IRL: Indy 500: Thumbnail Comments as 500 Approaches

The following drivers answered Mike King's call to breakfast with the press Tuesday morning. Here are a few of the introductory comments made by those present. Following are other comments heard during the two days. TYCE CARLSON - "I'm...

The following drivers answered Mike King's call to breakfast with the press Tuesday morning. Here are a few of the introductory comments made by those present. Following are other comments heard during the two days.

TYCE CARLSON - "I'm predicting a post speed of 222 plus and lots of good exposure for my new sponsor on the Hubbard Imke entry of the Flamingto Hotel in Las Vegas."

ROBBIE BUHL - "We'll be doing our testing after the Las Vegas race to keep pre-May pressure off the team and be better focused for both events."

SAM HORNISH, JR. - "I'm only 20 years old so we're taking it easy in the PDM machine to lessen the slope of the learning curve."

SCOTT SHARP - "We have no nervous anticipation about Indy which gives us lots of confidence. We broke a gear box at Disney. We had a good test and look forward to Vegas but we want our efforts to peak here at Indy."

JEFF WARD - "We're slowly transitioning from the 90 degree crank to the 180. We have a strong car and are very confident. A.J. Foyt is a super guy to work for and he sure knows how to plot strategy for Indy.

JERET SCHROEDER - "I've got wonderful coaches in car owners Larry Curry and Tony Stewart. Perkins Transport owner Larry Card brings logistical know how to the team and electrical supplier Rick Ehrgot becoming our fourth owner has added spark to the team."

ANDY HILLENBERG - "We're at the realization point of a long held dream to run the Indy 500. To come with such a famous name and number as Sumar makes me especially proud. We will be running the same Sumar colors, blue with a white stripe, and the number 48.

JIMMY KITE - "I'm happy to be back with Brad McCandless in a 2000 G-Force. I didn't need the extra room in the cockpit with my jockey build but we'll take it."

STEPHAN GREGOIRE - "Dick Simon, my car owner, is one of the best at Indy. I started with him years ago and look forward to Indy," said the Frenchman now living in Carmel, IN.

BUDDY LAZIER - "We've got a Riley & Scott chassis, the only American made race car at Indy. After running from scratch 26th to 1st at Phoenix we hope to carry that momentum into Indy."

EDDIE CHEEVER - "We've got the original Infiniti past the 350 mile mark, have led races, and come close to winning at Disney so we think we are ready for Indy. The new 35A motor is not going to debut here but it is on track and should be released to us for racing very soon."

OTHER QUOTABLE QUOTES DURING THE OPEN TEST:

TONY GEORGE - "I'm proud of the work done by all of our contractors in our Capitol improvements challenge. Their work will serve to make our facility unmatched by any other."

"I'm happy that our F-1 suites atop the F-1 garage are sold out. Now all we have to do is get them ready in time. We are working on it full steam."

"I'm happy with our next generation of race cars. The technical staff has managed it well, from the technical aspect as well as reliability and safety."

"I'm happy with the growth of our sponsorships both traditional and non-traditional. It isn't well known but IRL Indy car racing is the best value for the sponsor dollar in entertainment. We hope to improve that."

"We have an excellent relationship with the International Speedway Corporation. That we are only running at one of their tracks is, I feel, only a temporary condition. I have my eye on Fontana as a target venue for the future. Our schedule should soon reach 12 to 16 races but the growth will only occur when all elements are correct for each addition. We will not add races just to have a heavy schedule."

DERRICK WALKER, owner of the Walker Racing IRL Riley & Scott driven by rookie Sarah Fisher:

"The IRL rules are structured very tightly. There's not many things one can do to change the cars so it's not difficult to prepare the car to be competitive."

"I have felt no resentment nor animousity from other car owners for fielding and IRL team. I would say that politics are out of it. I feel that eventually some common ground will result from the two CART teams coming to Indy."

"I would say, Don't read the rescheduling of the Nazareth race as a flip back to the politics of obstruction. I believe other factors were involved."

"Honda doesn't pay Walker Racing any money. We are their customer for excellent engines in CART. The other engine manufacturers are involved heavily with their teams (in F-1 some have event purchased the race team) so that is definitely a factor in their lack of interest in seeing certain CART teams coming to Indy where they'd have to run a competing brand engine."

SARAH FISHER:

"I won't be driving any other race cars. The IRL deserves my full attention, Walker Racing deserves my full attention. I will be in the shop or testing every day."

GREG RAY (discussing Sarah Fisher)- "Her resume is impressive and it says she can drive a race car."

"I like being a solo effort this year unlike last year where we gave everything to another Menard team that it had taken us three years to develop."

(on Chip Ganassi) - "His team took their Vegas test information to Indy, applied it well, and were able to run up front in the speed charts. They are very professional."

"The 2000 Dallara IRL car is significantly stiffer but the power is a little less than in '99 because of the .5 litre decrease in displacement."

"I think my Chief Mechanic Tom Knapp is the best wrench in the business and performance in racing is a matter of good coordination between the driver and the mechanic."

compiled by Len in Indy

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tony Stewart , Sarah Fisher , Chip Ganassi , Dick Simon , A.J. Foyt