JAQUES LAZIER (No. 5 Conseco/A.J. Foyt Racing Dallara/Toyota/Firestone): "I'm having so much fun out there. I'm glad to be a part of A.J. Foyt's team, and I'm just trying to help out any way possible. We went out there and basically have 50 laps...
JAQUES LAZIER (No. 5 Conseco/A.J. Foyt Racing Dallara/Toyota/Firestone): "I'm having so much fun out there. I'm glad to be a part of A.J. Foyt's team, and I'm just trying to help out any way possible. We went out there and basically have 50 laps in the car right now. Everything was working perfect in the morning session, and we ended up 10th quick. And today, since we didn't qualify, we had to scrub a couple of sets of tires. Then we went out there and did one quick run with a tow and did 217 (mph) and something. The car feels really good. I'm just having a lot of fun." (What did you have to do to get ready to race?): "The biggest thing was doing a seat fitting. Obviously, I had my seat here, which helped the process quite a bit. We had to adjust the pedals, adjust the mirrors, the steering column a little bit. It actually went extremely smooth. We were going to try to do it for qualifying, but we missed it by a couple minutes, so we'll be starting at the back. We'll see if we can repeat something my brother did at Phoenix and go from the back to the front and win the race."
GREG RAY (No. 13 TrimSpa Special Panoz G Force/Honda/Firestone): "It was a lot better. We made a better selection with some of the issues that we had problems with in the first practice session. I think we made good adjustments. Maybe we went a little too far in one way, but I was a little pleased with the car in traffic. I think we can now fine-tune for tomorrow night. This has got to be so awesome for the fans because it is so much fun as drivers. I think it will be spectacular from the grandstands."
SAM HORNISH JR. (No. 4 Pennzoil Panther Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "We're just trying to figure out how to get a little more speed out of it. We're kind of in a hole, but we're still working our way at it." (Did you learn anything about your car today?): "We're not fast enough. We're doing all the same things that we know how to do that have made us win here in the past. We just have too much to overcome."
ROGER YASUKAWA (No. 55 Panasonic ARTA Dallara/Honda/Firestone): (Are you getting comfortable with the track?) "Yeah, definitely. I did a pretty long set and went side by side with Gil (de Ferran) and Helio (Castroneves) for a while, and I got used to going on the track with a lot of people around me. So that's definitely confidence-inspiring before going into a race, and I think we have a good car. We just need to stay clean for the whole race and go racing at the end."
TOMAS SCHECKTER (No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Panoz G Force/ Toyota/Firestone): "It's a great feeling to be on the pole here. I was able to go out and see the plane that I won. It's pretty cool, actually. I was surprised by how nice that it was. The race car is pretty good. We ran in traffic during the practice sessions, and the car is pretty well balanced. We took some understeer out, and it's solid right now. It's going to be a long race, and we just need to be smart and be there at the end."
FELIPE GIAFFONE (No. 21 Hollywood Mo Nunn Racing Panoz G Force/ Toyota/Firestone): "We caught a huge draft and ran a good lap. The car feels really comfortable running by myself or with people, running inside and outside. It will probably be a typical Texas race tomorrow night -- very close. It's really fun racing here while you're on the track. Sometimes you think about it later and think, 'Maybe that wasn't so much fun.' When you have good equipment like I do, it's a lot of fun. In the earlier practice session, we tried some more downforce and took it off this afternoon. I was expecting faster qualifying, but it's tomorrow that counts. Last year the Dallaras were faster in qualifying, but once the race began it was different. This year it looks like the G Force is faster in qualifying, but that doesn't mean that will hold for the race."
KENNY BRACK (No. 15 Pioneer/Miller Lite Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "The track got hotter this afternoon in the later session, but we learned a lot about the car going into Saturday night's race. It's been a while since I raced here (1999), but I still remember a few tricks about this place. This field is so tough with top drivers, cars and drivers, that we'll have to have everything working well in the race. We need a fast car, good pit stops, good strategy and, of course, a little luck. I have come close to winning here before but never first at the checkered flag. I'd like to do that Saturday. The race has always been good here at Texas, and I expect the same this time. It will be tough to beat the last few races here, but the competition level has improved. So you will see some pretty spectacular racing again. And tonight we get to have the band back playing again. That is always fun for me. I hope the crowd enjoys it, too."
