Indy Racing League Infiniti Pro Series Inaugural Freedom 100 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway Post-Race Quotes Sunday, May 18, 2003 ROLANDO QUINTANILLA (No.11 Bowes Automotive Products Dallara/Infiniti/ Firestone): "It was good for us. We were ...
Indy Racing League Infiniti Pro Series
Inaugural Freedom 100 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Sunday, May 18, 2003
ROLANDO QUINTANILLA (No.11 Bowes Automotive Products Dallara/Infiniti/ Firestone): "It was good for us. We were behind the eight-ball from the start, so it was good to finish a very tough weekend for us -- one of the toughest weekends I've had in racing. It was a last-minute thing. Two days before the first practice the car wasn't even built. Our car, handling-wise, was a car that could have finished in the top five, but we just didn't have the horsepower. People were just pulling by us left and right on the main straightaway when we were completely flat. I would catch them going into the corner, in the corner, exiting the corner, but just couldn't do it."
ARIE LUYENDYK JR. (No. 5 Grill 2 Go/Smith & Wesson Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "We weren't planning on racing anybody. We were just planning on staying out there and trying to improve a few positions. We moved up from 17th, so we improved two positions. The car was good. We were just driving around. It was kind of like a Sunday drive for me, because we can't really do anything when you're eight laps behind. We came in with two laps to go because there wasn't any more we could improve. The car was great, and the crew did a great job this weekend. We just had a little bit of misfortune."
THIAGO MEDEIROS (No. 36 Genoa Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): (On Saturday's Lap 1 accident): "Everybody did a nice job starting. Everybody was trying to keep his line and place on the inside line. It was a little bit crowded when I came from the outside line and overtook two drivers the first lap. It was a dream to be here this season and a good opportunity for us, but it was a very short time to enjoy this."
SCOTT HARRINGTON (No. 25 Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "It was going a lot better yesterday. I had a good car yesterday and things were going well, but unfortunately today the car just got super loose. I hung with them there at the start, but I counter-steered three of the four turns every lap, and finally it got to the point where we were going to crash this thing or deal with what I got. We finished where we finished. It's real disappointing. We went from 18th to ninth yesterday only to turn around and have the car go away from us. It's frustrating, but it's racing."
BILLY ROE (No. 37 Bowes Seal Fast/Hoosier Wholesale Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "I guess we guessed on the wrong gear. The Bowes Seal Fast car felt really, really good, but I guess any car might feel good going that slow. We just picked the wrong gear, and it wouldn't pull. Ed (Carpenter) certainly picked the right gear, and he was able to smoke everybody. I just love to circulate this place. It certainly means a lot to me, and I hope maybe I can be in the big one."
PAUL DANA (No. 24 Ethanol/Team ISI Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "The car's in one piece, so I'm happy. We missed on the gearing a little bit, so I struggled in the opening laps trying to figure out where I wanted to be and really kind of gave the race away. We had a car that was really good. The Ethanol crew and Kenn Hardley Racing gave me a great car handling wise, and we should have been in the lead pack. I sort of made some mistakes on the opening laps, and they were all together and I was by myself -- kind of a lonely run. But, it was great to be at the Speedway, and we'll look forward to Pikes Peak.
JONATHAN URLIN (No. 3 Budget Rent A Car Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "I think we've been missing out on the setups a little bit so far this year. Now we actually had a chance to be up there and compete with those top guys. From the start of the year I said that we were going to progress every race, right to the very last race and the very lap of this championship, and that's exactly what we're doing. That's exactly what we're going to do. So far we've finished every lap this season, that's our goal. We're going to continue on with that all the way through the year. Thanks to the Hulman-George family for bringing us here. It's an amazing opportunity just to be here and run, let alone being up there and running with those guys."
