nazareth 1996 PPG Indy Car World Series

Race No. 5

Nazareth, PA
April 28, 1996

Saturday Quotes from Drivers and Managers at Nazareth:
Index of Quotes available

Vasser Pict #12 Target
Chip Ganassi Racing
Reynard Honda


"The car was great. I have to hand it to the crew. Hopefully, we can get the Penskes in the race when it counts. I know we can make some changes to make the car quicker. You can win from the back here with the right setup."

Moore Pict #99 Forsythe
Reynard Mercedes-Benz


"I'm disappointed. needless to say. I was looking for a better position. I would have preferred being in the top 10, but again, we have a good dependable race car. We worked on race setups yesterday and this morning to have a consistent car. That we have.

"The race start will be exciting, and I should manage to move up quickly. It is indeed difficult to pass on this oval, but heavy traffic should help. I'm counting on that, and I will have to be patient."

Tracy Pict #3 Marlboro
Penske Mercedes


[after practice]"The car is handling great, but there is still some more [left]. Track conditions are perfect. They've done such a great job after all of the snow and ice they had last winter. We're going to work on our race setup next.

[after qualifying] "I knew after the first session yesterday we were capable of getting in the 18s. I'm very proud to have set a world record. I'd like to dedicate this to my uncle who died of cancer the day before yesterday. Hopefully, we can win the race for him.

"We've still got some work to do. It's tough to go fast here, but the toughest thing is to keep it going through the whole race."

Andretti Pict #6 Kmart/Texaco/Havoline
Lola Ford Cosworth XD


[after morning practice]"We have having a little problem with understeer. We worked on the usual things in the session and improved the car. I'm going to go back and work with Peter [engineer Peter Gibbons] to try to make it better before qualifying.

[after qualifying]"Actually, I think we're in pretty good shape. I tried to go faster in Turn Two, and the front end didn't stick. I thought I'd be able to do it flat, but it just didn't stick.

"Everything seems to be coming together here. We have a good race car - maybe the best package we've had this year. We should be tough in the race. We've got to come away from here with some points. At the minimum, we need to come away with a podium finish."

Pruett Pict #20 Firestone
Lola Ford
Patrick Racing


"The car was pretty good. I am pleased with the time, but I don't think I got everything out of the car that I could have. The Firestone tires performed very well, and the Patrick team did a great job preparing the car.

"We made a change to the car for qualifying. We were guessing a little bit on the setup, but it looks like we made the right choice. The car was better during my qualifying run than in any of the practice sessions.

[On traveling to Talladega, Alabama for this afternoon's IROC race following qualifying]: "Having the IROC race this afternoon hasn't been a distraction for me. It just has made today very hectic."

Emmo Pict #9 Marlboro
Hogan Penske Mercedes-Benz


"We're going to try and run well, get some points, and finish the race. Paul's going to be more aggressive from the pole, and we're concerned about scoring some points for the championship. Of course, I'm going to drive aggressively, too."

Fabi Pict #21 Visa PacWest
Reynard Ford


"The car's still not doing what I would like it to do, but at least we're improving. There's still a lot that I'd like to get out of the car, but it's tough when you come here without doing any testing. We need more than one day to get ready for this track."

C. Fittipaldi Pict #11 Kmart/Budweiser
Lola Ford
Newman/Haas Racing


[after morning practice]"The car is good in turns one and two but not in three. The car is understeering. We made a big improvement since last session but we need to come up with something for turn three before qualifying. It's a big gamble because you can't make any changes to the car once you start qualifying [as in street/road course qualifying].

[after qualifying]"I had too much push in Turn Two. The car felt better this morning. The track has changed a lot. We tried to anticipate the weather, but we ended up not having enough front wing. Last year, I started in 17th place and led the race, so we should be in good shape this year."

Lawson Pict #1 Delco Electronics
High Tech Team Galles
Lola Mercedes


"I think I pushed the car too much going into Turn Three and it caused a big push, which really killed my time. The car is definitely better than in practice. I just got in too hot and the front wouldn't take it. We have a good car for the race tomorrow, it's just too bad we're starting so far back."

Zanardi Pict #4 Target
Chip Ganassi Racing
Reynard Honda


"The [qualifying] run was not as good as I would have liked, but it's obviously better than we ran this morning. But it's difficult, when you're coming from a car that is loose and inconsistent, it's hard to have confidence and really push for a time."

Gordon Pict #5 Valvoline/Cummins/Craftsman Special
Reynard Ford


[after practoice on Tracy going faster than Gordon's '95 qualifying record of 19.206]: "We went faster than the record too in practice last year. You've got to back it up in qualifying. He's quick. I think we could've gone that quick if we could've run more in our sessions. We're just having little problems every time out.

[after qualifying]:"We're pretty happy with [our qualifying time]. We didn't get many laps in practice this weekend. So, it was pretty hard to find the balance for qualifying. We're happy we got that close. We didn't get to really get a balance on a new set of tires. But, we took the best guess we had. We think we could have gone better, but we've got a pretty good race car. Tomorrow, you'll see what cars are prepared to race and what ones aren't."

Krosnoff Pict #25 Arciero-Wells Racing
Reynard Toyota


"After this morning's run, I went back to the bus and watched the video tapes of the session. That actually helped quite a bit after going out to the corner and watching. In lieu of doing real laps, that was all I could come up with. I saw what I was doing wrong and found a couple of things that I could easily correct just on the qualifying laps. So, the run was a lot more aggressive and we picked up a lot more speed.

"It's going to be a tough race. We are still off the pace, so we are going to have to deal with staying out of the way while we're fighting our own battles. We are looking to get through the race and see our first checkered flag."

Gugelmin Pict #17 Hollywood
Reynard Ford
photo Mike Levitt


"We basically did as well as we could given the situation, but I'm pretty disappointed with my time. This goes back to Friday when we wasted practically the whole day because of brake problems. It's bad enough to lose 15 minutes here, but when you lose a whole day, you're really in trouble."

Hiro Pict #19 Panasonic/DUSKIN
Lola Ford Cosworth


"Qualifying was good and bad, in that I ran my quickest laps of the weekend, but we were a little too conservative with our setup changes. We certainly made good progress, but the weather here is always difficult to judge."

Groff Pict #15 Valvoline DuraBlend Special
Reynard Ford
photo Phil Abbott


"We made a change right at the end of the session that I think is going to help us in qualifying. We gained some front end grip on the exits and turned our quickest lap, even though we barely had a chance to feel it out. We're hoping to get into the 19s in qualifying.

[after qualifying]"We went a little bit better than we did before. I was a little cautious because we made some changes going into the run. That's when we did our best lap. I felt like I could step it up a little in the second lap, and I did. Then, the car stepped out on me a little. I got a little bit loose in Turn Two. But at least we know that we've got to work with going into the race, and I think that's good to know."

Boesel Pict #1 Brahma Sports Team
Ford Cosworth


"I'm pleased with my lap time. I squeezed everything out of the car and it's a shame we had a problem with the engine in the morning practice because we didn't get a chance to see what direction we needed to go on the setup when we put on the new tires.

"Overall, though, we're not too disappointed. We've made progress and I think we should have a good car for the race."

#5 Valvoline/Cummins/Craftsman Special
Walker Racing Team Owner


[on Gordon's Reynard]: "There seems to be an oil leak at the front of the engine. It's not a serious leak, but if it gets worse and with us being so close to qualifying, we would be in trouble if we had to take the engine off the chassis to fix it. So, we opted to stop now and fix the leak."