POST-QUALIFYING QUOTES: BILLY BOAT: "It's been a roller-coaster weekend. We rolled the car off the trailer yesterday. We made a decision to run the Dallara. We got involved in that incident yesterday and that really set us back. The guys worked...
BILLY BOAT: "It's been a roller-coaster weekend. We rolled the car off the trailer yesterday. We made a decision to run the Dallara. We got involved in that incident yesterday and that really set us back. The guys worked all night long. Iw asn't where I wanted to be but these guys got the car back together. The car ran faster after they got it put back together. These guys won the pole and I did my job. They got the pole. It's going to be a fantastic race. I was kinda down yesterday. We couldn't take a chance. Tony Stewart always pulls some tricks out of the bag. It's a little bittersweet knocking Davey off the pole. he needed the points for the championship but A.J. told me to go for it."
A.J. FOYT: "It's really great. It would've added two points. I thought Tony Stewart was going to beat Davey, so I said, 'Billy, go for it.' The crew worked all night long. The crew did a helluva job putting the car back together." (about Davey vs. Billy): "Whoever is the fastest on the team, don't fight, and when it comes down to the wire, the best man wins. One day Davey would win, the next day Billy would win. I don't pull any punches. That's A.J. racing. When you have Tony Stewart sitting behind you with two good cars, you can't take any chances. I didn't know if we could go 205. We had no choice but to go for it. I have two sponsors. Davey will tell you I'm not going to play sides, not like they do in F-1. I can't gamble with my sponsors. I play my cards on the table and there's no guarantee with anything. These night races can be very long. This is going to come down to the end. May the best man win. Tony and all of us run very close together and Davey did a great job to run like he did. But I've got to be good to Power team and good to Conseco. These two boys know I can't play favorites. I have three great drivers when you consider Scott Sharp and Davey would be the first one to tell you that he wouldn't have felt right if Billy would've given him the pole. Davey wouldn't want to win the championship that way."
DAVEY HAMILTON: "The Power Team and Conseco teams work together and I want to bring the championship home to A.J. I've raced with Billy a lot and really trust him. Tony and I always run well together. I just hope I can come out on top. We've had quite a couple of days here. We've really been up and down. I don't know if I'm happy or unhappy at this point. We'll give it all we've got. We all know we need the points. I'm just the driver. I'm not in charge of strategy. It's my job to drive the car. I leave the strategy up to A.J." (about practice): "We had a bad practice with a motor that was in an accident with Billy. We ended up breaking stuff and I didn't know if it was going to hold up. It all turned out for the best but I had no idea what was going to happen in qualifying because we didn't have any laps. I just went out there and hung it all out and we came up a little short. We sure needed those points for the championship but I darn sure don't want anyhting given to me."
TONY STEWART: "Not a bad place to start the race. This was our quickest run of the week. It's a great car for the race...a very stable car. We've got 200 laps to go. This is the best the car has been all weekend. I'm more worried about racing well than the pole."I've been in this situation before. All you can do is keep your cool. We have a race to run, so now we need to go do it." (about his relationship with Hamilton): "I've got a feeling we'll be racing next to each other all day. We get along very well. Other than Robbie Buhl, Davey is the guy I get along best with. We're friends and no matter what happens with the championship, we'll remain friends. This is a very good series. People may have said that I was wrong but now people are getting twice as much Indy-car races as before. Everyone should be happy." (about a busy '98 schedule): "If you look back at the record books, that's the way I've kept my life." (about Boat's pole): "Yes, I was surprised they let Boat win the pole and get the two championship points."
STAN WATTLES: "I went in not knowing what to expect. There were about four different factors that were changed on the car. They weren't huge but they were big enough. I'm real happy with the way the car handled. We went the fastest we've gone here yet by half a mile an hour. We're definitely going in the right direction. I'm real happy with it. Look out G Force and Dallara, it's coming! (the Riley & Scott chassis). We're going to have a good showing." (NOTE: Wattles became the second driver to qualify a Riley & Scott chassis for a race. The first was Mark Dismore, who qualified at Loudon but did not race the car.)
JIM GUTHRIE: "I was coming from the backstretch and I felt a huge vibration. I felt I was going to lose the engine. We only have one. The car felt the best today. We got the balance back in the car."
AFFONSO GIAFFONE: "Yes, the car did pretty good. It was a flat-out run. You can't go any flatter. It's the kind of speed we were having all week. I had a car that wasn't as good as this (last year) and we did pretty good."
TYCE CARLSON: "Actually we were very happy with our speed. The car keeps getting faster. This car was put together in a two-week period. We keep getting faster every time we go out there."
ELISEO SALAZAR: "We had a good run. We were happy with our run. I hope we stay in the top five. We had a lot of laps at Loudon. I thinkw e have a good chance."
