IRL: Phoenix: Qualifying quotes

AL UNSER JR. (No. 7 Corteco/Bryant Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "The wind affected me a little bit out there and so did going out right after the Silver Crown cars, but the main problem was in Turn 4 when I lost the front end. The car was good ...

AL UNSER JR. (No. 7 Corteco/Bryant Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "The wind affected me a little bit out there and so did going out right after the Silver Crown cars, but the main problem was in Turn 4 when I lost the front end. The car was good through (Turns) 1 and 2, but I'm not sure what happened in (Turn) 4. I'm not worried about tomorrow because the Corteco/Bryant crew is a great team. They'll be ready to go."

SCOTT SHARP (No. 8 Delphi Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "We really worked more on race setup this weekend. Even during practice this morning, we made some good improvements toward the race. Since we spent so much time working on race setup, it didn't leave much time to work on a qualifying car. That's OK because the race is more important. Let's go racing."

JAQUES LAZIER (No. 2 Menards/Johns Manville Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "Right now we're feeling pretty good. We'd been struggling a little bit yesterday. We all sat down and had a pretty big pow-wow last night. We made some changes. The car's working really well. Unfortunately, we're a day late. We're just a day behind here, but at the same time, the team's working extremely hard. We've got good synergy working for us right now. The overall program we put together in this last 45- minute session before we came out to qualify. I'm very impressed with it. We gained basically seven-tenths over yesterday. I think we now have a car we can work with for race day, and that's what's most important."

GEORGE MACK (No. 31 310 Racing G Force/Chevrolet/Firestone): "I lost power out there. I think I had fuel pressure problems or something. It kind of hindered the performance a little bit. I don't even know what I ran. The car worked excellent. I guess I've got to figure it out in practice before the race, I guess."

ROBBY McGEHEE (No. 10 Cahill Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "The car was great, but the motor - I could feel it on the exit of Turn 4 on the first lap. The motor started to go dead. We had an oil pressure leak. They didn't catch it in practice, and it came back and bit us. I could feel the thing just laying over and kind of jiggling a little bit like it just wasn't going. The car was good. The first time I was ever flat out all the way around, but if we have a dead motor, it's pretty easy to do. "

HIDEKI NODA (No. 20 Convergent Racing G Force/Chevrolet/Firestone): "We did as much as we could. The team did the best job they could, so I think the car is in good shape for tomorrow. The car is very stable. I think we can get some more, but it is very close."

JOHN DE VRIES (No. 37 Pit Bull Energy Drink/Rhino Cleaning Products Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "The car ran great. It was the best run we've had yet. We'll be there for the race."

RICK TREADWAY (No. 55 Airlink Enterprises/Spade Motorsports G Force/ Chevrolet/Firestone): "We've been working on race setup all weekend long. The Treadway/Hubbard crew did an awesome job getting this No. 55 Airlink Enterprises car ready for me. We trimmed her out for qualifying. I just put the pedal to the metal and hung on."

ELISEO SALAZAR (No. 11 A. J. Foyt Racing/Banco Chile Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "This was the best lap of the weekend. We gambled to get the car to go free. The car was a little bit too loose, but it's OK. We knew the car was not very quick in qualifying trim, but we have a really good setup for the race. I am looking forward to tomorrow."

BUDDY LAZIER (No. 91 Coors Light Life Fitness Tae-Bo Delta Dallara/ Chevrolet/ Firestone): "My qualification run was good, definitely more along the lines of what we were looking for. We still have areas to work on to gain more speed. Overall, I am pleased with what looks to be a good starting position."

FELIPE GIAFFONE (No. 21 Hollywood Mo Nunn Racing G Force/Chevrolet/Firestone): "We had a good car today. We're missing a little bit, but we pushed a little harder, and the car was right there. My team always gives me good cars. We struggled a lot in Miami, but I think finishing seventh was actually good. We just struggled the whole weekend, so the seventh wasn't too bad."

BILLY BOAT (No. 98 CURB Records Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "Even though that was faster than we had run all weekend, I'm still a little disappointed. We had a little problem on our entry in Turn 1 of our qualifying lap. Got up a little bit high, and I lost my concentration a little bit. This affected probably the next couple of laps. We missed a setup - didn't quite get the balance right - but overall, we should be towards the front. I think we have a good race car. We'll get all the mistakes out of the way and go racing."

AIRTON DARE (No. 14 Harrah's/A.J. Foyt Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "This track is tricky, and the setup I used to run here is a lot different from what A.J. runs. He said he could put that setup on my car, but he doesn't think it would be good in the race. I am working on changing my style to fit his setup because he has some good finishes here. I'm not there yet, but it will be better tomorrow."

SHIGEAKI HATTORI (No. 12 EPSON Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "This is a new team, and the car feels really good. Bradley is a great team, and we have to improve for the race."

JEFF WARD (No. 9 Chip Ganassi G Force/Chevrolet/Firestone): "We hadn't tested here, so the car needed some more front wing. We went through (Turns) 1 and 2 real good, but in (Turn) 4 I got kind of blown up the track. I had to get out of the throttle before I was going to hit the wall. That killed me. Otherwise that run would have been quite a bit better. We're satisfied with the time we have. We know we have a great race car, so that's the most important thing."

