ADRIAN FERNANDEZ (No. 5 Quaker State Telmex Tecate Panoz G Force/Honda/ Firestone): "It was another good day for us. We had a great day. We basically did just a few laps, making sure that we did what we have been doing all month. The cars are...
ADRIAN FERNANDEZ (No. 5 Quaker State Telmex Tecate Panoz G Force/Honda/ Firestone): "It was another good day for us. We had a great day. We basically did just a few laps, making sure that we did what we have been doing all month. The cars are good, and that's it. We are ready to race."
KOSUKE MATSUURA (No. 55 Panasonic/ARTA Panoz G Force/Honda/Firestone): "It was a very, very good test. This whole month, my team, my mechanics did a very good job, and the car seems to be very good -- both cars, me and Adrian. The car is very fast, and for drafting, the car has a very good balance. Everything is perfect. Next we have to think on pit-stop strategy and race strategy. I am ready for the race, and I am very confident."
BRUNO JUNQUEIRA (No. 36 PacifiCare/Secure Horizons Panoz G Force/Honda/Firestone): "I'm quite happy with the PacifiCare car. Already, on the second lap, we moved to P1, and I told the team the car was great. Maybe I had a little more understeer than I needed, but it's hard to guess what the conditions will be on Race Day, so we will develop some things to help the car in different situations. I want to win this race, and I think the PacifiCare Newman/Haas team is able to put together a good car that's capable of having a good chance."
DAN WHELDON (No. 26 Klein Tools/Jim Beam Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "The balance of the Klein Tools/Jim Beam car felt very, very good. I think we were running on our own just a little too much, but we did get a good feel for it. The big thing about this race is making sure you perfect your car as the race goes on to make sure it is good at the end. I think this setup gives the Klein Tools/Jim Beam team a chance at winning if everything goes right."
BRYAN HERTA (No. 7 XM Satellite Radio Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "My guys had a lot more work this month than most of the team's out here, and they did a great job rebuilding the XM Satellite Radio car. It feels just like it did before, and that increases my comfort level. We are looking good for the race. It's 500 miles, so we are just going to bide our time and be there at the finish."
AL UNSER JR. (No. 20 Patrick Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firetone): "Today went very well for the Patrick Racing team. The Chevrolet engine ran really great for us. The air was very dense today, so we ran the speeds basically that we expected to run. The telemetry played nice, all electronics played well, so we are happy with the car and ready to go racing on Sunday. As far as the race is concerned, I really have no idea what to expect at this point. The weather is going to make a strong impact on what actually happens during the race. It is the tightest field ever, and I think that pit stops and strategy are going to be the biggest thing to affect the race. Track position will mean everything in this race."
A.J. FOYT IV (No. 14 Conseco/A.J. Foyt Racing Dallara/Toyota/Firestone): "I'm satisfied with the way today went. We mainly wanted to get a good starting point on the Conseco car for the race. We have a little work to do, but I wasn't taking any chances out there. We have a good consistent car, and that's important."
LARRY FOYT (No. 41 A.J. Foyt Racing Panoz G Force/Toyota/Firestone): "A lot can happen on Carb Day, so I just wanted to get through it without a problem. It turned out to be an important day for us because I was unhappy with the car when we started, and Dad made a few changes, which made a big difference. I'm real happy with the car now."
BUDDY LAZIER (No. 91 LifeFitness DRR/Hemelgarn Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/ Firestone): "I've got a really good race car. I'm just so pleased to be working with Dreyer & Reinbold, Robbie Buhl and Owen Snyder, our engineer, leading the team. We just ran 15 laps, and all is well. Obviously, we're saving the car for our 500-mile run, so we kept the miles down to a minimum and ran a half-tank and a full tank. I feel that there's much left in the car and that I can step up when I need to. I can run well in hot and cold temps, and I'm pleased with handling and downforce. So with two and a half days of work or two and three quarter days now with Carb Day, I feel as though we have as good a handle on the car as most, or better than most, of those who've been running for the last three months, which is truly amazing and a testament to Dreyer & Reinbold, Owen Snyder and my teammate Felipe's (Giaffone) capabilities. Looking forward to the race."
FELIPE GIAFFONE (No. 24 Team Purex Dreyer & Reinbold Dallara/Chevrolet/ Firestone): "I'm comfortable flat, and we were scrubbing just a little. Today was our first time back with the race car, so we're trying to find the right balance and setup based on what we ran on the other car. As always, it's a long race on Sunday, so we'll just keep tuning the race car. I've come from the back to the front before, so I know what it means to be patient and work your way up."
JEFF SIMMONS (No. 21 Pioneer Mo Nunn Racing Dallara/Toyota/Firestone): "We started this morning working on the downforce of the No. 21 Pioneer car. Unfortunately, we did not have an opportunity to run with too many other cars out there. We ended up making some small mechanical changes on the car and would anticipate that we will stick with them. It was great to meet the Pioneer crew today. We had a good opportunity to work on our pit stops, and we hit our marks every time. We are looking forward to Race Day and hope that both the track and race will come to us."
TORA TAKAGI (No. 12 Pioneer Mo Nunn Racing Dallara/Toyota/Firestone): "After several tough weeks here at the Speedway, we are now at the point of no return. Under the circumstances, the Pioneer car is good enough to finish strong. While not entirely thrilled with the setup, I am not disappointed, either. The car has steadily improved, and we look forward to Race Day."
