SECOND DAY QUALIFYING QUOTES -- Sunday, May 10 PAUL TRACY (No. 15 GEICO/KV Racing Technology): "I'm not really happy with the laps we qualified on, so I'm disappointed. But we're... just out of miles and need to get some full-tank running in.
SECOND DAY QUALIFYING QUOTES -- Sunday, May 10
PAUL TRACY (No. 15 GEICO/KV Racing Technology):
"I'm not really happy with the laps we qualified on, so I'm disappointed. But we're... just out of miles and need to get some full-tank running in. We wanted to be in the 223s today. We achieved that on the first lap, then started sliding the front tire with a tail wind in Turn 1, and then it kind of fell off. The last couple of laps I just couldn't get the speed out of it. The race is a long race, and we've got an OK starting position. We're starting in mid-pack, and we'll go from there. A lot of things can happen in a 500-mile race. It's three times longer than any other race in the series, and a lap can change over the course of the race. You work on that car until the end of the race to get it competitive."
(On his tire situation): "You always think you're going to have enough. You think, 'Ah, I don't need to run that much,' but when guys were up there yesterday running 40 to 50 laps of qualifying runs to get their car ready to qualify and you sit all day watching them, it's definitely frustrating. From that standpoint, we qualified OK. It's definitely not where we'd like to be, but the race is what counts. We've got to go out today and get some race feel in the car and be ready for the race."
(After second qualifying attempt today): "(The qualifying format) makes your mouth dry and your nerves get up. You know, to do it once is OK, but having to hang on four or eight or 12 times is a different story. As a team, we weren't happy with the (first qualifying) run. We'd just gone out and ran a 223.3, and then went out to qualify and ran a 222.7 and fell off. By the time I got done with all the interviews and got back, the crew was sitting around with frowns on their faces. I said, 'Well, that wasn't very good,' and they said, 'You want to do it again?' And I was like, 'If you guys want to.' Jimmy (Vasser) came in and called Kevin (Kalkhoven) first. Kevin said, 'If you guys want to do it again, go ahead.' We had one available set of tires left to do a qualifying run. We called the Geico CEO, and he said: 'Yeah, I love it. Go out and do the best you can. That's what our company is all about.' So we put it on the pad, changed a few little things and went back out. It still fell off a little bit. I went out and did a run that was a little bit more consistent. Then the qualifying run fell off a little bit, but we'll take that."
JOHN ANDRETTI (No. 43 Window World):
"It's just unfortunate. We didn't start out fast enough, and we didn't finish fast enough. That's all I can say. You know you always have to work to do here at the Speedway. I don't know why it ran like it did, but it didn't run good. We need to get in today so that we can work on the race stuff. If you don't get in today, you're still battling to get into the race, and you can't really work on the race stuff, so that's the disappointing part about it all. You know, whether somebody else can go up there and beat that and knock us out of the top 11, I don't know but it's certainly not the quality time that we were expecting. All I care about is that we're here and we should be going quicker than that, and we didn't."
(About Richard Petty's visit Saturday): "It was great to have Richard here yesterday and got to spend some time with him, and he enjoyed himself. I'm sorry I can't get in a happy mood right now, you know, I'm just not happy. We're going to go figure out what we're going to do, and do it, and get 'er done. This morning started out real good, felt good about the car. And then for qualifying, it didn't do what I expected as far as speed, and the handling is kind of what I expected, and I played with it a little bit, but that wasn't all of it so I don't know what to say. Right now it's a little bit confusing, but we'll go back, we'll look at data and we'll go back out. I thought we would run in the 222 range, and we didn't at all, not even a lap, and that's disappointing. I really felt like we had it in the car, and after practice we went back and we did this, we did that, you know, you do the little tweaks and twiggers and you're supposed to go out and go a little quicker."
DAVEY HAMILTON (No. 44 Hewlett Packard):
"The car is great. We were just a little bit off pace. We were a little bit slow, but as long as we're in this race today is the most important thing. Yesterday we went out early, and with the wind, it just wasn't good. We made a lot of changes and came back out and did a 222.2, and I thought at that point a 221 would get us in, so I thought, 'Let's go put it in line.' By the time we got out there, all those guys were challenging their own times, were so far in front of us, we just didn't get a chance at it. Not saying we would have made it, but we would have at least gave it a shot. The car was pretty easy to drive. We had some understeer and that scuffed some speed off, but yesterday was the day for the front row. If we start 15-16-17, it's all kind of the same. The most important thing is that we are in today."
(On doing an Indy-only effort): "It's very difficult to do a one-month program and be competitive. I mean, these guys are in the car week in and week out with engineers and the crew. It's hard to get down here just once a year. It's just tough, but I keep taking that challenge as long as I keep making it in. This race right here is what made me get healthy again and get strong from my injuries. I wanted to get back in a race car, and if it wasn't for this particular race, I don't know if I would have had the drive, so this is everything for me."
