Quotes of the week
GERHARD BERGER, co-owner F1 team, Scuderia Toro Rosso
"I have been observing him [Bruno Senna] for some time," Berger said, referring to the Brazilian whose mother Vivianne was Ayrton's sister. "If he can now confirm the great potential he showed in Bahrain, then Formula One is the next step." Berger's affection for Senna is bad news for Californian Scott Speed, whose seat already came into doubt after his moderate debut last season. Champ Car sensation Sebastien Bourdais is already waiting in the wings for 2008, and Berger said of Speed this season: "He has not yet awoken from his winter sleep."
KYLE PETTY, NASCAR driver, CEO Petty Enterprises
"We're in the entertainment business, if they want to throw a caution every 40 laps to keep everybody bunched up, so the fans have a better experience, more cautions, the better."
MATT KENSETH, NASCAR driver, Roush Fenway Racing
"There's for sure entertainment cautions, there's no doubt about that, but we're in the entertainment business and you're going to get some of that and group the field every once in a while."
A.J. FOYT, former Indy Car driver
"Tom [Carnegie], you couldn't have said no nicer words. But let me tell you something, I was pretty damn scared of you, too. Indianapolis was my dream. It still is my dream. Ladies and gentleman, Tom can probably go back and tell you that when I first started, everyone thought I wouldn't live to be 25. I don't know whether that's a good thing or not. These golden years aren't what they say they're supposed to be. I loved the silver years a lot better. So y'all remember that. A lot of people said, 'You won Indy, why do you go to Terre Haute to race, why do you run the Hoosier Hundred?' Those are the people who helped me get started, and those are the people I wanted to race for."
"People ask why I didn't go Formula One. I was offered some great rides in Formula One through the years. But the American people made A.J. Foyt, and those are the people who made A.J. Foyt. Those are the people I wanted to race in front of. I have a lot of good friends overseas, but I just love the American people."
"We had some great years. My dream was, every time I got hurt real bad, my dream was to come back to Indianapolis. I'll still be back here for quite a few years. The Georges and Hulmans were so great to me. When I first got here, I couldn't even get a pit pass." (Foyt talks during opening day at Indianapolis named after the Indy Car legend)
DAVEY HAMILTON, Indy 500 driver
"The track is so unique. The corners are so different. They all look the same, but each corner has a different character to it. What's helped me a lot is that 2-seater program. I don't know if you guys have been for a ride with me or not in that thing, but I have a lot of laps in the 2-seater program. That helps a lot because the line is the same, the track is the same, the walls are the same. That helped me have a little advantage today. I feel confident getting into the car, but the speed is a lot different. I'm getting use to the speed. It was a great race car. The set up that we had today is our race set up so I feel pretty good. It was great to drive. It's just one step at a time. I have great teammates with Ed (Carpenter), Anthony (AJ Foyt IV) and Tomas (Scheckter) to help me throughout this month. The great thing for me is that I can run the whole month. I think I said when I came back, I wanted to make sure a proper program with Hewlett Packard coming aboard and AMD. Vision Racing has given me an opportunity to join the team and its a great team. It's proper. It's a proper way."
MILKA DUNO, IRL Indy Car rookie
"I understand now why drivers say Indianapolis is the most difficult track in the world. Everything happens so quick, so fast. You have to be precise in every corner. All four corners are different. You have to drive with so much concentration and focus and so precisely. My career is not like the other drivers,'' she said. "They all, from a very young age, wanted to be an engineer. This is why I studied so much. I didn't follow racing until I started racing in 1999. I was here (at the Indy 500) in 1999 watching the cars thinking, 'How impressive these cars are, how fast are they going?' That's when I said, 'One day, I want to do that.' Eight years later, I am here.''
AL UNSER, former Indy Car driver
"This is the hardest place,'' Unser said. "This is the hardest we run because of the prestige and everything else that goes with the Indy 500. It a hard place, a one-groove racetrack that takes a certain setup. The first time I was here, it scared me. And they told me if I messed up, I'd go home. And I believed them. I was a very nervous young man, I guarantee you that. It wasn't Saturday night dirt racing somewhere.''