Team Penske driver Helio Castroneves posted the second-fastest practice speed yesterday afternoon and then hot-footed it to the CART infield hospital for treatment of back spasms.
The Detroit Grand Prix winner of two weeks ago had to have the same treatment yesterday morning, getting no practice time.
“The CART medical staff iced and treated it, so it felt a lot better this afternoon and I was able to run the second session,” said the affable Indy 500 winner. “After not running in the morning, we didn't know where we'd be, but the car was good from the beginning and we improved it throughout the session.
“The CART medical guys are going to continue to treat my back and I'm going to rest tonight. I'm looking forward to getting back at it tomorrow.”
MORE ROCK `N ROLL: There isn't enough rock and roll in auto racing that two CART drivers, current points leader Kenny Brack and Patrick Carpentier, couldn't add a little more.
They have formed a four-member rock-and-roll band that will perform during race weekends at several CART races.
The band will make its concert debut on July 13 at Wayne Gretzky's Restaurant in Toronto as part of the Toronto Grand Prix.
The band is named R.P.M. - Racing Powered Music - as the result of a CART Web-site contest. Some of the other band names submitted included, “Backstraight Boys,” “Hans and The Devices” and “Blood, Sweat and Gears.”
Brack will play guitar and Carpentier the drums. The duo will be joined by lead vocalist Elizabeth Fornal and bassist Laz Denes. Fornal is a CART marketing assistant from Detroit. Denes is the public-relations director for Mo Nunn Racing.
Some of the songs the band has been heard practicing include “Drive My Car,” by the Beatles and The Beach Boys' “Little Deuce Coupe.”
ANDRETTI FRUSTRATED: Michael Andretti, who has won once here (1991) and has three second-place finishes, never really got untracked on the Burke Lakefront Airport road course yesterday. His speed of 206.120 miles per hour was 18th-fastest and more than 41/2 miles per hour slower than Cristiano da Matta, who posted the fastest practice lap of 210.708 mph.
“I don't think today was the best indication of the type of car we have for the weekend,” Andretti explained. “We've had brake problems for the majority of the day so we weren't able to get the best out of the car. I think the car is easily a top-10 car if we can get this problem fixed. The car's not bad, just under braking I'm having serious problems.”