IRL: Indyy500: Bump Day quotes, part II

DERRICK WALKER (Owner, Walker Racing): (About Casey Mears): "I kind of wish we'd have had a couple of more laps. If we'd have had a few more laps to make adjustments, I have no doubt he (Casey Mears) would have been in the field. It was great ...

DERRICK WALKER (Owner, Walker Racing): (About Casey Mears): "I kind of wish we'd have had a couple of more laps. If we'd have had a few more laps to make adjustments, I have no doubt he (Casey Mears) would have been in the field. It was great working with a Mears again. There was not much time to do anything. After the third lap, we saw we were not going to make it and didn't want to screw up Memo's (Gidley) chance, so we waved Casey off."

CASEY MEARS (#25 Walker Racing Special Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "My car felt great. It's just unfortunate. We got a little behind there, and it was in the best interest to give (Memo) Gidley another shot. I feel fortunate to get a chance from Derrick Walker. It was a great opportunity."

SHIGEAKI HATTORI (#55 EPSON Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "I tried to do my best. My team did their best. Thomas Knapp, he's done a great job. I appreciate what the crew members have done this month. We just needed a little more speed. It is an experience for me. We will try it next year. Our plans are to run all of the IRL races and run for points."

STEVE KNAPP (#37 Brayton Engineering/Scott Brayton Special G Force/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "I've been here three years and things worked out well. I talked to drivers then who were struggling, and I didn't understand. Now I do."

TOM KELLEY (Owner, Kelley Racing): "I feel great about Scott (Sharp) and Mark (Dismore). We just ran out of time for Memo (Gidley). We couldn't get him comfortable. We couldn't get a set of stickers (tires) for it. We had been assigned two sets and used them up. We just gave up too much. We fell just a little short, but we gave it the good college effort."

ANDREA BOAT (Billy Boat's wife): "I am really proud of Billy (Boat). This team is a great team, but I don't think I can go through this anymore. I don't know, no, I think this year was more difficult, but both are very difficult."

TYCE CARLSON (#60 Tri Star Motorsports Inc./Immke Racing Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "The 6 and the 60 car worked together. They put 10 motors in the 60 car, and they never gave up. Our group worked as hard or harder than the others. The stories of the month should be about the teams, not the drivers. We just plug in and go."

RICHIE HEARN (#60T Tri Star Motorsports Inc./Immke Racing Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "I'm more disappointed for these guys. Their driver got hurt, and they put me in the car to try to get in the race. We had only one day of practice, and today we had an engine problem, which cut into our practice time. I'm glad we didn't just suck. We came close, and it wasn't meant to be, but we proved that we could do it. I'm glad I tried. I'd rather try and fail than not try at all. It just wasn't our day, next year."

DIDIER ANDRÉ (#31T Galles Racing G Force/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "It's pretty tough. It's difficult. With the speed we had last week, I thought we were safe. But Ganassi put two cars in on Sunday and some other drivers qualified and all of a sudden our speed wasn't safe. We tried to work on race setup during the week. We also tried some qualifying setups. I got in Casey's car, and it' suppose to be the same car, but it's still different. We did a good job. I went 220 (mph) flat, and we pulled in. I did a 221 (mph) flat, and I had a big push, and I knew that was the end. There are still nine races to go in the championship. I hope my teammate, Al Unser Jr., does well. He is the only member of our team in the race."

RICK GALLES (Owner, Galles Racing): "I am very proud of our entire team and the effort they have put forth this month. I am especially proud of Didier (Andre). He has come a long way, and I am really looking forward to watching his progress for the rest of the season. Al (Unser Jr.) and I were definitely worried today. We had no idea last week that the speeds would be so high for qualifying, and I don't think anyone did. But now we have a race to get ready for and that is going to be our absolute focus for the next week."

ROBERTO GUERRERO (#7T Yellow/Jack K. Elrod Co./NADA Guides/Hoosier Park G Force/Oldsmobile Firestone): "At least I got to play in the middle. I had fun working with the Simon team. They put so much work into it. It sure wasn't for lack of trying. Unfortunately with the circumstances that we came in to the team with, we kind of accepted that speed because we needed to start working really fast on the G Force to get Stephan (Gregoire) in the field. It happened. We got bumped. There was something funny with the G Force right from the start. The first time I drove it. It wasn't quite right. We never got a chance. We sure tried. We never got it going. I'm going home. I don't like this place when I'm not racing unfortunately. It's too hard for me. I'll watch it on TV."

FELIPE GIAFFONE (#21 Hollywood G Force/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "I got in this car with one half hour to go, and it's a car I never drove at this track. Raul (Boesel) got in this car and ran only 216 (mph). We called Raul to give us a hand. That's why he practiced in my car and his car, and he still couldn't find speed." (About possibly competing in the race with the car Boesel qualified): "That's not the way I want to do it. I feel bad for that. I'm not really happy. I don't feel good at all. To be in this race is an awesome feeling, however. If I do start, now I'll be in the last row and I'll just have to watch out. Now I'll have to jump in the car that Raul's in and see how it feels, because I've never been in it."

DENNIS McCORMACK, (Owner, McCormack Motorsports): "We failed. We'll be back next year. Everybody on the team worked very hard. We all gave it our best shot, the whole team; driver, everybody."

