DAY 3 -- Sunday, July 28, 2002 Michigan Indy 400 Post-Race Quotes JEFF WARD (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing G Force/Chevrolet/Firestone): "We just came out of the pits, filled it with full fuel and cold tires, and we were trying to make up...
DAY 3 -- Sunday, July 28, 2002 Michigan Indy 400 Post-Race Quotes
JEFF WARD (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing G Force/Chevrolet/Firestone): "We just came out of the pits, filled it with full fuel and cold tires, and we were trying to make up some time. The car was good that first lap out. Just going flat out into (Turn) 3, on the line I had been running all day, but on full tanks it just seemed to bottom out a little bit and skip up the track. When you're running a high line, you have no room to save it. Went in the marbles, and up it went."
ROBBIE BUHL (No. 24 Team Purex/Aventis/Dreyer & Reinbold Racing G Force/Infiniti/Firestone): "Something broke. We still don't know what yet but are trying to figure it out. It's a frustrating day because we weren't handling well and hadn't been running up front."
EDDIE CHEEVER JR. (No. 53 Red Bull Cheever Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "(Richie) Hearn and I were racing. It's not his fault. I went up a little bit too high. I got in dirty air, and then I hit the wall. One-hundred percent my fault. I take full responsibility for that. It was not a very good example. I did everything I've told Tomas (Scheckter) not to do."
AIRTON DARE (No. 14 Harrah's/A.J. Foyt Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "It looks as if the throttle position sensor went bad. I was full throttle, but the motor didn't know how much fuel it should run. It confused the motor a bit. We tried to fix it, but it was the same, so we decided to get out of the way and watch."
GREG RAY (No. 41 A.J. Foyt Racing/Harrah's Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "The car handled great. Once I got to the lead pack, I could run with them. I just wish we had started further up. I feel they had a horsepower advantage on us. Toward the end, we picked up debris, and the temperatures started to rise, so they told me to slow down. But overall I was very happy with the way the car handled. A.J. sets up a great car."
ELISEO SALAZAR (No. 11 A.J. Foyt Racing/Harrah's Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "That was the longest race of my life. I had a problem from Lap 1, but I wanted to stay out for the points. It was very frustrating."
BUDDY LAZIER (No. 91 Coors Light/Life Fitness/Tae Bo/Delta Faucet Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "It was a long, long miserable day. I love to drive race cars and race, but today it wasn't racing. We were just hanging on. We just weren't able to hit it all day. We made giant changes on almost every stop, but even with the giant changes, it didn't help. I was loose in the middle and pushing everywhere else. It was a real frustrating day, but I was glad to finish. We needed to finish."
ARIE LUYENDYK (No. 55 Meijer Indy Racing G Force/Chevrolet/Firestone): "It wasn't really bad, we just didn't hit the early yellows too well. I spent a lot of time racing with Robbie Buhl. He was quicker in the corners, but I could get him on the straights. I don't know what we did to knock the shock cover off, but the car was a little off. Late in the race, we were just riding around and trying not to get in the way."
RAUL BOESEL (No. 12 Bradley Motorsports Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "I think the car's handling was good, but we didn't have as much power as we needed. Not much attrition today, and it was perfect weather for racing."
BILLY BOAT (No. 98 CURB Records Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "The CURB Records car was as fast as any other car on the track today, but we just couldn't get it all together at the same time. The car had a bad push early on -- the rain had washed all the rubber off the track -- and it took two pit stops to really get the car right. It put us a lap down early, and we just could never recover from that. I mean, we drove to the front, passed the leaders, but just could never get a yellow at the right time. We lost sixth gear and then fifth gear, and at that point we were just coasting. We have a fast race car, but we just need to work on putting it all together. We'll go now and get ready for Kentucky."
ALEX BARRON (No. 44 Rayovac Blair Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "It rained last night, and the track was green today. We made some adjustments on the stop and thought we were in a good position. We had a problem with the right-rear lug nut, and obviously it cost us pretty much what we were working toward during the race. You have good weekends and bad weekends. Let's hope we have more good ones before the season is over. I think we will be quick at Kentucky, and I think we'll be quick throughout the year. It is all the little things that make a difference between a win and 12th place."
TONY RENNA (No. 7 Corteco/Bryant Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "I knew we could be up front. The Corteco/Bryant crew give me a great car week in and week out. They give the whole team a great car. Coming here for me, I had a little experience at the track, that certainly made a difference. Those last 25 laps were probably closer to an Indy Lights race that I'm used to here, so it was a good day for me. We're certainly very happy. The guys gave me great stops all day. Ilmor gave us great power and great reliability. With that package, I was pretty confident we could be here."
MARK DISMORE (No. 2 Menards/Johns Manville/Pittsburgh Paints Dallara/Chevrolet/ Firestone): "I left qualifying thinking we had a really good shot today, but we fell short. I don't know what the answer is, I really don't. Wish I did, but right now I don't. We've got a test in Kentucky next week. It's a track I like, so hopefully we can turn it around."
ROBERT PEREZ (Crew chief, No. 8 Delphi Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "We made major changes to the car last night, and Scott (Sharp) was very happy with the result throughout the race. We used drafting and pit stop strategy to get up to the front, and we gambled on the last stop with fuel only for track position. Our finishing position reflects the results of that. We are quite happy with the finish, considering where we started, and I want to thank Kelley Racing and Delphi for all the support."
SAM HORNISH JR. (No. 4 Pennzoil Panther Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "We lost fifth gear right at the end. Fourth gear was too short, sixth was too long, and fifth was what we needed, but we just didn't have it there. The Pennzoil Panther team did an awesome job today. We came back from so many problems that we had, from a pit-lane speed limiter staying engaged, to a couple stalls in the pit stops, having to shut the car off in the pit stop to recycle the ECM to get it so the engineers could read (the telemetry) again. It probably wasn't the difference between a first and a seventh. It was the difference between a third and a seventh. Tomas (Scheckter) and Buddy (Rice) were fast today. We could keep up with them and might have had something for them at the end. We just didn't have the right gear. The Chevrolet horsepower was really there all day long, and we could pass people. We were just in the wrong place at the wrong time there at the end."
SARAH FISHER (No. 23 Team Smart Blade/Dreyer & Reinbold Racing G Force/Infiniti/Firestone): "It makes it easy on the driver when the car is so good. Mark (Weida) and my team gave me the confidence to jam out there today. My spotter Tony (Hirschman) was awesome, as well. We ran some different lines during practice, both low and high lines, which prepared us for the race. I could drive the car high or low. In sprint cars, you use a move called a slide job, and today we were the only car who could run it. It was a great move for this track. Michigan is a really good, raceable track, and we were well prepared. I had a lot of fun, really driving my butt off. I was able to race with the top guys in points for the first time in three years. We're definitely getting there."
GEORGE MACK (No. 31 310 Racing G Force/Chevrolet/Firestone): "With full voltage, the car was very good. As the volts dropped, we lost horsepower. It was a tough day, but we kept out of trouble and kept our car together for a better day."