Indianapolis 500-Mile Race IRL IndyCar Series Post-Practice Quotes Tuesday, May 6, 2003 SARAH FISHER (No. 23 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/ Firestone): "We're pretty much aerodynamically trimmed out, and the car is incredibly ...
Indianapolis 500-Mile Race
IRL IndyCar Series Post-Practice Quotes Tuesday, May 6, 2003
SARAH FISHER (No. 23 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/ Firestone): "We're pretty much aerodynamically trimmed out, and the car is incredibly comfortable. I've got my line right, and the car is the best one I've had in my four years at Indy. We didn't want to have to second-guess ourselves tonight by getting a tow out there, so we stayed clean of any assisted air help out on the track. We're still climbing up the speed charts, and I need to hit at least 226 (mph) to feel comfortable about qualifying on Saturday. I look at our slow, steady growth each day as a positive because I wouldn't want to be stuck at one speed and not know what to do next, but we've got more to try tomorrow."
JIMMY KITE (No. 18 PDM Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "We started trimming the car out a little bit. We got up to 219-220 (mph) pretty quick. We thought it was going to be a mid-225 day, unfortunately we were fighting the gears and gearbox today, and we've got to do a little updating to it tonight. Hopefully tomorrow they'll give me six gears, and we'll finish it out. We'd like to get to a 225 tomorrow, like I said. Right now we have to keep our runs so short. We're trying to do this slow with as little miles as possible."
AL UNSER JR. (No. 31 Corteco Dallara/Toyota/Firestone): "We did what we wanted to do today, and the guys are doing a great job. We had a motor change scheduled for this afternoon so we quit running a little bit early. The Corteco car is running great, and we're right on plan. We went out and ran quicker today than we have all month. I'm really proud of the way the guys are working. Right now we've been trying to make the car happy getting around the racetrack. It's not that we're working specifically on race or qualifying because each change that we've been making is improving the car."
A.J. FOYT IV (No. 14 Conseco/A.J. Foyt Racing Panoz G Force/Toyota/ Firestone): "The second day went really well for Team Conseco. We had nearly the same speed in both cars, so we have a good combo for both the Dallara and the G Force. We tried to run by ourselves because there won't be anyone out there on Saturday when we go to qualify."
SCOTT SHARP (No. 8 Delphi Dallara/Toyota/Firestone): "It's been another good day for the Kelley Racing Delphi team. We've stayed with our plan, and things are going very smoothly. We've been doing quite a bit of running on our own, trying to stay out of the draft so we can get a realistic idea on where we are in our plan. I think we're a pretty strong car on our own, and we're just going to keep working on our development."
TONY RENNA (No. 32 Cure Autism Now/HomeMed Dallara/Toyota/ Firestone): "All in all, I would say I'm very pleased with the day. Again, the Cure Autism Now/HomeMed Pharmacy crew were able to get through a bunch of changes, and we were able to evaluate a lot of data. We're still pretty focused on the race, and I feel really comfortable with where we are right now. The crew has done such a great job. We've had no mechanical issues, and our Toyota engine has been rock solid."
MICHAEL ANDRETTI (No. 7 Team 7-Eleven Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "The car felt really good (on the last run of the day). I was real happy. It felt really good on our full-tank runs (this morning), as well, so I would say this was a real encouraging day today." (About rookie teammate Dan Wheldon): "Dan has done a super job for us, not just today but ever since he started with us. He provides tremendous feedback regarding his car, and he drives as if he has way more experience than he actually has. He knows how to go fast, and he knows when to go fast. It's been great having Dan as a teammate at Andretti Green Racing."
BUDDY LAZIER (No. 91 Hemelgarn/Life Fitness/Delta Faucet Dallara/Chevrolet/ Firestone): "Overall, the day went pretty good. The ambient temperature stayed about the same all day. It was a really consistent day. For us, it was a little quicker in the morning. We started filling the engine up with water. That showed it was time to quit, so we didn't get a chance to run Happy Hour. We are just wide, wide open and as trimmed out as we can get.
TOMAS SCHECKTER (No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Panoz G Force/Toyota/Firestone): "Today we focused primarily on race setup. We made several long runs and learned a lot. We were very happy with the car all day. It seems to be very comfortable, and that's a good sign. Target Chip Ganassi Racing is a professional organization, and I can't say enough about them."
