ADRIAN FERNANDEZ (No. 5 Quaker State/Telmex/Tecate Panoz G Force/Honda/ Firestone): "It was another great day for Fernandez Racing. This is our fourth day, and we are top three again. I am getting more confident every time we go out. Conditions...
ADRIAN FERNANDEZ (No. 5 Quaker State/Telmex/Tecate Panoz G Force/Honda/
"It was another great day for Fernandez Racing. This is our fourth day, and we are top three again. I am getting more confident every time we go out. Conditions were a little bit hotter and windier than yesterday, but still the car is performing beautifully. We made just very small changes to the car. Obviously, there are some tows out there, but I think from what we can see, we are pretty competitive. I am looking forward to finishing this week and going into qualifying. In general, the team is doing a tremendous job, and I am very proud of them, and Kosuke is doing an awesome job. We just have to keep up the momentum and not get too over-excited and just keep doing what we are doing."
KOSUKE MATSUURA (No. 55 Panasonic ARTA Panoz G Force/Honda/Firestone):
"Today was not as good as yesterday. We used two sets of new tires, and I did my best lap on old tires, but the time was quite good. Today, under the hot conditions, the car wasn't very good, but we were able to make some changes to fix it. I am very happy with the performance, but we need to work more with the car because the wind was very strong this week, and the gear ratios make a big difference."
TONY KANAAN (No. 11 Team 7-Eleven Dallara/Honda/Firestone):
"I was warming my car and my second lap, which was my first really green lap. I got (Bruno) Junqueira coming out of the pits and I drafted him, and then he pulled in and my teammate Bryan (Herta) pulled me around for two laps. I did the 222.6 two laps in a row. I wish I could have done that by myself, but it's not the reality. We do have a good car. It's still Wednesday, though. A lot of things can still happen. The number looks pretty big. We're finding our speed day by day. I didn't test here on the Open Test. They didn't let me, because we actually had a tire test in Texas to do. We'll see. By tomorrow morning, everybody is going to forget about what happened here today." (About predicted pole speed): "I would say if the weather helps, it can maybe be 222.6 to 222.8. It's so hard to predict. If they can do 225, I may as well just try to put my car in the field. Not just driving the car, but to set up the car, it was easier to get it right, to get it close on the setup last year than it is this year because of the lack of downforce. The window gets a lot narrower when you don't have the downforce to support the car. The downforce can actually mask a lot of problems on the cars. So not having that much has definitely made it a lot more difficult. Believe me, I wasn't holding back the last three days. I was trying hard to just find myself. It makes it more exciting, yes. It's a lot slower, yes. But I want to see in the race trim what's going to happen because it's been pretty tough. Even in qualifying trim, it's tough to run behind people because you're never going to have that situation in the race. You're not going to run that least amount of wing in traffic. I see people trying to do long runs, and I don't see anybody passing anybody so I'm a little concerned, but we still have 18 days until the race."
DARIO FRANCHITTI (No. 27 Arca/Ex Dallara/Honda/Firestone):
"The Arca/Ex team definitely had a good day. This morning was a good start. We were very consistent. Bryan (Herta) and I got a chance to do a long run together, and it was good to get some results from that. We obviously have a bit more work to do, but so far, so good. Tony (Kanaan) looks very comfortable, so I'm happy about that. That bodes well for qualifying. But we definitely had a good day."
ROBBY GORDON (No. 70 Meijer/Coca-Cola/Robby Gordon Dallara/Chevrolet/
"We're back in the game. I'd say we're back to where we were before the crash (Monday). It feels a lot better to go away (to Richmond) knowing we have a good car."
SAM HORNISH JR. (No. 6 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Toyota/Firestone):
"The primary focus today was qualifying and trying to improve our speed. We're not quite fast enough yet, but the guys are working hard to make sure we are ready for Saturday. We also did a long run, and the Marlboro Team Penske car handled well."
HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Toyota/Firestone):
"We're still working on the Marlboro Team Penske car, and clearly we're not where we would like to be. I know the team will continue their hard work, and we'll be as prepared as we can be for qualifying."
AL UNSER JR. (No. 20 Patrick Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone):
"The Patrick Racing team went quicker again today. As long as we keep going in that direction, it is a good day. We are still learning what the Patrick Racing Chevrolet/Dallara/Firestone car likes, but I am very happy with the job the engineering staff and crew are doing. We just have to keep at it and work through the process until everything comes together."
FELIPE GIAFFONE (No. 24 Team Purex/Dreyer & Reinbold Dallara/Chevrolet/
"Our speeds didn't go much better today, but we learned a few things in the process. The car is handling really well, and we've got a couple of things to do tomorrow with our downforce options to make us faster. We've definitely still got some work to do."
SCOTT SHARP (No. 8 Delphi Dallara/Toyota/Firestone):
"The Delphi team had a pretty good day overall. When we wanted to try and find some speed, we were able to find about a mile and a half almost 2 mile per hour, which I thought was really good for us. We still need to find more speed as our competitors are now breaking into the 221-mph and 222-mph range. The car is working really well, and we did get a chance to work on the race car a little bit today and had a good run there, so we're pretty pleased with the progress we're making."
