ED CARPENTER (No. 2 Menards/Jack K. Elrod Co./Futaba/Delphi Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "Everything went all right. Foyt is seven-tenths of a second quicker than anyone else, so we need to find some speed." (About spin in Turn 2): "We just put on...
ED CARPENTER (No. 2 Menards/Jack K. Elrod Co./Futaba/Delphi Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "Everything went all right. Foyt is seven-tenths of a second quicker than anyone else, so we need to find some speed." (About spin in Turn 2): "We just put on a new set of tires. I just went too fast on cold tires. I'm getting ready to leave for Winchester for a sprint-car race tonight. I will fly back tonight for qualifying tomorrow."
MARTY ROTH (No. 3 Castek Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "The engine just let go, and it's a big problem right now. We needed to get some testing in today and work out a few bugs. We'll see what happens. We'll see if we can get another motor for tomorrow." (What were conditions out there before your problem?): "The track was beautiful. It's a great facility. We made some changes for the last practice, and the car was going great. It's unfortunate the engine let go."
JASON PRIESTLEY (No. 7 HomeMed Pharmacy Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "We had the HomeMed car really up to speed. I felt incredibly comfortable. I really hadn't pushed it yet, then we had what we felt like a problem in the engine developing. I brought the car to the pits so Infiniti can check it out. Once we have the engine issue resolved, we have a great car for Sunday."
GARY PETERSON (No. 27 Automatic Fire Sprinklers, Inc. Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "It's the second time we've ever driven the car, and I think it has a lot of potential. It's a great car, great chassis, and the motors pull great. We've got a little gearing problem that we need to work on, but I'm happy. The crew worked all night trying to put it together, and they did a great job." (Do you think you'll find more speed tomorrow?): "I think we'll pick it up. We'll work on the car tonight, make that gear change and be right up there tomorrow."
MIKE KOSS (No. 37 Bowes Seal Fast Automotive Products Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): (About spin): "That was a scary moment, sort of. I just lost the rear end. It came around on me real slowly. All of a sudden, it turned back around straight on me. We tried freeing the car up to try and get it to go a little faster, obviously. I felt like we had a lot of drag in the car, and we were trying to free it up. I think we found the point. My first session, we didn't go out. We were running the other car and had to throw the whole crew at that car because we hadn't run the other car, and we wanted to make sure everything was right. We knew the car I was driving was the one we tested in Chicago, and it ran pretty good, about the same speed we ran here today. We felt really good there with the same setup we had on it at Chicago, and we started freeing up the car a little bit, and we found the break point."
MATTHEW HALLIDAY (No. 38 Bowes Seal Fast/Hoosier Wholesale Automotive Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "It's pretty good, just like it tested the other week. We just need to find a little bit of speed. We seem to be struggling on horsepower or something like that. We'll have a good look. We have a few things we need to change. I think tomorrow will be an indication of how everyone's going."
G.J. MENNEN (No. 99 Greased Lightning Automotive Cleaning Products Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "The car is good. We need to do a lot of development to get it where we want it to be, but right out of the box it's a good piece. There's no doubt about it, Dallara did a great job with it. I can't say enough about the guys at Sam Schmidt Motorsports. They worked so hard getting this program ready to go in a quick time period. We're happy even though we're not where we want to be. But we're working at it. Our goal is certainly the race because that's where the points are, and that's where the money is. But we want to qualify up front. Now that we got the package working right, we're going to work getting more speed out of it."
A.J. FOYT IV (No. 14 Harrah's/A.J. Foyt Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "It is good to have guys like that still around the racetrack like Johnny (Rutherford) and Al (Unser) and my grandpa (A.J. Foyt) and Arie (Luyendyk) to kind of coach the younger and upcoming drivers. Any little thing that they help us on, definitely we listen to what they say. They've been here and done everything, probably more than we are ever going to do. We just listen to them and take their advice on what they say." (On testing an IRL car at Phoenix): "Driving one of the IRL cars, especially on a tough track like Phoenix, was really fun. It was a good experience for me, and it kind of gave me some confidence getting in this car because I know it has a little bit less horsepower. But to compare the two cars, since that track was so small and this track is like a speedway, the Indy car was definitely faster and felt a little faster, but the steering I think is pretty similar. I think it's pretty similar, especially the steering. Really just the horsepower made a big difference at Phoenix."
AARON FIKE (No. 91 Hemelgarn Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "We only got about 20 or 40 laps at Gateway. I didn't really know what to expect coming to a mile-and-a-half track like this. I knew we were going to be fast. It is just getting the car freed up and getting the drag out of it. I'm looking forward to the race on Sunday. Hopefully we'll be in the first two rows after qualifying tomorrow. I went out there today, and I was pretty comfortable. The seating position was a little different for me. I'm used to being straight up. I was really comfortable out there. I liked being laid down and that low to the ground. I felt I was able to go wide open in about four or five laps. I haven't really ran in traffic or passed anybody yet. I think after this first race I'll be really comfortable running in traffic." (How does the Infiniti Pro Series car compare to the Sprint Car and Silver Crown cars you drive?): "Definitely more stable. These cars are a lot more stable than any of the other open-wheel cars that I drive. You're a lot more on the steering wheel in those other cars than in these. You've just got to be really smooth in these cars; that's what I've figured out so far. You scrub off a lot of speed if you're moving the wheel too much."
ARIE LUYENDYK JR. (No. 5 Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "It is a very competitive field. I feel a handful of drivers could be on the pole tomorrow. I feel confident we will have a fairly good starting position. Mainly we've been working on the race setup. Since the field is so competitive we really want to get a good handle on the car in traffic. The gearing is a little off. We discovered that by running in traffic. The series allows us certain gear ratios, and we are just working with that. I think for the race it will be OK. There just will be a lot of shifting between getting behind someone and getting your own lap. You have to take that in account. Other than that, I got a few laps. It felt fine. Because the cars have a hard limiter I had to get into the slipstream and get out of the slipstream. I think if it is geared right it can mean a few miles per hour." (Compare the F2000 car with the Infiniti Pro Series car): "In this car you feel basically just more downforce. The F2000 car also had a lot less horsepower. As far as horsepower-to-downforce ratio, the Infiniti car has a little more downforce. In the F2000 cars, you have more of an oversteer and you have to really kind of work the wheel a little bit, and with these cars, you just feel so stable and so comfortable in the car. It gives you a lot of feedback through the steering wheel. Actually, we want more horsepower, but that's I guess for the bigger cars."