HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Toyota/Firestone): "Unfortunately, I did have a draft. Today it seems the speeds came down slightly because of the rain. The track was cooler. That means we have more drag, so we were slower...
HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Toyota/Firestone): "Unfortunately, I did have a draft. Today it seems the speeds came down slightly because of the rain. The track was cooler. That means we have more drag, so we were slower down the straight. It might be easier going through the corners, but on the straights, we were just a little bit slower. It was important to test today to have a little bit of an understanding of going from the hot weather to not so hot. Then on Saturday, when we have a little bit of practice before qualifying starts, it's going to be a different day again. We're just trying to lay down right now what we think is going to be good. This place is very tough, and you just have to be patient and make sure that you go lap by lap and not panic. That's what we did. We don't know if tomorrow is going to be rainy or not -- the weather forecast is (leaning) toward us not having a practice, so we tried a little bit more stuff that we were supposed to test tomorrow. We just have to be patient and wait for Saturday. It's how this place is. It's tough, it's difficult, but at the same time, it's awesome."
SCOTT SHARP (No. 8 Delphi Dallara/Toyota/Firestone): "We had a really productive day. We had made a few changes, and we were going to make a really good run to see what kind of speed we had in the car. On my second lap by, I just drove it in there and bam -- it just snapped, and I was sideways. I don't even know what happened."
MARK TAYLOR (No. 2 Menards/Johns Manville Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "It's good to get a run done in the afternoon. We were glad the weather cleared up. The Panther Racing guys wanted to keep taking out downforce to get ready for qualifications on Saturday, so today we were able to go out and get some good runs. We'll continue to take out more downforce. I hope we can run tomorrow. I've heard there's supposed to be more rain. I'm pretty confident. It feels like we've got a good car, and we have more speed. The big question is how the weather changes and how we make adjustments to it."
TOMAS SCHECKTER (No. 4 Pennzoil Panther Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "We're happy with today. We only did a couple of laps. The Pennzoil Panther guys and myself just wanted to make sure things were good for tomorrow, and most importantly, Saturday. Right now we look to be in good shape. We weren't going to use a lot of track time anyway, so the rain didn't affect us a lot. We had a list of stuff we concentrated on, and we got all that taken care of today."
FELIPE GIAFFONE (No. 24 Team Purex/Dreyer & Reinbold Dallara/Chevrolet/ Firestone): "We had a better day than yesterday. The track's a little slower, and we found a little more speed. We need another mile per hour to be where we should be, so we're going to try a few more things tomorrow. The balance and the handling of the car are good, and overall I'm pleased with our progress."
A.J. FOYT IV (No. 14 Conseco/A.J. Foyt Racing Dallara/Toyota/Firestone): "Today went pretty well. We didn't get that many laps because we got delayed a little bit with the rain. But I'm glad we got out there and ran some good consistent laps, picked our speed up a little bit like we were trying to do. We're definitely not giving it all we got. The Conseco car's not in qualifying trim yet, but we're making little adjustments and getting there one step at a time."
LARRY FOYT (No. 41 A.J. Foyt Racing Panoz G Force/Toyota/Firestone): "It was an OK day. Our speed's still not where we want it to be, especially because we started to trim out a little bit. We made some changes to the car that really made it drive a lot better, so now I think we've got the direction we need to go. On a whole, I'm happy. We're going in the right direction, so the speed should come."
ED CARPENTER (No. 52 Red Bull Cheever Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "We really just got a handful of laps. We wanted to do one more run, and that last yellow came out and kind of put an end to our day one run early. I'd like to be a bit quicker than we are right now. We keep having this tendency to go to a car that has understeer and are having problems getting away from that. We just have to keep working. We've got one more full day of practice before Pole Day. We need to utilize our time. Hopefully the weather helps us out a little bit. We're going to have to see what happens, look over everything tonight and come back with something better for tomorrow."
ALEX BARRON (No. 51 Red Bull Cheever Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "We were trying a bunch of different things. Everything ran really good today. We got both cars out real quick with the rain coming out. We got a lot of track time, but we're still down on speed. We're going to go back and look at it and see what we've got to do. We're a little bit puzzled at this moment. We've got to look at some data tonight and figure out what we need to do tomorrow to make it better. We need to run tomorrow, for sure."
SAM HORNISH JR. (No. 6 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Toyota/Firestone): "We did a lot of work on our qualifying setup in anticipation that it might rain tomorrow. The good news is that I'm happy with the Marlboro Team Penske car, and we were able to break the 220-mph mark for the first time this week. Having said that, Pole Day often throws us a curve ball with respect to track and/or weather conditions, so hopefully, we'll get a chance to run tomorrow."
TONY KANAAN (No. 11 Team 7-Eleven Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "I think the Team 7-Eleven car is OK. We need to keep working. The temperature has changed quite a bit from the other days to today. It was just a long day waiting for the rain to stop and then the rain came back, but that's Indy. One day to go, then it will be time to go and then we can focus on the race."
DARIO FRANCHITTI (No. 27 Arca/Ex Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "We made progress today, but it was a different kind of progress. Today was more about qualifying than anything. That's why we were quicker on the speed charts. But I was probably more happy at the end of yesterday with the way the car was in race trim. We've still got a bit of work to do with the qualifying car. We've hopefully got tomorrow, weather permitting, and we'll try to get the Arca/Ex car absolutely 'spot on' for Saturday."
