IRL: Richmond Thursday practice quotes

JEFF WARD ( ...

JEFF WARD (#35 Heritage Motorsports/Firestone/Menards G Force/ Oldsmobile/Firestone): "Without testing here, it's difficult to jump in the car at full speed. The track is a little rough through the turns, and we're working on our line. But the car is ready for a long run. We worked with a full tank all day and ran good times. We just need to adjust the balance and concentrate on qualifying tomorrow."

BUDDY LAZIER (#91 Tae-Bo/Coors Light/Delta Faucet Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "We learned quite a bit out there in the second practice with the temperature change. It should help us on Saturday night. We're so new here, every mile we get in practice helps."

SHIGEAKI HATTORI (#55 EPSON Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "The car is getting better. I think I can pass, yes. The car is running well."

ELISEO SALAZAR (#14 Harrah's A.J. Foyt Racing Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "Everything is OK with the car. We are not making any adjustments. The car has a little push, but we were on old tires. I'm not worried. The times are very close."

SCOTT SHARP (#8 Delphi Automotive Systems Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "We made a lot of changes on the Delphi car. Jeff Britton, my engineer, made some good calls, and we took some good steps forward. The track definitely changed when it got cooler. It's difficult to practice during the day for the night race. During the day the track temperature is about 150 degrees. At night it is around 110. That is a big difference."

BILLY BOAT (#98 CURB Records Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "Right now I think the track's cooled off. It's definitely got more grip. It's probably more like the conditions we're going to see at the start of the race. It's not the conditions we're going to have for qualifying. We ran a little of qualifying early, then we went to full tanks to try to get a balance on our race car."

SAM HORNISH JR. (#4 Pennzoil Panther Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "The track has cooled down quite a bit. It makes it a lot easier on the tires. It's still not where we think it's going to be for the race, but it's getting a lot closer. So it's a better comparison. We are just trying a bunch of stuff. We're happy with the way we had the car set up for practice when we were here earlier, and we have something completely different now. We're just trying things, but we know we can go back to what we had if we need to go faster tomorrow." (Some teams had tire problems in the session, did you?): "I don't think we had any problems. I know we had a couple of yellows for debris and track inspection. Our tires seem to be holding up well. We'll just have to see about the race. The biggest thing is tire management. You need to know when to push the car and when not to. We're going to be running 80-lap runs, but it will be real easy to burn off the tires in the first 20 laps."

AIRTON DARE (#88 1-800-BAR-NONE G Force/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "My car picked up more grip in the second session, because it's not as warm as it was in the morning. During the sessions, we went the wrong way and lost a lot of time putting it back the way it was before. I missed a lot of the session, so we could be better than that. We'll just have to try tomorrow."

SARAH FISHER (#15 Walker Racing Kroger Special Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "I'm fine. They just took some precautionary x-rays to make sure there wasn't anything beyond a bruise. There's nothing there. I just felt a little sore at the first stoppage, and I'm perfectly fine. First, Richmond is awesome. We're really looking forward to the race. We just had a lot of push dialed into the car, and when you have that and you hit some bumps, you get a snap-oversteer kind of feeling, and that's what happened. It overshot and came around on me in an instant. Fortunately, we didn't tear up anything too major, and it will allow us to get on the track tomorrow - same car, same everything. The guys did a great job putting everything back together this evening. We're just going to skip the evening practice and head out there tomorrow. We're just going to start up where we left off, which was a pretty good spot. I think it will be a good weekend for us."

AL UNSER JR. (#3 Galles Racing Starz SuperPak G Force/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "Didier and I went out there with two different setups to help us figure out what we want to use for qualifying and the race. We haven't tested here before today. We figured we should utilize as much information as we could get today from both Didier and myself. I think we came away with a lot of information from both Galles cars today. We feel that we have a pretty good baseline setup for the car, and tomorrow we are going to concentrate on getting a little more speed in the car for qualifying, as well as work on race setup. This will be a great race for the fans. The racing will be very close nose-to-tail racing, and track position will be very important because it won't be easy to pass."

DIDIER ANDRE (#32 Galles Racing G Force/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "We learned a lot about the track and the car today, both with the information from my car, as well as Al Unser Jr.'s car. We are going to look at all of the data tonight and decide which way we want to go tomorrow."

BILLY ROE (#81 Zali Racing G Force/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "We missed this morning's practice. I'm just trying to find my way around this place. It will be fun to race once we get hooked up. I'm just trying to take a look at where the other drivers are and see what they do."

MARK DISMORE (#28 Delphi Automotive Systems/Bryant Heating & Cooling Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "The car is running fine. We've been trying to come up with a race setup. This night practice was really important. I will try to cut a quick lap tomorrow. It's always important to qualify up front, especially here where you can go a lap down so easily."

JERET SCHROEDER (#6 Tri Star Motorsports Inc. Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "This was my first session. My deal came together quite late last night. Unfortunately we couldn't get the car ready in time for the first session. The balance feels nice. I really need laps here to get the feel. I didn't do any testing here. We should have a good car by race time. My car needs some fine tuning. I followed people to learn. I wanted to see what kinds of lines people are taking. I'm just trying to get comfortable with the car and get laps in. With a good spotter, traffic should be OK."

JAQUES LAZIER (#99 Sam Schmidt Motorsports Racing Special Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "Everything is good. We're ready to go. I'm very excited about the level of preparation. We're consistently 14th on full tank race setup. I think we can pick up 3/10th for qualifying tomorrow. It will be difficult to pass here. The corners are tight and passing will be about late breaking. The race will be very hot but definitely a lot of fun."

GREG RAY (#2 Johns Manville/Menards Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "We tried different things this evening as opposed to the afternoon session when it was 30 degrees hotter. We're basically collecting data from hot conditions to cool conditions so we can guess what to do when we qualify in the hot and race in the cool. Nobody has a lot of experience, so we're trying a lot of things, and hopefully we'll roll sevens."

FELIPE GIAFFONE (#21 Hollywood G Force/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "I think it's still pretty good. We did some full-tank runs in the second session, and I'm pretty happy overall. We did like 110 laps with the same set of tires, and it was doing fine. We are guessing at what it will be for the race, so nobody knows for sure what will happen." (Is Richmond a place you could get your first pole or first win?): "Why not? This is the place my car has been handling the best so far, and we can keep improving tomorrow. I'm sure everyone else will improve, as well, and we'll see what happens in qualifying. I'm sure we'll be in good shape."

ROBBIE BUHL (#24 Team Purex Dreyer & Reinbold Racing G Force/Infiniti/Firestone): "The car is OK. We made some changes after we ran earlier today, but the track is drastically different. There is definitely a lot more with this car. We want to make sure we use our time effectively and stay on top of the conditions. Everything is good with the car, and the Infiniti power is good. We don't have any hiccups there. With this track it isn't as much of a power issue as it is a handling issue. We have to stay on top of how the car handles with the changing temperatures from day to evening. Right now the track is 40 degrees cooler than our first practice."

EDDIE CHEEVER JR. (#51 Cheever Indy Racing Infiniti Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "The Richmond track is like nothing we've raced at before. It's very short, very busy, and the traffic is intense. It's incredibly demanding both physically and mentally. Everyone is a rookie here, and it's going to be a very difficult race for the engineers. Richmond is a new proving ground for everyone. The engine we tested with here in April was a different spec than this one. This one has more bottom end, and I'm happier coming off the corners. At the end of the second session we ran with full tanks to get a head start on Saturday. Overall, it was a pretty good day."

A.J. FOYT (Owner, A.J. Foyt Enterprises): "I blame myself for Donnie's (Beechler) accident. I asked him to move up on the track cause that's where the fast guys were running. When he did, it pushed up into the loose stuff and just didn't turn. It was a slow-motion deal. We have to do a few repairs, but it's mostly bolt-on stuff but very expensive bolt stuff. We'll be ready for tomorrow."

-IRNLS/IMS-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Al Unser Jr. , Sam Schmidt , A.J. Foyt
Teams A.J. Foyt Enterprises , Dreyer & Reinbold Racing