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Pocono IndyCar 400 – Drivers’ Post-Race Notes & Quotes

POCONO INDYCAR 400 FUELED BY SUNOCO POST-RACE NOTES:

            •This is the first time Chip Ganassi Racing drivers have finished 1-2-3 in any form of competition – IZOD IndyCar Series, CART, NASCAR or GRAND-AM.

            •The last time Chip Ganassi Racing finished 1-2 in a race was June 2012 at Belle Isle when Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti finished first and second, respectively.

            •This is the first 1-2-3 finish by one team in IZOD IndyCar Series competition since Team Penske swept the first three spots in August 2011 at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, Calif., when Will Power, Helio Castroneves and Ryan Briscoe finished 1-2-3, respectively.

            •This is Scott Dixon’s first IZOD IndyCar Series victory since Mid-Ohio in August 2012, a span of 13 races.

            •This is the 30th career Indy car victory for Scott Dixon, moving him to 10th on the all-time career Indy car win list.

            •This is the fifth top-five finish this season for Scott Dixon. His previous best finish was second at Barber. His other top five’s came at St. Petersburg and Belle Isle 1 and 2.

            •Honda’s last victory on an oval came in June 2012 at Texas Motor Speedway, where Justin Wilson won.

            •Charlie Kimball finished second, tying his career-best IZOD IndyCar Series result. He also finished second in 2012 at Toronto.

            •This is the first podium finish and second top-five finish of the season for Charlie Kimball. His previous best was fourth at Barber.

•Dario Franchitti finished third, his first podium finish and third top-five finish of the season. He also finished fourth at Long Beach and fifth at Belle Isle 2.

•Will Power finished fourth, his third top-five finish this season.

•Josef Newgarden finished fifth, tying his IZOD IndyCar Series career-best finish of fifth, set earlier this season at Sao Paulo.

            •This is the 100th victory for Target as a primary sponsor in motorsports.

            •This is the 200th victory for Honda in North American open-wheel racing.

            •This is the first time James Hinchcliffe has not finished since Long Beach, ending a streak of seven consecutive races of running at the finish.

            •This is the fifth race this season in which Marco Andretti has led and fourth oval race he has led. Andretti remains winless in the 2013 season.

            •When Will Power led today, it was the 16th time a Team Penske car has led an Indy car race at Pocono.

POCONO INDYCAR 400 FUELED BY SUNOCO POST-RACE QUOTES:

 

TONY KANAAN (No. 11 Sunoco “Turbo” KVRT-SH Racing Chevrolet): “I apologized to the crew several times. I made a mistake, and it cost us big. I had a run on Dixon but didn’t really think that I was closing that fast on him. We had a car that was capable of winning this race and putting us in a position to contend for the Fuzzy’s Triple Crown and the $1-million prize. We still have a chance to win in Fontana and collect $250,000, but I just feel bad for the crew because they worked so hard to give me a very competitive car.”

JOSEF NEWGARDEN (No. 67 SFH Racing/Rotondo Weirich Honda): “What a great team effort by SFHR. They did a killer job; they work really hard. We have some great engineers, great mechanics. It’s an incredible group, and they showed exactly what they’ve been putting in for our program. I’m really pleased for the whole team. It’s good to get representative results, and today we got a great one.”

JAMES HINCHCLIFFE (No. 27 GoDaddy Chevrolet): “I mean, it just snapped. We got loose. We’ve been battling understeer with a hot day. We were planning on the car being a bit more pushy than I guess it ultimately ended up being. We went a little aggressive on setup. I don’t know, maybe we went too much or what. It’s just so weird. I had a moment almost like that in qualifying, and I guess I used up all my luck/talent saving it; we didn’t have enough this time. With the downforce level we were running and the setup that we had, there is just no way I thought that was the kind of accident that would have taken us out, especially on lap one, especially when the tires are fresh and everything was good. It is devastating, man, to have the GoDaddy car out; Andretti Autosport one-two-three didn’t last too long. I feel bad for the team; the guys worked so hard.”