SARAH FISHER (No. 39 Bryant Heating & Cooling/Cure Autism Now
"Today we were kind of lost in the morning, and we were chasing things. This afternoon we came back out at the end of the day to do some full-tank runs and really had a good car. We found out some things at the end of the day that were spectacular. So we are definitely looking forward to running the car with those changes on it, and I think we will be in good shape."
BRUNO JUNQUEIRA (No. 36 PacifiCare Panoz G Force/Honda/Firestone):
"It was OK today. We made some long runs today on full tanks to work on the race setup. Yesterday we found a good race setup, but today we didn't improve. Tomorrow we are going to try to find some speed in the car."
ED CARPENTER (No. 52 Red Bull Cheever Racing
"It was a lot better day than we had yesterday. Yesterday we kind of got stuck in a rut and didn't know which way to go, and today we finally made a little progress and took a step in the right direction. Right now, everyone is gearing up for qualifying stuff. We've kind of been stuck in that 218 range, and we finally, in happy hour, jumped up over 219, so that gives us a starting point to work on the next step of getting over 220. We still have more things to do to the car, so we'll keep rolling with it tomorrow."
DAN WHELDON (No. 26 Klein Tools/Jim Beam Dallara/Honda/Firestone):
"I think this place can make you chase it sometimes. I think everyone wanted to make sure today was a good day. We had sort of a disappointing day yesterday, and obviously there is a set plan we have to work through. I think the Klein Tools/Jim Beam car is very good, but you have to make sure you're on top of it for that particular day because Wednesday doesn't count toward qualifying. The only day that matters is Saturday."
BRYAN HERTA (No. 7 XM Satellite Radio Dallara/Honda/Firestone):
"It was a good day for the XM Satellite Radio team. We wanted to get some good running in the heat of the day because it looks like the temperatures may cool off in the next two days. We made some good gains again today, and it feels like we've been here for two weeks already."
ROGER YASUKAWA (No. 16 Rahal-Letterman Sammy Panoz G
"We have worked pretty hard the last couple of days trying to get the basics of the car and today we were able to trim it out a little bit more. It feels very good even in the windy conditions. I feel very confident with this Sammy car. The wind seemed worse from 2 to 3 p.m. today. It settled down more around 5 p.m. Working with an engineer like Don Halliday is a big advantage for me and the team in general. We worked our way up to the speed we thought we had with the car. We'll work some more on Thursday and Friday and be ready for Saturday. We have been exchanging information with Buddy and Vitor's team, and that has been a big help for me. Last year I had to figure it with my crew only with the one-car effort. Now it's much easier to share the info with three teams."
BUDDY RICE (No. 15 Rahal-Letterman Argent/Pioneer Panoz G
"We have some wind conditions that played games with the teams this afternoon, but the car feels pretty good. We had to change tactics on how we want to get ready for qualifying. It's nice that Vitor has been working on race setup, and Roger and I have developed the qualifying trim. I have never had that luxury here, and it feels great. You are able to verify things with the different teammates and their engineers. It's always nice to have two or three different ideas during the day. I feel good about how things have gone. We aren't too far off where we want to be for Saturday."
VITOR MEIRA (No. 17 Rahal-Letterman Team Centrix Panoz G
"We ran full tank runs again like Tuesday. It is good to have a team that can get information with three different areas. And I have been working with our Centrix Honda crew to get the race day setup. I think that is good right now. On Thursday, we'll go and start working on the qualifying setup. Buddy and Roger have been concentrating on that the last two days. And they are going fast. I'm confident that we'll have a good qualifying car. We have two more days to develop the car for Saturday. I feel good about our chances for Saturday. We have gathered a lot of info during this week. We always had one car out on the track during the entire seven hours of practice. So we know what the track is doing throughout the day. That is very good."
MARK TAYLOR (No. 2 Menards/Johns Manville Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/
"The Menards/Johns Manville car feels good at the moment. We're slowing trimming out downforce, trying to get drag out of the car. We're learning a lot about what it takes to qualify well here and then have a great car during the race. The wind picked up a bit in the afternoon, which gave us some trouble. Our times were consistent throughout our runs. We've moving forward looking into tomorrow."
TOMAS SCHECKTER (No. 4 Pennzoil Panther Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/
"We had a great morning with our Chevy and learned some good things. We made some changes during lunch that we didn't like a whole lot. Still, we're happy with today, and we'll review everything in the morning. The Pennzoil Panther guys will get us ready for tomorrow, and we should have another good day."
ALEX BARRON (No. 51 Red Bull Cheever Racing
"We were making good progress until about midday. Then we started having problems with the car in Turn 3 and had to make a lot of adjustments. When we got back out in the afternoon, we had fixed the issue and were able to run some quick laps, but we're still fine tuning for qualifications."
TORA TAKAGI (No. 12 Pioneer/Mo Nunn Racing Dallara/Toyota/Firestone):
"The Pioneer/Mo Nunn Team made a lot of progress today. We're relieved because after a rough start earlier in the week, it appears that we learned some important things in the last hour of practice this afternoon that will make us quicker tomorrow. We look forward to continuing to gain ground on the leaders."