11 more cars qualify for Indy 500
Under Chamber of Commerce weather, eleven more cars qualified for the 90th Indy 500.
Under the new rules, "Bump Day" has given way to "Bump Hour" as eleven positions are awarded each of the first three days. Today, 15 cars attempted to qualify, but the bumping process was nothing like the drama of the pole race from the previous day.
Rahal Letterman Racing drivers Scott Sharp and Jeff Simmons led the way in Sunday’s second round, putting up the best four-lap average speeds of the day with Sharp taking the honors as the fastest of the day.
Sharp was the first driver on track when the qualifying session opened and he let everyone know right away that it was not going to be an easy day for those chasing him. The black-and-green Patrón car snapped off a lap of 224.214 mph to start the run and Sharp kept his foot in it for four orbits of the 2.5-mile rectangle, carding a qualifying speed of 223.875 mph - a time that would have put him ninth on the grid yesterday. His time was the fastest of the day and gave him the 12th spot on the grid for the race.
“I knew our car was real strong during the warm-up lap. I knew right then that I just had to hold it down and we were going to have a good result,” Sharp said. “Our qualifying position doesn’t change our strategy for the race. We didn’t come out here to win qualifying, we came to win the Indianapolis 500. It was a great run by the team. We keep getting smarter about the car and the guys keep making it better. They never give up, they just work even harder.”
Fourteen cars made qualifying attempts, including five that were unsuccessful in securing a spot on Pole Day. Five were quicker than Michael Andretti's 222.789 mph four-lap qualifying average that stood up for 11th on the first day.
Positions 12 through 22:
1. (3) Helio Castroneves, Dallara-Honda, 225.817
2. (11) Tony Kanaan, Dallara-Honda, 225.757
3. (27) Dario Franchitti, Dallara-Honda, 225.191
4. (9) Scott Dixon, Dallara-Honda, 225.122
5. (6) Sam Hornish Jr., Dallara-Honda, 225.109
6. (10) Dan Wheldon, Dallara-Honda, 224.641
7. (12) Ryan Briscoe, Dallara-Honda, 224.410
8. (7) Danica Patrick, Dallara-Honda, 224.076
9. (26) Marco Andretti, Dallara-Honda, 223.299
10. (2) Tomas Scheckter, Dallara-Honda, 222.877
11. (39) Michael Andretti, Dallara-Honda, 222.789
12. (8) Scott Sharp, Dallara-Honda, 223.875
13. (17) Jeff Simmons, Dallara-Honda, 223.693
14. (20) Ed Carpenter, Dallara-Honda, 223.495
15. (14) Darren Manning, Dallara-Honda, 223.471
16. (15) Buddy Rice, Dallara-Honda, 222.826
17. (55) Kosuke Matsuura, Dallara-Honda, 222.595
18. (22) A.J. Foyt IV, Dallara-Honda, 222.413
19. (4) Vitor Meira, Dallara-Honda, 222.333
20. (02) Davey Hamilton, Dallara-Honda, 222.327
21. (5) Sarah Fisher, Dallara-Honda, 221.960
22. (99) Buddy Lazier, Dallara-Honda, 221.380
Failed to Qualify:
Notable by their absence:
Milka Duno — Her car is still being repaired after her accident.
This means that if all of the above qualified, we'd have thirty-one cars in the field. Obviously we should expect some of the stronger teams to attempt to qualify one of their "T" backup cars, especially since this month has been remarkably free of crashes. Perhaps this also indicates that the lowered horsepower does not adequately challenge the drivers?
Tom Carnegie, the long-time golden voice of the IMS PA system, made a guest appearance today. He introduced Sarah Fisher's run, but wasn't up to the challenge of calling the entire run. Sadly, Tom has slipped quite a bit over the last couple of years, but the voice remains as golden as ever. Tim Wohlford reporting for AutoRacing1.com
SCOTT SHARP (#8 Patrón Sharp Rahal Letterman Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "We're in pretty good. We almost got in last night. This was just a great run by the Patron team. The track's really good, but the car's just perfect. Like I've said all along coming here, we probably wouldn't win the qualifying battle, but we might have a really good chance to win the main battle; the 500 miles. We continue to get the car better and better every day, and that's what you've got to do." (Were the conditions just that much better today?): "The conditions were much better, no doubt. We've made some good progress with the car, as well. You know, it is what it is. I've told the guys I've started on the pole, front row, second row and third row. That doesn't matter. It's how good your car is in race trim. We're going to work hard next week, continue what we've learned, and I think we'll be in good shape." (Talk about this new qualifications system. Do you like it?): "I will say, it added a lot of excitement yesterday, and I think qualifying needed that. There was just too much where people could put a time in and just sit on it. You need incentive to go back out there and try to bump up whatever position you were in. I thought it was pretty good." (What can we expect from you guys the rest of the day?): "We going to hopefully try to get out and get our first full-tank race run in. But hopefully we're not going to qualify again."
