Rockingham 500 Race Day "Quoteboard" DARIO FRANCHITTI ( ...
Rockingham 500 Race Day "Quoteboard"
DARIO FRANCHITTI (#27 Team Green Honda/Lola/Bridgestone): "My mum, both grandmothers, great aunt and everybody I've ever met in my life seemed to be here. At the start of the race it was difficult to get around anybody. On the first stop I was on the rev limiter and it just stalled. I thought it was the traction control but it was the clutch. We got out of sequence and the leaders didn't dictate the laps I was turning. It came down to the last stop and the guys, who I have been pretty hard on this year, had a peach. They put me out in the lead and I was able to stretch my legs. It's great to get a win on an oval and at home. Right now this feels great."
CRISTIANO DA MATTA (#6 Havoline Toyota/Lola/Bridgestone): "I was of course very worried about the points lead coming here this weekend. I thought I had a car to win with the short and long straightaways. It's very important when you can collect 16 points at this stage in the season. That's just one less race we have left."
PATRICK CARPENTIER (#32 Player's/Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone): "I've got to thank my guys because today the team did a fantastic job. In the pits we passed a lot of cars and that's how we got up front. I'm going to have to take these guys to a pub now and buy them a beer, but it was a fantastic day. The engine was working really well all day long. I was hoping to make a pass on Cristiano (da Matta) but it was tough so I just decided to take the points for third place and go on to the next one."
ORIOL SERVIA (#20 Visteon Toyota/Reynard/Bridgestone): "This was a great race for the Visteon/Patrick Racing Team. Going from 14th to fourth on a track that is so difficult to pass...that is fantastic. The Visteon/Patrick Racing car was a great car. I passed four cars at the start. Then I lost one place. At that point I saw I couldn't pass so I started saving fuel. We got to the first pit stop and I lost two places, then I realized that we put in full fuel. I continued to save fuel and we continued to move up. On the last two pit stops the Visteon/Patrick Racing crew did a great job and we picked up three more places. The last stint of the race the car was very good, very good. I am very happy. I thought the Visteon/Patrick Racing Team deserved a podium finish today, but at least we had a good finish and, hopefully, this is the beginning of a series of top finishes for us."
BRUNO JUNQUEIRA (#4 Target Toyota/Lola/Bridgestone): "Team Target gave me a great car today, but it was so hard to pass anyone out there. I would get right up behind someone and then couldn't get a run. We scored some more points today, but we lost ground to Cristiano. I wish that we could have finished a little higher, but it's OK."
JIMMY VASSER (#8 Shell Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "Overall it was a pretty good race for us. The Shell car was really good, in fact we turned the fastest lap, so the team did a fantastic job getting the car ready. Our biggest problem was we didn't have the track position all day and this is a really tough place to pass. We got a few guys in the pits but we just couldn't get up to the front. It is unfortunate that we were so far back with such a good race car but that is the way it goes."
KENNY BRACK (#12 Target Toyota/Lola/Bridgestone): "Oh, what a day. I guess it's just not our year. The car was great, but you just can't pass here. And the pace of the race is so fast, you don't want to get off line or you'll be in trouble. We had a bad pit stop that really hurt us. It wasn't anyone's fault, it was just one of the few bad stops we've had all year. We just haven't had any luck all year long and it's frustrating. We had a car to win the race and something like this happens. My team did a great job all weekend. We won the pole and led a bunch of laps."
DARREN MANNING (#19 RAC Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "It's absolutely brilliant! I didn't even know the race was finished it all happened so quickly, and I only realised I was leading when the pace car pulled out in front of me! I want to thank everyone who has made this possible - Team St George, RAC for backing my career, the RML boys, Mum, Dad, absolutely everybody involved! I always said that finishing in the top ten would be awesome and I just hope that this has done enough to catch the attention of a few of the other teams in the pit lane"
MICHAEL ANDRETTI (#39 Motorola Honda/Lola/Bridgestone): "I am so disappointed today. Team Motorola gave me an awesome car all weekend and it is just a shame when you can't capitalize on it."
MICHEL JOURDAIN JR. (#9 Gigante Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "Our car was pretty good today, in fact we ran faster in the race that we did in qualifying, so the team improved the car. Starting in the back is very hard to improve your position. We have to qualify better, that has just been killing us. I made a big mistake when I turned off the speed limiter too soon and that cost us a drive through penalty which in turn cost us a couple of laps We got the laps back under the yellow but then we lost them again at the end on the final stop. We have to just keep working. We have had some great cars on race day, now we just need to get it right during qualifying and we will win pretty soon I am sure."
SCOTT DIXON (#44 Target Toyota/Lola/Bridgestone): "The pit lane speed deal probably needs to be changed. Why not keep it at 50 mph all the way around? I was doing the right speed, except they time you on distance and not with the radar gun. The car was very good, but when you get two black flags in a race, it's not good. We could have finished 4th today, but that's about all. Team Target did a great job, especially with the pit stops. We gained 4 spots on the first stop and were right there until we had the pit speed problem. At least we gained a point today."
TONY KANAAN (#10 Pioneer/WorldCom Honda/Lola/Bridgestone): "I don't know exactly what happened. Something let go as I entered Turn 1, but I was able to make the corner. I hung on as long as I could as I tried to get all the way back around to see what the problem was. But by the time I got to Turn 2, the car didn't turn and I went straight into the wall. It wasn't a bad impact. The car's okay and we'll bring it back for the next race. But it's a shame. We struggled with some problems this morning in warm-up. We had some problems in practice and qualifying yesterday, too. So it wasn't a very pretty weekend. But we're here to talk about it and we need to pack up and take this show to my hometown of Miami for the next one."
ALEX TAGLIANI (#33 Player's/Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone): ''Team Player's set up the car beautifully for the race and even though there was turbulence on the track, the car was running very well in traffic. We had a great start as I picked up a couple of places. With the Ford engine, we were not worried about fuel consumption so we could run all out and even hoping to pick up more positions during pit stops. Then, I was down on power and my engineer told me to come into the pits to change the battery. After checking it out, they told me that it was over. It's too bad for Team Player's as this all the making of a great race for us.''
PAUL TRACY (#26 Team Green Honda/Lola/Bridgestone): "Something went wrong in the gearbox because the car lost all drive and I was just coasting. Obviously it's disappointing. The guys at Team Green worked hard to give me a good car and it was pretty quick right off the truck yesterday. We were just trying to make the fuel mileage that we needed and then work on being thereat the end for a good finish. But we just didn't get the chance today."