AL UNSER JR. ( ...
AL UNSER JR. (#3 Galles Racing Starz SuperPak G Force/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "I'm really proud of the Galles Racing team. That's a great, great two-car effort. I'm really proud of the guys. We had an exciting time here at Richmond. I'm dying to get back. It's a lot of fun racing out there. We got in trouble there in the beginning, but we stuck together as a team and came right through."
SAM HORNISH JR. (#4 Pennzoil Panther Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "We were really hooked up there at the end. We really had a good set of Firestone tires. It was pretty slick to start off, but it kept getting better and better towards the end for me."
You still have the points lead, but Buddy is closing:
"I know, but somebody other than Buddy's got to win. He's getting too close there." (About problems towards end of race): "We don't know if it was a broken header or something else in the motor. It's something behind the driver's seat, that's all I know."
BUDDY LAZIER (#91 Tae-Bo/Coors Light/Delta Faucet Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "Yeah, this is one of the most physically demanding races I've won. I'm beat. We picked up a lot of momentum. This is two weeks in a row. I can't believe it. It's an amazing day."
JAQUES LAZIER (#99 Sam Schmidt Motorsports Racing Special Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "Extremely disappointed for Sam and the guys. We had a great package. I was taking my time. I knew my brother was going to jump out. I think Buzz pushed up and his left rear got my left front. This is the second race in a row where I had a car that goes. It's just frustrating."
JERET SCHROEDER (#6 Tri Star Motorsports Inc. Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "We looked the car over and something definitely let go in the engine. I don't think anything from Sarah's crash got lodged in our air scoop though. I think the mark they saw was actually caused by the rope and bar they used towing me in."
AIRTON DARE (#88 1-800-BAR-NONE G Force/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "I don't know what happened. I was just being pushed further and further to the line. Then I could feel his (Giaffone's) tires in between my tires, and it was done. The 1-800-BAR NONE team had a great test session earlier this week. I had my best qualifying ever, and then this happened. I've never crashed like this, you know. Maybe we just had bad luck tonight. We were moving up, up, up and then bam this happened."
JEFF WARD (#35 Heritage Motorsports/Firestone/Menards G Force/ Oldsmobile/Firestone): "The car was completely off at the beginning of the race. We were loose going through turns 3 and 4, and it took all I had to keep it off the wall. We finally got the tire pressure right and made wing adjustments. By the end, the car was running great. Had we hit the right setup at the beginning, we would have given Buddy a run."
BUZZ CALKINS (#12 Bradley Food Marts/ Sav-O-Mat Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "Once we got the Bradley Food Marts/ Sav-O-Mat Dallara off that first set of tires, we were OK. The whole race was a challenge. I was getting ready to pass Shigeaki (Hattori) in the next lap or two when he spun right in front of me. If I had tried to pass him a little sooner I would have been right in the middle of that. We survived to the end, but that isn't the way you want to race."
EDDIE CHEEVER JR. (#51 Cheever Indy Racing Infiniti Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "I love this track. It's great. There's no room for error at all. My spotter did a great job, and the race was ours to win. It's very unfortunate what happened. I was racing Salazar for the lead. He had older tires than I did. He got up very high out of Turn 2, and I got a run on him. There was enough room for him to stay high and for me to stay low. He came down, and there was no place for me to go. I want to look at the tape, but from my perspective I had more than enough room. I was completely inside. Maybe Salazar's spotter didn't tell him. I don't know."
SCOTT SHARP (#8 Delphi Automotive Systems Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "I felt like I was fighting the car constantly. It just didn't seem to want to grip the track. I don't know if other drivers had trouble with that, but I just couldn't find grip anywhere on the track. I also got loose on the yellows. I really had to be ginger with the throttle. Passing tonight was pretty tough, but we expected that. We lost a lap early on, and it was hard to get back, especially if you got caught behind slower traffic. It's a great track. I can't wait until next year."
DIDIER ANDRE (#32 Galles Racing G Force/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "The team was great. We finished third and fourth. It was a beautiful race. I had a tiny problem with my engine late in the race, but nothing major. This is a great result for all the guys on the team. I made many changes to the bars and weight jackers in the cockpit, but nothing during pit stops. The track changed much during the race. This was a great result for Galles. We had some bad luck early in the season."
