IRL: Joliet post race quotes

SAM HORNISH JR. ( ...

SAM HORNISH JR. (#4 Pennzoil Panther Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "The Pennzoil Panther guys, this team man, they've been great all year in the pits. It's been a great run this year. The Pennzoil Panther guys put me in an awesome car all year long. They gave me flawless cars every time when we went out there. We may not have always been the fastest, but we always finished up towards the front. We weren't the fastest today, but we finished up front, and that's what we've been consistent at doing so far this year. Today we had a car that worked good in traffic. That's what we worked on all weekend long is making sure that the car would work good in traffic. When we were in traffic is when the car handled the best. Second-place finish, we'll take that any day. We would like to be up there to follow Jaques (Lazier) across the line, but he did an awesome job today. We're real happy with how things have gone. It was an awesome race. The Indy Racing League proved once again that it's got the best show out there." (About what to expect at Texas): "We will have to wait and see, but we are on a big roll now."

JAQUES LAZIER (#2 Johns Manville/Menards Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "It was a collaborative effort today. We have gelled quicker than I ever thought possible. The win is dedicated to my team and to my wife who's back home taking care of our own little baby. What an awesome day? All the thanks goes to John (Menard). John Menard, I can't thank you enough for going out on a limb and believing in me. We're just coming together extremely quick and just so proud. Everything is going so well in my life -- knock on wood. I've got a baby on the way. Life is just good right now. Felipe did a tremendous job. He definitely made it hard. I tried to break away a couple times, and tried to separate the draft, and he just kept fighting up and up and stayed right there with me. I just knew at the end we would have something for him."

EDDIE CHEEVER JR. (#51 Cheever Indy Racing Infiniti Dallara/Firestone): "Every time I'd come in the pits, I couldn't keep it going. We had an electronic problem. We kept stalling the car. We'd come in third and go out 15th. The day started off bad, blowing an engine in the morning practice session. It's just a sin that we didn't win. We had the best car out there. Congratulations to Sam Hornish for winning the championship."

DIDIER ANDRE (#32 Galles Racing G Force/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "At first we had a loose car, and that put us back in the field. Then we were able to work with it, and it got better throughout the race."

AL UNSER JR. (#3 Galles Racing Starz SuperPak G Force/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "Well, we were battling a loose car all day, but we worked with it as best we could during the pit stops. My crew did awesome once again on their stops. We stayed in the fight as best we could."

FELIPE GIAFFONE (#21 Hollywood G Force/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "I'm just so disappointed and happy at the same time. I can't believe we lost the motor with five laps to go. I had a car to win this race. We ran up front all day, and I was just pulling out to pass Jaques when the motor let go. The Hollywood team did a great job. I have to thank my crew, all the guys, and Tim Wardrop with G Force who helped with the engineering. We'll see how we do in Texas."

DENNIS REINBOLD (Co-owner, No. 24 Team Purex Dreyer & Reinbold Racing G Force/Infiniti/Firestone): "We had a really good car. The Purex Infiniti-powered car was hooked up today, and we really thought we had the race where we wanted it. We had two good pit stops that gained us track position. Then the bearings on the input shaft just seized up and burned out. When that happens you're done. Up until then we had a dominant car. The Infiniti motor was awesome, to be able to pull on the other cars like it did. Robbie could run anywhere on the track with anyone."

MARK DISMORE (#28 Delphi Automotive Systems/Bryant Heating & Cooling Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "That wasn't bad luck out there, it was bad judgment. I was on the high side for two or three laps, and we were coming up on a slower car. I moved up and Eliseo (Salazar) needed to go either to the guy's left or check up a little bit, but he chose to drive right across the front of my car. I don't know what he was doing. There were a lot of laps left and a lot of racing to go. He could have fell in behind me, and away we would have went to run the leaders down. We had a fast car on track and could have won this race today. We'll go to Texas and try to get 'em. This team gave me a heck of a car. I was loose early on, and we just settled down and drove around and waited for the first pit stop. We made a couple of changes and then the Delphi/Bryant car was awesome."

LAURENT REDON (#34 Mi-Jack Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "Our goal was to finish and be in top 12, and we finished 7th. Our next race, we will be more relaxed and have more knowledge. I am really happy. It was a first race for everybody as a team, especially for me."

RICK TREADWAY (#5 Meijer G Force/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "It was a lot more comfortable than Kentucky. We wanted to be a little more racey today, and we were in the mix all day. I have to thank Meijer, Coca-Cola and the Treadway-Hubbard team for this opportunity. I also have to thank all my family, friends and fans that came to support me these two races. I had a great time and really learned a lot. We made our objectives at both races, so we'll see where we go from here."

