IRL: Gateway: Post-qualifying quotes

TONY RENNA (No. 78 Kruse Special Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "We're certainly going to make some changes. I'm not sure the extent of those changes. Obviously, race setup is going to be a little different than qualifying trim. We'll probably add...

TONY RENNA (No. 78 Kruse Special Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "We're certainly going to make some changes. I'm not sure the extent of those changes. Obviously, race setup is going to be a little different than qualifying trim. We'll probably add some downforce so that we can run in traffic, just like everybody. I think it will be good. The Kruse/HomeMed car was really good in qualifying, so I think we'll be good for the race."

ROBBY McGEHEE (No. 55 Atlas Van Lines/Sam Schmidt Motorsports G Force/Chevrolet/Firestone): "It's great to be back with Treadway. We're pretty disappointed with the qualifying effort, but we knew it was going to happen. That's all we could really squeeze out of the car with the time that we had to develop it. It's great to be back racing. Fortunately, we do have a pretty good race car, we think."

ANTHONY LAZZARO (No. 20 Casino Queen/BG Products/Sam Schmidt Motorsports Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "It's definitely good to be back. It's unfortunate for Richie (Hearn). I've been doing a lot of sports-car racing lately and not much on the ovals. I definitely had to step it up a bit. I'm a little bit disappointed in this qualifying run. We tested out here last Friday, and we had a really good run. I think tire pressure and gear selection was a little bit wrong for qualifying."

GEORGE MACK (No. 31 310 Racing G Force/Chevrolet/Firestone): "We've been struggling a little bit, and I haven't tested here, either. We're still learning the track. We're trying to get the gear ratio right. It's been an uphill battle today, but the car is still in one piece. The track is similar to Phoenix where one end is different from the other. (Turns 3 and 4) are pretty much flat, and the south end is not flat. The north end of the track is a little easier to negotiate. You have to try to find a happy medium to keep your momentum, and that's kind of where I'm hurting right now."

SARAH FISHER (No. 23 Team Smart Blade/Dreyer & Reinbold Racing G Force/ Infiniti/Firestone): "It's not my favorite track, by all means. I'm just looking forward to coming away with a top-10 finish, something that's really solid and we can bank on for the next race. These cars really aren't built for road courses, and that's pretty much what I think this is, in my opinion, except with two left-hand turns. Both of them are completely different, and there's some shifting aspects that come into play. It's completely different for me. I come from sprint cars and midgets, where I learned to drive. It's a new experience, that's for sure."

RAUL BOESEL (No. 12 Bradley Motorsports Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "I raced here once, actually, when they first raced here at this track. It's nice. I think I'm pretty happy. The team did a fantastic job. We made some changes for qualifying. We had some problems in the second practice so we lost a lot of time, but we came back and got a good time. The car was really good."

VITOR MEIRA (No. 2 Menards/Johns Manville/Pittsburgh Paints Dallara/Chevrolet/ Firestone): "I like this track, for sure, but it's not so much about the track. I think it's really about the car and this team and work, all work. This team has done such a great job for me. The amount of work they put in is tremendous. I'm proud to be here. We were having a little bit of difficulties finding the right gear when we tested here, but since we have come back, we've concentrated on the car more than me, and it is very smooth now. These guys on Team Menard did such a great job. Now it's time to think about the race."

BUDDY LAZIER (No. 91 Coors Light/Life Fitness/Tae Bo/Delta Faucet Dallara/Chevrolet/ Firestone): "It was better than this morning, but we're really struggling. No matter what we do, we don't seem to be able to get a handle on things. We're going to work hard through the night and hope to have a lot better package tomorrow." (About being on the rev limiter early on frontstraight): "Yeah, but that's not our problem. That's not been the extent of our problem. We've been struggling here. We did not come here and test last week. I think that really hurt us, but we'll catch up. We're going to try to catch up by tomorrow. So far this has just not been a good day."