KENNY BRACK (No. 15 Rahal/Letterman/Miller Lite/Pioneer Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "It was a pretty productive day for us. Obviously, the conditions were ideal this morning, and you got a lot of 230 (mph) laps. The car felt good this morning, and then we tried a lot of different things. We have worked on a variety of things for both qualifying and race setups. With the weather being unpredictable, you have to get as much track time as possible. I think our speed is pretty good right now, but with all of the tows from the other cars, it's very misleading. Now I think we'll start working on little things that can give us more speed. We still have to be ready if any rain comes later this week, but I'm feeling pretty good about the direction the team is going with my car. But, you know, it's a long month, and lot of things can happen. We tried to get Jimmy's car (Vasser) out this afternoon, but we had a little mechanical problem. So we'll have to work with car in the next couple of days."
ROGER YASUKAWA (No. 55 Panasonic ARTA Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "We're trying a lot of things, and we're going up and down. We're here for testing, so we did get to accomplish a lot of things today. Really, we haven't had a chance to do any qualifying trim or anything near it, so speed-wise we're still down. I think we'll concentrate on the race setup now, and by the end of the week, we'll get into the qualifying setup."
ARIE LUYENDYK (No. 20 Meijer Mo Nunn Racing Panoz G Force/Toyota/ Firestone): "A little bit disappointing. I'm kind of scratching my head as to why we're a little bit slower than my teammates. I really couldn't tell you why. A little bit of a push here but not a lot. The car's handling good, and I just have to get the speed. We're all basically the same. I'm about 2 miles an hour slower. If you look at the stopwatch, it doesn't take much to get an additional 2 miles an hour if you make a good change, and we just have to make the good change. I know we will get it; it's just not coming as quickly as I like."
TONY KANAAN (No. 11 Team 7-Eleven Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "Today was a blast. It was probably better than the day I won the Phoenix race. There was a lot of work that I had to do during the last 25 days. To be able to get back in the car was awesome. I would say it was a perfect day for me in terms of my physical condition. It was a positive day for the whole Team 7-Eleven. I think we did whatever we could. I'm missing four days of testing here, but we're up to speed. I've got great teammates that are helping me out, and I'm really looking forward to the week."
KIM GREEN (President, Andretti Green Racing): (About Kanaan's first day in the car since his injury): "I think we achieved our first goal, which was to get him comfortable. The day was really up to him as to how long we wanted to stay in the race car. We had a plan while he was feeling good, and the guys worked at that plan. I think we have a pretty good car. We still have some work to do, but it's only Tuesday. I think that Tony certainly benefited from all the work Michael, Dan and Robby have done up until now, and the guys did a great job putting the car together. With all that teamwork, it made Tony's job a little easier. He was certainly, as he said, a little tense about the first run but really settled in very quickly. He is very good. He's fun to work with."
BUDDY RICE (No. 52 Red Bull Cheever Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "If you look at the times, we made a lot of progress, but like a lot of other people, we had some help with our quick times. We definitely made some headway. We're happy with the way things are going right now. This place is so big. The way the track changes and the weather changes creates a lot of variables. Every little adjustment makes a big change. We've just got to stay on top of things and work on it. We now have two cars that run pretty close, which is really good for us. It allows us to work back and forth with changes and get ready for the end of the month."
JAQUES LAZIER (No. 2 Menards/Johns Manville Dallara/Chevrolet/ Firestone): "Today showed the real character of this team. We had to fight through some difficult technical problems and really bonded as a team in the process. We got the 'T' car up to speed. We did a 225.1 (mph) with that car. We haven't even tried to run in a draft since we came here. What you see are honest speeds. We can still step it up a little bit more, and we still have some speed secrets left in the chassis. All things said and done, I think today was a strong day for the team."
FELIPE GIAFFONE (No. 21 Hollywood Mo Nunn Racing Panoz G Force/ Toyota/Firestone): "Today was a pretty good day. We spent 90 percent of the day in race setup, and I was really happy with the way the car was handling. We should be good. Tomorrow we're going to try to run the 'T' car a little bit, and everything is coming together pretty well. We tried different setups that didn't quite work. Today we started with something similar but not quite the same as what Tora had the day before, and it helped. We picked up a little bit right away. We didn't spend a lot of time in qualifying trim. We just did race stuff, and we're pretty happy."
SAM HORNISH JR. (No. 4 Pennzoil Panther Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "We're still making progress. We're pretty much overweight, and we don't have the car all the way trimmed out. We're trying bits and pieces, and we'll see what will make the car faster. It's tough to say sometimes what will make the car faster. We're doing what we can do, and the guys are working real hard. We had a lot of changes; we just don't get enough running. We had an engine change halfway through the day, and that took us down for quite a while. The first day it rained; we had some problems yesterday. What can I say? It's a long month, and you've got to keep your patience. That's what gets a lot of guys in trouble, trying to crank off fast laps all the time. You can get in trouble."
