TRUE VALUE 500 RACE QUOTES BILLY BOAT (in Victory Theater): "I saw the yellow flag (for Tony Stewart) but I didn't know what it was for. It was an unbelievable feeling, knowing I was going to win. I wanted to go chase Stewart and shift it...
TRUE VALUE 500 RACE QUOTES
BILLY BOAT (in Victory Theater): "I saw the yellow flag (for Tony Stewart) but I didn't know what it was for. It was an unbelievable feeling, knowing I was going to win. I wanted to go chase Stewart and shift it down from sixth (gear) to fifth. But A.J. told me to ride along in sixth. To finish first you have to finish. A.J. said it was a long race, the team had the car balanced all race long. The car picked up a push after our last stop and we had to slow down to save the tires. There was one segment before that when we ran flat out all the time.
"The first pit stop was so critical. A.J. made the call, we pitted before everyone else on yellow, most of them had to stop under green. We made up a lot of positions on that decision, moving from 17th or 18th to the top three on that decision alone.
On IRL mission of giving short track drivers opportunity: "There is so much talent on short tracks in America. That's what it is all about. The IRL is already having a great season."
A.J. FOYT: (puff of smoke from rear of Boat's car during race): "I don't think he (Boat) even knew it was smoking but I thought the ballgame was over. One of the crew asked if I saw it, I told him I sure did and thought we were done for the night. We never did find out what caused it. It happened just once and no more."
"I couldn't be happier. Texans demand winners. I would win Indy one year and be a hero, the next year I would finish second and nobody knew me." About adding a third car to the team when Scott Sharp returns: "The biggest thing is help. I don't want to have to go to work digging ditches to afford it. If I can find the people we may go to a three car team."
Victory lane incident with Arie Luyendyk: "You just don't mouth somebody in victory lane. I just wanted him out of Victory Lane. Victory lane is for this boy (Boat). When he (Luyendyk) won at Indy, we didn't go to Victory Lane there. This time was for Billy."
On tough month of May at Indy: "We buried Christine (nickname for the Conseco entry) after Indy. We had a brand new car for this race. Maybe we broke Christine's curse."
DAVEY HAMILTON (second place): "It was like a sprint car race at Winchester (high-banked half-mile paved track in Indiana). It was high speed at night. These cars are so close. The competition level is fantastic. The IRL formula is working. It was great seeing Stewart, Boat and Hamilton running up front.
"I just didn't have any straightaway speed. I was OK in the corners but not on the straightaways. I think it might have been the rear spoiler. It is a great track and a beautiful place to run, especially under the lights."
VINCENZO SOSPIRI: "For me it was a very good race but I got penalized twice in pit road for speeding but both times I looked at my speedometer and it indicated 120 mph. I was just happy to finish the race because it gives us more experience on ovals. Texas Motor Speedway is great place to race and I'm looking forward to coming back."
ELISEO SALAZAR: "We were happy to finish, for most of the race we were running in sixth gear to save the motor. We made very good progress, we started 22nd and finished near the top."
TONY STEWART (another failed bid for a first IRL win): "To run that strong all day and be that superior, we were disappointed. We just have a little jinx right now. You could burn my house down and you could burn my cars, just not this. It was a great race, a great track, passing was no problem. I could drive my car where I wanted to all race long."
GREG RAY: "This was only our second Indy race and we finished tenth. We had mechanical problems in our first Indy race. We were running tonight as fast as the leader. We had a fuel problem and lost a couple of laps and we lost another couple of laps because of tires. For us, tonight was an accomplishment. Our next hope is a victory."
ROBERTO GUERRERO: "That was hard work. The car worked quite well throughout the whole race. The biggest problem was we had a right front tire go flat. Believe it or not, in my entire career I've never had a flat tire during a race. We had to run about ten laps with it that way. Worse yet, we had to stop under green to fix it then the race went yellow after which didn't help us either. " (On the track): "The track was fine, it was really quite easy to see all night. Our spotter Doug Boles did a superb job. He worked harder than I did. He's the one that kind of drove the car all the way through the race."
JOHNNY UNSER: "When I was strong I was running wide open by myself. I could run good. When I lifted, I didn't have enough power to regain speed. The top end felt really good when we leaned it out. My spotter J.B. II (Jonathan Byrd II) did a heck of job. What a preparation job by the crew, the two early yellows set us up for the eighth place finish. The cockpit was not completely comfortable, it feels like my right foot was at a somewhat awkward angle for the throttle."
JONATHAN BYRD (owner of No. 10): "We ran top speed during the race with a full laod toward the end (207.8 mph). For very little practice, he (Unser) did a great job."
EDDIE CHEEVER: "The car ran well, impeccably prepared, terrific pit stops. The fuel pickup was a problem. On racing competitive, we didn't have that edge to win."
MARK DISMORE: "Boy I was dizzy after the race after turning, focusing and staring so hard. I had a really good race car at the beginning and the end. It got bad there in the middle with traffic. We got messed up on the first pit stop. We kept waiting for the leaders to come in, they could stretch it (fuel) further than we could. The stop that put us down a lot of laps was when the hose broke on the fueling rig. The team told me to shoot through the pit and come back in the next lap while they replaced the hose. We lost about five gallons of fuel that spilled in our pit. I ran out of fuel taking that extra lap. All in all, we are pleased. This is my first finish ever in an Indy Car.
SCOTT GOODYEAR: "I like the concept at night. It gave the fans a cool show, the double dogleg is not good for this track. Someone pegged me in rear, the front straightaway section is very uneven. It seemed everyone was everywhere on that straightaway. Assessing the air off the car in front of you was difficult for me. It was a great show for the fans."
BUZZ CALKINS: (on falling out): "That is the way it goes. A water pump drive broke. It is unfortunate as we were on the lead lap and our race strategy was working. We were down on torque the whole time and we had a flat spot at about 8,000 rpm. As a result, I had a problem on restarts and when I lifted in traffic. Once we ran a few laps, I could then run it flat. It was hairy out there, believe me."
KENNY BRACK: "I was in a solid third place even after Lazier passed me during a yellow. We decided to pit and as I was leaving pit road I heard a pop and came back in. We fixed the problem and decided to run the rest of the race for experience. We later developed a fluid leak and were forced out again. It's very disappointing."
TYCE CARLSON: "Until the restart, the car was absolutely great. It could go high and low. I was having a blast out there. After the restart, the motor laid down, it just went flat. I could only run at 9300 RPMs. I started breathing it through the corners, afraid it was going to blow. The crew changed the plugs on one stop but that didn't fix it. We just soldiered along and brought her home." (On incident with Goodyear): "I don't know what the deal was there. I was running down low, practically in the grass and Scott came down on me. Fortunately, the car wasn't damaged."
ASSORTED NOTES: Billy Boat's victory from 21st was the furthest back for an IRL winner. Scott Sharp started 12th at New Hampshire enroute to his win August 18, 1996.
Tony Stewart has now led 654 laps in 8 IRL races. Stewart has led four straight races and it is the fourth straight first lap led by Stewart.
Davey Hamilton posted his seventh consecutive running at finish and fourth straight top 10 finish.