IRL: Richmond: Qualifying quotes

LAURENT REDON (No. 34 Mi-Jack Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "We've got a good car for the race. The car is pretty good. I'm happy with the time. This is my first time at this track. I watched a videotape of the race last year, but I really don't...

LAURENT REDON (No. 34 Mi-Jack Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "We've got a good car for the race. The car is pretty good. I'm happy with the time. This is my first time at this track. I watched a videotape of the race last year, but I really don't know what to expect. I like the short track. It reminds me of a road course. I'm not used to the ovals too much. You have to be precise with your car at this type of track."

BUDDY LAZIER (No. 91 Coors Light/Life Fitness/Tae-Bo/Delta Faucet Dallara/Chevrolet/ Firestone): "It wasn't a good lap, but I really enjoy this racetrack. We're going to do everything we can to have a good night tomorrow."

ROBBY McGEHEE (No. 54 Norwalk/Parsons Motorsports Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "It's the fastest we've gone all weekend. The track reminds me a little bit of Nazareth, with that tight Turn 3. It's nice to get to slide an Indy car around. You rarely get to do that, and you're doing it big time here. It's really a fun track, and I look forward to racing on it."

JEFF WARD (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing G Force/Chevrolet/Firestone): "It was pretty good. It just kind of pushed up a little bit in (Turn) 1. I was good down the backstraight. I thought we would have been a little quicker than practice. We were a little bit, but not much as we thought." (What is the key to racing at Richmond?): "Just making sure your car stays on the bottom good and it's not loose off the corner. That's hard to do. We have a really good handle on the race setup. I think we needed to be a little more aggressive on the qualifying."

SARAH FISHER (No. 23 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing G Force/Infiniti/ Firestone): "There's a lot of work on the car that we need to do. Last year, I was here with a Dallara and a Menards (engine), and this year I'm here with an Infiniti and a G Force. It's a totally different engineer and team. But the good thing about it is, I've got Robbie Buhl behind me, and he's given me a lot of advice on some of the things that I need to do. He's sharing what he's doing, so that's always helpful."

SCOTT SHARP (No. 8 Delphi Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "We dotted our i's and crossed our t's a little bit, made some minor changes and ran our fastest lap of the day. That's certainly what you need to do in qualifying, and we're pleased. Last year was so new. No one knew what to expect. I think you realize how critical it is to keep the balance in the car."

HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "I hope I do as well as I did at Indy. It's tough here, though. You have several bumps in Turn 2. We're just going to have to be patient tomorrow night."

FELIPE GIAFFONE (No. 21 Hollywood Mo Nunn Racing G Force/Chevrolet/Firestone): (About racing at Richmond): "I think the car has to be really good. It's going to be a physical, demanding track. It's going to be very hard on the drivers. The biggest thing will be to keep out of trouble."

SAM HORNISH JR. (No. 4 Pennzoil Panther Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "I gave the guys at Pennzoil Panther Racing a lot more work to do this afternoon, and it really hurt us. We didn't get to run some of the qualifying stuff that we wanted to later on in the session. We were working more on trying to get the car to work good on old tires. We'll just have to wait and see what we have for them tomorrow. If I hadn't screwed up, we probably would've been a little bit quicker, but to be in the top four overall is a good thing after the guys had to put the car back together. I really put us at a disadvantage for qualifying and the race because I know we could've gone faster. A lot of people probably wondered if I would be confident getting back into it and pushing the pedal down, but I have all the faith in the world in those guys. I know they're not going to put me out there in something that's not safe."

TOMAS SCHECKTER (No. 52 Red Bull Cheever Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "This is all new for me today, so it is very difficult. Especially with a two-day event, where you have two 45-minute practice sessions and then you go out to qualify. That is not very much time to get used to the circuit and get the car set up right. At least we were able to start with what (teammate) Eddie (Cheever) used here last year. We are doing the best we can. At Phoenix and Nazareth I was able to pull things off, but I had more testing then. Richmond is a nice track. It's really tight. It's very demanding on the driver and the cars as well."

ALEX BARRON (No. 44 Rayovac Blair Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "We did not test here like most other teams, so we are a little behind. We started conservative this morning. We're picking up the pace and will find some more time in the car. We had two good practice sessions today, and the qualifying was pretty good. The car is balanced, the engine was flawless, and now we're just playing catch up. We have to keep progressing just like we are. I'm looking forward to the race. I like this track a lot, and it is sure to have a lot of action. Richmond is like a flat Nazareth. You have to be somewhat aggressive here and pass when you can. This track is hard to pass on, and you have to take the opportunities when they come. We must have good pit stops and hopefully luck will be on our side tomorrow during the tight racing. Luck can sometimes play against you even if you have a good car and are ready to race. We're ready to start winning. The Blair team has worked hard all season to get where we are, have good finishes and stay in the top 10 in points. This team wants to win."

EDDIE CHEEVER (No. 51 Red Bull Cheever Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "I heard if you do a 15-second lap, you can see the tail of your car in Turn 1 when you are coming out of (Turn) 4. It's a little quicker this year. It's very busy. There is a lot of excitement for the race here in Richmond. That is very motivating for the drivers. Tomorrow night will be a good show. We are struggling today. We can find a decent balance, but we can't pick up enough grip."

