IRL: Indy500: Thursday practice quotes 2001-05-17

A.J. FOYT: "We're preparing two cars for Eliseo (Salazar) for qualifying on Sunday. If he gets the primary car into the race without any problems, then we'll put Donnie Beechler in the back-up car and try to qualify him too. But my main concern is...

A.J. FOYT: "We're preparing two cars for Eliseo (Salazar) for qualifying on Sunday. If he gets the primary car into the race without any problems, then we'll put Donnie Beechler in the back-up car and try to qualify him too. But my main concern is to get Eliseo in the race."

GREG RAY: "We worked with a heavy, full race setup trying to find a good balanced car and also on aerodynamic downforce. Darrell Soppe and I communicate very well together. He can help build a very solid race car. I try to be very open minded and listen to them. As a driver you sometimes are concerned about your input and don't listen to the crew chief, but I have been giving 100 percent attention to him, and we are working very well together."

RAUL BOESEL: (About his last time in an Indy car): "It is a long time. It was last year here." (About today's practice): "It was a good day. We made good progress. We just hope the weather will cooperate on Sunday. We hope it doesn't get too sticky because it gets more difficult to run good speeds. Indianapolis is so special and every opportunity you have to run here is wonderful. It's so special. I'm sure I'm going to improve myself the next few days."

DAVEY HAMILTON: "We were doing race setups. I found a full-load setup that I'm pretty happy with. If the conditions are just like today on Race Day, we feel pretty confident. We feel we have a really balanced car. We're just hoping that conditions on Race Day are like today."

SCOTT GOODYEAR: "Things are going well on full tanks. We did a lot of full tank testing today. We made the car better than it was last week. Now I wish we could qualify again, but we've made a lot of progress in the last day, and we will have a good car on race day."

JEFF WARD: "We had a good practice today. The car felt great. We ran a full race setup, and everything went very consistent. We got the car up to 218 (mph) with a full fuel load, so the team is very confident with the run we had today. There were a lot of yellows, but you'll have yellows on Race Day. So it helps the team prepare for all aspects for Race Day. Of course, we'd like to stay out longer to run the full fuel load. It's good to see all different scenarios during practice."

SAM HORNISH JR.: "We went out and worked on our race setup. We're happy with the race car, and right now we're waiting for the race to come."

BILLY BOAT: "I think we are making progress. We made a big change to the setup, and we had more success. We've got something very good to work with and tweak. Conditions are constantly changing and we're working with them."

BUDDY LAZIER: "We learned a lot. It was a hot and slippery day. We played with a lot of things. Business is normal." (About ideal conditions on Race Day): "Whatever it is, is fine with me. It could be hot and slippery or cold and slippery. It is going to be slippery no matter what. We're going to keep on running. Now is the crutch of the work we're going to do. We're going to do everything to get me and the car happy. I'm blessed with a great team. I have total confidence in them."

DONNIE BEECHLER: "I've been fortunate because Robby (Gordon) and Eliseo (Salazar) have already shaken down the cars. They are already set up. It makes my job easier. We're still taking it easy. Our main objective right now is to get Eliseo in the show. I have no doubt in his ability. I am confident in it. I'm praying for him. We'll run a little tomorrow. Saturday is the day we will really get up to speed. Today was more of an orientation. I haven't been in a car since October and haven't been here since last year. We weren't planning on going fast, but I took some laps and A.J. slapped some tires on. We clicked off a 218 (mph), and I stayed in the car and did some more laps. We brought it in, and he said we'll take it back and work on it tomorrow."

ROBBIE BUHL: "We had a good day. We accomplished everything we set out to do in practice today. We were focusing on our race setups, so we were pleased to see our times were so quick."

SARAH FISHER: "Today we just wanted to shake the car down after changing the motor last night. Now the guys can start fine tuning it. We wanted to run between normal race hours, but the rain held us back a little bit."

-IRNLS/IMS-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Donnie Beechler