Indy 500: Carb Day practice quotes

HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Team Penske): (On being the fastest car in the final practice session): "It felt really good. It felt awesome. I'm very confident and comfortable in the car. It was nice to have that right before the race. The weather on...

HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Team Penske): (On being the fastest car in the final practice session): "It felt really good. It felt awesome. I'm very confident and comfortable in the car. It was nice to have that right before the race. The weather on Race Day is going to be very similar to what it was today. It was important for us to run today. I feel very confident. I can't wait for Sunday, I'll tell you that. It's going to be a long race and a lot of things can happen, but I can't wait for Sunday."

DANICA PATRICK (No. 7 Boost Mobile/Motorola): "I think we had a good final practice today. We were able to work through the hour practice, which was great since there were no yellows. We made a couple changes, and I think we have a couple of options we could go with for the race. I am ready for Sunday to get here, and hopefully we will have a strong finish for the No. 7 Boost Mobile/Motorola car."

TONY KANAAN (No. 11 Team 7-Eleven): "It was a great practice for the Team 7-Eleven car. I was surprised on how much running we were able to do in the hour practice since we had no yellows. It looks like the weather on Race Day is going to be similar to today, so that is helpful, as well. The No. 11 car felt good, and I'm getting excited for the race."

MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 26 Team Venom Energy): "It was good to get the No. 26 car out on track, and I think the conditions and traffic today will be very similar to what they predict will be on Sunday. We didn't quite have the speed we were looking for, but I am still confident that the Team Venom Energy car will be able to run strong and be a contender come Race Day."

HIDEKI MUTOH (No. 27 Formula Dream): "I'm really excited for the race on Sunday. I feel like we are getting closer to the Race Day setup on the car. Luckily I have three teammates that will give the No. 27 Formula Dream crew their input, as well. Hopefully the track conditions that we practiced on today will be similar on Race Day."

RYAN BRISCOE (No. 6 Team Penske): "The Team Penske car felt good out there this morning. Everything feels like it did in the T car when we left it last week. I think we're in good shape. I'm excited about Sunday, and we're ready to go racing."

WILL POWER (No. 12 Team Verizon Wireless): "I came here last year with no experience, and the team did, as well. We were learning on the job. This year I was a bit more composed because I knew what to expect. If I come here again next year, we would do things differently again. It's just a process where you learn and you experience from everything going on around you. This has been a more comfortable month for me this year, for sure."

VITOR MEIRA (No. 14 ABC Supply Co. AJ Foyt Racing): "Today we did what we intended to do, which is check the cars and see that everything is fine. Found some problems, which is good to find it right now. We are addressing these problems, and we'll be OK for the race. We are certain we know what these problems are. I'm happy. Anthony (Foyt IV) did very good work on trying downforce levels, which we needed. I did one part of the work, and he did the other part of the work, and that's why a two-car team is really working well here. I'm encouraged for the race, but I will just make sure everything is there for the first five laps and start working on it. We did what we had to do here at Carb Day -- leak check, check the cars, the balance. Everything's fine."

A.J. FOYT IV (No. 41 ABC Supply/Foyt-Greer Racing): "I think it went all right. I think we found some problems that we had that we need to improve for the race. We found it and did it, and it was definitely an improvement handling-wise. We're obviously glad that whatever happened out there with the gearbox happened then so we can check over everything really good so that nothing like that happens in the race."

RAPHAEL MATOS (No. 2 US Air Force Luczo Dragon Racing): "We got a good feeling about our levels of downforce, but the conditions were tricky. It was very slippery out there and a lot of marbles even though it was only an hour session. We feel like we have a good car. We wanted to get a feel for running in traffic, but with all the marbles it was quite difficult for everybody."

DARIO FRANCHITTI (No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing):(On how he feels about the car going into the race): "I don't know, to be honest. I'd rather give you a definite answer. We were a lot happier at the end of the session than the beginning, so that's a good bright spot. I really don't know. It's so hot that it's changed the track dramatically. The car feels good. We got it feeling good in traffic. Whether it's fast enough, I really don't know, yet." (On the heat conditions being very different than the rest of the month): "It's not really throwing the car off. When it gets hot, the car generally loses a lot of grip. But it's more with the downforce; the tires are still working well. But if we have a good car at the start (of the race), great. If we don't, we'll make it a good car by the end and be up there."

SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing): "I think Carb Day and the last warm-up for the race is really only to make sure the car runs in a pack. And you've got a new gearbox, new engine and parts to change; just trying to make sure there's no kind of problem that may stop you from running at the start of the race. You want to feel the car out a little bit in traffic. Today was a little different because it was very hot. I think for most people the car was not very good. We seem to be fine. We ran in traffic a little bit, and we're sort of at the front end of the field." (On how the heat changes the performance of the car): "Well, the heat generally takes power away from the engine. It also takes a lot of grip away from the car. We rely a lot on the wings. When the the air is hotter, it's a lot thinner, and you don't stick to the track as well. The cars move around a lot more, and that changes strategy and the way you run your wings." (What adjustments will you make for the race to compensate for the heat?): "We didn't make many changes. We made a few changes only to the wings to see how much it slowed down. We didn't really try too much outside of that box, because we've been working a whole month on the car. To change it drastically before the race, you're asking for trouble there. All-in-all, it's the same for everybody. I think the only thing we've got to focus on is we had a little too much wing in the car, and it was a little too slow. We need to speed the cars up a little bit."

DAVEY HAMILTON (No. 44 Hewlett Packard): "Obviously, it's race setup day. We were a little disappointed with our speed running alone. We improved that, and then we went out and ran in traffic, and I wasn't happy at all. We made another change, and it actually improved. We're definitely not there yet. We're definitely searching for a good race setup. We're in the right direction. I hopped in Mike (Conway's) car, too, and his car is fine, actually. It has a little too much understeer, but if the wind is not blowing Sunday it's a good place for them to start. If it's blowing like it is now, we'll give him a little bit more front aero. That car is going to be fine. I took just four or five laps in it just to make sure it was sucked down good. The most important thing is the back is stuck, and that's just to get his confidence back up."

MIKE CONWAY (No. 24 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing): "It was a big difference running in traffic as much as we did and getting used to coming off Turn 4 to get into the pits. It went OK. We had some things to try, and we mostly ran through pretty much all of them. I'm pretty happy with the balance, but need a little bit more speed. We will work on that by going over the data. We're very happy with that run."

ALEX TAGLIANI (No. 36 ALL SPORT Conquest Racing): "The team did fantastic. I'm pretty excited to drive the ALL SPORT machine for the race. We had a roller-coaster day on Sunday, but I'm pretty proud of the improvements and how the team did so far. We learned a lot this month. We knew it was not going to be an easy month, and we definitely didn't make it easy on ourselves when we didn't make a (qualifying) run on Sunday. I think the team deserved a really good position in the grid. That's the sad part that we have to live with. The fact that they decided to put me in the car and Bruno (Junqueira) was very understanding makes me very appreciative of the whole scenario. It's going to be a tough race. We have a lot of little things that we need to make sure. The car, with the weather and the level of grip, is behaving differently than I felt it before. It's going to be a really big challenge for everyone to make sure we keep the car underneath us with similar balance throughout the run. That's going to be the most challenging thing. If we can keep the car consistent, I think we'll be overall more competitive."

PAUL TRACY (No. 15 GEICO/KV Racing Technology): "For sure, we're ready. The cars are working great. The Geico car is handling great. The whole team - all of us were in the top 12 in final practice. We did some pit stop practice, and everything's good, so we've just got another day to wait. We did a few setup changes during practice. I wasn't too happy with it to start out, but we got it better at the end. I've been (racing) a long time, so (getting in the car) is like getting on a bicycle. (But Indy) is big speed, big crowds and a lot of drama during the race. This is a once-in-a-lifetime race and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."

DAN WHELDON (No. 4 National Guard Panther Racing): "We have a few things that we can fix. We're certainly in a better spot from where we were. My car felt nice. I hope we have similar conditions (Race Day). This is the closest field in Indianapolis 500 history ever. I expect it to be close. I expect there to be some surprises, too. The weather conditions will change up some stuff. I'm not the easiest character to be around when it's difficult because I love this place and to perform well here."

-credit: ims

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Chip Ganassi
Teams Panther Racing , Team Penske , Chip Ganassi Racing , Dreyer & Reinbold Racing , KV Racing Technology , Dragon Racing , Conquest Racing