IPS: Nashville: Qualifying quotes

ED CARPENTER (No. 2 Menards/Jack K. Elrod Co./Futaba/Delphi Dallara/Infiniti/ Firestone): "I took it too easy on the first lap and the warm-up lap because I wanted to make sure everything was OK and safe after putting the car back together from...

ED CARPENTER (No. 2 Menards/Jack K. Elrod Co./Futaba/Delphi Dallara/Infiniti/ Firestone): "I took it too easy on the first lap and the warm-up lap because I wanted to make sure everything was OK and safe after putting the car back together from the crash earlier today. We definitely had more speed. I just wanted to be sure it was all there. We didn't get a chance to scuff in tires either, so we were running on stickers. Hopefully we can be in the top three or four when qualifying ends. It's going to be fairly hard to pass in the race, so the higher you start, the better off you'll be. I like the track. We have to lift on both ends of it going into the corners, which makes it more difficult than some of the other tracks where we're wide open."

MARTY ROTH (No. 3 Marty Roth/Brian Stewart Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "The track is concrete, and it has a lot of grip to it. We've been struggling with the setup all weekend. It's getting better and better every time we get out there. We just hope by the time the race starts we'll have the setup."

JASON PRIESTLEY (No. 7 HomeMed Pharmacy Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "We've got a real good race car for tomorrow, that's really what we're worried about. It's going to be a long and demanding race. Obviously, this track is very abrasive. It's very rough. We're really focused on having a good race car for tomorrow. We've could have a better car in qualifying, but I'll take it. That's good enough."

MATT BEARDSLEY (No. 12 Alpine Bank Old-Republic Land Title Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "I'm really comfortable in the car. Alan Mertens has really helped us. We couldn't have been here without him. He's been the engineer for Al Unser Jr. the last two years, and the car is incredibly comfortable. I was amazingly surprised at how comfortable it is." (What do you think of the track?): "It's a great track. It's my first time on a concrete track ever. I like it a lot."

MIKE KOSS (No. 37 Bowes Seal Fast Automotive Products Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "I really scared myself in the first session and was just trying to get my confidence back."

AARON FIKE (No. 91 Hemelgarn Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "We ran about 10 good laps this morning with a new gearbox, and it went to pot on us. It was stuck to the hub and the hub was stuck to the shaft. Everything was melted together. My team spent a couple of hours trying to fix it. We just ran out of time for our qualifying run. Unfortunately, we'll have to start last." (On starting at the back of the pack): "It's always good to start up front. I didn't get many practice laps, so I'd like to get out there and run the night practice. I need some time to get comfortable in the car."

CORY WITHERILL (No. 92 WSA Healthcare Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "It felt pretty good. We worked on setups in the first session and had a really good feel for the second session, and we found some speed. If I had had one more lap, it would have been really good. The last lap the tires started coming in."

G.J. MENNEN (No. 99 Greased Lightning Automotive Cleaning Products Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "We worked really hard, and we're not exactly ecstatic with where we're at, but we'll take it and go to the race and see what happens. We missed the middle session, and that really put us back."

A.J. FOYT IV (No. 14 Harrah's/A.J. Foyt Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "The first time out the car didn't feel too bad, but I came off (Turn 2) a little high, and it jumped out on me. I spun but didn't hit anything. We put new tires on it, and I went out again. The car was real wormy, and I couldn't hardly step on the gas. I'm not sure what's wrong, but we'll get it figured out."

ARIE LUYENDYK JR. (No. 5 Luyendyk Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "The car is the best it's been all weekend. I left a little bit on the table, and we didn't have much time to try things out. The last practice we really made a change for the better. The first practice we were two seconds slower than we were in the second practice. It was wicked loose the first practice and almost impossible to drive. Instead of pushing it too hard, we went back to the garage and thought about things we could do, and Steve, my engineer, Steve Erickson, did a really good job for the second practice with getting the car fine-tuned. We made some more changes in the same direction and that gave an extra 2 mph." (On running on concrete): "At this track, basically all I could find was one groove for my car. That's what we're going to work on tonight ^Ö setting up the car so we can run up high, as well. I don't really notice the difference between concrete and asphalt, except for how bumpy it is. In the last session, visibility was an issue as well because the sun reflects off it because the concrete is so light." (What will the start be like tomorrow?): "We need to put our heads together, Ronnie and I, and line up and take off. We have really fast race cars, and we need to work together instead of working against each other. That happened a lot at Kansas. You saw a lot of side-by-side running ^Ö which is great for the fans ^Ö but if A.J. and him weren't running side-by-side, it wouldn't have given me the opportunity to get to the lead. I think starting on the front row we need to work together and get away from everyone else and then battle it out the last few laps."

RONNIE JOHNCOX (No. 8 Rev. 1 Racing Special Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "Qualifying was real good. We went back after the second practice session and tried to make some changes to try to make the car a little more drivable. I was really having to hustle the car an awful lot in that last practice session. We wanted to make the car a little more drivable with some small changes. We didn't do anything drastic. It definitely worked for us. I think our second lap would have been better, but I overdrove the car into Turn 3 and pushed up the racetrack. We definitely helped our race car, and that's the good news." (On racing on Nashville's concrete surface): "I don't think it's too bad when you compare it to some of the other concrete tracks that I've raced on. It's really fairly smooth now. To say that isn't saying an awful lot because concrete racetracks have the tendency to be a little rough. The bumps out there are predictable. You just have to have your car square when you go across them so you don't upset the car. They're there, but they're there for everyone. I don't have a major problem with them." (Was there an advantage going out so early?): "We made so many little changes to our car that I couldn't really get a read on if the track changed or didn't really change. Typically a concrete track doesn't change in the span of 20 minutes an awful lot." (What kind of race will we see tomorrow?): "You'll see a lot of side-by-side racing. These cars are so equal and so drivable. The guys need a few more laps. It's new for everyone. By the time everyone gets to the comfort level, you'll see everybody run side-by-side and run clean and clear. We don't want it to be a boring race, but we want it to be safe and clear."

-ipr/irl-

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About this article
Series Indy Lights
Drivers Al Unser Jr. , Marty Roth , A.J. Foyt