Indianapolis 500-Mile Race IRL IndyCar Series Post-Practice Quotes Friday, May 16, 2003 ROGER YASUKAWA (No. 55 Panasonic ARTA Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "Today we scuffed off all of our race tires, and we did a 10-lap run at the end. We are ready...
Indianapolis 500-Mile Race
IRL IndyCar Series Post-Practice Quotes
Friday, May 16, 2003
ROGER YASUKAWA (No. 55 Panasonic ARTA Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "Today we scuffed off all of our race tires, and we did a 10-lap run at the end. We are ready for the race, and I am very happy with the car balance. The crew is doing a fantastic job preparing the car, and John (Dick), my engineer, has made all the preparations for the race to go smooth. The month of May has been going according to our plan because of the great team effort. We know what the target is for the race, and we will keep working hard to reach the goal."
DAN WHELDON (No. 26 Klein Tools/Jim Beam Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "The Klein Tools/Jim Beam crew has worked hard all month, and they have given me a great car. Barry Green, who is calling my race, and Tino Belli, my engineer, are both great at keeping me relaxed and making everything fun. Working with Andretti Green Racing is great. By having three teammates, there is a large baseline of data to work with, and obviously, we have great equipment to work with, as well. I think Indianapolis Motor Speedway is the world's greatest racetrack, and it is a pleasure to drive around. But at the end of the day, it is like any track we race on. You want to go around it as fast as you possibly can."
ALEX BARRON (No. 20 Meijer Mo Nunn Racing Panoz G Force/Toyota/Firestone): "I think we're in good shape. We worked on race setup all day, and I think we have the car very well balanced. I'm able to run flat out pretty comfortably. Now we're going to put our qualifying motor in the Meijer car tonight and come out looking for as much qualifying speed as we can find tomorrow. I have an idea how fast I think we can go, but I'm not going to tell you what that is."
TORA TAKAGI (No. 12 Pioneer Mo Nunn Racing Panoz G Force/Toyota/ Firestone): "This was our best day of work on our race simulation. I managed to find traffic easier today. I was having a hard time finding traffic yesterday and Wednesday. The conditions were very good today, and the car performed very well both on my own and in traffic. Now we will take the cars back to the shop and get ready for final practice and the race. I guess I will enjoy some time off. I will not be coming to the track because it will only make me want to drive more."
SCOTT SHARP (No. 8 Delphi Dallara/Toyota/Firestone): "Basically, today was another day of trying to hone in on the race setup and fine-tune things a little bit more. Everyone is trying to pick the right aero balance and downforce to be able to run in traffic, so we really worked hard on that today. We threw some speed at it, and hopefully we can find some more. Our plan is to run the early session tomorrow and then park the car until Carburetion Day."
AL UNSER JR. (No. 31 Corteco Dallara/Toyota/Firestone): "We were just trying to get the car right, and I got a little high getting into Turn 2 and got into the marbles and tapped the fence. It put an end to our day. The car was working better today than it was yesterday, and we were trying some things out there. We were making headway. We were out doing a long run and got in just a little bit high and couldn't get it back down. It is a long month at the Speedway, but I think you need it because you get the best out of your team, the best out of your race car and the best 33-car lineup on Race Day."
TONY RENNA (No. 32 Cure Autism Now/HomeMed Dallara/Toyota/Firestone): "Our focus today was very similar to yesterday's. We made some mechanical and aerodynamic changes today to the Cure Autism Now/HomeMed Pharmacy car, and we're really just trying to put ourselves in a good position for the race. Today was a good day because it was pretty sunny and warm, and it could be a good simulation for Race Day. But in saying that, every day is a good simulation for Race Day because you never know what the weather is going to do at Indy. I feel we have gotten some good things accomplished and that we are in good shape."
KENNY BRACK (No. 15 Rahal/Letterman/Miller Lite/Pioneer Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "We had a good morning session. We made some good gains with our race setups. I think Jimmy (Vasser) was happy with his car, too. We aren't exactly where we want to be right yet, but we are pretty close. We still have some time to work with it on Saturday. We did lose a little time this afternoon with an engine change, but overall it was a good day for us."
A.J. FOYT (Team owner, A.J. Foyt Racing): (About A.J. Foyt IV's accident this afternoon): "When it first happened and I saw he was OK, I got on him pretty hard. Then when I came back to the garage and saw the setup sheet, there was so much nose-weight on the front end that there was no way he couldn't have wrecked. I apologized to him because it was a mistake on the crew's part and mine for not catching it. I feel bad for him because the three accidents here this month weren't his fault. One was caused by a cut tire, the qualifying spin was caused by a droop-stop bolt that had backed out and the windy conditions, and now this. I'm just thankful he's been able to walk away from them all."
