IRL: Indy 500: Bump Day qualifying quotes


Sunday, May 22, 2005

ARIE LUYENDYK JR. (#98 Fat Records Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "It's unfortunate that Giaffone is in a car right now, but it has been an exciting day. It has been a stressful day. It is nice to have a qualifying run under my belt. All I can do is wait for him to run and see what I can do later." (About help from father): "(He said) just to be smooth and just be patient, basically. I wasn't patient yesterday, and I put it in the wall and that really set us back. Every day, I am learning. It (talking with father) has helped me a bit, but it is very stressful. I am just happy for the opportunity to be here. I mean, I am really excited driving around the track and doing qualifying. It was a lot of fun. I'm just really thankful that the opportunity came about to run this car. The crew has done a good job of putting a car together for me. It is just a very short amount of time to learn a lot of things, and hopefully I'll get the opportunity to learn a little bit more if I qualify for the race." (About getting more comfortable): "Basically, I went to the sixth gear in the middle of the run, and that really slowed our momentum down because we had so much downforce. I think if we would have left it in the pits, we would have been a little bit quicker, but it is hard to say. I at least wanted to get a feel for the car. That was the quickest we ran, so I took a gamble taking into sixth (gear). But I was flat all away around, so we'll see what we can do. You know, if he (Giaffone) goes a little quicker (than us), then we'll have to take some downforce out of it and see if I can run flat around here again." (Comparing IndyCar Series car to Menards Infiniti Pro Series car): "It's an adjustment. You need to get above a 210 (mph lap) before the car really works. So just to get there is difficult, because the aerodynamics don't really work at a lower speed. The car is not as low if you are not running fast. A lot of things equate to making the car work, and I just got to that point and now I am comfortable. I a m happy, and we are just going to have to work to get it a little quicker." (About learning curve): "It's quick. I have never heard of someone doing the rookie orientation and trying to qualify on the same day. That was a lot of pressure yesterday. I tried to hurry it up too fast, and that's when I tagged the wall. For me, I need to just slow down and think about what I need to accomplish and take every lap one at a time and not try to get ahead of myself. That's what I did yesterday, so I learned a lot yesterday. Today, the crew put a good car together for me to run in qualifying, and hopefully at the end of the day I'll have the 33rd spot." (About stress): "For yesterday, trying to do rookie orientation and speed things along and get up to speed and hitting the way. It was a stressful night. And today has been very stressful, as well, trying with trouble trying to get up to speed this morning. And now we really came into our own this afternoon with a different setup on the car." (About his speed): "Yeah, I was right on target (with) a 215 (mph). We were flat out all away around. There's a lot of downforce in the car still just for me and my confidence. That's all she really had, so if we go back to the garage and take some downforce out of it, take some risks, and we'll see where we end up today." (About plan for the rest of day): "The problem is, we've used our allotted sets for today, so we are going to have to go on an older set of tires. We'll go on our tires that we qualified on right now, so that might be a little bit of a disadvantage. We'll just take some downforce out of it and get out as fast as we can because of the (possibility of) rain." (About concern over Felipe Giaffone): "Well, I know Giaffone. My dad also coached Giaffone when he was coming up. He drove for Treadway Racing. Growing up, I watched them race. I know what kind of competitor he is. I know that he is very fast, and I know that Foyt puts together a very good car. So it is going to be a challenge. And, weather permitting, I would lik e to get another shot at it."

FELIPE GIAFFONE (#48 A.J. Foyt Racing Panoz/Toyota/Firestone): "It was a weird day. As far as two hours ago, I had no hard card. I wasn't cleared to drive, and I was just packing and shopping and getting ready to go home tomorrow, and I got a call and said that there was a chance that I could drive. I mean, I was shopping on 86th Street. I'm like a half hour from there, I don't have my hard card or passes to get into the track. So I called Suesan, from Brian Barnhart's office and asked her what to do to get in the track. She goes, 'Well, I don't know, maybe stop by and --' It would've taken too long to get into the track. So I told my wife, 'Let's just try to sneak in.' So I got my 2004 IRL hard card and kept showing it to all the guys, you know, 'Thank you, thank you, thank you.' And we just kept driving. A guy was coming this way and said, 'Hey, hey, hey, stop!' I said, 'Thank you,' and just kept going. I parked my car and got out of the car and went in. Everything happened in about a half an hour, I had my physicals and I had my hard card, and I have to say thanks to Brian (Barnhart) because it usually takes a really long time to get all that. I went through all my exams and everything, but they made my life very easy and very fast, you know. Thanks to A.J. (Foyt) for remembering me, as well. I'm going to have to go to sleep to realize what really happened today, tomorrow. I was really excited considering that I'm at Indy, you know. I was very nervous the first two laps because I had to kind of erase what I had in my mind for the past two days because I wasn't driving. When you're going to drive the next day, you have to sleep a certain way, go through certain steps, you know, to kind of concentrate for the next day, and I think that was the toughest part. I just had to try to calm down and say: 'Hey, they get this job done. They gave me this opportunity.' But I was very nervous to get the feeling of the car to just see if it was drivable. Sometimes they put you in a car that's going to be loose or pushing, an d I was very pleased with the car and with the setup that A.J. gave me, and I just kept pushing harder and harder and the car was OK. I don't think we have the fastest package, but it's going to be tough on Race Day, as well, but I sure haven't thought about the race, but I think if we can finish this race we're going to be OK." (About qualifying run): "I was trying to change my line because the wind was blowing a little bit toward Turn 2 and once I got a little bit of push coming in and then the steering got a little loose coming out, so it's just working with my line because usually I have so much time, so I was just trying to forget the lap time for that one and just work with my line to pick the best one for qualifying. What I knew should be OK for qualifying and finally, for qualifying was the first time I was flat all the way around." (About today): "I can tell you that I didn't know that this really could happen. I've never been in this situation before, I'm either out or I'm in. After last night I thought that was it. 'I'm out, there's no chance,' even when there was a few guys that said we could do it and that was Friday and I was like: 'How are we going to do it? It's tomorrow.' Even though I was pushing for it to happen, I was pushing but just because that's my job. To push to try to get a run, but it's really weird. But this is Indianapolis, and these things happen. Sometimes you see on TV how things happen, and that's what happened. The whole time I was in the car and started the engine and got into the track, I thought that this was just a media play. They're just doing this for the media, but no. This is Indianapolis, and that's what I heard when I was a kid watching TV, and there were people getting in last minute and trying to get in the race and a few years later that happened to me. In a certain way, it's not the best setting because I was really nervous getting to the car, just wondering how things were going to go and at the same time, it feels very good because you're in the car. It's going to be a day that I'll remember forever."


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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Felipe Giaffone , A.J. Foyt , Brian Barnhart