Firestone Indy 225 Post-Race Quotes: DAN WHELDON (No. 26 Klein Tools/Jim Beam Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "(On pit stops playing a role in taking the lead): Every one of them got me out very, very quickly. I even struggled to get around (Adrian)...
Firestone Indy 225 Post-Race Quotes:
DAN WHELDON (No. 26 Klein Tools/Jim Beam Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "(On pit stops playing a role in taking the lead): Every one of them got me out very, very quickly. I even struggled to get around (Adrian) Fernandez' tire, and they still managed to get me out in the lead. The credit for them goes to those guys." (On the championship race): "Tony (Kanaan) is very, very strong. Whatever happens, happens. As long as we try and bring the championship home for Andretti Green Racing, and I keep winning as many races as possible, I'll be happy."
TONY KANAAN (No. 11 Team 7-Eleven Dallara/Honda/Firestone): (On not getting the victory): "We needed a win for (team co-owner) Michael (Andretti) and for Andretti Green Racing. We didn't just get the win, we got a 1-2-3 in his last race here, so it couldn't be better than that. He asked us to go out and win the race, and we did a 1-2-3."
DARIO FRANCHITTI (No. 27 ArcaEx Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "It's been pretty good. We didn't quite have enough for Tony (Kanaan) and Dan (Wheldon) at the end there, but to get a 1-2-3 for AGR (Andretti Green Racing), for this man here (Michael Andretti), it's tremendous."
HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Toyota/Firestone): "Today didn't go as well as we had hoped. We really expected a better finish, but unfortunately that's not how things worked out for us. The Marlboro Team Penske car was really good at the beginning of the race, and we led until I got caught behind some backmarkers. After that, I was doing what I could to stay with the leaders. The car's handling was going off towards the end of the race but at least we were able to bring it home in the top five."
DARREN MANNING (No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Panoz G Force/ Toyota/Firestone): "I'm happy with the sixth-place finish, although I really tried to push on that final restart and thought I might have been able to gain just a few more spots at the end there. It really is too bad that we won't be returning to this track as I learned a lot about racing here. Track knowledge certainly plays an important part here, and by the halfway point of the race, I was getting a better idea of what I could and could not do. We had some strong pit stops. The car was really good, and we improved it as the track improved. Overall the Target team is fairly pleased with the result."
SAM HORNISH JR. (No. 6 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Toyota/Firestone): "It's a shame what happened today. Marlboro Team Penske gave me a great car, and we were running real strong until our second pit stop. Unfortunately, I made a mistake and tried to leave the pits too soon. The fuel hose was still in the car as I pulled out, causing fuel to spray our entire pit, and we had quite a fire. When I went back out on the track, I realized that the car was on fire, so I had to pull back into the pits, and the crew put it out. I've got to hand it to my guys. They did a great job all weekend, and it's too bad that the driver screwed up today. These are the kind of races we should be winning, but unfortunately it just didn't happen. I feel bad for the crew. They've been working so hard all year, but the most important thing is nobody got hurt."
ADRIAN FERNANDEZ (No. 5 Quaker State Telmex Tecate Panoz G Force/Honda/ Firestone): "Another good weekend, but unfortunately, we lost our fourth-place position due to a misunderstanding in communication. It was nobody's fault. On one of the last restarts at the end, I was trying to anticipate the restart. I passed a few guys before the green but then I heard 'no green,' and I got confused thinking the start was waived off, meaning it wasn't going to happen. I backed off and was in the wrong gear, and suddenly, I see the green. We lost three positions stupidly because it is so hard to pass here. My car was as good as any car on the track. I passed two guys at the beginning of the race and went from sixth to fourth. This was just a stupid mistake of just not understanding what was happening, but we learned from this one."
SCOTT DIXON (No. 1 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Panoz G Force/Toyota/ Firestone): "The only really good opportunities to pass were on the restarts, and both Darren (Manning) and I got lucky once or twice on the restarts and moved up. The car was good and very quick especially in Turn 2. I got some good runs there, but they just weren't quite enough. I got a lot of my confidence back in the car this weekend. My engineer Julian (Robertson) really helped improve the handling of the Toyota/(Panoz) G Force. It's been frustrating this year for the whole team, but I feel a lot better about the improvements we have made, and we want the final stretch to be a strong one."
