Indy Racing League Infiniti Pro Series Inaugural Freedom 100 At Indianapolis Motor Speedway Post-Qualifying Quotes, May 16, 2003 MATT BEARDSLEY (No. 12 Alpine Bank/Old Republic Land Title Dallara/Infiniti/ Firestone): "Yeah, got a couple good...
Indy Racing League Infiniti Pro Series
Inaugural Freedom 100 At Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Post-Qualifying Quotes, May 16, 2003
MATT BEARDSLEY (No. 12 Alpine Bank/Old Republic Land Title Dallara/Infiniti/ Firestone): "Yeah, got a couple good laps together. They're a little better than we were in practice, but not as good as we hoped. All in all, it was a pretty good run. It's going to be a good race. We'll just have to be patient." (Was the track good for you?): "It's in unbelievable shape. Really good."
PAUL DANA (No. 24 Ethanol/Team ISI Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): (You were the first Infiniti Pro Series driver to qualify at IMS. How does that feel?): "That means I guess I sat on pole for about 30 seconds. I guess that's something to put on the resume." (How was the run?): "Really poorly. I was flat out everywhere, so there was nothing more I could get out of it. We must have missed on gearing because that's a full six-tenths slower than we expected the laps to come in at. If the track didn't get that much hotter, then we missed. The bad news, good news is that the Infiniti Pro Series is here at Indy, and we're thrilled to be part of the show. The Ethanol folks are psyched, and we're going to have a good time tomorrow.
AARON FIKE (No. 91 RFMS/Hemelgarn Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "We had a great car. Ron Hemelgarn and Roger Johnson gave me a great crew, and the crew gave me a great car. They told to run it to the rev limiter, and it killed me on the second lap by about eight-tenths of a second. They go on lap average here, because they didn't do it one lap, but that's a tradition of the Motor Speedway. It was awesome. It's an opportunity of a lifetime to run here at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. I'd like thank Tony George and all the IRL for letting us run here."
ARIE LUYENDYK JR. (No. 5 Grill 2 Go/Smith & Wesson Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "I'm a little disappointed. I thought we had another mile an hour in there, but the crew did a great job in getting the car ready. We had a problem in practice this morning, so I'm happy that we could get out there and post a speed." (Was your dad coaching you during the run?): "No. No one was talking to me. I don't know where we lost the speed. We must have picked up a tow in practice. I thought we were alone, but we must have gotten a little."
GARY PETERSON (No. 27 Automatic Fire Sprinklers Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "It was good. A good one but not as good as we hoped, of course. It's going to be an awesome race. Just being here in unbelievable. Big dream come true. There was a big draft in practice, which helps quite a bit. For the Infiniti (cars), there's a big difference when it's just one car out there."
TOM WOOD (No. 9 Super 8 Motels/Sam Schmidt Motorsports Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "Had a mechanical problem on the in lap, my second warm-up lap. The car jumped out of gear, and I lost all my momentum. The second lap wasn't bad, and I think we could have done a lot better. That's just the way it goes." (Did the track change much from yesterday?): "Not a whole bunch. It's pretty consistent. The cars are real gripped up right now."
BRANDON ERWIN (No. 99 Natural Golf/Sam Schmidt Motorsports Dallara/ Infiniti/Firestone): "We have had some ongoing problems with the car recently. The crew is working hard to fix the issues, but unfortunately we will start in the back for Race Day. We just ran out of time. It is unfortunate not to qualify today. My crew and I are helping to get everything fixed today so we run a strong race. Everyone is giving 100 percent, and I expect to have a great run tomorrow."
BILLY ROE (No. 37 Bowes Seal Fast/Hoosier Wholesale Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "It went real good. We have a rev limiter problem. We can't seem to get around here without hitting the rev limiter. We can't use sixth gear because it immediately goes to the rev limiter there, so that's something we have to fix for the race." (You're one of three Indianapolis 500 veterans in the Pro Series field. Does that give you a bit of an edge?): "I think so. Absolutely. Being able to go around and know exactly where you need to be. That helps a lot."
MARK TAYLOR (No. 4 Fulmar Panther Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "Good run. The car's working well. Quicker than we ran this morning, so you're always happy about that. I think if we'd run again, we would change a few things to go a little bit quicker, but that's life. I think Ed Carpenter looks like he's put it on pole, and they did a great job over the last couple of days, so they deserve it."