JEFF SIMMONS (No. 20 Western Union Speed Team/Duesenberg Dallara/Infiniti/ Firestone): "I don't know what everybody else was running for gears, but our main problem was just understeer whenever we got behind anybody. It was really bad in Turns 3 and 4, not as bad in 1 and 2. As soon as I got close to (Cory) Witherill and (Mark) Taylor at the end there. I couldn't get enough of a run. I had to stay a couple of car lengths further back than I needed to be otherwise I'd lose the front and have to lift everytime going through the corner. That's why (Jonathan) Urlin was getting runs on me. I tried to run the outside of Taylor in Turn 1, and it didn't grip that time and slid up and caught the wall. It bent the suspension and got it out of alignment. It didn't seem to really make the car much worse. I changed the way I was steering, but it might have made the understeer worse in (Turns) 3 and 4. Other than that, we got points, and we finished."
TOM WOOD (No. 9 Super 8 Motels/Sam Schmidt Motorsports Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "We lost our gearbox. We lost fifth and sixth (gear) right at the start, so all we could run is fourth gear. We were just trying to get some points out of this because that was all we could do. It's a little disappointing because it's a big race, but that's how it goes."
MARCO CIOCI (No. 6 Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "This is my first time in an oval race. It was completely different. I don't want to say I finished ninth because of inexperience, but I finished ninth because I did a stupid mistake. I missed a shift and lost many seconds. The car was good, and I was driving well. I had a nice fight with Paul Dana. We touched wheels twice in (Turn) 3. I like this American motorsports, but I don't like my result because of a very stupid mistake."
BRANDON ERWIN (No. 99 Natural Golf/Sam Schmidt Motorsports Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "The car was running great. I was going to the front and the car just quit. I did it two or three times when I was out there. I had to turn the car off and on to get it to come back to life and it just wouldn't run after that. The Sam Schmidt/Natural Golf No. 99 just had trouble from the minute we got here. I hope we can figure out what the problem is with the team and go forward to the next race."
AARON FIKE (No. 91 RFMS/Hemelgarn Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "It's just frustrating. It started off decent, but once I got running by myself, I got too loose. Cory (Witherill) and I ran a little different setup, and we should have gone in his direction. Obviously I think the rain made the track a little too green. We were too loose, and it got looser as the race went on. I'm just glad we brought it home in one piece. We're ready to go to Pikes Peak with our head on straight."
GARY PETERSON (No. 27 Automatic Fire Sprinklers Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "I'm not sure exactly what happened. The car was running excellent. Maybe a tire went down, I don't know. But it snapped to the left, and I was in the wall."
ROGER BAILEY (Executive Director, IRL Infiniti Pro Series): "I was delighted that after the early hiccups that we had yesterday, we were able to put on a great show. I think it went a long way to raising awareness of the Infiniti Pro Series, and I can't wait to get back here next year."
TONY GEORGE (President and CEO, Indianapolis Motor Speedway): "I think it was good to get this race, the Freedom 100, in after two days. I think everyone was a little concerned that the weather just wasn't going to cooperate. It got off to a slow start, and I'm glad that everybody seems to be OK that were involved in accidents yesterday. I think they proved once they settle down and get into a rhythm, they are capable of using this as a learning opportunity. That's what it was meant to be. I want to congratulate A.J. and Ed for doing a good job. I think he just drove a good race, and certainly A.J. Foyt Racing prepared him with a good car. He was very consistent and was able to keep out front and in the clean air, which is important. These cars are very close, and you've got to work very hard to get every advantage you can. The guys have done a great job of putting together a very clean car. That made the difference." (About the result): "I'm glad that Ed had an opportunity to do well here. It was an important race for the series and for all the teams and drivers and sponsors that compete in it. He's fortunate to have some good sponsorships backing and a good team behind him. I know he's got the ability to drive and do well professionally. That's what he wants to do, and I congratulate him and support him."
A.J. FOYT (Owner, A.J. Foyt Enterprises): "It makes me thrilled that we bring the car from Houston, Texas, have it sit on the pole and lead the whole race with Ed Carpenter. We've had a rough year starting off, and we've been having trouble even running mid-pack, but come here to the biggest racetrack in the world and sit on the pole and win the race means an awful lot to A.J. Foyt and our whole team. I know it meant a lot to Ed's mother, Laura (George). Probably it meant as much to her as to me. But one things for sure, we're all proud of Ed."