IRL: Fontana: Rahal Letterman Racing qualifying report

VITOR MEIRA (No. 17 Team Centrix Honda G-Force) "I don't think we could have freed the car up any more than we did for qualifying. Now, the race is a different story. You have to have downforce in traffic and racing conditions. To be honest,...

VITOR MEIRA (No. 17 Team Centrix Honda G-Force)

"I don't think we could have freed the car up any more than we did for qualifying. Now, the race is a different story. You have to have downforce in traffic and racing conditions. To be honest, we thought we would be quicker than we are today. But we'll have to take what we have right now and get ready for the race. We were able to improve from the first lap to the second. A lot of guys went slower on their second lap. So we got the car a little better. Obviously, it wasn't enough help to get speeds that the guys on the front row got. I'm pleased with our car in race trim. It is much different for the race than qualifying. The wind was much stronger for qualifying than it was this morning in practice. And the wind was a factor this afternoon. But that wasn't really the problem. We didn't get the setup on the car that we needed for qualifying. But we'll have a good car for the race. We will be passing cars all day long on Sunday and I will be getting passed too. It will be a good race for the fans. I just want to be in position to race for the lead at the end of the race Sunday."

BUDDY RICE (No. 15 Pioneer/Argent Mortgage Honda G-Force)

"We ran about the same time that we ran in practice. It doesn't really matter where you start at this place. If you have a good racecar on Sunday, you can get to the front. I think we'll have a real good racecar come Sunday. I think we'll have a similar car to the one we had at Michigan and we do okay there. (Rice won). The wind was steadily picking more from this morning and it had a little bit of affect on the car. We were looking for a little more speed this afternoon but I'm not sure the wind was a factor. For being a big speedway and a drafting track, you really need handling here. The best handling car is going to win this race on Sunday. You need the consistent car through the day to win. You won't see big packs like Michigan. This place tends to string out the cars in more single file. I may not have raced here before but we have enough track time and the team has run well here many times. So I think we have the information we need to win. It's just getting the proper setup for the conditions. I don't run over the big bump in turn three. I usually run in the middle of the corner and go around the bump on the inside of turn three."

-rlr-

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Series IndyCar