DAY 1 -- Thursday, June 6, 2002 Post-Qualifying Quotes RICK TREADWAY (No. 55 Big Tex Trailers Tough as Texas Longhorn Racing G Force/ Chevrolet/Firestone): "The Big Tex/Airlink car handled good, and I have confidence in the Treadway-Hubbard team.
DAY 1 -- Thursday, June 6, 2002
RICK TREADWAY (No. 55 Big Tex Trailers Tough as Texas Longhorn Racing G Force/ Chevrolet/Firestone): "The Big Tex/Airlink car handled good, and I have confidence in the Treadway-Hubbard team. I had the pedal to the metal. It just seemed to be down on power. I don't know. I was full throttle. We're going to look at the car and see what we can figure out."
GREG RAY (No. 11 A. J. Foyt Racing/Harrah's Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "We were experimenting with different setups in practice and then made some changes before qualifying which really made the chassis much more stable. But we missed on the gearing because I was flat out all the way around, and I couldn't pull the gear."
GEORGE MACK (No. 31 310 Racing G Force/Chevrolet/Firestone): "I'm not happy with our time at all. We ran a lot faster in the last session, so I'm not happy at all." (How do you think the car will run Saturday under the lights?): "I don't know. I've never run at night before. We'll have to feel it out as I go, make some changes to the car once we get some pit stops, and make it a better race car as the race progresses. Luckily for me, I adjust pretty quick. I have a really good team, and they've been here before. We'll keep plugging away at it."
JEFF WARD (No. 9 Chip Ganassi G Force/Chevrolet/Firestone): "It was not carrying enough speed through the corner. We knew we wouldn't get the pole. The change in air temperature is hurting everyone. This track takes lots of patience to get up front."
RICHIE HEARN (No. 99 Grill 2 Go Sam Schmidt Motorsports Indy Car Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "I expected to do a little more than that. That was all I had. I'm really not worried about it. The race is going to be so different that where you start is just a number. We're going to work on the car for the race and go from there."
AIRTON DARE (No. 14 Harrah's/A.J. Foyt Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "I'm disappointed. We ran a 219 (mph) alone in practice, and the car was handling good, but we just didn't pull the rpms. Something went wrong, and we'll just have to figure out what."
JOHN DE VRIES (No. 18 Norwalk Furniture Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "It was all right. It was my fault. I made a mistake. There's a lot more in the car, but there was a driver error. But we made it. We're there, and we know we have a lot more for the race. It's a whole different game. Hopefully, we can get to the front."
FELIPE GIAFFONE (No. 21 Hollywood Mo Nunn Racing G Force/Chevrolet/Firestone): "Frankly, we're stuck. We're trying to free the car up, but so far, we haven't succeeded. Hopefully, we'll find the right combination for the race. It's going to be a really close race. We have to really respect each other out there. I think it's going to be exciting. You have to have a good spotter. It's important not to make any aggressive movement, or you can make a big crash."
BILLY BOAT (No. 98 CURB Records Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "The CURB Records team did a pretty good job tonight. In comparison to some others, we slowed down a little bit less than some of the other guys, so we'll just have to see. I think these Nissans are going to be pretty tough."
SCOTT SHARP (No. 8 Delphi Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "The car really surprised me. It got loose in every corner. I felt like I was just sliding through the corners. It's definitely not where we'd like to start the race, but the Delphi crew does such a good job with the race setup that I'm not worried about Saturday. The Delphi team is ready for our third victory in the Boomtown 500."
SAM HORNISH JR. (No. 4 Pennzoil Panther Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "We're never happy to start anywhere but on the front row, but we'll take it. It's a long race on Saturday, and we're pretty excited. We're never there for qualifying, but we usually are for the race."
ALEX BARRON (No. 44 Rayovac Blair Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "We know Saturday is going to be a long day, and it's a long race Saturday night. We are going to try to progressively move up like we did at Indy and have good pit stops. At this racetrack, there's a lot that happens. It can be attrition, but we just want to be there at the end. With everybody close around you, it causes a lot of excitement. There's great racing here at Texas because of that, and we're looking forward to it."
