PAUL TRACY ( ...
PAUL TRACY (#3 Player's/Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone):
"We had an off weekend at Elkhart Lake, losing top spot in the standings, so we had to rebound today. That was very disappointing. I went quickly on my first set of tires and the time stood up. Team Player's set up for this weekend is very good. I know there is a lot of traffic out there but we have to deal with it and get it done. I knows that the track will improve tomorrow (Saturday), but so will we."
ALEX TAGLIANI (#33 Johnson Controls Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone):
"No, the track was good. We didn't have a very good test here when we came. But we came here with a lot of differences on our car. This morning we had a lot of problems. We broke the block of the engine in the pit lane, and we did about eight laps. So when we came into qualifying, we were a little bit concerned. But I guess the car was all right on new tires, and we did an okay lap on the first set of tires. And I think we got lucky on the second set. I didn't have any traffic. I did a fast lap early. A lot of the quick guys didn't have the chance to improve their lap. So we still have a little bit of issues on our car that we have to work. But with the minimum of lap that we ran this morning, it's kind of understandable. We just have to work a little bit more tomorrow."
PATRICK CARPENTIER (#32 Player's/Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone):
"I did not get a clear lap today. There was traffic all the time. I kept letting cars by to get a gap but cars kept coming and coming. I finally got a couple of clear laps and logged in two quick times. At the end, I was trying to get another clear lap and Jimmy spun, causing a red flag stoppage. It's a good thing that I did those two quick laps today, otherwise I would have been down the chart after I was penalized for blocking when I was only looking for room to move like everyone else. The Player's car is much better than what we did today. I don't know if going out early tomorrow will change something but I have to put it all together and get that lap."
MARIO DOMINGUEZ (#55 Herdez Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone):
"We showed up with a good car here right out of the box - like last weekend in Elkhart Lake, the testing we did here at Mid Ohio really helped us have a good starting point. I think we had enough left in the car that we could have even improved a bit more. I was up over a tenth on the lap when the red flag came out. I doubt we had enough to catch Paul (Tracy) but I think the second spot was within our reach for sure. The goal for tomorrow will be to have our best qualifying of the year. Fourth would do that for us but I think we have what it takes to do even better than that."
MICHEL JOURDAIN JR. (#9 Gigante Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone):
"We had a pretty good lap going there when the red flag came, but I am sure every one else along pit lane has the same story. The track will be faster tomorrow as the big thing is that Paul [Tracy] gets the point and knows he will start on the front row. We need to make the car a little bit better for tomorrow and then hopefully we can improve our position. There are a lot of high expectations for Team Rahal when we run here, but the expectations are not any higher than what we set for ourselves every week. People have asked me this week if I feel any extra pressure or if I try harder to win here at Mid-Ohio and the answer is no. I raced in front of 200,000 of my countrymen last year at Mexico City and so running here at Mid-Ohio isn't anything compared to that pressure. Secondly, if I try harder to win here at Mid-Ohio then I'm not trying hard enough the other 18 races."
ORIOL SERVIA (#20 Visteon/Patrick Racing Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone):
"I am not very happy with the Visteon/Patrick Racing Team's qualifying effort today. I expected us to qualify higher than seventh because we had such a good test here at Mid-Ohio a month ago. The track has changed some since then, but it is the same for everybody. Right now we have a little too much understeer, so we need to find some more front grip. The Visteon/Patrick Racing engineering staff has us headed in the right direction and with some fine-tuning the car will be nice. Especially when there is more rubber on the track. I am very confident the Visteon/Patrick racing Team will improve its position tomorrow in final qualifying."
ROBERTO MORENO (#4 Herdez Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone):
"We are pleased with the results from today. Earlier in the season I missed the Mid-Ohio test because of a virus, but I think the team has recovered quickly from our missed testing opportunity. We have a couple of things to improve on the car for tomorrow, but overall I think we will have a good car to work with. During the session I ran into traffic on the first and second run and as a result spoiled my two best laps because I had to back off."
RYAN HUNTER-REAY (#31 American Spirit Team Johansson Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone):
"Today was a good day all considering I went into qualifying with 11 laps under my belt on this track in a Champ Car and ended up inside the top-ten. We had some issues with the gearing in the second practice session which cost us half the session but the good side of that is that we have an extra set of new tires for the race. I am still learning this track with the Champ Car, I definitely left something in the bag for tomorrow."
DARREN MANNING (#15 RAC/Walker Racing Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone):
"I was hopeful that we'd be further up in the top-ten after going into qualifying P1 on overall practice times, but P10 is OK. The first run at it this afternoon, I had my hands full with understeer and I was down to 14th. I had popped up to tenth though after the changes we made between the two runs, but I only had one real clean lap on the second outing before the red (flag) came out. The Reynard does tend to struggle when it comes to hot temperatures. We have a good direction though and we're only a few tenths from being well inside the top-ten."
ADRIAN FERNANDEZ (#51 Tecate/Quaker State/Telmex Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone):
"The car feels pretty good. Unfortunately, we couldn't put in a good time on our second run. CART made the decision to throw a [local] yellow when Jimmy Vasser's car was off in the grass. The car was there for two laps when they called a red flag with one minute to go. That's usually when everybody puts in their fastest times. If you are going to have that situation, you should red flag it straightaway. Basically we never put in a good lap time, and we should be up there a lot farther than where we are right now because the car is pretty good."
TIAGO MONTEIRO (#7 Fittipaldi-Dingman Racing Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone):
"We're really really close. The results aren't amazing, but we're only 4/10ths from 8th place and less than a second off the pole. We're getting closer and closer, but so is everybody else. I think we did a good job this morning. We took a gamble on tires for qualifying and it didn't pay off. We'll have to see how things go. We have all morning tomorrow to work before the afternoon qualifying. The team continues to keep up the good work, so I'm confident that we'll do better tomorrow."
JIMMY VASSER (#12 American Spirit Team Johansson Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone):
"I overcooked it going into the Carousel corner. The car is not terrible, but it is not fantastic either. We're going to be faster tomorrow."
MARIO HABERFELD (#34 Mi-Jack/Conquest Racing Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone):
"I think we could have done better, especially considering this morning we were 6th on old tires. We had lots of problems with traffic today along with a red flag at the end, which caused us to not get in all of our laps. We weren't able to get the last set of tires up to pressure or temperature. We'll do it tomorrow."
MAX PAPIS (#27 PK Racing Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone)
"This morning, we were working hard and had the car on the right track. This afternoon, in qualifying, we ran into traffic, but that is life. We will try again tomorrow to get up where we need to be in qualifying to have a good race weekend."
RODOLFO LAVIN (#5 Corona Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone):
"The Corona car has the best handling that I've had all season. I think we have a competitive car. We're only about half a second out of tenth place and I believe that speed is in the car. I have a little oversteer at the entries and little push at the exit, but the car is behaving very well. I'm struggling to find a clean lap during the qualifying session to show that speed though. I had a quick lap going on my last lap, minus two tenths exiting Turn 2, when the red flag came out."