VERIZON INDYCAR SERIES
IOWA CORN INDY 300 PRESENTED BY DEKALB
TEAM CHEVY DRIVER PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT
JULY 5, 2014
TONY KANAAN, NO. 10 TNT ENERGY DRINK CHIP GANASSI RACING CHEVROLET, met with members of the media at Iowa Speedway and discussed his success at Iowa Speedway, being with Chip Ganassi Racing and other topics. Partial transcript:
ON WEATHER ISSUES: “First of all, we’d like to have more track time. Hopefully the weather works out. Iowa (Speedway) has been a good track for me. I’ve actually finished on the podium the last four years in a row. We’re hoping for a much better weekend than last weekend for sure and try to get our first win of the season here.”
ABOUT CONSISTENT PODIUM FINISHES IMPROVING CONFIDENCE:“It does help, but it’s a different year. The weather and some other things are different. So you can’t say that just because we had such good results in the past four years that we’ll have a good year again this year. It doesn’t relate to it, but this has been a track where I’ve done well.” “The biggest thing is how fast you can come up to speed during qualifying since it’s such a short track. It’s green second time by which usually happens very fast. This track feels the quickest as far as speed. It’s not as quick as Indy or Pocono or Texas, but because it’s so short and so fast, the speed feels much quicker.”
ABOUT LONGER RACE AT IOWA: “It’s a longer race. It will add one more stop to the race and that’s pretty much it.”
ABOUT THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN DAY AND NIGHT RACES: “Night races are cooler. The track is completely different. We never have a chance to test at night for a night race. The track will change a lot between practice and the race. It’s a bigger challenge, an extra thing we have to think about, how the track will change and come up to you.”
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 2 PPG TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, met with members of the media at Iowa Speedway and discussed his thoughts on Iowa Speedway so far, winning last weekend at Pocono, his current position of fourth in the point standings and many other topics. Full Transcript:
WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED FROM THIS TRACK SO FAR?
“We tested here and it’s weird because it’s very different this morning. I don’t know if it is because of the NASCAR rubber, but it was a handful this morning. Like when we tested it was nice, predictable, fun to drive and this morning it was like ‘oh really’ how many more? We don’t want to be that unstable. It looks like we will be okay for practice. We will see whatever it brings.”
YOUR ONLY EXPERIENCE HERE WAS VERY DIFFERENT IT WAS EIGHT YEARS AGO IT WAS AN ARCA RACE. YOU WERE TRYING TO FIGURE OUT STOCK CARS. CAN YOU TAKE ANYTHING FROM THAT EXPERIENCE?
“The track when I came here the track was brand-new there were no bumps. It was really smooth. There is a big bump in the tunnel. [Turns] Three and four is still pretty smooth, but now you run pretty close to wide open. Some people actually do run wide open all the way around.”
IS THIS THE FIRST TIME YOU’VE DONE A COMBO RACE LIKE THIS WHERE THE RUBBER IS SO DIFFERENT?
“No the only difference is the first time I’m going to race a short oval with high wings. Back in the day we used to run the little wings, superspeedway wings on the road courses.”
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE?
“We have the bigger wings we will have twice as much downforce in the car.”
HOW MUCH IS HAVING A VICTORY NOW PUT A LITTLE MORE SPRING IN YOUR STEP?
“People are happy because a lot of people are still around from back in the day so they are happy for me. That is pretty cool. I still try not to get overly excited about it. It’s fun. I had a great time, the guys loved it. It was really good for Verizon and PPG and Hook Performance, everybody that supports us, Chevy as well. I mean we still have to come here and get the job done. I think it does build a lot of momentum. It gives a lot of confidence that you can get it done.”
300 LAPS TOMORROW IT GETS TO BE A TRAFFIC JAM AT TIMES WHAT DO YOU THINK THAT IS GOING TO BE LIKE?
“Learning, it’s going to be harder because it’s all about learning again. I’ve got to figure out, okay I know with the superspeedway wings how close you can run to cars and how you’ve got to run. This is a little bit of a mix of like oval and road course with the road course wings. I’ve got to figure out how close you can run. Are you comfortable running the second groove and you’ve got to experiment, but you’ve got to experiment carefully because if you get it wrong you are out. Right now we just really need to be smart about how we do things.”