(About decision to pull out of line so Scott Sharp could make last-gasp attempt): "We were in a safe position, so we pulled out. We were running 222 mph. I probably should have put the car in line earlier. We're 22nd -- I do kind of regret not going back out and upping my speed."
MILKA DUNO (No. 23 CITGO/Dreyer & Reinbold Racing):
"We have to try again because we have to fix a few things in the car. We have to make the car faster; this is what we want."
(Are you more comfortable this year than you have been in past years?): "Of course. Every year, because we know the track, we know everything around, we have more confidence, but still you have to work really hard because the track changes all the time. You have to make sure the car will be fast with the weather, the wind. You have to work with everything together. Just because I know already from the last two years, I am a little more confident. We are working hard. We have a good team that is working and making the car fast. We learn every year, but still it's tough because the weather changes, the wind and everything, but because I've been here the last two years, I can be a little more confident. So realize we are working very hard to make the car fast every time."
(About conditions): "It was a little windy in Turn 1, but it was something in the car that was not helping me to get flat. We are not happy. We have to correct, we have to fix a few things in the car. I think we know that we can make the car fast, and we were faster in practice."
DAN WHELDON (No. 4 National Guard Panther Racing):
"It's been difficult, so far. We have an imbalance in the car, and certainly, the No. 4 National Guard Panther Racing team did a good job to get the car back together after yesterday. But we're just missing a little bit. By the same token, I think if we work hard, we can hopefully fix it. The team is certainly good enough to do that. It's just made for a very challenging opening few days. Obviously, with the problem that we have, having less downforce for a qualifying trim kind of accentuates that. But if you're going to win this race, you have to feel like you have a very good balance and you feel 100 percent comfortable in the car."
(Do you feel you have a car capable of winning the race?): "Not right now, but that's what this month is all about. It's a very challenging month, and there's a lot of highs and lows. That's what Indianapolis is all about. It's a tough month, and it can be very hard. But it can also be very rewarding."
(Adversity only makes you stronger, right?): "I feel like I'm getting very strong this year. I prefer to be weaker and not worry about these points. But, you know, it's just part of it. We're going to continue to work harder. This team is certainly good enough to figure it out. It just hasn't gone our way so far. That's not to say that it's not going to go our way, by any stretch."
ED CARPENTER (No. 20 Menards/Vision Racing):
"As upset as I was (Saturday), I'm that happy today. Today is a whole lot faster, the track is better, and we made the car better, too. I'm not sure what other people are going to do, but we're done qualifying. I'm happy to be in the race. We changed a little bit, but not much. Yesterday we were to the point that we were going to go out again at the end of the day, but we wondered was it worth the risk to go out there just to start 11th. We weren't even sure we could do that. It was coming down to the fact that we were just using up tires."
(About the race): "The car is going to be good for the race. I was much more worried about qualifying speed than I was the race."
JUSTIN WILSON (No. 18 Z-Line Designs):
"I really enjoyed being out there. The car was working well, and Dale Coyne Racing had the car to where it was comfortable and fun to drive. Each time we went out this weekend, we were quicker. Things really worked out. It was fun to drive today. The run was fairly straightforward. I noticed straightaway that I had more push than I was expecting. I kept playing with the roll bars and weight jacker to cancel out the understeer. It usually gets worse lap after lap, and I was canceling that out with my adjustments. The more laps in the car, the more I enjoy this place and you appreciate what it's about. Every time I came out of the corners, I had a big grin on may face. Now is the time to begin getting ready for the race, to get everything as perfect as we can and go do some race setups with full (fuel) tanks and long runs."
SARAH FISHER (No. 67 Dollar General/Sarah Fisher Racing):
"The first run was a little hairy. We just had to readjust some things from our first attempt and put in a solid run in our second time around. We were a little quicker than we were all week today, by ourselves, so I was really happy with that. We would have liked to have qualified Saturday, but with the weather and needing to make readjustments to the car, it just wasn't in the cards. Boy, that first run really woke me up. Obviously, I didn't have enough coffee this morning. The car just had too much push in it and wouldn't take the extra speed going into Turn 1 with the wind. We then went back to our pit to make sure the car would tolerate that extra entry speed."
(About the team): "I had yet to be in the right place at the right time for 10 years, and we are so lucky to have Dollar General by our side this year. A lot of people put their lives on the line to start a business, and we were no exception. My husband, Andy, and I were committed to starting this team even though we didn't really have the means to do it. Dollar General saw us struggling and stepped in and saved us."
(About Janet Guthrie's call to Fisher this morning): "Janet told me to be smart today."
(About what Fisher would write on her Twitter account today): "Thank God."
(About decision to pull out of line so Scott Sharp could make last-gasp attempt): "Out of sincerity for Scott. That's why we pulled out of line. We knew that we weren't going to get bumped."
Continued in part 2