CHIP GANASSI (Car owner Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates Dodge Intrepid R/Ts) "Today is just practice, and you never know what's going to happen. It's a long row to hoe. We'll take it one day at a time. It's just practice right now. You ...
CHIP GANASSI (Car owner Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates Dodge Intrepid R/Ts)
"Today is just practice, and you never know what's going to happen. It's a long row to hoe. We'll take it one day at a time. It's just practice right now. You don't know what everybody is doing and what they're trying, whether they're running a race setup or qualifying setup. We had a nice weekend last week at Pocono. Dodge did a good job up there and ended up winning the race with Bill Elliott. Sterling did a good job. I was talking to Tony Glover after the race. He said, 'Chip, I'm sorry. I just don't know how to set up a car for a six-hour and 30-minute race.' We had it set up right for six hours and 15 minutes, I guess. That's a tough place on cars and engines. I'm glad to get Pocono behind us.
"Felix and his wife Carolyn have had a tough week. They're putting their house back together down there in Charlotte. They had a fire. Our thoughts go out to those two. I know Felix is coming up here Sunday, and we'll have some fun then.
"So far, so good. We've got a lot of races to go yet, and you've got to take it one race at a time. Whatever comes at you, comes at you. You've got to be ready for the good and the bad. Sterling is doing better than you hanging on. He extended it a little bit last week at Pocono. The veteran drivers are holding their own in the standings right now. The young guns are getting outgunned right now.
"It's awful hot here. This place has always been one of my favorites. I drove here plenty of times. I can always add a little bit here for the guys, and that's always fun. It's a great place to come back to. Our Indy car team is based here, so it's nice to be back in Indianapolis.
"They (press) are talking about it (possible third team) more than I am right now. Stay tuned."
STERLING MARLIN (No. 40 Coors Light Dodge Intrepid R/T)
NOTE: Marlin was third fastest in practice at 180.992 mph.
"That was a good lap. The bad thing is we're not going to qualify in the morning. With our draw, we'll probably go out closer to lunch time. Bill (Elliott) goes fourth, and the 97 ran real good in the test up here. If we don't get the pole, as long as we can qualify in the top 10, we'll be OK. A lot of 'em are running the shocks that really hold the car down. Whatever I've got doesn't work with them, so we've got mostly race setup stuff on the car."
BILL ELLIOTT (No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Intrepid R/T)
NOTE: Elliott was second fastest in practice with a lap of 181.613 mph. Elliott has won a circuit-leading four poles in 2002 and will be going for his third straight on Saturday.
"Tomorrow is going to be a whole different day. We never tried any qualifying runs at the test, and now we've just got to give it our best shot. It's a work in progress. The guys have built some great cars and worked hard. I'm proud of them. I really don't know what to expect tomorrow. I'm just going to go out there and drive it as hard as I can and see where we end up."