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Firestone 550 at Texas – Drivers’ Post-Race Quotes

HELIO CASTRONEVES (No.3  AAA Insurance Team Penske Chevrolet): “It’s been great. I have to thank AAA, the boys did a hell of a job. (Engineer) Jonathan (Diuguid) did a hell of a job and Chevy did a great job because we were not only able to manage our tires and manage our fuel, but it was the setup. We did our homework and thank god it paid off. Texas is awesome. I love this place.”

SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda): ”I think it was one of the main shafts from the gears that seemed to break coming out of the pits on that last stop for us.  We found the problem and tried to fix it.  The Target guys did a hell of a job on pit lane trying to figure it all out.  The car was good though. We were maintaining good pace and I think by the time of the end of the race came along we would have been in a good position to contend.”

DARIO FRANCHITTI (No. 10 Belkin Honda): “We just had way too much understeer in the Belkin car at the start of the race.  It was probably the most I’ve ever had on an oval and that cost us some positions.  As the run went on the car kind of came to us and each stop the guys made some great changes to the car.  We got the car where it was good and, combined with the strategy, we got up to p6.  The strategy was to run really long on the tires and at times it was pretty hard work.  We just started too far off on the setup, but it was a lot better than last year’s car.”

RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 1 DHL Chevrolet): ”That No. 1 DHL Chevy was great. We made the most of it, and we kind of lost it a little bit there when that yellow when came out. Our strategy was such that we needed that yellow not come out. You know we had a good shot at winning it today though. That was just an interesting race. It was hard to even get by some of that traffic. I was searching everywhere for grip; I had so many catches out there that I thought were on the wall. It’s going to be tough to go to sleep tonight.

TONY KANAAN (No. 11 Sunoco “Turbo” KVRT-SH Racing Chevrolet): “It was pretty good, but we obviously we went off strategy. I’m really happy. We did a great job as a team. It’s the first race with the Sunoco Turbo car, so I hope they’re happy because I promised them a good race. I think third place as far as the championship goes is pretty strong so we’ll take it.

CHARLIE KIMBALL (No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen Honda): ”It’s a little disappointing for the No. 83 team tonight, because we had a great car and the crew did really great job in the pits.  I have no complaints with where we are we just didn’t quite catch the yellows.  We have had a lot of races where strategy and yellows have worked in our advantage, but tonight it just didn’t quite work out.  We had a really good car, we just struggled a little bit with stuff out of our control.  That’s fine.  We’ll focus on the fact that we had a really good car.  There was a stint we went past the car leading and drove away.  I think it bodes well for the future, so I’m looking forward to going to Milwaukee next week since we had a really good test there and we’ll go racing.”

JOSEF NEWGARDEN (No. 67 Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing Honda): ”We had a good result considering everything. I think we got hosed a little bit on some of the yellows and that pushed us back a bit. I think we had a top 5 car, I don’t think we had the winning car, but we were pretty good in the mix and I think to secure decent results is satisfying. W definitely want more but I think we learned a lot tonight.

MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 25 RC Cola Chevrolet): “It’s always easier to be the Mondaymorning quarterback. I think it worked out for Ryan (Hunter-Reay) – he had a vibration and came in early. He went out, running some quick laps and he didn’t catch a yellow. We tried to do the same thing, we caught the yellow and the RC Cola car ended up a lap down. So, it’s unfortunate and to top it all off the worst guy in the championship fight against me won, but congrats to him.”

SIMON PAGENAUD (No. 77 Schmidt Hamilton HP Motorsports Honda): ”It was an eventful race. It was difficult to master the cars around the track tonight because there was very little grip. I think it made for a very good race though. We had to change our engine before the race so we started in the very back of the field, but we came back and finished 13th. So honestly it was a good day points wise for us. I wish we could have done better, but overall I’ll take it because it’s a decent day for our championship.”

ED CARPENTER (No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka/Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet): “I thought we had a shot for a podium finish (3rd) but Tony (Kanaan) had a lot fresher tires (35 laps) at the end.  We will take fourth tonight and we scored some points for the ECR/Fuzzy’s Vodka team.  It was a great night for Chevrolet with a one through five on the scoreboard.  We had a couple of miscues in the pits, one with some debris on the front of the car, and I didn’t hear the guys call me in for the stop.  Overall, those didn’t hurt us.  It was hard out there tonight.  I was racing more car more than the other drivers at times.  I hope the race was good for the national television audience tonight.  This place is one of the toughest oval on the series now.  The cars are a handful here.  But we’ll take the fourth place and move on to Milwaukee next week.”

