22 DRIVERS QUALIFY FOR INDIANAPOLIS 500; 33-CAR LINEUP IS FULL INDIANAPOLIS, Saturday, May 17, 2008 - Twenty-two drivers qualified for the 92nd Running of the Indianapolis 500, filling starting positions 12-33 on the grid and setting up a...
22 DRIVERS QUALIFY FOR INDIANAPOLIS 500; 33-CAR LINEUP IS FULL
INDIANAPOLIS, Saturday, May 17, 2008 - Twenty-two drivers qualified for the 92nd Running of the Indianapolis 500, filling starting positions 12-33 on the grid and setting up a Bump Day that should feature three drivers attempting to earn their way into the field.
Townsend Bell posted the fastest qualifying effort of the day, averaging 222.539 mph in four laps around the historic 2.5-mile oval to earn the 12th starting position, the outside of Row 4.
The first 11 positions were determined May 10 when Scott Dixon won the pole with an average speed of 226.366 mph.
Row 5 will feature rookie Graham Rahal, A.J. Foyt Enterprises driver Darren Manning and 2002 pole sitter Bruno Junqueira. 2004 Indianapolis 500 winner Buddy Rice qualified 17th, and 1996 winner Buddy Lazier is 32nd.
Three-time Indianapolis 500 starter Marty Roth qualified 33rd, averaging 215.506 mph in the final qualifying attempt of the day, nine minutes before the end of the session.
Mario Dominguez, A.J. Foyt IV and Max Papis will attempt to bump the slowest qualifiers from the field on Sunday. Dominguez and Papis both crashed during morning practice but expect their cars to be repaired in time to make qualifying attempts. Foyt IV prepared to qualify twice Saturday, however, he waved off the first attempt after a bobble in Turn 2, and his car experienced mechanical difficulties on the out lap of his second attempt.
Two other incidents affected practice. Rookie Hideki Mutoh got too high in Turn 2 and brushed the wall with his car. He was uninjured. Phil Giebler, last year's Chase Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year, crashed in Turn 1. He was admitted to Methodist Hospital with pulmonary contusions.
Medical update from Dr. Mike Olinger, senior medical director for the Indy Racing League: #96 Dominguez has been checked and released at the Clarian Emergency Medical Center. He is cleared to drive.
MARIO DOMINGUEZ (No. 96 Visit Mexico City/PCM Racing): "I just lost the rearend going into Turn 1. We've been fighting understeer there all week and working hard to stabilize the car. This is a huge setback for us. Fortunately, I wasn't going that fast at that point, and I lost it early so I scrubbed a lot of speed, so it looks like the damage isn't too bad. The boys think they may be able to get it fixed in time to qualify today, if they can get the parts. I am keeping my fingers crossed."
Dale Coyne Racing crew member Charles Buckman is recuperating at home following five nights in Methodist Hospital. Buckman was injured May 9 in an incident on pit lane.
CHARLES BUCKMAN: "The only problem I am having right now is a case of vertigo when I sit or stand up. Besides that my right arm is bruised all over, I have a fracture in my skull, my face is scraped, and I have to wear a neck brace for a month. Other than that, I feel fine and want to get back to work. All I remember at this point was walking down pit lane to get my jacket, and I stopped off to talk with someone from Marco Andretti's crew then everything after that is blank. I was just at the wrong place at the wrong time. It was not Danica's (Patrick) fault, and I do not hold her to blame for what happened. In my 35 years in auto racing, this is the first time anything this bad has happened to me. I'm just thankful that I'm still alive. I would love for both Dale Coyne Racing cars to make the field and be there to see the race."
Entry updates: The car name for #18 has been changed to Z-Line Designs. The car name for #19 has been changed to Sonny's Bar-B-Q. The car name for #67 has been changed to Sarah Fisher Racing. The chief mechanic on car #23 is David Janquart.
Medical update from Dr. Mike Olinger, senior medical director for the Indy Racing League: #44 Papis has been checked and released at the Clarian Emergency Medical Center. He is cleared to drive.
