Continued from part 1 A.J. FOYT IV (No. 41 ABC Supply/Foyt-Greer Racing): "It's hard to say you're really happy with a 16th-place finish but just coming in for the one race here, I was pretty happy with the car. We worked on it a little ...
Continued from part 1
A.J. FOYT IV (No. 41 ABC Supply/Foyt-Greer Racing):
"It's hard to say you're really happy with a 16th-place finish but just coming in for the one race here, I was pretty happy with the car. We worked on it a little bit throughout the day and got it good there at the end. We really never could get any track position to show how good the car was until there at the very end. That's when we ran our quickest laps . Back there with the slower cars, I myself was probably a little rusty. I couldn't get my timing down to make some passes that I should have been able to make on the restarts, but we finished all 200 laps and we held our own against whoever we were racing against, so we've got to be a little bit happy that we brought the car home in one piece. I just hope Vitor is OK."
SCOTT SHARP (No. 16 Tequila Patron Panther Racing):
"We had some pretty high expectations moving over to really close to Dan (Wheldon)'s setup. And it seems like early in the race neither of us was great, but I was able to keep pace with Dan. It sounds like he had a bit of the same problem as I had, which was pretty much understeer behind people. We were a little loose coming off the corners, particularly turning the car. It got better at times. We certainly had a better last run. I was basically flat-ut the last 15 laps but just could never get the front to work well in traffic." (On fuel strategy):
"We lost a little pace turning (the fuel) down a little bit. But it was enough to get us to the end, and Briscoe couldn't do anything with us, so that was fine." (On being back at Indy):
"It's a great race. There's so much about this race. You get so pumped up. Then to come out and not really run as good as you hoped, it's a little bit depressing. We put a crew together that really never worked together before, and they gave me some great stops. We beat people out of the pits, and we made it to the end. It would have been nice to be about 10 spots higher."
SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing):
"It was a pretty uneventful day until the last 60 laps. We had great stops all day with the Target team. Toward the end there; that last stop, we fumbled. I'm not sure which tire it was. That's the problem now with the competition being so tight. You give up a few seconds here and there, and that's nearly your day. You lose six or seven spots. It's just too tough when everybody at the end is full fuel and trying to go flat out. It's too tough to pass." (On driving in traffic versus running up front):
"Well, you need to be working at it. If you're going to lose some spots, you want to make sure it's early on. Toward the end, everybody's worked out what they need, and the cars are really good. It just makes it tougher to pass. At the moment, I just think we're relying too much on the downforce of the cars. We need more mechanical grip so you can get closer. At the moment, it just seems spread. Everybody kind of runs up, tags the guy in front, then you can't go behind them close enough in the corners. It's a tough day; pretty unfortunate. I was looking pretty good there for a while."
MIKE CONWAY (No. 24 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing):
"We were having a really strong race. We weren't sure about fuel mileage, and we pitted. It might have been a bad call; I don't know. It's hard to say because we were sure that we probably couldn't finish. It's unfortunate. We could have had a really strong one there. It goes by pretty quick. It doesn't feel like 500 miles. The first 80 laps went by really quickly. After that, there was lots of drama with accidents and everything, and we just tried to avoid the debris. But it was good fun. It's a good atmosphere here. I really enjoyed the race."
TOWNSEND BELL (No. 8 Herbalife-KV Racing Technology):
"We said all month we wanted to take one step at a time. I can't think this team enough. I had an awesome car. The pit stops were strong. I have to thank my sponsor Herbalife for keeping me strong all race. I'm so happy to finish in the top five for this great race team. It's a real pleasure working with these guys. I had a hundred scary moments out there."
(Moving up through the field):
"We knew we had to be aggressive right away to move up. We tried to walk that fine line between aggression and balance and keeping the thing in one piece. I'm just thrilled for this Herbalife race team, KV Racing, Jimmy (Vasser) and Kevin (Kalkhoven). What an opportunity for me to come here and do one race and drive a rocket ship. It was awesome. The last couple of laps everybody started to fall off, and I thought I might be able to pick of Danica (Patrick) and another car in front of me. We're just happy to have this strong a result."
SARAH FISHER (No. 67 Dollar General/Sarah Fisher Racing):
"It went OK. It was a tough day. The cars that did get to the end were tough cars. If you don't count the yellows, it was pretty fast paced today. In a one-groove racetrack, it's really, really difficult to pass today. You start up front and sort of get to the end there. We learned a lot. This is only our second year in the '500' as a team. We had amazing pit stops. Every time I came in, we gained spots. I'm really thankful for the guys working so hard at what they do. We're going to get a little bit better car, and we'll come back next year."
WILL POWER (No. 12 Team Verizon Wireless):
"I think it was a good result. I could see the win there within our reach. That certainly would have made my situation easier. I think Roger (Penske) will be happy with a top-five. I'm not hitting the wall all month and all that stuff. I'm happy. Helio did a good job. He deserves that win. He worked very hard, and he's a good driver. It couldn't have gone to a better guy."
