89th INDIANAPOLIS 500 -- POST-RACE QUOTES Sunday, May 29, 2005 HELIO CASTRONEVES ( ...
89th INDIANAPOLIS 500 -- POST-RACE QUOTES
Sunday, May 29, 2005
HELIO CASTRONEVES (#3 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Toyota/Firestone): "The steering was bad, and I was just surviving. I mean, I was just surviving the race. There was nothing we could do. We couldn't fix it because it was during the race. We just tried to keep with the strategy and unfortunately it wasn't our day. This team is fantastic. Even though the car wasn't there, the pit stops were great and everything ran; we never gave up. That's what this team is, you know. It's good; top 10 is good. The championship is still going on, and we'll be there in Texas." (About Hornish's accident): "I didn't see anything, so I really don't know what happened. It's such a shame. Sure, he was running a great race. He was leading the race; I could see that. It was very odd for the team. When one car is doing well, you want the other to do well, and he was. I don't know what happened. I have no idea. I can't comment. I don't know if something broke in the car or what. I don't know. I just saw him on the side, and I thought, 'Man, that's not good.' The good thing for us is the No. 3 car is in one piece."
ADRIAN FERNANDEZ (#5 Investment Properties Of America Panoz/Honda/Firestone): "We had a problem with the car. I had a great start. I went up three or four cars, and everything was looking good. And toward the end, I was very loose. It got looser and looser and looser. We took some wing and this and that. There seems to be a problem with the car. It was very miserable all day and very difficult. I couldn't really drive it." (About not having an air jack): "At that point, it didn't really matter because the car was so bad I couldn't really drive with anybody. I was so loose."
ED CARPENTER (#20 Vision Racing Dallara/Toyota/Firestone): "I am really happy. Last year I didn't get to finish this race, and I was really disappointed about that. My first priority this season was to finish. We were one lap down for most of the race, which wasn't too bad. I am really happy. The team did a nice job, and the car drove excellent the first three-quarters of the race. The last two stints, we just got a little loose. This was the best finish for Vision Racing and my best 500 finish. We have a lot to build on from this. We wanted to hit stride by Indy, and we are really coming into our own."
DARIO FRANCHITTI (#27 ArcaEx Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "I am disappointed. We were looking quite good until Bourdais ran me into the wall. We had a lot of turbulence. We couldn't make our way through it. Dan won it ... he had a different fuel strategy. He lucked his way into a few of those this year, but he earned it. We'll come back next year. You've got to look for a silver lining, and Dan winning it is the silver lining."
RYAN BRISCOE (#33 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Panoz/Toyota/Firestone): "The car was fantastic. After the second set of tires, we adjusted the pressure a little bit and it felt great." (About going lap down): "We were just one car back from getting our lap back. (Sam) Hornish just got in front of us and put us a lap back for the whole race. It was unlucky, and our speed today could have had us on the lead lap. My goal today was to get in the top 10 and have a clean race. That is what we have always done. I am so happy with the whole crew. They have done a fantastic job all month. I am really happy."
FELIPE GIAFFONE (#48 A.J. Foyt Racing Panoz/Toyota/Firestone): "It's just too bad that in the beginning we lost so many laps. I couldn't really get up to speed. Every time the guys would go by, I would have to lift, and it would take two laps to get up to speed again. That is too bad. We lost a few laps there. Toward the end, we changed the car, and I was very happy with the balance. I could hold flat for most of the lap. The only problems were when other people would go by and I would have to lift and it would take a few laps to get up to speed again. We finished the race, and that was my goal. Unfortunately we didn't finish the way I wanted to finish, but it was much better than watching it from Brazil."
ALEX BARRON (#51 Red Bull Cheever Racing Dallara/Toyota/Firestone): "It was a long day. We had some fuel rig problems. For some reason, it wouldn't engage to put the fuel in the car. It is such a shame, because at the beginning we were moving forward kind of quickly. We had a really good balance. With the speeds that we are running, once we go laps down and the leaders start coming back around, it just compounds everything that is going on. It's just a lot for us. I am happy that we finished, but it will be nice to get a top-three finish or if not just win a race this season. Hopefully that is what is going to happen in the near future."
