MILLER LITE CARB DAY POST-PRACTICE QUOTES -- Friday, May 26 SAM HORNISH JR. ( ...
MILLER LITE CARB DAY POST-PRACTICE QUOTES -- Friday, May 26
SAM HORNISH JR. (#6 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "We've pretty much been on course all month long. We took some time off with the media tour, but it was nice to get back in the car today. The speeds were a little bit slower than what I expected to have today, but there was quite a strong headwind coming down the back straightaway. That's just one of those things here at the speedway; the wind always seems to be going in the wrong direction, but the Marlboro Team Penske car was real good in traffic today, which is what we're going to need on Race Day. You see some guys out there running over 220 and some guys running 208, so the closeness is what is going to make a difference this Race Day. The temperature is going to be a big difference, as well, some people are going to hit. Some people are going to miss as far as their setups go, so I think it's really going to be a crap shoot dealing with it, and again, who gets it right and who can move through traffic out there. The last thing that you want to do is get right up behind somebody that ends up having a problem. The exact opposite, I think, was the '92 race when it was so cold that a lot of people were just taken out because the car came out from under them. So it's about your location and being a little bit lucky in being able to avoid some of those situations. But on Race Day, it's going to be a big part of this race if it's like it's supposed to be." (About his speed all month): "If I had my way, we would have run this race on the 14th. You know, the car was pretty good all month long, and we knew right off the bat that we were going to be quick in race setup and we were going to be quick in qualifying. And basically, the rain, a lot of people didn't like it, but for us, we didn't really mind because it didn't allow people to catch up too quickly. They couldn't get out on track. So for us, this month was just a chance to get out there and do our own thing and get caught up to what everyone else was doing and what felt comfortable for us." ( About leading field into Turn 1): "I don't know what responsibilities I have as the first one into Turn 1. I haven't had much change as far as the off-track stuff, but as far as the first lap, we'll see what happens. We're all supposed to go out there and be conscientious of each other. Know that it's a 200-lap race and 500 miles, so you know, if I get the jump on the start then I'm going to lead them into Turn 1. If not, the big thing is to just be patient and make sure that we make it all 200 laps. We just want to finish the race, not lead every lap. I think if we can do that, we'll be in the top five." (About lapped traffic): "I think you're going to catch somebody within 10 laps, but I don't know how long that will last. Brian (Barnhart) has been very good about guys that are off the pace, to give them a chance to get it fixed in the pits and if not, then let them go and pull them in, because if not, then with that many guys out there, the closing can be so quick that if they're out there, obviously there's a reason that they're off the pace, so as fast as cars start commng off, they'll come up fast on you when you're heading into the short chute, and I think that's what happened last year to Bruno (Junquiera). Somebody didn't expect him to be going by them so quickly didn't see him, clipped him and put him in the wall. We're going to have to be careful just as much, to choose when to pass those cars." (About heat on Race Day): "I don't know if I've ever been out here on an 80-degree day. Our cars are affected so much by the temperature and the wind. I think the warmest race that I've ran here was 2002, and it seemed like the cars are all sliding around out there. The differential for the fast cars to the slow was very big. It was tough racing for the first half, but I think that 10 degrees of temperature is huge in IndyCar because it effects so much the wings and the undertray of the car. The hotter the air is, the less efficient those things are." (About his past record at Indy): "A lot of times in the pas t, I've come into this race saying, 'How can I win this race?' and this year I'm saying, "Why can't I?" The answer to that is taking ourself out of the race early. That's why I continue to say that we need to make it to the end. And I think if we make it to the end, we'll be right there fighting for it. And I know that there's a certain amount of luck involved, as well, because if you pit at the wrong time, and you get a yellow and then other guys get to pit under yellow while you pitted under green and you move back, or there's an accident in front of you and you get collected. There's so many things that can happen that are out of your control. I think there's a good opportunity for us to go out there and win the race, but we've got to make it all 500 miles first." (About hot races): "In 2003, the California race, was close to, or over 100 degrees, and the Milwaukee race last year was the same. I think there was a heat index of 110, and I won both of those races. There's still probably some hot ones that I didn't do very good, but I choose to focus on those two, and I think we've got a pretty good idea about how the car needs to be for those conditions. Most days when you're out there, once you get running, the air that we get in the car, it's pretty cool, but I think once you hit about 85 degrees, it starts to feel like you're driving in the summertime with the heater on in your car."