JEFF WARD: "I'm a little disappointed. The car didn't free up like it did in practice. I ran flat-out all the way around. I think we have a really good chance."
JOHN PAUL JR.: "I'm not happy. I'm slow as molasses. We're still learning what makes it happy. It's a very nice car. It's got great balance. It's faster than I am right now. It's the only car we have so we were playing it a little conservatively. We'll save it for when it counts. Once we get racing, we'll be able to start following people and hopefully move up through the field. It'll be a good race car." (NOTE: The team is running a G Force chassis, making PDM Racing the first team to field all three IRL cars this season. It ran Dallaras throughout the season and qualified a Riley & Soctt chassis with Mark Dismore at Loudon, N.H. Also, the team debuted its "flame shorts" today. For the 1996 calendar year and the first two races of 1997, its cars sported a popular flame paint job on the front of its cars. At the team's test here recently, the team found some "flame shorts" in a Harley shop. The team last sported the flame paint job in March at Phoenix and led 22 laps here last year with it.)
ARIE LUYENDYK: "We've got a great team and the car handles great. We were a little disappointed because we thought we should've gotten the pole. The car was bound up a little too much and we had a little too much speed in the turns and it ended up costing us at the end."
PAUL DURANT: "The car felt good, especially today. We made a few tweaks and it's really good. It's a great race track. It keeps your attention. You'll see a lot of passing on Saturday."
STEPHAN GREGOIRE: "Quite happy, but yet not very happy. We tried very, very hard but had the same times as yesterday. We will keep trying. We would like to be quicker. We changed the tires."
VINCENZO SOSPIRI: "It's okay...a little understeer in the four turns. We have a good race-day setup. The car ran pretty fast. We always have a good car for the race. The track is exactly the same as we ran before (yesterday)."
ROBBIE GROFF: "I'm a little disappointed with a 195. We've been in the top 10 in every race since Indy. The weather is going to be good for us. Top three is in the realm. We've done it in other races."
JIMMY KITE: "We've had a really good car. As long as we qualified better than 31st, we were happy. We put the car in the field and let's go racing Saturday. They put a little bit more push in it. We're going to finish the race."
SAM SCHMIDT: "It's a little tight in the end. We had a real push. It's going to be a good race. Speeds are going to be close. There're going to be two lanes of racing Saturday night."
ROBERTO GUERRERO: "We're a little disappointed. It seems like we never get a break. We went out to qualify and we were 6 RPMs down. Obviously we'll find out what's wrong with the car. The chassis worked very well. I'll have to work a lot harder on Race Day."
MARCO GRECO: "The car was very good on the first lap. The second lap would have been much quicker. The car just started to slow down. I just hoped it would last."
BUZZ CALKINS: "The car is a little stiff. Lots of stuff has changed since testing. Haven't had enough time to work out the changes. We have experienced electrical problems throughout practice and again tonight. We're confident, however, that we will not only solve this problem but have a very competitive car Saturday night."
DR. JACK MILLER: "Real happy with the run. Flat-out all the way around. Went for broke and the car stuck. Nissan has made great advancements in the last month."
BILLY ROE: "Wasn't what we wanted but it was okay, anyway. We just wanted to get it in the show."
MIKE SHANK: "It felt the best the car has felt all week. I'm learning a ton each day developing the Riley & Scott chassis. You'll see this car getting better and better." (about helmet buffeting): "I'm getting zero helmet buffeting, unlike some of the other drivers."
KENNY BRACK: "Pretty happy with the run...flat-out all the way. I think the temperature or conditions changed. The car was more bound-up."
BUDDY LAZIER: "We went flat-out. We're a little let down, actually. It was the same thing as Charlotte, going as hard as we can and only going 202 or so. We're a little let down because we thought we had a shot at the pole. The crew worked very hard. We're looking good for the race. We think we have a better shot than most and as good a shot as any."
MARK DISMORE: "Everything went really well. We had an engine problem yesterday. We only ran 15 minutes all day, then ran less than 10 laps today. I'm in the top 10, so I'm happy. It says a lot for the team. I hope we can have some good luck in the race. That would be nice, especially in Las Vegas."
SCOTT GOODYEAR: "Disappointed after being quickest yesterday. We blew a motor this morning. The crew did a great hour and 10-minute motor change to get us back out. We're in the show. It's a long race on a fast track. We do great pit stops. We'll be there at the end."
ROBBIE BUHL: "We've got a great race car. We're up at the front so we'll miss anything that goes on at the beginning of the race. It's going to be a long race. There's going to be a lot of attrition and it's going to be hard on motors. It's so fast around this place ... hopefully, with a little luck with pit stops and yellows, and we'll see when we come in. I'm not worried at all. When you've got the type of deal where I've got two cars so much alike, it gives the driver a lot of confidence. What's nice about this is all I do is show up and drive the race car. In times before, I didn't have that luxury. All I do now is drive the race car."