MAX PAPIS (No. 44 Rubicon Race Team/Lifelock): "It was definitely a very unfortunate moment for the Rubicon Lifelock team. We are trying to understand and analyze what happened, but the bottom line is we don't have a car to qualify right now. I drove into Turn 3, and right when I was turning in, the car just came around. It was a very, very unusual feeling as I had never had this problem before. It was very, very unexpected. I have a lot of confidence with my guys, they are coming up with a solution, and we'll see what happens."
1-800-Las-Vegas, a travel service introduced recently by TravelWorm, Inc., is the new primary sponsor of the No. 24 Roth Racing entry driven by John Andretti.
MARGARET ROTH (President, Roth Racing): "We are really pleased to welcome 1-800-Las-Vegas to Roth Racing and the No. 24 car for the 92nd Indianapolis 500. Along with Steve Gonzalez of Simmons Abrahamson, we have been in discussions with them for a while, and we hope our new association turns into a long-term relationship."
JAY REIN (President & CEO, TravelWorm, Inc.): "We are extremely excited about launching 1-800-Las-Vegas, the Official Number for Everything Vegas, at the Indy 500, and we are thrilled to sponsor John Andretti of the Roth Racing team in car No. 24. Having a brand dedicated to the most exciting travel destination in the world riding on a car traveling over 200 mph in the Indy 500 is about as good as it gets."
A silent auction Friday night at Kirles Jewelers in Indianapolis raised $2,100 for the Indiana Special Olympics. More than 150 guests attended the special Tissot Watch gala, including 2005 Chase Rookie of the Year and Tissot ambassador Danica Patrick.
Indiana Pacers legends Mel Daniels, Darnell Hillman and Bob Netolicky presented longtime Indianapolis Motor Speedway Public Address Announcer Tom Carnegie with a leather jacket autographed by legendary Pacers' players from the franchise's American Basketball Association and National Basketball Association eras. Daniels, Hillman and Netolicky were members of the Pacers' ABA championship teams in the 1971-72 and 1972-73 seasons.
Longtime Pacers official timer Paul Furimsky and former Pacers public relations director Bill Marvel also participated in the presentation this morning on the Yard of Bricks.
Karle Schaefer, from Franklin, Ind., was selected today as the 2008 500 Festival Queen at the annual Breakfast at the Brickyard, presented by ProLiance Energy, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Schaefer, 21, a senior at Franklin College majoring in elementary education, is one of 33 young ladies selected for the 2008 500 Festival Princess Program, serving as ambassadors for the 500 Festival and Indianapolis 500. She is a 2005 graduate of Franklin Community High School. Schaefer is the daughter of Chris and Darla Schaefer.
As 500 Festival Queen, Schaefer, is a recipient of a $2,500 educational scholarship from the 500 Festival and WTHR Channel 13. In addition, Schaefer will wear a jeweled crown provided by G. Thrapp Jewelers at 500 Festival events and the Indianapolis 500. She will participate in a variety of appearances throughout the week and participate in the Indianapolis 500 pre-race and Victory Circle celebrations. She will continue to represent the 500 Festival at various functions throughout the year.
Princess Corianne Warrick of Linton, Ind., a senior at the University of St. Francis majoring in biology and chemistry, and Princess Savannah Lien of Greencastle, Ind., a 2008 graduate of IUPUI with a degree in psychology and American history, were chosen as 2008 Princess Court members. Warrick is the daughter of Col. Timothy and Joan Warrick. Lien is the daughter of Steve and Jenny Lien.
The 500 Festival Queen and Princesses attend 500 Festival events and volunteer throughout the month of May. In addition, the 33 princesses are involved with statewide outreach programs of their choosing. Princesses are also present at various Indianapolis Motor Speedway functions and participate in the Indianapolis 500 Victory Circle celebration.
Rubicon Race Team/Sam Schmidt Motorsports is working feverishly to repair the No. 44 car driven by Max Papis that was damaged earlier in the day. The team has secured replacement parts from several sources in the garage area, including Dallara and Vision Racing.
