INDIANAPOLIS, Monday, Oct. 7, 2002 -- Quotes from notable Infiniti Pro Series drivers and team officials from the 2002 Indy Racing League Championship Celebration at the House of Blues in Chicago, where Sam Hornish Jr. and A.J. Foyt IV were honored as the season champions of the Indy Racing League and Indy Racing Infiniti Pro Series, respectively:
A.J. FOYT IV (2002 Indy Racing Infiniti Pro Series champion): "I think the season was great for me. Dallara gave us a real stable car and something that I could do really well with, with it being as stable as it was, and Infiniti had a great motor. I think the season went good. I think it's going to be a great stepping-stone to the IRL, which it is for me, and hopefully I'll be going to the IRL next year." (About the IRL Championship Celebration): "Pretty crazy. You got different creatures crawling around, one guy out there doing the moonwalk, so it's pretty interesting." (About 2003 plans): "Next year, hopefully, I'll be in the IRL, but we've got to test. We'll see what happens after the test."
A.J. FOYT (Owner, A.J. Foyt Racing): "I think A.J. IV did an awful good job -- better than I expected. The Nissan engines ran good, and we had good luck with them. Some people didn't have as good luck, but I think it came down to the way we prepped the cars. It is a great series for developing drivers. One thing that I think helped A.J. was that he came fresh out of the F2000 cars, so it was a logical step up for him. He didn't have much trouble adapting to the cars. It worked out well, and I think Tony George has a great feeder series for the IRL."
ARIE LUYENDYK JR. (Second place, 2002 Indy Racing Infiniti Pro Series standings): "The season was great. It was a success for the IRL. I think the Infiniti Pro Series will grow, and I'm looking forward to next year because the field's going to be bigger, and there will be more competition." (About Championship Celebration): "It's fun. (The House of Blues) is an incredible place. It's different than the normal banquet. The atmosphere is a lot better than the sit-down dinner banquet, so it's fun." (About 2003 plans): "I did my IRL rookie test, and hopefully we can get some IRL races in. I'm planning on maybe doing a few, but the main focus is on winning the championship in the Infiniti Pro Series, so we'll stay on track with that."
ED CARPENTER (Third place, 2002 Indy Racing Infiniti Pro Series standings): "I was happy, overall, with the season. We didn't accomplish all our goals. We didn't win any races, and my first goal was to go out and win some races, so that was kind of disappointing. But we finished in the top three in the championship, which is respectable. Just looking forward to next season, finishing putting together all of our deals and starting testing during the offseason." (About the Championship Celebration): "It's different. It's the most exciting banquet I've been to. You don't have to sit around at a table, and it's just kind of fun to go around and talk to everyone. We've been off for a couple of weeks, so it's nice to see everyone again. I get depressed in the offseason, so it's fun." (About 2003 plans): "I'm planning to run in the Pro Series again. Hopefully one more season, and then I'll be able to move into the IRL, I hope. Hopefully Anthony (A.J. Foyt IV) moves on up and does a good job to make us all look good."