BUDDY LAZIER (#95 Panther/Jonathan Byrd's/ESPN 950 AM Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "Great effort. I've got to hand it to John Barnes, all the team owners here. Panther Racing, there's five of them (and) all great guys. Andy Brown, my engineer -- I knew when I had him as my race engineer and Seth (Fleming) and all the engineers from the other teams. We all worked together, and when I looked at that engineering I knew that we would have a chance to win this race. If you take a look at my front wings, I had contact with Sharp in the last 10 (laps), so I broke the left front wing. We didn't come in, we didn't want to lose track position, and then we had contact again with another car blocking me. So without the contacts, I think I would have been able to make a better run of it at the end. Top-five finish, that's really good. I'm happy with that." (Chevrolet, you knew they'd want to end here strong. What kind of engine did they give you?): "Well, take a look at those wings, and if we wouldn't have had those wings like that we would've -- you can't say if you're ever going to win or not -- but we would have had a lot better shot of it. I think we would have really charged at the end and had a chance to win, so my hats off to Chevy. They gave me a motor that would have won today." (After what happened on Friday (accident in Miller Lite Carb Day practice), you have to feel extremely proud of this result): "It's a testament to my team, Panther Racing, a testament to my race engineer, Andy Brown, testament to Seth, the guys on this race car. All these guys worked together all night for two nights to that car back together." (This is obviously a partnership that works -- you and Panther Racing. Is this the end of it?): "We keep working on it. Certainly my agenda is to be back full-time IndyCar racing, and hopefully this will help. I don't know. We'll just keep working at it."
TOMAS SCHECKTER (#4 Pennzoil Panther Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "Danica lost it in front of me. My teammate got caught up in it, and I got caught up in it. She got it wrong on the restart, a little mistake but big consequences for everybody else. I just have to thank the crew. We had a great car."
SCOTT SHARP (#8 Delphi Panoz/Honda/Firestone): "The car was just tremendous. We carved our way all the way up to the top three, and really, we were just riding. And for some reason, we chased the car after that a bit. We really got tight in traffic a lot after that. Part of our biggest problem -- even at the end -- was trying to get by Dario." (Regarding all the passing in the race): "I expected it. I really did. I think with the amount of drag we have in the cars -- certainly on the restart -- if you can get a draft off of someone, it pays huge dividends. And it's like that when you get up and running again. If you were good enough to get close, you can really run on guys. Also certainly as guys get held up, you can run just a big pack racing -- you know, guys move it all around. It was a real exciting day. The finish -- it could have been a little better, but we'll keep working on it, and we got good points."
JAQUES LAZIER (#21 Playa Del Racing Panoz/Toyota/Firestone): "It was a great fight. Unfortunately at the end of it, we couldn't be a part of it. You know, Brian always says cautions breed cautions. Unfortunately a car spun in front of us. We were able to get around, but I guess somebody from behind didn't know to put on the brakes and plowed right over the top of us. It's really unfortunate. It bent one of our suspension pieces and took us from what I think would have been a top-10 to a 16th-place finish. Even a 16th-place finish, given the fact that this team started just really eight weeks ago, is absolutely fantastic here. All the accolades go to the team for sure because they gave me a great car. I was able to run around there all day -- just a little bit short, but maybe next year."
BRYAN HERTA (#7 XM Satellite Radio Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "I'm really happy for the XM Satellite Radio guys, but I'm especially happy for Michael Andretti and Dan Wheldon. They won the Indy 500. I had one run at them, and I couldn't quite make it happen. I didn't want to see that yellow at the end because I thought I might have had something. I finally got in a position when I could go full rich there, and I could race those guys the last five laps. As soon as we did, we were right up with them, so I just need a little more time and a little more fuel. This is what we came here to do. We came here to go 1-2-3-4, but this is such a tough race -- such a really, really tough place. I'm just really happy that we got a top-three finish at least and that the team won. If I can't win it, I definitely want the team to win it. That's what we work together so hard for."
VITOR MEIRA (#17 Rahal Letterman Johns Manville Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "That's what we were expecting. The car at the beginning wasn't as good. The track came back to us from half of the race on. And then we really came back strong. I don't know if we had anything for Dan, but we had that yellow ... but that's OK. We'll take it. Second place today is due to the crew. Every time I came in, I gained two or three spots. They were perfect today. The Menards crew and the Johns Manville guys today, they were really fast."
