IRL: Texas: Pre-race quotes

ALEX BARRON (No. 51 Red Bull Cheever Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "The team is putting in a lot of hours to turn around from Indy and get all of our cars prepared for Texas. The Texas night race is always challenging because we don't do a...

ALEX BARRON (No. 51 Red Bull Cheever Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "The team is putting in a lot of hours to turn around from Indy and get all of our cars prepared for Texas. The Texas night race is always challenging because we don't do a lot of testing and practicing at night, so when it comes down to the race there are new elements involved with the weather and lights. Texas is one of the best tracks for side-by-side racing and a close finish. It's exciting for the fans and always a good show."

ED CARPENTER (No. 52 Red Bull Cheever Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "I'm looking forward to getting back on track after a disappointing run at Indy. We had a great month at Indy overall, but when it came down to the race, the most important part, we didn't get the finish we hoped for. Texas is a good place to get started again. It will be the first time this year that I won't feel as much of a rookie since I raced at Texas last year in IndyCars. It's a good place for us to rebound."

HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Toyota/Firestone):

"I always look forward to racing at the Texas Motor Speedway. It is a great track and a good show for the fans. We're not sure what to expect with the new engine, but Marlboro Team Penske should be in good shape for the weekend. One thing for sure is that we need to earn more valuable points for the Championship. Unfortunately at Indianapolis we didn't finish as well as we hoped to (Castroneves finished ninth), but we are fourth in the point standings (Castroneves has 128 points; 30 points out of first place). There's a lot of racing left this season so we need to maintain our focus and execute. I've finished in the top-ten three of the four times I've raced there so we'll see what happens."

SCOTT DIXON (No. 1 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Panoz G Force/Toyota/Firestone): "A race at Texas Motor Speedway is always an event. Racing under the lights just adds that much more to it. It's a great atmosphere, lots of fun and there's always a great crowd. I guess I have a particular soft spot for it because we've done pretty well there and that's where I won the 2003 IndyCar Championship. The month of May didn't really turn out the way we would have liked and there's still some room for improvement. The Texas race weekend will be fast and tough and we'll have our hands full but Target Chip Ganassi is up to the task at hand."

ADRIAN FERNANDEZ (No. 5 Quaker State Telmex Tecate Panoz G Force/Toyota/ Firestone): "I am looking forward to carrying the momentum we had in Indy to Texas.

It will be interesting to race at night and side-by-side which in some ways I am new to, but I am looking forward to it. The more laps I do, the more comfortable I feel. The team has been doing well and we are more organized, and I am sure we are going to be very competitive. I am also looking forward to meeting a lot of the fans that we have there. I did some PR in Texas a few years ago, and I could see the strong support we have in that market. For a driver, that is very motivating."

A.J. FOYT IV (No. 14 Conseco/A.J. Foyt Racing Dallara/Toyota/Firestone): "My goal for this race is to finish in the top 10, actually just to finish would be good. We're running the Conseco Dallara there which will be my first time with that chassis at Texas. I think it will be better in the race for me, especially when we're in traffic because the Dallara's steering feels more positive than the G-Force and I like that. We are definitely going to try to run with cars in practice to make sure the Conseco car handles well around other cars, because at Texas you're always around other cars. I like racing at night because it gets pretty hot in Texas this time of year. With the bright lights at the track, there are no shadows so there isn't much of a downside to racing at night, except maybe having to sit around and wait all day to race."

FELIPE GIAFFONE (No. 24 Team Purex Dreyer & Reinbold Dallara/Chevrolet/ Firestone): "I am very excited to go back to Texas. Our Chevy test there went well and I'm happy with the car. I'm anxious to see how the race will run with the new rules and downforce package. You're still going to be seeing a lot of 2-by-2 racing, but it shouldn't be as crazy as before."

BRYAN HERTA (No. 7 XM Satellite Radio Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "I'm looking forward to the race in Texas. The XM Satellite Radio team built a lot of momentum at Indy. It feels really good to have the Indianapolis 500 as our best race of the year so far. It shows that my XM team is starting to gel. Texas always has side-by-side racing and big packs of cars. We don't know for sure what the rules changes will do to that but judging by the race at Indy we might be running even closer."

SAM HORNISH JR. (No. 6 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Toyota/Firestone): "Obviously we aren't happy with the outcome of the last three races, so we hope to turn that streak around in Texas. It is one of my favorite tracks because it's difficult to get the car right and to gain an advantage over our competitors, plus the race usually ends in a photo finish. This event has been hit or miss for me as I've come up on the winning end of close finishes, but I've also finished out of the top 10. The team is giving it their all to be ready for next weekend and hopefully Marlboro Team Penske will be able to bring home a strong finish."

