SEPTEMBER 14, 2012
MARCO ANDRETTI, NO. 26 TEAM RC COLA ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT CHEVROLET, POLE WINNER: ON HIS QUALIFYING: “Pretty good. First lap 218 (m.p.h.). We were showing some in practice, but I didn’t want to stick it in the wall in practice. And, that is what you have to do, you have to risk sticking it in the wall to go flat (full throttle). I got it flat on the first lap, but the second lap, I had a big understeer, and then a snap. So there was a little on the table for the second lap, so that concerned me about the pole run.”
CONGRATULATIONS ON THE POLE, DOES THAT HELP GOING INTO THE FINAL RACE? “Yeah, thanks man. It means a lot. Just what we have been going through this year. Me in particular just been a very trying year for me and my career. It’s good for the confidence, but we still got to get a race car under us tonight which I think we can do. But credit to the whole RC team, but the whole Andretti Autosport is just taking a huge step up this year. And let the best man win tomorrow.”
ON YOUR SEASON: “Toughest part of my career. It is inspiring me to work harder outside the track and work harder in the car and still try to see what I need in the set up to get me quick, because I am not going to be quick on these tracks. And a little bit of leading luck will help.”
RYAN BRISCOE, NO. 2 IZOD TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 2ND: ON HIS QUALIFYING: “It was good. On my warm-up lap, I run the limiter up in turn three on that bump, so I went to the top gear which wasn’t ideal. It was sort of dragging around the track, but I didn’t hit the limiter. I went into qualifying saying there are two things I need to do. I need to be flat (full throttle), and I need to not be in the limiter. So I just went to the tall gear, and it was a bit sluggish. But the car was good. I was able to hold a pretty good line around the whole track. We just missed it. It is good. In a race like this, it doesn’t matter where you start, but the prestige of pole is always something. It would have been nice.”
WILL POWER, NO. 12 VERIZON TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 3RD:  ON QUALIFYING: “It was very unpredictable.  I was the first of my team’s cars, too.  Wind changes, the whole track changes.  I had totally different balance to what I had all weekend.  Yeah, I mean, man, I got hard limiter both laps down the back straight on a bump.  Yup, starting grid.  Sometimes I’m glad when I start on pole.  Every time, if I start on pole, it’s bad.  Start back in the pack, it’s great.  Hopefully that’s true here (laughter).  So, yeah, it is what it is.  It’s a 500-mile race.  It would have been nice to get the point.  Yeah, we’ll see tomorrow.  Just hang in there, just stay there and hopefully have a shot.”
ON STRATEGY FOR THE RACE: “We are focused on the things we can control. Things are out of your control in the race. We are going to do what we can, and see how it ends up.”
TONY KANAAN, NO. 11 GEICO/MOUSER ELECTRONICS KV RACING TECHNOLOGY CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 7TH: “I had a decent qualifying run.  I am little concerned about the race.   In my opinion the car is a little sketchy on the downforce that we have chosen for the race, but I respect IndyCar’s decision on that and we will make the best out of it.”
JR HILDEBRAND, NO. 4 NATIONAL GUARD/PANTHER RACING CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 8TH: ON QUALIFYING: “It was pretty good. We took a little bit of a different strategy here in qualifying. It was good for us to work on some things out there. The car was good. The biggest problem I had was with the bumps down the backstraight. Our gearing was a little high, and I just got stuck in the rev limiter for a long time because it was so bumpy. So that brought our speed down probably a little bit. But, with some of the grid penalties and that kind of stuff, we will move up so as far as for the starting grid tomorrow, we are looking pretty shiny right now.”
ON TONIGHT’S PRACTICE: “Those first couple of hours when the sun is going down is actually when it is going to be the toughest. As much as we don’t want to have to do it two days in a row like that, it’s good for us to get some practice for us to get some practice for Saturday’s race for those first couple of hours of the race, for sure.”
ED CARPENTER, NO. 20 FUZZY’S ULTRA PREMIUM VODKA ED CARPENTER RACING CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 9TH: “After our warm-up lap of 214 (m.p.h.), I thought we might have a shot to beat Marco’s (Andretti) speed.  But we built a little too much understeer in the car and I had to lift in turn two. It is fun here though.  I‘m enjoying this track.  I thought it would be bumpier than back in 2005 when we were here before.  But it’s smooth than Kentucky.  The (chassis) package for this track is hard but I like it.  It’s a better package than what we ran at Texas.   If we were going to race in conditions like this with the speed, it wouldn’t be good.  But the track will cool off for Saturday night’s race.  I think the fans will be happy with the racing for the 500.  The track temperature was 140 degrees.  That is hot.  For the race, the track will cool down and produce a lot of grip for the cars.  This track is tricky for everyone up and down the pit lane.  Of all of the places we’ve run this year, I think there are more racing lanes here.  You will see guys run on the white stripe and others up against the wall in the race.  This will be my first 500-mile race other than Indy.  I was thinking about going and talking to some of the guys who raced 500 miles here before.  It’s different than Indy.  Indy is intense.  But you have a 5/8-mile straight to take a breath.  You don’t get that luxury here.  It will be a long night.”      
