BUMP DAY QUALIFYING QUOTES -- Sunday, May 23 SEBASTIAN SAAVEDRA (No. 29 William Rast/Bryan Herta Autosport): "It's been a crazy month for us. Non-stop. No sleep. I'm just a bit disappointed with the outcome we've had up until now. This ...
BUMP DAY QUALIFYING QUOTES -- Sunday, May 23
SEBASTIAN SAAVEDRA (No. 29 William Rast/Bryan Herta Autosport): "It's been a crazy month for us. Non-stop. No sleep. I'm just a bit disappointed with the outcome we've had up until now. This morning proved the way we need to go, and we'll continue working. We're not happy with our time."
(What is it like in the cockpit during qualifying runs at Indianapolis?): "You'll never get used to that feeling, saving your life. It's a long 16 corners that you have to do. I felt good that the 29 crew has done the impossible to put that car together. I am very thankful for them. I'm just trying to do my best. It's a strange feeling knowing that you can lose it anytime. But you cannot pull the pedal out. It's very interesting. It could be fun - but it's nerve racking. There is no reset button like there is in a videogame. We have an amazing crew with three drivers. There's Bryan Herta, Roberto Guerrero and Bruno Junqueira. They have all come with a great amount of information for me to understand the car better. But in the end, it's the driver himself that needs to find a way through. From their years of experience, you have to put that into practice. They've been an amazing help, and I am very thankful for them."
SARAH FISHER (No. 67 Dollar General/Sarah Fisher Racing): "I hope it (track) gets hotter. It was great that we were second in line. It has been a really long week and quiet. I think Helio (Castroneves) motivated me yesterday when he said he saw Jesus out there, so I had to go meet Him, too. Helio's right. What he means by that, having a car trimmed out an on edge. The last 24 hours have been long. We were in the garage until 10 o'clock when the Yellow Shirts kicked us out. Having Jay Howard in a second car program has been a huge help. Honestly, our cars are pretty similar; we have about the same setup, the same level of downforce. He has a brand-new car, and I have Old Faithful. They are two reliable cars. We're happy we could finally get to the 224s. I think it will stick. I'll do it again if I have to, either crash it or put it in the show, one or the other. You have to have the cars on edge here to qualify for Indy. We weren't fast enough yesterday; it wasn't the time for us. A high 224 will be OK. There's quite a few left to qualify. There's a little room left to trim out, if I need to. We didn't go all the way this morning; we were trying for a consistent car. There's a point where these cars reach slide versus drag, and we're right there. Dollar General has done such a good job of promoting us and that's a great partnership. I wasn't going to let them down. With Jay (Howard) having a solid car, it just takes figuring it out a little bit. The guys worked extremely hard yesterday, and I'm just glad for all of them."
BRUNO JUNQUEIRA (No. 33 FAZZT Race Team): "It was very good. First I have to thank B&W and the FAZZT team. They stepped up last minute when I didn't get the money. B&W said, 'No, you are part of the team, and we want to help your car, as well.' So they made it possible. This money was short notice. I knew it was going to be difficult. We lost some 20 minutes to get the car ready, then Tony (Kanaan) crashed. So I went to the track with like 25 minutes to go. I did the installation lap, two laps slow. Then I did a run of two laps. And the car was already good, 224s (mph). Then we did a change but didn't get out. The gearbox blew. Then we didn't run. I maybe recall, I think, running six laps (total). But actually, there were two laps of actual speed. Last year I did maybe 12 or 14 laps. I think next year I am going to go directly to the car for qualifying. I break my record for fewest laps to put a car in the field. I have to thank the team. They gave me a good car. I think it says a lot about my experience. I have always enjoyed and felt very comfortable in Indianapolis. I know my way to go really fast here. But they gave me a fast car, as well. I think we're going to have a competitive car for the race. We're not going to have much practice time, maybe (Miller Lite) Carb Day. But Tags (Alex Tagliani) is going to go for the race setup today, and I hope he can give me a good race setup. The cars are fast, and I'm happy. I'm so happy."
JAY HOWARD (No. 66 Service Central/Sarah Fisher Racing): "I don't know what's going on. Every practice we go out and run 225 and don't touch it. Then we roll it out to qualify, and we're not very good. Frustrating is the nicest way I can put it. We'll go back and talk about it. It's a mystery what we will get the next time."
VITOR MEIRA (No. 14 ABC Supply Co./A.J. Foyt Racing): "On how he felt today compared to yesterday): "I felt fine. It's harder to get speed. But during the race what's going to matter is balance and how much grip you have. So we'll see here. We'll hang on here until the end of the day. I thought I would never say that. But we'll see. I just want to get done with qualifying and let's go race."
