JAQUES LAZIER No. 2 Johns Manville/Menards Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "It was good to get out there again and get back into the whole swing of things. That was sort of the key and the purpose of what we were doing today. The trucks will get...
JAQUES LAZIER No. 2 Johns Manville/Menards Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "It was good to get out there again and get back into the whole swing of things. That was sort of the key and the purpose of what we were doing today. The trucks will get out here and put some rubber down."
@AL UNSER JR. (No. 3 Galles Racing Starz SuperPak G Force/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "From what little time we had on the track, I could tell that it is much, much smoother since the repaving. It is just too new of a surface right now to tell the wet from dry spots, so Brian Barnhart made an excellent call not to practice anymore today. We will get some solid practice in tomorrow morning and then go racing."
SAM HORNISH JR. (No. 4 Pennzoil Panther Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "I'm disappointed we didn't get to run. Obviously, we were looking forward to coming back here. Having already won the championship, we have no pressure and can just run for the win."
SCOTT SHARP (No. 8 Delphi Automotive Systems Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "The whole Delphi team has had a really good run here in the past. It's nice to come out to a place where you feel you have a pretty good setup on and feel confident in the car for the race. At this stage it's so cold with the 65 degrees track temperature and the air temperature's colder than that. It's also really windy out there, and there's a good chance that the conditions won't be like that tomorrow. And if it is, you've got two hours of practice tomorrow. So there's really no reason to go out and take any chances right now. No one has reported being comfortable out there when we were warming up. We haven't even tried to go fast. The track has been paved since we were last here, but we're expecting that it will only help our setup. And we're expecting our setup to work just fine."
ROBBY McGEHEE (No. 10 Cahill Racing Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "The track was really nice and smooth. We couldn't tell too much from that session because of the conditions. The wind coupled with the track temperature kept us all pretty slow, so there's not too much to say." (Did you think much about the accident in June when on track today?): "No; it never even crossed my mind."
GREG RAY (No. 11 A.J. Foyt Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "It means a lot to be here at Texas with A.J. A.J. certainly knows a thing or two about running the car here, and I'm sure we'll have a very exciting race. I'm glad to be back in the car at my home track with all my family, friends and with my Texas-based sponsor, EDS." (About the track surface): "This is my first time since Kentucky to race, my first time in A.J.'s car setup and the first time with Infiniti. Obviously, we are monitoring conditions with our yellow practice session, and we were not trying to go fast. In fact, we were 30 mph off the pace, but the track is very smooth. Eddie (Gossage, Texas Motor Speedway executive vice president and general manager) did a great job on the track improvements. Nobody said anything to me while I was out there - just mostly trying to handle the car. This is a racetrack that when you are running close in corners, you want to be sure to hold the line. Any driver that is racing here this weekend knows this track is fast and no matter what the new drivers do, it's important that everyone hold their line, you just have to have faith in the other drivers to do that."
ELISEO SALAZAR (No. 14 Harrah's A.J. Foyt Racing Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "We couldn't tell anything. I started to warm up the tires, and they said that they didn't want us to go too fast. So it was very inconclusive."
SARAH FISHER (No. 15 Walker Racing Kroger Special Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "When we were on track it's just really, really cold. I think the major factor is just how windy it is. There are unbelievable gusts out there. They were 50 mph out of our timing stand at one point. So you just have to be real careful when it's that windy because cars that are on real, real cold or damp racetracks, especially when you add big gusts of wind in there, it can be pretty unpredictable." (About new surface): "I love the new surface. I really didn't notice any bumps, but an Indy car at 156 mph versus an Indy car at 220 (mph) is quite a difference. We'll see tomorrow what it's like, but at this point it seems really smooth." (Asked if teams that tested after resurfacing having an advantage): "I guess it just depends on the weather of the day that they tested here. If it's the same as what tomorrow's going to be then I'm sure they're going to have a little bit of an advantage. It's all going to boil down to who can set it up the quickest tomorrow."