JOHN ANDRETTI (No. 43 Window World):
"This has been a long month. Our goal was a top 10, and we were moving toward that end, running 12th in the middle of the race. But on a restart, I got pushed out to the wall and got the car in the dirt. Then everybody behind me was able to get by. It took me a few laps to clean off the tires and get going again. I got a good restart the next time and went from 22nd to 16th. At the end, we did the opposite strategy as the leaders. We took new tires and some fuel, hoping to drive through the field. But the track was just too slippery to make a move. So we probably had a better car than our finish today. But overall, it has been a good month. It was fun to bring 'The King' (Richard Petty) as a car owner at the Indianapolis 500."
DARIO FRANCHITTI (No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing):
(On having an issue in the pits and losing positions):
"Yeah; you know, that's what it takes to win at Indianapolis. Everybody has to be flawless, and we had problem in the pits. The Target guys are fantastic on pit lane, normally. They do a great job. But one mistake, unfortunately, is very, very costly. We'll go back, regroup and try to get ourselves a championship. The Target car was pretty bloody good today. When you get too far back in the pack like we did with that problem with the pit stop, it's tough to get back to the front again." (On racing in the Indy 500 again after missing a year):
"When I managed to take the lead and was running away, I had a big smile on my face, I can assure you. That was cool. But, it was a tough deal. It was tough in traffic. When we got back in the pack, it was really difficult. But that's the Speedway. Helio did a fantastic job, and he deserves it. The Penske team deserves it. Believe me, we'll be back next year to try to take it back from them."
PAUL TRACY (No. 15 GEICO/KV Racing Technology):
"The car was understeering the whole day, and I could never really get close to guys in traffic. You know, I got to thank GEICO and Monster and all the sponsors we had on board, Whipple's Superchargers, everybody, Hard Rock Hotel. You know, it's great to be back out there. Great to run with the top-10 guys all day, but you know, I just wish we did a little bit better. Yeah, it was fun. The end result was not what we wanted, but it was good to be back out there. This was a good tune-up race for me. Obviously, I had been out of the car for a year and off of an oval like this for a long time, so it's good to be back out there. You know, it's not what I wanted. I wanted to hopefully get a top five. You know, we got ourselves up there on a pit stop, but the car just wasn't good enough to stay there. It was a 10th-place car all day, and we ended up ninth. I hope I'll be back. I mean, I hope I showed everybody that I'm capable of doing this, and we've got two more races in Canada, and hopefully I get another chance at it."
DANICA PATRICK (No. 7 Boost Mobile/Motorola):
"The Boost Mobile/Motorola guys did a great job in the pits today, and we had great stops all day. I had a really strong car for the last few stints and would have loved to see the last 35 laps raced green. I know we would have had no issues making it to the end without stopping. I was happy to keep the #7 car up front toward the end of the day. It was a great race for the fans, and I'm happy for Helio (Castroneves); he was super fast all day."
ALEX LLOYD (No. 99 HER CGR/SSM Racing):
"We ran well today, I think. Our problem was that a light fell off the back of the car, so we had to pit just after we went back to green after that first caution. That put us a lap back, and from then on we were just trying to regain our lap. The car was working really well when we were toward the head of the pack with the quick guys as we were in the first couple of stints. But as soon as we got our lap back and returned to the back of the pack, our car didn't work quite as well. We were behind so many cars, and the car seemed to have a mind of its own. But we hung in there and kept digging away and salvaged the results out of it. We had a car that was easily capable of being inside the top 10, no worries, if everything had gone right. But we just kept getting unlucky, hitting the yellows wrong. It wasn't our day, but we brought her home. We did everything right, but I guess in a way we got screwed at the beginning. If we could have done that changer at the beginning, we wouldn't have been a lap behind and would have a good shot of being tucked away in the top 10."
HIDEKI MUTOH (No. 27 Formula Dream):
"I didn't expect this kind of finish after I started 16th, but the car was better than it had been all month. We had some bad timing on the cautions, and we had a bad pit stop that put us far back in the field. It was a really tough day for us."
MILKA DUNO (No. 23 CITGO/Dreyer & Reinbold Racing):
"It was a very, very good race. It was very, very tough. It was good. I say thanks to my team, to my sponsors for giving me a good car for the race. We will work for the next one right now. It's good. I'm in Indianapolis, and I finished the race. I'm happy for that."
TOMAS SCHECKTER (No. 19 MONA-VIE):
"First, I have to thank MONA-VIE for getting me in the race; just putting me in this position. The car was a great car. We struggled a little bit with track position and a little bit on the stops, although the guys gave me a good car. It's just hard to make up positions. You saw when Penske (Ryan Briscoe) went back and just couldn't get through (the field). There were some people that were just slow, and I couldn't get by them. I could do 219s-flat on my own. But you'd get up to someone who was doing a 212 or 215, and you were stuck behind them. But that's the way it goes. To make up a bunch of positions, finish the race and to do this on a second-week program, I just have to thank everybody at MONA-VIE and Dale Coyne Racing."
(On why it's so hard to drive in traffic):
"(The car) just doesn't suck up as good in the tow. Normally when you start getting in the tow, you get sucked up pretty good, but (the front of the car) washed away a bit."