IRL IndyCar Series Post-Race Quotes Suntrust Indy Challenge, Richmond International Raceway SAM HORNISH JR. (No. 4 Pennzoil Panther Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "We had a really good-handling car and kind of some of that luck that we haven't...
IRL IndyCar Series Post-Race Quotes
Suntrust Indy Challenge, Richmond International Raceway
SAM HORNISH JR. (No. 4 Pennzoil Panther Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "We had a really good-handling car and kind of some of that luck that we haven't had this year. We were doing the right things on the racetrack. We haven't had the best of luck in the pits this year. It's kind of one thing after another. The Pennzoil Panther team, we all work together and try to do the best we can, and we'll keep trying to win these races. It's fun to go out there and pass people, but sooner or later, we're going to get there." (About pit road incident): "I got waved. I couldn't see (Felipe) Giaffone. They told us too late. I hit the brakes, but we bumped wheel to wheel and bent the right front tie rod and the wing a little bit. We figured that we'd just go out there and keep pushing it hard. It took a little bit of the balance away from the car, but we were still running pretty fast, so we were happy about that."
JAQUES LAZIER (No. 5 Conseco/A.J. Foyt Racing Dallara/Toyota/Firestone): "I think this was a morale booster for the Conseco team even though the result doesn't reflect how good the car was running. In the beginning it was running great, but then I went too hard into Turn 2, and it pushed up into the marbles and gummed up the tires. I lost about a second off my pace for the next 15 laps because it was so loose. Then I got lapped, and the car dive-bombed me, so I was up in the marbles again. But we came home with all four tires on it, and we can go into Kansas knowing we have a shot at defending the victory Foyt Racing got there last year."
TOMAS SCHECKTER (No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Panoz G Force/Toyota/ Firestone): "It didn't go exactly as we would have liked. We had a great start. We knew we had a good race car. We had a pretty good race lap, but unfortunately, I think I may have gotten hit on the back by Al (Unser Jr.) on a restart. It was quite a funny restart. I'm not sure what happened. It was a little bit of a bump. We had to change the front nose, and it put us back two or three laps. We had to fight from there. I'm just happy for our team that we got a win out of it. We'll concentrate on the next race."
SCOTT SHARP (No. 8 Delphi Dallara/Toyota/Firestone): "Really tough day for the Delphi team. We struggled. We've never been in this situation before where we ran third in the first session and it was just a downhill slide through the rest of the race weekend. We made some changes to the car for the race, thinking we were going in the right direction, and about 25 laps in, the car would just get really loose, and I was just hanging on from that standpoint. We got unlucky at times. The leader lapped us; the yellow would come out. It was unfortunate. On our first stop, we couldn't get fuel in the car, so I had to pit again."
AL UNSER JR. (No. 31 Corteco Dallara/Toyota/Firestone): "I'm just really proud of my guys. The Corteco/Bryant Special was running good at the beginning of the race. We were working our way up toward the front and made our pit stop, gained spots on our pit stop again, and then unfortunately, Scheckter spun in front of me and clipped my wing. That put me at the back of the queue, and then we just never could get the car back again. I'm just super proud of my guys. They prepared me a great race car. They had great stops. It was just a misfortune that a wing got clipped when we were in such a strong position."
ROBBIE BUHL (No. 24 Purex/Aventis/Dreyer & Reinbold Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "Everything we were doing to the car made it better as the night went on. After our last stop, we had more grip, and I thought we were really going to be able to go forward. Great pit calls let us make up our lap toward the end, but then the field didn't bunch up for the restart, and we didn't get a chance to get back into it."
BRYAN HERTA (No. 27 Archipelago/Motorola Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "It seemed like once everything settled down after a restart, we didn't have a car to make many passes. Actually, it didn't look like many guys did. I knew I had to try and make something happen on the last restart to move the Archipelago/Motorola car to the front. I got around (Kenny) Brack on the outside of Turn 1 and Turn 2. I wasn't planning on it, but the track opened up in front of me, so I went three-wide going into Turn 3, and I just couldn't get the car down. I ended up getting into the gray, and I hit the wall. I lost a lot of time there."
DAN WHELDON (No. 26 Klein Tools/Jim Beam Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "The Klein Tools/Jim Beam crew did a great job on pit stops, and that was important because track position was so critical tonight. It was really difficult to pass out there, and when Sam (Hornish) got by me, I lost some time, and (Kenny) Brack was able to get by me, as well. The Klein Tools/Jim Beam car was good, and the crew did a good job, and that made it a good day. I don't think the result reflects how well we did today, and it was good to get a finish, nonetheless."
SARAH FISHER (No. 23 GMAC/AOL/Dreyer & Reinbold Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "We are obviously disappointed in our performance tonight. The weekend started with great practice, starting on the front row, and things were going our way. Once the race started, our (tire) pressures went away, and it made the car real loose. We chased it the whole race and just could not find the solution no matter how many or what kind of changes. We've got to go back to the shop, evaluate it and see what happened so next week we will be ready to race again."
