IRL: Indy 500: Day three practice quotes

KOSUKE MATSUURA (No. 55 Panasonic ARTA Panoz G Force/Honda/Firestone): "It was a great day. It is not qualifying; it is a test day, but it was a good day. Our car was very good, and the Honda engine, as well, and the team did a very good job....

KOSUKE MATSUURA (No. 55 Panasonic ARTA Panoz G Force/Honda/Firestone): "It was a great day. It is not qualifying; it is a test day, but it was a good day. Our car was very good, and the Honda engine, as well, and the team did a very good job. Adrian (Fernandez) and I, both our cars were very quick and very strong, which is good. We will see for this Saturday. It depends on the weather and how conditions change, but it is the same for everyone. We need some luck for the qualifying, but I am very confident. I want to say thank you to my engineer and my mechanics. They did a very, very good job today. I put on new tires, and after two laps, I had the quickest time. Then, my engineer told me to come to the pit box. I could have made a better lap, but it wasn't necessary. Today is just Tuesday. We just have to work on our qualifying car so we have something in our pocket. We had a lot of fuel in the car, about half a tank, not like qualifying configuration. I think in qualifying configuration, we can have about 222 or 223 (mph laps). The car is very good." (About working with team owner Adrian Fernandez): "Adrian has taught me a lot of things. We've worked together since Phoenix. Our first race at Homestead wasn't as good as we expected, but after Phoenix, we had a couple of days to test, and at Motegi, we had a very good car for qualifying. During the race, we had some unlucky contact with (Sam) Hornish (Jr.), but my car was very consistent. So far, since Rookie Orientation, my car has been very consistent. I had a couple of problems, but today we put together engine, setup, driver and everything, and we made 221 miles per hour."

FELIPE GIAFFONE (No. 24 Team Purex/Dreyer & Reinbold Dallara/Chevrolet/ Firestone): (About crash): "I was trying to work in the draft and then got a little push so I lifted, but then I got a huge push and got up in the gray. It's frustrating because it's Turn 1 that's always the difficult one (not Turn 3). I feel badly for the team because the car was good and we were making progress. We'll be back out tomorrow and ready with the other car."

BUDDY RICE (No. 15 Rahal-Letterman Argent/Pioneer Panoz G Force/Honda/Firestone): "It was our first real day of testing. The car felt really solid, and I think we are happy with our program right now. We're going to work on some more stuff to get ready for qualifying. I know we haven't shown everything yet. A lot of the speeds are with drafts, so I don't get too concerned about our speed. Vitor (Meira) and Roger (Yasukawa) did all of the full-tank runs right now. We'll work on that in another day or so. Our team is pleased with the progress that they have made right now, too. It was a very productive day for our three drivers. The rain on Monday set us back a little on our game plan, but today helped us get back to our original game plan. It takes the pressure off our guys now. The Happy Hour deal is easy to get caught in drafting and trying to put up a big number. Things always seem to happen in that time. Look at Robby (Gordon) yesterday, and Felipe (Giaffone) today. I'm glad I'm sitting in the garage right now."

SAM HORNISH JR. (No. 6 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Toyota/Firestone): "We had a lot of little things to try today, and all went well. The Marlboro Team Penske car has been good and we are going to continue with our plan and preparation for qualifying tomorrow. Physically I'm feeling better but not 100 percent yet."

HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Toyota/ Firestone): "Today was tough. We made some changes to the Marlboro Team Penske car that didn't work as we hoped they would. We're not quite where we want to be, but we have a few more days before qualifying to continue to improve the car."

ALEX BARRON (No. 51 Red Bull Cheever Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/ Firestone): "Today was my first time out with the car I'll be using for the race. The No. 51 crew has been working so hard to fix it up these past couple of weeks and have it all set to go. We started to trim the car out and continued to work on qualifying setup for Pole Day."

ADRIAN FERNANDEZ (No. 5 Quaker State/Telmex/Tecate Panoz G Force/Honda/ Firestone): "What can I say? A fantastic day for the team. We were strong all day. Just fantastic. The engineers are doing a great job and everyone on the team, and we just have to keep the momentum all month because we are still the early stages."

BRUNO JUNQUEIRA (No. 36 PacifiCare Panoz G Force/Honda/Firestone): "The car was good. We did two long runs and improved for the second one. We found a better balance, and the PacifiCare car was more consistent throughout the run. We ran new tires in the morning, and the car was pretty consistent. I'm quite happy with the race setup that we have right now but need to improve a little bit, especially in traffic, and that's what we're going to try to do tomorrow. Then we can concentrate on qualifying on Thursday and Friday. Honda has made gains today. We were able to accomplish a lot today so we ended early. We don't race at 5 o'clock so we decided not to run during Happy Hour."

ED CARPENTER (No. 52 Red Bull Cheever Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/ Firestone): "We ended off yesterday working on a different kind of setup, and we haven't gotten it right where we want it. We had to stop and change an engine; we had mileaged out the Chevrolet for the day so we lost some time there. We have a couple of more tests we have to run with the setup, then we'll be able to start working on some other things. We didn't get as much out of the day as we wanted to today, but it was an all right day."

