HOUSTON, Texas – May 12, 2006 – After waiting well into the final qualifying session to head out on track, Paul laid down a fast lap that put him at P1 on the timing and scoring charts. After burning up the track on that fast lap he brought his car into the pits and waited. While in the pits PT’s car was shodded with the Bridgestone Red or alternate tires and Paul waited. With just over 10 minutes left in the session, PT’s teammate was atop the leaderboard by almost a full second. Mario came in, Paul went out. Despite running some very quick laps on the Reds that brought him up as high as P2 on the leaderboard.
PT ran a fast lap of 58.426 @ 104.132 MPH.
Paul: I think it went great for Forsythe Racing. Obviously, Mario has been very quick all weekend. He’s been historically very quick on this style of track, very bumpy tracks like Denver, Miami, where he’s been successful. He’s been going really quick.
I’ve been just trying to figure out what is making the car so quick for him and maybe not so much for me. We made a lot of changes throughout the day today, made some more big changes right before qualifying after the warm-up. The red tires, really the first go around on them, I was really maybe a little bit tentative on them. Probably could have got more on the first set of tires. The second set, I knew what I had to work with and was able to cut a pretty fast lap, but not close enough to Mario. I think it was a couple 10ths behind him. We’re satisfied. Obviously, it’s changed the balance of how things look from yesterday. Looked like it was going to be a walk-away with Newman/Haas. Obviously, we’ve worked very hard, it’s a different day today.