IRL: Indy 500: Pole Day 1 rainout press conference

Indianapolis 500-Mile Race Pole Day Rainout Press Conference Quotes Saturday, May 10, 2003 Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan, Greg Ray GREG RAY (No. 13 TrimSpa Special Panoz G Force/Honda/Firestone): "I'm pleased so far. After running a Dallara ...

Indianapolis 500-Mile Race
Pole Day Rainout Press Conference Quotes
Saturday, May 10, 2003

Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan, Greg Ray

GREG RAY (No. 13 TrimSpa Special Panoz G Force/Honda/Firestone):

"I'm pleased so far. After running a Dallara chassis here for so many years and running a different type of setup, I was very uncomfortable the first day and a half here. I kind of dialed the car in, and I understand how this car works a little bit different than my old cars. I think there were some opportunities where we threw away some laps that were quicker than we had, but I'm still feeling around the edges. We might be at a little bit of a discount on qualifying because we don't have all the parts that some teams have, but we have a solid car. It's very nice at 229 (mph). I think we're capable of running in the 230 range, if the weather is right. Small team, no testing, but some great individuals, and if we can get the financial partners to go along with the quality of the team, we'll be in great shape. Certainly, if you look at qualifying at the other races, it's the best of two laps. You can always go out there and warm up quick and put in a good, solid run on the first lap. If you have something you want to try that you learned on the first lap, you can gamble that. Here it is 16 corners, and while this track seems to be, to the spectator, an easier track to qualify because the turns are so much shorter, they are different. The wind, the sun, everything changes it. For one lap you can make the car a little quicker, but for 16 corners, it seems like a long time sometimes. It's very exciting. It's great for the drivers and great for the fans."

Q: Does a little bit of sun or other changes really change the track that quickly?:

"It does if you get your car on the edge. To be fast you really have to get it on the edge, and wind direction, tire temperature, the sun, the barometer, all those things make a difference. To be quick you have to be a little bit edgy, which hurts my feelings a bit to hear Scott (Dixon) talked about doing 232s and having a little push in the car. They obviously have it hooked up pretty well. But yes, little things can cha nge and certainly, even over years past, there's so many guys and teams that can push the envelope and get right out there on it. The car has to beat the conditions. Like Tony (Kanaan) said earlier, you may have a great car, but the conditions change, and you're going to be a couple miles an hour off."

SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Panoz G Force/Toyota/Firestone):

Q: About qualifying here compared to other tracks:

"Obviously, it's very unique from what we normally do. It's just hard to get sort of a mindset, I think, around doing one good lap. Basically what we we've been working on is getting a car that will do a very good effort."

Q: What changes did you make to pick up speed today?:

"We were fairly decent yesterday, as well. We did our time in the heat of the day by ourselves. The car was very good today. Obviously, the weather conditions this morning when we first went out were a little better, which is probably when we picked up the speed. Once again, we trimmed out the car a little more. We were just playing it safe, getting some good laps and making some decent changes. Now is the time sort of at the end of the week when you start to show your hand."

Q: About your mom's feelings:

"I think it's like everybody's parents. They just want you to do well. I don't think she's even looked at the speeds, to be honest."

TONY KANAAN (No. 11 Team 7-Eleven Dallara/Honda/Firestone):

Q: Asked if this racetrack owes him a win:

"A lot of people, I think, have some unfinished business here, including my boss. So, yeah, we did have a good car last year, and we do have a good car this year. We lost a bit of momentum after Japan. What happened definitely took both me and Scott a bit to get back up. The first two days I wasn't very comfortable, and I now I just work my way up, and I think now I feel good. Qualifying is important, but it's not everything. I think if you look where Helio and Paul Tracy started last year and where they finished, I don't think anybody remembers who was on the pole. So, yeah, it's important and it's going to make you feel good for two weeks. It's the longest qualifying you can enjoy, so we're going to try to, but honestly we're concentrating on the race."

Q: How close are the cars this year?:

"It's really close. I think you guys are going to see a really tight field, and whoever gets the best condition and the right car for the condition tomorrow will be on the pole. We do have a lot of people are capable to do it. I think Scott is really strong right now. Both Penske cars and the rookie (Dan Wheldon), my teammate, he looks pretty strong. So, it's going to be tight. Definitely you're looking for hundredths of a second, so if you understeer a little bit more than the other guy or you scrub speed, you probably can lose four or five spots."

Q: Comparing his cast to Scott Dixon's:

"Mine is like more bionic than his. The good thing is we're both in good spirits. We're both back, and things happen -- we both got hurt, and let's move on and we're still friends. So we'll see what's going to happen, but let's try to not do that again."

Q: About predictions of extreme change in weather for tomorrow:

"We've had plenty of good and bad weather all over this week. The track's going to be green, it's going to be windy, we don't know. Nobody knows what's going to happen. Fortunately we have a half an hour tomorrow morning to figure that out. So I think everybody's in the same boat. In my opinion, it was better that nobody got through it today so it's the same for everybody tomorrow, so it's more equal this way."

Q: You're coping with the injury on your wrist, what about your other problem?:

"You mean my butt? A lot of people got carried on with what happened to my arm, but I think the worst part was the suspension that came through on my leg and that still hurts a lot. We haven't found any broken bones or anything. I did I don't know how many X-rays. They can't find anything. It's very painful. A piece this big came through my leg. I'm limping a lot. The car, I don't have a problem because that's basically it's a part that you sit in the car and you have a ramp that you put your legs in to go to the pedals. And that part is clear, that's why the suspension came through. If we had a seat there, maybe it wouldn't have come through. Obviously, right now, I can't have a seat there because it's gonna hurt me a lot, so I kept it the way it was before. So, that part is clear, so I have no contact with the chassis with the part that is damaging my leg. Dallara made a big improvement, and they put a panel on the side of the car so that it won't let the suspension go through again."

Q: How do you decide when to qualify?:

"I let Kim Green and Eric, which is my engineer, to decide that. They told me this morning, making a joke, they said you look like, you know, when you hold your dog all day and you let him go at night and he goes running around the house? That's the way they think I am. So, they said they're going to lock me in the motor home until time for qualifying so that might make me go quicker."

Q: Kenny Brack said his mother is worried about the high speeds. What do you think your mother is thinking?:

"My mother asked me to drive slow."

-ims-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Greg Ray , Paul Tracy , Scott Dixon , Tony Kanaan , Kenny Brack , Dan Wheldon , Kim Green , Chip Ganassi
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing