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Latest IRL News and Commentary

Freedom 100 driver quotes

May 27,  2005

MARTY ROTH (#4 Roth Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): “It was a great race, real exciting. Lots of swapping around up in front of me. Unfortunately, any time I stuck my nose out to make a move, the car would just wash out on me. Just kept playing with my weight-jacker and playing with the car a little bit. It seems the car came back a little bit once I had a lighter fuel load and I was running by myself. Unfortunately, we were catching up with the front pack and getting a bunch of yellows at the end of the race. The race was a lot of fun; everyone was racing great.”

TRAVIS GREGG (#7 Lucas Oil Products/Sam Schmidt Mspt Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): “I don’t think I will be the point leader after this race. I think Wade (Cunningham) will probably finish a little bit ahead of me. The car felt OK. It just didn’t have the speed we needed in the draft, and cars were able to drive right by us. I am looking forward to Texas. Hopefully we can make a good comeback there and make a big statement.”

CHRIS FESTA (#19 Lockformer/SpacePak/CareCentric/SSM Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): “Well we didn’t get up as far as we would have liked to, but our main goal was just to collect points. We finished eighth, I think it was, and moving up from 18th, we’re very happy with that. We had a very good car, but I don’t think we could have beat Jaime (Camara) today even if we had been up there. With the way things went yesterday, to actually have something go right for us was great, and certainly a big plus for this team.” (Did you try to hook up with anyone out there to move toward the front?): “No, not really. I was just focused on trying to pass as many cars as I could and move toward the front. If I had been up toward the front, I would have tried to hook up with Jaime and pull away from the field, but we weren’t in that position.”

TAYLOR FLETCHER (#23 World Vision-Bullet-Team Motorsports Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): “We are real pleased. The car kind of came to us as the race went on. We had a push early on and kept cranking cross weight into it. The car got better each lap. Once you lose the draft, it is a pain to catch up to it so that was our biggest fight in the middle of the race. But, we got a restart, and we got a couple more spots there. We’re real pleased and couldn’t be happier.”

ROCKY MORAN JR. (#27 Automatic Fire Sprinklers, Inc. Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): “Basically what the issue was, we have a gearbox problem. The car wouldn’t come out of gear on an upshift. When I would leave the pits in second (gear), it would be a struggle to get it up to fifth (gear). They thought they had gotten in there and fixed it. Something out of our control must have happened. We were stuck in second gear. You can’t win in second gear.”

MISHAEL ABBOTT (#91 Hemelgarn Johnson Motorsports Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): “We had a pretty good race. We had a decent car. We lost that lead draft, and once you leave that lead draft you’re not going to go very far running by yourself. But they were telling me on the radio that I was running as fast as the lead guys. Once we got the yellow, I was really hoping to get up and run with them, but the 11 car (Tom Wood) decided to blow his motor right in front of me and not tell anybody and drive down the middle of the track so I couldn’t get around him under a yellow condition right when we were getting ready to go green again. So I lost the whole pack again. It was a series of things that kind of happened to us. Hemelgarn Johnson (Motorsports) did a good job for us.”

JAY DRAKE (#20 Vision Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): “It was fun; a good race for us right up until the end and then a lot of confusion. I haven’t sorted all that out yet, but it was all right. Whether we were third or fourth, it was a good run for us. I’m a little out of sorts. The Lap 37 restart, the second to the last one. It went green in the short chute and then it went yellow before we got out of Turn 4 where that guy spun out, and somehow, I’m running third and I’m all the way up beside the 33 car and I’m going to drag race him down the front straightaway and somehow they figured the 3 car passed me. And, realistically, as far as I know, there was never even a green flag. Maybe for 100 feet, and I know he didn’t pass me in that period. I’m confused; you know it’s the difference between third and fourth. I should’ve been third, and if there was another restart, we still would’ve had a good chance to win the race. I can’t make any sense out of it. Go green flag in Turn 4 and checkered; I’ve never seen anything like that before. Just a little confusing, and we were getting better and better as the race went on. It was still fun. Whether we were third or fourth, it was a good day for us.”

MARCO ANDRETTI (#26 Vonage Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): “We were loose, big-time loose. I couldn’t put any steering into it. By myself I was fairly flat, though, but traffic, I was out of it big time. We should be near flat, if not flat.” (About calming nerves): “I was fine as soon as it started.”

GERMAN QUIROGA (#42 Kenn Hardley Racing – Unico Competition Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): “I wanted to go up front, but we couldn’t. The whole weekend it was very difficult. I kept trying during the race. I was running seventh. The back of my car went loose at the green flag and spun. But only lost two spots. Which I was hoping to gain back because of the yellow. But it didn’t work out that way. I couldn’t because there was a very short amount of time to get the job done. It was OK. Because my goal was just to finish.”

IMRAN HUSAIN (#36 Genoa Racing Special Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): “My race was very uneventful as a result of me being out of the lead pack. As Rocky Moran, who lost his gears right at the start. Of course, I didn’t want to pass him and get a black flag. I didn’t realize he was pulling out of the race. In this place if you lose the pack, you’re kind of on your own without the draft. You lose the draft. So it was an uneventful race. I wish I had not been at that position, obviously. I learned a lot here. Looking to do better at the next race and here next year.”

JON HERB (#6 AERCON Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): “Things were going great until the end. We had a really good car and kind of guessed at the setup. Because we didn’t get any practice in much yesterday. I think we got about 10 laps in before we qualified. We felt the car was good in final practice but was not as fast as we wanted it to be. Changed the springs, ride height, corner weights, cambers and changed the whole package. So it felt like a new race car today. It was good and quick. We got some good jumps early on and made a good race of it early. But the balance really went away and never came back.”(About spin) “The way we came in on the inside of Turn 1, it was Al Unser and myself. We were really low on the track. So I moved high in order to give him room and let us both get by. He came really close yet raced me clean, but the act of him running across me as I was tucking my nose in upset the car. Around it went. Spun around a couple of times, and that was the end of the story.”

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