IRL: Nazareth: Qualifying quotes

LAURENT REDON (No. 34 Mi-Jack Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "The car was pretty good. I think I can push it a bit more, but to be honest, the car was good. It's always good to come back with everything fine. I hope to end up in the top eight. It...

LAURENT REDON (No. 34 Mi-Jack Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "The car was pretty good. I think I can push it a bit more, but to be honest, the car was good. It's always good to come back with everything fine. I hope to end up in the top eight. It will be difficult, but for the race it would be good to be in the top eight. We will try here to be a bit better. We are so close to Indy, so we don't want something bad to happen. My experience here is pretty low, but I like the track. It's a pretty nice track. It's a busy track. Let's see for the race. I'm sure it will be a difficult race here and very tough."

ROBBY MCGEHEE (No. 10 Cahill Racing/Scottrade Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "I think we lost out a little there because of the rubber on the track from the Silver Crown cars. Then it drizzled a little bit on top of that, which didn't help either, but the Cahill Racing team has been working very hard. The balance on our car is very good. I think the Scottrade.com car will be a good-handling car during the race, which is very important. Everybody says this is a race of survival. We want to stay in there, give it our best shot and be there at the finish."

BILLY BOAT (No. 98 CURB Records Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "The CURB Records team, we gave it our best shot qualifying. We guessed a little bit on our aerodynamic setup for qualifying, and I think we definitely went in the right direction. We probably could have gotten a little more, but we gained two-tenths from practice, so that's the right direction. We could have used a little bit more. Hopefully, we'll stay in the top-10 and be able to start towards the front, have a good race car and stay in the lead pack."

AL UNSER JR. (No. 7 Corteco/Bryant Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "I don't know what happened. The track was good, and the car was good. I just didn't get it up to speed. The IRL cars are great to drive, and they have great cornering speed."

JAQUES LAZIER (No. 2 Menards/Johns Manville Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "Unfortunately, we left a little bit on the table there. We knew being one of the first cars to go out after Silver Crown qualifying would have an effect and it did. They left a lot of rubber on the track, which we picked up on our Firestones, especially in Turn 3. That probably cost us two-tenths. It was a good lap, though. This car is hooked up, there's no question about that. I'm looking at what we have for Sunday, and I'm not too disappointed that we're not sitting on the pole. Right now, I wouldn't trade this car for anyone else's in the paddock."

SCOTT SHARP (No. 8 Delphi Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "I'm pretty pleased with the Delphi team. We had a good lap. We were hoping it was going to be better. We just didn't have the speed through Turn 3 like the other guys. I do have previous experience at this track, but it doesn't really matter. The IRL cars are so different that my experience doesn't really affect things here."

BUDDY LAZIER (No. 91 Coors Light/Life Fitness/Tae-Bo/Delta Faucet Dallara/Chevrolet/ Firestone): "The car was real good. We've made good key changes since yesterday. We just picked up a tick of push, but other than that, we almost hit flat-out around the corners. It should be an awesome racetrack. We're just hoping for a good race. It's hard to pass, but like a lot of short ovals that we run on in Indy cars, the fast cars always find their way to the front."

ANTHONY LAZZARO (No. 99 Blair99.com/Sam Schmidt Motorsports Dallara/Chevrolet/ Firestone): "I had a small fracture in my back from Phoenix. I had to sit out Fontana. I tested last week at Indy and tested here earlier in the week. I haven't had any problems. This is probably the most unusual, trickiest track we go to. You just have to get a good balance for the race, not having a car that goes loose. Traffic is such an important part it's very difficult to pass, so you really need to have a good race car."

JON HERB (No. 16 Star Registry WeberGrills.com G Force/Chevrolet/Firestone): "It's my first time here, and I'm still getting to know the track. The car is good. I'm ready for the race. Being there at the end is the key."

GEORGE MACK (No. 31 310 Racing G Force/Chevrolet/Firestone): (About Nazareth Speedway): "I was warned about the track before I got here, so I already kind of had an idea. I raced it on the computer, too. I do it all the time." (About his plan for the race): "Mainly watch for all the attrition and pick my passes."