JIM FREUDENBERG (Co-owner, Rubicon Race Team): (Will you be back on track today?) "(The car) will be back together today, but that wouldn't be the safest thing for Max (Papis) or anybody. We'll work until it is done tonight, and we'll be back on the track tomorrow."
(About getting parts to rebuild the car): "Sam Schmidt Motorsports had a lot of spare parts. Chris (Griffis), the team manager, was scrambling through the garage to get parts. Dallara and the League have helped us out, so we're just trying to get it back together."
(About getting help from other teams): "This is the good thing that comes from the bad part of racing. Even people you are trying to beat are trying to give you a fair shot. To me, that doesn't happen in many places. It is the positive thing about this sport."
(About the racing community): "Most of us have known each other for many years, so when you don't burn bridges and you make friends, you'll be able to count on each other. We'd do the same for other teams if they were in this position."
Medical update from Dr. Mike Olinger, senior medical director for the Indy Racing League: #27 Mutoh has been checked and released at the Clarian Emergency Medical Center. He is cleared to drive.
HIDEKI MUTOH (No. 27 Formula Dream): "I lost control. That was my in-lap, and I wasn't pushing very hard. I don't know why, but suddenly I lost it."
1985 Indianapolis 500 winner Danny Sullivan was at the Speedway Saturday.
DANNY SULLIVAN: "It's always good to be here. I came back last night. The Old Timer's Club honored Penske Racing. I went to the dinner downtown last night, and I just came in to see some people and say hello. It's been a while since I've been here. It's just kind of good to be back and hang out." (On the unification of open-wheel racing): "I think it's great that they're back together, but I don't think it will be an overnight fix. It will take time, and hopefully the sponsors will come back in. Obviously, the racing's competitive, but it's just going to take time. They've been apart for 12 years. I think the way the field looks and the group of drivers and the teams and the competitiveness of it, I think you're going to have a good race Memorial Day weekend. When they do that, it will draw a lot of people to it, as well."
The U.S. Army had a strong presence Saturday at the Speedway. It was a chance for some soldiers to relax a little and take in the sights and sounds of the Speedway.
Fans had an opportunity to get an up-close look at some of the more popular equipment used by the Army National Guard.
BRANDON PATTON (Charlie Battery 2nd, 150th Field Artillery, Lebanon, Ind.): "We came out to see the cars and support the National Guard and the Armed Forces of America."
JEFFREY STOKES (Army National Guard): "We have exhibits out here with trucks and tanks and all kinds of things for people to see. It's my first year being out here, and I'm enjoying it very much."
After Buddy Rice's qualification attempt today, his wife, Michelle, brought their newborn baby girl, Mina, to pit road for the traditional post-qualifying photo session. Mina, born April 9, was wearing pink headphones and an Indianapolis 500 hat during the photo shoot.
While on pit lane, IMS Public Address announcer Michael Young joked with Michelle Rice about Buddy changing diapers. Michelle responded with a laugh, "I wouldn't use the plural form."
Davey Hamilton and John Andretti talked about the late-day qualification attempts by their respective teammates, A.J. Foyt IV and Marty Roth.
DAVEY HAMILTON (On teammate A.J. Foyt IV's attempt to qualify): "I think I know what happened. For whatever reason, we ran into some glitches today in my car with the gearbox, and I heard him leave and he was going to get in solid right then. It's just disappointing because he had some speed right there from mid-220 to 221, and I'm confident he would have ran. I heard him: The thing wouldn't go into gear, and it ended the day for him real quick."
JOHN ANDRETTI (About teammate Marty Roth qualifying 33rd): "He's just trying to figure things out and what makes it all work. There are things I like that maybe Marty doesn't like, but he's done a really good job. We found things in the car, and you know with Indianapolis it's all about little things, and there were a couple that became apparent and we fixed them. Today was day one for them, basically, and I know they are going to work through that and be a lot quicker, for sure, tomorrow. They did the right thing and got into the field, because if something happens tomorrow or it rains, at least he is in the field."