ROBBIE BUHL (No. 24 Team Purex Dreyer & Reinbold Racing G Force/Infiniti/Firestone): "We were here a week ago testing and it was picture perfect. Everybody said that it had been like that for the last 10 days here. We jokingly said, 'Just wait until we get here on Friday, and the weather will turn.' And it did unfortunately. There's a lot of great fans that come out and support the Indy Racing League here, and unfortunately it always seems as though they have to fight the weather as we do as competitors. It is what it is, and we'll make due. They said that tomorrow is supposed to be a little bit better, and we'll go from there. This series is very competitive."
MARK DISMORE (No. 28 Delphi Automotive Systems/Bryant Heating & Cooling Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "I would like to have had a chance to go for the pole again this race. I won a great Toro Lawnmower here in June, but I gave that to my daughter. I was hoping to win one this time that I could keep for myself, but you can't control the weather. I'll just have to win tomorrow and try to get one that way."
JEFF WARD (No. 35 Heritage Motorsports Firestone Menards G Force/Infiniti/Firestone): "We weren't able to put together a real solid run for tomorrow, running under yellow. This did give us an opportunity to do a little maintenance on the car, checking up on our new engine. Tomorrow we have a lot to look forward to. We're excited about running the Infiniti engine. We were able to test with it here last month, but I haven't raced with the engine. It'll be a steep learning curve, but it's a strong engine. I'm expecting good results tomorrow."
EDDIE CHEEVER JR. (No. 51 Cheever Indy Racing Infiniti Dallara/Firestone): "Cold, windy, short waste of a day. I wish I would have worn two pairs of long underwear. That is the total of my information for the day. I have the race engine in now, and we're ready to go."
SHIGEAKI HATTORI (No. 55 EPSON Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "I'm very disappointed that we were not able to qualify today, especially since this is the end of the 2001 Indy Racing Northern Light season. The No. 55 EPSON has done very well at TMS, especially when it comes to finding a good qualifying and finishing position. I was ready to put the No. 55 EPSON in the top five for the start of the race, but because of the weather we now have to start 15th, according to entrant points." (On the new surface): "Becuase we had such little time on the track, it was hard to gauge a whole lot on the handling of the car, but the track is definitely smoother. It will be great to race on tomorrow."
AIRTON DARE (No. 88 1-800-BAR-NONE G Force/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "It feels real good to be back on the track. The new surface is smooth so far. I mean, we only had a little time on the track, and I think maybe it was still a little damp. Downforce will be a huge factor if race conditions are similar to today. I had to get out of the throttle because we were losing some grip, especially on the exits. It is hard to say too much because we didn't get up to full speed and full throttle. I am looking forward to a good, long session tomorrow before the race."
BUDDY LAZIER (No. 91 Tae-Bo/Coors Light/Delta Faucet Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "I think most of us just got a feel for the new pavement. I think, actually, it was very positive. Obviously, we would've liked to do more. It was not a total throwaway day. Everybody scuffed a few tires. Everybody got a feel for the new pavement and got a feel for where the bumps are and did a leak check, so that's not bad."
BILLY BOAT (No. 98 CURB Records Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "I think if we had to race, we could race. But given that we're probably going to see entirely different conditions tomorrow, there's really not much to gain out there right now. If we were going to go green it might be different, but just staying yellow there's just nothing to gain."
BUZZ CALKINS (No. 12 Bradley Food Marts/Sav-O-Mat Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "I am glad that we got here and tested a few days ago. We learned a lot at the test, and I guess we are one of the few teams that has had any time on the new surface. That should help us prepare for the race tomorrow. They did a great job repaving the track. You really don't feel any bumps. The only real difference, other than the smoothness, is in the transitions as you come off the corner, and I believe that will be remedied by more rubber on the track. In that respect, the truck race tonight is going to help us quite a bit. The races here are always great, and I am looking forward to tomorrow's season finale in the Bradley Food Mars/ Sav-O-Mat Dallara."