EDDIE CHEEVER JR. "We took the ...
EDDIE CHEEVER JR. "We took the #51 Excite@Home T-car out this afternoon, and we made some gains. I think we're starting to get a handle on the handling. We had a problem yesterday in Turn 1, so that's what we focused on today, and I'm very happy with how the #51 Excite@Home car is handling right now. Turn 1 has gotten very bumpy and it takes a lot of commitment to go in at 230mph. If you get one of those tank-slappers, you're screwed. I'm very confident for qualifying. I think both Scott and I have a good shot at the first two rows. These one-lap specials that guys are doing now don't count in qualifying - you've got to do four of them. This is a very hard place to qualify at."
ARIE LUYENDYK: "We didn't get on the track until after 3 o'clock (today) because there was some damaged pieces from when I ran over debris from Mears' accident (yesterday). I did a 221 (mph) lap with a setup that wasn't very comfortable. We made some changes late in the afternoon and that's when I did my best lap (223.499 mph)."
BUDDY LAZIER: "Today we were just trying some things on the race car. We intentionally ran at the hottest part of the day. We ran our fastest lap, which I think was over 221 (mph), during the hottest part of the day. Basically we did all our runs in the middle of the day. We made one run around 4:30 and that run was just to get a read on a change. It is a constant process of deductions. Today was another working day. At the end of the week we'll put all these deductions together and see what we have."
MARK DISMORE: "We just worked on race setup. We found some things that aren't working, and some of that is good. It eliminates things we need to try." (About sunny conditions): "I thought a couple of times it was cool in the morning and in the evening. Unless you get into those conditions, it is hard to say what will work. I think we will have cooler days this month. It's nice to have the extra three days. It's nice for everybody. I think it will make for a more competitive race. The Indy 500 is the greatest race period." (About his karting business): "It is going pretty good. Anybody that reads this can come out and buy a go-kart. We can use all the business we can get. It just seems like karting keeps growing and growing."
ELISEO SALAZAR: "We tried a few things that I wasn't happy with, so we will go back to a setup I like. Sometimes during the month, you get into a rut, and this was a small rut since we still ran 221s, but we'll go back to what we know works. We still have two days."
ROBBY GORDON: "I'm pretty happy. The speeds keep climbing, and I am getting more comfortable. A.J. and I are communicating better about setting up the car to suit my driving style. Today the car felt the best it has so far. We've got two more days to work on it for qualifying. Scott Sharp's lap was pretty impressive."
RICK GALLES: "The main thing that matters to me after Casey's accident yesterday is that he is OK. The safety of our drivers is always our No. 1 priority on this team. Casey hitting the wall as hard as he did and not having any serious injuries just shows strength of the safety in the IRL cars. We are planning to have Casey run again on Friday if all goes well, and we would like to try and qualify him this weekend. The crew has done a fantastic job, and their resilience just shows what true racers they are."
ROBBY MCGEHEE: "Obviously we are a little behind after the crash at Atlanta. Today we wanted to shake down the car after we completely rebuilt it. We accomplished everything we need to for today. Thursday and Friday we need to work on speed. We feel we need to get in the low 220s for qualifying. Today was getting reacquainted with the speedway. The last time I was here was the last lap of last year's race. It just feels great to be back in Indianapolis and getting ready for the biggest race in the world."
JAQUES LAZIER: "I tell you what, today we did a lot of fine tuning, and it resulted in a great speed (223.310 mph). We've been consistent from the first time we hit the track. Right now we are just trimming the car out. I don't know how much is left as far as speed. We need to work on race setup now. I'm really proud of the Byrd/Extreme Team. We've been together for three weeks and to be fifth fastest for today is amazing." (About his brother Buddy Lazier): "I hope we can run together, start together and finish together. Because I guarantee you he is going to be right up front."
TONY STEWART: "We had great speed for today since when we started this morning we were going backwards. Jimmy (Vasser) and I stood around and scratched our heads, talked about what direction we needed to go and the team listened, and we gained a lot. This is by far the fastest I have gone in these new IRL cars. You still need to get around the Speedway without lifting. Right now I'm cracking it, mostly for my safety. Today was a monumental jump for our team. The credit goes to all the guys working on the car. After the pow-wow, we made big changes, and they really worked hard. I think a lot of the IRL regulars are sandbagging, and they are just teasing us right now."