Irl Indycar Series Post-Race Quotes BUDDY LAZIER (Delta Faucet/Life Fitness Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "We had a real good day going. I thought maybe we had a top-five run going. There on the last pit stop, when we came out, I picked up a big...
Irl Indycar Series Post-Race Quotes
BUDDY LAZIER (Delta Faucet/Life Fitness Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "We had a real good day going. I thought maybe we had a top-five run going. There on the last pit stop, when we came out, I picked up a big vibration, and as a result, I slid up into the marbles. We didn't know what was going on. I ran four or five laps to try and figure out what was happening. We finally came in and had a bunch of debris on the left-front tire. We picked up a big vibration from there on out. I think that really hurt our race. We dropped back to 11th from a possible top 10. We lost two laps. I really thought something was coming apart. We'll have to go through and check it out. Nevertheless, it was great to finish. We had a fairly strong run, and I think we caught up a lot this weekend."
SIMON MARSHALL (Chief Designer, Panoz G Force): "We are very pleased for Felipe (Giaffone) to get a top-three spot for Mo's (Nunn) team, but our day could certainly have turned out a lot better. Tora (Takagi) was unlucky to get caught out by somebody else's spin, and Tomas (Scheckter) was also looking good for a strong finish when he crashed. Scott (Dixon) was outstanding to lead the first 34 laps, and he was very happy with the car. He could have had another win if not for the gearbox problem. He also set the fastest lap of the race on Lap 13 with a pretty full load of fuel on board, and that is a very good sign. Between Scott and Felipe, we led 92 laps, which is extremely pleasing, but with all the yellows, the race didn't quite fall our way. We now head for Japan, which is a track which should really suit our car. All our guys are really looking forward to the larger tracks because that is where our car should be even stronger."
SHIGEAKI HATTORI (No. 5 EPSON/A.J. Foyt Racing Panoz G Force/Toyota/Firestone): "In the beginning of the race, the car slid around a lot. We made some changes on the pit stop, and the EPSON car got better. The top guys tested here, but we got our long-run testing in the race. The EPSON team did a good job. It was a tough race, and we're glad to get a top 10 out of it."
ROBBIE BUHL (No. 24 Purex/Aventis/Dreyer & Reinbold Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "We'd like to be more competitive, but we're still learning about the car. For a stint there, we were up there running competitively, but it wasn't enough for me to be able to aggressively challenge. It's nice to run all day, but not when it's more of a survival mode than racing. It was important for us to finish the race, so now we'll regroup and chart a new plan for Motegi."
AL UNSER JR. (No. 31 Corteco Dallara/Toyota/Firestone): "Kelley Racing gave me a great car today. We had some great restarts, and that put us in a position to run with the leaders. The Corteco team had a great strategy for the race, and I just want to thank the crew for giving me such a good car. We had struggled a bit this weekend. We made quite a few changes, and we were able to help our race car. We also made some adjustments during the race, and that helped it even more. I was a little loose at the start of the race, but we got a yellow pretty quickly, and I was able to take some front wing out. The Corteco car ran great the rest of the day."
DARIO FRANCHITTI (No. 27 Alpine/Archipelago/Motorola Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "First of all, I'm really happy for Tony (Kanaan), but obviously I'm disappointed we had a mechanical failure. I really felt we had a chance to be at the front at the finish. It was an eventful race. On the fifth restart, I was going around Helio (Castroneves), and I got a bit wide in Turn 3. Because of that, some other guys got down inside of me going into Turn 1, and I lost like four or five positions in the blink of an eye. All day, my Alpine/Archipelago/Motorola crew was making it happen on pit lane. They made up positions on every pit stop. If they can keep that up, I know we can make things happen. It's a shame. I think if we hadn't have had the mechanical failure, we would have been in the top three."
