INDYCAR - Carb Day Driver Quotes
'What They're Saying' from Indianapolis 500 Carb Day practice
ROBERT WICKENS (No. 6 Lucas Oil SPM Honda): "We were just running through the program. We had to do an install first lap, then we did some pit stops. Then we got into our test program trying different things. There wasn't anything wrong. We have some work to do, for sure. Today was pretty good for track conditions compared to where we have been. We have to make some adjustments. By no means are we in no-man's land." (About James Hinchcliffe being in his pit box): "He was just listening, nothing crazy. It's not like he's coaching me from in there. He was giving his opinion and talking with the engineers, just trying to lend a hand in any way he can."
SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda): "I don't really know if today told us too much about what the race will bring in the PNC Bank car. It's really warm today and we think it could be even warmer on race day. The track temp was way up there today as well. I'm not really sure what you can learn from the times today. There were a lot of people throwing tires at it out there. Overall, the car felt good and we were comfortable. You just never know exactly what you're going to have until you get into the race."
ED JONES (No. 10 NTT DATA Chip Ganassi Racing Honda): "I think we had a very positive end to practice here at Indianapolis. The NTT DATA car felt really good and I was very happy with the direction and changes we made. I was also pretty happy with how the car handled in traffic, which is important for the race."
DANICA PATRICK (No. 13 GoDaddy Chevrolet): "Today we had a little bit of an electrical issue, but our team was able to get me back out there before practice was over. At the end of the day, these are things you're actually glad for, because if this had happened Sunday, we would have been done. I'm glad to get the issues out of the way early on. Overall, today felt good. We made some changes when I went out the second time, and I'm feeling good about starting seventh on Sunday."
GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 15 United Rentals Honda): "At the end of the session, the United Rentals Honda was pretty good. We definitely, at the very tail end of the session, got it into a decent window. We just ran used tires from the start and I know a lot of guys were running stickers (new tires), but we wanted to save a lot of stickers for the race and I think we just ran them too long, initially, and probably made our lives a little tough, but for sure we got the car much better in the end. We'll be OK (in traffic). We don't have the quickest outright pace, which has kind of been the case all month, but at the end of the session in heavy traffic I felt pretty good. Obviously, tire life and stuff plays a role, so we'll have to see how we are on Sunday."
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS (No. 18 Team SealMaster Honda): "The month has been great. It speaks volumes about the Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan Team. They really gave me a great car, a fast car, which showed what it was capable of on Saturday and Sunday in qualifying. We have worked very hard in traffic scenarios and race conditions and we definitely made some improvements on Monday, so I'm looking forward to a great race."
ZACHARY CLAMAN DE MELO (No. 19 Paysafe Honda): "It was a tough session today. The Paysafe car wasn't exactly how we wanted and it didn't feel like Monday. But, I'm still feeling confident going into the race. I'm sure we'll figure out the problem and that we'll be really strong going into Sunday. You can't count anyone out here, so it should be interesting on race day. The build up to this race is huge, it feels like we've been here a long time but it's been fun. I can't wait for race day."
ED CARPENTER (No. 20 Ed Carpenter Racing Fuzzy's Vodka Chevrolet, 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500 pole winner): "We ran through a couple of things we wanted to try after looking at the data from Monday's practice. Carb Days are hard, though. It's only one hour, then you have a couple more days to agonize over exactly how we start the race. The conditions are pretty similar right now to what we'll have come race time, so the session was good for that. I wouldn't say today was our best day by any means, but for me, we can rely on the work we have done over the previous week and a half. I've felt calm all week and I feel good going into the race. We'll look through the data from today and the rest of practice, see what we like the best and go from there."
SPENCER PIGOT (No. 21 Preferred Freezer Service Chevrolet): "Today was a good day. We made some solid progress throughout the session since we came in knowing what we needed from the car based on Monday. We needed to accomplish some of that, so I'm feeling happy with our Preferred Freezer Services Chevy, and I'm excited about the race."
CHARLIE KIMBALL (No. 23 Fiasp Chevrolet): "It was a ready good final practice. The hour on Carb Day is all about checking the boxes and making sure we are ready to go for Sunday. Reliability in the car has been rock solid all month. That didn't change today. The speed is really good in the car. If we get clean air and get out front, we're going to be pretty solid. The guys did a lot of pit stop practice this week and we're pretty happy with that. Overall, we tuned on it, and right at the end of the session when the track was the hottest and probably the slickest, we felt like we had the best car of the week. That's the right time to peak heading into the race on Sunday. Excited to show off what this Carlin team has done this whole month of May and this year so far. Everyone from Novo Nordisk to Chevy and Firestone are great partners. It's been a great month. We've done an incredible job as a team and it's been fun to watch this team enjoy the Indy 500 experience. I can't wait to see their faces on race day."
TAKUMA SATO (No. 30 Mi-Jack/Panasonic Honda): "It was a relatively short session today for Carb Day. We went through a run plan and checked various things. In traffic, I was reasonably happy. We still need to work on it, but now race day is approaching and I think we are ready."
KYLE KAISER (No. 32 NFP / Juncos Racing Chevrolet): "Our last day of practice went very well. We got to improve the car a little bit and get a better idea of the conditions for race day on Sunday. I think we ended with a pretty good car. I still think we have a few more changes to make before the race. I am really happy with the team. We brought the car back clean for the end of the day and I am ready to go racing now. I am looking forward to the start of the 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500."
MAX CHILTON (No. 59 Gallagher Chevrolet): "It might not have shown on the overall speeds, but the No. 59 Gallagher Chevrolet had really good race pace. This final practice always goes by so fast trying to work through everything before race day, but we are really happy with where we ended the day. We're feeling good heading into the race on Sunday."
GABBY CHAVES (No. 88 Harding Group Chevrolet): "We got through Carb Day cleanly. There are some things we'd like to change and hopefully improve on. So, we'll take a look at our data and make a decision on what's the best way to move forward for the race and hopefully have a great race car."
Dave Chess has been writing for RIS since the late 1980s during the CompuServe days. His work has also appeared in Auto Week magazine, Chicago Gearhead News newspaper, ATA airlines in-flight magazine, National Speed Sport News and on many websites.