Day 2 -- Friday, June 7, 2002 Post-Practice Quotes RICK TREADWAY (No. 55 Big Tex Trailers Tough as Texas Longhorn Racing G Force/ Chevrolet/Firestone): "When we qualified yesterday, the track changed dramatically after the trucks ran. Today it's...
Day 2 -- Friday, June 7, 2002
RICK TREADWAY (No. 55 Big Tex Trailers Tough as Texas Longhorn Racing G Force/ Chevrolet/Firestone): "When we qualified yesterday, the track changed dramatically after the trucks ran. Today it's hotter than it was yesterday, but we put a new Chevy motor in it today, and I'm really confident that the Treadway/Hubbard race team has got the Big Tex car ready to go. It felt really good in practice earlier today, and this afternoon's practice we ran in traffic to make sure the car's really comfortable." (About the race tomorrow): "It will definitely be really exciting for the fans. It will be side by side, wheel to wheel, wing to wing. It'll be fun."
GEORGE MACK (No. 31 310 Racing G Force/Chevrolet/Firestone): (About the conditions): "They'll be different again tomorrow, so we're just kind of plugging away, little by little. You can have an idea, but you never know what the track's like until you are actually on it. How the balance is and how the motor's running and that type of thing." (How do you prepare for the side-by-side racing at Texas?): "That's a good question. I watched the tape from last year, so I'll probably watch it again tonight or sometime tomorrow before I come to the track. There's a couple of things I want to run -- some of the pit stops, some of the passes, the drafting -- to see if I can retain as much of that as possible and try to utilize it on the track. This race is going to be about consistency and who's smart. The drafting game and pit stops, that type of thing. Who can make a faster car through pit stops as the race progresses."
BILLY BOAT (No. 98 CURB Records Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): (About the conditions): "I think you have to plan on conditions similar to what we saw last night in qualifying. This place is notorious for changing tremendously from the daytime to the nighttime, so you just kind of anticipate that. We don't get a lot of practice under the conditions that we're going to race, so experience plays a role and just kind of knowing what this track has done over the years." (What kind of race are you expecting?): "I think a classic Texas battle, side-by-side group racing. Texas Motor Speedway is known for the classic IRL battles, and I don't anticipate anything different tomorrow night."
AL UNSER JR. (No. 7 Corteco/Bryant Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "We have a great car. The draft is extremely important here at TMS. I feel the Corteco car is up to the challenge. We've got a good race strategy. My crew gets better and better each week, and we are looking for a great finish."
JOHN DE VRIES (No. 18 Norwalk Furniture Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "Practice was OK. It was good getting out there and trying to stay in some traffic."
BUDDY LAZIER (No. 91 Coors Light/Life Fitness/Tae-Bo/Delta Faucet Dallara/ Chevrolet/Firestone): "I was not happy with the car. Not running this afternoon probably hurt us, but I'm confident in our team and engineers. They have a lot of experience here at TMS."
SHIGEAKI HATTORI (No. 12 EPSON Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "We did a good job, and my team is very comfortable for the race. I have a good car right now."
RAUL BOESEL (No. 2 Menards/Johns Manville/Pittsburgh Paints Dallara/Chevrolet/ Firestone): "I think the car has a good balance for the race. We had a good pace, so I think we're in good shape." (What's it like in traffic?): "It's busy. You need to give space to each one. I was able to run both lines, inside or outside, so I should be fine."
JEFF WARD (No. 9 Chip Ganassi G Force/Chevrolet/Firestone): "That's what this session is for, full-tank runs. We ran them early this morning, but the track conditions are not going to be the same as they will be tomorrow night when it cools off, so the speeds are going to pick up a little more from what we're running now. You learn about what gear to run. The track will get more grip when the track cools off, so our car is pretty good. We never got around anybody to get a quick time. We were kind of by ourselves, and with one car, it wasn't a fast car. We needed to be with (Eddie) Cheever and (Sam) Hornish, and we never did that. Hopefully, we'll be able to do it in the race."
FELIPE GIAFFONE (No. 21 Hollywood Mo Nunn Racing G Force/Chevrolet/Firestone): "I think we're a little bit stuck. We're having a little problem here just to free up the car. It seems to work very well in traffic. We could trim it out a little bit more for this practice, and I think we should be all right. We're not the fastest car on the track, but I think we have a good race car." (What kind of race do you expect?): "I hope it's going to work for me the same as last year. For sure, it's going to be a close race. Everything has to go really well to finish top three here. I have a good team, and hopefully it will help us go to the front."
AIRTON DARE (No. 14 Harrah's/A.J. Foyt Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "The car was pretty good tonight. It had a little push, and we were able to correct that. I could pretty much follow anyone. I was a little concerned out there because there were some guys making stupid moves, so I just tried to stay away from them. I think we have a good setup for the race."
LAURENT REDON (No. 34 Mi-Jack Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "The car was pretty good. We have a good engine, and we worked a lot on torque to see how the car will react tomorrow. We still have a little bit of push."
HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "We focused on our race setup today. We ran side-by-side to simulate race conditions and to make sure the Marlboro Team Penske car is handling well in traffic. While I've watched tapes of past events at Texas Motor Speedway, it's a new circuit for us, and the first time I've raced under the lights. There should be a lot of wheel-to-wheel action, and it seems to be one of those races where we have to expect the unexpected. We need to stay focused, keep our nose clean and score as many points as possible."
GIL DE FERRAN (No. 6 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "The Marlboro Team Penske car was handling well in traffic, but we have to find some more speed. I'm just not fast enough. I'm not really sure what is missing. We'll have to go back and look at the data and see what we find."
EDDIE CHEEVER JR. (No. 51 Red Bull Cheever Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "As always, it was very busy. There were a lot of cars out there. You have to make decisions very quickly, and I really hope that everyone is using their spotters. The second groove is not going to be as easy as it has in the past. If you're turning in at 224 (mph), 225, there's not that much room. You really have to be confident that the guy on the inside knows that you're there. You'll see a lot of side by side. I don't believe there will be two trains, like we've had in the past. I always figure the car will get a bit more positive as it goes through the evening. The front end will get a bit better. You need a car that you can throw into a corner and know it will stick." (About the tires): "We really haven't had any issues with our tires since the beginning of the year. I put them on, and I take them off. Firestone has been unbelievable. It's like wearing a watch: You put it on in the morning, and you take it off."
TOMAS SCHECKTER (No. 52 Red Bull Cheever Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "For me, it's just getting used to this banking and which lines to use. It will be a learning experience for me in the race, as well. Eddie (Cheever) was very quick this afternoon. This afternoon, I don't think I could stick with him."
SAM HORNISH JR. (No. 4 Pennzoil Panther Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "It's going to be a tough race. It's the people who don't have any problems. We went to Miami, and we ran fast there all weekend and qualified on pole. I'm sure a lot of people were wondering, 'If they don't have any problems, can we beat them?' You go through that every race. (Bruno) Junqueira was very fast to get the pole at Indianapolis, and we were worried about if we were going to be able to keep up with him on race day. But race setup is a whole lot different than it is for qualifying. I try not to worry about it. I'll be worrying on Lap 199 if I'm not leading."