Indy 500: Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing third day qualifying report

HOLE IN THE WALL CAMPS DRIVER RAHAL QUALIFIED 13TH FOR THE INDY 500 WHILE McDONALD'S DRIVER WILSON QUALIFIED 16TH; 12TH THROUGH 32ND SET TODAY Justin Wilson, No. 02 McDonald's Dallara/Honda/Firestone: "It feels great to get the McDonald's...

HOLE IN THE WALL CAMPS DRIVER RAHAL QUALIFIED 13TH FOR THE INDY 500 WHILE McDONALD'S DRIVER WILSON QUALIFIED 16TH; 12TH THROUGH 32ND SET TODAY

Justin Wilson, No. 02 McDonald's Dallara/Honda/Firestone: "It feels great to get the McDonald's car into the race but I know it had so much more in it. In three out of the four laps I had to lift in Turn 2. I just couldn't get the car to turn. I felt like we had a lot more speed but just couldn't get it out on that run. I want to have another go but if I was the team owner I wouldn't let me go back out because of the risk. Not having a backup car is definitely a factor in how we run. If we went out and had an accident this morning there was no way we were going to make it to qualifying. That's something in the back of your mind and you can't afford to risk damaging the car. Both myself and Graham are used to running at the front but we're here learning. We've come from a long way behind and if we can finish in the top-10 it would be like a victory for us considering where we started a few months ago. I'm very pleased with the way we have made progress and everybody at Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing has worked very hard over the last six months. We've had some very tough times and some long days but they keep working hard and putting out good cars. We (drivers) want to go out there and hang it on the line but we don't have the luxury of doing that because we don't have any back up cars. It will be great to have done both events (USGP and Indy 500) but the one that counts is this one of course; it's the world famous one."

Graham Rahal, No. 06 Hole in the Wall Camps Dallara/Honda/Firestone: "We're pretty happy with the qualifying run. This team is certainly known for its preparation and I think we showed it today and even yesterday when we were doing long runs. The guys were here until 2:30 a.m. changing the engine because it broke when I white-walled it yesterday and that's another reason why it feels so good to get in. Yesterday we hit the wall so square that basically the weak link becomes the engine because nothing else really moves. It bent some suspension but the engine took the brunt of the hit. It's weird how that works. It's just one of those things that is part of racing. The wind has been incredible the last couple of days. And on those four (qualifying) laps, I couldn't be flat on any of them in Turn 2 because of the wind. Obviously I think the car has a lot of potential. I didn't get the last bit out of it but that's just wind related. We're happy we're in and that's what counts. We wanted to be among the fastest today and I think we've done that. It's a long month. Its tough here and it's very easy to get caught up in it all. To have to go out and perform every single day and try to keep the thing off the wall is tough. I've gained a lot more respect for the circuit than I've ever had before. You never realize how hard it is until you experience it for yourself. Every single corner is a little bit different and especially when it is windy like it has been. It transformed every corner to a different story and that makes it even tougher."

-credit: nhlr

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