Dominguez Scores Emotional Podium for PCM at Champ Car Finale

21.04.2008: Dominguez Scores Emotional Podium for PCM at Champ Car Finale

Drives the Imperial Capital Bank Car from Tenth to Third at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long BeachThe Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach

The last time Mario Dominguez drove a Champ Car, he was scoring a top-ten finish for Pacific Coast Motorsports in his native Mexico City. He got the call to drive for the California-based team last week, and jumped at the opportunity to participate in the Champ Car finale; the series that made him a superstar in his native country and throughout the U.S. Latin regions.

There is no such thing as being "rusty" or out practice for the "Official Driver of Mexico City." Dominguez opened the weekend fourth and remained in the top-ten in every session, setting up a record-setting weekend for the PCM squad.

After a disappointing tenth place qualifying result, Dominguez drove a clean and aggressive race to give PCM their first Champ Car podium finish. He worked on fuel mileage throughout the 83-lap race with this Race Engineer, Gerald Tyler. The hard work paid off, Dominguez passed Tagliani with seven laps to go for the third place finish.

Figge’s finale was less than satisfying for the young American. Despite a hard charge, Figge wound up outside the top-ten at Long Beach. His crew battled a faulty fuel probe, but remedied the problem in time for his final stop and Figge brought home the #29 Panoz in 14th.

MARIO DOMINGUEZ, #96 Imperial Capital Bank/Cosworth/Bridgestone

Started 10th 1:07.745 Finished 3rd

Mario on qualifying: "It was an amazing race. I want to thank Mr. and Mrs. Figge for giving me the chance to drive for PCM last year. Also thanks to Alex, he is a great teammate and I really enjoyed driving with him. Everyone was racing really hard and to be on the podium in the final Champ Car is a great honor. I started in Champ Car in 2002 – and it was a childhood dream of mine to compete here. I have to thank Tyler Tadevic and Pacific Coast Motorsports. The team gave me great communication today. We saved a lot of fuel and drove hard. It was great.

I passed Tagliani for third right toward the end and it was an exciting moment. This was the home race for my team and to see the joy on their faces was very rewarding. Also the fans, it almost felt as if I was driving in Mexico today. As I made the parade lap they were yelling my name, I have so much support here, it is an incredible feeling. It is a sad moment for me because I will miss Champ Car, I loved Champ Car and I will always be so proud to have won in Champ Car. But, there has to be one series; that is very clear.

The future is bright, I am sad but at the same time happy, in the end, the fans will be the winners and that is terrific and I hope to be part of that. This is where I made my name and this is where I made my career, but my future starts right now. Today was Tyler’s first race as a team owner, and we scored a podium, that is very special to me."

Alex Figge #29 Imperial Capital Bank/Cosworth/Bridgestone

Friday Qualifying 16th 1:08.489 Finished 14th

Alex on qualifying: "I want to thank Imperial Capital Bank for their continued support. It was great to run one last time here in the Champ Car. I love driving this car, I am disappointed it is over, I think we could have had a good run this year, but that is the way it goes. I am looking forward to my future in racing."


Tyler Tadevic, Team Owner: "Alex did a great job going from two cars to one within such short notice. It was our last race together, and we were disappointed we couldn’t give him a better result. At the end of the day, the guys really pulled it together. I want to give a big thanks to Tom, Jennifer, and Alex Figge for the past six years. It’s been a pleasure working with them, and I hope to work with them again in the future.

As far as Mario goes, all I can say is wow. We needed a great finish to show our team’s capabilities, so having a podium was unreal. Our goal was to score a top ten finish, so to be a part of the podium was unbelievable. It was a big forward boost to our program. I want to send a big thanks to everyone for sticking around and making this only a catalyst to much bigger times ahead—without the team behind me, nothing would have been possible.

They gave me our first podium at the Imperial Bank Long Beach Grand Prix as team owner, and I couldn’t be happier. Muchas gracias to Mario for a job well done. I want to thank Michael (Harvey, team manager), Roy (Wilkerson, Crew Chief), Gerald (Tyler, Race Engineer), Chris (Lerch, Race Engineer), and the entire team for making this possible."

- Katie Brannan, -


21.04.2008 / MaP

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