MARK DISMORE (#28 Delphi Automotive Systems/Bryant Heating & Cooling Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "I had a heavy push early in the race, so when the yellow came out we just pitted and made wing adjustments. As the race went on, I was able to hustle the car pretty well. I had to dive into the pits during that one accident. I really had nowhere to go. I'm just lucky I wasn't caught up in the accident. Overall I'm pretty happy with our race. I hope the fans enjoyed it. We got some good points tonight, and I'm ready to head to Kansas."
FELIPE GIAFFONE (#21 Hollywood G Force/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "The Hollywood team just did an awesome job to get the car back out after we crashed. I think we picked up like five spots that I never thought we would get, and those points are really important. I'm not really sure what happened with (Airton) Dare. I thought I gave him plenty of room. I really don't want to say anymore until I see the tape, and I'll talk to Dare. It's a shame because we had a car that could have finished in the top three. The Hollywood car was awesome in the race at the end, and we were good on fuel to go to the end. It's just a shame. We'll go to Kansas, and see if we can get it done here."
ROBBIE BUHL (#24 Team Purex Dreyer & Reinbold Racing G Force/Infiniti/Firestone): "I guess I'm happy we finished. We had a car that in the beginning was loose. We couldn't put the power down until we got straight in the corner and that just killed us. Then later on Beechler came down and rammed us, and we had to come in to do a wing change. That lost us a couple laps. There at the end things were better, but by that time it was too late. Richmond is a fun place, you've just got to work for it."
SAM HORNISH JR. (#4 Pennzoil Panther Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone):
Did you know Buddy would be so dominant?:
"I figured he'd be from the get go. He started in front of me and went around everybody on the outside, and I just followed him around. He started pulling away from me after the first caution, and I really couldn't catch up to him. But we really were going to work on our car all night long. On the last pit stop, I don't know if I over-revved the motor or if something else happened, but we don't want to place blame, but we believe something went wrong behind the driver seat."
What did you learn tonight about the track?:
"The key to running at Richmond or any short oval is you have to keep the car under you all night long. You have to run it as hard as you can, but you need to know your limits. I don't know how many times the car stepped out on me. We really needed to work on our setups all night long, and toward the end of the race we were starting to get it where we wanted to. The biggest thing is to finish, and I guess we proved that today."
Are you getting tired of finishing second to Buddy?:
"I guess we could finish second to Buddy for the next three races and not lose our point lead. We'll just keep bringing the car home and getting good finishes. I think I finished all but five laps, and I don't think anyone is close to that. As far as finishing second to Buddy, I like Buddy, so I guess it's not as bad as finishing second to someone else. I like Al, I guess I could finish second to him a few times."
How tough was this race?:
"This is the most physical race I've run all year long. The track has a few ripples, actually two, that gets the car a little bit antsy going through there, and you are really following the car all night long. As far as being tired it's the toughest because you are turning all night long, and you're all over it all the time."
AL UNSER JR. (#3 Galles Racing Starz SuperPak G Force/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "I had a great time out there. This is a really fun race for us. This is the tightest racetrack I've been on in years, and it's the smallest racetrack I've been on in a single-seat, open-wheel car. I had a great time. I don't know how many times I had to come from the back tonight and had just a great time. We could run high. We could run low. We could run just about anywhere we wanted. I don't know how much patience everyone had out there, because I was driving my ass off all night long. We were just doing everything we could to gain positions and then to stay with them. Once everyone got going, it was pretty equal with each other. There at the end, Lazier wasn't getting away from us, and I don't think Lazier was taking it easy by any means. I had a great time here and definitely want to come back."
What made the difference for Galles?:
"We've just been working very, very hard as a team together. Didier and myself have been trying different setups, and we've been working really well together. Working with Didier has been a pleasure. We didn't do any testing here at all. One car was white, and one car was black. When we unloaded for the first session, one car was stiff and one car was soft. We just worked together, and really the whole team has pulled together. We kind of stepped on our toes with the three-car effort. It was too much for anyone to handle. The guys have pulled together and brought home a three-four finish. That's the best two-car finish out there right now, and we keep getting better every weekend. Hopefully by the end of the year, we can be one-two."
About the 2002 schedule:
"I think it's going to snow in April (in Nazareth). I think it's wonderful Nazareth is on the schedule, and I think it's super wonderful that Michigan is on the schedule. I was part of the CART race when they had 60-something lead changes, and that's nothing compared to when we get there. The IRL cars will put on one hell of a show at Michigan, and it's going to be awesome."