Indy Racing League Infiniti Pro Series Inaugural Freedom 100 At Indianapolis Motor Speedway Post-Practice Quotes May 15, 2003 ED CARPENTER (No. 14 Futaba/Delphi/A.J. Foyt Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "Fourteen laps for car 14. We ran a...
Indy Racing League Infiniti Pro Series
Inaugural Freedom 100 At Indianapolis Motor Speedway
May 15, 2003
ED CARPENTER (No. 14 Futaba/Delphi/A.J. Foyt Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "Fourteen laps for car 14. We ran a lot of laps at the test. When we tested, we felt we had a good car. We went out this morning when it was still good. We just didn't feel like there was any need to put a lot of miles on the car. We didn't really feel the need to stay out and run all day. Two-and-a-half hours is a long session."
MARCO CIOCI (No. 6 Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "I think things went pretty good. We are working on two types of setups, one for qualifying and one for the race. I was sometimes alone and sometimes in the draft, but I think that we did a good job. I don't know if the other drivers are looking for the qualifying or the race setup, but I think our car is ready for the race. On the last run, I think I could do with the car what I wanted. It is very consistent and very stable. Before the qualifying tomorrow, we are looking for a little bit of an adjustment, but I think that we are ready."
BRANDON ERWIN (No. 99 Natural Golf/Sam Schmidt Motorsports Dallara/ Infiniti/Firestone): "We only got about six or eight laps on the car. We have some kind of motor trouble with it. I am not sure what, though. It was missing all the way around the track, but we are 10th quick. My third lap out was 10th quick for today, so that is not shabby at all. The Sam Schmidt Natural Golf No. 99 car is going to do just fine. I think we are going to be up front. We just have to figure out this problem. If we don't figure out this problem, we are going to be in trouble for qualifying. If we get it figured out, I don't think it will take me long to get it up to speed, so I think we will be OK."
AARON FIKE (N0. 91 RFMS/Hemelgarn Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "It is an unbelievable feeling. I've wanted to run here since I was a little kid. My dream of running here is finally coming true. It is just an amazing feeling. I believe you can't just jump in a big IndyCarÔ (Series car). This is an opportunity a guy like me needs to get to proceed to where I really want to be -- the Indy 500. They really don't run many races here, so no matter what it is, to win at Indy is awesome."
ARIE LUYENDYK JR. (No. 5 Grill 2 Go/Smith & Wesson Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "The session went pretty well. We tried to run alone. I think our fast lap was a tow, but alone we are very strong. We're very close to being one of the quickest alone. The last change really helped, and I think it will go good. If it doesn't rain tomorrow, maybe we'll get some testing in for the race and then on to qualifying." (You had limited time at the Open Test. Did that hurt you?): "We tried not to use too much time catching up because we're trying to save the car for qualifying. We're going to use the next session to work on race setup. We're confident and comfortable. I think the engine problem in testing hurt us, but we're all caught up now."
MARK TAYLOR (No. 4 Fulmar Panther Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "We wanted to make sure the gears are right for qualifying so we stayed out of the tow a lot of the time, and so therefore we fully haven't shown what we've got yet. But the car feels good, and we will bring the car up as much as possible."
THIAGO MEDEIROS (No. 36 Genoa Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "Practice was very good. We set the car for all different situations for qualifying, the race and in the draft. I'm very happy with the results and can't wait to qualify."
JEFF SIMMONS (No. 20 Western Union Speed Team/Duesenberg Dallara/Infiniti/ Firestone): "We had a little problem with the gearbox. We didn't get all that much running, really. We were a little off with our gearing, as well. We had too tall of gears in, and we weren't able to pull that here. We really didn't get a real good read on how quick we were today, unfortunately. We were real quick in testing here and consistent, so I think that we should be able to get up to speed pretty quick tomorrow."
JONATHAN URLIN (No. 3 Budget Rent A Car Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "We actually got quicker all the way through, and that's exactly what we were trying to do. We got to play around a bit in the draft, and that's obviously the key here now that everybody is up to speed. It's really all about your current setup in the dirty air. That's the thing we have to master now." (How hard is it to adapt to a place like Indy?): "I had to adapt to these cars at the start of the year, and I had to adapt to running on ovals all the time. There's so many things you have to adapt to; it's just another one of those things. That's what makes a good racing series. It's just another thing we have to adapt to."
