IPS: Michigan: Qualifying quotes

DAY 2 -- Saturday, July 27, 2002 Infiniti Pro Series Post-Qualifying Quotes CORY WITHERILL (No. 92 WSA Healthcare Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "The car felt great. This track just comes down to who has the strongest engines in their car.

DAY 2 -- Saturday, July 27, 2002
Infiniti Pro Series Post-Qualifying Quotes

CORY WITHERILL (No. 92 WSA Healthcare Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "The car felt great. This track just comes down to who has the strongest engines in their car. Qualifying doesn't really matter here. It's all up to where you are and how you race and obviously where you cross the finish line."

GARY PETERSON (No. 27 Automatic Fire Sprinklers, Inc. Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "I was a little shaky from last week's crash, and I was just being careful. After crashing during qualifying last week in Nashville, I had to get that monkey off my back. The car will be good in the race. It really is a good car. It just didn't do well in qualifying."

MATT BEARDSLEY (No. 12 Alpine Bank Old-Republic Land Title Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "There's a little more wind than we've had so far. The car was a little slower. Other than that, there were no hiccups. The car was awesome. It's only our second weekend, so we don't have high expectations. We're still in the testing phase, but we may have a good shot at it."

MARTY ROTH (No. 3 Marty Roth/Brian Stewart Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "We made some changes before qualifying, so it was a little adventurous on our part. We needed to speed things up a bit. I'm happy with the car. The car was working real good. I guess it was a little loose after the truck race, but it felt really good. The car is the best it's been all weekend, so it should be a good race."

G.J. MENNEN (No. 99 Greased Lightning Automotive Cleaning Products Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "Conditions have changed a lot since practice. There's a big tailwind going into (Turn) 3, but we were flat stick. We'll see what happens. We've made changes the whole weekend, so it's hard to pinpoint what they did. We were running by ourselves for most of the last session, while others weren't. We're going to work on the car in Happy Hour and see what we come up with for the race."

RYAN HAMPTON (No. 34 Ryan Hampton/CGF Special Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "That's the first time I've been on a plain old superspeedway. The first lap, I got pretty hard into the rev limiter in (Turns) 3 and 4, so I decided to try a lap in sixth gear, and it was a little bit slower. You live and you learn. It was my first time out in the car, and we're trying to get things sorted out. I'm just trying to put my foot in it the best I can. It's easy flat. It's big and fast, but the race will be mostly drafting."

ROLANDO QUINTANILLA (No. 11 Roquin Motorsports Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "The guys had to trim out the car as much as they can. Realistically, we just went out and tried to run as quick as we could. I'm a bit disappointed because we ran much quicker by ourselves in practice. We have to see what worked and what didn't work. The car was loose, so I'm not sure if we had a crosswind or if trimmed it out too much."

AARON FIKE (No. 91 Hemelgarn Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "I really didn't like my qualifying run. We've been faster than that all day, so was my teammate, so I don't know what the deal is there. That's the slowest we've run all day. I don't know how Arie went so fast. No one's been that fast all day."

MIKE KOSS (No. 37 Bowes Seal Fast Automotive Products Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "This is the first time I've ever gotten to run here. It's a lot bigger than I thought it was. I wish I could have practiced more before I got to run here. We've got the car pretty buttoned down to the track because I've had some problems in the first two races. I was running flat and finally starting to have some fun. I saw some guys running low, so I tried that for the first time in qualifying. I probably should have practiced that first."

RONNIE JOHNCOX (No. 8 Rev. 1 Racing Special Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "We're real happy not to qualify on the front row, believe it or not. We've been on the front row the last two races and didn't have good results, so we thought we'd be better off if we started at the tail. If you believe that, I have a bridge I'll sell you in the middle of the Sahara. We fell a little bit behind with our engine. Fortunately, Infiniti came in and stepped up and did what was right and put a fresh motor in our car. We lost two practice sessions where we didn't get to do those things that get you the extra one- or two-tenths of a second. We're solid in the show. My car is driving really nice out there. I can pretty much go high, low and different. We'll take it and go racing. It would be really nice to bring (a win) home on our home track."

JEFF TILLMAN (No. 9 Budweiser Racing -- The King of Beers Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "I came from the Grand Am Series, and we're not used to banks, and we're not used to all left turns. I kept wanting to turn right out there. It's just a whole other world out there. It's only the third time I've ever been on an oval. I could get through Turns 3 and 4 better than Turn 2. I was in it the whole way though. We were three seconds a lap faster. The only change we made was in my brain. It takes me a little while to figure things out."

