IRL: Kansas: Pre-race quotes

ALEX BARRON (No. 51 Red Bull Cheever Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "I didn't race at Kansas last year, but from the past I know that the weather has always played a big part in the race for physical endurance because it's so hot and humid.

ALEX BARRON (No. 51 Red Bull Cheever Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "I didn't race at Kansas last year, but from the past I know that the weather has always played a big part in the race for physical endurance because it's so hot and humid. It's one of three races (Texas and Chicago) where the tracks are similar, so lots of the setup carries over. We're ready for a good run to keep or improve upon our current standing in the points (8th). Kansas is fun to race on and the fans really seem to enjoy the race."

ED CARPENTER (No. 52 Red Bull Cheever Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "I'm excited to go back to Kansas because I've raced there the past two years in the Infiniti Pro Series and finished in fifth and sixth. It's a fun track and I've had more experience this year on mile and a half ovals, so I'm looking to be competitive going into Kansas and in the hunt for a good finish. Even though I've been unlucky and haven't finished the last two races, I have good chemistry with my new engineer (Iain Watt) and feel really good about the upcoming races."

HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Toyota/Firestone): "The Kansas race is tough because it is usually very hot. Hopefully, I can get my first win of the season there. I finished third in 2002 and second in 2003 so I need to keep the trend going and finish first in 2004. Marlboro Team Penske has been giving it their all, and we just need to keep doing our homework and execute on race day."

SCOTT DIXON (No. 1 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Panoz G Force/Toyota/Firestone): "The Target team had a good run at Kansas last year. I won the pole, and the Target cars started 1-2. Darren (Manning) and I will look to do the same this year. You can't help but look forward to a Fourth of July weekend in Kansas. It's flat-out racing, and the fans really get up for it. I'm fifth in the championship, and the Toyota /Panoz G-Force has been reliable. We just need to be a little more consistent and we'll be right up there where we should be."

ADRIAN FERNANDEZ (No. 5 Quaker State Telmex Tecate Panoz G Force/Toyota/ Firestone): "Kansas City is a place that I have never been as a driver, but I was there supporting the team last year. It seems like a nice track, and I am looking forward to running there. We have had three good finishes in the last three races, and hopefully, we can keep the momentum up this weekend. We just need a little luck on our side, and we will be able to get to the podium."

DARIO FRANCHITTI (No. 27 ArcaEx Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "Although I haven't raced at Kansas Speedway, I did do a half-day test there last year. In fact, it was my final time in the car before my back surgery, so it's a track that's not totally new to me, although it's another one that I haven't raced on. The ArcaEx team won at Kansas last year; it was a great job by Bryan (Herta), who filled in for me. Also, we had good success at Texas, and the Honda engine has proven to be very powerful. That will help us this weekend."

FELIPE GIAFFONE (No. 24 Team Purex Dreyer & Reinbold Dallara/Chevrolet/ Firestone): "Obviously, looking back now, (Kansas) was a toughest race last year in the IRL with the accident and all. I don't really associate the accident with track, and I'm looking forward to going back. Kansas is one of the best 1.5-mile ovals that we visit. They don't have as much banking at Texas, so handling is a little more important, which is good. The race is close and Chevy has been working hard to give us the power we need. It's a power race track, and we should be right there."

BRYAN HERTA (No. 7 XM Satellite Radio Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "I'm really looking forward to the Kansas race. The win last year was just incredible, and with the way we are running right now in the XM Satellite Radio car, I think we can do it again. Any race can come down to a fuel mileage, and our Honda engines do a great job in giving us all the power we need while also getting good fuel mileage. We just need to stay focused. We are steadily moving up in points and another win at Kansas is what we are looking for."

SAM HORNISH JR. (No. 6 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Toyota/Firestone): "I always enjoy competing at Kansas Speedway. The facility is first rate, and I've earned two second-place finishes in the three times I've raced there. Typically, it's very hot when we race in Kansas, and the heat tends to make the track slick, so it's a challenge to get the car set up just right. Last year, I had mechanical problems, so hopefully this weekend, we can bounce back and put the Marlboro Team Penske car in Victory Circle."

TONY KANAAN (No. 11 Team 7-Eleven Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "Kansas Speedway is a very fast track, and I'm excited to get there and start racing. Last year was a very awkward race, it played out in fuel mileage exactly like we saw last weekend at Richmond. But, I'm confident I can keep doing what I've been doing and extend my lead in the IndyCar Series championship."

DARREN MANNING (No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Panoz G Force/Toyota/ Firestone): "The last four races, we've had one of the quickest cars out there, and I truly believe we've had a chance of winning every single one of them. We've just had some miserable luck, and the end result these last few races just isn't indicative of what this Target team can do. I am pretty upbeat though because the team has given me some really great cars. While I really don't know the Kansas track, I'm looking forward to it because I know the team will put together another strong Toyota/ G Force to get me up to the front."

VITOR MEIRA (No. 17 Rahal Letterman Racing Team Centrix Panoz G Force/Honda/ Firestone): "After our last several races, I think we'll be right in the fight with the Team Centrix Honda. I think the second place at Richmond was a big confidence boost for our crew. We had fast cars at Indy and Texas, but we didn't get the result that we were looking for. Sixth (at Texas and Indianapolis) isn't bad, but I think we had better cars than sixth. Coming into Kansas, I feel good. I think our Centrix team is learning more about each other and the car. I can see progress with every race. It's too bad we started a little late in the season, but I think we'll be able to race with the leaders at almost all of the races now. After the Richmond race, I think we're looking hard at a win."

BUDDY RICE (No. 15 Rahal Letterman Racing Pioneer/Argent Mortgage Panoz G Force/Honda/Firestone): "The Kansas track is a beautiful facility. Of course, we always seem to race there in the heat, and the experience isn't as pleasurable as if it were cooler. The track is your basic 1.5-mile banked oval, and the racing is good there. It's similar to Texas but not quite as banked. You can run side-by-side, and the racing will be fun for the fans. I'm very confident for the Rahal Letterman (Racing) team coming into Kansas. Both Vitor (Meira) and I had good cars at Texas, and our Pioneer/Argent Honda was good at Homestead, so I feel good about our chances. If the temperatures are cooler this year, you'll see tighter racing than ever before at Kansas."

SCOTT SHARP (No. 8 Delphi Dallara/Toyota/Firestone): "I'm absolutely looking forward to going back to Kansas. It's one of our great events with a sold-out crowd, very enthusiastic fans and a very smooth racetrack. We put on great shows there, and I think with the new rules package, as evidenced at Texas, we're going to be side-by-side and running in big groups. I'm excited to go there."

TORA TAGAKI (No. 12 Pioneer Mo Nunn Racing Dallara/Toyota/Firestone): "I'm really looking forward to getting back into the No. 12 Pioneer Mo Nunn car in Kansas City. We obviously had a very disappointing result in Richmond and hope to bounce back this weekend. We enjoyed one of our better qualifying efforts in Kansas City last year, but struggled with fuel pressure problems which eventually forced us to park the car. We look forward to a strong finish over the holiday weekend."

DAN WHELDON (No. 26 Klein Tools/Jim Beam Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "We celebrated our win Saturday night, but the next morning we were already working on the Klein Tools/Jim Beam car for Kansas. That's the thing about this championship. It is so tough, that you have to be on your game the whole time. Kansas is similar to Chicago, and I've run well at Chicago, so I expect we can do the same here. My guys are working really hard, and I think we can be on the podium again."


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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Chip Ganassi , Jim Beam , Mo Nunn
Teams Team Penske , Chip Ganassi Racing