CHAMPCAR/CART: Cleveland quotes

Courtesy of SpeedCenter, reproduced by permission http://www.speedcenter.com/ Sunday Quotes from drivers and managers at Burke Lakefront: ...

Courtesy of SpeedCenter, reproduced by permission http://www.speedcenter.com/

Sunday Quotes from drivers and managers at Burke Lakefront:

#8 GIL de FERRAN, Pennzoil Reynard Honda (On his late-race duel with Zanardi): "I know it was a moment when he was going to try to overtake me. I came up on slower traffic and gave up some momentum. I gave him the outside line  deep  deep  and to his credit he tried to take it. I just concentrated my best and tried not to make a mistake."

JIM HALL, Team Owner, Hall Racing (On how much gas was left in #8 de FERRAN's tank at the finish): "I think I could have had it for a cocktail. It wasn't much.

"We had a great finish today. It was a well-run race. Gil ran a terrific race, I sure am proud of him. He had a tough race here last year, but he bounced back well today."

#4 ALEX ZANARDI, Target/Chip Ganassi Reynard Honda: "I tried, I think I could (pass de FERRAN). I was obviously quicker than Gil at the end, but he's obviously very strong and very tough to beat. He left me an opening, and I tried to take it. (To de FERRAN) I'm happy for you, but a little bit disappointed for me."

#99 GREG MOORE, Player's/Indeck Reynard Mercedes: "This says a lot for our crew. They did a great job. We planned a two-stop race; we thought some other guys might have to do three. We just didn't have enough for Gil and Alex today."

#12 JIMMY VASSER, Target/Chip Ganassi Reynard Honda (finished 10th): "This was just a bad race all around. We wanted to make it a two-stop race instead of a three-stop, but I made a mistake. I went just a little wide and got off-line In the switch-back (Turns 3 and 4) and caught two cones on the exit of the corner. I'm not sure why (the cones) were there, but one ended up in my radiator, and the other on the front wing. the engine started to get a little hot and I had to come in."

#6 MICHAEL ANDRETTI, Kmart/Texaco/Havoline Lola Ford (finished 19th): "Considering where we started and they way we battled ourselves back, it's a real shame not to finish this race on the podium. We had at least a third, who knows what else we could have done. It was a really tough race to come home with nothing. Something in the drive train went. Every time I hit it, the car went sideways. As I came off of turn one, it just went. We were right there despite being out of pit sequence. For some reason, all of the fuel didn't go in on my first stop. My team decided to make two short stops so that I would have fresh tires and hopefully catch a yellow. I didn't know I was out of sequence until they told me to come in the third time. It was definitely a tough race. We really needed the points to stay in the top-three and make up some ground on Jimmy. Dropping to fifth puts more pressure on us for Toronto."

#11 CHRISTIAN FITTIPALDI, Kmart/Budweiser Lola Ford (finished seventh): "I went down the outside on the start and everything was going good then when I went out of the turn, I stepped on the gas and the car just didn't pick up for some reason. It felt like the engine died completely and everyone went by me. That's why I lost a lot of places on the start of the race. After that, the engine was working okay but the car was completely inconsistent. Sometimes it went, and sometimes it didn't go at all. There was no consistency. Every turn of every lap was a complete surprise to me."

#10 EDDIE LAWSON, Delco Electronics High Tech Team Galles Lola Mercedes (finished 24th): "Well, I'm not real happy right now. We picked up a couple of spots at the start of the race and the car was running great. It's just too bad that this had to happen. Parker and I were in the middle of Turn 1, and he hit me from behind and knocked my front wheel off when he attempted to pass. It's just not necessary to do that. With all the power the Honda has, he could have picked a better spot to try that. I'm just really sorry for the team, I felt that we could have walked away with a top 10 finish."