HELIO CASTRONEVES, NO. 3 AUTO CLUB OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 10TH: ON QUALIFYING: “Qualifying did not go the way we expected. The speed we felt was a little bit better, especially what we had in practice. Conditions are very difficult for everybody; over 100 degrees.  When you have to do an average speed (two laps of qualifying) is becoming very difficult. What happened is the first lap was a tremendous push in turn one. I adjusted myself in the second lap, and we were able to gain two mile-an-hour from one lap to another. It is what it is. We have a great car. The Auto Club of Southern California car is actually very fast during race conditions. We are looking forward to tomorrow.”
ON TONIGHT’S PRACTICE TO GAIN MORE KNOWLEDGE ON RACE CONDITIONS: “We had a great run in the few days of testing, so we feel that we are in good shape. I have to say the Chevys are running really strong here. Hopefully the last race of the season, we get another win for Chevy.”
JAMES HINCHCLIFFE, NO. 27 TEAM GODADDY.COM ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 12TH: ON QUALIFYING: “It’s a scorcher out here today and it’s going to be a hot race, even at night. It’s very difficult track conditions with the track being this hot and we haven’t done a whole lot of qualifying-sim work. We’ve been working a lot on the race car which I think is going to be important. We need to make sure that Ryan (Hunter-Reay) has the best car – we all have the best cars that we can possibly have when we roll on the grid tomorrow. We have four cars to try and work on different setups and make sure that all of us, but especially the 28, are ready to go out there and do well and try to bring this title back home to Andretti Autosport.”
RUBENS BARRICHELLO, NO. 8 BMC/EMBRASE KV RACING TECHNOLOGY CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 13TH: ON QUALIFYING: “I am happy with my result.  We are obviously very lucky because so many dri
vers have got penalties so I have moved up some places.  This morning, I had very little running as we were trying lots of things, so I ended up going blind into qualifying with a totally different car.  But, I am happy.   I think we have done okay and will now work on our race setup for tomorrow.”
KATHERINE LEGGE, NO. 6 TRUECAR DRAGON RACING CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 14TH: ON HER QUALIFYING: “It was solid considering we weren’t very happy with the car in the test. The team did a great job. They did a lot of changes. My Chevy is feeling fast, and racey. We had a bit of a bauble on the second lap otherwise I think we would have been well inside the top-10. I think we are looking good for the race. The track here changes so much here temperature-wise, we don’t really don’t know where we are at for tomorrow. I think it is invaluable to be able to practice tonight.”
RYAN HUNTER-REAY, NO. 28 TEAM DHL/SUN DROP CITRUS SODA ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 17TH: ON QUALIFYING: “Not a great qualifying run for us but it’s a 500-mile race so really not that bummed about it. We just hadn’t dialed our qualifying trim in with the DHL/Sun Drop car and that caught us out a bit. We missed the balance and (the car) took off on me a bit there at the exit. It was definitely hard to put a good two laps together. We’ve been focusing on the race though – that’s the big thing, we haven’t done any qualifying runs today so it’s something that we just haven’t really put a lot of time into. Tonight we’ll go out and work on race trim and get these four Andretti cars up front.”
ORIOL SERVIA, NO. 22 PANTHER/DREYER AND REINBOLD RACING CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 18TH: ON QUALIFYING: “Qualifying was better than this morning. This morning we were not happy with car. We actually made big changes. We put in the same setup as my teammate (JR Hildebrand) which was great to be able to do that. The car was better, but still was a little too loose. I almost lost it out of turn two, like big time. I couldn’t even be flat. So for not being flat, I thought the speed was pretty good, We can fix it tonight.
WHAT MAKES TURN TWO SO DIFFICULT? “The difference is there is banking here. Then you go through the corner and then there is more banking. The backstraight has zero banking. So it goes from having banking to really disappearing while you are still in the corner. So all of a sudden, you still want to turn, but there is not banking and the car is not going to turn the same way. If ever it is going to go, it is going to go there.”
SEBASTIAN SAAVEDRA, NO. 17 AFS RACING ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 21ST: ON QUALIFYING: “The day started exactly like we wanted. We did a great job in both practice sessions. We qualified on the pole for Firestone Indy Lights, which was great. We want to end the season on a high note. We just need to continue working and improving the Indy car because tomorrow will be a long race. I don’t see our INDYCAR qualifying being as important as Indy Lights is, since it will be so long. I believe jumping from one car to the other does mess with your head a little bit. I think I should have improved a little bit in the Indy car, but I am comfortable to bring the car home and focus on the race.”
EJ VISO, NO. 5 CITGO/PDVSA KV RACING TECHNOLOGY CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 22ND: “We didn’t really plan on being fast in qualifying.  We went out with a very safe setup.  I don’t feel comfortable on this track.  It is extremely bumpy and irregular.  I feel that the drivers are extremely exposed and I don’t blame Mike Conway for deciding not to race here.  It is going to be a long race and we are just focused on have a very stable platform.  That is all that really matters.  You just have to hang in there and finish the race.  It is going to be very challenging.  If the series doesn’t decide to add more downforce I won’t race.  It’s tough to understand where the challenge ends and the stupidity begins.”