IS IT BETTER TO BE AGGRESSIVE OR A LITTLE MORE PATIENT ON THE SHORT TRACK?
“I mean if you are leading there is not a lot of rush because you are going to get to traffic in 150 laps, but if you extend that a little bit it’s not a bad deal. It doesn’t matter how easy you are going to take it you are still going to get to traffic. I think managing traffic is going to be really important. If you are not leading keeping up with the leaders is going to be key.”
SEVEN RACES TO GO YOU ARE UP TO FOURTH IN POINTS TWO RACES NEXT WEEKEND AND THEN A DOUBLE POINTS ONE AT THE END OF THE YEAR. YOU ARE RIGHT THERE HOW DO YOU LOOK AT THE REST OF THE SEASON?
“I think we have been doing a good job we have been smart about how we run races. We just have to keep doing what we are doing. I told the guys this week it’s great that we won, but one thing is getting there the other thing is staying there and to stay there we are going to have to really step it up.”
WITH WILL IN FIRST, HELIO IN SECOND AND YOU IN FOURTH IN THE STANDINGS WHAT IS THE FEELING AROUND THIS TEAM RIGHT NOW? YOU HAVE TO REALLY FEEL LIKE THINGS ARE ROLLING.
“We have but we have been in this position before. The last few years they haven’t won so we just have to make sure and we talked about it as a team. We’ve got to be smart about how we race against each other and then we can seal the deal.”
HELIO CASTRONEVES, NO. 3 HITACHI TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, met with member of the media at Iowa Speedway and discussed his outlook on this weekend’s race, the challenge of different rubber on the track and many other topics. Full Transcript:
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THIS 300 LAP SHORT TRACK EVENT?
“It’s always good to stay in the front. I don’t think it’s an advantage in terms of to win the race especially now that they have added 50 more laps. But like I said it’s always good to start at the front. At least it’s one less problem, especially if the leaders are really fast. If you are in the back of the pack you could be facing issues with set-up because of the lack of time you are practicing so it’s always good to start up front.”
WE ARE AT THE HEIGHT OF THE SEASON WITH THIS RACE AND GOING TO A DOUBLE- HEADER AT TORONTO YOU HAVE BEEN IN THIS SITUATION BEFORE BUT YOU KNOW HOW TO TAKE IT IN STRIDE:
“Any type of double-header is always a tough one. I haven’t thought ahead much right now I’m thinking Iowa first and so we are just hoping that we come out of here with a good result as well so we can continue fighting.”
WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO GET A WIN AT IOWA?
“We keep working. Now they have added 50 more laps so we keep trying to make sure that we know what we need to do. We led a lot of laps before in the past, but we want to lead the last lap. But it’s just the name of the game. The competitors learn from it as well and we learn from them so it’s both scenarios.”
WHAT WOULD BE MORE IMPRESSIVE TO FINISH 1-2-3 TODAY OR TO HAVE DONE IT BACK IN 1994 WHEN TEAM PENSKE ACCOMPLISHED THAT FEAT?
“Today not taking anything from the past, but because everybody has most of the same chassis, same tire and most of the engines it certainly a different phase. It would be amazing to finish 1-2-3. Hopefully it would be one (point’s at himself), two and three with whatever happens with my teammates. That is the goal that we always go and try to reach every weekend. That is what we are going to try to do here at Iowa.”
HAVE YOU EVER HAD A RACE AT WENT AS POORLY AS THE BRAZIL VS. GERMANY GAME IN THE WORLD CUP?
“Oh I have had several races that I wish ‘okay let’s pack and go home’. I just hope it will not be this one. For sure things get out of hand sometimes. It happens. It’s tough when it’s a team because to get 11 players to get in that same rhythm it’s hard. I guess it happens.”
