Marco Andretti, No. 25 RC Cola Chevrolet
Andretti heads into Sao Paulo this weekend ranked fourth in the championship points standings. After climbing his way up from the 26th position in Long Beach, Andretti finished seventh overall in the last round of IndyCar competition – recording his third consecutive top-10 finish of season. The third-generation racer has three previous starts on the streets of Sao Paulo.
“I really need a podium in Brazil for the RC Cola team. Being fourth in the standings is a great place to be, but we are so close to being at the top of the board. Leading the points going into Indy would give me a big advantage for the rest of the year. I am pleased with our street course performances and I’m confident we can keep it going. I love coming to Sao Paulo – the fans are the best.”
E.J. Viso, No. 5 Team Venezuela PDVSA CITGO Chevrolet
Coming off his best start of the year – 10th in Long Beach, CA – Viso returns to Sao Paulo for the fourth time. The Venezuelan’s best finish on the 2.536-mile temporary street course is ninth in 2012.
“Heading back to Brazil, it’s probably the race that is closest to my house, my home. I really like Brazil. It is a layout that has been evolving and progressing. It’s a race full of positive energy, music, nice people, good times, and on top of that, it’s a track that is amazing to drive on. It has the longest straight in the championship which normally gives us the opportunity to make great overtakings. Normally the weather plays a little bit of a factor over there; it’s been raining in every single year we’ve been there, so the statistics say that it will rain again this year. Hopefully all these performances that we’ve been doing this year are going to really take off and give us a win. We’ve been very close – we showed that we could do it. Last race we did the fastest lap of the race as well. I believe we have all the factors to make it happen on this one.”
Did You Know: E.J. spent part of last week in Chicago to help open the Neiman Marcus Man’s Store on Michigan Ave. Supporting his sponsor, the 28-year-old greeted over 500 people in the luxury store.
Ryan Hunter-Reay, No. 1 DHL Chevrolet
Hunter-Reay heads to the streets of Brazil ranked sixth in the IZOD IndyCar Series championship points standings. The defending champion has three previous starts in Brazil (2010, 2011 and 2012), each from inside the top five, and has recorded two second-place finishes on the street circuit (2010, 2012).
“I really enjoy the Sao Paulo street circuit. We’ve finished second here twice so, as a team, we certainly feel it’s time to take that next step and win one for DHL and Chevy in Brazil. I’d really like to be able to carry some momentum from a strong result here into the month of May at Indy. The weather is always a factor here as well, so as driver, you’ve got to be ready for anything - I’m fully expecting some wet weather running.”
Did You Know: Ryan is the proud owner of two Golden Retrievers: Captain Dan (named for Dan Wheldon) and Mr. Charlie Daniels (a rescue dog, who had been mistreated or injured by this previous owner). Both often travel to races to cheer on Ryan.
James Hinchcliffe, No. 27 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet
After capturing his first career victory in the March season opener, followed by two DNFs due to on-track contact, Hinchcliffe is ranked 10th in the points standings coming into Round Four of IZOD IndyCar Series competition. The Toronto native has finished in the top 10 in each of his two previous starts in Sao Paulo.
“I think going to Brazil we look forward to… it’s not Barber and it’s not Long Beach. It’s unfortunate because we’ve had a quick car at, I think, every race so far this year. Barber we didn’t get a chance to show it, really; Long Beach we did get the chance to show it was there, but obviously fate had other plans. So, we take some comfort in knowing that we’ve been competitive at every event this season. We just need to stick to the basics and not try and trick ourselves and over think it – just keep what we are doing and, hopefully, on Sunday when it counts, we can put it all together again for the Go Daddy crew.”
Did You Know: Helping to kick off the month of May in Indianapolis, James made a special appearance at the 500 Festival’s ‘Rev Your Engines‘ concert where he introduced multi-platinum recording artist Gavin DeGraw to a huge crowd of eager Indy fans.