A.J. FOYT IV (No. 14 ABC Supply/A.J. Foyt Racing Dallara/Toyota/Firestone): "It happened real quick. We got past Turn 1; Bruno came up on me. It's unfortunate for him. I hope he's all right. We ran good for a while, but it just fell off in the pits. We haven't had a bad month. We missed it in the race setup."
JIMMY KITE (No. 91 Ethanol Hemelgarn Racing Dallara/Toyota/Firestone): "We made a change to the car between Carb Day and Sunday. They thought they'd gotten it fixed, but they didn't get it done."
MARTY ROTH (No. 25 Roth Racing/PDM Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "It's unfortunate. I guess it's the powers that be that make these decisions. It's a 500-mile race. We got some garbage on our tires. We brought it in, put a new set of tires on. Unfortunately, when I got back around, we came out right where the leaders were. I was trying to be courteous and got up in the gray, and it just started washing out on me. If you're out there, and you're not up to speed, you get out of the way and let the leaders come through. And I will continue to race that way."
JEFF WARD (No. 22 Vision Racing Dallara/Toyota/Firestone): "I got hit in Turn 2. Somebody came out and clipped my wheel. The steering rack, it impacted the steering. It wouldn't go 3 inches either way. I couldn't keep it straight. I just had to bring it in. We're going to see what's wrong."
KENNY BRACK (No. 15 Rahal Letterman Racing Argent Pioneer Panoz/Honda/Firestone): "It's something you don't expect. The nut came loose on the wishbone. It is tough for this team. They worked very hard this month with Buddy (Rice)'s crash and then me coming in late. The car felt good early, but the track was dirty and had very little grip. I felt good out there today, and I thought we had a good chance to move up. It felt good to be back in the race car."
DARREN MANNING (No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Panoz/Toyota/Firestone): (What happened?): "I wish I could have tell you. Then we would have fixed it and gone back out. After about three or four laps, it just got wicked loose, and I couldn't do anything with it. It's very disappointing."
A.J. FOYT IV (No. A.J. Foyt Racing Dallara/Toyota/Firestone): "We tried to take it back out, but we just weren't able to do it. It takes more than 10 minutes to get the car back to where it was."
TOMAS ENGE (No. 2 Rockstar Panther Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "It's unfortunate because I was having so much fun. Everything went according to plan. I was setting the car up during the race. After the restart, Danica -- I was trying to get by her, and she ran into my car. It's really a shame because the guys at Panther and Chevy gave me a great car."
PATRICK CARPENTIER (No. 83 Red Bull Cheever Racing Dallara/Toyota/Firestone): "I don't know what happened there. Somebody broke loose. I think the car got loose while accelerating, and everybody got together there at the end." (About clearing accident): "I was so happy. I cleared the accident. Everybody went everywhere, and I was the only one who was OK. I think a big piece went into the airbox and into the engine, and that was it."
SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Panoz/Toyota/Firestone): "There was a bit of a mess in front of us, and then the 70 car, I don't think he knew we were there, we just connected and spun out."
RICHIE HEARN (No. 70 Meijer/Coca-Cola Racing Special Panoz/Chevrolet/Firestone): "I banged my knee pretty hard on the dash, and it's starting to swell up a bit. There was a lot of jockeying going on in front of us. I didn't see Scott. It was my fault. There was a lot going on out there, and I just didn't see him. I feel bad for (owner) Sam Schmidt and the Meijer crew because they gave me a good car, and we could have had a pretty good finish."
SAM HORNISH JR. (No. 6 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Toyota/Firestone): "I haven't seen the replays close enough, but I felt I got pinched a little bit."
ROGER YASUKAWA (No. 24 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "We started off pretty good, but we had a clutch problem pretty much throughout the race. The first stop was OK. The clutch was all the way down to the floor. From the second stop, we had to push-start the car. Otherwise, the car was running good. I think we were hoping for a top-10 or a top-12 finish. The clutch problem caused our engine to go, and that was the end of our day."