WHEN YOU DID TALK TO WILL (POWER) WHAT DID HE SAY? (IN REFERENCE TO LAST WEEK’S FINAL LAP BLOCKING INCIDENT)
“In that terms when I spoke with him it was right after he was still kind of like not knowing what happened. You know what it doesn’t make sense to bring it up and try to understand because first I don’t think he did in terms of purpose like some people try to take in a negative way. I just think it’s a reaction as a driver you are trying to protect the position. I think we already talked to the team and make sure that we want to bring this championship to the team and that is our goal and we are going to do whatever it takes.”
IS RACING AGAINST YOUR TEAMMATE FOR POINTS MORE DIFFICULT THAN WITH SOMEONE ON ANOTHER TEAM?
“Oh no it is as you said. The one goal here is to bring the championship and when you are fighting with your teammate that had the same chance how are you going to do that? Because not only he has the same equipment, the same set-up and you are on the same team. I dealt with this scenario before. This is not my first rodeo, which is a good problem to have.”
WILL (POWER) HAS SAID REPEATEDLY HE IS NOT WORRIED ABOUT CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS HE JUST WANTS TO GO OUT AND WIN RACES. DO YOU THINK THAT MENTALITY HAS MADE HIM MORE RECKLESS THIS YEAR?
“I don’t know. Certainly I don’t think the mentality of not looking for the points changes the way you drive. In the mind maybe subconscious maybe, but I don’t know. It’s a good question. I just think things happens and unfortunately one season one year you learn from your own mistakes, but at this point I don’t think just because he says he is not paying attention to the championship that he is in this position. He already in the past he was in the position before. I think it’s just the way of putting your mind set to get to where he wants.”
WITH THE NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES HERE AND THE RAIN IS IT HARDER TO ADJUST TO A GREEN RACE TRACK OR THE DIFFERENT RUBBER?
“I think the track is going to start with the different rubber no matter what. But it happens before like that. Probably the rain is cleaning the Truck rubber and I think it will be better in those conditions. If it is raining nobody can run. We just have to wait and see. If we complete qualifying great if not hopefully we have dry weather for the race.”
HOW MUCH DOES IT CHANGE YOUR APPROACH EITHER HANDLING OR DRIVING WITH THE DIFFERENT KIND OF RUBBER ON THE TRACK?
“Well you’ve got to adjust the tools that you have in the car. Remember the toughest thing here we are talking about 17 second lap times. You don’t have much of a luxury if the first stint your car is not very good to set-up on the next one. Here it’s going to be extremely important to at least have a decent start.”
ED CARPENTER, NO. 20 FUZZY’S ULTRA PREMIUM VODKA ED CARPENTER RACING CHEVROLET, met with members of the media at Iowa Speedway and discussed Iowa Speedway, difference in tracks and other topics . Partial transcript:
ON BEING AT IOWA SPEEDWAY: “I enjoy short-track racing. This is the most unique short-track we go to because short-track and high-downforce racing. At the same time it’s fast racing, multiple lanes, so it’s a lot of fun wheel-to-wheel action. I like the type of racing that’s close and fast and multiple lanes. It’s always nice when the high line develops, which usually can here. It’s fun.”
ON TRANSITIONING BETWEEN DRIVER AND TEAM OWNER “As awkward as it can be going back and forth, it’s become more natural, knowing when and how to transition between different mindsets. So it’s become a little easier, but I don’t know if it’s easier being out of the car. I still enjoy my time in the car as much as anything, but at the same time (being a team owner) is a different type of challenge working with Mike (Conway) on the stand outside of things. I enjoy the challenge of it, but I’d be lying if I told you I was having as much fun doing that as when I’m driving.”
ON DIFFERENCES IN SETUP BETWEEN SHORT OVAL AND SPEEDWAYS: “It is a totally different package with the short oval – high downforce package makes the car feel entirely different than it does in speedway trim. But when I look at a place like this it is similar to like how Kentucky used to be when we raced there. It is a very bumpy place. Very bumpy through turns one and two. I like that element, and the challenge that that adds to getting the balance right on the car, and managing those bumps and getting your car to work on multiple lines. But you’ve got to have good rear grip, which is something I think you have to have at Indy as well. It’s a different type of car. A different mindset, so not a whole lot crosses over.”