AIRTON DARE (No. 5T EPSON/A.J. Foyt Racing Panoz G Force/Toyota/Firestone): "We ran 227 (mph) without a draft, and we still have a lot of downforce in the car. If Sunday were Pole Day, the car would be capable of doing 230 if we trimmed it out. But the best as far as starting position that we can do is 25th, so we want to be on the safe side because it is the only car I have. I am very pleased with it so far."
JIMMY VASSER (No. 19 Argent Mortgage Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "We made some very good gains today. The race car feels very good. We were 227 (mph) in race trim. Kenny (Brack) and his crew have done a very good job getting the car ready for me. Now we'll go and get ready for qualifying on Sunday. I'm pretty pumped up right now. This team is very good."
ROBBIE BUHL (No. 24 Purex/Aventis/Dreyer & Reinbold Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "Our focus today was on longer runs with our backup car and running with traffic. I think we helped today with changes we made, even though they were all very subtle. We're trying to learn more about the car and how it will react on Race Day. Overall, we logged a lot of miles, and I feel pretty good about our progress. Today just reconfirms that we're really going to have to be aggressive and hustle come Race Day."
VITOR MEIRA (No. 2T Menards/Johns Manville Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "First, yesterday I was getting comfortable trying to make no mistakes. By the end of the day yesterday, I was told I would drive today. I took my time. There was no need to rush. The Team Menard Chevrolet was good. The Chevrolet is really reliable. I just wanted to take my time. I know Jaques tested the car a lot. The trim was really good. I'm glad I didn't make any mistakes. I'm looking forward even though I don't know what I'm going to be doing. The plan is no plan. People are going to tell me what to do, and anything they tell me to do I'm going to try to do."
SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Panoz G Force/Toyota/Firestone): "I didn't really want to do this many laps. We had to mileage out an engine for Toyota. Basically we just worked on the car a little, not too much. We just changed the balance. The car was great all day. Then toward the end of the day, we were just running miles on the engine, and we went through five or six sets of old tires just to wear them out, as well. That was about it, really. I didn't really want to come and do so many miles. The primary car was not too bad. I did 40 or so laps on that. Then it was just checking wiring looms and stuff for Carb Day. Then, with the T-car, we didn't know until we got here today that we had to put another 160 miles on. So that's the reason why we ran so long."
JIMMY KITE (No. 18 PDM Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "We had a couple of glitches early on, and we finally got to go out. It's just a hot time of the day. Speeds are down, and I didn't want to go out there and draft somebody and get a decent time. Speeds are down. It's a bad time of the day. We're hoping we can run a mid-225 (mph). As long as that moves us into the 10th row, I'm happy with that."
GREG RAY (No. 13 TrimSpa Special Panoz G Force/Honda/Firestone): "We experimented today with some different setups, both a little bit more downforce and a few different things on the car. The guys have done a fabulous job. The car in race trim, I think, is exceptional. The guys will take the car apart and get it ready for the Indianapolis 500, the world's greatest race, and we have a lot of decisions to make. We haven't made up our mind about what we're going to race with, but we have a lot of data, and we'll follow our gut instinct and go for it."
BUDDY LAZIER (No. 91 Victory Brand/Delta Faucet/Life Fitness Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "It was a pretty good day. We went out obviously running full tanks like everybody else, trying to get a race setup. The car is working really good. We had one big moment down there in Turn 1 where I had full opposite lock to catch the race car. Don't quite understand why that happened. We had an alternator problem after that, and we fixed that and ran some dirty air with full tanks and ran pretty good. I felt like 226 (mph) with a little bit of a draft and felt like I could go faster. That's pretty good for race setup. The car is real stable, runs through the fuel tank and stays consistent, and so I think it's a good racing platform. Now we need to see what kind of day we're going to have on Race Day. But I think we're in good shape."
MICHAEL ANDRETTI (No. 7 Team 7-Eleven Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "The car is good. I think we made some improvements with it. I'm ready to go. I'm ready to race."
TONY COTMAN (Team Manager, Team 7-Eleven): "It was a marathon day, but Michael hadn't been on track all week. We basically used the information that we gathered early last week and the bit of info we got off the other boys these last couple days and put it all together. We feel like we've got a pretty good car. I think we ran about 375 miles, which is a pretty big day. But, at the end of the day, we're very happy. We're very happy with the team. Everything is rolling along pretty smooth right now."