RICHIE HEARN (#99 Sam Schmidt Motorsports Racing Special Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "The race was fun. I haven't had a race like this since Michigan in '98. I had to hunt for speed, you can run two cars wide and three cars if you were brave. My right foot went numb from pushing so hard. I had to put my left foot on my right. We had no expectations, but it was nice to finish sixth."

BILLY BOAT (#98 CURB Records Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "It's kind of a frustrating day for the CURB Records/Beck Motorsports team. We didn't really have a car to win all day. We probably had a fifth to eighth-place car, but we ran out of fuel coming down pit lane for our second stop and the engine died. We had some trouble getting it restarted, so we went a couple of laps down. It was an early mistake that I made by missing the call to come in, and we just didn't have enough reserve to make that last lap in to refuel. That got us a couple laps behind, and then we had to play a little strategy to at least get one of those laps back there at the end. Not our best day, but we're lucky that we gained on some guys in the points and didn't really lose any to some others. We'll go to Texas and look to regain our form and have a good run there."

JON HERB (#18 Star Registry G Force/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "We had a good run. It was acceptable, and we ran all day and finished 15th place. We had hoped for better. We had a talented crew. We need to go do our homework. We ran good on the budget we have. We had access to the car Tuesday after 1 p.m., and we had one guy working on it. On Wednesday, we had five guys working on it, and Thursday we were here at the track. The car could run 214 to 215 in the draft, and in clean air 212 and maybe a 213."

ELISEO SALAZAR (#14 Harrah's A.J. Foyt Racing Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "I came up to a back marker and went to move around him and Dismore didn't give me any room. He tried to snooker me and force me to brake. You have to find room because if you lift, you lose. As it turned out, we both lost. It's unfortunate because we were having a great race. I think it was my best race of the season."

BUDDY LAZIER (#91 Tae-Bo/Coors Light/Delta Faucet Dallara/ Oldsmobile/ Firestone): "We had a miscue in the pits. We came in to pit, and we were really on schedule. We really struggled all day. We struggled all day long in a lot of ways. We made a pit stop, and then had to come back on pit road immediately. I think we lost laps at that point. It was a long hard day; we struggled hard. We had moments where the car came alive, but we really struggled today. We had a lot of really good races this season and finally got within striking distance of the championship, and then we just had two terrible weekends in a row."

About the championship "It wasn't a good shot, but it was a shot. You never give up hope. We tried very hard, and I think my team did a super job defending the championship. You look at our record this year, every race we either won or experienced some pretty significant troubles. You know when we're on, we're on, but when we struggle, we struggle. Second in the championship is not a bad thing for how many failures we've had this year. We've only dropped out of one or two races. We finished races with significant problems half the time. You look at the season, just about everyone is going to have one mistake in almost every area. Phoenix, Kansas, there's two races where we couldn't get beyond fourth gear. We look at last weekend with the dropped cylinder and the dropped cylinder at Indianapolis. I look at all of those. I look at four or five races where we were limping home, and I think that's the difference. We won four races, more races than anybody. It was a championship caliber season, but we just had too many races where we were limping home. I'm very proud of my team. First last year in the championship, second this year, and second this year with limping home almost half the races. I think that's an awesome performance from the team and from myself as the driver. So we're very happy with that second place, very proud."

DONNIE BEECHLER (#11 A.J. Foyt Racing Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "All in all, it was a good day, especially after the trouble we had in practice and qualifying. I owe this one to the team. They got me in and out of the pits, and even though I didn't have the fastest car, my guys kept me up there. We stayed out of trouble, didn't push the car beyond it's limits, and I'm just glad to roll the car into the trailer."

CHRIS MENNINGA (#92 Hemelgarn/Metro Racing Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "It's just logging time and getting as much seat time as you can and just learn. Log it all away, and hopefully you can draw from that for the next event. The experience I gained here is going to help a lot in Texas, and that's the most important thing."

BUZZ CALKINS (#12 Bradley Food Marts/Sav-O-Mat Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "That may be the longest race I have ever been in. The Bradley Food Marts/Sav-O-Mat Dallara was working pretty well in the higher line, but then the track began to have a nasty push, and that slowed us down some. We fell out of the draft a few times, and that really hurt us also. The pit stops were great. The whole Bradley Motorsports team did a spectacular job of getting us positions in the pits. These guys have been working really hard, and today we showed a little more of that."

-IRNLS/IMS-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Sam Schmidt , A.J. Foyt , Sam Hornis
Teams Dreyer & Reinbold Racing