Indianapolis 500-Mile Race QIRL Indycar Series Post-Practice Quotes Monday, May 5, 2003 BILLY BOAT (No. 98 Pedigo Chevrolet Panther Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/ Firestone): "Panther Racing has a very specific program each day that we're trying to...
Indianapolis 500-Mile Race
QIRL Indycar Series Post-Practice Quotes
Monday, May 5, 2003
BILLY BOAT (No. 98 Pedigo Chevrolet Panther Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/ Firestone): "Panther Racing has a very specific program each day that we're trying to get through. We have a lot of aerodynamic and mechanical changes we're making to the car. Right now, it's really about finding information and finding out what the race car likes and doesn't like. We mileaged out this engine. So we're going to put in a different engine with a little bit different specification for tomorrow. Hopefully, that will pick up a little bit (in speed). Overall, we feel we're headed in the direction we need to be. It's still only Monday, and it's a long week, so we're going to try to pick up a little bit each day and try to peak around the end of the week."
JIMMY KITE (No. 18 PDM Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "All the plan was today was to shake the car down, do an installation check, make sure the balance was right. We went out, ran a couple of turns flat; it felt pretty good, and then we parked it. We're one car, no money; we didn't want to tear it up, as windy as it is. We'll go out tomorrow and trim it out some more and get the car set up, and hopefully by that time we'll have some money, and we can run the rest of the month. Last May was the last time I was in one of these. It feels great to get back in one, but it's a weird feeling knowing that you may have to get back out in two days. It's kind of a happy-sad kind of feeling all at the same time. I have a lot of fun with these guys, and I think we have a pretty decent car. It felt pretty good today -- I was only running 211, so another 10-15 mph, we'll see how it really feels."
MICHAEL ANDRETTI (No. 7 Team 7-Eleven Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "We did a lot of race setup today and let the other guys do more of the qualifying stuff. It was pretty good. It was a pretty useful day. The car was pretty comfortable. It wasn't bad. It's early yet, but we're pretty happy with it so far."
TONY COTMAN (Team Manager, Team 7-Eleven): "We spent the whole day on race simulation. We pretty much made three basic outings today, each time a little bit different. We were just really monitoring the track temperature versus the setup we had on the car at that time. We obtained a lot of useful data for down the road. We'll do a little more on it in days to come, maybe a little more after qualifying. It went really well. We're really happy. We probably ran half a race distance today, so it was pretty good. It was efficient work."
A.J. FOYT IV (No. 14 Conseco/A.J. Foyt Racing Dallara/Toyota/Firestone): "We had a good first day. The main objective was for me to get back in the groove and get comfortable here, which we did. Tomorrow we'll work on finding more speed. We ran a brand new G Force and the Dallara today, and both Conseco cars were real solid right out of the box. I'm sure we can make them faster as we work on them this week."
SHIGEAKI HATTORI (No. 5 EPSON/A.J. Foyt Racing Dallara/Toyota/ Firestone): "Our setup is between a race setup and qualifying trim. It is pretty good, but tomorrow we'll start trimming it out to find more speed. The EPSON car is pretty comfortable."
SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Panoz G Force/Toyota/ Firestone): "It was another good day for us. Team Target has done a great job in preparing the cars for me. I get more and more comfortable with each lap that I make here. Today we worked on trying to find more speed. We turned our fast lap during the heat of the day, which is a good sign for us. My hand is feeling better, and I'm excited to be here."
TOMAS SCHECKTER (No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Panoz G Force/Toyota/Firestone): "I'm very happy with how our day went. My engineer, Bill (Pappas), and I have created a plan, and we are following it. Everything is going ahead as we planned. It's great to be associated with an organization like this. They are a talented group who can see the big picture."
DAN WHELDON (No. 26 Klein Tools/Jim Beam Dallara/Honda/ Firestone): "The team keeps me on an even keel. It also helps because we are running really well. Both days we've been near the top five. The Klein Tools/Jim Beam crew has done a great job, and we haven't had a single problem with the car. Obviously, this is a big race, but once you get in the car you are focused on what you are doing. So, there really aren't too many distractions. Maybe on Race Day, when the grandstands fill, it will be different, but I'm sure my focus will be on the track. This team has been great, and they have helped me relax a lot. Having a team like Andretti Green is great because they allow me to just go out there and do my job."