JEFF SIMMONS (#17 Rahal Letterman Racing Team Ethanol Dallara/Honda/Firestone): (Yesterday you came close; today it looks pretty solidly in. Are you happy with it?) "Pretty happy. We wanted to be quickest today, to get the little bonus that you get. But we are happy to get into the show. We made a lot of progress. Really, everyone on Team Ethanol Rahal/Letterman Racing had done a great job. Scott's (Sharp) car is pretty solid, too. We both have a pretty good starting position for the race. The rest of the week we'll be working on race setup. We'll try to work together some and figure out how to make our cars work better in traffic because once all 33 cars are on the track at the same time, you're pretty much never alone." (How did the track feel out there today, compared to yesterday?) "The track is really good; I think it's better than yesterday. Right now, the wind is not as much as factor today. Really, it's more of a crosswind right now. It makes the car more consistent all the way around." (What was the worst part yesterday out on track? A number of drivers had trouble with Turn 1): "Yes, Turn 1 because the wind was really pushing me out there. For our car, we had a big push down there, loose in Turn 3. That's what we were trying to balance yesterday. Today the car was much more consistent all the way around. We could just go out there and pick the right line." (When you have a shadow over in Turn 1 at the end of the day, does that really help grip in that turn?) "I think it helps some. The track temps go down a bit. Yesterday the track had gotten fairly high and gets a little greasy. That shade helps out."
DAVEY HAMILTON (#02 Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "It's the best. I can't really believe it's happening, to be honest with you. I honestly didn't really think I had the opportunity to come back and do this. I kept fighting and fighting, and got Hewlett-Packard to believe in me and believe in my story." (About the emotions of qualifying): "I was a bit nervous, to be honest with you. It's been six years since I'd been in that line. We had a great race car, but you never know until you get out there. Vision Racing has done such a great job giving me a good car all week. I think every time I've been out there I've been flat out, so the car has been great." (About how the car handled): "(With) the car, we've been working on race setup all week from the suspension to everything. It's just race stuff. The other guys have some things for qualifying. I didn't really need that. I didn't want it. I just wanted to get used to the race car and fine-tune that thing. I tell you what, I was a little surprised we ran 222 (mph). I thought we could sneak into it, but I still looking for a high 221 (mph)." (About what Tony George said to him): "There's a lot of emotions going on here. It was about the third day of about two years of hospital stays, he (Tony George) was in there, and he knows the story and knows what I've went through. The whole team realizes it, and I think they've seen it in person and seen it first-hand. It's so emotional for all of us just to know it was a tough road. It was a tough road for all of us. They've been supportive all the way." (About whether he thought he'd make it back): "Not at that time. At that time, I was still worried about having legs and hoping I would walk again. As time (passes) and you wish on something and you get it, then you want more. That's kind of where I was. First it was to save my legs, then to walk and get stronger. It was a four-year process doing that. The last two years I've been ready, but it's been hard getting the funding and the proper situation. It was an emotional roller coaster, that's for sure."
DARREN MANNING (#14 ABC Supply Co./AJ Foyt Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "We've just been making so many baby steps with the setup. I just wish we had this car yesterday, and then we would have been in the show. I think we're happy with the qualifying attempt." (How's your month been overall?): "It's been good. We didn't get out until late, because this is a totally brand-new car. It's a fast car. We spent a lot of time back at the workshop for two or three months really rubbing on the bodywork, the fit of the suspension and everything, which is the attention to detail that you really have to do nowadays. I'm happy. If you've got a comfortable car out there at Indianapolis in qualifying for 10 miles, you're not going fast enough. So you kind of hold your breath for as long as you can and hang on to the thing. You don't like doing that too often." (Yesterday you said you missed on the gear. Did you hit it today?): "Yeah, we definitely got a lot better today. The wind caught us out, but I think it caught everybody out yesterday. I think we pretty much optimized it." (Are you excited about this?): "I wasn't excited about having to get up and do qualifying again on the second day. I guess what really makes it exciting again is Bump Day yesterday. We were really desperately trying to get in the show, and we just barely missed out." (You were going to take the day off today?): "Hell, yeah, I was. We were going to do race setup stuff." (On working with A.J. Foyt): "It's pretty interesting, to say the least."
