CHAMPCAR/CART: Motegi Race Day Driver Quotes

Quotes from FedEx Championship Series drivers follow: BOBBY RAHAL, Miller Beer Reynard Ford: "I'm really disappointed. Our engineers gave me a great race car today. I had a car that was on rails. Thank God for the safe cars in CART. It was...

Quotes from FedEx Championship Series drivers follow:

BOBBY RAHAL, Miller Beer Reynard Ford: "I'm really disappointed. Our engineers gave me a great race car today. I had a car that was on rails. Thank God for the safe cars in CART. It was a wild ride. The car was awesome. I don't know why I hit the wall. I was on my normal line and the car went straight to the wall. I don't know if something broke or what. We were in a position for a podium finish. They knew we were here today. The crash must have been more spectacular from the outside because things weren't too bad for me. A lot of things were flying around but I was okay. The CART safety guys were right on the scene. They did a tremendous job too. I'm just mad because that's the best oval car I've had in several years. I know this is the 'Rahal's Last Ride' tour but they can't get rid of me that fast."

GIL de FERRAN, Valvoline/Cummins Special Reynard Honda: "I'd like to thank Honda for bringing a CART race here to Japan, for giving me a great engine today, and for putting together a fantastic facility such as this. I was trying really hard to bring home a win for Honda at its home track, but it was not to be. But things bode really well for the Valvoline/Cummins team. Next week, we go to Long Beach, a track where we typically do well. Hopefully it's [a victory] just a matter of time for us

... There was a lot of overtaking going on throughout the race. I was hoping to challenge Al and Adrian late in the race. Unfortunately, there were a few too many cars between me and Al. It was a great race though, and I hope the fans enjoyed it.

AL UNSER JR., Marlboro Penske Mercedes: First off, I'd like to say how proud I am of my guys. They gave me a great car today and our pit stops were excellent. I was really happy to finally lead a lap for the first time in over a year; it was a weird feeling. The last restart was set up for a good old Saturday night sprint car race. It was one of those deals where if I could have gotten around Adrian, he would have had problems getting back by me. But Adrian was expecting that, and he was prepared. It was great to be there, and it's great to be here.

ADRIAN FERNANDEZ, Tecate/Quaker State/Labatt Reynard Ford: Firstly, I would like to thank the whole Patrick team. Without them, I wouldn't be here ... (On his illness prior to the race) "It was very strange. Two days ago, I started to feel weird in my stomach. Yesterday, after we got rained out, a group of us drivers were back at the hotel playing cards. I went back to my room at about 3 p.m. and began losing fluids. This morning, I was feeling dizzy, so I went to see Dr. [Steve] Olvey [CART Director of Medical Affairs] and he told me to make sure I keep taking fluids. After the warmup, the car felt good, and it gave me the adrenaline to keep going. I'm going to make sure I get sick the next few races. Al was very strong from about midrace, and I knew he was going to be strong all the way. The best car I had was the one before the last pit stop. I told my guys 'Don't change anything.' We were saving fuel a little bit, and I knew he was catching me at that stage, just before Bobby's accident. I was hoping the race would end under yellow, to be honest."

Source: CART Online

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Series IndyCar