Post-qualifying quotes from Texas

The following are post-qualifying quotes from the media bullpen after the recent qualifying session for the Firestone 600 here at Texas Motor Speedway.

Ed Carpenter: "I don't feel we are a top 5 team right now. We have been under performing all year. It is really frustrating."

Graham Rahal: "I had a pretty good balance. I had a little bit of under steer, a little over. Sliding around. Like it always is. We did not get much practice this morning. We didn't get our second qualifying sim which we really needed. All of these guys got those 2 sims, so we are behind the eight ball. We only go to run 10 laps this morning because we lost the gearbox unfortunately."

Tony Kanaan: "Now that we have qualified, we want to run with people. The only night time session that we have is later and the race is going to be at night. So it is going to be more representative of the race tonight."

"We had a pretty good tow during practice this morning, so we went conservative for qualifying. We only had 35 minutes of a clear session. We did not get much of a clean run this morning so I am not too worried about it. We have a great car for the race."

Josef Newgarden: "I think last year our team had a tough time in Texas. We just were all over the place. Both cars went out early last year. We are in a totally different ballpark this year and we should have a good race.

"Texas is always tough with the transitions of the banking, it's 2, 3 wide on the restarts, a lot of the racing is 2, 3 wide. You have to have a car that can go multiple lanes, a car that can take care of the tires and I think we are going to be good at that. That think we will be just fine. I have loads of confidence that we have a car that can compete for the win."

"It is tougher running here with the domed skid than at Indy. The car is higher up in the air so you generally run a little more grip and downforce in the car to make it work as well as last year. Very similar to Indianapolis. I think it is going to be an awesome race. I am excited for it tomorrow night."

Juan Montoya: "I was slow for some reason. The same thing as always. Out of our teammates on the car with the least amount of downforce, Simon is 3rd and I am 8th. Out of 8. I have a lot less downforce then them and drag and for some reason my car is just slow. You look at qualifying in Indy, the car is slow. Here again. It gets old."

Takuma Sato: "This is our home race and I am very happy. Considering we had a tough practice session in the morning, the car was very good. I am comfortable. Hopefully we can show that we are competitive and hopefully if we stay in the top 5, it will be brilliant. The evening will be quite different scenario. I think the temperature will drop and we will have more grip and downforce available. Keep getting it to work."

Helio Castroneves: "I was a little bit surprised at the time that we did. In practice, we did not spend much time on qualifying setup. I have to thank the teammates on that area, since they were going ahead of me. That definitely helps. Now we gotta put it together. The AAA car machine looks very strong. And we gotta see how it goes in traffic."

I asked him about how he felt about how the yellows in Detroit effected his races.
"The only think I can say about yellow is the color of the submarine in Indy. I am still confident in the strategy that we throw. It was unfortunate, sometimes it pays off and sometimes it doesn't. Unfortunately that day, it didn't. The good news is, we are strong. And I can't wait to go come here tomorrow night and do what we did in the past."

Alexander Rossi: "I was fine. We did not have a radio. So I gave way engine performance for a silly reason. The radio was plugged in but I could not hear anything. These Honda engines need to have the settings adjusted on a regular basis to get the max performance out of them. And when you don't know what to do… I need a radio."

Lucille Dust
AutoRacing1.com

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