ROBBIE BUHL (No. 24 Team Purex/Aventis/Dreyer & Reinbold Racing G Force/Infiniti/ Firestone): "We came here thinking we'd run 220 (mph) plus, but we're obviously far from that. We've got some serious work to do. There were four Infiniti engines in the top six, so clearly the Infinitis have power. There's something in the G Force (chassis) here that we have to figure out."
GIL DE FERRAN (No. 6 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "Tonight was the first time I'd ever run under the lights, so it was a brand-new experience for me. It was a completely different visual than I'm used to. I had a little push during the first lap, and the car was loose on the second lap, but I ran flat out all the way around. That's all the car had. I think the temperature made a difference tonight because everyone was slower than they were in practice. I'm not really sure what to expect for this race. It'll be totally unpredictable. Marlboro Team Penske just has to keep on doing what they're doing, and we'll see where we measure up on race day."
HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "It's the first time that I've ever qualified at night. It's very weird, to be honest. The track was totally different, and the line was not the same. The Marlboro Team Penske car handled well during our run, and we were flat out all the way through the corners. We were faster in practice, and I think the speeds were lower during qualifying because we have a limited number of laps. Tomorrow we'll switch gears and focus on our race setup."
LAURENT REDON (No. 34 Mi-Jack Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "I feel pretty good about my qualifying. We have to focus on the race and concentrate on our race setup. We have a strong Infiniti engine for the race, and if we do well during our pit stops, then we should finish well. I like the ambiance of a night race. I did one in Le Mans, and it's something I can appreciate. I think it's good for everyone: the spectators, the team and the drivers. It's a neat atmosphere, and I like it."
SHIGEAKI HATTORI (No. 12 EPSON Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "I've easily been flat out since our first lap of practice. The car has been very fast. The Infiniti power was very good. I actually got the car a little loose off Turn 2 and Turn 4 in qualifying. I'm very excited about the race. We have a very good car, and with the extra practice session tomorrow, I'm confident we'll find a good race setup."
EDDIE CHEEVER JR. (No. 51 Red Bull Cheever Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "I'm glad to see that we're the fastest of the Infiniti cars. It shows our team is doing a very good job on the car. It's a very tricky track to get the car right. We're ready to go. We have a lot of pent-up anger on our team right now for not having done better up to this point. I think the conditions changed a lot tonight. Every driver will have his own story, but the trick is trying to get everything just right with the tows. That's why Texas has such great races. You can have a guy who's 2 or 3 miles an hour faster than you down the front, and he won't break away. He can't break away, so he drags all these people with him. It's going to be hard. The cars are not as easy to go side by side this year as they have in the past years. It's a little bit trickier. Tomas got it just right. The engines, the car, he and Owen (Snyder, chief mechanic), got it just right, and they came out with the pole." (About racing at Texas Motor Speedway): "It's a great race. It's a fun race. People come out here, they get excited. I guarantee you that it will be an exciting race tomorrow. Texas is just one of our classic races."
TOMAS SCHECKTER (No. 52 Red Bull Cheever Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "This team is unbelievable. I feel privileged coming to this team. Eddie (Cheever) has worked so hard. The team is working very well. We have very good sponsorship. Like Eddie says, it's no use leading every lap. You need to lead the last lap, and that's what we plan on doing. I came out of Indy learning a lot. I come here with a new confidence. Hopefully, we can follow it through this time. It was hard at Indy. I felt like we lost it. But you know, you move on. If you live in the past, you don't concentrate on what you do in the moment, and you get worse and worse. Two days after Indy I forgot about it and said 'Let's work on Texas.' I was back in the factory speaking about the car setups for here. I'm not used to so much banking. I prefer a little less banking like at Indy because I can feel the car slide a little bit more. Here there's sort of a dead feeling with the car pushing down. It will be a totally new experience, especially since I got here for the first time today. It's the first time I've seen the track. It helps when you have such a good team behind you."
RAUL BOESEL (No. 2 Menards/Johns Manville/Pittsburgh Paints Dallara/Chevrolet/ Firestone): "The car is just not very good right now. We're not getting the speed we need. I don't know if it's the gears or what, but something isn't right. Really, it just hasn't been a very good day for us. Fortunately, with this race, qualifying isn't as critical, but we need to make this car a better race car for Saturday night. That will be our goal for tomorrow."