JOHN ANDRETTI (No. 43 Team Window World): (About going out early): "Not that five minutes makes a difference, but mentally it does. You're not waiting for anybody; you're not hearing their times. You're just going out and laying laps. I'm really proud of what the whole Window World team did at Andretti Autosport. They've just done a great job. Every time I go out, the car is exactly what they say it's going to be, and the changes usually do exactly what they say they're going to do. I have a huge amount of confidence in them. Last year, Ryan Hunter-Reay and I were the last two guys in the field, and now it looks like we're both solidly in, so that's all that matters."
(On his qualifying time): "We've got a lot of people behind us. That doesn't mean they can't go out and run quicker than us. But the day is going to get tougher, certainly, with the heat, and the track is going to get more slick. Do I ever not worry? At Indianapolis, I worry about everything after last year."
(On being back with race strategist John Anderson): "Ando is a blessing. Everybody loves him. My rookie year would not have been what it was without him. We fought a lot of engine failures, and those guys worked around the clock. Ando made me grow up. That was a long time ago, it was 1987, and we're both older and wiser. Ando has called two winning 500s, so I can't ask for anybody better. He's a friend and a great statistician, so with those two things together, we hope for a great race day."
ALEX LLOYD (No. 19 Boy Scouts of America): "If we had been able to do that speed a little quicker, it would have been top 15. But the heat came up, track temp came up, and we just lost the balance (Saturday) completely, and we just couldn't get a four-lap run of any substance. Today we were happy that we got a decent run in. The car was pretty loose, and I was hanging on out there. I was ready for the checkered flag to fall. The times were pretty good, and I think it's good enough to get in, but you never know until 6 o'clock. I'm pretty happy with what we've done, and the Boy Scout guys have done a great job. We've rebounded from a pretty tough day."
(About the heat): "From when we practiced (Saturday), the track temperature went up 14 degrees when we qualified. What that does is give you a lot of understeer in the car. We had been pretty happy with our balance, but we went out yesterday and I just had to back out of the throttle. I couldn't keep it flat, and it cost us a couple miles an hour, and that's all it takes. With the new schedule, we just didn't have time to get it right. We worked on it and got it a lot better. You saw a lot of good guys get it right and a lot of good cars, Tony Kanaan included, get it wrong. I think we balanced out well. It's easier this year and I certainly felt easier until the past 24 hours. It was tough then because we had a car that was a bit of a handful. We worked on it, and the Boy Scout guys did an amazing job of changing it completely and making it so that we could run the speeds that we have done today."
JAQUES LAZIER (No. 41 ABC Supply Co./A.J. Foyt Racing): "As competitive as this field is, we had an uphill battle. We kept getting real close. We just got right to the edge. We'd throw on a new set of tires, go out there and the car was just perfect; free, easy to drive. But somehow we'd lose a little bit of speed, and we couldn't quite get there. We were (2)23.5, but then we'd go back out on an older set of tires and we'd run a (2)24.1 with no one on the front straightaway with me. So we went out that last time and said, 'Let's try an old set of tires.' I went in to Turn 3, and I did everything but crash. I was on a full-lock (steering) just sliding up toward the wall. So I came in, and we tried to throw on a new set of tires and get out there. But, you know, this is Indy. I feel really bad for the guys who worked hard today. We just missed it by a little bit."
MARIO ROMANCINI (No. 34 Conquest Racing): "We took a big risk I think. But we saw some guys that were out with good speeds on practice, so if we decided to not take the attempt, we weren't sure if we would have enough time to get another attempt. It's a risk, but we knew we decided to go out and try it. We are all a team, so we we're always making the decisions together. The team owner and my engineer, they decided, 'Let's go, and I said: 'Yeah, I'm up to it. So let's go out and do it.' It's a lot of pressure. It was a very tough day. But I'm very happy we were able to have a good qualifying run, and we'll have next Friday, Carb Day, to work on the race setup. Then we'll see what we get for the race. The most important thing is we are in the race."
JAY HOWARD (No. 66 Service Central/Sarah Fisher Racing) (after qualifying ended): "I didn't think this would happen. Obviously, when you sat there in that position, the car didn't feel good on that second-to-last run. I was confident with a small change we could easily go out and do the same time again. I wasn't willing to let (Paul) Tracy take that away from me. I had my own destiny. I felt pretty good about the car; it felt better (last run). We added a little bit of front wing to take away some of the understeer, and that definitely gave it a little more front grip. I don't know ... it was just weird. We had always been fast on our first lap and it (speed) dropped off, but I didn't expect that much of a drop (last run). It was a joint decision to go back out. In those situations, what do you do? I wanted to put on a good show for the fans. As Danica would say, 'It's not my fault.' Obviously, I feel sorry for myself and the team and for Service Central. They are top sponsors, and I was hoping, at least, we could put them in the show. I've got the best sponsors in the world. I was hoping to get the job done, and that wasn't the case. You can't really prepare yourself for that situation."