IRL: Texas: Post qualifying quotes

Post Qualifying Quotes: BUDDY RICE (No. 15 Rahal Letterman Racing Pioneer/Argent Mortgage Panoz G Force/Honda/Firestone): "Right now, we're shocked that (the time) stayed up there as long as it did. We expected a faster (pole) time. But between...

Post Qualifying Quotes:

BUDDY RICE (No. 15 Rahal Letterman Racing Pioneer/Argent Mortgage Panoz G Force/Honda/Firestone): "Right now, we're shocked that (the time) stayed up there as long as it did. We expected a faster (pole) time. But between the combination of the weather and the truck rubber and everything, I think it changed things just a little bit for everyone. It caught everybody off guard a little more. We're very happy to be sitting on the front row again. It's an excellent starting spot. I'm definitely looking forward to (Saturday's) race and to chasing the championship. We''ll see what happens. "Our car is really good. Right when I left the pit lane, I took my time getting up to speed, and the car came in right away. We're very happy with it. We're very pleased for Pioneer and Argent and for Honda -- they have the top five spots again. I can't say enough about the Panoz G Force. Everything's just working well right now. There's a lot of competitive cars right now. The thing is, over the off-season, Honda did their homework, and right now, they're the strong motor. That just shows how much dedication and hard work they put it. The motors are constantly being developed."

TOMAS SCHECKTER (No. 4 Pennzoil Panther Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "I'm pleased with the run if we can stay in the top 10. Everyone's been working really hard. We did the best we could today. Hopefully, we will do a little better Saturday."

SAM HORNISH JR. (No. 6 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Toyota/Firestone): "Not good enough. We took a shot with the gears trying to get a little bit more speed out of it. The cooler weather has slowed us down a little bit, but we didn't count on it slowing us down that much. We've got a race to run so we'll put it out there and see what it will do."

SCOTT SHARP (No. 8 Delphi Dallara/Toyota/Firestone): "Awful. Couldn't be more embarrassing. We were just really slow. You're usually wide open around here; we just went a mile an hour faster than our last practice session. We expected to be able to carry most of that through, and for some reason that's all I had."

GREG RAY (No. 13 Renovac Panoz G Force/Honda/Firestone): "We're dark horses at every race, but we have a great bunch of guys, great Honda power, and we're looking forward to great things. We're trying to do the right thing, build a block at a time and build it right. It's tough sometimes wearing a lot of hats, but I like to know everything that's going on, and that works for me. It's always great coming to Texas. I really love racing here."

A.J. FOYT IV (No. 14 Conseco/A.J. Foyt Racing Dallara/Toyota/Firestone): "It wasn't great. We slowed down a couple of miles an hour from what we practiced at. I think the whole track is slowing down, with the rubber and the air getting heavier, and the wind slowing down a bit. I'm not too disappointed, but I'm definitely not the happiest guy in the world. We've just got to have a good solid race car for Saturday. That's when it counts."

AL UNSER JR. (No. 20 Patrick Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "We had a good run. We're just searching for speed. The guys are doing a great job. We're new and we need the time, good track time. We came in and had a good test for Chevy right after the (Indianapolis) 500. We just need to spend more time with the team and get the car where it needs to be."

FELIPE GIAFFONE (No. 24 Team Purex/Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/ Firestone): "I think we are working with the track conditions. In traffic, it's all right. With less power, you're going to see much more two-by-two racing. It's going to make things more even."

ALEX BARRON (No. 51 Red Bull Cheever Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "I'm going to have to look into this luck thing, because it just hasn't been on my side all year. The engineers and crew put together a great car heading into qualifying, but sometimes the breaks don't seem to go your way."

ED CARPENTER (No. 52 Red Bull Cheever Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "We just hired a new engineer, Iain Watt, and you could already tell today that the enthusiasm within the team has picked up. I had my best qualifying run of my IndyCar Series career today and just an all-around great day with practice sessions, too. It also helps that I've been to Texas Motor Speedway in IndyCar Series cars last year, so I had a good feel for the track before we even went out."

