IRL: Indy 500: Day four post-practice quotes

Indianapolis 500-Mile Race IRL IndyCar Series Post-Practice Quotes Wednesday, May 7, 2003 GREG RAY (No. 13 TrimSpa Special Panoz G Force/Honda/Firestone): "We didn't get any track time on Sunday and had some mechanical and chassis issues in the...

Indianapolis 500-Mile Race
IRL IndyCar Series Post-Practice Quotes
Wednesday, May 7, 2003

GREG RAY (No. 13 TrimSpa Special Panoz G Force/Honda/Firestone): "We didn't get any track time on Sunday and had some mechanical and chassis issues in the last two days. I'm getting comfortable, and we're just scratching the surface here. We've been looking for a little rhythm. Being a small team, and until we land a major sponsorship, we can't afford to get out there and take the big risks in a hurry, so we're just scratching the surface and knocking on the door. Like I said all along, I have a great deal of belief in the people on this team. We just need a little time and resources, and I think we'll surprise a lot of people."

BUDDY LAZIER (No. 91 Victory Brand/Delta Faucet/Life Fitness Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "For today, I think we ran a 225.8 (mph). We are just flat out. We put a new motor in last night. We broke the engine in, did the leak check and ran just how we have been running all week, flat out, trimmed out. I know everybody is trimmed out. Probably those with the same package I have are particularly trimmed out, just trying to get speed. It depends on how big of a qualifying motor we get delivered to us. I think it is about as much as we can get out of our race car right now. It should be down to the bits and the motors. I could see qualifying pole speed between 232 (mph) and 236 (mph) depending on the weather and what kind of qualifying engines we have. We are going to try to do the best that we can with everything we have. I know that everybody at Chevy is working very hard to improve the situation."

BRYAN HERTA (No. 27 Alpine/Archipelago/Motorola Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "From my perspective, today went perfect. I was able to get comfortable in the Archipelago/Motorola car and run flat out. We started out with a lot of downforce and then trimmed it out a little. I was able to give the team some feedback, so I felt like I could contribute some on the setup, as well. I needed to run some laps at Indy because if something happened with the weather and Robby (Gordon) couldn't start or couldn't finish the race, you don't want to jump in here without having some laps. Today also gave me a chance to get ready for my test next week."

SAM HORNISH JR. (No. 4 Pennzoil Panther Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "We're still working on it, trying to get where we need to be. Everything seems to be going in the right direction, which is good, so we are getting real excited. Hopefully we get some nice days where it doesn't rain or get real windy out. I don't think that (the 231.108 posted by Dan Wheldon during yesterday's practice) is quite within range, but we still have a couple of days. For qualifying, we are just trying to be in the first four rows. That's about it."

TONY RENNA (No. 32 Cure Autism Now/HomeMed Dallara/Toyota/ Firestone): "All in all, we again had a good day. The only thing that held us back was the weather. I'm pretty pleased with the Cure Autism Now/HomeMed Pharmacy car and crew. We started trimming the car out today, and the Toyota engine was rock-solid -- just stout. Hopefully, the weather cooperates with us tomorrow, and we can get a full day of running in."

TONY KANAAN (No. 11 Team 7-Eleven Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "Obviously, it was a long day for all of us with the rain coming on and off. But, we had a pretty good amount of laps. We made a lot of improvements to the car. I think I'm still behind a little bit from missing those first two days, but the car feels good. We're taking it one day at a time, and I'm happy. The car is the way I like it to be right now, so we'll see what's going to happen tomorrow. We still have three days to go."

KIM GREEN (President, Andretti Green Racing): "We're just continuing to work through our test plan for Tony (Kanaan), working toward qualifying on Saturday. We tried a lot of different things. Some things worked, and some things didn't today. The conditions were cooler than yesterday, and I think one of the big things at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is that the conditions really can change the way the car balance is and your overall lap speed. Are we ecstatic about today? No. But I think we tested a lot of things that, when we combine everything together, we should be in pretty good shape."

SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Panoz G Force/Toyota/ Firestone): "We didn't end up running too much today because of the weather. When we were out there, the car was pretty good. We ended up doing a 229 (mph lap), so I'm pretty happy with the day. It was pretty windy, and we didn't feel that we would gain too much by being out there. The car was a little loose in the morning, but it got better as the day went on. We decided to get done early today and wait until tomorrow to get back after it."

TOMAS SCHECKTER (No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Panoz G Force/Toyota/Firestone): "I'm very happy with the car. It's a great feeling to know that you have this type of car underneath you. It's very consistent and comfortable to drive. Bill (Pappas, chief engineer) and I have really clicked this week. We both know what we want out of the car. We haven't really done much work on qualifying yet, but we'll start on that over the next few days."

BILLY BOAT (No. 98 Pedigo Chevrolet Panther Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/ Firestone): "We've been able to come right back to our good baseline, so that's always encouraging. Hopefully, over the long run, we'll be able to have a good, solid race car. We're not as fast as we want to be. Until you're at the top of the speed chart, you're never as fast as you want to be. We have to be as good as we can be. I still think we have a little bit left with the package we're working with. We'll try to squeeze every bit out of it."