CORY WITHERILL (No. 92 WSA Healthcare Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "I wish I would have had this opportunity the first time I came here. In 2001, I didn't know what to expect. Now I know what I need to do. I try not to get distracted. I have to mentally stay focused on the number-one thing we have to do here: win this race. We did most of our times by ourselves. There was a little bit of traffic. I was trying to stay by myself and see what we can do by myself. That is what qualifying is going to be."
TOM WOOD (No. 9 Super 8 Motels/Sam Schmidt Motorsports Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "We made a little bit of headway, but we had a gearbox problem first thing this morning, so we lost about an hour and a half of practice. The car is feeling pretty good. We just have to keep pulling aero out of it."
CRAIG DOLLANSKY (No. 33 VMAC/Karavan Trailers/FattFro Mtrspts. Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "Practice went well for the No. 33 VAMAC/Karavan Trailers/FattFro Motorsports team. This being our first practice of the event and only my second time in the car, I'm trying to get acclimated to the car, as well as the track. We pushed the 180-mph mark, and I have the utmost confidence that the Brian Stewart Racing team will be strong in our qualifying effort. It's truly an honor to be part of the Freedom 100, as well as a part of Indianapolis Motor Speedway history."
BILLY ROE (No. 37 Bowes Seal Fast/Hoosier Wholesale Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): (Are you looking forward to qualifying?): "Absolutely. But with my luck, and how the rain works around here -- I wanted rain this morning. Didn't get it. Don't want rain tomorrow. It will be raining."
SCOTT HARRINGTON (No. 25 Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "It was good. I did a lot of miles around here in an Indy (Car Series) car, but it's a completely different animal than one of these things. You're dealing with a different set of parameters. With an Indy (Car Series) car, you're looking for more grip, and with this thing, we're trying to get rid of grip. We've got a long way to go. We ran a mid-183 (mph lap) on our own, and I know a lot of quick guys were running with a tow, so I don't think we're that far off. We've got to find a way to get rid of some grip and free it up a bit. Where we're at a disadvantage is I've got a lot of miles at this racetrack but not many in these cars."
MATT BEARDSLEY (No. 12 Alpine Bank/Old Republic Land Title Dallara/Infiniti/ Firestone): "It was great. Started off real well. Didn't get the speed we were looking for right off, but I think it's fair. We did a lot of qualifying stuff. All in all, it was just unbelievable. You can definitely feel the uniqueness of the corners unlike anywhere I've been or seen. The cars work really well here. We're just doing little tuning things. Just trying to find a little speed here, and there is what's really hard."
RONNIE JOHNCOX (No. 8 REV 1 Racing Special Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "(The) session went well for us. We're pretty happy with where we're at, but we have some work to do before qualifying. (We) spent a fair amount of that session working on race setup. I think we'll be good for both qualifying and the race. You can run pretty well flat out (and) move the car up and down wherever you need to go."
PAUL DANA (No. 24 Ethanol/Team ISI Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "We started out great. We had a planned list of changes we wanted to evaluate from where we left off at the test. We got into our workload and were just focusing on our program. We went really quick early, and then we got confused somewhere. The car got really loose at the end of the session. I had some wiggles, and those aren't fun. We'll just have to put it back on the pad and see if we got lost somewhere -- see where all the values are at. Overall, I'm frustrated, but I'm not really concerned. I think most the times you saw out there were draft times. It was like a little Happy Hour there at the end, and we chose not to participate in that. I don't think we're too far off in our pace by ourselves. I would just feel better if we were back to where we were when we were on track. The car just went way loose, and I was just trying to keep it out of the wall."
ROLANDO QUINTANILLA (No. 11 Bowes Automotive Products Dallara/Infiniti/ Firestone): "It was a lot of fun. It's pretty amazing. Everyone says it's one of the best tracks in the world to run, and you really realize the truthfulness in that when you run it. It's been tough, though. We had only two days to put this car together. We've been thrashing, late nights. I'm truly happy to be here, and I have to thank the Bowes Seal Fast guys for giving me the opportunity. We're starting off on a good note. We're progressing. For never having tested here and having not driven all year, we're doing all right."