BUDDY RICE (No. 15 Rahal Letterman Racing Pioneer/Argent Panoz G Force/ Honda/Firestone): "I was driving that Pioneer/Argent car pretty damn hard today. I was shifting a lot, as many as three gears down sometimes in Turn 3. I know that I was using the gearbox very hard. I think I used up the brakes too. I was trying to get some runs on the guys in front, and I was working the car all over the track. I burned the tires off in the first stint,because I was trying to get by guys in some places I shouldn't have. That made the car push a little too much, but after the first pit stop, the car was good. I was happy with my car after that. I just had to find a line I could run today. I was trying to fake some guys out on the restarts, and it worked a couple of times. This run makes up for the Colorado race. We had a solid day. We scored some points. We're going into three races that we can definitely win, so I'm looking forward to those races. (About the championship): "We are going to have to have some help. It's not over, but we need some help to catch Tony (Kanaan). With three rounds left, anything can happen. I know we can get the second spot if things go our way. And these next three rounds should be good for us."
VITOR MEIRA (No. 17 Rahal Letterman Racing Team Centrix Panoz G Force/ Honda/Firestone): "At the beginning of the race, the Centrix car was very good, and I was able to get under a couple of guys. Then I was starting to get unlucky, and I put the car in some bad places. It was my first race here, and I needed to learn more about the track. I got caught out in a couple of spots, and guys were able to get around or under me. I was trying to overtake people in places that I shouldn't, and that got me in trouble. On the second stint, I had a really, really big moment, and I thought I was going to crash. I was convinced I was going to crash. I don't know how I saved the car from hitting the wall. Everybody got bunched up in Turn 2, and I arrived in the turn at speed. I hit the brakes, and the rear just came over. The car got some air under it. Several guys got by me there. I'm pleased how the car felt at the end of the race. The car was better than 10th place today. I think we have improved the short-track setup with our cars now. But we are going to tracks that I know we will be fast. We have been very successful on tracks like the ones coming up in the series."
BRYAN HERTA (No. 7 XM Satellite Radio Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "First and foremost, this was just an awesome day for Andretti Green Racing. A top-three sweep in Michael Andretti's hometown and the last race at Nazareth. I'm really happy for the team and the other three guys. We just never really got the track position today. The XM Satellite Radio car was as good as the other three. We just never really got the track position or the breaks in traffic. We're chomping at the bit and I know someday the dam is going to break for us."
SCOTT SHARP: (No. 8 Delphi Dallara/Toyota/Firestone): "We had a tough day but at times we got on a decent pace. I was hanging in there trying to get the best finish I could for the Delphi car. I asked Townsend (Bell) what he was doing and he said that his spotter cleared him and I would let him go, but that was never communicated on our end. It's a shame because he was actually running better than me and would have had a better finish, but now both of us are out."
TOWNSEND BELL (No. 2 Menards/Johns Manville Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/ Firestone): "I was struggling a bit in the beginning of the race, and then we got the balance back. We were lucky on the pit stops and got back on the lead lap. We got back up through the field, and I was told I was going to be let go, going into Turn 3. So I had a run and put my nose in, and (Scott) Sharp turned into me. Apparently, there was a breakdown in communication. I was just going off the information I was told."
ALEX BARRON (No. 51 Red Bull Cheever Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "Well, what didn't go wrong today? First I lost my drink bottle, then I lost my gearbox, then we lost our wiring. On the good side, we had great pit stops and great balance in the car, so we were able to run really competitive lap times. We finished the race and earned more points, so we're happy with that."
ED CARPENTER (No. 52 Red Bull Cheever Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "We were struggling all day and letting cars go through. I was going through Turn 2 just like normal, and I got a huge push right in the corner. The thing took off out of line and into the marbles, and then I was just a passenger."
MARK TAYLOR (No. 13 Access Motorsports Panoz G Force/Honda/Firestone): "We got stuck behind Ed (Carpenter) and couldn't get past him. The car was getting worse and worse. We needed to come in and get a fresh set of tires on there. We wanted to let the leaders past us as easily as I could. Townsend (Bell) went down inside of me and I tried to give him enough room but I hit his sidepod. If I had given him any more room, I would have ended up against the wall anyway. It was one of those things, there is nowhere to hide when your car is struggling. We needed a bit more time with the car. That was our problem."
The next IndyCar Series event is the Delphi Indy 300 at 1:30 p.m. (EDT) on Sept. 12 at Chicagoland Speedway. The race will be broadcast live on ABC and the IMS Radio Network. The next Menards Infiniti Pro Series event is the Chicagoland 100 at 4:30 p.m. on Sept. 11 at Chicagoland Speedway. The race will be broadcast by ESPN2 at 3 p.m. (EDT) on Sept. 16