E.J. VISO (No. 5 Team Venezuela PDVSA Citgo Chevrolet): ”Tough race. I think I got an unfair penalty… we had everything to finish in the top three. I’m not very impressed in how this situation was handled, and I feel they penalize certain people for certain things and not others in certain situations. The penalty happened because I hit one of Ryan (Hunter Reay)’s tires during the pit stop, but I just touched it and he came back out in his original position. For me, they made the wrong call. Decisions can affect the sport as we just saw.”

JAMES HINCHCLIFFE (No. 27 GoDaddy Chevrolet): “At the end of the day, I’m pretty pleased with a top 10; it was a tough night. The whole setup with the new tire and downforce configuration made it tough to drive, the GoDaddy guys gave me a good car, but I think we were a little hampered by track position. Clean air was definitely king today, and starting back where we did, we had to fight in the thick of it a lot more. We ended up stopping it a bit early on the first two stops, and we got both those yellows – just really hurt us. We lost a lap and had to earn it back. If we had managed to have the yellows fall at a better time for us, I think maybe we would have been a bit higher. But it’s so close, it’s so tight, everybody was struggling… we’re just happy to bring it home in one piece.”

GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 15 Midas/Big O Tires Honda): “I never really had a grip on the car. I really, really struggled with the rear of the car on entries and exits and couldn’t get a handle on the understeer mid corner.  I’m obviously baffled now with the performance. There are a lot of tracks we’ve gone to that I can compete at and right now I can’t which is frustrating. For the amount of effort that we are putting in, there is no reason this should be the case. We will regroup but the problem is the lack of time between races.”

JAMES JAKES (No. 16 Acorn Stairlifts Honda): “We had a great car, it’s been pretty good all weekend and we made some great changes. We were definitely one of the top five quickest cars so it’s just a shame we didn’t finish there. We’ll bounce back next week. You win and lose as a team and we’ll just make sure we put it right next weekend.”

ORIOL SERVIA (No. 4 National Guard Panther Racing Chevrolet): “Definitely not the initial race I wanted representing the National Guard and Panther Racing. I had really high hopes to go for a win, since we’re out of the championship anyway. We made a bunch of changes before the race, and I think the car was not way off, but one of the stints we put too much wing in, and at the end of the tires we probably should have come in two or three laps before that because we were already very loose. Then on one of the bumps the rear just went, which was unfortunate. Luckily we saved the car, but the truth is the race was still not lost, because sometimes you can get your laps back at a place like this, but with no more yellows we couldn’t make any miracles happen.”

SIMONA DE SILVESTRO (No. 78 Nuclear Entergy Areva KVRT Chevrolet): ”The car was awesome all night and we just kind of got unlucky out there. First of all with the yellow; when it came out we were stuck behind the leader. We fought our way back and then we got a 30-second penalty; I don’t really know why. But, at the end of the day, the car was awesome and I think we could have had an awesome finish. We learned a lot. I think for me it was a really good experience. It was just a lot of fun out there racing and passing people. Big thanks to the team; they did an awesome job the whole week. They gave me a really comfortable car out there, so big thanks to them, Chevrolet and Nuclear Clean Air Energy.”

TAKUMA SATO (No. 14 ABC Supply Co./A.J. Foyt Racing Honda): ”It was a hard race on the track with quite a big degradation of the tires. The first 7 laps were good and then gradually you’d lose the balance and grip. It was difficult to get the balance right. Our pit stops were good but we were a little bit out of sequence.  Unfortunately we had a yellow right after we pitted which shuffled us back.  Our track position made it tough to get back to the top  group but we did regain some positions and the ABC Supply boys did a good job.  With the problems we had yesterday, it was a good recovery.”

JUSTIN WILSON (No. 19 Dale Coyne Racing Honda): “That second to last stint cost us a good finish tonight. It’s disappointing because the No. 19 Boy Scouts of America Honda was running in the top five up to that point and we had a very good chance at repeating as race winners.  The team didn’t an incredible job giving me a really competitive race car tonight.”

PIPPA MANN (No. 18 CyclopsGear.com Honda): “I feel bad that we couldn’t have had a better showing for the No. 18 Cyclops Gears Honda tonight. I would like to thank Cyclops Gears and Dale Coyne Racing for giving me a chance to race here at Texas Motor Speedway this weekend.”

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Posted by on June 9, 2013. Filed under Breaking News,Indy Car. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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