SARAH FISHER (No. 24 Team Purex/Aventis/Dreyer & Reinbold Racing G Force/Infiniti/Firestone): "It's gotten a lot hotter today and gotten pretty slick out there. It's also taken some time to burn off the Silver Crown rubber. We're trying not to...
SARAH FISHER (No. 24 Team Purex/Aventis/Dreyer & Reinbold Racing G Force/Infiniti/Firestone): "It's gotten a lot hotter today and gotten pretty slick out there. It's also taken some time to burn off the Silver Crown rubber. We're trying not to lose ourselves and get away from our cold setup, since it's supposed to cool off for the weekend. The car will go anywhere I point it to go. It's a great feeling. We're shooting for the little things now. The car is extremely consistent, which makes it easy for me to be out for seven months and still jump in and go fast. The Infiniti engine has great horsepower and pulls low rpms. It's got more low-end torque, which means coming off the corners and on restarts, it has a definite advantage."
BILLY BOAT (No. 98 CURB Records Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "The CURB/ Agajanian/Boat Indy Racing team is working hard, and we keep gaining little by little. On a little track like this it's tough to make big gains, so you've just got to work at it a tenth at a time. We're getting closer. One of the keys here is going to be qualifying. Passing is going to be hard, so I think qualifying for track position is going to be key. We're working hard to try and get the CURB Records car as close to the front for the start of the race as we can."
SHIGEAKI HATTORI (No. 12 EPSON Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "We tested at the beginning of this week and at that time the car was good, but maybe track conditions are really different today. The car feels totally different than the last test. We made a couple of changes, and the car is getting better, so it should be good for tomorrow. This kind of track has totally different speeds in all three corners. Turn 2 and Turn 3 are the most difficult corners. We'll be OK. We'll find the setup tomorrow."
ANTHONY LAZZARO (No. 99 Blair99.com/Sam Schmidt Motorsports Dallara/Chevrolet/ Firestone): "Basically, compared to the way the first (practice) went, this afternoon was a lot better. We mainly practiced long runs for the race, ran a lot of fuel. The car is actually a lot better race car now. We put a set of sticker tires on at the end of the session and had a few issues. We didn't go as quick as we wanted, so we're not too happy about that, but I think Sunday we'll be OK."
GEORGE MACK (No. 31 310 Racing G Force/Chevrolet/Firestone): "We were pretty quick. We tried some different things with shocks and that type of thing, and I think what's going on is the track temperature is really sky-rocketing. They told me our right front was like 200-plus degrees, which is probably the hottest they've seen it. Really we're just chasing the car. Hopefully it will cool down a little, and we won't have a problem tomorrow for qualifying."
ROBBY MCGEHEE (No. 10 Cahill Racing/Scottrade Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "We're working diligently on our setup. Because we're kind of limited with our engine, we concentrated on short, efficient runs this afternoon. This is the same engine that we ran at Phoenix and during the warm-up and practice at Fontana. It will have about 400 miles on it when we start the race on Sunday. During this session our engineer, John Hayes, tried something that worked really well, and we picked up two-tenths of a second easily with the Scottrade.com Dallara. I think the entire Cahill Racing team did really well today considering that we've never been here before. We'll just try to keep working in the same direction tomorrow."
RICHIE HEARN (No. 11 A. J. Foyt Racing/Banco Chile Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "The car is not bad, but it is not accelerating off the corners. We're going to change motors tonight. In CART, we ran little wings and had no downforce and no feel for the car. These cars have lots of downforce, and you can feel them underneath you, so you can hustle them around. They're a lot more fun to drive."
JON HERB (No. 16 Star Registry WeberGrills.com G Force/Chevrolet/Firestone): "We're enthusiastic. It was a good run for us considering that we've never been here before, and my first time on the track was today. We got maybe five laps at speed during the first session out of 12 or 15 total laps. We had a good day this afternoon. The team did good. I had some new people come in. They're doing a great job. The team is working well together. We just have to make some changes. We're watching the weather conditions for this weekend to try and stay in tune for that and plan for race day."
AIRTON DARE (No. 14 Harrah's/A.J. Foyt Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "We didn't improve much from this morning. The car is more comfortable to drive, but we're not any faster. We have to go over the data and see what's going on."
RICK TREADWAY (No. 55 Airlink Enterprises/Spade Motorsports G Force/ Chevrolet/Firestone): "We were really fortunate to test this past Monday and Tuesday. That really helped us get prepared for the Nazareth Speedway. It's a unique track, so it was great to have a chance to test. We got going pretty good today in practice. We got some good speed. I'm looking forward to putting on a good show for the fans."
BUDDY LAZIER (No. 91 Coors Light/Life Fitness/Tae-Bo/Delta Faucet Dallara/Chevrolet/ Firestone): "We learned a lot today. We've got to find some speed, but we know where our weakness is, and we're going to work on that overnight. We'll be a lot better tomorrow."