MARK DISMORE (No. 2 Menards/Johns Manville/Pittsburgh Paints Dallara/Chevrolet/ Firestone): "We missed the second session today. We had a problem. We just missed it on gear ratios. We were geared wrong, we never got to the rev limiter, and it showed on our lap time. We only ran a tenth better than we practiced, and I really expected around a 16.2 (second lap) or so. We ran a 16.5, so it was disappointing. We have a really good race car, we just missed the gears. It's not a big deal. That's the way it goes."

GREG RAY (No. 11 A.J. Foyt Racing/Harrah's Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "My first hot lap was more of a warm-up lap. On the second lap, I got into Turn 1 real hard. The car bottomed out, and it just took off. There was no sense staying out, so I just pulled it in. That lap would've been two-tenths quicker."

AIRTON DARE (No. 14 Harrah's/A.J. Foyt Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "Going into Turn 1 the car rolled a lot, so I got it settled down. Then it picked up a big push coming off the corner, and then it was the same thing going into Turn 3. I don't know what to say. We've got a lot of work to do."

BILLY BOAT (No. 98 CURB Records Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "An 11th place start for the CURB Records team, with only one lap, is not quite what we were looking for, but we think we have a good race car. We think we had a little bit more in it than that. I tried to run the car harder on that qualifying lap, and I hit that bump in Turn 2 a little bit harder, and the car got away from me a little bit. I had to let up on the throttle some, so that hurt us a little bit. The key here is going to be getting through traffic and being patient and being there at the end."

AL UNSER JR. (No. 7 Corteco/Bryant Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "We tested here, and although we were pretty good, when we got here, some of the guys are a little faster. We will be OK for the race. We have a good car. We just didn't qualify as well as we would have liked. This track is what it is all about. We run really close to each other here, which makes for great racing for the fans. The Corteco/Bryant team did a great job. We will be fine tomorrow night."

RICHIE HEARN (No. 20 BG Products Sam Schmidt Motorsports Racing Special Dallara/ Chevrolet/Firestone): "We ran a couple of tenths faster than we ran this morning. I think we could've gone a little faster. I think I messed up in Turn 3 on the last lap. I drove it in a little too hard and kind of washed up a little bit. I'm happy with it." (Have you ever run here before?): "No. I was here last year to watch. We didn't test or anything. Getting just two practice sessions makes it a little tough, but every session I've been a little faster, so I'm pleased with it."

ROBBIE BUHL (No. 24 Team Purex/Aventis/Dreyer & Reinbold Racing G Force/Infiniti/ Firestone): "Clearly we're not happy with where we are, and we've got a lot of work to do. It makes for a frustrating day, but we've got to just dig deep and turn some things around. We've got 250 laps tomorrow to work our way through traffic. We just didn't make it any easier from the start."

HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): (It looked like your lap was going to hold up for the pole): "Yeah, it was good. This morning we (Castroneves and Gil de Ferran) weren't in the same session, and we didn't know how fast we were going to go. We ran a 162 (mph) in practice, and then again in qualifying. When I heard a 162 (mph) in qualifying on the first lap, I said, 'I'm going for it on the second lap.' It was pretty good, but I know the teammate that I have, so that's why I couldn't celebrate. It's been fun, but very difficult, because most of the tracks that we have been going to are new for us. Even the tracks we ran on before in other series are still different because of the different equipment. The whole team has been working really hard, and we have found the speed. As long as we keep ahead in the race, we'll be in good shape. This track is very difficult because it is such a short track. I thought one mile was short, but this is pretty damn short. Hopefully tomorrow we will be OK."

GIL DE FERRAN (No. 6 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): (Will you race teammate Helio Castroneves at the start): "Did you watch the race in Pikes Peak and the one in Phoenix? Where else? Indianapolis last year? We always race each other hard. The only orders we have is not to take each other off. Helio (Castroneves) and I, this is our third year together. We've been going wheel to wheel now several times, on road courses and ovals and superspeedways and all that sort of stuff. Thankfully, touch wood, we haven't got into any trouble. I think it will continue. Otherwise, I am going to have to climb the fence with Helio to the other side and take off." (About traffic at Richmond): "I think that's just a feature of short-oval racing. It's a fact of life that you're going to be running into traffic all the time. Certainly the shorter the track, the worse the traffic is, and the experience we've had here in practice has shown us that it's going to be hard to pass. Even sometimes when you get a run coming off of Turn 4 or Turn 2, it's really hard to make it all the way by the time you're into the next turn. It's going to be hard, and trying to keep your nose clean is going to be important for a good result. Whoever has a good car in traffic is certainly going to have a big advantage."


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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Robbie Buhl , Helio Castroneves , Gil de Ferran , Sam Schmidt , Chip Ganassi , A.J. Foyt , Mo Nunn
Teams Panther Racing , Team Penske , Chip Ganassi Racing , Dreyer & Reinbold Racing