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DATE News (chronologically)
05/08/08
irl
Inclement Weather Cancels Track Activities at Indy again  For the second-consecutive day, periodic rain showers forced the cancellation of all on-track activities at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Qualifying for the first 11 positions on the starting grid is scheduled for Saturday, May 10, beginning at 12 p.m. (EDT).  The 92nd running of the Indianapolis 500 is Sunday, May 25.  ABC Sports will provide live broadcast coverage of the event beginning at 12 p.m. (EDT).

INDYCAR SERIES END-OF-DAY QUOTES:
 
BUDDY RICE (No. 15 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing): (About the weather): “I don’t think it would be Indy if you didn’t have weather. I think that’s what makes this place so unique – you never know what you’re going to get. This track – its layout, the rules, the atmosphere – everything is unique. It wouldn’t be the month of May if we didn’t have some down time due to weather. The whole thing about this place is speed. If you can find a couple of tenths of a mile per hour by sitting there and looking at the car and cleaning it up and doing what you can, you’re going to do that. I don’t think any down time is necessarily good because I think all of us up here would just as soon be out there running right now and having to work late with the teams to make our cars faster. But at the same time, it’s just part of the month. This is a long, long month, but we’re all excited for the weekend and ready to get going.” (About how the team has run so far): “We rolled off the trailer on Tuesday in the top 10, and basically we were there for most of the time until we stopped running for a bit in the middle of the heat. We went back and made some changes and came back in the afternoon and jumped back up in there. For us to be rolling off the trailer the way we are, we’re in pretty good shape now. It benefits the teams and the personnel and the people who have been here. But I think it’s definitely different. It’s interesting to have 33 cars starting the month versus 20 or 22 like we’ve had in the past. To try to get clean laps and try to run open, it’s just not going to happen. We’ll have to see what happens with qualifying. It’s going to be fast, and the weather’s going to dictate how fast we run.”
 
JAIME CAMARA (No. 34 Sangari): “It’s really too bad that it rained again today. Yesterday didn’t bother me too much, but I was really looking forward to getting back into the car today to continue our preparation for qualifying this weekend. It sets us back on track time, but it’s the same for everybody. I think the weather should be better tomorrow, so hopefully we can get out there.”
 
ENRIQUE BERNOLDI (No. 36 Sangari Conquest Racing): “Obviously we need the track time to continue our development of the car, and this rain just isn’t helping. It makes for long days just sitting around waiting. I’m not used to this. I met with my engineer and then played some computer chess.” (Did you win?) “Of course.”
 
JUSTIN WILSON (No. 02 McDonald’s Racing Team): “It's definitely a challenge coming here and not getting to run as much as we'd like before qualifying. I think this couple of days has given us a chance to catch up on some of the work that we're struggling to fit in just because of the tight schedule. The team is back there working hard, making everything as close to perfect as we can get it before we go out there. Hopefully, we'll get a chance to get out there tomorrow, but if not, we'll go after it on Saturday. Right now, the guys are back working on the McDonald's car, and they're just fine-tuning everything, setting everything up again, checking all the wing measurements, checking all the suspension components, the dampers we've changed slightly throughout the week, so everybody is flat out. The engineers are studying the data to make sure that what we think we've learned is as right as we can get it before we can go back out on track again and validate that. The teams that are new here are going to be a step behind, but we've used these two days to catch up on some of the work that we're struggling to fit in. It's not as bad as if we were sitting around, twiddling our thumbs. We've used the time wisely. You spend the time polishing the car and cleaning up the edges. Anything you can do to get that tenth of a mile an hour which is going to make the difference on Saturday and Sunday.” (About trimming the car out): “We started that on Tuesday. Sunday was pretty much, not full downforce, but higher downforce to get comfortable with the track and the car and get experience. Throughout Monday and Tuesday, we started trimming it back and trimming it back, and I think now we're at a similar level to everyone else now. I think the next step for us is going to be to try to get the car a little more drivable and a little more consistent where we can keep it going like that during the race with turbulent air. (About racing heroes): “I don't remember Jim Clark's racing, but I've seen a little bit of video footage. Obviously he was a great driver and regarded as one of the best. Actually, my two heroes were Nigel Mansell in Formula 1 when he came across here and more recently Dario (Franchitti). I first got to know Dario when I first started racing cars at 16 years old. I followed his career, and he was somebody that I admired. I like the way he drove, and I like the way he raced. To get to become, not really friends, but we know each other enough to speak to each other on occasion, and I know his brother very well. He's definitely one of my idols, and he's obviously a great driver and someone that I've admired for a long time.” (About racing at Indy with past karting rivals): “Myself and Dan (Wheldon) used to race karts together when we were 8 years old. Darren Manning was actually my teammate in karts when I was 11, 12 years old, and I've known them for many years. I competed with Darren in Formula 3000, and we both went on. He was a test driver in Formula 1, and I did a couple of tests. I think I did one more year and then came across. It's just how it all worked out. Dan decided early on that he wanted to come across here and race. He started out, I think, in Formula 2000 over here. It's just coincidence that we all ended up here, and I think (E.J. Viso) was saying earlier, I don't think we all planned for it to work out and race over here, but the merger happened, which I think we're all pretty happy about, and everybody is getting the chance to come here and race and all racing against each other again.”
 
