IRL: Indy500: Bump Day quotes, part I

------_=_NextPart_001_01C0E190.16587510 Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1" INDIANAPOLIS 500 BUMP DAY QUOTES -- SUNDAY, MAY 20 BILLY BOAT ( ...

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BILLY BOAT (#98 CURB Records Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "We're pretty happy. It's pretty much all we had. The crew did a great job for me. We'll just wait it out now. We're happy with that. I still would have liked to have done a couple of 222s (mph). Consistent right now, that is all we could ask for. I never thought it would be this hard. You have to earn everything you get. I think this was definitely earned this year. The conditions aren't bad right now." (About his telemetry being out): "It was a mystery. We were flat out four laps. That's all I could do. I'm moderately optimistic. I don't want to get too excited yet, maybe pray for rain and hope the track gets slower. I know there are a lot of guys going to try to get back into the show right now. Bump Day is a crazy day. A lot of things can happen. My car was pretty much flawless. Until the gun goes off at 6 o'clock, you really don't know. I was flat out four laps. The car was consistent and stayed under me. Now we will wait for the 6 o'clock gun. Our speed is as close to what we ran all month. This place is tremendously frustrating some times. At the beginning we struggled with some setups. Anyone who thinks this place is easy has never been here. To get into the field is one thing, and to stay in the field is another. I know what it is like to be bumped."

ELISEO SALAZAR (#14 Harrah's A.J. Foyt Racing Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "Last year we did the single-fastest qualifying lap. I don't want to lie. I was really worried. This must be the 21st century version of Chinese torture. Last year we had the fastest lap and put it on the front row. This time I was saying on the back straightway, 'Two more corners to go,' Then, 'One more corner.' I was a little bit spooked. It's going to be different to start so far back, but I don't agree with people who say it can't be done. We had the speed. I knew we had the speed, but last week we blew it in the last corner. We have the speed. We have the team. I believe I have the talent to win the race. It's just a matter of patience. It was a nightmare what happened last week, the last corner of the last lap. We knew we had the speed, but after last week you don't believe anything until you see the checkered flag. We always say racing has highs and lows. Fortunately the baby turned things around. I went to Miami, and it took my mind off of things. It's important not to surrender until the end."

DONNIE BEECHLER (#84 Harrah's A.J. Foyt Racing Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "I didn't even think I was going to drive here. I just came here looking to see if I could find something. A.J. (Foyt) came along and never in my wildest dreams did I think I'd be standing here talking to you. Last year I was in the top five in points at the end of the season, but that's not always enough to carry you. My goal was to get into the race; 226 (mph) doesn't pay anything. Last Saturday was a little more emotional. I thought I was in, and then I was not. It all depended on what Eliseo (Salazar) did out there. My nerves were on edge. When he (Salazar) got in it, it was a whole new set of nerves. A.J. is amazing. Don't ever think that he doesn't know what he's talking about when it comes to getting around that racetrack. I thought to myself we don't really need to run that fast. We aren't going for the pole. Once we got up to speed I took my time and feathered the throttle a bit. Before I went out, A.J. said, 'Look, you don't have to do a 224 warm-up lap.' He walked me through exactly what he wanted me to do every step of the way on the first two laps. When Robby (Gordon) and Eliseo were in, I was going to leave. I even told Johnny Rutherford, 'We're leaving. See ya.' He said, 'OK. Drive safely.' Then the (Salazar's) motor blew. Then I saw A.J. and he said, 'Don't give up. We've got plenty of motors. We'll get you in.' I still don't know if I'm really in 100 percent. If something happens on Carb Day then Eliseo will be in. I may just stay in the garage and not go out at all and just have them tell me what happens."

RAUL BOESEL (#5T Meijer G Force/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "This means a lot. I was in Brazil one week ago when they called me. The phone rang, and this could be a renewal of my career. When they called me, I had no doubts we could make it. I hope next year they will call me for the first day. We knew this morning we had the speed. We didn't change much. Unfortunately this morning we had an incident on pit lane when a car lost a tire and it hit our rearwing. I am thankful to Fred Treadway and the team for giving me this opportunity one more time. I took it a little conservative, as I knew we had the speed to make it. It didn't take much to get comfortable in the car. Arie (Luyendyk) is a fun guy, and we have been together racing for many years but never as teammates. Last year he was an advisor to this team. It is one thing to qualify well and another to know you have a good car for the race. I think we have that car. Other teams had called, but when Treadway called I didn't think twice."

