A.J. FOYT IV (#2 Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone): (Does it feel good to finally get it in?): "Yes, it does. I have always had exciting qualifying runs around here. I put four laps in the books; it still is not 6 o'clock yet, so I am not in the show." (How hard is it to put in four good laps around this speedway?): "It is not easy. Each corner you have to approach a little bit differently. It is really tough, especially the speed that you carry around here, is not easy at all."
(Describing the last 24 hours here at the track): "Yes, it was very frustrating the last 24 hours. That is the way it works around here. Just glad to get out there and put four laps in. We can get more out of it if we have to. We have to work on race setup but be ready to go if we have to qualify again. It is good to have two teammates that have worked on race setup the last two days so we will have a good head start. You hate starting on the last row. It is going to be a tough race starting back there. We know we can get more out of the car if we have to. It's been a long last couple of days, couple of weeks. It's been frustrating." (Describe this month, what have been the issues?): "It's been hard to get a hold of. The weather conditions, just when you think you are going to get some track time, it starts to rain. We just never had a good grip on the track. We need the track time that we were missing, but that is the way it works. We finally got a handle on it, put in four decent laps, and we will have to wait to see what happens."
(About working with your teammates): "We have been working really well together. Every car is a little bit different, every driver likes something a little bit different, so you can't just totally copy what they are doing. Pretty much our cars are the same, the exact race setup they have on their cars to qualify with. It is good having those two teammates out there doing race setups because we've have not had much time to do it, get us a good head start doing that.” (How much of a relief is it to get the qualifying run done early in the day?): "It is a big relief, as we all know the weather just starts getting worse. It gets hotter, the track conditions get even tougher the more the day goes along."
MARTY ROTH (#25 Roth Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone): “My guys did a great job putting the car out. They’ve been working hard. They haven’t slept in the last two days. Today we wheeled out a car that’s pretty solid. The changes we made made a lot of sense. The car has been consistent. Right now our focus is trying to get out in traffic, put some downforce on it and make it a race car. Hopefully we can get away from the qualifying side of this month.” (How difficult is the wind today?): “It’s definitely challenging. We dealt with it yesterday, figuring out what we needed to do for today.”
(You were able to get more out of your car this time. Did you leave anything on the table?): “There is a lot of trimming left on this race car; we went out with a lot of downforce. We’re not focusing on a track record here, folks. Just focusing on the bottom two rows where bumping is going to take place. We just have to play it safe. It’s just being responsible and not going crazy, crossing t he line resulting in a crash and missing the show. If you wad the car up at this late of a date, you are not in the show. Right now we are being very realistic, with a lot of downforce on the car to deal with the wind. If we have to, we can peel some off. Right now we are after a 219 mph, and we are pretty much there. I feel that, that is the responsible thing to do at this late date, is to get it in the show.” (Are you relaxed at all or still on the edge?): “I’m relaxed. I was definitely pumping away at it after rolling off the scales. You realize the gravity of it, if you don’t make the show. It’s huge.” (How were you adjusting to the high winds?) “It was tough, just constantly battling a push, adjusting your lines in every corner. They are not the optimum lines you would run if it wasn’t for the wind. Especially with the gusting, it might not be the same line the next time you come around. It’s quite a little bit of adjusting and anticipating where things are going to be. ”
(What are your thoughts on the possibility of winning the $50,000 that goes to the last-place qualifier courtesy of Firestone? How is that playing for guys like you today?): “That’s the first I heard that. Sure sounds good to me. Drinks are on me if we get it. There are a lot of other guys trying taking a stab at getting into the race. I don’t know if their speeds will be there. When the reality hits you that you might not make it into the show, that’s huge. As a team owner and a driver, I get a double-whammy if the No. 25 car does not make that field. That price tag far exceeds the $50,000 for the last qualifier from Firestone. I hope I am the last guy.”
MARIO DOMINGUEZ (#96 Visit Mexico City/PCM Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone): (Can you describe how you’re feeling now?): “No. It’s not possible. I feel terrible for me, for my sponsors, for the team. The only thing that makes me feel good is that we tried until the end. We tried as hard as we could. And that’s the only thing that makes me feel good. We gave it our best effort. At the end, we just trimmed the car out, and the car didn’t take that downforce, and I just lost it.” (About team): “It’s a great team. I think it’s the best team out there. We’ve been together since we’ve started the year, and they’ve done a fantastic job. I feel terrible I could not qualify for this race.”
MAX PAPIS (#44 Rubicon Race Team/Lifelock Dallara/Honda/Firestone): “I can't believe we didn't make the Indy 500. We tried our best. We were plenty fast. The last thought for me was that we were going to be here struggling to make the show. I guess that I learned about the drama of the Indy 500. What can you say? The car was plenty fast. After 30 seconds to go yesterday, when the car turned around and put it in the wall and destroyed the car, we rebuilt it with a lot of effort and tried as hard as we could, and I guess that today was not meant to be. The disappointment is not enough to describe it, the word disappointment.
