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Indianapolis 500 Pole Day First Segment Qualifying Quotes

TAKUMA SATO (No. 5 Monavie-Panasonic-KV Racing Technology – Lotus): “It’s a great feeling for me to be standing here today already qualified. Last year, we had a moment on qualifying day. This is a terrific day for us. I appreciated the effort the team as given. They have done a terrific job. We are working very closely with the other KV teams. We debriefed last night past 9 p.m. to get ready for today. (Teammate) Tony Kanaan helped a lot. He has tons of ideas. We have all been really good in sharing." 

ALEX TAGLIANI (No. 77 Bowers &Wilkins/Sam Schmidt Motorsports): "It was the worst conditions that we've had this week, so it was not easy. There's 11- or 12-mph hour wind in Turn 2 and before (Turns) 3 and 4. The car requires a lot of changes, so it’s tough to be consistent and probably very difficult to be on the edge. So I would have loved to come out with a 227 average because I would have had a free dinner from my engineer. We're .05 from it, so it’s OK. I think the boys and all the members of the crew did a fantastic job. My wife has taught me not to take anything for granted, and I'm definitely not going to start this month at the Indianapolis 500. I mean, we just witnessed a spin and a wreck, so the conditions are not easy. So to be safe and sound in the garage takes a big weight off our shoulders.”

 

DAN WHELDON (No. 98 William Rast-Curb/Big Machine): “I’m reasonably happy with those numbers. I would have liked to have gone a little bit quicker and pushed Tag (Alex Tagliani) a little bit more. It was a lot more gusty than what it has been, and there was a difference in the wind direction. That means you have to be more on top of the controls in the car, and I think I handled that reasonably well. I made a little bit of a mistake on the exit of Turn 4 on the final lap when I just let the wind get underneath the car. To be honest, the speed is a testimony to this team. It’s not me; the guys have done a fantastic job. I know what I want from the race car, and we’re making it work. Being in a race car is what I love to do. My time off made me realize how much I love motor racing. I’m having a blast. We will be a force to be reckoned with.”

 

JR HILDEBRAND (No. 4 National Guard Panther Racing): “The wind just slowed us down a little bit. I didn’t have any real drama with the car on the racetrack. It’s a little bit gusty. You get a gust of wind in the wrong place, and it can create some issues. It’s a little bit nerve wracking. The temperature was a little bit cooler than we were expecting. Everything is so sensitive. A little change in the gear or a change in the wing can mean one-half mile an hour around this place. I think we have a little more speed in the car. The Panther guy has done a great job in preparing this car. This car has been awesome every time we’ve hit the track, and that has really built up my confidence. I’m new to this qualifying gig. I’ve been to Pole Day the last four years as a spectator, and it’s pretty neat to be a part of the big show.”

 

JAMES JAKES (No. 18 Acorn Stairlifts): “We expected to be quite a bit quicker than that. It’s the first time here. What a great place to be – first time on an oval, as well. Hopefully, we’ll be in the show at the end of the weekend. The anticipation is amazing. There is nothing like it. We’ve lost three days because of the weather. We tried to stick to the program as much as we could, but the weather cost us a lot. The wind and the weather is really spinning quite quickly around here”

 

SEBASTIAN SAAVEDRA (No. 34 Conquest Racing): “The conditions were pretty tricky. They are a lot different than what we were expecting. It was very windy out there. It’s changing a lot. We didn’t find the speed that we wanted. We have to find something else to be able to make it to the show. It all comes from the aero kit we have right now. We’ve got to be more aggressive and risk some more. We are too conservative, and that’s what’s happening. We aren’t happy at all.”

 

PAUL TRACY (No. 23 WIX Filters/Dreyer & Reinbold Racing): “I think the most frustrating thing is that we went out with the exact same car as Davey, and he ran 225s, but our car just wouldn’t go. We don’t know the answer to that. I don’t think anybody in the pit lane knows the answer to that. It’s just the mystique of this track. We’re frustrated. You just have to get the car right. That’s the bottom line. If you don’t have the car right, then you can’t get the speed out of it. Right now, we’re just scratching our heads as to why two cars that are identical aren’t putting up the same speed. I guess that’s Indianapolis.”

 

WILL POWER (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske): “My car was solid, honestly. The winds put it on the nose a little bit in (Turn) 1 but we just weren’t fast enough. I was wide open, but the car wasn’t fast enough. So we need to see what we can do and see how my teammates do. I thought we had the car pretty spot on. If it rains, we’re stuck with what we’ve got right here. Hopefully, we get to shoot out. I thought I had a pretty good car, but Tagliani is always fast. We need to find a bit more speed. Hopefully, my teammates go fast. We’ll study that data and go through it. If we run again, hopefully it is in a better condition. Roger (Penske) loves this track. He loves this place. He loves to get the pole. Of course, he loves to win. It’s such a long race. You can most definitely make up a lot of positions in this race. The pole is great, but I would really rather have a really good race car.”

 

BERTRAND BAGUETTE (No. 30 The RACB/Aspria RLL Special): “We were hoping for a low 226, but that's the way it is. But we got those 225s. It’s not too bad, though. I’m still a little disappointed. The car felt good, maybe a little too easy. We needed to go one step further. I'm very excited to be here for my second race. I'm very happy to be here. It's a fantastic event, and it's very important for us to be here. Our team did a good job, and we should have a very good race.”

 

CHARLIE KIMBALL (No. 83 Levemir and NovoLog FlexPen): “The 83 car’s been good all month. I've had a lot of confidence in it. The team's just working to get me up to speed as a rooki

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