JEFF SIMMONS (No. 14 A.J. Foyt Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "First, I want to say thanks to Futaba and A.J. Foyt Racing. They did a great job on the car, as we came here and hadn't raced since last year. The tires are a little different...
JEFF SIMMONS (No. 14 A.J. Foyt Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "First, I want to say thanks to Futaba and A.J. Foyt Racing. They did a great job on the car, as we came here and hadn't raced since last year. The tires are a little different this year, and we didn't have any testing. We had just a little bit too much understeer down at both ends of the track, really, Turn 1 and Turn 3. I got that on the restart, but I was hoping I could hold on because I knew that he was going to get understeer behind me. But we weren't able to go flat quite a few of those laps, and you've got to be able to go flat around here to win." (Did you hit the wall late in the race): Yeah, I touched the wall there at the end, just pushing as hard as I could. It was a light hit. I don't think we did any damage at all. I was just pushing as hard as I could trying to get back up on him in the draft there. Unfortunately, I couldn't get a repeat win for A.J. Foyt, but I'm thankful that I had this opportunity, and hopefully I'll get a chance in the 500 this year, as well." (More Simmons quotes in second- and third-place transcript.)
JAY DRAKE (No. 25 TBA Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "It's awesome. It's the end to a great week for us. Just to come around here and drive around this place is a dream come true for me. And then to come out here and just to be in a race, and on top of that we ran competitive, it's something I would have never expected. Something I always would have hoped and dreamed but never would have expected to get the chance. I did today, so it was fun." (Go through your race -- How did your base of knowledge from USAC cars translate?): "I would have liked it to be longer because the more I went the more I was learning about how to race these cars. Honestly, we were just terrible on the starts and restarts because I didn't know how to shift the thing. Frankly, I'm not going to sit here and say that I did. I've never had to shift before. We've got one gear in the (USAC) cars we race, and we just run it flat out. With every restart, I was learning how to get it up through the gears a little better. It's not the actual shifting, anybody can do that, but it's the timing of it. These guys are all road racers, and they've done a lot of shifting. They know how to work that. I was starting to figure it out better. Once we got up to speed, Larry (Curry) was telling me that on that long run we were running the same lap times at Thiago (Medeiros), so if we could get up to them we could run with them. That shows how much of a rookie I am, I didn't even know how to shift the thing. But given all that, it was a great day for us, to come here and run fourth. Big day." (Did Tony Stewart give you any tips on running here?): "I talked to him a couple times on the phone. He gave me some helpful tips about what to do, what not to do. Basically he told me how to keep from smashing myself into a wall. About everything he told me I learned today that if I didn't have that advice I might have got myself into trouble. Even though he couldn't be here, he was a big help." (What do you learn from today and see in the future?): "Man, I sure hope (I can get an IndyCar Series ride). All the praise we got just for being here, through all the officials and everyone from the IRL, they are happy to see a guy like me here. And I hope so, because I'm sure happy to see a guy like me here."
TAYLOR FLETCHER (No. 21 Bullet-Team Motorsports Dallara/Infiniti/ Firestone): "It went pretty good. We were working on the car while we were out there, dialing some cross-weight into it. Kind of came up short on test time over the weekend. We only got basically two 10-minute sessions, so we were kind of making up for lost ground today. But we couldn't be more pleased. We finished the race, made up a couple of spots, had a good race and good racing with some of these other guys. I can't complain at all. We're real happy."
MARTY ROTH (No. 4 Roth Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "The engine let go. You know the car was coming alive. It didn't like a big pack. Once it thinned out, the car was coming alive. That's what I needed. I needed a thinner pack in front. The car was handling great."
JON HERB (No. 6 Aercon Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "I guess Billy (Roe) didn't know I was there. He turned right into me as I was coming up alongside his rear there. I tried to back out a little bit but got into his right rear, got into the fence on the right-hand side and cut his tire down but took my right front wing off and the right-front suspension. So we're done."
GARY PETERSON (No. 27 Automatic Fire Sprinklers, Inc. Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "Ah, pretty good. We lost a couple of gears, but my other car, AFS Racing No. 25, Jay Drake, did a fantastic job. I think he finished fourth, and we're very happy about that. We put a lot of effort into getting that car and kind of stayed a little bit slow on our car, working on it. But we're happy, I'm happy, and the team's happy."