#1 RAUL BOESEL, Brahma Sports Team Reynard Ford (finished 26th): "I think we had a really good start. I moved up a position. I tried to move to the inside, so I came off Turn One a little slow, but everything adjusted itself and so I gained a spot. I was fighting with (Mauricio) Gugelmin, my car was getting better every lap, and it was only a matter of time before I would have gone by him. My car was actually quicker than his and I was just waiting for an opportunity to overtake him. I saw Robby (Gordon) ahead of Gugelmin, he was going about the same pace and was really using his brakes up, so it would have only been a matter of time for us to gain some more positions. It seems we just cannot have any luck."

#31 ANDRE RIBEIRO, LCI International Lola Honda: "We had a few small problems today. I missed some gears and had trouble keeping the pace after the first pit stop. Towards the end, there was a misfire and smoke. It turned out to be a broken header."

#32 ADRIAN FERNANDEZ, Tecate Beer/Quaker State Lola Honda (finished sixth): "I never thought I would finish sixth. I though we would finish much higher. I am happy for the team, but disappointed with the result after our efforts."

"This was a tough race. At the beginning, my car was pushing a lot and I had trouble keeping up with the leaders. We made a few changes on the pit stops which really helped a lot and the car was very good at the end. Obviously, this is a very physically demanding race."

STEVE HORNE, Team Owner, Tasman Motorsports: "This was a good race. You pretty much had to be 100 per cent all the way. The tires were very good today."

#49 PARKER JOHNSTONE, Motorola Reynard Honda (finished 24th): "It was one of those things. Unfortunately, I was stuck in a line of cars where I was only marginally faster. Eddie (Lawson) and I were fighting for territory. I thought Eddie left the inside open a bit so I got inside, but he turned down into the apex. I got hard on the brakes, but we hit. I'm sorry for my team and all the Motorola people who came out here this weekend."

#18 BOBBY RAHAL, Miller Racing Reynard Mercedes (finished 15th): "I got a good start this time (moving from 11th to 8th). Then I got to seventh, and I could see the leaders. But we lost (turbo) boost after the first pit stop. And we lost three laps changing a boost controller. After that, I was as fast as the leaders. In fact, they were giving me the blue flag to move over for (Alex) Zanardi. But he wasn't catching me. So, I kept running hard. Then, I slowed for him out of Turn One. It's a shame, because we had a good car and we could run with the Hondas most of the day. I'm happy for Bryan (Herta) and our Shell team."

#28 BRYAN HERTA, Shell Oil Reynard Mercedes (finished fifth): "This race was very good for our team. I would have liked to be on the podium, but we'll take a top five. We didn't get any time in the car this morning in warmup because we had an O-ring break by the engine. But once we ran a little bit, the car felt good. I guess (Juan Manuel) Fangio didn't see me getting into Turn 1 when I was racing with (Greg) Moore and Al (Unser Jr.). He hit my front wing and I had to stop in the turn. From there, they were able to get around me. But overall, this is a good start to the rest of the season."

#5 ROBBY GORDON, Valvoline/Cummins/Craftsman Special Reynard Ford (finished 18th): "I had really moved ahead. I think I was up to about fifth or sixth. Then, Christian (Fittipaldi) passed a couple of cars and all of a sudden, he came through the middle of the pack and just drove me right out in the grass. Then he did it to me again. Finally, I got by him. I don't know if he had a problem of what, but something was going on there. We just can't seem to fix our handling problems. The car was just very inconsistent. It had a lot of push."

#20 SCOTT PRUETT, Firestone Patrick Lola Ford (finished eighth): "This is a tough race. Track position at the start is so important. We had a big push for most of the race. We added some front wing during our first two stops and that helped. We just never got the big break we needed. We have had some tough luck the last couple of races and to get some points and hold our position in the PPG Cup standings was very important to the team."

#25 JEFF KROSNOFF, MCI Reynard Toyota (finished 16th ): "Coming out of the corner, the car just shut down. I'm not sure what it was, it just stopped. The car was as good a car as we were going to get. I drove hard and the guys did good pit work, but that all went out the window."

#17 MAURICIO GUGELMIN, Hollywood PacWest Racing (finished 21st ): "The car was very slow down the straight the whole race, and finally, we think we lost a valve spring and had to shut the car down because it was about to explode. We don't think it was the header, because we didn't lose any boost."