TONY KANAAN (No. 11 Team 7-Eleven Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "I'm looking forward to Texas. It's obviously a very fast race track and one where you have to find the edge. But, I like that. You have to have a car that goes fast and that's it. Texas is all about speed. I'm sure the racing there will still be very close and very exciting, so it should make for a very good show. I came about as close as you can come to winning without winning in this race last year, so hopefully this year we can finish the job in front of everybody in 7-Eleven's backyard."

DARREN MANNING (No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Panoz G Force/Toyota/ Firestone): "I've never raced at Texas but it has had some spectacular races for fans in the past. It's a fast high-banked track and I expect there to be lots of side-by-side action which I feel I am definitely ready for. Racing under the lights definitely adds something to a race weekend, it's fun for the drivers and for the fans and I'm looking forward to it."

KOSUKE MATSUURA (No. 55 Panasonic ARTA Panoz G Force/Honda/Firestone): "We are coming off a strong month in Indianapolis, and I am looking forward to coming to Texas Motor Speedway. This will be my first visit to Texas and also my first night race so there will be a lot to learn. It will be very different to race at night and I am looking forward to it. The races there are always exciting, and there are a lot of fans that come to see us race. We have been improving every race as a team, and it has really helped me to have Adrian [Fernandez] as a teammate. I will do my best and hopefully we will have good results at Texas."

GREG RAY (No. 13 Renovac Panoz G Force/Honda/Firestone): "We're excited for every race, but Texas Motor Speedway is a very fast and fun place to race. The fans are extremely energetic, and there's no better place to witness what IndyCar Series racing is all about than Texas Motor Speedway. It's an incredible place to race and absolutely the best place to watch a race from." (About the type of racing he expects at TMS): "It's always tight, and always fast. There will continue to be very close duels. I think pit strategy will play a big role and pit stops will play a role. It will be harder to pass at Texas than at Indy. There's limited downforce, drag and torque, so that will make getting away from the other cars harder. You will definitely see lots of wheel-to-wheel and side-by-side racing in big packs of cars. It will be breathtaking for sure." (As an owner/driver, does that kind of racing concern you?): "We're always concerned about safety and making the right decisions on the race track. There are a lot of great drivers in the league. Racing is self-defining sometimes with the things that happen. All we can do is control the actions of our team and car. This type of track promotes cars being close to one another. There's just not a lot of room for mistakes."

BUDDY RICE (No. 15 Pioneer/Argent Mortgage Panoz G Force/Honda/Firestone): "I really enjoy coming (to Texas). You are able to run two and three wide to make the show the way it is. All the excitement that builds up to this race is awesome. I like racing at night. Being from Phoenix, we did a lot of racing at night under the lights. I like the way the cars look; it's a different look. It makes us look faster and it's exciting."

TORA TAGAKI (No. 12 Pioneer Mo Nunn Racing Dallara/Toyota/Firestone): "After a tough month of May, we're looking forward to getting back on track in Texas. While we continue to learn more and more about the car with each lap, we need to find the speed that we have been missing this season. The Pioneer/Mo Nunn team is excited to return to Texas where we enjoyed a strong qualifying effort last year and a third-place finish under the lights."

MARK TAYLOR (No. 2 Menards/Johns Manville Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/ Firestone): "We're ready to get to Texas and produce a solid finish. We've really run into some bad luck so far this season, and we've been unable to show what this team is capable of. Panther Racing is a great team and the Menards/Johns Manville is going to get back to the front of the pack."

AL UNSER JR. (No. 20 Patrick Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "I am really impressed with how much progress the Patrick Racing team has made since the team came together six weeks ago. We got a lot of work done during the month of May and continued to make progress at our test the other day at Texas Motor Speedway. I was pleased with the results and the amount of data we got, which will be a big help during race weekend. Chevrolet has done a great job with the engine. They have definitely made some gains. I was very impressed with its power and reliability. I am looking forward to going back to Texas and defending my title at the Saturday night fights."

DAN WHELDON (No. 26 Klein Tools/Jim Beam Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "I always enjoy the night race at Texas. I think the entire Klein Tools/Jim Beam crew is looking forward to it. We've run near the front all year and we've got that one point lead over TK (Tony Kanaan) in the championship so we know we have to be at our best. I don't think there is added pressure because we are leading the points. We put enough pressure on ourselves every week to get the win. Texas is going to be very competitive. I think you'll see everyone running together in a big group so the key is going to be making sure you have a fast car that handles well in traffic."

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tony Kanaan , Chip Ganassi , A.J. Foyt , Jim Beam , Mo Nunn
Teams Panther Racing , Team Penske , Chip Ganassi Racing