TONY KANAAN (No. 11 Team 7-Eleven Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "Tonight was tough. I can't blame anybody but myself. I'm driving it, and I think I chose the wrong setup for our Team 7-Eleven car. I couldn't really tell my engineer what I needed, and the car struggled a little bit during the race. But to get out of here with a top five is not too bad. I figured this race would be pretty tough for me. It seems like I couldn't figure out this racetrack and what I needed, right from day one. But we did our best, and a top five is good. We have some bright days ahead of us. I think we tested pretty good at the tracks we will go to in the next few weeks. Honda has been giving me great power, and we'll go for the win next time."
BUDDY RICE (No. 52 Red Bull Cheever Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "We're fairly happy with our finish tonight. It took a little bit to get our car going, to get the tires warmed up and then to get rolling. It kind of hurt us on restarts. Other than that, I think the car handled reasonably well. It's too bad the race got stopped early because of the rain. You know it's a bad sign when you see spray coming off the tires of the cars on an oval track. If it hadn't started raining, I think we could have gained a couple more positions. The crew couldn't have been any better today. When we came in, we picked up spots each time, so it was excellent work by the boys. The pit stops were just superb. That's what helped us move up. Other than that, I think we brought it home again in one piece, so that's a big help."
TORA TAKAGI (No. 12 Pioneer Mo Nunn Racing Panoz G Force/Toyota/Firestone): "We did the best we could starting from the back in our backup car. I think it is a very difficult job to make two cars exactly the same. We had a good car for qualifying yesterday, but unfortunately, we had the accident in the final practice and had to start in the back. I was fighting oversteer for the whole race. Everything I tried didn't work. I was working with the (roll) bars and the weight-jacker, and I could not get the car to work better. The team did some good strategy to get me to the 11th position, but then I got a little too high on the track, on the dirty stuff, and (Roger) Yasukawa and (Greg) Ray got by me. We did our best. If we would have started third in the car I had yesterday, we might be celebrating right now. Instead, we'll be happy to leave here with one of our race cars in one piece."
FELIPE GIAFFONE (No. 21 Hollywood Mo Nunn Racing Panoz G Force/Toyota/ Firestone): "After three not-so-very-good results, we finally got a top-six finish. It's not the greatest, but we had great pit stops tonight, and we improved the car on both stops. If we perform like that the rest of the season, we're going to be fighting for the championship. At the beginning of the race, the car was really bad. I couldn't touch the throttle because I was pushing really badly in some places and loose in others. But we made the car a little more balanced on the first stop, and then a little more on the second stop. I just wish I could have started the race with the car as good as it was when we finished the race. We had an incident there with (Sam) Hornish on the first stop, but fortunately it didn't hurt the Hollywood car, and we ended up gaining track position with a good stop. I don't know what happened. I was committed to my pit stall, and all of a sudden, Hornish was there. I think he didn't know I was coming or he had some sort of miscommunication with his crew. Kind of like we had at Pikes Peak with (Tomas) Scheckter. With the way he was running at the end of the race, I think the contact didn't hurt Hornish's car, either. We'll take some pretty decent points from here, and hopefully we're back on the right track. I'm really looking forward to Kansas next weekend."
KENNY BRACK (No. 15 Pioneer/Miller Lite Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "We got good luck and bad luck tonight. Right at the start, I could hear the team on the radio, but they couldn't hear me. Something was wrong with my microphone or some wiring, so I was only listening to Scott (Roembke, Team Rahal COO). That was probably good for the team, since I was yelling a lot tonight. That was some pretty wild racing. We got a pretty good start and moved up a bunch of spots. On my first pit stop, I hit my marks, but the air jack was on some tape on the pavement, and the car moved on the jacks. The right rear tire didn't get all the way on the hub. That's how I lost the tire. It was a shame, too. We came out of the pits in fourth, but I had to pit again, and we went back to 12th or so. The car had too much oversteer in the middle portion of the race, but we improved the car at the end. There were so many close calls for me, especially on every restart. At the end, we got a break because the right-front tire was going flat, and we would have had to pit. But the rain came, and we were able to take the red and checkered flags. We picked up some points tonight and finished our seventh straight race."
GREG RAY (No. 13 TrimSpa Racing Panoz G Force/Honda/Firestone): "We were very solid at the beginning of the race. The car felt great. I was biding my time, not being too aggressive. I was definitely as fast as the leader. I had a little bit of a different fuel strategy, and we lost position on our last pit stop. Everyone got a slow restart. I had a pretty good run on them on the inside. I just turned the wheel and spun it. I was really disappointed. I felt like we really had a top-five car here. I want to thank TrimSpa and EDS and all of our sponsors. We had a great race going. I made a mistake there on that last restart, and it cost us."
ROGER YASUKAWA (No. 55 Panasonic ARTA Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "The race went fairly well. I think we had a pretty good strategy. Unfortunately, on my second restart, I didn't get the brake temps up enough, and I went to the higher line through Turn 1. I lost a lot of positions there. That made me a lap down, eventually. I think, all in all, it was a good race. It was a little bit of up and down, but considering how the weekend went, I'm happy to have the finish. We'll go on to the next one at Kansas City."
BUDDY LAZIER (No. 91 Delta Faucet/Life Fitness Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "A miserable, miserable day. We didn't test here, but I don't know if we can blame it all on that. We missed it bad all weekend. This place has been very good to us, and I love short tracks. I just couldn't get out of my own way tonight."