BUDDY LAZIER (#99 Sam Schmidt Motorsports Dallara/Honda/Firestone): (About the struggles of only running the Indianapolis 500): "It's a huge learning curve just to get caught up, but they are doing a great job. You can only expect so much in three days. We're learning in one day what most teams are taking weeks to get to. We're really close, and I think come Race Day that's what we are really focused on. We know we didn't put much into qualifying. If we need to, we know we can go run a 222 (mph lap), and maybe we'll do it at the end of the day. The car is a good race car, and that's what is important." (About why he came back): "I came back in 2005, and that led to a full-time program. Obviously, I'm looking to rebuild a get a full-time program going. It is so much about the team."
KOSUKE MATSUURA (#55 Panasonic Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "Of course, we should have been in the top 11. I was thinking 10th, 11th, nothing different." (About new qualifying system): "It is exciting. Of course, we wanted to be in the top 11. The past three years, I get in the top 11, and the second day was my day off, and today I had to work. The car was pretty happy today, a little slower than the Rahal guys, but pretty reasonable. But this is a completely different thing, so we need to work on the car to get more."
MARTY ROTH (#25 Roth Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "It is a beautiful day here; we are not just fast enough. We are going to get ready. I have two more shots at it, so we will get ready and try it out in a few of our practice runs that we get today, and hopefully we will move it up." (Regarding new qualifying format): "I love it. So exciting to watch it yesterday. Today we hope to get in the next 11, so we see how it goes."
JON HERB (#19 Racing Professionals Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "It felt good. The car has been pushing a little bit. We're a little bit off of where we need to be, but it felt pretty good. We have spent our time here trying to get comfortable, and we had a little problem in the practice days, so we weren't able to work on getting all the speed we wanted to. I wanted to be a lot faster at this time, but we will be able to get more if we need it."
VITOR MEIRA (#4 Delphi Panther Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "It feels good to get done with qualifying. Now let's go race. I think we have the car secure enough to go and race. Forget about qualifying and to go to what matters." (About the race): "Historically, not only with me but even with previous drivers, Delphi Panther Racing has been really strong during the race. The mistake we did last year we focused a lot on qualifying and did not pay much attention to the race. We thought what we did for qualifying would work, and it didn't. So we are trying to learn from our mistakes, and I think the Delphi Panther car will be good." (About how the car felt during qualifying): "If it feels solid during qualifying, for sure, you are going to be slow. It wasn't very solid, but we have to find a little more speed for qualifying for next year, not this year."
AL UNSER JR. (#50 AJ Foyt Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone): (About the qualifying run): "We're awfully close to the bottom there and come 5, 6, we could be back out here. Like Ed Carpenter said yesterday, I'm not taking off my uniform. We'll see what happens. A.J. seems to be pretty confident that will hold, but it's so close. I've been in this spot before. We're going to pay very close attention to what these guys behind me do because I think it's too close. We put four good laps together. Now we just need to get some downforce on it and see how it reacts to that. There was definitely no white-knuckling in the qualifying run, and I ain't gonna have it there, either. We tried a little bit less wing this morning, and it makes the back end a little bit too light for my comfort, and so we put it back in there and we were searching for more speed and I just wasn't confident enough in everything to put that much on the line for 1 or 2 mile an hour when the best we can do is 12th today. Like my dad said, two, three, four cars in front of you, where you start ain't gonna make any difference. I got a ton of people in front of me already. We'll get it in the show, get comfortable with it." (About returning to Indy 500): "We love what we're doing, and when we're not doing it, we miss it extremely. It's great to be back in Indy. When you qualify for Indy, it's a special thing. When you do good, you can't wait to get back. And when you do bad, you can't wait to go back." (About driving for A.J. Foyt): "A.J. has been super with me. It's been great. He is the big guy - no matter what anybody says, he is the king. At Indianapolis, there are certain people that you'd be honored to drive for, and A.J. Foyt is one of those people. And I'm just tickled to death to be able to drive his 50 car for his 50th anniversary, and I'm the 50th driver he's ever had. All the 50s are lining up. In another five years, I'll be 50, and hopefully I'll still be driving. Everything they say about A.J., his temper and everything, it ain't true. He's been super with me. If someone gets a little sideways in the garage, he just sets them straight, that's all. So far, I've been watching my Ps and Qs to where I'm not getting sideways." (How are you doing?) "I'm doing very well. Everything is good. We're in Indy and so far we're in the show, and that's the best thing that can happen for me. Goes from all the bad to all the good and back again, and the Indy 500 is what we all dream about winning and being in." (Have you ever thought about having your family start a team?): "No, not really. My family really doesn't get along with each other that well." (About the new qualifying format): "You're either fast or you're not, and yesterday we weren't, so we could be a part of all that."