HELIO CASTRONEVES (#3 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "It's hard to get a lot of work accomplished when you have such a limited amount of time on the track, but we're pretty comfortable with where we are at this point. The Marlboro Team Penske car seems to be handling well, especially in traffic. We just had a little bit of a problem with our setup this morning, which hurt us in the speed department, but we think we've got it figured out. I've had problems on Carburetion Day in the past and then won the race, so I'm not too worried. I totally trust this team, and I'm sure we'll be ready to go on Sunday."
SCOTT DIXON (#9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone): (About today's weather being similar to Race Day's weather): "The conditions (today) are a lot closer to what we need. For me, the car was a lot better because I didn't like the car on Sunday. I was struggling a lot, especially in traffic. We made some major changes to the setup. The car felt pretty good. It is nice to know we finally practiced in the condition that will be somewhat similar to Sunday." (About how much the car is affected with weather changes): "The thing is everybody loses a bunch of grip. It is going to make it harder on the tires. It will make it harder over a long stint. The problem now is we get such good fuel mileage with the Hondas the tires don't seem to last as long as they need to."
DAN WHELDON (#10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "It is definitely a competitive car on its own. It still is not great in traffic, by any stretch. For some reason, it keeps taking off when I'm behind other cars. You have to do what you have to do." (About how the car is taking off when behind other cars): "It is lacking a little bit of firm grip." (About how he feels for Race Day): "I still feel good. I definitely think the car is good, but we are just going to have to work on it a little bit through the day. I think everybody has (been having problems). Everybody seems to be struggling. I was behind Dario (Franchitti), and he caught Stephan Gregoire, who was doing 213s, so it took Dario four or five laps. I think everybody is struggling a little bit, but it will be a good race."
JAQUES LAZIER (#21 VIDEOPOKER.COM Panoz/Honda/Firestone): "The car is not working. We'll try to play around a bit with it and see what happens on Sunday. It's evil loose on entry then it has a big push. Maybe a shock is bad or maybe we have faulty springs. We'll take a look at it and see what we can do."
TONY KANAAN (#11 Team 7-Eleven Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "We did a great job. I think today we can't decide anything, to be honest with you. It was just to see if everything runs OK. I'm pleased with the car today. We did a couple rounds with Marco, and they worked pretty good in traffic. Race Day is going to be a whole different story -- different weather. So, we'll see what's going to happen." (Will the heat bother you?) "Not me, I'm Brazilian. I'm used to the heat. So it's probably going to bother somebody else. For sure, it's going to affect the cars. I believe that we'll lose a lot of grip, but it's going to be the same for everybody."
DARIO FRANCHITTI (#27 Klein Tools/Canadian Club Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "It's the best it has felt all month, in traffic, certainly, so I'm reasonably happy with the feeling of the car. I'm hoping to be surprised with the speed of the car during the race because in warm-up we put ourselves in heavy traffic the whole time, not conducive to fast lap times, but I felt we ran a good pace in those conditions. Some of the slower cars are so dangerous, some of the stuff they're doing out there. I think Brian's (Barnhart) going to have to pay close attention." (It sounds like perhaps the increased temperature is bringing the setup your way?): "Let's hope so."
BRYAN HERTA (#7 XM Satellite Radio Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "It was a little chaotic out there. Everybody was screwing around, trying to get into traffic. The session didn't have a good flow to it, but I think we got what we needed done." (Temps were cool all month, warmer now and hotter on Race Day, do you feel comfortable with the car now despite that?): "Yeah, that's what everybody's going to be facing, so that's fine with me."
SCOTT SHARP (#8 Delphi Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "I'm really pleased with the car. A lot of times today, it depended on what kind of pack you got running in and what kind of tow you got. I'm pleased. We have a reasonable amount of speed in the car. We seemed to be able to run with the packs pretty good. The Delphi guys did a great job prepping this car. We made some subtle changes for these conditions. Things seem to be pretty good."