WILL POWER (No. 8 Aussie Vineyard-Team Australia): “It was good that KVRT Aussie Vineyards–Team Australia got a lot of miles in during the first three days. It really helped us because the last two days have been raining, and we haven’t had any track time, which is so important to a new team, especially one like us that has two rookie drivers. I think the rain has helped us a little bit, because the established teams have not run as much as we have here, and when we get out on Friday the track is going to be green and have less grip. At this point, we need all the advantage we can get. The down time has also allowed the crew to make some changes to the car that we have been discussing. Overall, there are some advantages to the wet weather and some disadvantages.”
 
ORIOL SERVIA (No. 5 KV Racing Technology): “We have mixed feelings about the rain we had yesterday and today. It has been good and bad at the same time. The disadvantage is that we need to get as many miles as we can here at Indy so we can learn as much as possible about the KV Racing Technology car before qualifying. But at the same time, we went through a lot of tires our first two days of practice, and the down time will help us manage the tires we have left. We are looking forward to tomorrow. The weather is supposed to be good, and we have a few things we want to try which should give us the speed we need to achieve our goal, which is to qualify the first weekend.”
 
E.J. VISO (No. 33 PDVSA HVM Racing): “Regarding the team, we are a small team working really hard. I consider this a puzzle. Each day we are finding a new piece, and at the end it’s all about how many pieces we have found for the whole puzzle. It’s about putting them all together for qualifying. There are all new rules. Everything is new for me here in the States, especially in this series. All the rules are completely different, so I am learning them and choosing the limit of the rules to find that 100 percent advantage of what we can get for this event.” (About the atmosphere of Indianapolis, including running the Mini-Marathon): “Everything is different here for me. I just loved running the Mini, and it was a great opportunity to be my first time inside the track. I was running with so many people who are the people that are going to watch me race. It was cool, and I’m getting used to the place. My team has raced here, as well. It’s been a great atmosphere, and I love it so far. I’m looking forward to starting the action.” (About if fellow Venezuelan Milka Duno’s efforts in the Indy 500 had any influence on him): “Everything happened in a strange way in the past two months. I was almost signed for the championship in Champ Car, and IndyCar was not in my plans. I’m sure that Justin (Wilson) and other drivers who are rookies here probably did not have it in their plans. Everything happened so quick. Milka (Duno) has been here for a while in the States. I came here by myself, and she is not a part of my plans or anything like that.” (About the rain delays): “In the first two or three testing days, we were saving tires because tires are one of the things we were going to run out of quicker. Now we have more tires since we were going to test yesterday and today, and we cannot do it anymore. Not testing is very productive because we work and ! check an d study all the data. This time is also important for us. For the new teams, we are in a weaker position that we need to work a bit harder. We’re trying to trim the cars as much as possible and do whatever we can do to catch these guys.” (About superstitions): “On a normal day for testing or racing, yeah, I have some lucky charms. My last helmet is painted with lucky charms from all around the world. I always have a few in my pocket, some small lucky charm things, like coins and papers from my family and some different things. They keep changing from year to year.” (About idols growing up): “From Venezuela, there are not many drivers. I think the only known one was Johnny Cecotto. He is still the youngest world champion in motorbikes at the age of 16. Being a world champion in bikes, he then went to cars and was really good. He got into a big accident at Brands Hatch (at the British Grand Prix) back in 1983. His teammate was Ayrton Senna, and at that point he was up in the points, so he was a really good driver. He’s one of the people I really admire, and he started from zero, no help, nothing, and just got up there. From the European guys, one of my idols is Alain Prost. He’s one of those drivers that every lap they run, they are always to the limit in everything. That’s what racing drivers are about - being in the limit. We need to be there, and he is a great driver.”

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