#21 MARK BLUNDELL, VISA PacWest Racing (finished 11th): "I feel bad for the team because they gave me a great package and they deserved a better result. It was a very driveable car."

(On the lap 55 pit fire): "We made good decisions on our pit stops. In fact, the second stop was especially well-timed. It's tough to say what happened, but I started to leave the pits under the usual signal and the fuel hose was still connected. That put me off the pace and I had to re-focus mentally, because I knew a few of the guys might have been hurt during the stop."

NOTE: Tim Douthat, who handles vent and air jack duties for the VISA/PacWest team, suffered a sprained right ankle, and second degree burns to his face after being involved in a flash fire in Blundell's pit during Blundell's second pit stop. Crew member Randy Smay also received second degree burns to his face.

#36 JUAN MANUEL FANGIO II, All American Racers Eagle Toyota (finished 13th): "We couldn't get any points, but we are getting better. I was worried after this morning's warm-up, because we lost some speed with the engine, but we came back. It feels great to finish 13th (after qualifying 25th), but we have to keep going. There's still a long way to go, but things are starting to look better. I'm very excited. I'm very happy that the gear box made it. I talk about having a consistent car, and it was very good when the tires and tank were half way. That's what I'm looking for in the races."

#98 PJ JONES, All American Racers Eagle Toyota (finished 23rd): "When we started out, we were running good. We started losing our shift-without-lift and our sensor and that making the motor miss, so we came in and fixed that. We had a lot of problems this weekend. It wasn't our weekend from the get-go. Every session was a challenge. We struggled all through the weekend, but we'll just keep working at it and try to get better as fast as we can."

#2 AL UNSER, JR. Marlboro Penske Mercedes (finished fourth): "We changed the car between the morning warm-up session and the race. We used a combination of my setup and Emerson's, and I wish we would have had that setup for our qualifying sessions, because obviously the Marlboro car was working much better during the race. The main difference was that we were able to get the car through the corners."

"My Marlboro crew did a great job in the pits all day, with stops in the 10-11 second range. We just tried to hang tough and stay with the leaders. It was a long, hard race and we're going to keep chipping away in the points battle."

#3 PAUL TRACY, Marlboro Penske Mercedes (finished ninth): "I planned to make my move on the outside at the start, and it really paid off. By setting up wide for the first turn, I avoided all the congestion and drove around five cars to take third. On the first yellow, we stayed out, which moved us up to second."

"Our strategy was to run the race on two stops, which we accomplished. Unfortunately, our handling deteriorated after 25 laps into each segment and we lost a lot of time on the race track. I've been fighting a cold all week, which didn't help matters, so I guess we'll have to take the points for ninth and get ready for Toronto."

#16 STEFAN JOHANSSON, Alumax Reynard Mercedes (finished 12th): "I just flat wore the tires out in the end. There really wasn't much I could do in the closing laps, and that's why we dropped a couple of positions. Ironically, the second set of tires we used were perfect. I had a very good stint and you could see it in our lap times."

#19 HIRO MATSUSHITA, Panasonic/DUSKIN Lola Ford: "The car developed a peculiar engine problem because I couldn't use fifth gear on all the straights; just on the last straight before the pits. The engine is not revving high enough to pull the car. Thus, I ran out of track before the engine reached the shifting point. The engineers will look into this problem right away to determine if it can be corrected or we need to change motors for the race. Right now, it is difficult to know."

DON VERA, Manager, Product Development, Race Tires, Goodyear Tire and Rubber: "Our prime tire did its job today and helped de FERRAN win the race. Though, it didn't qualify as well as we had hoped, it ran just fine during the race in extreme heat conditions."

AL SPEYER, Bridgestone/Firestone Motorsports Manager: "Our tires ran flawlessly in the extreme heat. Of course, we're disappointed not taking the top spot; we've gotten used to finishing first. Make no mistake, however, we're very happy with the performance of Alex Zanardi and Greg Moore you have two rookies showing their talents. Firestone is very proud to have these drivers riding on its tires."

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Alex Zanardi , Chip Ganassi