Race No. 4

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

Saturday Quotes from drivers and managers at Nazareth:
Index of Quotes available


Vasser Pict Target
Chip Ganassi Racing
Reynard Honda
"The car wasn't what we thought it would be. The back end jumped out on me in Turn 3 and I had to step out of the throttle. I think we have a pretty good car for the race, but we'll just have to wait and see tomorrow. "

Tracy Pict Marlboro
Penske Mercedes
"It didn't seem like that special of a lap. The wind was blowing and the sun was shining and the balance wasn't perfect. It was a great lap but you are always pushing to get more. That's why we are out there.

"You can't really focus on the [$25,000 Long Beach] fine. You just have to concentrate on this race. I am concentrating on my engineer and the set up. Nothing ever happens on purpose. You never hit anybody on purpose. It is just the nature of racing this close.

"This is a difficult track to keep the car underneath you. It is a tough race to run and a tough race to get through. All you have to do is hiccup once in a race and you're out of the top three. It is so competitive and the cars are so good. It is just tough out there.

"I think I owe my crew guys something [after last year]. It was a mistake.

"I was expecting to see more out of Patrick [Carpentier]. He has our old engineer and they have a good set up so I knew they would do well. They did a good job but I wouldn't have been surprised if they did more. He's doing great. It's time to hit Tony [Bettenhausen} up for a raise.

"Roger is ecstatic. If we win the team deserves it."

Andretti Pict Kmart/Texaco/Havoline
Swift Ford Cosworth XD
"My pop-off valve was open all the time. It was stuck open. I lost a lot of speed. I think it cost us about a tenth of a second. The balance was a little off as well. We have a really good race car though. I feel pretty good about the car. It performed real well in our first race on an oval. We did some race stuff yesterday to prepare for tomorrow. You can win from any starting position here. That's the way it is at tracks like this one. The 25 extra miles [in the race] will make strategy a little different than past years. That's what we'll be working on tonight. It will make it a little more interesting for everyone. I'm pretty excited for the race. They [wins] all mean just as much but winning at home is always a bonus. "

Unser Pict Marlboro
Penske Mercedes
"My car obviously isn't as good as Paul [Tracy's]. He did an awesome job today. He did a little more fine tuning and got more out of his car than I did, but we're happy overall with our position on the grid [seventh]. It's been really great to come to a race when the car feels this good out of the trailer. We really haven't had to make any major adjustments at all. We're focused now on tomorrow and the long runs we've done in the Marlboro car to prepare for the race have been really good and consistent. We're ready to go racing. "

Hearn Pict Ralphs/Food 4 Less
Della Penna Racing
Lola Ford
"It was pretty windy out there. We were a tenth [of a second] slower than we have been in practice. But I'm really happy with what we have for the race. Let's say I'm 90 percent happy. We've been working more all along on race setup. We don't know for sure what's going to happen, but everybody's predicting that we're going to go loose. So that's what I've been working on. We went out for qualifying with the hard tires [which must be used for the start of the race] and a little more wing than we might have wanted for a pure qualifying setup. It probably robbed me of a little time. But the last thing I want to see happen in the race is to lose a dozen positions on the track in the first few laps. The car has been doing pretty well in traffic all weekend. Fortunately, there has always been traffic even in the practice sessions. All weekend long, our goal has been to have a consistent car, and I think we've got one for Sunday. "

Pupo Pict Kmart/Budweiser
Swift Ford
Newman/Haas Racing
"It's getting better and better. The car was superb really. I'm just getting used to a small oval, especially the most difficult small oval. This is my biggest challenge. I will have a very good race car. Michael says that you can win from any starting position here. I hope he's right. "

Salles Pict Pennzoil Special
Reynard Ford
Davis/Craig Racing
"This is the best we have done in an IndyCar this year and I was glad that the best lap of my weekend came in qualifying. The Davis Racing Team worked hard to get me a good car and this was the best car we've had all year. "

Herta Pict Shell
Reynard Ford
Team Rahal
"We didn't go very well this morning due to a minor engine problem but we knew the car could run a pretty good number in qualifying. Bobby gave us some good input from his qualifying run. "

Zanardi Pict Target
Chip Ganassi Racing
Reynard Honda
"What can you do? Fortunately, starting position is not too critical here, it is more important to have a good car for the race and that has been our goal since we came here. "

de Ferran Pict Valvoline/Cummins/Craftsman Special
Reynard Ford
"This is a very good result for us, and for me especially here. Qualifying here is different because you have so little time to get up a good lap. As soon as you leave the pits, you have to put the pedal to the metal and just go for it! "

Carpentier Pict Bettenhaused Racing
Alumax Aluminium
Reynard Mercedes-Benz
"I didn't expect to be this close to the front so soon. Our car ran real well at Homestead but going from 9th and 10th to 1st, 2nd and 3rd is very hard to do. Like Paul [Tracy] said, though, my engineer knows this track very well. "

Rahal Pict Miller Lite
Reynard Ford
Team Rahal
"I don't think it really matters that much that I was the first driver to go out [for qualifying]. We've worked on race setup most of the weekend and my crew guys thought we'd have a good qualifying car. It's always tough to race at this place. I've finished first, second, and third here before. But each year the track seems to have different conditions. "