LEBANON, Tenn., Monday, July 14, 2003 -- Quotes from selected IRL Infiniti Pro Series drivers about the Cleanevent 100 Infiniti Pro Series event Friday, July 18 at Nashville Superspeedway (quotes listed in alphabetical order): MATT BEARDSLEY (No.
LEBANON, Tenn., Monday, July 14, 2003 -- Quotes from selected IRL Infiniti Pro Series drivers about the Cleanevent 100 Infiniti Pro Series event Friday, July 18 at Nashville Superspeedway (quotes listed in alphabetical order):
MATT BEARDSLEY (No. 12 Alpine Bank/Old Republic/Land Title Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone):
"Nashville was the first race that I ran last year. We have had a pretty limited amount of time there, and we haven't done any testing. With the surface being concrete and slick, running later in the day, and it being dark, there is really going to be more downforce, and we have to work with that in the setup of the car. We will just keep plugging away, and toward the end of the year, I think we will be fighting for the lead."
ED CARPENTER (No. 14 Futaba/Delphi/A.J. Foyt Racing Dallara/Infiniti/ Firestone):
"I am looking forward to returning to Nashville Superspeedway and the one-day format that we have for that race. I am used to one-day races from all of my USAC experience, so I think I may have an advantage. Hopefully, I will get out of the gate quicker than the other guys. I feel like my team is finally in full swing and working together well. Hopefully, now we will be able to begin to chip away at Mark Taylor's point lead."
PAUL DANA (No. 24 Ethanol/Team ISI Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone):
"As a team, we've really struggled in the last two events. I know what the problems are, but we don't really have the resources to address them. As we get into the tracks where the veteran teams ran last year, and as they continue to test and we continue not to test, I think we're facing an uphill battle. We've been hot and cold so far: quick in a lot of the practice sessions but unable to convert that to results. We just need to get back to basics, focus on reliability, focus on consistency and try to get some decent finishes and get some momentum back." (About country music): "I'm a bigger fan of classic country than current country. Johnny Cash, George (Jones) and Tammy (Wynette), Emmylou (Harris), Willie (Nelson) and Waylon (Jennings) and the boys. I'm heavily into alternative country. There's a Hank Williams tribute album out called 'Timeless' that's awesome. Pretty much anything written by Townes Van Zandt or Graham Parsons or produced by T-Bone Burnett, I'm there."
BRANDON ERWIN (No. 99 Natural Golf/Sam Schmidt Motorsports Dallara/ Infiniti/Firestone):
"We are really looking forward to this race. My teammate, Tom Wood, recently tested there, and the team gained a lot of knowledge. Tom turned some of the fastest times on the track. Since I have never run at Nashville, that knowledge will really help all of us when it comes to getting the cars set up and ready for the race. I love the challenges of the concrete track and racing at night. The night race will make things exciting. Our team has had some bad luck lately with our engine issues, but in Kansas we were definitely making progress. So, with everything we have learned lately, we are definitely moving up in the right direction. We had a good race last weekend and are looking toward moving ahead this next race."
AARON FIKE (No. 91 RFMS/Hemelgarn Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone):
"Nashville is the only concrete track we run on and can be tricky. I had problems in practice last year, but when it came to race time, (teammate) Cory (Witherill) and I had really great cars. We should be fast again and be able to win this race or at least be able to run up front. There are still a lot of races left in our season. I'll be OK with whatever happens. I'm going to try the best that I can. Mark (Taylor) has such a big lead that he needs to have some bad luck for us to beat him."
ARIE LUYENDYK JR. (No. 5 Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone):
"Last year at Nashville, we did very well. We qualified on the front row and finished second after leading some laps. I'm glad to go back there. I really enjoyed the track. I think it is very unique because it is the only concrete track that we will go to this year. I'm really looking forward to getting out there."
THIAGO MEDEIROS (No. 36 Genoa Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone):
"When I went to Nashville for the first test, I was quicker then everyone. I was very happy. I have had some experience with concrete on the streets of Uruguay in the (South American) Formula 3 championship. Nothing is really very different, but the track has more grip. We don't have any major things that we are going to change from last time. There are really just some little things. We want to make the little things better because we have a lot of races coming up."
JEFF SIMMONS (No. 20 Western Union Speed Team Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone):
"Everyone at the Western Union Speed Team cannot wait to get to Nashville and put the Kansas weekend out of our minds. Kansas was a tough weekend for the Western Union Speed Team as we had fuel-pressure problems most of the weekend and then an electrical problem in the race. We had a very good test at Nashville earlier this year, and I think we have learned some things since then that will apply there. It will be nice to be back on more of a driver's track where the chassis setup is a little bit more crucial. We have the ability to rebound with a win, so that's what we'll be looking to do. There are a lot of races left, but we need to get on a roll."
MARK TAYLOR (No. 4 Fulmar Panther Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone):
"We had a really good test at Nashville. The car felt good even though there was a strong wind. We have some ideas on how to improve the car even further, but we will have to wait and see if the track has changed. With everything being scheduled in one day, it will be extremely rushed, but I am really looking forward to the night race as it will be a different type of challenge. I think that this will be one of the toughest weekends of the year, where experience and confidence in the track is key."
JONATHAN URLIN (No. 3 Budget Rent A Car of Canada Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone):
"I'm really looking forward to going to the next round in the Infiniti Pro Series. I'm looking forward to working hard and getting out of this little slump that we are in. We need to get some better, more consistent results. I'm excited to go to a shorter, high-banked track. This track will mix it up a little bit from the last track we were at. It is going to be a new learning experience too, with concrete touching the bottom of the car. We are going to work hard on this one and see if we can put up some good results. I think we really just need to work harder. Just come together as a team and get the job done. We know what we need to do. We are just not accomplishing our goals the way that the potential would allow us to. We have keep plugging away at it. It is also really going to be great to have AT&T Wireless and A& M Truck Parts on board halfway through the season as our new set of sponsors. I'm looking forward to giving them a good show."
CORY WITHERILL (No. 92 WSA Healthcare Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone):
"For the first time running at Nashville last year, it obviously came out to be the perfect race weekend for us, with me winning the inaugural event. My teammate, Aaron (Fike), had some problems during some of the practice sessions and didn't get to qualify so well, but he moved all the way from the back to the front. We both finished in the top three. I think for this year's race, we have pretty good cars and setups to start with, and we're hopeful for a one-two finish. We've been on a roll the last couple of races, and we're about due for a one-two finish. We continue to get stronger and stronger with each race. I'm looking for a second guitar (awarded to the race winner). I think this year they're definitely going to have to give me lessons to play the guitar. It is a unique trophy to have, to say that I won that by winning the Nashville race."
TOM WOOD (No. 9 Trailblazer Drilling/Sam Schmidt Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone):
"I didn't get to race at Nashville last year, but we tested at the track right after Kansas. It is going to be more technical than some of the faster tracks we race on. I was very pleased with the speed we achieved in testing, and by the end of the test day, the Sam Schmidt Motorsports team gave me a really fast, balanced car. With Nashville being a one-day event, there won't be a lot of time to sort out your car. The fact it is a concrete track adds to the difficulty of getting the right setup. Fortunately, we were able to test in the heat, and we should have a really good race setup. I think Nashville will be a great show for the fans. This should prove to be another major battle. The Infiniti Pro Series has developed to a point where any one of 10 cars can win on any race day. Mark Taylor has a big lead in the points, but I think the wins are going to get a lot tougher. Kansas is a prime example. Our team was buoyed by our third-place finish at Kansas, and we are confident we can do very well at Nashville."