KOSUKE MATSUURA (No. 55 Panasonic ARTA Panoz G Force/Honda/Firestone): "First of all, I want to thank the whole team because my engineer and my mechanics did a good job for the qualifying setup. I think I also learned a couple of things for the qualifying -- how to carry speed and how to drive the lines, as well. With everything put together, I got fourth place. I am very happy to get fourth for the second time this year. It was my first five laps in night conditions. It is very different from day time. It is very exciting."

BRYAN HERTA (No. 7 XM Satellite Radio Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "It's a very nice facility. The type of racing we do here is tough. You're side by side and so close for the whole race. It's very taxing and very on the edge. Qualifying doesn't mean a whole lot here here. The key is to have a good race car at Texas because the race with all the traffic is so, so different.

ADRIAN FERNANDEZ (No. 5 Quaker State Telmex Tecate Panoz G Force/Honda/ Firestone): "We had a good day today with Kosuke (Matsuura) fourth and myself ninth. The grid is very tight, but I think we're in good shape for the race. Obviously, conditions will be very different. That is something that Kosuke and I haven't experienced, but at the same time, we have good cars, and the experience we gained at Indianapolis will help us get a good race under our belts here."

TORA TAKAGI (No. 12 Pioneer Mo Nunn Racing Dallara/Toyota/Firestone): "After a couple of disappointing practice sessions earlier today, our qualifying effort was better. The No. 12 Pioneer car had more balance tonight than it did in the afternoon sessions. Between the cooler weather and the rubber put down by the (NASCAR Craftsman) Trucks, the speeds were a bit slower than we expected. We look forward to working on our race setup tomorrow."

VITOR MEIRA (No. 17 Rahal Letterman Racing Team Centrix Panoz G Force/Toyota/Firestone): "I guess I was the guinea pig this time, like Roger (Yasukawa) was at Indy. Being the first car out in qualifying isn't the best conditions you want sometimes, and that happened to me tonight, but that is the luck of the draw. The rubber of the trucks made a big difference in the track. We were good in practice and the car felt great, but in qualifying, the car slid around and I had catch it a couple of times. The Centrix team had a very strong car in the race at Indy and I know I'll have another strong car for Saturday night's race. It just didn't work out for us in qualifying tonight."

DARIO FRANCHITTI (No. 27 ArcaEx Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "I got some good information from (teammates) Tony (Kanaan) and Bryan (Herta), and that certainly helped us. We didn't actually change anything on the car. We were quite confident that what we had was going to work. I just stood on it. The car was good, and the engine was also pretty powerful so we're very, very happy. We've had a pretty tough start to the season, so it's nice to get a pole position here. The team has definitely stood by me, even last year with the broken back, so it's nice to repay some of that. We're hoping for bigger and better things on Saturday. I really want to say thanks to all the guys on my team."

HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Toyota/Firestone): "It's what we expected to do this time. The other guys went a little bit slower. We're happy about it. We are just going to keep working hard. Hopefully Saturday we'll get a good finish. I was flat out."

DAN WHELDON (No. 26 Klein Tools/Jim Beam Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "The Klein Tools/Jim Beam car is faster than we showed tonight. We couldn't quite pull the gear that we wanted to try and pull out there. That's just the way it goes. If you look at our team the other three cars are up there and Dario (Franchitti) got his first pole. I have to say 'good job' to him. That is something he has really earned. Now I have to just try and join them up front as early in the race as I can."

TONY KANAAN (No. 11 Team 7-Eleven Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "I love this place. The qualifying is exciting for the public, but I don't think it means much in the race. My best start here is ninth, but I finished second last year in the Team 7-Eleven car. The race is going to be really exciting and I can't wait for Saturday night. The IRL changed both the aero and engine package to slow the cars down, and they definitely accomplished that. The cars are slower, but they are also safer."

MARK TAYLOR (No. 2 Menards/Johns Manville Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "It was a good qualification run. We probably could have been a touch quicker, but Panther Racing has both its cars in a good starting spot. The car feels really stable, and while it was good in qualifications, I know it's going to feel great on Saturday. We've had some back luck so far this season, but I really feel like that's going to turn down here. Texas has got such a great facility, and I can't wait to race here. I experienced this track last year in the Menards Infiniti Pro Series cars, but I'm really looking forward to my first run here in an IndyCar Series car."


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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers A.J. Foyt , Jim Beam , Mo Nunn
Teams Panther Racing , Team Penske , Dreyer & Reinbold Racing