IPS: Test in the West Fontana day one post-practice quotes

LLOYD MACK (No. 9 Sam Schmidt Motorsports Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "Our car actually handled pretty good. We worked on it all day and got better until we finally found what we wanted. We played with everything trying to find some more speed....

LLOYD MACK (No. 9 Sam Schmidt Motorsports Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "Our car actually handled pretty good. We worked on it all day and got better until we finally found what we wanted. We played with everything trying to find some more speed. We played with the wing, the front nose, we tried to play with the different weight positions, tire pressures. We finally found a good combination to get it up to about 181 (mph) or so."

AARON FIKE (No. 91 Hemelgarn 91/Johnson Motorsports Dallara/ Infiniti/Firestone): "This is my first time here and first time on a big track. The sun got a little evil later in the day going down the backstretch. Overall, everything went pretty well. We had a few problems early in the day, but we got all the bugs worked out. Phoenix is our next test, and I have a lot of laps there. There's a lot of aerodynamics here. You just have to try and get as much drag out of the car as you can. You have to try and get as much as you can out of the motors. I thought the new Infiniti motors ran pretty good, and I think at one point we ran about 12 mph faster than any of the speeds we ran last year at the big tracks. It was really windy today, so I don't know how much that affected us. We had a good boost going down the backstretch and a headwind going down the frontstretch. We changed the car pretty drastically throughout the day, but with a big superspeedway like this, the car doesn't change that much, except being in traffic."

PAUL DANA (No. 24 Kenn Hardley Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "This was my first time in the car, and the day was totally trouble-free. Our program was a little late coming together. Three weeks ago our car was completely disassembled and needed a ton of work, so I'm completely blown away by the way that the Kenn Hardley crew has been able to put this thing together. We ran 50 or 60 laps trouble-free this afternoon, and that was just awesome. That was our main goal. I was just getting used to the G-loading and the speed. It's fast out there, but we were right there with the Hemelgarn cars, and we just need to figure out ways to trim the car out."

RUSS WICKS (No. 99 Sam Schmidt Motorsports Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "We definitely accomplished what we wanted to do as far as me getting in the car and getting up to speed. It's been a little while since I've been in the car. We started out progressively and got steadily quicker. The car really felt comfortable."

CORY WITHERILL (No. 92 WSA Healthcare Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): (How did it feel to be back in an Infiniti Pro Series car?): "It felt great. We did some testing in January, but this is the first time back on a big track like this. We were pretty much just shaking down the car. It was good for the few laps that we had, but we didn't have much time to try all the things we were hoping to." (About racing at California Speedway): "I've run here many times in the Indy Lights car, and I've had a few good finishes and a few good qualifying runs here. I guess you could say it's my home track too, since I only live about 45 minutes west." (Does returning for a second season with Hemelgarn 91/Johnson Motorsports give you an advantage?): "It should be pretty good. There are a bunch of new people on the team, so it's just a matter of getting everyone working on the same page, and then hopefully from there we can take off from where we were last year and do better."

MARTY ROTH (No. 3 Brian Stewart Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "Testing out here is a great way to start out the season. We had a few problems with the car, but they were easy fixes. We got the car up to speed and were pretty happy with the way the day went. I love the big ovals. I much prefer them to the small tracks, because they are so much fun. You get a bunch of cars together in a draft, and it really picks up the speed."

JONATHAN URLIN (No. 33 Brian Stewart Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): (About his first experience in an Infiniti Pro Series car): "I'm even 10 times more confident that this is the right place to be. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind. I am overly happy. As for the speed difference, that was one of my biggest worries, and I have no idea why I even worried about that. The only time that the speed was kind of 'Whoa!' was when I mashed the throttle for the first time, but after that, it just completely felt natural. It just kind of fell right into place." (About being third-fastest of the day): "I think it had a little bit to do with the draft. I don't know if the other guys had a chance to play around with the draft a little bit. At the very end there, I got a chance to run with Mark (Taylor), who obviously set the quick time, and my teammate, Marty (Roth), and I think that was where we set our quick time. That was the biggest learning experience for us, just playing around in the draft a little bit. At the start, we were just getting a feel for everything, like we set out to do. I think we learned quite a bit by running side by side with a couple of cars and in the draft a little bit." (About running for team owner Brian Stewart): "It feels cool to know that I'm on this list of drivers who have run with him. Some of the best names in the business have come off that list, and it's just cool to be in that position. I hope that I can live up to and surpass his expectations that he had coming in." (Does having a teammate give you an advantage?): "I think that's excellent because now we have two cars to work on the setup, and we can get the setup done in half the time. We can work with each other in learning how to do something like the draft, how to play around with that. It's nice to have a teammate that you can trust because we're out for the benefit of each other as well as ourselves."

MARK TAYLOR (No. 4 Panther Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "We had a great day as far as the track is concerned. I got to learn a lot about the car today. It is the quickest we have run. We came here before Christmas with the old engine, so we were able to compare between the two engines. That is what we used today for, to make sure the engine was working well with the car. I am happy to say we were able to run the whole day without a problem. It was a nice, warm day. The wind was up a bit, but we were able to cope with that quite well. In the morning, there wasn't anyone else out there really. Toward the end, I was able to hook in behind someone else. They were able to sit behind me, as well, and that lets you get an idea of what the car will feel like running close to other people. It's all a learning curve, as well. Any chance I have to be close to another car and learn more about those kinds of drag effects, it's going to be a good day for me. Pancho (Carter) has been my spotter, so he has been talking with me through the day. I've also been talking with Sam (Hornish). He's had some ideas to help me along, but Pancho is the main guy. He's been through it all before. He can see what I'm doing from the view he's got from up there. He can tell me what I'm doing wrong as I'm doing it. So, it's a great advantage. Hopefully, being fastest of the day is more for the team than it is for me. I have to say the team has done a great job. They should be sitting here taking the credit."


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About this article
Series Indy Lights
Drivers Sam Schmidt
Teams Panther Racing