Medical update from Dr. Mike Olinger, senior medical director for the Indy Racing League: #88 Giebler has been admitted to Methodist Hospital with pulmonary contusions.
A.J. Foyt IV said he abandoned his late qualification attempt today on his out-lap due to a gearbox problem.
A.J. FOYT IV: "The gearbox went to crap out there. When I tried to shift, it just wouldn't go into second. It jumped into third. Then, when I finally got up to speed, it jumped back into second. It's a bad day here today, but hopefully we'll come back out here tomorrow and get in the race."
Mario Dominguez talked about Pacific Coast Motorsports' plans for Bump Day qualifying after his crash this morning in practice.
MARIO DOMINGUEZ: "It's looking good. The car is ready to go. We have a practice tomorrow. It will be great to set up the car and have it working properly and make it go a bit faster than it's been so far. With a little help from the gods, we should be able to make it in the field. The team is amazing. The team has been doing some serious work ever since they got this car. If you can believe it, they put it together just 2 ½ weeks ago. It's just incredible what they've done. What they've done today, again, shows how professional this team is. The fact that most of us are new to Indy doesn't mean we can't get the job done. Obviously, Indy is a tough place. We knew it was going to be difficult coming in, and we were ready for things like that, so that helps us out."
(How confident are you about making the field tomorrow?): "I'm confident, but I'm certainly not sitting down and relaxing. I'm not relaxed, and neither is the team, by any means. We knew coming in it was not going to be easy to make the field, but we all believe we can do it, and we're going to do out tomorrow and do it."
(Strategy for tomorrow): "We'll go out as soon as the track opens. It's great that we have a practice so we can set up the car a little bit better and get some speed from it. As soon as the track opens, we'll go out and qualify."
(Are you prepared mentally for maybe making more than one qualifying attempt?): "Yeah, we might have to go out again and again and again because other people can be bumping each other out. We're ready for that, too."
INDYCAR SERIES POST-QUALIFYING QUOTES:
TOWNSEND BELL (No. 99 Dreyer & Reinbold William Rast Racing, qualified 12th): "We always say, 'Well we just want to be comfortably in the show.' But when you get out there, it's one less car you have to pass if you can get a good run in. We just nipped (Graham Rahal). He had a big first lap then slowed down a lot. We had a decent first lap then slowed down a little. We knew we wanted a consistent four-lap run. I'm just really happy with the job the team's done all month. Can't thank my teammate, Buddy Rice, enough for his cooperation, help and willingness to work together to get our cars right. So it's been a really good deal so far. I'm just pleased to see us have a strong run today."
GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 06 Hole in the Wall Camps, qualified 13th): "It was actually a pretty good run. It was a bit tough, because my first lap was solid at 223.6 (mph), but the laps after that I could just feel (the wind) every time I went through Turn 2. I couldn't get the car to turn, so I had to lift every time. It was a pretty big lift, too, and it costs you a lot of time. Obviously, we're disappointed with that, but after last weekend it is nice to put it into the race. Obviously, we would like to be among the quickest of the day, and that is the goal."
DARREN MANNING (No. 14 ABC Supply Co./AJ Foyt Racing, qualfiied 14th): "It was really good. I've been struggling with my car all month, and that's the best it's been. I've been loose all month, and then all of a sudden we made a few changes and then I had understeer. You know the day's not very nice with all this wind and the temperature has been getting up there, so we were a bit cautious on downforce. So we were actually surprised to go so fast, but it was just because the car was that much better. I had to actually come off the gas a little on Turn 2 on the last lap, which dropped me out of fastest for the day. But with the downforce we got in, you know, we're nearly on race setup, so that really bodes well for the race. The last lap, we were on for fastest of the day, I just got out of the gas a little on exit of Turn 2. I could have probably stayed in and gotten close to the wall. I haven't been very happy with my car. Jeff (Simmons) had been able to go his way on setup, and I've been able to go mine. He was more happy with his setup, so I tried it this morning, and I hated it. So we went back to a bit more of what I wanted for this qualifying run. I've been loose all month and it's been trying to spin me out, and then just now all of a sudden it's got a lot of push, so we found some really good changes in the car. I'm pretty happy. We've got a pretty damn good car. We had a couple more changes we thought through that worked really well - too well - because we went from loose to a little bit of push now. So we had quite a lot of downforce in the car in the race setup in qualifying because I was so unhappy with the car. If we had had this care on Pole Day, really trimmed out, we'd have been well in the top 11. It was that good. It's been a tough month. We were behind the 8-ball. I was going to be happy with 12th to 18th. We're in the show, so now we'll go back and think about it a little and see if we can run some good, competitive race runs. I think I'm going to be faster than the guys around me, and it's a long race, so we should be all right."