A.J. FOYT IV (#22 Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "It's great to be back, definitely. With the (qualifying) time, you always wish you were a little bit better and a little bit quicker, but we'll just take it and put it safely in the field. I qualified with some good cars around me. I'm just so glad qualifying is definitely over with, and we're getting ready to do some race stuff on Wednesday. We'll put some downforce on that thing and get ready to run 500 miles." (How's the team dynamic working with Vision Racing , obviously getting bumped yesterday by your teammate? I'm sure you guys are working together a lot. Do you enjoy being a part of this team?): "Yeah, all teams work out of the same little hut we got over there in the garages. We all share all of our information. We do whatever we can to help each other out. It's been great. Davey (Hamilton) has been great. I've known him for a long time, and he drove for my grandfather. I really trust whatever he says, for sure. It's great to have him onboard, too. It's going to be a special race for him, so I'm glad to be on his same team. All the drivers work really well together." (Obviously your grandfather (A.J. Foyt) and your team owner (Tony George) are pretty close. Is there any sharing or discussions going on between the two teams?): "Well, if you're ever in the garage, you'll see me in both garages quite a bit. I get all my business done with my guys, and I always go check on my grandfather. He always asks what's going on. I ask him what's going on. If I need any kind of advice from him, he's always willing to give it to me." (A.J., given all your travels through here and NASCAR and back, do you feel that maybe this is your last chance. You're a very young guy. Have you looked at it like your running out of chances or you need to do something to prove that you belong in the series?): "Yeah, I definitely think so. I'm only 22 years old, but I've been in for four years. I haven't had the results I totally wanted. So, going to NASCAR and that falling through and nothing happening that was said was going to happen, it's just so great that I got the opportunity from Tony George to really come back here and prove that I can be driving these cars. I think we've done a great job with our new team this year. I just really owe it all to Tony for giving me this opportunity and this chance." (Regarding his relationship with his grandfather, A.J. Foyt): "We're on the best terms I think we've ever been on. You know, I don't care if you work for your grandfather or father in a lawn mowing service, you're always going to be butting heads more than if you just worked for somebody you're not related to. We're on great terms. It's great to have him as a grandfather. It's great back in the IRL spending a lot more time with him. I missed him last year." (Do you feel a little bit re-born this year?): "It's like a fresh start. We never really got accomplished what we wanted to when I drove for my grandfather. I'm not blaming it on nobody; it just never really got accomplished. I'm just thankful to AGR (Andretti Green Racing) they gave me that opportunity at the end of the year last year (substituting for Dario Franchitti) and to get to go out there and drive a great car and to run all day and finish the race. I think that really helped me out with getting a ride with Tony and this Vision Racing team. I've had as much fun this year I think I've ever had in any kind of racing."
BUDDY RICE (#15 A1TeamUSA/DRR Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "We just waited until this afternoon, when there was more real estate for qualifying. Looks like even if we would have qualified yesterday with a car like we had today, we probably would have been a little bit better off. But, you know, it does not really matter. We are in the show right now, and we will get back to work on our race car and really focus on what happens at the end of the month. We knew it was going to be tight for us to get in on first day of qualifying." (About how the car felt during qualifying):" It was OK. Obviously, we are working hard to get where we are at. We will keep working on it." (About Race Day): "I think I will have a real competitive race car right now. We have been running our race trim up through Friday and started trimming out, so it was great to be to do that, and we will get back to our game plan and wear some tires out and run some miles and get ready."
