GREG RAY ( ...
GREG RAY (#2 Johns Manville/Menards Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "I was pretty happy with the car. We weren't very good in practice or qualifying, but we made huge improvements for the race. We had great stops all night, it was just one of those things. It was going to be a 12-lap shootout and Eddie had a good gear for restarts and he got on the outside of me. There were several cars that could go quickly around the bottom, and we came up on a lap car. I don't know who it was, but he drifted up and then came back down. I had committed already to the bottom. When he came down it sent me spinning. I feel bad for him. It was just one of those racing deals."
AL UNSER JR. (#3 Galles Racing Starz SuperPak G Force/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "I was battling a loose car all night, but the team worked so well together all night to keep me on the lead lap. Rick Galles' strategy was great and the team worked really hard in the pits with the changes that we made all night. We didn't have a great car, but the team was very good, and we are going to carry this momentum into Pikes Peak."
SAM HORNISH JR. (#4 Pennzoil Panther Dallara Oldsmobile/Firestone): "We're real happy with a second-place finish tonight. We just stayed patient all night. I was along for the ride. I wasn't fast enough to really be in it (the side-by-side battle). We're real happy, and we'll move on to the next race at Pikes Peak. Championship teams are made from being out there and staying patient." (MORE TO FOLLOW)
SCOTT SHARP (#8 Delphi Automotive Systems Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "I thought I'd thrown it all away. Great move by Greg. I got busy looking in my mirrors watching Eddie. Then all of a sudden I saw this blue dart swoop underneath me. I just didn't have enough room to run him down. He had the inside line. I thought, "Oh man, it's over with." The next thing I know, Greg tried to get underneath, which I probably would have done. Everybody's been so supportive after what happened in Turn 1 at Indianapolis. I couldn't ask for a better group to be a part of. I just kept my faith in the man upstairs. I didn't quite know why that had to happen at Indy, but I kept my trust in him, and he delivered me today."
BUZZ CALKINS (# 12 Bradley Food Marts/Sav-O-Mat Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "This wasn't a usual race for us here at Texas and that is a disappointment. The Bradley Food Marts/ Sav-O-Mat Dallara just wanted to skate up the banking all night. We were never able to get a grip on the setup all night. We think it might have been a broken right-rear shock." (About the long pit stop): "The engine just cut off on me going into the turn, came back on and then turned back off. We think it was an overheated ECU (electronic control unit), but we have to get into it to really find out. That cost us an awful lot of time in the pits. If that hadn't happened, I feel confident that we would have had a top-10 finish. We'll just turn our sights towards home and go into Colorado Springs next weekend with this all behind us."
FELIPE GIAFFONE (#21 Hollywood G Force/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "I'm very happy. The team did a great job. I don't think Hornish was respecting me the way he should have. The car was great. The last 35 laps, I was not saving anything. I was working toward the finish." (MORE TO FOLLOW)
ELISEO SALAZAR (#14 Harrah's A.J. Foyt Racing Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "We missed on the setup. I had some good passes, but I just couldn't stay out front. There was a problem with the dial that regulates the fuel mixture. It was a couple clicks off. So that didn't help. But the Harrah's crew did a good job, so we'll just take what we can and go on to Colorado."
DONNIE BEECHLER (#11 Harrah's A.J. Foyt Racing Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "I got a really good start on that last restart. We didn't have the best car, but A.J. fine-tuned it during the race, and we did the best with what we had. We had a rookie pit crew, and it was the first time they worked together. So I think they did a great job."
ROBBIE BUHL (#24 Team Purex Dreyer & Reinbold Racing G Force/Infiniti/Firestone): "We had a really good car. We were just trying to be patient. It looks as though we had alternator problems. We had to keep coming in to change batteries and eventually ran out of batteries doing that. After awhile it is not worth the risk doing that. We'll just keep at it. We showed them what we got. We'll go to Colorado and maybe have a little luck. This team is going to win races this year. I am just not sure when that will be, but hopefully sooner than later."