Everyone put in a lot of effort. Lifelock, Geico, other sponsors, everyone put in a lot of effort. Everyone, a tremendous effort. But, you need to put things in prospective though, you know. There are mothers losing their kids in Iraq, there are people dying of cancer, you know, this is a sporting event. Of course, I'm sad about it, but you know, you can al ways try again. There are some people who would like to try it, and they can't. I guess that I learned another lesson in life, and I learned that Indy can be brutal with you. I'm going to be going to Le Mans 24 Hour in my Corvette, and I'm going to be racing NASCAR the week after Le Mans 24 Hour, so I guess that I will focus on that. I would have 100 percent rather been here, but what can you say? If it's not your day, it's not your day, and again, you need to keep things in prospective. It's just a huge disappointment. We tried it all. We tried everything we could. I would not change a single bit on anything we've done so far leading up to today. When you don't have a backup car and even if everyone helps you, with a small mistake like that and you put it in the wall. Here you go. I guess it was just not meant to be.” (About preparation for last attempt): “We never really tried too hard on the wing, and the last try was going to be the one to count. Unfortunately, when we w ere getting ready to go, I selected first gear, dropped the clutch and then I'm not really sure what happened. They said it was an input shaft or something like that. It is extremely disappointing. The last thing I thought was that I wouldn't make the show in the Indy 500. I guess my wife (Tatiana) reminded me that even her dad (Emerson Fittipaldi) didn't make it. I guess if there is a consolation, then that is one. It is just a disappointment for all the sponsors and everyone for not making the show. What can you do?"
(About his confidence coming into Bump Day): "My last lap on the track, we were 221 (mph). The guys did an incredible job putting the car back together. It is a different call, so it took a while to get it up to speed. We were at 216 (mph) or something like that. The confidence was there. I guess that is not enough.”
ROGER YASUKAWA (#98 CURB Records/hhgregg/Real Power Dallara/Honda/Firestone): “We had a good car, actually, at the end. It looked like the wind direction shifted. I thought we were going to be able to do 219.2’s, 3’s, no problem. The wind direction changed, and the best we could do was a 218 average. It’s very disappointing. I feel bad for my sponsors, hhgregg, CURB Records and Real Power, for not being able to make their car in the show. It’s very disappointing, but I must congratulate Buddy Lazier on being able to make the show. He came in really late. He was able to put it together, and I think experience counts quite a bit. Although I have five years of experience, I think a little bit more, especially with the win that he has, you know, I think that played a pretty big role. Congratulations to Buddy Lazier, and I hope to come back next year.” (On the wind change late in the day): “Early in the day, we pretty much had a crosswind going from Turn 1 to Turn 2. But the last half hour it seemed like we were getting a headwind going into Turn 3, so that was slowing the car down quite a bit.”
GREG BECK (Owner, CURB/Agajanian/Beck Motorsports, #98 Yasukawa): “I think we made a great effort. We waited until we new the conditions were a little bit more conducive. We didn’t have a lot of laps to run on our engine, so we just had to make everything count. We came out this afternoon and felt reasonably good about it. With running on old tires and being able to run some reasonably good times and tried to be smart about changes we made and made them as distinctive as we could. I think what got us at the end was a wind direction shift.”
LARRY CURRY (Chief Engineer, Roth Racing, #25 Roth): (Curry was in tears when qualifying ended.): “Well you know, this place is so special … Let’s just say I have been through a lot this month. I’m happy that Marty got into the race, and I hope Dominguez is OK. It’s unfortunate that he got in an accident; he had a plenty quick enough lap to get in. It’s just been a tough month. I’m so happy for Roth Racing that John Andretti and Marty are both in the greatest race in the world.” (About his focus on the race): “I’ve always told everybody in all the years I have been here, the race is really easy compared to (qualifying).”
TYLER TADEVIC (Owner, Pacific Coast Motorsports, #96 Dominguez): “It’s disappointing, you know. It’s our first event in the IndyCar Series, and we just went ahead and picked the Indy 500 as our first event. You know, it’s the biggest show on earth, and we didn’t get to make it this year. But it’s just another race just like all the other races we do, and we’ll be in Milwaukee and we’ll represent Mexico City and Mario’s still our guy. You know what, I mean, what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. Mario’s OK; the car’s OK. We’ll be all right. We’ll be back in Milwaukee. We’ve had this car all of three weeks. To get here and make rookie orientation then get out there and be the last car; we were qualified if we could finish those last laps. That’s how it goes.”