, brake-checking everyone, and then when the green fell, that meant he held up the whole right-hand-side of the grid, so the left lane just went flying past.
That was fine by me, as we went from tenth to fifth, and thereafter that first stint went okay. But I'd used a lot of fuel to get up to third place by the end of that stint, so I paid the price in the pitstops. Everyone else went further on a tank of gas, and I gave up a lot of the places I'd gained.