MARK DISMORE (#28 Delphi Automotive Systems/Bryant Heating & Cooling Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "After our first pit stop, the car started to get loose. During our second pit we made some wing and tire pressure adjustments, which seemed to help. After our third pit stop, the car was really feeling good, and I felt like we could have got back up front. We were running really well, and then I felt something snap in the engine. We pitted immediately and the crew checked things out, fired the engine back up, and sent me back out. No sooner than I pulled out, I felt something in the engine again. This time they (the crew) pulled me in the car behind the wall to check it out closer. Unfortunately we couldn't figure out what was happening so we were out of the race. I'm just not sure what happened. We qualified so well, and overall the car felt good to that point. Needless to say, we're very disappointed. We were really feeling good about this one."
JEFF WARD (#35 Heritage Motorsports/Firestone/Menards G Force/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "The car was running as fast as the leaders all night. It was perfect, and I would have been right up there with the leaders at the end. This race is over, and the team is focused on the next race. Our confidence is good. We just need to fix the car, and make it to the finish at Pikes Peak."
EDDIE CHEEVER JR. (#51 Cheever Indy Racing Infiniti Dallara/Firestone): "The Infiniti engine was awesome today. If we hadn't had a tire puncture, we would have walked away with it. Even going a lap down, we came back strong. I thought we could have won easily. Everyone knows the Menards engines are great and the Ilmor engines are great. Well, guess what: Infiniti has a great engine too. It was a very exciting race, but this is not IROC. I like the guy in the No. 2 car, and I like the guy in the No. 8 car, but they can't drive like that. You can't be ducking and weaving and shoving people around. I got shoved below the white line and way up into the gray. It's irresponsible lunacy."
JAQUES LAZIER (#77 Classmates.com/Jonathan Byrd's Cafeteria G Force/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "Strategy played a big role in putting the Classmates car into its first top-10 finish. Fuel strategy in particular helped us in the last half of the race, and we had very quick pit stops the entire night. The Classmates crew deserves a lot of credit for our first top 10. The car was solid, and we made plenty of power with the RPM motors. It was exciting to race wheel to wheel with my brother, and I can't wait to hit the track in Colorado. Classmates will be there to back us, and the crew is ready to piece together another top contender."
BUDDY LAZIER (#91 Tae-Bo/Coors Light/Delta Faucet Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "We knew we were at a disadvatage here, but this shows what we are capable of doing the next nine weeks. With nine to go, this is a step in the right direction. We're happy with fourth. This lets us catch our stride and it's a step in the right direction for the championship."
BILLY BOAT (#98 CURB Records Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "The CURB Records/Beck Motorsports car ran really strong tonight, but we just didn't have quite enough to keep up with the lead pack. The car responded well to our adjustments as the race progressed, and it was definitely better as we went along. Our pit stops were very good, so we kept pace there. Unfortunately we had a bit of a blister on a rear tire late in the race that slowed us on the track a bit. This was a typical race at TMS with close competition and tight racing, so it was tough to find much open racing room. I think we had a better car than a sixth-place finish -- if we were just a degree stronger with 20 or 30 laps to go."
AIRTON DARE (#88 1-800-BAR-NONE G Force/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "The 1-800-BAR NONE car pulled hard all night, and the balance was set just right. We found that sweet spot and only made very minor adjustments tonight. After the first yellow, we made a dash for the lead position and when we got it, I knew the race was mine. Then something gave out. I knew it wasn't the motor because the RPM engines were pulling strong all weekend, and they kept us up front the whole race (to that point). I felt a twist in the rear right wheel. The mechanics took it back to the paddock and found out the wheel bearings gave out. They worked hard and fast, and we made it back out to put some points on the board for 1-800-BAR NONE."
DIDIER ANDRE (#32 Galles Racing G Force/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "We had a very good car. I was able to get up to eighth from 21st, which is where I started. We made a pit stop and the car behind me did not give me enough room, and then I had my teammate in front of me, so I had to wait to get out. When we got on the track, I didn't have fifth, fourth, or third gear so we had to pit under green to change the gearbox."
SHIGEAKI HATTORI (#55 EPSON Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "Overall, I'm very pleased with the race. The beginning of the race, before sundown, caused some problems with the car because the track temperature was so very hot. The No. 55 EPSON was a little too loose than it is supposed to be, so we were not able to go as nearly as fast as we would have liked to, but we still worked hard to keep up momentum for all of the 200 laps. It was frustrating to watch us get pinched out of making certain passes, but that's racing and things like that are going to happen when you have 24 drivers out there that only want to win."