BRUNO JUNQUEIRA (No. 18 Z-Line Designs, qualified 15th): "This is a pretty special place, and I like it here. I have great success here. I've had some problems, but still, I know why they call this the greatest. The pole, the two top-five finishes. Today was another great day. I couldn't qualify in the top 11 last weekend and it rained out on Sunday, so it put a lot of pressure on the team, especially because we don't have a backup car. I tried to put the car safely in the field. I was very happy with my four laps. Very consistent. Almost the same speed as the Newman-Haas car. More consistent than them, and I'm not trying to compare anything, but it shows that you're going to be good today and the car is good. It was a difficult day today because it was very windy. That time could win the race, and now we're going to concentrate a little more on traffic and race setup this week. I want to get in traffic and make sure the car is there in traffic. That is pretty difficult. I'm satisfied. I was easily flat all four laps. I know I can take out more downforce and go 223s, but at this point, we would only gain three or four positions and take a big risk."
JUSTIN WILSON (No. 02 McDonald's Racing Team, qualified 16th): "It was tough. Every corner was different and difficult. Turn 2 was the worst. Every time you turned in there, if felt like the front end was lifted off the ground and skated off the track. You're reluctant to lift, but you have to, so you do a quick lift and back on. I was actually quite frustrated with a couple of my laps. It feels good to get in the show, but I wanted to go again. I think we could do a much better job the second time around. But that's quite a gamble. It's great to finally qualify for the Indy 500. I'm very proud and pleased with the team and the effort they've put in all month and all year, in fact. It feels great for McDonald's and myself to get in the race, and now we can get going."
BUDDY RICE (No. 15 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, qualified 17th): "We are set up conservative. I think it is good we got all three Dreyer & Reinbold cars in today. That was the goal for today. There is nothing to be gained by risking the car. Actually, it is really good that Townsend (Bell) is the quickest so far with the #99 William Rast car. It was a good day for the team."
(About Bell's run): "I didn't see exactly what he ran, but both cars were set up very similar. My car picked up more push and really slowed down. That's OK. There's no risk today. It is a 500-mile race. We have 10 pit stops. We have a lot of work to do starting from where we are at, anyway. We need to be patient. We need to get back to working on our race car, which we've been doing all month long. That will be our strong suit. It gets a bit redundant because that's what everybody says. If you can get your car to run consistent through the whole thing, then you're going to have a really good car. We did that at Kansas, and we've been doing that since we've been here. The weather makes it a bit tricky, especially for some of the new guys that are here. It is a bit tricky. I'm happy. We got all three cars in today. That was the goal. Knock on wood - we haven't torn anything up yet this month."
DAVEY HAMILTON (No. 22 Hewlett-Packard/KR Vision Racing, qualified 18th): "It's the hardest run I've ever ran here, for sure. Last Saturday, we had a good 13th spot, and I was happy with that. But, unfortunately they only took 11. We came out today and it was a tough day. We went out for early warm-up, and we lost a gearbox completely. Something happened. We lost a gearbox completely. It got caught between gears, and with paddle shifters, it doesn't happen that often. When it did, it broke the whole gearbox. The (Ed) Carpenter guys, (A.J.) Foyt's guys, my guys all jumped in and replaced the whole back of my car. We didn't even have a chance to put it on the setup pad. We just changed the whole back of the car, put it on the track and throw it up there, so I didn't know what I was going to have. It was just too tight. I just couldn't turn down in (Turn) 1 and (Turn) 2. Turn 3 and 4 were OK. We lost a little bit, but you take what you can."
RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 17 Rahal Letterman Racing Team Ethanol, qualified 20th): "I'm not happy with the speed that we turned, but I'm happy to be in the field and we can work from there. If we have a good race car, we can undo those couple positions in a lap or two."
(On the wind affecting the run): "I don't think so. For whatever reason, we're not getting the speed we need out of the car. I don't know; I'm not sure why. It could be so many things with these cars. It's all a grip-to-aerodynamics trade-off. If you peel off the downforce, you go faster in a straighter line but you have less grip in the corners. I'm not an engineer, and I don't pretend to be one. I just get in the car, put my foot on the floor and drive."
JOHN ANDRETTI (No. 24 Roth Racing, qualified 21st): "I messed up a little bit. Probably should have given up a little bit in one corner. I keep adjusting on the car; that made it better. Then I tried to get too much out of the last lap again. We had a really quick car, and we just got caught out a little bit on the wind and probably just need to make a couple of changes to the car and try it again. I don't know if we will or not. It just depends on where we are. If we get close down to that bubble position, then obviously we will. We have been fast every day, but unfortunately when it came time to qualify, I knew on my hot lap that I was in a little bit of trouble, and I started adjusting on the car then and kept adjusting on it, and I had about all I could stand for one corner. It is a little disappointing because on the last lap I probably could have drove it a little bit different. I am disappointed I know we have a quicker car, and I went out there and we had a little bit of a struggle with the wind, but that is just the way it is."
SARAH FISHER (No. 67 Sarah Fisher Racing, qualfied 22nd): "It's not as fast as we wanted it to be, but we'll take it. We'll take a good, solid entrant, and just keep working on our car. It was very gusty out there. That's what happened on my lap two; otherwise we would've had a higher finish, but it is what it is. It's nice, though. It's supposed to rain again today, but hopefully it's good. We're in, and we can keep moving forward. Only having one car, we think about what the most tragic thing that could happen. It's nice to know that we don't have to work on those on-the-edge setups anymore. We've just been putting our heads down and plowing forward. If we can avoid the rain again, we'll be putting a lot of race laps on the car."
WILL POWER (No. 8 Aussie Vineyard-Team Australia, qualified 23rd): "I'm really proud of the crew. They worked all night. I can't thank them enough to actually have the car out there for practice. But it was once again the same as yesterday. The wind makes it really difficult. The last lap there, I started pushing in (Turn) 2 toward the wall; turn into (Turn) 3 and suddenly have a massive moment. You've got to run the car conservatively. That's what we were doing today. We were going out there just to get in."
(On experiencing the changing conditions at the Speedway): "The first three days were pretty wind-free, to be honest. But then yesterday just out on an out lap, bam, it catches you out, and you don't know what you did wrong. It's 'what did I do wrong?' which makes it really bad for your confidence. You're thinking: 'OK, the guys just fixed the car. Well, I can go out tomorrow and do exactly the same thing because one lap it's pushing like hell; the next lap you're in the wall. You tell me.'"
(On putting the accident Friday behind him and going back out today): "It's funny, actually. I ran into Jaime Camara, and he said he still hasn't come back. I can understand. You go out, and you just can't trust the rear of the car. I went out and I just came straight back in and said, 'Guys, I can't do it. Sorry, I feel too nervous.' I got back in there and did a run where I was flat and got a little bit of confidence back. It's hard to explain. It's real nerve-racking. When you hit the wall; until you do that, you don't know the feeling. It's an instant where it just happens, and you have no chance to catch it and no warning. That's what makes you really nervous. I guess these other guys that run here that have been doing it for five years must really understand, you know, the feeling and how the car should be."
JEFF SIMMONS (No. 41 AJ Foyt Racing, qualified 24th): "It feels good to be in. We wish we were quicker. I thought we could run around a 222, which would have moved us up a couple of spots. Coming to the track, I didn't know if I was going to have a ride at all, so I'm really thankful for A.J. Foyt Racing and ABC Supply Co. for giving me the opportunity to run."