RICK TREADWAY (No. 55 Airlink Enterprises/Spade Motorsports G Force/ ." Chevrolet/Firestone): "It was the best lap we'd done all week. ." I'm really just happy and honored to be racing in front of all ." these great fans here at Nazareth Speedway. I'm really glad to have ." Airlink Enterprises sponsoring us, and Treadway/Hubbard Racing has ." given me a good car. We've got a good setup. We've been practicing ." our race setup. It should be a great race for the fans. I'm looking ." forward to it SARAH FISHER (No. 24 Team Purex/Aventis/Dreyer & ." Reinbold Racing G Force/ Infiniti/Firestone): "The car was a bit ." different than this morning's practice because the tire pressures ." didn't come up. That was really unexpected, and I had to dump the ." throttle over in Turn 3. We've been making slight adjustments since ." we tested Tuesday, and our focus is on Sunday's 225 laps, not just ." these two ."

RICHIE HEARN (No. 11 A. J. Foyt Racing/Banco Chile Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "I thought it would be a faster time than it was. I was flat through (Turn) 2 for the first time, and I really was surprised to see the times on my dash. I'm really disappointed because I think my car is better than it shows. Maybe starting that far back we can miss some of the carnage."

AIRTON DARE (No. 14 Harrah's/A.J. Foyt Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "The car was better in Turn 2. It is the first time I could go flat through there all weekend. On my second lap when I came through (Turn) 4, the car got sideways, so I lost a couple tenths. It's the best we've gone here so far."

FELIPE GIAFFONE (No. 21 Hollywood Mo Nunn Racing G Force/Chevrolet/Firestone): "I was actually expecting a little more for qualifying. We are right there, and we keep moving a little bit. We should be good for the race. We have a lot of downforce in the car, so tomorrow we will have our work cut out for us."

SHIGEAKI HATTORI (No. 12 EPSON Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "We have a little bit of work to do. The car is getting better, but we need a little bit more speed. We are going the right way as far as car setup. We should race good tomorrow."

TOMAS SCHECKTER (No. 52 Red Bull Cheever Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "I had never seen this circuit before this weekend, so I am happy to qualify fourth. The guys on the Red Bull Cheever Racing crew did an unbelievable job. I didn't get my qualifying right, so I am happy with this result. In the race, I will be looking for clean air and to stay out of the way. It's going to be a tough race. There's not much room for passing. I really liked the 1-mile in Phoenix, but the problem here is that we really didn't have enough testing. We couldn't get a perfect setup. This is the toughest circuit I have been on so far. I really had to push hard and concentrate on what the car was doing. It's been tough. Tomorrow's race will be even harder. Coming from the test at Indy, the difference here is massive. Indy is so smooth. Here you are really fighting the car. We have a lot of downforce on the car. It is so completely different."

SAM HORNISH JR. (No. 4 Pennzoil Panther Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "We are not quite as fast as we would like to be. We always want to be fast and up at the front at the start of the race, so we are not quite there yet. We were working on our race setup most of yesterday, so we are pretty happy with that. We just have to wait and see what the weather does tomorrow, but I'm sure the Pennzoil Panther Racing car will have a good race."

JEFF WARD (No. 9 Chip Ganassi Racing G Force/Chevrolet/Firestone): "We are obviously not fast enough. We picked up a push off of the bottom of Turn 3, and that was it. It was not a good run for us at all. Everybody will be about the same in race trim, and we are starting in the back, so we are not too happy with our qualifying run at all."

EDDIE CHEEVER JR. (No. 51 Red Bull Cheever Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "It is just taking me too many laps to get the tires up to temperature. This is good for the race because it means the car will last on long runs. I needed an extra two laps in qualifying. It's disappointing, but it is not really a big deal. I prefer the Fontana experience (where he qualified on the pole) more than running from the back. Tomorrow is one of those days you have to stay out of trouble and pass as many cars as you can. The Red Bull Cheever Racing team really needs to turn things around this season and finish tomorrow. I have no complaints on my car. I have a phenomenal race car."