TONY KANAAN (No. 11 Team 7-Eleven Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "I need to be consistent and make it to the end. We just need to get the most points out of this race that we can. I'm not completely happy with the car right now, but we'll be OK. We're going to have to make it better. It's comfortable, but it's not the way I want it right now."
BUDDY LAZIER (No. 91 Victory Brand/Delta Faucet/Life Fitness Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "The car is really good. The balance is fine. We are just as slow as can be, and there is no getting around it here. I think the grid shows where we need to improve."
SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Panoz G Force/Toyota/Firestone): "The car is pretty good. It's going to be an exciting race if the practice sessions are any indication of how tomorrow night will be. The last time that I raced under the lights was back in 1997 or 1998 in Australia. It's going to be great for the fans and a lot of fun for us. I think that we've got a great shot at getting the Target car back into victory lane tomorrow."
HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Toyota/Firestone): "We spent the day trying to find some additional speed, but unfortunately it wasn't there. We're going to keep working on the Marlboro Team Penske car, and hopefully we can figure out what we're missing. Tomorrow we just have to focus, stay out of trouble and let the race come to us."
GIL DE FERRAN (No. 6 Marlboro Team Penske Panoz G Force/Toyota/Firestone): "Overall, things aren't great, but they aren't terrible. We made improvements to the Marlboro Team Penske car throughout the day, but it's still pushing a little. The car is OK in traffic, which will be important. But we still haven't found more speed. The race is more about drafting, strategy and putting yourself in the right place at the right time, so hopefully we can do what it takes to be in contention tomorrow night."
BRYAN HERTA (No. 27 Archipelago/Motorola Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "All I know about this race is what I've seen on TV. I think it is going to be a little crazy, and I think it is going to be really important to keep your nose clean. I know the Archipelago/Motorola car will be competitive, and we just need to make sure we are there at the end of the race. Our goal today was to try and make the car as comfortable as we could in traffic, because I doubt anyone is going to get any clear laps out there."
DAN WHELDON (No. 26 Klein Tools/Jim Beam Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "I think the Klein Tools/Jim Beam car is running well. I'm disappointed by our qualifying run last night, but I think we've been competitive in both of the practice sessions today. We ran, and mixed it up with a lot of traffic because that is the way I think the race is going to be run. I think the Klein Tools/Jim Beam car is going to be strong. You need a good engine to make a pass out there, and we've got Honda supplying our power so I know we will be OK."
BUDDY RICE (No. 52 Red Bull Cheever Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "We've got a good car in traffic. We'll have to see how everything plays out for tomorrow night. We are planning on another solid finish for the team."
VITOR MEIRA (No. 2 Menards/Johns Manville Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "Ninety-seven percent of what matters here is power. The Johns Manville/Team Menard car is good as far as handling. The main thing is to finish the race, so we can learn. The engine guys, team and myself can learn more if we finish the race. This team deserves much more than 17th place. I know that we will get better."
AL UNSER JR. (No. 31 Corteco Dallara/Toyota/Firestone): "The Corteco car is running great. We didn't qualify as well as we thought we were going to, but we worked with the car earlier today in the draft and made it better. We put a new Toyota engine in the car this afternoon, and we're ready to race. The racing is going to be just as tight this year as it has been in year's past. With the addition of the new teams, it's just going to be that many more cars in the lead group, so the only big difference is the group is going to be bigger. I know from experience that the race at Texas is one that is won coming out of Turn 4 on Lap 199 in the lead, and hopefully that's going to be the Corteco car this year."
SCOTT SHARP (No. 8 Delphi Dallara/Toyota/Firestone): "Today was a good hustle for the Delphi team. We were waiting on our race engine, and, as usual, it is a strong Toyota engine, which is just what we needed. It bounced us back up to where we needed to be for tomorrow. Luckily we've been working on the car, and the guys have been doing a great job. I've got a race car that works on the inside and outside of people, and that is what you need going into this race. I think we need to do what we've done in past years here, and that is to wait for opportunities to open up in front of you. When you have a car like we do that can go high and low, you take advantage of anything that comes your way."