AIRTON DARÉ (#88T 1-800-BAR NONE TeamXtreme G Force/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "Finally, we got a good car, mechanics did really hard work. They did a great job in a short time fixing everything. We were ready to be bumped. I was worried about making the field. We had a gearbox problem last night and today, and our guys did an engine change last night. We didn't know if we had fixed the (gearbox) problem. We thought we'd go out on this run and see how it felt, since we had two attempts left. If we had a problem, we could come back in and go out again. But the car felt good so we took it. That half hour was the worst half hour of my career, for sure. For the half hour after we (were) bumped, my mechanics and I were a little down. We started to pick up a little understeer on the third lap, and then I had a big understeer on the fourth, so we had a little bit of a slow down. I was pushing it to the limit, for sure. I tried to correct with the weight jacker, but it still pushed. I can breathe now. I watched guys last year in my position, and I thought, 'Man, that's got to be bad.' Now I know it's the worst feeling. Next year we're going to come here and test. We talked before qualifying that a 221.7 (mph) would be alright, so to do what we did gives us a little room."

A.J. FOYT: "I told them both, 'You're running plenty fast.' Both of them had to go if they had to go. I took them into the garage, did a little bit of stuff. I normally do a lot more to the cars to qualify, and it was too much of a gamble today. I said, 'Look, we've got to get in.' That was the big thing. I talked to Donnie earlier this year about the possibility of driving before I elected to run one car. We had some bad stuff that happened to us. Salazar, the first day, got down of the white line, and got on it and got in trouble. I've been here so many years, it seems like when the luck starts running bad I don't care what you do, you're just grabbing. Like the other day, you know, that engine breakin'. And I'm kind of glad it did, he didn't hit the wall, because our race motors had the same component part these people made. Then after we got into it, we found out they made a bad mistake. Roush found out and got all his engineers, myself, and we're checking this, checking that and a lot of stuff I've run for years. I found out it was an outlet problem. I said, 'Jack, it's got to be on your end.' So he got into it with his engineers. I was on the phone back and forth with what I thought was wrong. So we finally nailed it on the head. So we felt pretty good. This week we had only a couple of practice motors that we knew were pretty good. Our good motors are the latest option. I put the good motors in last night after we ran yesterday. We felt like the cars run pretty good. These motors were a little bit more horsepower, and they'll be like our race motors. So there wasn't nothing trick about them. Yesterday we run both cars over 220 mph, and it was pretty hot at 3 o'clock during the day. That's what I was doing, setting up today. So I definitely wanted to go early today so if we had a problem we definitely come back and fix it. The other day when I waited until the last minute if I had went on early, you know, we could have had another motor and qualified the first weekend. That's why I elected yesterday to go out there in the middle of the day to get them used to the hot track and then go out today and get it over with. In Texas, we just learn to work. I've got to say one thing, all of them live down there in Houston, and I kind of raised them. And that's one thing you probably all noticed last week. All the owners would go home and that, but I stayed every day with the guys. I will work around the clock with them if I have to. I think I had our driver a little goosey, but I think he had faith in me. I think Salazar has been with us long enough now that he knows the boys who work on these cars. He knows how committed they are, knows how conscientious they are. And I think that's what made him run, still had faith in them. He realizes that. That's what makes a team. One thing about racing, they're like women. You can never figure it out."

STEPHAN GREGOIRE (#35 Heritage Motorsports/Firestone/Menards G Force/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "It's such a relief. I've been worried all month. Was it the car? Was it me? Dick Simon has always been fast, especially with me. Now I'm back alive again. I was losing my confidence. Derek Daly told me, 'You need to believe in yourself, especially when driving a race car.' I missed the race in '99. Last year, I was very nervous, but I felt more pressure now than since before I missed it. Since we've been here, we've been having problems all month. I've been questioning myself. I never have questioned my driving before. I could see the speed on my dash, and I thought, 'Well, keep doing it.' It's hard to explain everything I went through this month, but I will sleep well tonight. Thanks so much to Mitch Davis. He's a great engineer and gave me a great setup. I'm solid in the race now. Finally I know it's not me."

JIMMY KITE (#30 McCormack Motorsports Team Calcium G Force/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "We didn't make it. That's all there is."


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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Derek Daly , Dick Simon , A.J. Foyt