SARAH FISHER (#5 AAMCO/Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone): (About her relationship with Tom Carnegie): "Tom is amazing. He's a real big part of the Speedway. I've gone to his birthday parties and everything, and I'm just so happy he could be here this year." (About the qualifying run): "(Buddy Rice and I) work together on everything. Not one of us is more important. We try to collaborate on everything we do. We did the things from this morning that we thought would be better. We did a good job, and we'll just go from there." (About conditions): "It was a little bit windier today, so as far as testing the cars it makes it a little trickier. It's a little hotter, but we didn't have a choice to run or not yesterday anyway, so today was going to be the day we had to qualify. We didn't work on qualifying much this morning, so going out there today (we) tried to trim it out as much as we could. We had a little bit of right steer, but that's all right because that is my job." (About whether the team is prepared for another qualifying run today): "We might have a couple things left that we could do, but it's pretty close to what we have now. It's a great race car. It will run 220 (mph) all day wide open, behind traffic or not. We'll just have to see. We wanted a faster 200 laps instead of a faster four." (About being back at the Indianapolis 500): "It's great to be back here. Indianapolis means so much to you, especially when you're not here and have a normal job. To carry my helmet in last Monday was an incredible feeling. I wouldn't let anyone else do it. It is great to be back." (About whether she can tell a difference between today's car and the last time she was here): "Yeah, but it's a combination of the cars and the tires, and altogether as a package what you do with it is quite a bit different. Not so much different when I ran the Chevy days, because we had them babies as free as they would go all the time. I learned how to drive a loose race car then. Once again, our focus is on 200 laps - not four - and that's what we got. I do feel a lot better being here. I was in marketing last year and held a banner for Vitor (Meira) at a press conference. It was unbelievable. I was still enjoying myself because I was working for a really great guy who means a lot to me outside of racing and is really a part of my extended family network. That was cool and Vitor is a really cool guy to work with, and I was trying to help. I tell you what, there is nothing like driving here. Growing up in a race car in the cockpit, that was really where I wanted to be. Thankfully, Dennis (Reinbold) gave me another chance. Not a lot of people get that."
ED CARPENTER (#20 Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone): (You had a very consistent, quick run, but you were not particularly pleased with it, why?): "I came out today, we were so close to getting 11th yesterday, and I really felt that we should have been 12th today. But that's all the speed we could find out of the car right now. It's obviously a very good car when you can run consistently around as that. Everything that we have tried to get anything else out of it, just kind of peaked right there. I set my goal to be 12th today and did not achieve that, so I'm just disappointed that we couldn't. I'm disappointed that we couldn't get the Hitachi Power Tools car in 12th. I wanted to be in the fourth row with my teammate." (What are you and Heather doing to celebrate Mother's Day?) "Heather (Carpenter) has arranged a big cook out at the house. All of our families are coming over to celebrate Mother's Day. So, I'll try to put a smile on my face and have some good time with the family." (Are you happy about how Vision Racing is coming about right now?) "Yes, every year we are getting better and better. It seems like the media wants to talk to us more and more every year. We are getting some more sponsors on board, finally; things are definitely going in the right direction. So there is definitely a bright future for the team. I'm not worried about that. I feel that we are a much better team than last year even though we started two positions higher. But at the same time, I feel more confident at where we are as a team and the possibilities on what we can do on Race Day." (About his improvement as a driver): "People act surprised when I get up front or have a really good day. I grow and get better as the team gets better. I've always been confident in my abilities and don't think I could do anything different now than when I did back as a rookie. Just a better situation around me. You have to have the right package and the right formula. I don't think that I have changed much, just have gotten more experience. You get smarter as you get older. I don't think I have gotten any better or worse as a driver. I think I have always been as good as I am now." (About the Indy 500): "I think that anyone that has been here, whether you are a first generation driver or if you grew up watching it, you realize the magnitude. You watch what an Indy 500 win can do to someone's career persona. It's unbelievable, for an open-wheel driver coming up through USAC, the Indy 500 is what it has always been about for me. I was always here and at the (Indy) 500 and saw how special it is. I think definitely for people that it be second-generation drivers or families in racing, it just makes it that much easier to comprehend. A new racer or take one of these road racers that come out here and don't realize what they are getting into when they get to Indy by the time it is all over. Look at how much Helio Castroneves loves this place. This place changes everybody that competes in it." (Were you able to drive the track before becoming a driver?): "Contrary to popular