MICHAEL ANDRETTI (#1 Jim Beam/Vonage Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "I'm ready, I was pretty happy with my car there at the end." (What will you do the night before the race versus what Marco (Andretti) will do?): "We'll be doing the same thing; we've got a lot of stops. We have our big parties, a sponsor party and all that stuff, then we'll get out of there around 9 o'clock and get to bed as early as we can." (He says he's been having trouble sleeping, have you?): "No. Over the years, yeah, (but) he's a rookie, he's got a lot of questions in his mind, where I'm a lot more at ease with what's going on." (A lot is being made of the temperature changes from all month, to today to Race Day, are you worried about that?): "Oh, it's a concern. It's going to be a major variable and a major monkey wrench thrown into the whole deal, and I only hope we make the right adjustments for it. If we do, we'll look like a hero; if we don't we'll look like a chump." (Based on today, do you feel pretty confident?): "Yeah, the car's pretty good, I was pretty happy."
ROGER YASUKAWA (#12 Playa Del Racing Panoz/Honda/Firestone): "The Playa Del Racing car is good. No mechanical issues. We made big changes since last Sunday's practice. The car is more where I want it, but we're still trying to figure out the aero balance. Everyone is guessing right now. We just want to get to the finish of the race and hopefully into the top 10."
ED CARPENTER (#20 Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "I think the heat today is nothing compared to what we will have Sunday if the weather forecasters are correct. Our cars are good. We unloaded and started this month of May great. The cars felt great all month long. Today is nothing different. I'm feeling really good going into Sunday whatever the weather throws at us." (How will your team compensate for the added temperatures for tomorrow? Dialing in more wing?) "You have to watch the weather and make adjustments, some being aero and some mechanical. With conditions being hotter tomorrow, the track will definitely not be sticky. With the heat you lose downforce, and the track definitely gets slicker."
EDDIE CHEEVER JR. (#51 Cheever Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone): (Why were you only able to turn a few laps?) "I had a sensor on the throttle cable that was sending a wrong message to the ECU saying that the throttle was stuck. We had to take that off to be able to get back out on track. It just happens. Just glad that today is not Sunday." (Is this something that you can be confident enough that it is fixed before you take the track come Sunday?) "I hope so, but we have to find out why it failed. We are not sure really why it failed is the biggest problem. The worst thing of all is that I didn't get to run in traffic, because this is one of those races that you will be in traffic all day long."
BUDDY LAZIER (#5 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "I feel very good on our setup. I'm just real happy to be working with Owen Snyder. We've had a little bit of time together and really liking what we are doing. We never got a draft lap. We were just getting ourselves draft-lapped into the top and think we could have been in the top three, for sure. Top five, I know, for sure. I absolutely know it. But they peeled off, and I was just left out on my own. I just didn't get the draft I wanted to. But that's all right because I know what it will do. My car, she's a player."
VITOR MEIRA (#4 Harrah's Panther Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "It felt really good. We just now started gathering data, downforce-wise, to see what we are going to have for the race and how the balance is. I think we went through a lot of stuff. I'm really pleased, and I'm looking forward to Sunday." (How will the predicted hot weather affect you for Sunday?): "It's going to affect me the way it's going to affect everybody. We're going to lose downforce, and we're going to have to correct that. It's going to be a little bit of a guess, but that's how it always is." (Do you feel confident for Sunday?): "Yes, we're going to have to nail down a little bit more than on normal conditions, but Panther Racing has all the capability and I'm sure also that the engines are not going to be a problem being that everybody has the same. Honda is doing a good job on that."
LARRY FOYT (#41 AJ Foyt Racing Panoz/Honda/Firestone): "It's good to run some laps, but we're still not really happy with my car yet. I'd love to have another day of practice just to know what we've got, but I'm sure we'll tweak on it, and it's time to start the race." (Your strategy to get in 500 miles): "You just want to get through the start of this thing, let things spread out a bit and see what we have. We'll see what the weather's like, make some changes and hopefully have a good day."
