Sam Hornish Jr. No. 4 Pennzoil Panther Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone "I was pretty surprised to be able to lead that much early in the race. The last few laps I tried everything to get around (Scott Sharp). I shifted down to fourth on the last lap.
Sam Hornish Jr.
No. 4 Pennzoil Panther Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone
"I was pretty surprised to be able to lead that much early in the race. The last few laps I tried everything to get around (Scott Sharp). I shifted down to fourth on the last lap. I'm glad I figured that out on Lap 199 and not 200." (About racing with Jaques Lazier): "All the time of side-by-side racing was great. When they finally got by I would let them by. That is part of what kept us out front. Jaques gave me a lot of room. I gave him just as much room. People chose their lines today and stayed there. If they came out of the second turn in the third lane and went into Turn 3 in the first lane, they did that every lap. There was no weaving like last time. I had a lot of fun out there today. Everything fell into order with the team. The guys got me in and out of the pits great. I go into every race saying this is my day." (About the new surface): "I think it's pretty hard to go into the corners here four wide. I felt a lot safer today with the new surface." (About crew seeing him get sideways in Turn 1 of Lap 199): "This computer stuff is really good, but it squeals on you too." (About winning final race of season): "It means so much to me to come back here and win the final race of the year. Some people think I was laying back just trying to collect points and win the championship, but I was out there pushing for the win and sometimes we would just finish second or third." (About great races or Texas): "There's a lot of things that contribute to good races here, the Indy Racing League, Firestone tires, the track. We run a lot of 1.5-mile tracks, but I think Texas is the most suited because of the banking and the shorter (front) straightaway. Every time I come to Texas I know it's going to be a dog fight, and I'm going to have to make a couple of good moves to be in contention to finish in the top three."
No. 8 Delphi Automotive Systems Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone
"We felt pretty confidant. We wanted to make sure we made it to the end of the race. After the 100 lap mark, we really came on." (About making the pass on the outside): "I know how good it bolts off of Turn 4, and sure enough I saw Sam come smokin' off of Turn 4 and he got me. We drove as close as we could without touching, and it was great." (On the new surface): "The track is easy and flat. I think that they did a fabulous job. It is like going down the interstate at 95 weaving in and out of traffic. There is a lot of plotting and decision making. We are all excited. I did everything I could do. Honestly my hats off to Sam. I did not think he could pull it off, I thought Robbie could pull off a pass on the high side." (On his thoughts during the last few laps): "I thought, 'Well at least Robbie's got some more fuel. Maybe it will make him slower." (About Sam Hornish, Jr.): "As champion he has done well all year. He is always there."
No. 24 Team Purex Dreyer & Reinbold Racing G Force/Infiniti/Firestone
"We wanted to win a race this year for everyone. We had the car to do it, especially the last four races. Today was fun. It was just good clean racing." (On the rule clarifications): "If there is any gray area it is our job as drivers to push it. But today there was not any gray. There are no bumps. The track is fabulous. It allows us to run that much closer." (About going three wide with 10 laps to go) "I shut my eyes (laughing)." (About his chances of winning the race) "I knew we had a shot and I was going to do everything I could. After that last stop, I thought we could at least get to the lead and then battle them. Maybe the difference was fuel. That little bit could have been the difference." (About handling the events of September 11): "All of us are passionate about what we do. We have got to get back out there and do what we are passionate about to help us. We are all going to live different lives now with what we think."
Al Unser Jr.
No. 3 Galles Racing Starz SuperPak G Force/Oldsmobile/Firestone
"It was a great race like usual at Texas. I had a very good car all day long but was just a bit off the lead pack. We just couldn't quite get up there and run regularly with the leaders."
No. 5 Big Tex Trailers G Force/Oldsmobile/Firestone
"This sure feels like a win. We started almost last and at one point were two laps down. This is our first race with Big Tex and it's just a great showing for Coca-Cola and Chevy. How about this Chevy at the Chevy 500? We're really looking forward to next year."
No. 10 Cahill Racing Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone
"We had a car that could have won this race. I could pass anybody, and at one point we were as high as second. This is a huge disappointment. On our third pit stop we had trouble with the spindle on the right rear wheel. We lost 17 laps and that took us out of contention. We finally got the tire on and we ran some more laps and then the engine blew. At first the car had a big push, but we made some adjustments and then it was perfect. I made a couple of three-wide passes just because I could. The car was easy to drive at that point and we were having fun. We're all very disappointed with the way our race turned out, but when we were running well we were contenders to win. What can I say? The Cahill Racing team worked very hard all year and they are a great group of people. We made great strides this year, and I'm proud of the job the entire team did and the opportunity that Larry Cahill, Parallaxmusic.com, Pringles and Dollar Rent-a-Car have given me. We can run with the leaders and we can win. We'll get them next year."
