IRL: Indy 500: Rookie orientation test quotes

A.J. FOYT IV (No. 14 Conseco/A.J. Foyt Racing Dallara/Toyota/Firestone): "It felt good to get this day over with. I knew the whole month depended on today to get through that test. Everything went smooth right out of the box. Looking forward to...

A.J. FOYT IV (No. 14 Conseco/A.J. Foyt Racing Dallara/Toyota/Firestone): "It felt good to get this day over with. I knew the whole month depended on today to get through that test. Everything went smooth right out of the box. Looking forward to the month. Feels really good -- it (the Speedway) is everything I expected and more. It's a real tough place, and I've got a lot to learn about it. I'll get better every day we come out here. We've still got a lot of downforce in the car, and now we can start trimming it out and getting faster every day."

A.J. FOYT (Owner, A.J. Foyt Racing): "I've always been a proud grandfather, but I'm happy to see him get through his rookie test. Now it's time we can get to work. Biggest thing that comes next is laps. The speed will come later; it's not qualifying weekend yet."

VITOR MEIRA (No. 2 Menards/Johns Manville Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "It's just a pleasure to be here. The first time I came down the main straightaway and over the bricks, after so many years of working it was - well, I could die any minute. It's a great feeling after all the hard work. We all know that in this racing world there are very few opportunities. I'm just glad these guys here at Team Menard gave me the opportunity. These guys deserve to win, mostly here at Indianapolis. We are working, and it's going to be a long month. We do have lots to do yet. This is a new car. Our car has a lot to improve - engine-wise and chassis-wise. But thanks to these guys, we are on the right way."

TONY RENNA (No. 32 Cure Autism Now/HomeMed Dallara/Toyota/Firestone): "It feels great to get the rookie part done. It's the very first step in a long month ahead of us. Obviously, just driving on the track for the first time was a phenomenal experience. Indy has sort of molded my career path. Since I was a kid racing midgets and everything I was driving, I targeted that to do what I needed to do to get to Indy. So to be here and running on the track with a team of this caliber is very rewarding. We have a lot of work ahead of us, and we're happy we got through ROP, but we've got bigger fish to fry."

BUDDY RICE (No. 52 Red Bull Cheever Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "We only had to do the last two phases, and they went pretty quickly. I tested here on Saturday, and I tested here late last year. It went pretty quick and pretty smooth. It wasn't that bad. It's nice to get that accomplished and get that over with and focus more on testing aspects and getting through that. We got through a lot on Saturday, and that was good."

DAN WHELDON (No. 26 Klein Tools/Jim Beam Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "Well, I think if I didn't pass, I'd lose my job. It's going good. I'd say I'm in a good position with the Andretti Green Racing team. They've got great personnel, and everyone is very strong at their positions. The Jim Beam/Klein Tools car has been fast. To be honest, initially we just took our time building up to it. Tino Belli, who is going to be my engineer for this month of May, is keen on me to peak at the right time. So I think they're just keeping me on an even keel right now, so come qualifying, we should be good." (About the track): "It is different because, it sounds stupid, but it's got four corners rather than the usual two. It's a real good place. When you look at a circuit map you think, 'Oh, four corners, pretty similar.' But when you get out there, they are completely different. It's just takes a little while to adapt to what each corner wants and here, since you're going so fast, they're just less margin for error. So, everything has to be right to be fast, and that's what we're working on."

ROGER YASUKAWA (No. 55 Panasonic ARTA Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "The Rookie Orientation went smoothly, I think. We had a bit of a mechanical problem within the phases, so it took us a bit longer than we thought it was going to. Just generally speaking, we went by everything step by step. Obviously, it's my first time here. The track is very fast, and it is very challenging. Every corner is different even though it looks the same on the map. So, I'm happy to get the rookie orientation done, and I'm looking forward to being back here in the month of May and doing a lot of testing then. Every experience counts, and obviously, Al (Unser) Sr. and Johnny Rutherford, being former winners here, they have a view from a driver's standpoint, and they can teach me a lot about the line and being patient. So having them is such a big benefit for all of us."

AL UNSER (Driver Coach, Indy Racing League): "I think all of them did a good job today. I think that they all showed very good response. As usual, you have a few of them that looked better than others, but I think as a whole, the group really looks good. They responded very well to everything we told them."


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Series IndyCar
Drivers A.J. Foyt , Jim Beam , Johnny Rutherford