 

SIMONA DE SILVESTRO (No. 78 Nuclear Entergy Areva KVRT Chevrolet): ”The car was awesome. It was a really good race. This is a tricky place; you had to time your passes just right. I had a lot of fun out there, and the team was great. They gave me a fantastic car, and we were able to move forward and make a lot of moves toward the end of the race. I’m really happy that we were able to get a good result for the Nuclear Clean Air Energy car.”

JAMES JAKES (No. 16 Acorn Stairlifts Honda): ”To be honest, it (the car) was better than I expected. We made some great improvements overnight. There is still work to do, but considering how much we struggled generally, the car was good, and we were able to trim out during the race. It’s a shame we are not starting the weekend now, but we’ll move on. I’m looking forward to Toronto. Obviously, we had a good result in Detroit, the last street race, so we’re excited to get to Toronto.”

 

GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 15 Midas/Big O Tires Honda): ”I’m very disappointed. There were times today when I thought our car was very competitive and really good, and unfortunately we just never had the speed to make the most of that. It seemed like we were down on a little power, and to be honest, we were having to take a little more extreme measures with the downforce levels to try to make up for it. At the end, we trimmed enough to where the rear tires were going off on me. We also got unlucky too with the first yellow. When the first yellow came out, the leaders had just pitted in front of us as we did, so everybody else, in effect, got an entire lap lead on us, and we weren’t going to make up 50 seconds, no matter what. We reached our mileage minimum on the motor and will have a fresh one when we go to Toronto.”

SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS (No. 7 Dragon Racing Chevrolet): “It was a tough day. We were running up front well in the top 10. The second run was really strong for us, just running flat out. We caught Viso, and I made the call to come in a lap early, so we came in. Then the track went yellow, and that killed our race. We went completely out of sequence with that yellow and never caught a break. After that, we tried to save fuel and not make another stop, but we couldn’t make it all the way without a yellow. At this place, you cannot save fuel being flat out and wide open the whole race. The No. 7 McAfee car deserved better today, and the crew did an amazing job today.”

SEBASTIAN SAAVEDRA (No. 6 Dragon Racing Chevrolet): “A very rough day. We ran into the exactly the same issue as in qualifying, with our throttle getting stuck as soon as we turned on the car. With that, we couldn’t race. So we came in to change the throttle, and that was the end of our day. It’s been a very tough season for us, and we cannot seem to catch a break. All we can do is stay focused with a positive attitude and see what happens next.”

 

SIMON PAGENAUD (No. 77 Schmidt Hamilton HP Motorsports Honda): “The car was awesome today. It turned out to be a fuel-consumption race, and we were running up front for most of the day, going as high as third. I’m happy to have a solid finish, but I’m also very disappointed because Pippa Mann was in the middle of the racetrack five laps before the end of the race, and she completely parked me in Turn 1. That allowed the guys right behind me to get great runs and drive by me. I think our car was good enough to finish fourth, which is frustrating because we’re trying to win this championship. You can also look at it from the perspective that the HP car had a sixth-place finish when many of the championship contenders finished behind us, though, so we’ll take it. I’m very happy for Honda, too. For them to get a 1-2-3 finish here is huge. They’ve done a great job with calibrating the engines to make them perform well here in Pocono. Their engineers have been working so hard, and it’s great to see them rewarded.”

TRISTAN VAUTIER (No. 55 coastal.com Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda):“We had a radio issue at the end of our first stint today. Padding came loose in my cockpit and unplugged my radio so that I couldn’t hear my team talking to me. I ended up running out of fuel, so I rolled back into the pits. Then I had an issue trying to put the car on a manual gearbox because I was rolling the car on the clutch into the pit box and couldn’t downshift. I ended up spinning in pit lane, which cost us even more time and lost us two laps. We had such a strong car, though, and our start was fantastic. We were running seventh, and the guys I was running with then all finished around the top five. We just weren’t able to put everything together today, which is too bad because the Coastal.com car could have earned a great finish today. The team was awesome all weekend, and they gave me the car I needed to do well, but we’ll be back next week in Toronto with another good car.”

JUSTIN WILSON (No. 19 Dale Coyne Racing Honda): “The balance was poor early. The first stop made big changes. Tire pressure and the front wing. The draft was big. It was like Indianapolis. The race was lots of fun. I enjoyed every minute of it. Next time we’re going to come back, and we’re going to win.”