SAM HORNISH JR. (No. 4 Pennzoil Panther Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "This is one tricky little track. It's going to be an awesome, tough race. The field is so tight speed-wise. I think a lot of it will be getting in and out of the pits quickly and who is best in traffic. The Pennzoil car is real good, real comfortable. It's working good. We'll have to see what everybody else comes up with."
SCOTT SHARP (No. 8 Delphi Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "It's been a wild afternoon. The crew did a fantastic job today. One thing this Delphi team has is hustle. They did a major suspension change before the last practice session and made it out just in time." (About his spin in Turn 4): "The car was a little loose, and I just got on the gas too hard. The car just came around. I was very lucky. There was just some damage to the end fence of the rear wing. Qualifying is going to be very interesting, and the Delphi crew is ready."
EDDIE CHEEVER JR. (No. 51 Red Bull Cheever Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone):
"It went well this morning when we did a full-tank test. We made some changes this afternoon, and it was horrible. We learned what not to do. We went back to what we had this morning and ran full tanks. If the Red Bull Cheever Racing Infiniti is like this on Sunday, I will be one very happy camper."
TOMAS SCHECKTER (No. 52 Red Bull Cheever Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "It's a whole new circuit for me. It's a tough situation since our testing was canceled because of weather. I am just learning as much as possible today. Now that I have been on the track, I really wish I had tested here before. I still need to push a little more to get it right. It's completely different from any oval I have driven. The elevation changes, you're going into a corner going down and then back up again. It's a good circuit."
AL UNSER JR. (No. 7 Corteco/Bryant Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "Thing's are going good for the Corteco/Bryant team. I'm really happy to be back at Nazareth. It's going to be a very competitive race. It's going to be very tough to pass here, so qualifications and pit stops are going to be very important. The object is not to make a mistake out there."
JAQUES LAZIER (No. 2 Menards/Johns Manville Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "We were primarily working on our race setup. We went out there early on with a newer set of tires and a little less fuel in the car. We just got a good, clean run, and that's when we posted our quick time. Ideally, with the warm temperature, we were just trying to maximize our mechanical grip because usually when it cools off, you get a little more grip all around. You add a little more downforce to the car, so we were just trying to maximize our mechanical grip today. Although it's a tight track, and it's difficult to pass on, I think it's more critical to get a car that is good on a long fuel run." (About finishing second at California Speedway): "I've thought about it quite a bunch. Obviously, in hindsight, there are a couple of things I would have done differently to try to change the outcome of the race, but all things said and done, I'm really happy about it and learned from it. We'll take it into this weekend, and hopefully into the month of May."
HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "The track is different than it was during the open test when the temperatures were much cooler. Today we focused on race setup. Our biggest challenge was getting the Marlboro car to handle well. The team made changes throughout the sessions, and we were able to improve our time from the morning to afternoon, but I don't think we're quite there yet. Tomorrow morning our focus will shift to qualifying, and hopefully the weather will stay clear."
ALEX BARRON (No. 44 RAYOVAC/Blair Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "This morning we were playing with the car and the setup. We had a pretty good test here a couple of weeks ago. It's just a great opportunity to show Rayovac what the team's capable of doing. We're just really happy to have them on board. This couldn't be better timing for us to make a big leap to the front. I think we've got a really good race car, a really good engineer, a good team, and we're hoping for a lot of good things here this weekend. We were doing some things in the morning, and we went the wrong direction. We kind of went back to what we did at the test. McLaren has been working really hard on the motor. I think that we've found some speed here this weekend. Just everything has clicked. I've been here two or three times, so I have a lot of confidence going around the track."
GIL DE FERRAN (No. 6 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "It makes it more complicated for all of the engineers and everybody involved because the conditions keep changing. It's certainly going to put some extra emphasis on the decision-making process of all the engineers and the teams, but it's the same for everybody. It makes it somewhat interesting and complex. I think really just work on the general balance of the car is important because a car that handles well in the heat usually handles well in the cold. Sometimes the other way around is not true, but I think generally speaking trying to make the car well-mannered and easy to drive usually tends to translate as the temperature changes. The CART car here was more like a road course because you had to brake, downshift and accelerate and get wheel spin out of (Turn) 3. I think these cars are more adapted to running here. I think generally speaking they tend to behave better in traffic. Nazareth is a tight racetrack. It's hard to pass here. It's going to continue to be hard to pass here, although the cars do behave better in traffic."(Why did speeds drop this afternoon?): "Primarily running heavier fuel throughout the session, that was mainly the reason why. I wasn't trying to go fast this afternoon. Well, I was trying to go fast, but I had quite a bit of fuel in the car."