IRL: Texas II: Post practice quotes

SARAH FISHER (No. 23 Team Smart Blade/Dreyer & Reinbold Racing G Force/Infiniti/Firestone): "We had a great morning practice. The first time we hit the track, I had the best car I've ever had here. Unfortunately, we're missing the afternoon...

SARAH FISHER (No. 23 Team Smart Blade/Dreyer & Reinbold Racing G Force/Infiniti/Firestone): "We had a great morning practice. The first time we hit the track, I had the best car I've ever had here. Unfortunately, we're missing the afternoon practice session because a welded seam split in the oil tank, which took longer to fix than the time we had available between practices. The best thing I can say about the whole deal is that the Smart Blade group is such a team effort that my dad, Dave Fisher, got to help out with the repairs. He actually welded the seam back together. That is teamwork."

CORY KRUSEMAN (No. 18 Agromin/Village Marine/Ventura Raceway Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "I'm very excited to be here. It's a dream come true. I really need to thank the people that made it possible, including the folks back home and my sponsors. We're still not where we want to be speedwise, but the car feels real good. We'll keep making some changes, and they'll keep making me faster. I'm really looking forward to my first race in the IRL. This is a great track -- fast and smooth."

LAURENT REDON (No. 34 Mi-Jack Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "We are pretty slow. We don't know why. The car is pretty good, so maybe it's just the engine. We are going to change the engine and see if it is any better."

DAN WHELDON (No. 15 Pennzoil Panther Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "The track is very good. We were just working on getting the car good for the race, and everything was going according to plan; then we had a little mishap with that one. I think we'll be in good shape. I'm sure Panther, Pennzoil and Chevrolet will put together a program for us where we will be able to run up front in the race. Looking forward to qualifying tomorrow."

TONY RENNA (No. 78 Kruse Special Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "During both practices, the No. 78 Kruse/HomeMed Special felt great, and I am real happy with it. The second practice, we were running through some qualifying-style setups, but the traffic made it challenging as well as shortened the session. But I trust my Kruse/HomeMed Special crew to give me a car with heightened speed tomorrow. With these types of tracks, the race is what matters. It's hard saying where it's going to end up."

BILLY BOAT (No. 98 CURB Records Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "Our main focus with the CURB Records car is really trying to find a race setup. Racing here, side by side, you have to be able to run in a high groove, and it's important to have the car balanced well up high and behind another car. Texas has always produced great racing, and you have to have the race car that will run both grooves in a pack. That's really been our focus. We feel like we'll be able to qualify up front. I don't really know if we're going to be a contender for the pole, but if we can get in the top five and have a good race car, we'll have a good shot to win the race."

GEORGE MACK (No. 31 310 Racing G Force/Chevrolet/Firestone): "What I would have given to have had more time out there this afternoon. We had some throttle problems during the first session, but we ironed those out before the second session. We started to make small strides in finding the best setup to give us a few more miles an hour in the turns, but we simply ran out of time. With the banking so high at Texas Motor Speedway -- which is great -- you just can't treat it like any other 1.5-mile oval. You've got to work with the setup longer and be more patient. So, as always, we'll keep nibbling away at it and should be on our mark for tomorrow's MBNA Pole qualifying."

WILL LANGHORNE (No. 55 Grill 2 Go/Sam Schmidt Motorsports G Force/Chevrolet/Firestone): "Well, it was definitely an exciting session with oil coming down the track then a smoke screen on the back straightaway, but we managed to stay out of trouble. The car's comfortable, maybe a little too comfortable. We're working on freeing it up a little. It's a quick track, and we're going to try to take out some aero and mechanical drag to get as much as we can out of the car, make it a bit less comfortable."

AL UNSER JR. (No. 7 Corteco/Bryant Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "We're running really good, but we won't really know where we stand until after qualifying because in practice you have the draft, and you don't know how much fuel guys are carrying. The whole Kelley team is starving for a win, and I really want to give it to them."

JEFF WARD (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing G Force/Chevrolet/Firestone): "The car's working perfect. It's just that we don't have a motor in it right now because we blew up our first motor in the first practice. This one is just a motor that is 2 or 3 miles per hour slower than the one we'll be running. We should be running 219 mph and 220 mph. The car is handling good. It feels pretty good."

RICK TREADWAY (No. 67 Samsung/Radio Shack Indy Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "I'm not sure what happened. It let loose. The motor blew. Luckily it happened on the exit of (Turn) 4, and I was able to save it. The car feels good. I was able to pass on the outside. We need to make a few changes for qualifying, and we'll have the Samsung/Radio Shack car running up front."

BUDDY LAZIER (No. 91 Coors Light/Life Fitness/Tae-Bo/Delta Faucet Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "We made some great changes and made up from the first practice. I hope that we are able to make the same jump in qualifying. A good qualifying position is great at the beginning of the race. You then don't have to come through the field."

ALEX BARRON (No. 44 Rayovac Blair Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "We've tried some new things. Today was inspiring. We've found some new things to work with tomorrow. We're happy that we've have found some speed on the 1.5 mile ovals. We have confidence with the Rayovac/Blair car going into Sunday's race."

GREG RAY (No. 20 Young Chevrolet/Sam Schmidt Motorsports Dallara/Chevrolet/ Firestone): "We had a little setback with an end plate broken on our rear wing. We changed that out between practices. The guys are working so hard, and the chemistry is good with them. I'm working on some setups I have at this track, and Tim Neff has some setups we're working on, and Firestone has changed the tires some, so we just need a little more practice to shake it all out. Running pretty good in traffic, but we're just missing that little piece that makes the car go faster. But we'll have a good car for race day and looking to have a good finish come Sunday."

FELIPE GIAFFONE (No. 21 Hollywood Mo Nunn Racing G Force/Chevrolet/Firestone): "The afternoon was a little better. In the morning, we tried some stuff that wasn't working real well. The car was not handling well. Now I think we're not the fastest car, but we have a good handling car. We were working more on suspensions. We had a shock problem in the morning, but now we're back where we should be. I'm happy now."

RAUL BOESEL (No. 12 Bradley Motorsports Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "Not enough speed yet. We're trying to make improvements all the time."

SAM HORNISH JR. (No. 4 Pennzoil Panther Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "The Pennzoil Panther crew is pretty resilient like that. They go out and do whatever it takes to make the car fast. We have a little bit of work to do. We're pretty much a practice session behind right now, but we know what we need to do for qualifying, so we're not worried about that. We're just going to go out and do whatever it takes to make the car fast for the race because that's all that's really important. We're trying to figure out what we need to do to make it work real well in traffic because we know that's what we're going to be facing all day on Sunday. We're making sure the car will work high or low just like it did at Chicago last week." (About running with Helio Castroneves in last practice session): "We were trying to figure out what the car was going to do. Every time I tried to get away from him, there he was again. That'll probably be pretty much how it is on race day."

ELISEO SALAZAR (No. 11 A.J. Foyt Racing/Harrah's/Banco Chile Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "I think the day went pretty well. We're changing the engines for tomorrow, so I'm hoping for a top 10 in qualifying."

AIRTON DARE (No. 14 Harrah's/A.J. Foyt Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "We will have a better motor for tomorrow, which should help a lot. Because I was in qualifying trim, my car couldn't take advantage of the draft off other cars; it would just push too much."

BUDDY RICE (No. 52 Red Bull Cheever Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "The day has been good, no real problems. We made some big changes here late in the second session. I think that will make a big difference for us for the rest of the weekend. I am pretty happy with everything right now."

ROBBY McGEHEE (No. 53 Red Bull Cheever Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "We were pretty conservative in the first session because I have never driven this car. Fortunately I have worked with several of the guys with Greg (Beck), and I am getting to know the Cheever crew, including Paul (Burgess) my engineer and Josh (Junge) as the chief mechanic. The second session was kind of a wash because we had a bad alternator. Tomorrow is what really counts. I think we would have gained significant speed in this second session, but we really didn't have the opportunity."

HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "Today we worked on the race setup in both practice sessions. As the afternoon went on, the Marlboro Team Penske car was handling better and better. In the second session, I was able to run side by side with several other drivers, so we were able to simulate the conditions we'll see on Sunday. The car is working well, and I think we'll be in good shape for the race. Tomorrow we'll switch gears and work on our qualifying setup, and hopefully we'll be near the front."

MAX PAPIS (No. 6 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "Overall, I'd say it was a very good first day. Everything went smoothly and according to plan. I was able to get comfortable in the car and get a feel for the track. The IRL cars can run much closer than the CART cars. We focused on race setup and tried to run with traffic. We made some changes from the morning to the afternoon session, and the Marlboro Team Penske car was handling well. We need to be careful that there isn't too much drag in the car. Tomorrow we'll go out and work on our speed for qualifying."

EDDIE CHEEVER JR. (No. 51 Red Bull Cheever Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "In the morning, we ran with a very light fuel load. This afternoon we were doing full tanks. The car ran well. It's very difficult to judge your qualifying speed because there are so many tows out there, and you don't have tows in your qualifying. In my lap, I definitely had a good tow. I think probably a high-220 (mph) will probably be good enough for the first row."

SCOTT SHARP (No. 8 Delphi Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "We probably don't expect to qualify all that well. We haven't been lately. We're just working on our race setup, trying to work in and out of traffic. Obviously, I got a tow to run that lap, but I feel good. Obviously, you need to have to a car that you can place well, and I think we have that right now." (About not affecting championship outcome with on-track actions): "I don't think you really worry about it too much. Obviously, they're two really great drivers. They're going to have great cars. They're probably going to be up toward the front anyway. We're all going to be scrapping back and forth, I imagine, all day. It's going to be, toward the front at least, one big pack as it usually is here. There are enough good cars running well; I think it's going to be a fairly large pack. At the closing end, depending on where you are in that pack, it's going to be really important for those guys, a lot like last weekend. I unfortunately had poor positioning on the final run to the (checkered) flag in the pack, and you just couldn't get up there. To some degree, that could probably happen here to them. So you might have to be a little bit cognizant of where those guys are at if they're trying to make a run to get to the front with five or 10 laps to go."

VITOR MEIRA (No. 2 Menards/Johns Manville/Pittsburgh Paints Dallara/Chevrolet/ Firestone): "We were doing qualifying setup. I don't know if that's quick enough or not. The car feels really good. We're still working on it, but I think it's going to be better for qualifying." (About not affecting championship outcome with on-track actions): "I'm going to race like I've always been. Of course, I'm going to worry about those guys, but I'll try to play as clean as possible as I was doing. For sure, I don't want to upset anybody. I think they are going to be fine. From my point of view, everything's going to be fine."

-irl-

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Sam Schmidt , Chip Ganassi , A.J. Foyt , Mo Nunn
Teams Team Penske , Chip Ganassi Racing , Dreyer & Reinbold Racing