ED CARPENTER (No. 14 Futaba/Delphi/A.J. Foyt Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "Satisfaction, so far. I'm just really happy. The crew and my Delphi car have been awesome all weekend. A.J. Foyt had a great car, and (chief mechanic) Jack Starne has worked his butt off to get this car ready for this track. We tore it up the first two races, and now it's back to being a beautiful race car. It's very fast. I'm confident we'll be on the front row, but I want to bring this thing home in first place at the end of tomorrow. The car has just been perfect since we unloaded it. We haven't really done anything to the chassis. It's just been trying to get it as smooth as we can. It's working out great so far. I think it's great. I've been looking forward to this race since they announced it. It means a lot coming here with A.J. Foyt and all my great sponsors, Futaba, Delphi, Jack K. Elrod. We're happy. It was our goal to start here on the pole and ultimately, to win this race. We're off to a perfect start right now. Hopefully, we can just keep it going. We kind of had a rough start to the season, so this feels great. My confidence is back up where it needs to be. It's nice coming to your home track. It just makes you feel a lot better. I'm really looking forward to tomorrow. This place means so much to me. I've been coming here since I was 8. I've been out here every day watching. I've been waiting and dreaming for the day that I get to turn laps here. It's here right now, and hopefully it doesn't stop with the Pro Series car. I want to be here in an Indy car. It just means so much and to get the pole for the first race makes it even more special. I'm just honored to be able to race here."
THIAGO MEDEIROS (No. 36 Genoa Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "Qualifying was good. The weather changed a lot, so that was quite different for us. We're still working to make a better car for tomorrow in the race. I had a difficult beginning of the year. We finished second in both events, and we are ready for this."
CORY WITHERILL (No. 92 WSA Healthcare Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "No, there was more speed in the car. Kind of disappointed. We hit the rev limiter going into (Turn) 1, and that carried all the way through (Turn) 3, so that killed our second speed (lap). It's all right, though. We'll get them in the race. The Hemelgarn/Johnson team is awesome. We'll be there at the end of the race. It's disappointing, but I don't have too many guys in front of me, so hopefully we can get them quickly. I really can see this WSA car in the number-one spot."
JONATHAN URLIN (No. 3 Budget Rent A Car Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "I think the problem is, for this qualifying session, we had the wrong ring and pinion in the car. I gave the team two setups, and I think we chose the wrong one, but I think we got it right for the race setup and just missed on qualifying a little. These guys got a jump on us, and we struggled a little bit in qualifying. But we can work from there, and hopefully we'll be fine."
ROLANDO QUINTANILLA (No.11 Bowes Automotive Products Dallara/Infiniti/ Firestone): "It's a start. We've been thrashing a lot just to get here. We're making progress every time we go out on the track, and that shows how hard the guys are working. For qualifying, we don't know. We lost speed somewhere, and I don't know where. The car felt better, yet we're losing speed on the straight line. We're pulling a lot less rpms then we were in practice. We'll have to go back and see what the situation is."
MARCO CIOCI (No. 6 Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "It would be better if I didn't start from (where I am) because we worked so hard for nothing. I'm very disappointed. Unfortunately we had a problem from yesterday. This is motorsport."
RONNIE JOHNCOX (No. 8 REV 1 Racing Special Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "It wasn't what we hoped for, but it is solid in the show. We can just prepare for the race at this point. We would have liked to have been up a bit further, but we will take what we got and go with it. The cars are very similar in nature. Similar characteristics, similar wing configurations. It is a great stepping-stone for drivers to go up to the IRL (IndyCarÔ Series). I think they have done a very good job trying to keep as many parallels as they can. In fact, today, doing two laps of qualifying with an average is a nice way to break the ice for a driver who next year might be trying to make the 500."
JEFF SIMMONS (No. 20 Western Union Speed Team/Duesenberg Dallara/Infiniti/ Firestone): "I think we could have gone a little quicker. I hit the rev limiter as I hit the start/finish line here. We just didn't have enough gear today. We tried something different and couldn't pull them, so we went back to what we had yesterday and had to lift off just to try to maintain that speed. I think we had a car that could have done that speed; we just didn't have the right gear. But tomorrow, we know what we have to do to run for the race, so I think we'll be right up there."
SCOTT HARRINGTON (No. 25 Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "It's great to race here, that's for sure, but I'm disappointed with my qualifying run. We ran 185 (mph) all by our lonesome this morning and figured we got quicker this afternoon, and we were real slow. I don't know what happened. We were debating on what we should do when we got in sixth gear, and it didn't even matter. We got on the limiter in fifth gear."
CRAIG DOLLANSKY (No. 33 VMAC/Karavan Trailers/FattFro Mtrspts. Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "It's hard to find the speed we need to get even close to the front. I think we need to change the gearbox , and that will help us for tomorrow. We have too tall a gear in there between fifth and sixth, and it's too much. The car felt nice, but we weren't able to put the speed that we needed. We'll just see what tomorrow brings."