ROGER YASUKAWA (No. 16 Rahal-Letterman Sammy Panoz G Force/Honda/Firestone): "We started out today trying to get the platform of the car, and it feels pretty good right now. In the afternoon, we worked on full tanks, and we need to work on that a little more. But we have a pretty starting point for that. We were running some good laps with the full tanks. The last 10 laps of the stint weren't as good as we wanted. But we can work it. The track seemed a little slippery this afternoon so it was good to run in race trim. Working with Buddy and Vitor and the engineers is a big help for me this year. Last year it was just me, and it took time to work on everything from qualifying setups to race setups. So I feel about very good about this team. Things are going very well for us right now."

SCOTT SHARP (No. 8 Delphi Dallara/Toyota/Firestone): "Today was mainly spent working on our race setup. In the past we've spent a lot of time at the Speedway working mainly on a qualifying setup, and I think that has hurt us on Race Day. So this year, we have decided that although qualifying is important, we want to make sure that we have a good race package. You spend 364 days a year thinking about winning the Indianapolis 500, so that is our goal."

SARAH FISHER (No. 39 Bryant Heating & Cooling/Cure Autism Now Dallara/Toyota/ Firestone): "We kind of got lost after coming back out this afternoon. We tried some splits and springs, but we aren't to the point of fine-tuning yet. We're still trying to get something that is fast and consistent and everything all in one package. We had to backtrack a little bit on some of the changes we made, but I think we made good progress. We were fighting the wind in our last outing and despite that, we were still consistent."

TORA TAKAGI (No. 12 Pioneer/Mo Nunn Racing Dallara/Toyota/Firestone): "The Pioneer/Mo Nunn team had a tough day out there on the track. Even though we continued to try to change a number of different things on the car, we were not able to improve upon our times from yesterday. Everyone on the team is giving 110 percent."

AL UNSER JR. (No. 20 Patrick Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "The Patrick Racing team definitely made progress today. We learned a bunch of things about the car and had a productive day. Most important, the engineers took a step forward today working together and with me. That is going to be a key to our success as we move forward. We still have a long way to go, but like I have been saying, it is a process. Overall, it was a pretty good day for the Patrick Racing team. I also want to take this opportunity to compliment the Patrick Racing crew. They have been working very hard and doing a great job. We have also been getting great support from the folks at Chevrolet and Firestone. The Chevy Indy V8 engine has performed very reliably, and the Firestone tires have been extremely consistent from set to set."

DAN WHELDON (No. 26 Klein Tools/Jim Beam Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "It was an OK day for us. It is still early, but it is getting to the time when you need to kind of perfect your balance, and we're still not there yet. There's no need to panic, though, because we are still running pretty quick in the Klein Tools/Jim Beam car. Certainly the competition for the pole is going to be tough, and we'll need to step up our game, but I know the boys at Andretti Green Racing are up to it."

BRYAN HERTA (No. 7 XM Satellite Radio Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "We made some good gains with the feel of the XM Satellite Radio car, and that is the key early in the week, getting the car to feel the way I want. We still haven't been working on a trimmed-out race car yet. Indy always feels better when you're going faster. That little bit of extra speed gives you a little more downforce and a little more grip. You know the faster you go, the better it feels."

TONY KANAAN (No. 11 Team 7-Eleven Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "I hate to sound like a broken record, but today was a lot like yesterday. We struggled a little bit in the morning with the Team 7-Eleven car and then found ourselves late in the afternoon. I feel more confident than yesterday, for sure. I think we're on the right track, and now we just need to chase the speed."

DARIO FRANCHITTI (No. 27 Arca/Ex Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "The Arca/Ex car wasn't so good this morning. But, we sat down, took the resources of all four cars, all four engineers, Tino (Belli), Pete Gibbons -- even Michael (Andretti) was involved in the mix -- and made big strides today, all four cars. My lap time was a bit slower than yesterday, but the circumstances were much different. I'm a lot happier with the car, and I think it's something we can really work with for the race now."

MARK TAYLOR (No. 2 Menards/Johns Manville Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/ Firestone): "We spent most of the day working on longer runs and getting my line where it needs to be. We weren't the quickest car on the track today, but our laps were consistent, and that was what we wanted to accomplish. It was a good day; we got some mileage on our Chevy engine and plenty of good data. It was quite a long day but well worth while."

TOMAS SCHECKTER (No. 4 Pennzoil Panther Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/ Firestone): "We accomplished what we wanted today. The Pennzoil Panther guys worked hard to get through the changes we needed to get ready for a quick stint in the afternoon. Everybody on the track is getting quicker, and our Chevrolet is going to be right there with the rest of the guys. We achieved a lot and will keep the momentum heading into tomorrow."


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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Adrian Fernandez , Jim Beam , Mo Nunn
Teams Panther Racing , Team Penske