PAUL DANA (No. 91 Ethanol/Hemelgarn Johnson Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "They don't get much tougher. We just had an enormous push, massive. I mean, the Hemelgarn Johnson guys gave me a great car for all practice and qualifying, so I'm sure they were as surprised as I was. We were out of adjustment across the bar, all the way through the range the weight-jacker, both directions, didn't seem to matter. I just had no front end on the car at all. And around here, if you're not in the throttle, you're not in the gear, and so if you're not in that window, the motor's not pulling, and you're done. We were done early, and just slid backward, so it's a frustrating day. We have a good program here with the Ethanol program, and hopefully we'll get it later in the season."
MATT BEARDSLEY (No. 12 Jugular/Landtitle Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "Not bad, got caught up in some lap traffic there at the end. But, all in all, wasn't bad. Had some really good racing going on, a lot better than last year. I made a pass on the first lap. The car was working really well. On its own, it was working really well. In traffic, it wasn't very good at all. But it was getting better, but 'it's that same old wish that there was another 10 laps.' It would have been a lot better."
PHIL GIEBLER (No. 2 Western Union Speed Team Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "We made some good moves at the beginning of the race and on the restart. We moved up slowly, and I thought I was going to get third and maybe even second. Thiago was pretty strong today, and he had a strong car. He would have been hard to catch. Yeah, I had a pretty good car. The wind was definitely a factor out there. It was moving around all over the place, and in different corners it was different, so it was really confusing when you were trying to figure out what to do and how to set up the car. In the corner, each side of the track is completely different. Yeah, I got nipped there at the end, and unfortunately I didn't have radio contact there at the end. I accidentally pulled my radio out when I was pulling off a tear off. I didn't know it was that close to the end of the race, which was kind of unfortunate. And I got caught out there on the restart, but all in all it was a pretty good race. We got some points. We just need to get Thiago in the next couple rounds and get the points closer."
ROLANDO QUINTANILLA (No. 10 Roquin Motorsports Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "We had a good car. It was a good car. It was a shame that we couldn't qualify right. We had contact with Mason. The car was just really loose after that. The guys gave me the option to come in and look at it, but I figured we came here to race. The guys definitely worked hard enough to get a top spot and not lose a lap. We tried to compensate for that oversteer. We just kept going and going. I said we're going for it, we're going for it. We're going for a championship here, and we're not holding anything back. We haven't left the garage area before 11 any night. If I could do it again, I wouldn't do anything different."
LEONARDO MAIA (No. 33 Skip Barber Racing School Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "Everything really went great. The car was handling perfectly up until the last six to seven laps. Then we kind of struggled a little bit. But the car was awesome in the beginning, and I got a couple of people on some restarts. I just caught them kind of sleeping a little bit, right around the outside. It was a really great race. I was expecting to finish somewhere around eighth today with how we qualified. But did better than we expected, and toward the end there we were running with the leader. So we were really happy. I think with a bit more time we could have gotten maybe (Phil) Giebler. Maybe even moved up a little bit more. We moved up a lot, and the guys did a great job with Brian Stewart (Racing) and happy to finish where I did. I was pretty good in traffic depending on what the guy in front did. I mean, some guys would drive a different line each lap. So it's kind of hard to plan ahead. Some guys will stay on the outside sometimes, and you can stay with them. But some guys are just outside one lap and inside another. So you don't know where to stay, so it's kind of tough. But if I could get any bit of clean air, I was fine and could hang right with them. But as soon as someone would cut me off my (clean) air, I would understeer right out to the wall."
CORY WITHERILL (No. 92 Hemelgarn 91 Johnson Motorsports Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "Yeah, I'm all right, considering we had a car that probably could have handled a little bit better. But for the most part, the main thing was to come out here and do the best we can. This deal came together Monday, so we had to deal with what we had to do. I'm honored to come back here and drive for Hemelgarn Johnson. They gave me a chance to come back here. The crew did an awesome job getting the car ready. Maybe we just missed the setup. We had too much of a neutral car so we were playing with the adjustments throughout the whole race."
BRAD POLLARD (No. 24 XBOX/Team ISI Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "It's awesome to be at the Speedway and great to bring the Pollard name back to the Speedway. It marks the beginning of our fight to get back into the Indy 500. We're very thankful, and can't thank our sponsors, Xbox and Courtyard Marriott, enough, and Kenn Hardley for putting together a very good car. We were starting to finish pretty strong, got boxed in a little bit, but we're learning a lot and going to keep getting stronger. It's all about rolling back on the trailer sometimes, and you work with what you've got."