FELIPE GIAFFONE (#14 ABC Supply Co./AJ Foyt Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "We tried a completely different setup, which I think some of the stuff we tried worked really well and some we're going to have to go back. Between what we did today versus what we did the other day, we should be pretty good." (With the weather change, do you feel you're going to have to chase things more than you'd like on Race Day?): "Yeah, it's going to be a hustle for everybody, I think. Everybody's turning slower speeds right now, and I think it's just going to be tougher for everybody. Conditions are going to get worse than what they are now, so we're going to have to try to make changes on Race Day from today like we did from earlier to now, because it's going to get slippery."
MAX PAPIS (#52 Cheever Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "I'm pretty confident. I know that the Sport Clips No. 52 has been running really good, and we're prepared. It's definitely going to be a long race, and I'll have to dive deeply into all of my experience and all the different running I've been doing to bring the best out of myself and my guys." (How will the heat affect you?): "It's going to be a completely different ballgame compared to what we had in practice. The car feels a lot less stable due to the warmer weather, and I'm sure that is going to be a big factor in the race."
AL UNSER JR. (#31 A1 Team USA Geico Dreyer & Reinbold Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "We were able to find a lot of answers on Sunday, and I'm a lot happier with the car. The conditions are going to continue to change, and we're going to have to chase it just a little bit. We were sliding a little more this morning on the exits, but we've made additional changes and are good to go."
DANICA PATRICK (#16 Rahal Letterman Racing Team Argent Panoz/Honda/Firestone): "The Argent Mortgage Honda felt great. Everybody was being pretty careful out there. There is no reason to push it on Carb Day. I am amazed at how far we have come in the last two weeks, especially with all the rain. It is a real credit to everyone at Rahal Letterman Racing that the car is as good as it is. Today was basically about making sure the setup is stable and that everything is ready for Sunday."
THIAGO MEDEIROS (#18 PDM Racing Panoz/Honda/Firestone):"We did very few laps just to check if everything was fine, and everything was. Everything works. We just wanted to make sure everything will be OK for the race. It's a lot of work to keep running over the car. The weather condition will be totally different from what we had today. It will be a lot hotter. We just wanted to check everything to make sure it will be fine. We had a lot of confidence in the car. We just want to get ready for the race." (How will the hot weather affect you?): "It will be the same for everybody. The bigger teams have more data so they will have more things to compare. But we have great people. PDM has done a great job, and we will do our best to have the best car out there and take the best opportunity we have." (On the fresh and quickly built car): "Everything is perfect. Now we've had the time to put everything back together in the right way. It's not because we didn't put it together the right way to qualify, but we've had the time to work on the car and make it better for the race."
BUDDY RICE (#15 Rahal Letterman Racing Team Argent Panoz/Honda/Firestone): "I thought we had a good race car after the short month of running with the rain. And I still feel that way. The No. 15 Argent Honda was solid everywhere on the track, and that I all can ask. We have to remember that the weather forecast is for 10 degrees hotter on Sunday, and that will make for some more slippery conditions. The right balance of downforce and aero (dynamics) will be the difference in winning the race. Sure, the Marlboro Team Penske and the Target guys have shown speed all month but today, with the added temps, you see some more guys getting into the hunt. I think the higher temps on Sunday that there will be more guys in the equation. Right now I feel good about our car and our chances on Sunday."
JEFF SIMMONS (#17 Rahal Letterman Racing Team Ethanol Panoz/Honda/Firestone): "We had a couple of issues this morning in practice. But it was nothing big. The car feels good, but we need to free up the car a little more to run the type of speed at Buddy and Danica had. That is the good thing about having a strong team. We will sit down and go over everything and get our setups similar. I think we'll have a good car for the race since Buddy and Danica's car felt very good on Carb Day."
KOSUKE MATSUURA (#55 Panasonic ARTA Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "This was our last run before the race. Everything feels OK, but I think we had a little too much downforce for today. For the race, the weather should be a lot warmer and I think we will be OK. The car has a pretty good balance."