CORY WITHERILL (#16 WSA/MOTORS/Indy Regency Racing G Force/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "We worked so hard it would be an unreal thing to start the race next Sunday. It's been great. It's a great city. It's a great place." (About finding extra speed yesterday): "We had a new powerplant Menard engine for qualifying. The power was just awesome. We were working real hard all week. We put our heads together today. I noticed the difference (with the Menard engine) right off hand yesterday. It helped out a lot. Today we did a lot of setups to our car. We made one minor change before our qualifying attempt and just jumped right there in the 222s (mph). All I heard was we were getting a Menard powerplant. I wasn't here that day. It was raining." (About the pressure): "It's kind of hard. I try not to think about it, like early after our first qualifying attempt. I just stay by myself and stay in my own zone. When it was hot out, I went back to the garage and hung out there by myself and watched the PGA Tour on TV." (About his heritage): "It's an amazing feeling to accomplish that. Last year, no the year before, a friend of mine, it was his first year to join the PGA Tour. He went through the same thing I did. It's kind of great to see the Native American starting to get off in a high professional level of world-wide attention. It means a lot. It's a dream come true. I've been wanting to be a part of the Indy 500 for so long. Like five years ago when I started racing the Indy Lights series, I didn't think I would have this day right now. I am pretty excited. I work really well under pressure. I like it. To be a Native American and representing them it's an unreal feeling."

BILLY BOAT (#98 CURB Records Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "I was sitting in the garage all afternoon just watching the monitors, watching the speeds because bubble Day at Indy so many different things can happen, so many combinations. We were prepping our backup car that we hadn't had on the racetrack all month, but we were prepared to put it out there and give it a shot. We just took the setup off the other car. We went out at 5 o'clock and just started taking bullets and every attempt, every time somebody went out and they'd click off a 221, it was like someone was punching you in the stomach. You just never know if they're gonna click off that next fastest lap. Right away two guys got in and then we're on the bubble. To sit there and you say it's 48 minutes, but it seems like eternity because car after car was taking a shot at us. I'm just proud of this whole CURB Records Beck Motorsports Team. My guys did a tremendous job for me this month. Not the way we wanted to get in the race, but we will take it. Greg Beck has done a tremendous job for us these past couple of weeks. I don't think this team has really shown what we're capable of yet. We're a new team, we're a new group, and we haven't had that much of a chance to work together, but hopefully this will give us a little bit of boost. It's one of those things where it's almost do or die for this race. We really had to put that CURB Records car in the race and to be so close to not doing it is scary. That's the thing about Indianapolis in that last hour, there's no guarantee that anybody can't run quick. Cory Witherill hadn't run over 220 in the last two weeks, and he went out and clicked off some 222's. Anything can happen, and we were somewhat helpless at that point to just sit there and take the punches and roll with them. Once again we proved that this is not an easy race to make. You don't just walk in to Indianapolis Motor Speedway and sit in a race car and qualify for this race. There were 12 guys that are professional race drivers that took shots at us there at the end. Then you got another 32 that have already qualified. This is the elite group of motorsports, and we're proud to be a part of it. To get qualified is one of the hardest things of this race. Obviously, the race is a whole other battle. At least you have some time to sort things out. You can be a little bit more patient. Qualifying is a do or die situation. You've got to get it up right then and there. I think from a satisfaction standpoint, the pole was more satisfying. From a terrifying standpoint, the bubble is more terrifying. Especially once we pulled our car out of line and we were helpless at that point, there was nothing we could do except stand there and take the shots, and we were just fortunate that the CURB Records car held up." (About his thoughts on the opportunity he had to drive for A.J. Foyt in the car Robby Gordon qualified third): "I'd be lying if I said that when Robby Gordon was out there qualifying, I wasn't sitting in my car waiting to go out to practice, and those same thoughts ran through my head. I had full confidence in this race team could get it done, and I have full confidence in Greg Beck and all my guys. It wasn't easy, and I knew it wasn't going to be easy. When I turned down A.J., that was probably the hardest decision I've ever had to make. Going from a sure deal because you know A.J.'s cars are always going to be fast here, that's not a question. The bigger opportunity was the future, and A.J.'s deal would have been done after Indy. With a good performance here, we want to try to take this CURB Records team into the future and make some things happen down the road and run the entire Indy Racing League season. And so I was willing to take that gamble to try to build something for the future. There were times I was worried, but it turned out OK." (Did any drivers scare you?): "I think there were probably two. Shiggy (Shigeaki Hattori) with Tom Knapp concerned me. I was concerned he would have the speed. Obviously, Tom Knapp's a great engineer, and then obviously Memo Gidley in the Kelley car that last run. Those cars have shown great speed all weekend or all week, and it just didn't have quite what it took there at the end, but that was definitely gut wrenching to see those two cars, the quality of those two cars, out on the racetrack taking a shot at you. At least last year when I was in the race car I knew what I had to do, and I was focused, and I went out and did my job. This year, I'm sitting on a golf cart absolutely helpless and somebody else is out there taking a shot at you. It's a much better feeling. At least you have some control when you're in that race car, and you can say either I put the thing in or I didn't. When you're standing outside, you just look up at the sky and say, 'Help me out here.' Obviously, we are very happy and very proud to be running the No. 98 and have Curb-Agajanian Motorsports as part of our team. The Agajanian name has huge history with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. I very happy and very proud to carry those colors and that number into the Indy 500 this year. Cary (Agajanian) was here all afternoon sweating those bullets just right along with us. I definitely think that his father J.C. was up there looking after us."

-IRNLS/IMS-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Robby Gordon , Al Unser Jr. , Casey Mears , Shigeaki Hattori , Billy Boat , Cory Witherill , Memo Gidley , A.J. Foyt