DAVE STEELE (No. 43 Bowes Seal Fast/Hoosier Wholesale Automotive Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "You have to have a totally different frame of mind (to drive these cars.) Hopefully, we can get a few laps under our belt and see what we can do. The track is pretty big, but these cars are suited pretty well to the track. Hopefully we'll be better in the race and can stay with the lead pack. We'll see what we can do."

JASON PRIESTLEY (No. 7 HomeMed Pharmacy Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "Our first lap was a solid time. On our second lap, I think we had a better lap going, but we had a little problem. We've been in a bit of a quandary all weekend as to whether to run in fifth gear or sixth gear because as our speeds have increased I've been walking the line between fifth and sixth gear. Unfortunately in these cars when the rev limiter comes in, it comes in really hard. I was working to feather the throttle going into Turn 3 on my second flying lap, and the limiter came on. The limiter in these engines is so severe. It's like throwing the anchor out, and it can cost you half a second. That's exactly what's reflected on the time sheet. I was sort of torn whether I should go in sixth or stay in fifth and feather it. So I decided to stay in fifth and feather it because I was about to go into Turn 3 and scrub some speed anyway. Unfortunately I just crossed that 25-rpm line, and the limiter came on. It was my fault. I just didn't feather the throttle quite right. This field is so tightly packed together, the speeds are so close that you're trying to get every little bit of advantage that you can. An error in judgment of 25 rpm was the difference between being on the pole and being fifth, and that's exactly what happened. The car's real good. I feel real confident about the car tomorrow. I think we have a real good race car. I'm in the top-five cars; we're all really close together. I think we're in for a really good race tomorrow."

ED CARPENTER (No. 2 Menards/Jack K. Elrod Co./Futaba/Delphi Dallara/Infiniti/ Firestone): "That's about as good as we practiced when we ran by ourselves. Some of these guys, I guess, have found something we haven't found, but I'm not too worried about it because I really like my car in traffic. We'll run race setup this afternoon in the final practice and see for sure how our race car will be, but I've been totally comfortable with it since I got here. I can drive it wherever I want, and in a race like I think we're going to have Sunday, that'll be important."

ARIE LUYENDYK JR. (No. 5 Luyendyk Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "It's not my first pole, but it's my first pole position on an oval. The car was great, so it was very simple for me to do my job today. Definitely, I think that if A.J. (Foyt) and I work together tomorrow, it will be a good day for both of us. Qualifying went great. I can't say enough for the crew. They did an awesome job this weekend. Balancing three cars is a difficult thing for any team to do. They've shown a lot of support for me, and I think it's time to give them a win. Luyendyk Racing and Sam Schmidt Motorsports are paired together in the same shop, so basically we're a three-car team, which enables us to use the data from all three cars. We all go out on the track, and we all do different setups, and I pick off what my teammates have learned, so I think it's an advantage for me. When G.J. (Mennen) and I go on the track, I'll try something, and he'll try something, and then we'll come to the consensus on what's the best thing. G.J. ended up third, so it's a great day for our team." (Will you help out on the IRL team while your father races?): "I was going to spot, but it's too much stress for me. It's a difficult job. I'm going to let someone else do it." (About his father competing in the IRL event): "It's cool. It's a neat opportunity for both of us to be driving on the same weekend. I think it's an IRL first. It's been a help. He's not there as much as he normally is, but he still gives me tips and pointers." (About the race tomorrow): "Drafting is going to be important, of course. I think that you'll see a large group of cars, and if everybody runs side by side, then it's going to be easy to draft off people, but if A.J. and I just run around the bottom of the racetrack on the low line -- which is exactly what we both did to get to this position now -- then I think we can run away from the field."

A.J. FOYT IV (No. 14 Harrah's/A.J. Foyt Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "I think the first couple of practices we were pretty good. We just needed to get a little more out of it for qualifying. We came up a little bit short, but sometimes you have a good day, sometimes you have a bad day. I think if me and (Arie Luyendyk Jr.) work together, I think we'll be able to get away from the other guys." (About the Infiniti Pro Series): "I think it's a good series, especially for the younger drivers like me and Arie, and it's also good for the older drivers like (Ronnie) Johncox that want to get back to the IRL. I know it's my goal, and hopefully in the next couple of years, maybe next year, I'll be in the IRL. I like the series a lot. It's been really fun these first three races, and I'm looking forward to the rest of the season."

-irl/ips-

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About this article
Series Indy Lights
Drivers Sam Schmidt , Marty Roth , Ryan Hampton , A.J. Foyt , Arie Luyendyk Jr.