No. 11 A.J. Foyt Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone
"This was absolutely amazing teamwork. When we looked at the car this morning, everyone thought we were done but A.J. He is magic, he just instills a lot of confidence in everyone and we had a bunch of David Copperfields working on this car. This car hasn't raced since Indy. It didn't have the narrow suspension so we were hurting with drag issues, which probably cost us 3 mph hour a lap. But the car was solid, the team was solid and they just showed what can be done. Donnie Beechler is a class act. He worked on the car to get it ready and then he spotted for me during the race. It was just incredible."
No. 12 Bradley Food Marts/Sav-O-Mat Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone
"I had a warning about three laps before the engine went (due to a drop in oil pressure) that we might have a problem. That was such a disappointment. We almost made the entire season without a mechanical ailment. The guys did a terrific job all year putting the car together and with the pit stops. We had a good car at the start but it fell off after the second stop. The guys got the Bradley Food Marts/Sav-O-Mat Dallara running strong again after the third stop but then the oil pressure fell off and that was the day." (About the season): "The way this season has gone, I'll take that top 10 in points. This was only our second DNF of the year and our first mechanical. We are pretty proud of that. The guys on the team had no mechanical failures. The engines aren't their responsibility. I just wish we had had a more competitive year for them with some better finishes. We have some stuff we know that we need to work on during the off-season with the Bradley Food Marts/Sav-O-Mat team. We have enough time now to address our deficiencies and go from there."
No. 14 Harrah's A.J. Foyt Racing Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone
"I'm pretty happy. The car was really good. A.J.'s set-up was unbelievable. I really think I had the best car out there, we just needed more power. We were lacking revs. At one point I thought we had something for them. It was a dance out there ... we were dancing at 225 mph. Unbelievable.We weren't mixing it up in the front with those guys, but we had a great setup with A.J. and those guys. I am happy with the points because we are the only other one besides Buddy Lazier to finish in the top-three two years in a row, so we're looking forward to the banquet tomorrow."
No. 18 Star Registry G Force/Oldsmobile/Firestone
"It was a wonderful race. That's what racing is all about. The car was handling rough early due to the lack of practice time, but we got it worked out. I'm sure that some of the guys weren't thrilled with my driving early on, but that was because of the handling problems. After we got that under control, we were able to worry about where we were in the race, not about handling the car. We ran well enough to finish top-five, but at the end we were having a problem with a right wheel. But overall it was a great day. The tires worked out very well on the new surface. I was very pleased with our motor and how it ran."
No. 21 Hollywood G Force/Oldsmobile/Firestone
"What can I say. We finally got a great racing break with the yellow and then the engine let go. The car was great, and we went right to the front. The Hollywood crew did a great job, and my engineer Tim Wardrup had the car hooked up again. It's disappointing to end such a great season with the Treadway-Hubbard team this way, but we came here to win and the car was certainly capable."
No. 34 Mi-Jack Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone
"After having such a difficult day yesterday, we had even less luck (today). To be running so strong in the race and then have the engine blow, it's heartbreaking. My crew was great today. They repaired the car quickly in practice, gave me a fast car for the race and excellent pit stops. Next year should be very good."
No. 55 EPSON Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone
"What a day. For all of us out there on the track and in pit lane. We had a great race car going into the race, but just 30 laps into it I had handling problems and thought it was the right front suspension. But when we brought the car in, we saw the right rear flange had broke. We took the car out of the race, but not permanently. We were going to take nothing less than a finish and we wanted to finish as high as possible. We got back out around (Lap) 120 and moved up the highest amount of positions possible before the header went out in the engine. Needless to say, it was a very busy day in the #55 EPSON pits, but I am very proud of the work of my crew and very proud to have completed another season in the IRL. See you in 2002."
No. 88 1-800-BAR-NONE G Force/Oldsmobile/Firestone
"This was a great way to finish the season. It's good to put on a competitive showing for the team and for 1-800-BAR-NONE. I have to say that our solid finish had a lot to do with the crew. We had quick pit stops during the whole race. Everyone just did a great job this whole weekend. We had limited practice time, but the guys were able to give me a good car to work with. It was well balanced. I think we only did one turn of wing during the whole race. The fire next to our pits caught us all by surprise. I'm glad the guys were close enough to help out quickly. I was out on the track by then and didn't know what was going on. I thought maybe the fire was in our pit. Overall we had a very good season, too. TeamXtreme has come so far and made a lot of progress since last year. There is a great foundation to build on for the upcoming season."
No. 98 CURB Records Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone
"Pretty rough weekend for the CURB Records/Beck Motorsports team. We seemed to be behind from the start. We had a problem with the spin and slight contact in practice and we didn't get any track time. We just had the car too loose for the start of the race and the car spun on the first lap and it was an uphill battle from there. The guys did a great job getting the car fixed and keeping us in the points. To come out of a day like this in 12th place is great because it could have been a lot worse. We stayed at fourth in the championship points, so overall it's been a great season for the CURB Records/Beck Motorsports team and we'll evaluate and get ready for next season."