ROBBIE BUHL (No. 24 Purex/Aventis/Dreyer & Reinbold Dallara/Chevrolet/ Firestone): "We had a fairly good day, especially our last run. I definitely got a better feeling getting into Turn 2, being able to feel the undulations and just feel the front of the car through the wheel driving into (Turn) 1. We've still got work to do to get to where we want to be, but the track time today was valuable in terms of making improvements."

ARIE LUYENDYK (No. 20 Meijer Mo Nunn Racing Panoz G Force/Toyota/Firestone): "Obviously, we're struggling a little bit. I said the same thing yesterday, and unfortunately the story hasn't gotten a whole lot better. We're not running too much downforce, and yet we're still not getting the kind of speed that we want to around here. We just have to stick with the program and work hard, and it will come to us. I'm counting on it."

FELIPE GIAFFONE (No. 21 Hollywood Mo Nunn Racing Panoz G Force/Toyota/ Firestone): "We're OK, even though we're not quite where we want to be, yet. If we can find just about one more mile an hour, we'll be about where we want to be. The question is how we're going to find it. The track was a little different today, but it didn't make that big of a difference for us, I don't think. That's the way it is here, so you have to be prepared to deal with all kinds of different conditions all the time. We ran our "T" car for the first time this week, and it's good. Unfortunately, we didn't have enough time to bring our primary car out here at the end of the session, so we never got a chance to find out exactly where we are today. That's OK. We'll be all right."

TORA TAKAGI (No. 12 Pioneer Mo Nunn Racing Panoz G Force/Toyota/ Firestone): "Our speed dropped a little bit today, but the good thing is that we know why. We learned something on Tuesday that we thought was not going to take us in the right direction, but we weren't sure. We started the day today in that setup just to make sure, and we were right. We lost a lot of time changing the car this afternoon and didn't get to run as much as we wanted to, but we are pretty happy with our fast time. The track was slower today than it was yesterday because of the wind, so we are happy that we could run 228 (mph) consistently on our own. We have used the same motor since Sunday, so we are going to put in a fresh motor tonight, and hopefully things will improve even more tomorrow and Friday."

ROGER YASUKAWA (No. 55 Panasonic ARTA Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "I think we did a pretty good job today. The crew has been working really hard to get a good race car for Race Day, and we tried many things. I'm pretty confident. I think we want to concentrate more on the qualifying stuff, and hopefully the weather will stay up. For qualifying, it is just going to be trimming the car out and seeing how low you can go with the wings. We'll just free up the car as much as we can."

KENNY BRACK (No. 15 Rahal/Letterman/Miller Lite/Pioneer Dallara/Honda/ Firestone): "I think the Pioneer-Miller car ran really, really well. We keep working our way up on our little program and getting better and better. All the guys at Team Rahal and everybody are working really, really hard to achieve that speed, but we're going to have to try to get even faster." (Did you have a tow when recording your 231-mph lap?) "Yeah, speeds like that are artificial, but today was the first day we started to trim out our car. We ran pretty fast yesterday, but we hadn't trimmed everything out yet, and we haven't now, either."

AL UNSER JR. (No. 31 Corteco Dallara/Toyota/Firestone): "Today was a day that we tried a lot of new stuff, and it was the classic case of one step forward, two steps back. Our efforts were to make the Corteco car better, and it seemed we just kept making it worse. But tomorrow's a new day, so we'll regroup tonight and start at things fresh in the morning. We did a late day run with my "T" car to check the telemetry and make sure everything was ready to go for first thing tomorrow."

BUDDY RICE (No. 52 Red Bull Cheever Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "Our track time coincided with the weather today, so it worked out well for us here at Red Bull Cheever Racing. I am actually shocked the weather is holding off the way it is. We're getting close to Pole Day, so we are just working hard. I think we've got through most of our work list right now. We've just got to hone in on what we are going to do and work on our qualifying strategy. My engineer, Kelly Loewen, and I are both rookies here at the Speedway. We are working closely with Eddie (Cheever) on qualifying strategy since it is so different here at Indy."

SCOTT SHARP (No. 8 Delphi Dallara/Toyota/Firestone): "It's been another good day for the Kelley Racing Delphi team, and the guys did a great job today. We went through a lot of changes, and everyone is just trying to maximize their track time and get as ready for qualifying as they can. We're still doing some things to help our baseline setup for qualifying as well as for the race. The big numbers that have been put up most of the time are in drafts, but people know the kind of range we're going to need to run for qualifying. We're just trying to get there on a regular basis."

JAQUES LAZIER (No. 2 Menards/Johns Manville Dallara/Chevrolet/ Firestone): "The biggest problem yesterday is that we had a real loose car. Today we found out what was wrong with the car and made some changes. We ran a 225.5 (mph lap) all by ourselves, without a tow. We are going to make some more changes and try to pick up a little more speed. Everything so far is going right as planned."

HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Toyota/ Firestone): "We are just lucky because of the weather. It didn't look so good. We were just trying to go get our race setup. It seems to be going very well. They are optimistic. The car seems to be handling fantastic under traffic; that's what we need."

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Dan Wheldon , Chip Ganassi , Mo Nunn
Teams Panther Racing , Team Penske , Chip Ganassi Racing