IPS: Chicagoland: Pre-race quotes

JOLIET, Ill., Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2003 -- Quotes from selected IRL Infiniti Pro Series drivers about the Chicagoland 100 Infiniti Pro Series event Saturday, Sept. 6 at Chicagoland Speedway: ED CARPENTER (No. 14 Futaba/Delphi/A.J. Foyt Racing ...

JOLIET, Ill., Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2003 -- Quotes from selected IRL Infiniti Pro Series drivers about the Chicagoland 100 Infiniti Pro Series event Saturday, Sept. 6 at Chicagoland Speedway:

ED CARPENTER (No. 14 Futaba/Delphi/A.J. Foyt Racing Dallara/Infiniti/ Firestone):

"I am looking forward to this upcoming event at Chicagoland Speedway. I enjoy racing in Chicago, because I was born in Illinois and still have quite a bit of family there. This will also be my first IndyCar (Series) start, so I am looking forward to a great weekend of racing. I hope to get back on the podium in the Pro Series race after having a couple rough races in the past few events. For the IndyCar (Series) race, I am just looking forward to the opportunity and want to learn as much as possible in my first start."

PAUL DANA (No. 33 Ethanol Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone):

"We tested last week (at Chicagoland), and we learned a few things which should help us out. That was the first time since April that I've been able to test before an event, so hopefully we'll be a little closer to the front. I went to Northwestern University in Evanston (Ill.), so I've still got a lot of friends in the area who will be coming down. It'll be a lot of fun."

AARON FIKE (No. 91 RFMS/Hemelgarn Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone):

"Obviously, we won there last year, and we should have another great car for the Chicago race. The racing is going to be really competitive and the field tough. It's going to come down to a points race with the top-three guys. We're not so much in the chase for the championship, so we're just going to go out, have fun and try to win the race again. We're going to give it everything we've got and hopefully be fast when we unload the car."

ARIE LUYENDYK JR. (No. 5 Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone):

"Going into this race, the Sinden Racing crew has changed a bit. Steve Erickson will no longer be engineering my car, and we have acquired Mark Moore and Gilbert Lage. Tim Shank will remain the chief mechanic of the car. I am looking forward to working with Mark and Gilbert. They have given (Infiniti Pro Series driver) Tom (Wood) a fast car in the past, and I believe they will do the same for me. Hopefully, we have found a winning combination. Chicagoland in 2002 slipped between our fingers. Hopefully, this year, we can grab it."

G.J. MENNEN (No. 25 Automatic Fire Sprinklers Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone):

"I am optimistic for Chicagoland. AFS Racing, as a team, is confident that applying some of the information gathered from our recent test will lead to a stronger performance. The Chicagoland track is a great facility. AFS Racing was fast there last year, so with a little luck, we should be good."

JEFF SIMMONS (No. 20 Western Union Speed Team/Duesenberg Dallara/Infiniti/ Firestone):

"I've never been to Chicagoland, but the Western Union Speed Team has a good starting setup for the one-and-a-half mile tracks, so we should be right on the pace. We need to continue winning races to have a chance in the championship, but we need to stay out of trouble and secure our hold on second place, as well. Our on-track strategy is going to be critical because the last three races are going to be drafting battles that everyone will have a chance to win."

MARK TAYLOR (No. 4 Fulmar Panther Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone):

"We haven't been able to test at Chicago yet; however, I think it will be very similar to Kansas. It will be an exciting race, and I am looking forward to getting back in the car after Kentucky. It feels like it has been a very long break. Chicagoland was where we agreed (to) the deal with Panther last year, so it will be nice to return there and continue our form this year. We will be looking to secure the championship there. It will be tough to do, but I know I will have a great race car."

CORY WITHERILL (No. 92 WSA Healthcare Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone):

"We've been very consistent the last two races, with two second-place finishes in a row. We've been in the hunt, and I think we're pretty close to pulling off a win. We've been right there so many times that my team deserves a win for all their hard work. Last year, we had a pretty good car until we lost an engine. My teammate Aaron (Fike) won the race, so we'll be going back to Chicago with a decent setup or an idea of what the car is going to do. Perhaps we can get our first win of the season."

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