BRYAN HERTA (No. 7 XM Satellite Radio Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "It was a good day for the XM Satellite Radio car. Today was the first day that we worked on our qualifying setup, and we were able to make some changes to go quicker as the session went on. We still have tomorrow to keep working on it, and I think we have a chance to earn a good starting spot."
ROGER YASUKAWA (No. 16 Rahal-Letterman Sammy Panoz G Force/Honda/Firestone): "The track picked up grip at the end of the day. We were able to work on our qualifying setup and to be in the top three the last two days is good for the Sammy crew and myself. These guys at Rahal Letterman Racing know their stuff, and it feels good to be at or near the top. The wind is not as bad as yesterday, and that helped everyone despite the green track. You have to be mentally cautious in the late part of the day. I think the track will get faster as the rubber gets built back up on the track. I feel more comfortable and confident with the car. It feels very good right now, but I do know we can improve it, too."
BUDDY RICE (No. 15 Rahal-Letterman Argent/Pioneer Panoz G Force/Honda/Firestone): "Racing always has a hurry-up-and-wait program, and you just have to get used to it. When it's time to go, you go. At least the weather held off this afternoon, and we could run. You have a program to execute, and you try to go through with it despite getting the time cut short by the rain. The weather is pretty unpredictable here at Indy. So you have to be ready to hit the track at all times. The rain hurt the track today because it was pretty green when we went out first. But by Happy Hour, there was some more rubber down on the racing groove. Today has been a good barometer in relation to the temperature for Saturday's qualifying. It was cooler for the first time, and it's supposed to be cooler on Saturday. I think this helps us in our setups for the four-lap qualifying run. But you never know about the weather in Indy"
VITOR MEIRA (No. 17 Rahal-Letterman Team Centrix Panoz G Force/Honda/Firestone): "I was one of the first ones to go out today, and we jumped to the top of the charts. The track was really green from the rain. But the car felt good then. It wasn't as good in the second time out, but we got a draft to run 220 (.666). I know we still have some work to do for Saturday. You could feel the lack of mechanical grip today from yesterday. The Centrix team has been great to work with this week. I'm very pleased how the week has gone, and I'm looking forward to Friday and Saturday now. The car feels so much different from the last two days when I was running full tanks. The direction of the car changes quicker and everything just seems faster. That is when you have to be careful because the car is on the edge."
DAN WHELDON (No. 26 Klein Tools/Jim Beam Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "We did just a couple of laps in the Klein Tools/Jim Beam car today. We have to get ready for qualifying now. I think we definitely have a quick car for qualifying, and it is just a matter of fine-tuning it for the weather conditions."
AL UNSER JR. (No. 20 Patrick Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "The Patrick Racing team found some more speed again today. We went quicker, so that means it was another good day. The Patrick Racing Chevrolet/Dallara/Firestone is definitely a better car than it was when we started, and we are definitely making progress. This was still another learning day, and we did learn more. The sad thing is that it rained this morning, which took away some of our practice time, but everybody is in the same boat. Tomorrow will be key day for us. It is supposed to rain, but if we can get some more laps in and gain another 1 mph like we did today, we should be in good shape for qualifying."
DARREN MANNING (No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Panoz G Force/Toyota/ Firestone): "After dealing with rain for most of the day, the team used the afternoon session to put me into Scott's backup car to try some things with his setup. I'm pretty happy with the work we got done as we ran in the top five or six most of the time. I got a little loose coming out of (Turn) 1 and got out of the groove and white-walled the right rear a little bit. There was some very minor damage, but we decided we had gotten done all we had to do today. We'll trim the car out for the final practice Friday. Things look good for Pole Day."
SCOTT DIXON (No. 1 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Panoz G Force/Toyota/Firestone): "I'm a bit disappointed that I didn't run today in the end as we had planned, but as a team we made the decision that we felt was best. We had rain most of the day. The team wanted to give Darren a chance to try my car setup. We had trimmed out the car quite a bit, and we'll do the final tweaks tomorrow for qualifying when we run some simulations. All in all, we're right on schedule."
ADRIAN FERNANDEZ (No. 5 Quaker State/Telmex/Tecate Panoz G Force/Honda/ Firestone): "Everything went well, and we are ready to qualify."
KOSUKE MATSUURA (No. 55 Panasonic ARTA Panoz G Force/Honda/Firestone): "Today I drove the backup car. That car was not the same as the primary car, and we were working on a different setup for the backup car. Finally we found quite a similar feeling, but today the track conditions were very different from yesterday so speed and aerodynamic balance were different. Everybody is under the same conditions, but we have to work on my chassis for the weather."
SARAH FISHER (No. 39 Bryant Heating & Cooling/Cure Autism Now Dallara/Toyota/ Firestone): "We didn't get a whole lot done today with the Bryant/CAN car. We did an installation check this afternoon and then we tried to do one outing and had an engine problem, and Toyota wanted us to make an engine change. We then came back out late in the day and did our install check and were preparing for a run when my teammate (Scott Sharp) didn't fare so well. At least we know that we've got our engine installed with no leaks, and we're good to go for tomorrow."
FRIDAY'S SCHEDULE (all times local):
8 a.m. Public Gates Open
11 a.m.-6 p.m. IndyCar Series Practice
6 p.m. Track Closes
6:15 p.m. Qualification Order Draw, Coca-Cola Stage