SCOTT SHARP (No. 8 Delphi Dallara/Toyota/Firestone): "It was a long and rough day today, but then, Phoenix always is that way. This track is defined as a bit of a bullring, and today it sure was one. There were a lot of cautions and quite a few accidents. The Delphi team just hung in there all day today. Unfortunately, I got real close to Robbie Buhl and clipped my right-front wing, so we had to come in and replace the front wing assembly. Right after that, Jaques Lazier spun in front of me, and I thought I was going to hit him. I locked the brakes up. It barely clipped the wing, but it was enough that we had to come in a second time for a wing replacement. Today was a tough day, but the Delphi team persevered, and we were able to collect points. Now we'll move on to Japan."
JAQUES LAZIER (No. 2 Menards /Johns Manville/Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "I am proud of the Johns Manville/Menards team. The car wasn't quite right at the beginning. We just kept fighting with it until it worked. That's the nature of this team. We never surrender and keep fighting and fighting. I did a full 360 coming out of Turn 2 and kept going. Then we had another incident with Tony Kanaan down in Turn 3 and got a little sideways. This finish is much more representative of what this team is capable of." (About spin on Lap 152): "We were fighting for everything we could down there, and we had the car trimmed out. It was just skating on the edge, and it went around on me. I kept the throttle down and kept going. It reminds me of the spin and win at Indianapolis. Right now, a sixth-place finish and being the top-placing Chevrolet is a spin and win for us. To come back from the race we had at Miami to finish sixth is tremendous. We are going to keep building on this momentum. I think every Chevrolet that was in there and didn't crash was running at the end. That shows that we have the reliability issue figured out. From here on out what we need to do is to keep working on the entire package. With that, we need to get a little more horsepower, as well. If we can get those two things done, we will be winning in the very near future."
BUDDY RICE (No. 52 Red Bull Cheever Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "This is a big improvement for us from Homestead. I think we deserve to be further up in the standings than we are, but it is what it is. We were running in the lead pack today. It's a big gain. We have sorted out some things with our Dallara chassis from Homestead, and we were able to run with the top cars. I think this will help take the load off of GM. Everyone is hitting the Chevy engine pretty hard, pointing fingers, but I think they have done a good job." (About racing in his hometown): "It's been pretty mellow. My friends and family understand that I have a job to do. Everyone goes over to the old man's (father) bus and has a good time. It was a good weekend. A top-10 finish is a good cap to the weekend, and it's nice to be at home."
JOE NEGRI (Manager, GM Racing Group): "It was an eventful race today. A number of the Chevy teams were very competitive, and it was exciting to see Sarah Fisher running in second place and challenging for the lead. We had three cars finish in the top 10, and we extended the Chevy Indy V8's perfect reliability record, so we are continuing to make progress on all fronts. We are optimistic that trend will continue in upcoming races."
TOMAS SCHECKTER (No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Panoz G Force/Toyota/ Firestone): "I went on the outside (of Felipe Giaffone) and I thought I was by, and I just got a bump in the middle of the corner and went into the wall. We'll just have to look at the video."
KENNY BRACK (No. 15 Pioneer/Miller Lite Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "It was a tough, long day for us today. We just seemed to have too much push in the car. The crew guys did a good job today. We brought the car home in the top five. Not bad, but we need to improve the car. We weren't as competitive as we wanted to be. I feel bad because I hit one of our crew guys, Mike Fisher, on the first pit stop. I came into the pit box and slid the car too much and clipped Mike. I heard they took him to the hospital, and the X-rays were negative, thank goodness. I want to talk to him, though. Even after he was hit, he changed the tire. Of course, when that happened, we lost seven or eight positions. After that, we were just trying to get the car better. It was tough to get a rhythm with the car since there were so many yellows, and guys tend to get anxious and lose their patience. Then they try many things, and you have some coming-together incidents at the end. Yes, it is frustrating on these 1-mile ovals. We just have to improve on our setups to race at the front of the field."
SARAH FISHER (No. 23 Team GM Upromise/Raybestos Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "The car was excellent. It got better and better as the race went on. During the pit stop that we were in second place, we had a miscommunication that led to a loss of several positions, which was the first time that's happened to this team since it was formed. Everyone stuck in there and worked their butts off today, from Speedway Engines to our core group of guys. Now I can say that; A: I've run flat at Phoenix; and B: I had a good time racing here."