BUDDY RICE (No. 15 Rahal-Letterman Argent/Pioneer Panoz G Force/Honda/ Firestone): "We did all of our leak checks and ran a few laps in traffic. The car feels great. Vitor's (Meira) work on full tanks for five days has really paid off for the Rahal-Letterman team. I think the Argent/Pioneer Honda will be able to run at the front all day with this setup. I know it's a long day, and the conditions will change. The big thing this year will be pit stops. With the smaller full tank, there will be more pit stops, and the crews will be very important. But overall, I'm pleased with our car and team for the race."
ROGER YASUKAWA (No. 16 Rahal-Letterman Sammy Panoz G Force/Honda/Firestone): "The primary car feels great. The team did a fantastic job rebuilding the car for the race. The car is solid, and I ran by myself. I'm very pleased with the setup. We ran a lot of laps in traffic earlier last week, and we know how the car feels in those conditions. Today the air was heavy, like on Pole Day, so we had to make a few adjustments for the final run, but I'm very confident about the Sammy car."
ROBBY McGEHEE: (No. 18 PDM Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/ Firestone): "We learned a lot about the car. This was our first time on full tanks with this car; I just wish we had been able to do this earlier. We had a push, and it got loose in Turn 1 a couple of times, but we worked on getting a comfortable car for me to race on Sunday. We'll go back to the garage and make some more adjustments. We will use the first part of the race to tune the car so we can be strong at the end, when it counts."
VITOR MEIRA (No. 17 Rahal-Letterman Team Centrix Panoz G Force/Honda/ Firestone): "The car feels better than I expected. I've always heard that the month of May is like a puzzle and that you want to put it all the pieces together on Carb Day, and today we have done that. We ran five full days of full-tank runs this month, and that is why we are in such good shape right now. We went through everything from tire pressures to ride heights and all kinds of settings. In the past, I have had a car this quick for qualifying, but I have never had as good a race car as this one. This Centrix Rahal-Letterman team is sensational. Needless to say, I'm very excited for the race. The situation will be the same on Race Day. A green track and lots of traffic. We are good for the race now."
ROBBY GORDON (No. 70 Meijer/Coca-Cola Robby Gordon Dallara/Chevrolet/ Firestone): (About competing in both the Indianapolis 500 and the Coca-Cola 600): "I think we're very well prepared going into both races. Obviously, we didn't qualify as well as we'd like, but I think we have a good-handling car for the race. There are always a lot of factors going into the race, like fuel mileage and all the other variables that make the Indy 500 the Indy 500." (About forecast scattered showers on Sunday): "I don't control the weather. We know what our plan is, and we'll stick with it. I have Jaques Lazier here. He's going to spot for me and is available to drive if that's the situation that we have to deal with." (About the start): "Brian (Barnhart) sounded pretty convincing (in the drivers' meeting) that he wants a safe start, and if that means falling in line through Turn 1 and then start passing coming off Turn 2, that's how I'll handle it. Hopefully, we can carry a lot of momentum and start making places after that."
Selected quotes from the three fastest drivers during Miller Lite Carb Day practice today:
KOSUKE MATSUURA (No. 55 Panasonic/ARTA Panoz G Force/Honda/Firestone): "I think that I have the ability to lead the race. I think after 150 laps it can be possible." (On whether or thinks he can win the race): "Hopefully. Everybody. Everybody thinks they can win."
SCOTT DIXON (No. 1 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Panoz G Force/Toyota/Firestone): "I think everybody is pretty sensible and is going to get through Turn 1. I do not see that being a problem. It was not last year. I think everybody just sort of jumps into single file and I think that is what you have to do." (About having only the race left): "It is about time. I think after our qualifying effort we were sure that the race was the next day after qualifying. It is good to get it over and done with. It would be good if we were racing tomorrow. It just needs to be over and done with."
ADRIAN FERNANDEZ (No. 5 Quaker State Telmex Tecate Panoz G Force/Honda/ Firestone): (About his consistent month): "It feels good. That means the car is working well. It is giving me the confidence to go out there and be fast right away. We have not worked tremendously on the car since qualifying. Actually with qualifying, I felt that it was the worst performance, but we learned some things after that and we made the car very consistent. That is important, because before if it was hot, then it was good, but if it was cold, then it was not as good. But now, we made changes to the car and tried things in many situations, so it gave us the confidence for the race." (About the performance of Kosuke Matsuura): "I think Kosuke will be a bit of a surprise on Sunday. I have been telling him a lot of different things, but I think he has been working. I have been on top of him, trying to tell him what to expect for the race. All of the different things, all of the different scenarios that could be presented to him. He could have the fastest car all throughout the month, and he could not lead the race. There is still too many variables to the race that you have to consider. Running in traffic is another one of those. But I think that he will be able to learn through the first half of the race and be able to be quite competitive and strong to the end of the race." (About going into the first turn on Sunday): "I just hope that I do not have anybody beside me because I do not like it. I do not see much. My visibility is not very good. I do not know what Scott (Dixon) thinks, but you put all your trust in your spotter. Coming into the first corner, I think it is a good idea to be a bit separated because the visibility is very little at time. It is one of those things. We have a good car and do not want to take any chances." (About how nice it is to have only the race itself left): "It is a long month. You have to be patient. You have to do the whole thing. I took off these last few days and went to Phoenix. I went home just to relax a little bit and forget about the track. I became pretty well recharged, and that is good, and we are ready for the race."