GIL DE FERRAN (No. 6 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Toyota/Firestone): "Day three at the Speedway was very good. The weather was absolutely fantastic, the best since we arrived in Indianapolis. There was very little wind, which makes it a pleasure to drive. You can just slide the car around the track. We continued to make progress today with the Marlboro Team Penske car. We ran both the Dallara and G Force chassis as we continue to evaluate which one we want to qualify for the race. Our plan is to keep massaging the car and try to get more speed out of it the rest of the week."
HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Toyota/ Firestone): "We had a full day today. I spent the majority of my time in the G Force as we continue our program to see which chassis will be most competitive for the race. This afternoon Gil (de Ferran) and I ran together so that we could see how the Marlboro Team Penske cars ran in traffic and worked on our race setups. We're getting closer to a chassis decision, but we're still not there yet."
GREG RAY (No. 13 TrimSpa Special Panoz G Force/Honda/Firestone): "We had our day cut short today. We went out this morning and had a piece of the car that was aerodynamically stressed, and we didn't think it was safe to run it, so we had to regroup. So we lost a major part of the day; we only ran out there this evening. We picked up exactly where we left off. I was very, very confident in the car last night after starting off yesterday morning not confident at all because of the setup. Running a Dallara all those years and working with those engineers, you know, having a new engineer and a new car that are totally different, I was really comfortable last night. This evening we tried some new things to get the car comfortable as we start to trim it out to get the car quicker. We're still using the oldest Honda test engine right now, and we're trying to assess what we need to do to catch up with everybody else."
BILLY BOAT (No. 98 Pedigo Chevrolet Panther Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/ Firestone): "We definitely made progress on our overall speed today. It's a long week, and we want to take it a little bit at a time. It's all about trying to peak on Friday and not about being overly concerned about being at the top of the speed chart. Everyone wants to be there, but you have to run your own program and know what's going to be the best for the team."
ROBBIE BUHL (No. 24 Purex/Aventis/Dreyer & Reinbold Dallara/Chevrolet/ Firestone): "We made more progress today. It was really the first full day we've had on the track to turn some serious laps. Hopefully the gremlins in our garage yesterday are now gone for the month. We went a little faster today and made some incremental improvements, but we still have some work ahead of us. Most of the day we spent trying several new things, and overall I'm a lot happier with the handling of the car. We'll keep digging."
DAN WHELDON (No. 26 Klein Tools/Jim Beam Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "It's always a pleasure to be fastest, and it makes it even more special when you're at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. This is the third day of a long month. It's good to be quickest, but it really doesn't mean too much. We're obviously working on a structured program at Andretti Green Racing. My crew, the Klein Tools/Jim Beam guys, have done a good job. It just happened that the boss towed me around on one particular lap and put me fastest. I'll thank him for that one later." (About competing in Formula One): "Girls do Formula One. This is proper racing. Quote me on that in the paper, please." (About challenges of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway): "We were at rookie orientation, and I had just been doing about 200 mph, and the car wasn't quite right; that 200 (mph) happened to feel like 350 (mph). When it's right, and particularly when it's cool, it feels easy. It's just when the temperature changes the conditions a lot. I've been to other tracks, and the temperature does change (it), but I didn't think to this degree. It really does change the car. Maybe in the heat of the day, if you can run the same time that you can in the cool conditions, the car will move around a lot more, but the speed doesn't actually feel that fast. I think if you're headed toward the wall out of control, it would feel real bloody fast. But when everything's right, it's OK." (About team owner Michael Andretti): "I think Michael, with his experience, he's very good at a race setup. I think that's something we're really going to miss when he retires. He's fantastic at that. Obviously, Tony (Kanaan) and I like to go very fast. He's got the experience where he knows where he's at, even when he's not at the top of the timesheets. We've just got to make sure that I've got a good car and a fast car so that I can get used to qualifying right up there. Honda doesn't have as many cars as Toyota, but we at Andretti Green have got four guys who could actually compete for that fr ont row, depending on the conditions and depending on how it pans out later in the week."
TORA TAKAGI (No. 12 Pioneer Mo Nunn Racing Panoz G Force/Toyota/ Firestone): "Today we had good times. I'm happy, just happy. Our performance was quite good. The track gets better every day also."
ROBBY GORDON (No. 27 Alpine/Archipelago/Motorola Dallara/Honda/ Firestone): "We put in quite a few laps today. It was a good day. We learned a lot about our race setups and tried some different downforce levels. I'm confident going into qualifying because I've got my teammates Dan Wheldon and Tony Kanaan working on qualifying setups, and they were both really fast today. The Archipelago/Motorola team is just a great group of guys. It is a lot of work to convert the car from race trim to qualifying trim, and they changed all of the stuff, but we just didn't have enough time to get back on the track today. We missed it by a couple of minutes, which isn't that big of a deal because we still have three days left before qualifying."