(About his first run, which was waved off): "I came into Turns 3 and 4, I think I was coming into (Turn) 4 when I saw yellow lights turn on so I didn't know what was going on. And we came in, and A.J. told me they forgot to wave the green flag. I think he might have had a senior moment for the first time because he's usually so sharp. He (A.J.) was congratulating Darren on his run, and he missed me when I went by."
ORIOL SERVIA (No. 5 KV Racing Technology, qualfied 25th): "I'm actually not that pleased with my run. The weather really didn't help us. I'm just happy to be in the show. The car felt good yesterday in my race setup, and that's what counts. It's a long race, and the tires were pretty consistent yesterday, and we look forward to the race."
(About having the rain interrupt the qualifying run): "It just didn't help us because already when you are qualifying, you're pretty much on the edge. I go out there in qualifying, very little downforce, and on my third lap it starts raining. Well, that's not good, but then to make it worse, I have to be the first car out with the track still a little wet because nobody had gone out, right? I wasn't able to change my downforce because of the rules. So I had to go out. The car was sliding a little too much. But that's the way it goes. I'm happy to be in the show. To me, it doesn't really matter much if you're starting 12th or starting 18th. What matters is if you have a good car in the race that is consistent and you can run close to people in front of you. That's what we need to focus on. If you have a good car, you can win the race. I liked the car yesterday. I wasn't too happy today, but I did like it yesterday when we had the race setup, so we should be good."
E.J. VISO (No. 33 PDVSA HVM Racing, qualified 26th): "In this first attempt, we tried to play it safe. We went out with a lot of downforce. We spent a lot of time checking everything. We are planning on going for another attempt. Yesterday we had small contact with the wall. The wind changed so much, and the setup was quite different to the one I had run before. We spent 10-15 minutes in the car today waiting for the rain to go away, and then we did not have our best attempt."
(On repairing the car from Friday's accident): "The team did a great job and worked very hard yesterday. We weren't in a huge accident; we just damaged the rear wing. They spent a lot of time checking and making sure the car was perfect for today."
(On mindset after accident): "It has not affected me. I think I am mentally stronger, and that small touch with the wall is not going to affect my confidence. We just need to find the reasons why it happened and try to make sure it doesn't happen again. Yesterday everything looked the same, and the only thing different in that run was that we were full of fuel and the tire pressure was low because it was only our second lap."
MILKA DUNO (No. 23 CITGO/Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, qualified 27th): "It's great to qualify in Indianapolis. The wind was in tow in the backstraight, and it was increasing and increasing. I'm happy, but I think we can run quicker. But it's OK for now."
(About her time at the track this May): "It's fantastic for me. It is my second time here. It's always fun here, and it's just fantastic."
MARIO MORAES (No. 19 Sonny's Bar-B-Q, qualified 28th): "We had some problems on the second lap in Turn 2. We had trouble on the second lap in Turn 2 with big understeer. It's my first time here, second qualifying, and I feel good, I'm excited."
(About being comfortable with qualifying time): "I am comfortable, but we are going to have to fix the problem with the front."
ENRIQUE BERNOLDI (No. 36 Sangari Conquest Racing, qualified 29th): "I did flat out all four laps, but the car is just not very fast. We don't know what it is, but we'll continue to work on it. I have to try again, and I wish I knew what to do. I'm not very happy. I just did 219 and was consistent, but we need to find more speed. I haven't run faster than 220 this month. The wind is a bit tricky out there. On one side of the track you would have a car that was loose, and the other end the car was pushing. I don't have much experience on ovals and same with the team, so we are sort of struggling, but I like this oval and Indianapolis. We knew we would be here a month, but we haven't done much better than this, so it is what it is."
JAIME CAMARA (No. 34 Sangari, qualified 30th): "This track is not easy, for me at least it is not easy. We need to find a little bit more speed."
