IPS: Indianapolis: Qualifying notes, quotes

Medeiros Captures Futaba Freedom 100 Pole INDIANAPOLIS, Friday, May 21 2004 -- Thiago Medeiros watched 15 other IRL Menards Infiniti Pro Series cars qualify May 21 for the Futaba Freedom 100. He then went out and topped all their ...

Medeiros Captures Futaba Freedom 100 Pole

INDIANAPOLIS, Friday, May 21 2004 -- Thiago Medeiros watched 15 other IRL Menards Infiniti Pro Series cars qualify May 21 for the Futaba Freedom 100. He then went out and topped all their efforts.

Medeiros claimed his second consecutive pole position, posting a two-lap average of 189.274 mph at the historic 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the May 22 Futaba Freedom 100. The race will take place at 2 p.m. (EDT), and will be televised live on ESPN2.

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Futaba Freedom 100 Post-Qualifying Quotes

JON HERB (No. 6 Aercon Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "I think I should have done a better job for the guys here on the crew. We put a new motor in, and they worked real hard after last practice to give us a new motor. We went out there, and the motor was great. It pulled real good, and we got up to speed pretty quick. As a matter of fact, I got up to a range I had not been before, so I tried another gear, and we weren't able to pull that, so I think we lost quite a bit there with that monkey business. I think I learned my lesson there."

ROLANDO QUINTANILLA (No. 10 Roquin Motorsports Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "Basically, we think we are getting everything out of it. That's as fast as she goes. We just need to really concentrate on the race. Make sure we have a good warm-up or Happy Hour and a good car for the race. It's a long race, good to qualify well, but important to have a good race car. If your running in a pack, it's good to have a car that can run in traffic in order to be moving up during the race. That's what we are concentrating on 100 percent."

JAY DRAKE (No. 25 TBA Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "Just to come here and get to drive around this racetrack, it's a dream come true for me. Even if it's just temporarily, you know, to come here and qualify for a race and have them say, 'It's a new track record,' that's something you dream of as a little boy, and you never really think it's going to happen in any form. And when it does, you know, I've said this before, but if nothing else happens this weekend, it's been awesome already." (About team): "I think having all these good people behind me makes it easier than it would be for somebody. I mean, to have a guy like Larry Curry, you know, if he tells me the car is going to do something, I know it's going to do it. I'm not going out there thinking, 'Well, he said it's going to do this, let's see if it does.' When you have that kind of confidence, it makes it a little bit easier than some. Gary Peterson and his AFS Racing team have great equipment, and they did a great job putting it together for me. We're just thrilled to be here."

JEFF SIMMONS (No. 14 A.J. Foyt Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "I knew the first lap was good. I'm not sure why we slowed down a little bit on the second one. It can be anything, really. You get a little gust of wind or anything around here can change it. But the guys at A.J. Foyt Racing did a great job on the Delphi/Futaba team here. We've got a good place to start, I think. There are some quick cars still coming (in qualifying), but we've got a good place to start and a good race car. We ran the quickest laps that we have run alone, so the car was pretty good. Just missed it a little bit on that last lap, it could be anything. But it's a good place to start."

TAYLOR FLETCHER (No. 21 Bullet-Team Motorsports Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "We've been kind of struggling all weekend. It's a new team, got a great bunch of guys and we're just coming together and working the bugs out. We've got the normal gremlins that bit you, and there's not a whole lot of time to fix them here. But overall, I couldn't be happier with the team performance considering we just put the team together two weeks ago. So other than that we just need to work on speed. We've got the wrong gears in there, and we finally realized that after morning practice. (We) missed most of yesterday's practice, so this afternoon we get to do a gear change, and hopefully you'll see us in the race moving up to the front."

BRAD POLLARD (No. 24 XBOX/Team ISI Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "Not what I hoped for. We'll keep getting better and keep coming back. We'll just do as good as we can do."

PAUL DANA (No. 91 Ethanol/Hemelgarn Johnson Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "It got hot in a hurry. The heat is hurting us in both terms of the engine, the motor's cold and the track. It was sliding all over the place, definitely slower than we simulated. Three times we have simulated quicker than that, so obviously track conditions were a little greasy, hot."

CORY WITHERILL (No. 92 Hemelgarn 91 Johnson Motorsports Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "We could have gotten a little bit more out of the car. Actually, my first warm-up lap was three-tenths of a second quicker, but for some funny reason it dropped down speed on the first lap, and the second lap we got a little slower. I don't know, maybe it's because of the heat; the heat had a lot to do with it. For the most part, it's just getting a good car for the race. With the Hemelgarn Johnson team, we finished second here last year, so I think we'll have a good car for the race." (About hot weather): "Yeah, it does play a big factor. The handling of the car changes a lot with the heat and everything, and obviously it affects the engine. Like I said, the race is tomorrow, and that's a whole different game, and I know I'll have a good car. I love this place. I've ran the 500 before, so it'll be a good deal for us."

MARTY ROTH (No. 4 Roth Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "I went around flat out. We're going to have to go through it and figure out what happened out there. Could've been this wind throwing the car off, who knows. Still a great car, you know my team did a fantastic job putting the car together. Can't be too disappointed."