SAM HORNISH JR. (No. 4 Pennzoil Panther Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "It would be awesome to come back here and come out with a victory, especially with how close the points are this year. Last year we missed our fuel consumption by a little bit. I think we had enough with two laps to go, but that's all the further we were going to go. We're a little disappointed with the qualifying run; we had more. We set up for the wrong amount of laps. I actually slowed down the first lap, so I didn't burn off the tires when I got down into Turn 1. Chevy gave us great horsepower. We really pulled it together with the Pennzoil Panther team." (About his crew): "I never have a problem with anything my guys do. We had a couple little struggles in Kentucky, but I know on race day, they're on top of their game. I can't ever be mad at them because I make more mistakes than they do."

ALEX BARRON (No. 44 Rayovac Blair Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "This track changes a lot. We actually had good balance in the car in qualifying and in practice, but we are off by a few tenths. More importantly, for tomorrow you have to have a solid race car under you. We've worked on our race setup all day. This is also a driver's track. From turning the steering wheel to driving the car, you also have to be able to set up the car. You have to be able to work with the team and the engineer. We have some experience here, and I think we will be strong tomorrow. It is really tight up top in the points. Within our team we have a lot of experience here. We are getting toward the end of the season, and we have a feel for what you need to do to be strong for the whole race. The Rayovac car has been running great since the Indy 500, and we are looking to be up front at the end of the day tomorrow. You also have to have a strong motor and strong package. Our Chevrolet and Dallara are working well, and that is what it takes to win."

ROBBIE BUHL (No. 24 Team Purex/Aventis/Dreyer & Reinbold Racing G Force/ Infiniti/Firestone): "All in all, everything was OK. Here, where you qualify does make a difference. Getting in and out of the pit lane, because it's so narrow, is key for your position and makes the race strategy so important. Last year we were in a position to win this race, and a yellow came out right at the end, which didn't help us. The quality of everyone here is close, and you need every advantage not only to keep up, but to stay up front."

EDDIE CHEEVER JR. (No. 51 Red Bull Cheever Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "There was not enough grip with the car. The balance was too loose. We're not sure why, but we suffer at these sort of tracks." (How has Tomas Scheckter's departure impacted the team?): "It hasn't impacted us at all. We are continuing to run two cars as we have all season. We knew coming in that this is a difficult track for us. Buddy (Rice) is doing very well. He has been very conscientious in his job. In two races with us, he has brought it home both times. We have completed several full-tanks run here, so I expect tomorrow to be a better day for us."

AIRTON DARE (No. 14 Harrah's/A.J. Foyt Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "At least it is better than it was this morning, but we still have to work on getting the gearing a little better. The car handles good, though, so I hope we have a good race."

FELIPE GIAFFONE (No. 21 Hollywood Mo Nunn Racing G Force/Chevrolet/Firestone): "We didn't have a lot of time to be practicing for qualifying. We spent most of the day in race setup, so we're pretty much where we should be. The lap times that I turned were what I was expecting. The car was good. I think we should be better for tomorrow."

ELISEO SALAZAR (No. 11 A.J. Foyt Racing/Harrah's Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "The car feels OK, but we have been struggling with our gear ratios this weekend, and I'm not happy with what we have now. We never did find the right qualifying setup, but I think the car will be good for the race."

BILLY BOAT (No. 98 CURB Records Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "There's a lot of variables here, and with our very limited track time, the guys did a great job of getting the car prepared. One of the other things about this track is whether you can shift or not. In all of our practice sessions, we chose not to shift, but when it looked liked we were going to need more, we made the decision just before qualifying to gear our car to shift, but with me not having any opportunity to practice it. So to be able to pull that lap out with very little practice time, I feel pretty good about it."

BUDDY RICE (No. 52 Red Bull Cheever Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "We thought we had a pretty good car for qualifying. I drove into Turn 1 on the second lap thinking it would be a pretty good one, and the car was too low. It tapped the floor a couple times and got sideways, so we lost all of our speed. We just weren't able to make it up after that on this tight oval. We've got a real solid race car. We have already done two full-tank runs with the car. We'll see how tomorrow goes and stay out of trouble and make it to the end."

