Race No. 4

Bosch Spark Plug Grand Prix
Presented By Toyota
Nazareth Motorsports Complex — Nazareth, Pennsylvania
April 25-27, 1997

Friday Quotes from drivers and managers at Homestead:
Index of Quotes available


Tracy Pict Marlboro
Penske Mercedes
"We were still making some changes on the car right up to the checkered flag. There's more in the car and we still have more to try. The traffic was hectic near the end and it was hard to get a clean lap but the car is real good. Al tried something new we didn't have a chance to try. We'll be able to do some more.

"It takes a lot to win this race. I have won it before and it's tough. You really have to change the car every pit stop. The race is longer this year and will require an extra pit stop so that throws some more monkey wrenches into it. "

Andretti Pict Kmart/Texaco/Havoline
Swift Ford Cosworth XD
"The car feels really good. I was hoping it would. 'Tis the season for short ovals and we could really make up some ground in the next few events. We made some gains during the practice that were good. As long as we keep going in the right direction, we'll have a good shot at it on Sunday. My throttle was sticking near the end of the session. It made for and interesting lap! "

Unser Pict Marlboro
Penske Mercedes
"I'm ecstatic. The Marlboro car was fantastic. Like Emmo would say, 'the car was beautiful.' Goodyear did their homework and gave us a fantastic tire and Mercedes did their homework and gave us great power. All of the guys at Penske Cars have also done a great job.

"This is really the first display of our [car's] short-track configuration on the oval. I was telling Paul earlier, and my engineer Grant [Newberry] and Nigel Beresford that we were catching up on it and I am still building up to it. Right now, the car is ahead of me. I caught up to it a little this time and will get closer next time. It's [running up front] a very nice change from what we have been doing lately. I really don't see it [winless streak] as a drought. It is just the way things are lately. I look at it like dominoes. When you knock all the dominoes down you have to have time to put them all back up. We are starting to put them back up because we want to knock them down again. We've opened up the weekend pretty good."

"The Marlboro car is beautiful. It's even better than the '94 car [Penske Ilmor] when I had my best finish here [second place]. The car was even better in this afternoon's session than it was this morning and it's so good that I don't think I've caught up to the car. We've opened up the weekend pretty strong and if we can keep it like that all over the next two days, we should be back where we belong.

We've done our homework. Paul [Tracy] has done alot of testing here with Goodyear. Goodyear has definitely come here with a beautiful tire. The chassis [Penske] is really what's getting us around the track, but we can't do it without the horsepower from Mercedes. "

Hearn Pict Ralphs/Food 4 Less
Della Penna Racing
Lola Ford
"A pretty good day for my first time here in an Indy car. I've run a couple of times here in [Toyota] Atlantics and I find the track a lot easier in an Indy car. Actually, we tested here some not long ago, but weather prevented us from getting too much time on the track. This place can be a little intimidating when you come here for the first time, with the hill and all. It's a lot harder to drive in an Atlantic because you're flat out all the time. But in an Indy car, you're more under control and there are a couple of grooves where you can pass. "

Salles Pict Pennzoil Special
Reynard Ford
Davis/Craig Racing
"The team did a wonderful job putting together the car and we are happy with the practice session. This is my first time at Nazareth in an Indy car. We still have room to push the car and there is always room for improvements, but we are happy with our effort this morning. "

Herta Pict Shell
Reynard Ford
Team Rahal
"My thumb is doing much better [after it was broken at Australia]. Actually, it's doing better than me. I'm a little tired to be honest. "

Fernandez Pict Tecate Beer/Quaker State
Lola Honda
Tasman Motorsports Group
"In general, we weren't looking too bad this morning but we lost a bit this afternoon. We made a few changes which affected the balance of the car. It was unstable all of the way, and we just couldn't get it back to where we were this morning. "

Carpentier Pict Bettenhaused Racing
Alumax Aluminium
Reynard Mercedes-Benz
"I really like this kind of race track. Our engineer Tom Brown used to work for Penske and knows this place well. A lot of it is in the hands of the car and I am lucky to have a good car. It is hard to do a fast lap but it is even harder to go fast the entire race. I will let Tom set up the car and drive the kind of race he tells me too because I don't have the experience yet to know. He knows it here and will help."

Rahal Pict Miller Lite
Reynard Ford
Team Rahal
"We've been working on our race set-up most of the day. We haven't been pleased with our oval setups during the races and we wanted to work directly on certain settings. "

Hiro Pict Panasonic/DUSKIN
Arciero/Wells Racing, Reynard Toyota
"The car is sliding at the apex in Turn 3. We are concentrating on putting more mechanical grip into the car. "