 

RYAN BRISCOE (No. 4 National Guard Panther Racing Chevrolet): “Very different circuits between Le Mans, Lime Rock and Pocono. You’re basically racing at all ends of the spectrum. I love Lime Rock. It makes for great racing, but without Thursday’s test, we would not be able to do this today. I was thankful to Panther for allowing me to skip practice and qualifying, and we were able to get the job done today. We had a decent race. The car came to us late. We did lose the pack, but we could have had a run in the top six. No mistakes in the pits today. It’s great to be back in IndyCar. It was an awesome crowd, impressive, and I hope they enjoyed it. I look forward to running here again.”

 

TAKUMA SATO (No. 14 ABC Supply A.J. Foyt Racing Honda): “I think I misjudged it. We came off the corner, and I lost the back end and slid into Ryan. Extremely sorry to Andretti Autosport and their crew and my crew.”

E.J. VISO (No. 5 Team Venezuela PDVSA Citgo Chevrolet): “It was a pretty disappointing weekend from qualifying on; things never went the right way for me. In the race, since Lap 1, it was extremely difficult to drive. We still don’t know what the problem is. During the race, the car was wandering on me in the straights, in the corners, going from side-to-side. I just needed to stop to have a look at the car, to see if there was anything wrong. But obviously, at that point, it was very late in the race, and we lost plenty of ground. From here on, there are many street and road courses coming. I believe we have everything it takes to be in the front in those upcoming races.”

 

RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 1 DHL Chevrolet): “We had a great car today. Just a little too much understeer to start with, so we were just going to add front wing as we went. I really think we had a great car to challenge for the win, was really looking forward to the rest of the race; I love this racetrack. Then we were just coming in to pit lane, minding our own business, and we get creamed from behind. It’s unfortunate, but we’ve come from further back to win the championship, and we’re determined to do it again. The DHL Chevy boys got me back out on the track. We tried to salvage some points, and I think we got one position. It’s so frustrating when you’re running top three, top two, really happy with your car, and then somebody comes from out of nowhere to take you out.”

 

MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 25 RC Cola Chevrolet): “Oh, man, I mean we knew early (about our fuel mileage), but not early enough. I think we should have responded quicker, but it’s so hard to be reserved right now. I’m so frustrated for RC Cola and everybody. We were just so dominant, and I’m just absolutely gutted.”

 

ED CARPENTER (No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka/Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet): ”It was a tough race for us. We started 14th and finished ninth. I felt we had a better car than that result. We didn’t have a fast car in the beginning of the stints, but we came on strong at the end of them. We made the car a lot better for the race. We were just missing a little something. We were a little inconsistent with the tires. They felt a little different with each run. I guess we shouldn’t be down about a top-10 finish, but I felt we had a shot for a top five. I thought we were charging in some portions of the race. But then the car didn’t react as quickly after a pit stop. We might have run a little too much downforce, but we need to look at it back at the shop. It was fun to race at Pocono. It is hard to pass, but you do it. I hope the crowd liked the Indy cars here. I loved coming to this track. The track does a goes job promoting the race, too. It is great to have Pocono as part of the Fuzzy’s Triple Crown. We’ll have to defend our title at Fontana and stop Tony (Kanaan) and Scott (Dixon) from taking the $250,000 from Fuzzy’s Vodka.”

WILL POWER (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): ”It was a good day and a good finish for the Verizon team. The boys gave me some great pit stops today, and it was really important for us to score some good points and continue to make up ground in the championship. I really like this track here at Pocono. It seemed like it was a good crowd, and we gave it all we had out there. A very physical race but a good result for us in the end.”

HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet): ”Well, it’s definitely good to come out of this race building our lead in the championship. The Hitachi team did a fantastic job this weekend. The race was very challenging. For us, as a team, we had to make a lot of decisions during the race. Ultimately, the key was saving fuel for a good result, and we’ll take a top-10 finish and move on to Toronto with the good points we earned here. Thanks again to the fans here. They were awesome, and it’s good to be back racing at Pocono.”

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Posted by on July 8, 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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