SCOTT SHARP (No. 8 Delphi Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "I like this place a lot. We came here without testing and unloaded quite well. We were two-tenths off from when we practiced, and I can't honestly tell you where that is. It just didn't seem like maybe it went down the straightaways as good as it did in practice. We had good exit speeds, so I don't know."

LAURENT REDON (No. 34 Mi-Jack Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "The car was really good. We made a few changes between the last session and qualifying, so the car was pretty good. We just want to concentrate on the race now. The corners are so different between (Turns) 1 and 2 and (Turns) 3 and 4, so you have to compromise between the two. Sometimes you push, and sometimes you are loose. It is pretty difficult to have a perfect car here."

HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "We had a fantastic Turns 1 and 2. We were a tenth-and-a-half quicker. We went through Turns 3 and 4 flat out, and we just don't know what it is. I guess the wind is only blowing in my car. But hey, that's the name of the game. I was really surprised that we were losing so much speed coming through Turns 3 and 4. That's what was so disappointing."

JEFF WARD (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing G Force/Chevrolet/Firestone): "We went quicker than we did even in practice. We knew (1)73.5 (mph) would get us in the top five or six. That lap I had running there (during the first qualifying attempt), the gear was taller and went faster into (Turn) 1, but I think it was slower initially all the way down the straight. I overshot the corner just because the speed was more. I missed my turn-in a little bit, and it pushed up. Then my shift point in the back straightaway was so far down the track, that lap was terrible. That was before I was going to get the white flag, so I decided to come right in because if I screwed up the next lap then we were done. When you change something like that (gears) without running it, it's probably a little too hard. So we just switched back to the gear we ran in practice. We came back and got one lap, and we're pretty happy with it."

SAM HORNISH JR. (No. 4 Pennzoil Panther Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "It seems like I always wish I was a one-car team, and they (Penske) were a one-car team. It's like you're always in the middle. You beat one, you get beat by the other one, so you know it's tough. We ran four short tracks this year, and they won two, and I won two. It's kind of tough to go into those races and figure out what the best way is to beat them. It's kind of tag team once in a while. I'll get in the middle of them, then I'll try to make a move on the leader, then the other one gets back by me, and I have to start all over again. It's a tough deal. The Pennzoil Panther team has worked so hard this year. We've really rebounded very well from some of the misfortunes that we've had. There was a point when we were up by 20 (points), then there was a point when we were down by 61 (points), so to be back in the lead, this is a really pivotal race. I think whoever comes out of here with the points lead is going to be tough to beat at the last two races." (About close racing in the IRL this year): "I guess it really depends on where you're at. At Michigan, the first 185 laps were a lot of fun, and the last 15 were nerve-wracking. It makes things very exciting. Even when you go to the short tracks, like when we went to Richmond, the race was decided in the last two laps. It's been fun racing this year. It always seems like somebody has a little bit more at the end, so you have to be on all day long."

GIL de FERRAN (No. 6 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "It's pretty nice to be sitting here on the pole, and it's nice to be back at these handling tracks, which we have done so well at this year. We had a very important test here last week, and that really set everything up for this weekend. Tomorrow it's going to be a very tough race, as usual, with traffic and all that on a short oval track, so it helps out to be up front. But it's certainly not a done deal, by any means. There's still a lot of work to do. So I was happy for about 30 seconds when I got the pole, then I started to think about tomorrow. It's like Sam (Hornish) said, it always seems that the race is being decided in the last lap or two laps. Even in the short tracks, we've been nose to tail at the finish more times than not. Certainly when you get to the more drafting races, it is unbelievable."

-irl-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tomas Scheckter , Sam Schmidt , Chip Ganassi , A.J. Foyt , Mo Nunn
Teams Team Penske , Chip Ganassi Racing , Dreyer & Reinbold Racing