ANTHONY LAZZARO (No. 99 Sam Schmidt Motorsports Racing Special Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "The car felt good. This one is for the team. We started out behind the eight ball a little bit, trying some new stuff that didn't work out. The guys worked really hard all night to get the car back to where we were at the Test in the West. I think we will have a good race car, but we need another practice session to work on it."

DICK AMACHER (GM Racing Chevy Indy V8 project engineer): "This was a great way to start the second race for the new Chevy Indy V8. We had a strong start in Miami with a dominant performance by the Chevrolet teams, and we look forward to a repeat performance tomorrow. Phoenix International Raceway is a very challenging track, and the wind has been a factor. The wind affects both the handling of the car and the performance of the motor, but we have worked hard on developing a very flexible engine package that allows the Chevrolet teams and engine builders to tune the engine to the track and weather conditions. We believe the Chevy Indy V8 will perform very well in traffic, which is certain to be a consideration with 26 cars on a 1-mile oval."

SAM HORNISH JR. (No. 4 Pennzoil Panther Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "When we were out here for the Test in the West, we did three or four practice qualifying runs. One time I went flat, the next time I lifted just a little bit with the same setup, but just a different set of tires. The car went faster because we pushed on exit. It was warmer at that point in time, and there wasn't as much wind, so we were getting in the turns much faster. It's just one of those things. I wasn't quite sure if it could do it, and sure enough, it probably could have." (About starting on the front row): "There's only one fast line through the corners. It's a little bit better to start up front, but sooner or later you're going to catch up with traffic, and if your car isn't working good, it's not going to work good there. The advantage to starting second here is that you have a little bit freer line going into Turn 1. You might be able to pull on past going into Turn 3. There's so many different variables here, but as far as running in the race, sooner or later you're going to run into traffic. The only way I look at it is if I'm running in second, I'm going to keep the tires cool, and wait for a chance for the leader to make a mistake and grab it."

EDDIE CHEEVER JR. (No. 51 Red Bull Cheever Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "Obviously, I am disappointed that we didn't qualify that well. We made a mistake with the gear ratios. The Red Bull Cheever Racing Infiniti is very good. We were just carrying a little too much drag. The strategy is the same for anybody here if you are starting that far back: avoid trouble, make sure the car runs well the first 65 laps on the full tanks and try to guess where the track is going to go. It has been a long time since I qualified this poorly, but the car is good enough that we should be able to run well in the race."

TOMAS SCHECKTER (No. 52 Red Bull Cheever Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "I am just glad to be the first Nissan on the grid. My goal going into qualifying was to get in the top six, and we got fifth, so I'm happy. We'll look for a good race tomorrow for Red Bull Cheever Racing. I'll take it easy in the beginning of the race but not too easy. I want to make sure I get into a good position with a nice rhythm and work my way through the field." (What did Eddie Cheever say to you before you qualified?): "He just said the car was good and that gave me confidence for my run. I just want to have a good race tomorrow. That's what counts. Driving on ovals is a new experience for me. I am enjoying it, but I'll enjoy it more when we are closer to the front."

LAURENT REDON (No. 34 Mi-Jack Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "We had a problem yesterday, so we missed the afternoon session. This morning we just worked on the race setup and only 10 minutes on the qualifying setup. The car was not perfect for qualifying, but we really care the most about the race. I am glad we are not too far back on the grid because it makes it difficult for the race on this type of track."

HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "No doubt about it, it's a very happy moment for Marlboro Team Penske. Beginning Friday we were testing quite a lot in special racing conditions, full-tank runs and making sure that we were nice and smooth during traffic. We were quite happy. We knew that we had a fast car. During qualifying I had no trouble. The wind wasn't bothering me at all. I was very satisfied. I was very happy with the lap. It seems the car is happy. It doesn't mean anything today. (On the) the ovals, as I experienced from the first race of the season, it looks like starting first or tenth or something like that, I don't think it matters much. I'm happy today, but tomorrow is another day. It's different than Homestead, definitely more downforce. If it stays like this I'm sure it's going to be fast." (About his performance at Phoenix in 2001): "Not much happened last year. Last year I started 19th. It's a different approach. We're not only thinking to just go fast, but we are thinking to collect points because we are part of the championship now. Last year whatever happened it didn't matter. Tomorrow if we don't have the car to win, (we'll) just finish second. We have a totally different situation for tomorrow." (About starting on pole): "With my experience that I had at the last race when we were up front, Sam and I, for me I didn't have much problem until I reached lapped traffic. I believe it didn't matter much. First, second or third pretty much had the same conditions."

GIL DE FERRAN (No. 6 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "I'm not exactly sure what happened this afternoon. The Marlboro car was good today, we just didn't have the speed we had in the earlier session. I thought we'd be where we were this morning, but we just didn't have it during our qualifying run. We'll have to go back and look closely at the data to see if we can find something. Tomorrow is a new day. Obviously, we'd like to be starting closer to the front, but I think we're still in good shape. We'll be in a fine position starting the race in seventh, so now we'll just have to see what happens during the race."

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Eddie Cheever , Sam Schmidt , Chip Ganassi , A.J. Foyt , Mo Nunn
Teams Team Penske