Race No. 7

Miller 200
The Milwaukee Mile — West Allis, Wisconsin
May 30-June 1, 1997

Friday Quotes from drivers and managers at West Allis:
Index of Quotes available


Vasser PictTarget
Chip Ganassi Racing
Reynard Honda
Photo: Scott Hughes
Vasser missed virtually all of the morning practice session due to mechanical problems with both his cars. He had a right-rear upright come apart on his primary car early in the session and then a gear oil leak on his backup car. "Obviously, that was frustrating and it hurt to lose all that practice time. We started to get back in the swing of things a little in the afternoon session and did a long run to get ready for the race."

Tracy PictMarlboro
Penske Mercedes
"I'm pretty pleased with the car, but we haven't found the right balance yet. The track is going to get better as we go along. I definitely feel we're not even close on my car yet. There's a lot of work to be done."

Andretti PictKmart/Texaco/Havoline
Swift Ford Cosworth XD
"The car is better than it was this morning but we still have some understeer. Historically, this race means a lot to myself and the team, not to mention Carl (Haas, the promoter). We learned a lot of good things today that will hopefully help us tomorrow. The balance is getting better in the car. That's a big thing for the race. The car has to be well balanced and stay that way."

Unser PictMarlboro
Penske Mercedes
"The Marlboro cars have been coming off the trailer very fast, especially at ovals and Milwaukee is no exception. I'm very happy with the car. It's a little bit edgy and we need a little more rear grip. We're very close. With a little balance change, we'll see more speed. The last change we made today gave us very good direction. We're not just working on our qualifying set-up and that's why I'm not at the top of the speed chart. We're here to win this race on Sunday so we're concentrating more on our race day set-up."

Blundell PictPacWest Motorola
Reynard Mercedes
"We're in a bit of a state of confusion, because we didn't make many changes to the car in the afternoon; but unfortunately the performance of the car wasn't as good as this morning. We haven't worked out why that should be. We're having a good look on the setup pad to see whether something has gone adrift on the chassis performance. However, this morning was very encouraging so we hope we get back to retaining that balance to carry forward into tomorrow and improve our time."

Pupo PictKmart/Budweiser
Swift Ford
Newman/Haas Racing
"We've made improvements with the aerodynamics since this morning. The biggest thing is that I feel more comfortable on the ovals. It's good that Michael and I have been in different sessions because we learn from each one."

Papis PictMCI
Arciero Wells
Reynard Toyota
"Today was a very positive day for the MCI Toyota team because for the first time since the beginning of the year we were able to do two sessions in a row working on the chassis. I think we made very good progress. We are only about a second behind the quickest time which is very encouraging. We have a little bit of a push in the car at the exit of the corner so we have to go back and work on that. If all days could be like this it would be heaven for us."

Salles PictPennzoil Special
Reynard Ford
Davis/Craig Racing
"The lndusval- Marlboro Reynard-Ford Cosworth's pretty good. We went out on full tanks to get our race setup and found the Goodyear tires were good, the balance was good and we improved our time a lot. We were working with full tanks and made a stop midway through the session for new tires and came out with some good times. It gives us a good base to make some small adjustments tomorrow to see how we can improve."

Herta PictShell
Reynard Ford
Team Rahal
"We had a (turbo boost) valve problem early this afternoon and we lost some time on the track. We wanted to try two different chassis setups so we had both cars out today. The primary car seemed to slide around quite a bit. Then, I got in the backup with less than five minutes to go. So we didn't have much time to work with the backup. Bobby (Rahal) seemed to have a better run this afternoon. That's the good thing about having a teammate. You can exchange information to help each other."

Johnstone PictTeam Kool Green
Reynard Honda
"The car's actually easier to drive now than it was earlier in the season when we were slow. I just hate learning so much about a car so late in the season. I know we're only a third of the way through, but we're near the end of the 'oval track' season. We stumbled across something in St. Louis that made us quicker, and found out something else today. And it's all free speed; it came with the car. The frustrating thing is we should've found all this out in testing last fall, but I wasn't even part of the team then."

Zanardi PictTarget
Chip Ganassi Racing
Reynard Honda
"We are working very hard to solve our problems. We did learn something in the afternoon. We have made a lot of changes to the car. It is almost completely different from the setup we had during our test here. Hopefully, we are going in the right direction. We will see tomorrow."

Ribeiro PictLCI International
Lola Honda
Tasman Motorsports Group
"We improved by 0.3 seconds, but the others improved much more. The basic problem is understeer- we have a long way to go."

Fernandez PictTecate Beer/Quaker State
Lola Honda
Tasman Motorsports Group
"We are really lost right now with the setup. We've tried several things, but the car has no grip. We had a few problems this morning. and haven't had much track time as a result. It's been a pretty rough day for everyone on the team."

de Ferran PictValvoline/Cummins/Craftsman Special
Reynard Ford
"The car had a pretty big understeer in the morning practice. We made some productive changes between sessions that seemed to alleviate the problem significantly. The difference between this morning and this afternoon have been like night and day in terms of our results. So, I'm very pleased with our progress to this point. We'll see what happens tomorrow for qualifying, I'm optimistic of our odds for earning a good stating spot."

Carpentier PictBettenhaused Racing
Alumax Aluminium
Reynard Mercedes-Benz
"The car was really hooked up. We just tweeked it here and there. We improved it bit by bit but most of the changes were really small. The last three races, we have been competitive and you can see that our confidence is growing. However, there could still be some races where we struggle. For example, we have done well on small ovals, but next week when we go to Detroit, that will be a test for us. We spent four days of testing for street races so if we do well at Detroit, it will really help our confidence. I think there is still some speed left in our car and staying up with the fast guys here is going to be difficult. If things go right for the fast guys tomorrow, I think the pole time will be between 20.4 and 19.9."

"My confidence in my team and myself are really growing."

Rahal PictMiller Lite
Reynard Ford
Team Rahal
"I really love driving on this track but I've never won here. That would be special to win this one. We lost a CV joint (left rear) this morning, that's why I jumped into the backup (car). It's funny because I was driving hard with the primary car and could only get a 21.8 (seconds). Then I get into the backup and go almost a second quicker. We had a different setup with the backup car and it worked instantly. This afternoon, we ran primarily on old tires, over 80 laps on one set, but I think we're moving in the right direction. The car feels pretty good so far."

Gugelmin PictHollywood
Reynard Mercedes
"We had another good day. The balance of the car was very good, and I'm particularly happy with the engine. Switching to Mercedes-Benz has given us the power we need to run up front every week. The car is very close, but not quite perfect. I'm still working to get rid of a little bit of push. You always have to keep working hard all the time, but overall I'm very happy. Everything is so close in CART this year. It seems that no one has a big advantage anywhere. We've been running pretty consistently at the front, but we still need that first win. We're close, but these guys around me aren't exactly going backwards."

"They took some bumps out of the track that were here last year. I feel my ride is better. I'm able to be more on the gas all the time."

Fangio PictCastrol/Jockey
AAR Racing
Reynard Toyota
"The chassis is not 100% right now, but I have the confidence that my team will fix it before qualifying tomorrow. The front seems to be giving up after a few laps. We need to make the car more consistent, it's important to have a good balanced car here. This will be a busy race, with a great deal of traffic so you have to have the chassis working with you."