LEONARDO MAIA (No. 33 Skip Barber Racing School Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "My crew works really hard, everyone at Brian Stewart (Racing) put in 100 percent, so to be 12th on the grid is disappointing. We could be a lot better. I was flat out. From the time I left the pits, I was flat out, never took my foot off the pedal for one lap. It's a little disappointing, but we know we have a good race car and a lot can happen in 100 miles, especially this track. This track is one where you can pass, so I'm not too worried. It's a little disappointing to start from there, but we've got a long race, and we can move up."

JESSE MASON (No. 3 Segway Human Transportation Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "Yeah, a little disappointed. Going in I knew we had a better race car than we did qualifying car. I've got the Brian Stewart team, and they're awesome. They have got unbelievable experience, and I'm sure they have some tricks up their sleeves for Race Day."

ARIE LUYENDYK JR. (No. 5 Cycle Country/Sam Schmidt Motorsports Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "Well, the car was really good on the warm-up lap, and it just had a little bit of understeer, so I cranked the weight-jacker all the way to the front, hopefully to get the thing a little more neutral. And then actually coming into (Turn) 2, in the middle of 2, it had a big wiggle. I kept my foot in it, but I think it kind of hurt us for the first lap, and then the second lap was slower just because the engine heats up and these cars get progressively slower the more you are on the track."

MATT BEARDSLEY (No. 12 Jugular/Landtitle Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "Not too bad, could have been a lot better. If we could have gone three more miles an hour, it would have been a lot better. But still we're looking to make it better than last year. But we had a really good qualifying effort last year, and going into the race we'll feel better this year."

PHIL GIEBLER (No. 2 Western Union Speed Team Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): (Can you win here as you did at Homestead-Miami?): "I really hope so. You know, this is the place to do it, and Indy means a lot to the whole team and me, especially. I hope to go out there and have a good race, and it shows from my previous qualifying position in Homestead that you don't need to start up front to get up front at the end of the race."

THIAGO MEDEIROS (No. 11 Sam Schmidt Motorsports Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "I want to say thanks to Sam Schmidt Motorsports and those guys. They did a wonderful job, and gave me a very good car and put everything together, and we made a nice run." (About track conditions): "Yeah, it was really good. The weather is really warm right now, so there is too much grip on the track, and that is one thing I tried to learn is to be more careful in the first warm-up lap and started pushing hard in the other two. That's the trick that I learned watching the other guys run, and that's what I did and put everything together, and I thank team Sam Schmidt for that." (About race): "For sure, it's not (going to be as easy). Here you have a different spirit, the race is going to be very competitive. It's going to be hard to pull away from the pack because the draft is going to be the biggest thing here, so we just have to be calm and have a good car for all 40 laps of the race."

BILLY ROE (No. 42 XBOX/Team ISI Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "You can spend a lot of time making the car fast, but you really need to have a good race car when it comes to this place, with it always changing with the weather and temperature and so on. I'd really like to thank Kenn Hardley Racing for helping to put together this program, and Xbox and the rest of the team. They all did a great job."

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Futaba Freedom 100 Front-Row Press Conference Quotes

PAUL DANA: "We went quick in the test, all day yesterday and all today. I was a tiny bit conservative. Not in the setup, but just in the line that I drove. It was greasier than this morning; it was hotter. The car was moving around a little bit underneath me so I was a little conservative. If I had widened the arc a little bit in all four corners, I think it's a tenth over the two laps, it's so close. I'm not really angry at these guys. I'm angry at myself. I think we left a little on the table, and Thiago and the Sam Schmidt team are good enough that if you do that, they're going to take it from you. We'll have a strong car tomorrow, but we were so close."

THIAGO MEDEIROS: "The car was good for the run. I was one of the last cars to go out for qualifying, and I saw that the other guys, when the tires had too much temperature, they had too much grip." (How close did you come to the wall?): "It was very close. I don't know how close it was. I had very strong sidewinds on the exit of Turn 2, and I almost hit the wall. It was like, "Oh, oh!" But my mind was set. I wasn't going to lift that time. I might touch the wall, I might use the wall, but I wasn't going to lift. That was my goal. I know that we didn't have the best car today, but we were smarter and we could get the pole."

SAM SCHMIDT (Team owner, Sam Schmidt Motorsports): "This is just awesome. We really wanted to start on the pole here, and now we have to work on the race setup and make sure we can maintain it." (About racing a Penske car in the Indy 500 with Richie Hearn): "Really, it's a testament to the team that we were able to do this for a second year with Penske, to acknowledge us and that we were capable of doing a good job. They've done a heck of a job in the last six weeks of getting this car ready for this race." (About team's performance in Futaba Freedom 100 qualifying today): "We knew after Phoenix they would be gunning for us, and Thiago went out there and did a good job. The only disappointment is that Arie's warm-up speed would have gotten the pole, but then it dropped off after that. But he'll be able to move to the front with this setup, and then we can focus on the Indy 500 after that."

-irl-

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About this article
Series Indy Lights
Drivers Richie Hearn , Sam Schmidt , Skip Barber , Gary Peterson , A.J. Foyt , Thiago Medeiros