belief, I didn't get a whole lot of extra miles around here. I've spent a lot of time over at the offices and on the facilities, just because of who I am. But I don't think I had ever driven on the track. Actually, the first time I had ever driven on the track was on a snowmobile one winter when the track was covered in snow. I was probably either 8 or 9 years old. That was the first time. I don't think I drove on it again until right before I was racing in the Infiniti Pro Series (now Indy Pro Series) car here. Actually, first time in a race car here was in the two-seater IndyCar. They are pretty touchy on who they let out there, they are not going to let some squirrelly kid out, especially when I first got my (driver's) license." (Did you sneak into the garages?): "Oh, yeah, pit lane and stuff like that was another story. I remember years when I had a Silver Badge and could get in, but there would be a Yellow Shirt who would kick me out. So I just had to find the right gate, that the guy didn't care and let me in. The same guy would always end up kicking me out. I'd just find a different gate that would let me in. So I have been a track rat my whole life, and that is never going to change." (Is that same Yellow Shirt still here?) "Well, I really try to avoid him as much as possible. I can't say I remember his face. Chances are he is still here somewhere. He might remember me." (About new qualifying format. Would you have preferred to qualify Saturday or have qualified 12th today?): "Absolutely, there are two races every month of May. There is qualifying and then the race. Other tracks, I could care less if I started in the back. But you come here, and start track position does count. When Row 4 is definitely a better spot to be than Row 5. If I could have slotted in 12th, that's two less car that I need to pass come race day. That's how I look at it. I feel like I'm going to have to pass those guys in front of me, just as they feel like they need to pass the guys in front of them. But I feel that I have a better race car than some of the people in front of me. It's just a little more work I have to do come Race Day." (I remember talking to your (step)father, did you race Midgets in the same race with him? If you did, what was it like and was he any good as a driver?) "Tony (George) is, he is a good driver. He ran the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona with us this year with very limited time. But we ran several Midget races together. The one year we both ran in the Chili Bowl, that I remember best. I think he went further than I did at the Chili Bowl, and I was racing Midgets full time back then. Tony definitely has talent. He's definitely one of those types of guys who, whether you are playing basketball, football or driving a race car, he's an athletic type. He can do all things pretty well, including run this place."
BUDDY LAZIER (#99 Sam Schmidt Motorsports Dallara/Honda/Firestone, after second attempt): "It wasn't any one big thing, if we would have had to go 222 mph, we probably could have done it. You know, we just picked a number. Tim Neff did a great job, the engineer, again. Just the next three days of practice is open, and we are focusing on the race. We will probably gain two weeks or three weeks, because the car, we have only had the car for a week. We are gaining so quickly. So again, focus is on Race Day, but these guys really deserve to be in this weekend, worked so hard putting this car together for the last seven days. They have a whole seven days with the car. I am really proud of them, and Tim Neff, the engineer, tuned me just right." (About relief on the breakthrough with the car): "We are starting to understand the car, and that is a real relief. We are here to finish top five on Race Day. We knew qualifying was going to be our biggest hurdle because we need every minute of time of practice. All the practice we have had have been full tanks, and today we just opened it up for qualifying. Now we can go back to where we have been working; it's about Race Day now. It is a relief for the team and for myself to be in the field, because now again Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, there is no qualifying on your mind. It's all about race."
JON HERB (#19 Racing Professionals Dallara/Honda/Firestone, after second attempt and subsequent bump): "It's disappointing to be out, again. They tell me we had a fuel pickup problem that last lap that might of hurt us a little bit, as well as the push we had. You're hoping you're OK, but those guys (Sam Schmidt Motorsports) have a great team and Buddy (Lazier) is a champion, so it's no surprise." (What do you think about this qualifying format?): "You know, it's more exciting. Otherwise, I wouldn't be in this position. I'd be qualified wherever I was and then would have to worry about it the last day. It makes it a little more interesting. I think it's a good thing for the fans." (What should we expect next weekend?): "More of the same, I guess. I don't think we'll have a problem sticking it up front there."
JAQUES LAZIER (#21 Indiana Ice/Venture Logistics Panoz/Honda/Firestone): "We came up a little short today, but at the same time, Friday was our first day on track. I'm awfully proud of my guys. We made some huge gains today. We came up just a little bit short. We tried something a little aggressive. We went into Turn 1 and went into a lazy slide up toward the wall. There's a time to go racing and a time not to, and right now we're just a little bit short. But I'm awfully proud of Playa Del Racing and the Indiana Ice car." (About the emotions of trying to bump his brother): "I'm proud of him, and also very proud of Sam (Schmidt) and everybody over there. That was a tremendous job. I'm very happy for them."