DAY 1 -- Friday, July 26, 2002 Indy Racing League Post-Practice Quotes SAM HORNISH JR. (No. 4 Pennzoil Panther Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "The car feels pretty good. We came here focused on the championship, so we're not really worried about...
DAY 1 -- Friday, July 26, 2002
Indy Racing League Post-Practice Quotes
SAM HORNISH JR. (No. 4 Pennzoil Panther Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "The car feels pretty good. We came here focused on the championship, so we're not really worried about qualifying. We're just trying to get the car to work really good in the traffic. At this track, it's all about being able to make the car work in traffic, because if you have to lift, you have a problem."
ARIE LUYENDYK (No. 55 Meijer Indy Racing G Force/Chevrolet/Firestone): "I think they're going to put a new engine in because the engines we have in are slow. I could run any line on the track, and I'm not going anywhere fast. I knew it wasn't going to be quick, but I didn't think it would be that slow. Hopefully the new engine will give us the horsepower we lack."
BUDDY LAZIER (No. 91 Coors Light/Life Fitness/Tae Bo/Delta Faucet Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "For the majority of our practices today, we've been working on the race (setup). We've learned a lot about what the racetrack is. It's a new facility for us. Almost everybody on the team has raced here before but not in the IRL. We are trying to get an understanding of the pavement because there are seams in the pavement, and we're gaining a whole lot of information. Hopefully we can take that information and apply it to tomorrow."
SCOTT SHARP (No. 8 Delphi Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "I am very pleased with the Delphi car. We made great progress today. We made many, many, many changes to measure the car's response and drastically improved our race setup. We didn't do anything in qualifying trim so I don't expect to qualify well. But that isn't as important as race setup." (On running the first IRL event at Michigan): "The draft is going to be extremely important Sunday. Time sheets don't mean much of anything right now because the laps we turned were in some sort of draft situation."
JEFF WARD (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing G Force/Chevrolet/Firestone): "This was our first chance to run the primary car. We had trouble getting it started this morning. We jumped up a little bit, and we're right in there where we need to be."
ELISEO SALAZAR (No. 11 A.J. Foyt Racing/Harrah's Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "I like the track a lot. I think my car is going to be really good in the race. In qualifying, I think we will be top 10 or top 12, but in the race I think we'll have a top-five car."
RAUL BOESEL (No. 12 Bradley Motorsports Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "We've got to make changes. I think maybe if we free up the car a bit, we'll have a better idea of where we're going to be. We ran out of time, and we just aren't really any good."
AIRTON DARE (No. 14 Harrah's/A.J. Foyt Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "The car is handling good; we just have to find more speed. The track looks like a different track to me in the Indy car compared to the Indy Lights car. In the Indy Lights car, the track looked huge, and it took forever to get around it. In the Indy car, it's like I have never been here before -- it's totally different."
RICHIE HEARN (No. 20 Meijer/Coca Cola/Sam Schmidt Motorsports Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "The car had a lot of understeer in traffic. We will think about it tonight and hope there are changes to be made on the car that will get us there because we are not there yet.
FELIPE GIAFFONE (No. 21 Hollywood Mo Nunn Racing G Force/Chevrolet/Firestone): "We're doing race setups. We had a lot of fuel in the car, and I was trying to run as much as I could in the draft. That is where that good lap came from. We're not going to be fast in qualifying, but we should be all right for the race."
EDDIE CHEEVER JR. (No. 51 Red Bull Cheever Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "Both Tomas and Buddy did a great job today. They beat the old man again, so I think the future of our team is in very good hands. I know of no other people that I would do a three-abreast start with than these two other drivers. I don't think that will happen. I asked Tony (George) after today's practice if he would allow it, and he just smirked and walked away. I don't think they'll go for that. But there's still quite a ways to go. We have to qualify. There are cars out there that have always gone historically faster in qualifying, so we have work to do. We did a lot of full-tank stuff today, which I think is a good omen for us. I would love to see all three of our cars on the first row. We're fine. We're on pace for where we want to be. We've had a very difficult year, and we will continue to make whatever changes we think are necessary to try to right the ship. We have the right equipment. We have the right drivers. We have the right mechanics. We just have to find some way to get everything to work properly."