ROBBY GORDON (No. 27 Alpine/Archipelago/Motorola Dallara/Honda/ Firestone): "We just did a few laps yesterday, and we got the Archipelago/Motorola car up to speed in just a few laps. I think we are looking OK. We are definitely learning a lot about our race setup. We had some understeer earlier in the day, but we made some changes and have the front end biting now. Our main goal is to get as good of a race balance as we can. In Happy Hour we did want to put in a good speed, so on our last run we took some wing out of the car. We weren't really in a setup we would qualify in; it was more of my race setup that we just trimmed out a little bit."
TONY RENNA (No. 32 Cure Autism Now/HomeMed Dallara/Toyota/ Firestone): "I'm really quite happy with today and the Cure Autism Now/HomeMed Pharmacy car. We got through everything and accomplished what we wanted to get accomplished. We've been evaluating a lot of different stuff, and we've really been focusing on having a good race car. The whole Cure Autism Now/HomeMed Pharmacy crew has been doing a great job, and I'm really happy with my engineer, Tim Neff. We've been patient and just doing everything right, and I think by doing it this way that we will find the speed and be in really good shape."
SCOTT SHARP (No. 8 Delphi Dallara/Toyota/Firestone): "We had a great day for the Delphi team. We worked on the car and tried some different things that we wanted to get done. Some worked, some didn't, but we did get the car going a bit quicker at the end. But there's still so much time left and so much work to be done."
AL UNSER JR. (No. 31 Corteco Dallara/Toyota/Firestone): "We had a really good day today on the Corteco team. We learned about the car and helped it quite a bit. It's still only Monday, and we've got a lot of time left, so we were just trying some things and trying to get a feel for what works. The Corteco car is running really well, and we're pretty happy right now."
TORA TAKAGI (No. 12 Pioneer Mo Nunn Racing Panoz G Force/Toyota/ Firestone): "I was very conservative today. The weather was much hotter today, and the track was slick. When I went out just after noon, my car wasn't so good. It was very slippery because of the track. We made many changes to the car, and when I went back out after 4 o'clock, the car was much, much better.
BUDDY RICE (No. 52 Red Bull Cheever Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "Everything went good today. We are pretty happy with our primary car right now. We are trying to get our second car up to speed. Today is the first day we have run the second car here at Indy. We are working on getting together two solid and equal cars. Today we were the quickest Chevy, so that helps. It's only the second of 20 some days for the month. And we still have five days before we qualify. We have a lot of little things to work on. We just have to stay on top of things."
JAQUES LAZIER (No. 2 Menards/Johns Manville Dallara/Chevrolet/ Firestone): "It was a really good day for Johns Manville/Team Menard. Yesterday was a shakedown for the chassis. Today we were down to business. We did pick up some speed with a 225.3 (mph). We are just trying to get the car as comfortable as possible and free it up a little bit more. I think we can be in the 226 range. We'll probably throw some things on there for qualifying and see if we can't do a four-lap average of 227 (mph.) That would be a real good one for us. We'll work on some race things this week, as well. There are two races here: the race to make the show and the race to win the show. This team has never won the show before so that's the one we are really shooting for. We are concentrating on the race setup to see if we can't steal it away from everybody. Right now, Menard Cheever Technologies and Chevrolet are working diligently to get caught up. We are making huge strides. I am confident we will have a good car for the race."
SARAH FISHER (No. 23 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/ Firestone): "Today was technically our first day of practice for the Indianapolis 500. We didn't get to test at all like many of the other teams did, so to go from 213 mph to 222 mph in just an hour's worth of track time is pretty good. We still have a lot of things to try and aerodynamics to take advantage of, so we're pretty happy with what we did today."