(How did the wind effect you?): "You feel the wind, you feel the heat. The track conditions change every lap, if a cloud comes over the track it changes again. This place is big enough and it changes a lot. We need to find some speed, so we are going to go back and work. Today is the first day everything is going smooth, we just need to find a little bit more speed. (How hard is it coming back from a crash?): "For me it is really hard, I just have to suck it up and go. It is just getting out there and having seat time and track time and figure it out again. Time is everything, it is about track time."
ROGER YASUKAWA (No. 98 CURB Records/hh gregg/Real Power, qualified 31st): "I think things could be better. Unfortunately, we're about a half a mile an hour slower than we expected, so I'm not sure this 218 is going to hold up at this point, but it's great. If not, we're going to have to work on some speed. The car has been the best all week during the qualifying runs, so we're pretty happy with that. We just need to bring the car out now and see if we can pick up more speed."
BUDDY LAZIER (No. 91 Hemelgarn Johnson, qualified 32nd): "The strategy with the new format is to run one. We just started yesterday, so we have a lot of work to do. We had a good morning. The weather changed and affected a lot of guys. I think it affected us more."
(About the speed he expected): "We were looking for 221 (mph). We were hoping for certainly more than that (217.939)."
MARTY ROTH (No. 25 Roth Racing, qualified 33rd): "I'm just wondering why I threw away the 219 I had this morning. That's just how it goes. We were chasing that 222 (mph) we posted first thing this morning. We were kind of happy. The guys had been working all night. They were up to 2 in the morning on the car, just going through things. They were uncovering a whole bunch of stuff. We were really happy we had the car up to that 222 mark. We really thought we could get it back there. As the day wore on, the temperatures and wind came up, and we were just going backward. It was great to put it in the field. I'm real glad John (Andretti) is up there. He's safe. I'm used to being on the bubble. It makes for a long day tomorrow. Larry Curry joined our organization just before the month of May started. He has done a wonderful job. We've gone through a lot of things that were happening on the team. He's had his hands full. We're just looking to get my car up to speed. I'm just chasing that little guy around, John. He's fast. He's impressive."
(About the slow qualifying attempt): "It just required a big gear change, and we didn't have time for it. My revs were nowhere near up to the revs I needed to pull down that back straightaway. I'd exit Turn 2, and I would drop in speed rather than accelerate. The wind was gusting. I wish, in hindsight, we kept that time we had this morning. We were kind of blindsided by that 222 (mph). Looking at the afternoon, it is fairly plain to see just about everybody fell way back and wasn't close to the times they were posting this morning."
(About being on the bubble): "I've been on the bubble before. I'm no stranger to it. I'm sure it is going to be an exciting day tomorrow as long as the weather stays nice. I'm just happy to be here."
(About the track conditions changing): "It always turns something new up for me and challenges me. It is Indy. It is the fastest place. It is the greatest race. It has so many different facets that happen during the month with the qualifying and bump days. It is a great place and a great venue."
A total of 42 cars are currently at the Speedway and have passed technical inspection. Thirty-eight drivers have been on the track to date and have turned 11,812 laps this month. Oriol Servia turned 59 laps today and has turned 498 this month, most of any driver. There were eight yellow flags for 1 hour, 21 minutes. A total of 96 IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights drivers have passed physicals at the Clarian Emergency Medical Center.
SUNDAY'S SCHEDULE (all times local):
8 a.m. Public Gates Open
10:15-11:15 a.m. IndyCar Series practice
Noon-6 p.m. Bump Day Qualifying
The 2008 IndyCar Series season continues with the 92nd running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 25 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The race will be telecast live in High Definition at noon (EDT) by ABC. The race will air live on the IMS Radio Network. A Spanish-language telecast of the race will be carried by ESPNDeportes. The IMS Radio Network broadcast also is carried on XM Satellite Radio and www.indycar.com. The 2008 Firestone Indy Lights season continues with the Firestone Freedom 100 on May 23 at Indianapolis. It will be telecast at 4 p.m. (EDT) on May 23 on ESPN2.