GEORGE MACK (No. 31 310 Racing G Force/Chevrolet/Firestone): "The car is a real bear to drive. We have to fine-tune the car and make chassis changes. Right now I'm chasing the car through the practice session, and the car is really hard to control. We have a lot of catching up to do."
LAURENT REDON (No. 34 Mi-Jack Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "We have to work with the car because it is really sensitive. Hopefully we can find some way to improve it, and I think we'll be OK. We still need work on the car to carry more speed here."
GREG RAY (No. 41 A.J. Foyt Racing/Harrah's Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "They've made the car better. It was pushing pretty bad at first. We just have to get the front end down more."
TOMAS SCHECKTER (No. 52 Red Bull Cheever Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "This weekend I've got another crew. I met them today. They did a good job on the car. You know, we still have to learn each other, learn the way we work. We have to get our pit stops right. I think that is where you're going to see people gain in the race because it's fairly easy to drive on full tanks and on low tanks. You're going to see people gaining in the pits. You're going to see people gaining on the out laps and on the in laps. I don't think there are going to be a lot of yellow flags, and the people who are going to win the race are the best through the traffic and the best in the pits. It's the first I've seen the circuit today, so it's not like I've driven it in another car before. You have to learn. Time you can gain anywhere is important."
BUDDY RICE (No. 53 Red Bull Cheever Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "I got a call on Sunday about a test for Kentucky, and then from there, I'm on a day-to-day basis right now. Obviously, I'm here for the weekend, but we'll have to see what happens after the weekend and go from there. I'm really happy to be with the Red Bull Cheever team with Infiniti power. We're doing really well. I think any opportunity you get right now is very important. There are limited seats in both CART and in IRL. Basically, your door's got to be open to anything right now. I was under contract with Rahal. I've tested with him, I've tested with Ganassi. In November, I tested with Eddie in the IRL car, which was my first time there."
TONY RENNA (No. 7 Corteco/Bryant Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "We are going to have a good race car. We spent all of our time working on race setup. Qualifying isn't important, but having a good race car is key. The only races I've run here were 50-lap shootouts like the Infiniti Pro Series, but Sunday's race will unfold with several factors coming into play. Drafting is obviously key, especially how your car handles in traffic."
BILLY BOAT (No. 98 CURB Records Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "Without testing time here, we really need to try and use some of this practice time to work on our race setup, which is what we did that session running with a full load of fuel. I'm actually not that happy with where we are right now, but it is good to know. Now we can go and make some changes and make the race car better in traffic and with a lot of fuel in it."
HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "We used today's practice sessions to work on the race setup of the Marlboro Team Penske car. Overall, it was a productive day, and I'm happy with our results. The setup we used got better and better as the day went on. Tomorrow, we'll work on our qualifying setup in the morning, and we'll just have to see how we measure up."
GIL de FERRAN (No. 6 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "Overall, the day went OK, but we're not exactly where we want to be yet. The morning practice session was disrupted with rain so we didn't get to do everything we had planned. We were working on race setup today, trying to make the Marlboro Team Penske car handle well. Unfortunately, we don't always start with a great car. If you're lucky, sometimes you start with a car that's 90 percent. You could have a car that is 70 percent or a car that is somewhere in between. We use the practice sessions to tune the car out. Basically, what I look for is to make the car easy to drive, because typically when the car is easy to drive it is easier to get more speed out of it in the race. We're making progress, and hopefully we'll be in good shape for Sunday. Tomorrow we'll switch our focus to qualifying."
SARAH FISHER (No. 23 Team Smart Blade/Dreyer & Reinbold Racing G Force/Infiniti/Firestone): "For not testing here, we've already come a long way in just one day's time. I'm really looking forward to racing. It's going to be a lot of fun on Sunday."
ROBBIE BUHL (No. 24 Team Purex/Aventis/Dreyer & Reinbold Racing G Force/Infiniti/Firestone): "We're not focusing too much on speed for just one lap as we are on pure drivability for the car. It's a 400-mile race, and we need a car that's good on every portion of the track. We're OK for now, but we'll make it better."