ARIE LUYENDYK (No. 20 Meijer Mo Nunn Racing Panoz G Force/Toyota/Firestone): "We tested a few things, and now we know what to do. We can go forward with that knowledge. I didn't do any draft laps. A lot of the guys are getting drafts and putting down big numbers. We'll just stay low key and stay out of everybody's way. We'll do laps on our own so we can get a good read on the car."
BUDDY LAZIER (No. 91 Hemelgarn/Life Fitness/Delta Faucet Dallara/ Chevrolet/Firestone): "I can't say we're happy. As far as we understand it at this point, it's as trimmed out as we can make it. We're really, really negative on the wings and just as trimmed out as we can be. We're flat out. The car's working really good. We're going faster every day. We're picking up 2 or 3 mph every day, about as efficient as we can get the car right now. Now it's just a matter of continuing to throw bits at it, pieces. I'm not sure where we go from here to get faster. I know we can race well and be real consistent lap after lap, but to get much more speed out of it as it sits, I'm not sure how to do that. I guess that's what we'll be working on all night."
KENNY BRACK (No. 15 Rahal/Letterman/Miller Lite/Pioneer Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "I think we got a lot accomplished today. We ran both the primary and backup cars, and we really worked on the chassis setup. We didn't get in as much time on Sunday as we wanted, so today was very critical for us. Our team is still pretty new to these IndyCar (Series cars), especially the new versions (2003). But our engineers -- Don Halliday, Martin Pare and Tim Reiter -- have been working very hard to prepare a car for qualifying and then one for the race. Qualifying is still pretty important, since you can run with the leaders and have a better chance of keeping away from a possible crash early in the race. But our guys have been very good on details and, if the weather is still good all week, I think we will continue to improve. In addition, I think they would like me to run a few laps in Jimmy's (Vasser) car on Tuesday. We hope the weather stays like it was today."
FELIPE GIAFFONE (No. 21 Hollywood Mo Nunn Racing Panoz G Force/Toyota/Firestone): "We were going in different directions than Tora. He was pretty happy with his car, so tomorrow we're going to go in the direction he was going and see if we can improve a little bit. It's been pretty smooth. Today we tried things that mostly didn't quite work. A few things worked, but most of the things we were planning didn't quite work, but that's why you always try different things." (Do you feel a bit like the team's guinea pig today?): "Sometimes it happens. That's the good thing about having three cars. You can play with different stuff with three drivers and then pick the best for the next day."
SAM HORNISH JR. (No. 4 Pennzoil Panther Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "The car feels pretty good. It does what I want it to do. We're just trying to take drag off the car, trying to keep everything running and do the best with what we've got to work with. We know it's not the fastest car that wins the race. It's the guy that's most consistent and most patient and stays out of trouble all day long and has a little bit of racing luck. I've seen guys that were farther off before win. Look at Castroneves last year; he ran 10th or 15th all day long, and he was at the right place at the right time at the end. You've got to have some of that racing luck."
GIL DE FERRAN (No. 6 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Toyota/Firestone): "Today was a very good day for Marlboro Team Penske. We ran a lot of laps, and I'm very happy with the way things are progressing. I particularly enjoyed the middle part of the afternoon, as I was mostly running by myself. It really gave me the opportunity to get into my own groove and continue to get my rhythm back. At the end of the session, we got a couple of quick laps in, which put us in the top five for the day. It's only Monday, however, so the most important thing is to keep focused, keep our head down and keep working."
HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Toyota/ Firestone): "We have spent most of the first two days developing the Dallara chassis, and I feel we've made a lot of progress. We actually did some race simulations and long runs today with the Dallara. At the end of the day, we switched to the G Force because we are still trying to decide which car will be more competitive for the race. Marlboro Team Penske has been doing a great job working with both chassis. Hopefully, we will have good weather again tomorrow."
ROGER YASUKAWA (No. 55 Panasonic ARTA Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "It was all right, I think. We had a bit of a mechanical problem here and there, and we were trying to play catch up a little bit, but we have a long ways to go. We're taking everything step by step. Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day. We did make some improvements. We are going quicker. It's only a matter of time tomorrow. If we get a good day, and we don't have any problems, we'll be up to speed."