IRL: Indy500: Post race quotes, part I

GREG RAY ( ...

GREG RAY (#2 Johns Manville/Menards Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "Driving race cars, period, is fun, but winning is a lot more fun. I've got mixed emotions."

SAM HORNISH JR. (#4 Pennzoil Panther Dallara Oldsmobile/Firestone): "We had a real fast car. It's kind of tough on the nerves passing the same race cars all day long and not getting anywhere. We were pretty loose all day long, but it was a good run. When it was overcast, is when the car handled the best. Things were going good. I learned a lot of stuff this year and am ready to come back next year. We actually got a couple of laps back when we were penalized."

JON HERB (#6 Tri Star Motorsports Inc. Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "The car was working fine. We weren't going to have to make any changes. We were just running the pace early, wanted to stay out of trouble and save the car for the end. Then after the halfway point, I saw the rain coming in, and we decided to pick it up a bit. I made a clean move inside of Davey Hamilton in Turn 1 but then came upon Greg Ray, who seemed to be off the pace. Running into him put us in the wall, and we lost the suspension. It's too bad because we had plenty left in that car to put us up front. In fact, I can't say enough about this Tri Star team and Larry Curry for the job they did giving me such a great car, as well as EPSON, who came on board here in the last couple of days for our Indy run."

ELISEO SALAZAR (#14 Harrah's A.J. Foyt Racing Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "I'm happy because of what a terrible month we had. A couple of days ago I didn't know if I was going to race; I had a 102 temperature."

FELIPE GIAFFONE (#21 Hollywood G Force/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "It's a pretty good finish, but it's been a tough month. The Hollywood Treadway-Hubbard team did a great job with race strategy. The car was pretty good, and we ran pretty quick all day. I think we could have finished a little better, but we got a big plastic bag stuck under the car for the last 10 or 15 laps of the race, and it hurt the car's handling. We might have been able to pick up a position or two. Still, we've finished in the top 10 in each of the races this year, so I feel pretty good about that. I should still be in pretty good shape in the IRL points race, as well. Physically, the race was not bad for me. I didn't have any trouble with the length of the race. I'm a little sore in the right leg, so I think that I have to work on my throttle pedal. At the end of the race, it is just like any other race. It's pretty cool to see all the fans and all the pre-race activities, so many people. It's just amazing. But, once you get racing, it's just like any other race. The hard part is the two or three weeks before the race. That is the toughest part, and it definitely wears on you mentally. Now we are on to Texas. I'm going to rest with my fiancee and family the next few days and be ready for the rest of the season. I think the next nine races are going to be exciting."

ROBBIE BUHL (#24 Team Purex Dreyer & Reinbold Racing G Force/Infiniti/Firestone): "It's satisfying for me and my guys to know that we were contending for the win. We had a car that could've won. The Infiniti power was great. We had the car geared right. We didn't miss a beat. We were running second at the time, and we didn't want to run second. We wanted to lead. There was some traffic in front of us (Buhl and Castroneves). I laid down a gear just trying to get a run on Castroneves, and it got loose. I wasn't trying to stay in the position we were in. There was a slower car in front of Castroneves, and I thought I could get a run on him if he got caught up by the slower car. When I spun out there, I didn't spin trying to hold on, I spun trying to go for the lead. I don't have any regrets for that. That's why we were there, to get in the lead and win the Indy 500."

MARK DISMORE (#28 Delphi Automotive Systems/Bryant Heating & Cooling Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "We put together some of the fastest race laps. It was too easy. That's the thing - it was too easy. I guess today in a lot of ways, we were lucky, but I don't feel very lucky. I lift my hat to Roger Penske, but I think we could have done a lot for Tom Kelley. I think everyone is way past the CART/IRL thing. It's a bunch of guys driving race cars."

TONY STEWART (#33 Target Chip Ganassi Racing G Force/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "I hurt us. We took too much downforce off the car in the end, and that cost us. We were fairly reasonable in traffic as long as we had the downforce on it, but as soon as we took the downforce off, which was my call, I was hoping for the shootout at the end and hoping to go fast at the end. I gambled and lost today. My legs are bothering me some, but we can fix that before we get down there (Charlotte, N.C.). We have a whole hour to work on it. They'll get it fixed up. It's easy to see why this team won last year. They had a driver that made too many mistakes today, so it's my fault."

JEFF WARD (#35 Aerosmith/Heritage Motorsports/Firestone/Menards G Force/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "The car was perfect at the start of the race. I was running the car flat out, and I was catching the leaders. This is the best package I've ever had at Indy, and today was unfortunate. This car could have won the race, but we'll be back."

ROBBY GORDON (#41 Team Conseco/Foyt Racing/RCR Childress Racing Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "I'm a little disappointed. We showed we had speed with deFerran early. I had a pace that I thought I could cruise, and the motor just let go around Lap 75."

JIMMY VASSER (#44 Target Chip Ganassi Racing G Force/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "You come here to win, and it's disappointing when you don't. We had some problems. We lost fourth gear. We were just too far back there at the end to make much of a charge."

BRUNO JUNQUEIRA (#50 Target Chip Ganassi Racing G Force/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "Normally I'm only happy if I win a race, but today I'm really happy with a fifth-place finish. This is my second oval race and first 500 miler. I have never experienced a race like this before. This was a big experience. The first half of the race I was just learning, and I learned a lot. This was a long, hard race. You have to be 100 percent just to finish. I wasn't suppose to even be here today so I'm really very happy with fifth."

EDDIE CHEEVER JR. (#51 Excite@Home Indy Race Car Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone) (About the start of the race): "It was just like 1992 when it was cold. It wasn't really slick, it was just cold. Everybody should have just held their horses. You cannot ask the car to do something that it can't do when the tires are not warm enough. If you're not paying attention, this place can be very mean, indeed. It's very frustrating. It has not been a very good month for us, much less a good race. We're not sure what our problem was, but it was something electrical. We did a lot of work, and the #51 Excite@Home car was good. It's very disappointing because we were running well, and everyone has worked a lot of long nights for a long time. You have to remember that this Infiniti 35A engine is just three months old. The guys on the Excite@Home team and at Infiniti have put a lot of effort into this. We ran well at Atlanta, and now we just have to pick up the pieces and head to Texas. I'm very sorry that Scott (Goodyear) got caught up in that accident at the beginning because I think he would have had a great race. But this is racing, and you have to take the good with the bad. Right now, we just have a big chunk of bad. I want to thank all the fans who came out here today. It's really special to race in the 500, and they're the ones who make it as good as it is."

DONNIE BEECHLER (#84 Harrah's A.J. Foyt Racing Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "We found out that it was an oil fitting underneath, so it was hard to get to. By the time we found it and fixed it, the damage had already been done. It broke the engine. We went back out and stayed out as long as we could. We didn't make it to the end, but we made it to Lap 198. I met a lot of great guys on A.J.'s team. A.J. was very kind to give me a chance. Dick Simon's crew was great on pit stops, so I gained a lot of good friends. You know, there is a lot more to racing than just finishing the race."

-IRNLS/IMS-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Greg Ray , Davey Hamilton , Chip Ganassi , Roger Penske , Dick Simon , A.J. Foyt
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing , Dreyer & Reinbold Racing