ALEX BARRON (No. 44 RAYOVAC/Blair Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "We made a few changes on the rear of the car since practice. The Rayovac/Blair car was solid for qualifying. I'm not sure we could have gotten anything else out of it. The car feels good and has felt good since we got here. Racing here before has helped me. I'm pretty confident for the race tomorrow. The balance in the car will change, and these cars are different from the ones I raced here before. It is going to be tough to pass, and some of the cars are going to go off. Pit strategy will play a big part in the race. We have a lot of good things going for us right now: the top-10 starting position, Rayovac coming on board. Things are starting to click. We are really happy to be able to put on a good show for them."

HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): (About qualifying at the front): "It is always very good, but I don't think it is that important, as I learned in Homestead, as I learned in Phoenix. I still think if you have a good race car, you are probably going to end up much better because traffic here is going to be all the time. It was a good run for Gil (de Ferran). I had a little trouble on my first lap. Normally you take it a little easy on the first lap.You make sure you establish a good lap, and then on the second one, I just went for it. The car unfortunately had oversteer on entry of the corner, and then the car is like, yikes, but it is still fun. That is why this track is so challenging. That's why I believe the race is going to be very tough, and you have to be patient. Every time I say that, to be patient, when I put the helmet on, I forget what I'm talking about. So hopefully tomorrow, I won't forget." (About the race): "We are looking for hundredths of a second. That means everybody on the pace of the field is looking for one tenth. It's difficult to find out here. I do believe that we are going to be busy tomorrow. I do believe we are going to have a hard time to pass. But again, I don't think the pace of the race is going to be 19's (second laps), probably 20's. It's going to be even harder to get, maybe only one or two laps when you have a clear track. The traffic is going to be all the time. It's going to be interesting. It's going to be very interesting. Turn 1 is like the most tough place here because when you get a good run on somebody, sometimes you only get half of your car, and obviously the guy that is on the outside doesn't want to lift, and the guy on the inside doesn't want to lift, and that's what happens: major accidents. We just have to be patient, like I said, hopefully."

GIL DE FERRAN (No. 6 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): (About CART versus IRL cars): "They are very different cars to drive. Especially in this type of configuration, this mile-oval configuration, the cars here are very, very different. Like you said, in the CART car here we have to brake and downshift, so this is a very different driving style. These IRL cars tend to behave pretty well in traffic. However, I still think the track is hard to pass on. It's always been a track that's hard to pass. It's going to be hard to pass in these cars as well. It's not going to be like Fontana, a lot of people two wide. It's probably going to be harder than Phoenix, in my opinion. Obviously, Helio and I ran two laps side-by-side there, but I think here it's tougher to do this sort of thing. In terms of enjoyment, I think these cars are really well adapted to this type of track. I really enjoy them. I find them challenging. We were discussing after this morning, how fast this thing is through (Turn) 3. It's incredible. It's just kind of a half lift and smashing the gas again and hoping. It's exciting, and it's difficult. You have to be absolutely precise. I enjoy it." (About Turn 1): "Everybody squeezes into one line there, so that's what really makes it so crucial. If you try to stick your nose in there, you better make sure you're all the way beside the guy because the guy is going to turn. Helio's learned that, I've learned that. When you go, 'Ugh. Don't, don't, don't. I'm here.' It's a typical thing that happens here in Nazareth. I think the guys that are new to this racetrack probably, if they've not already learned that, they will learn that pretty soon in the race. (About conditioning): "From a physical standpoint, this race is pretty hard. You better be in good shape because there's not much time to rest. You're really working all the time, and there are cars all over you. There's not much time to relax." (Is there added pressure running here at Nazareth?): "Actually, it's a nice race for us because there are lot of friends and family out of the crew and the people that work with Philip Morris. Rather than pressure, I have to say that it's really a nice atmosphere because you see a lot of people that you know and a lot of people that you care for, and they care for you. I like coming here because of that. My first time experience of that was in 2000, and I thought, 'Man this is nice.' And I won. So rather than extra pressure, I actually think that it's a nice atmosphere for both Helio and I."

-irl-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Sam Schmidt , Chip Ganassi , Philip Morris , A.J. Foyt , Mo Nunn
Teams Panther Racing , Team Penske , Chip Ganassi Racing