Race No. 17

The California 500
Presented by Toyota
The California Speedway — Fontana, California
September 26-28, 1997

Friday Quotes from Fontana:
Index of Quotes available


Vasser PictTarget
Chip Ganassi Racing
Reynard Honda
Photo: Scott Hughes
"We made a lot of improvements to the car. We tested pretty well here a couple of weeks ago but when we got off the trailer here today, the car was awful. We kept working on the car, trying to make it better and that put us a little behind for this afternoon. I thought Alex (Zanardi) had to wait until next year to run Number 1, but I guess not. I need him to take points away from these other guys so I can stay third in the points. I have no problem (with Zanardi running Vasser's backup car). We're going to do whatever is in the best interest of the team."

Moore PictForsythe
Reynard Mercedes-Benz
"It was no big deal. We go into some debris from Alex (Zanardi's)incident. Actually, we are pretty comfortable out there. We're fairlycomfy at those speeds — our car feels solid. I think that we are looknggood for the race. Our car can run those speeds easily. I'm not sure howwe'll do in qualifying, but the race is the important thing."

Blundell PictPacWest Motorola
Reynard Mercedes
"A good day. Everything went according to plan. The engine ranwell all day; we got all our tires (scrubbed) in. We're happy with thebalance, and we've got a good car in race trim. It's just down to gettinga tow for a really quick time."

Papis PictMCI
Arciero Wells
Reynard Toyota
"We found the track extremely dirty this morning. I amnot sure what caused this condition. It was back to normal thisafternoon, but unfortunately we lost an engine. It was the goodengine that we based our practice on. We went to the spare car witha less powerful engine, so we concentrated on the setup for therace."

"I found it very strange today, there were too many crashes. Maybewe need to evaluate this with all the drivers. I think that 240(mph)is too much."

Johnstone PictTeam Kool Green
Reynard Honda
"We spent the afternoon working on our race set-up and ignored the times. It's the same philosophy we used at MIS (Michigan Speedway), where we do what we need to do. At the end, though, we did go out to play. We've definitely made progress from the test.

"If I was a spectator, I would want to be standing on the wall at the entrance to Turn Four. The fans there are getting some show."

Zanardi PictTarget
Chip Ganassi Racing
Reynard Honda
"I think you all basically know what happened (in his morning accident). I still don't know what happened in the second one. The impact was pretty strong. I drove into the corner and was basically getting into the middle of the corner and all of a sudden, the rear went. I don't know what happened. I was obviously very happy with the way the day was going. The car was working well. Obviously, Jimmy was running faster than me. It was a good day for the team."

"I feel good now, but from unfortunate experience (crashing last year at Michigan) I know it comes out the following day."

Gugelmin PictHollywood
Reynard Mercedes
"It was pretty good. We had a good test here, so it was good tocome back with the car really working well. The only big difference wasthe weather. It rained so much that the track wasn't as good as it was(during the test), but the rubber is getting laid down now, so it'll bealright. We worked this morning on speed and this afternoon on race(setup). It's gonna be a tough race because the track is pretty bumpy andright now there's really only one good line."

Gordon PictHogan Racing
Reynard Mercedes
"No, we're not comfortable with the car yet. We worked real slowthis morning because I haven't been in a CART car for over a year now. Wewanted to take it easy and get the balance right. Once we did, the enginewas great; it gave us great power. I'm happy to be above 235 (miles perhour), and I'm happy we're near the top in speed. We'll keep workingtomorrow to go even faster, especially since we haven't tested herebefore."