Chevy Racing–INDYCAR–Iowa Practice

JULY 17, 2015

Tony Kanaan, No. 10 Fusion Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet, led both Verizon IndyCar Series practice sessions today at Iowa Speedway in preparation for Saturday night’s Iowa Corn 300. The former series champion and 2013 Indianapolis 500 winner’s best lap of 17,7544 seconds/181.273 mph was set during the second practice around the 0.894-mile oval.


TONY KANAAN, NO. 10 FUSION CHIP GANASSI RACING CHEVROLET, FASTEST IN PRACTICE: “I think the No. 10 Fusion Chevrolet is where it needs to be heading into qualifying tomorrow. The second practice we were able to work through some things we found in the first practice and we worked on a few qualifying runs. These short ovals are where I’m strongest, so I’m hoping we can get our first win of the season tomorrow night.”

PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT: THE MODERATOR: We’ll go ahead and get started with today’s Verizon IndyCar Series post-practice press conference. We are pleased to be joined by Tony Kanaan, who was fastest today. Tony has one win here in 2010 and has also finished on podium in the last five races here at Iowa Speedway.
Fastest today in practice, what have you figured out at this track that you may be able to bestow upon us?

TONY KANAAN: Can’t tell you. I don’t know, we’ve just always been good here. I think we have a pretty good setup. The track suits my style. The short ovals are definitely one of my strengths. I think that’s pretty much what it is.

It’s going to be a very close qualifying tomorrow, I think, especially with the weather. It’s going to be a lot hotter than it was this afternoon, so we’ll see. So far I think we’re pretty happy with the race car, so we’ll see what’s going to happen.

THE MODERATOR: Speaking of the heat, you look like you just ran a marathon. What is the added physicality with this heat?

TONY KANAAN: It’s tough, but where I live (Miami), it’s as hot as this. That’s what I train for. It’s definitely a lot of people are going to have their hands full. Definitely going to be a physical race, always is.
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Tony and Scott?

Q. How slick do you think the track will be in the race tomorrow?

TONY KANAAN: It’s hard to predict. The race won’t start until another hour or 50 minutes (from this time tomorrow). I don’t think it’s going to be as bad as it was this afternoon, to be honest. I think we had the worst conditions. Once the sun goes down, the track is going to cool off. I don’t think it’s going to be as bad as it was today.
SCOTT DIXON, NO. 9 TARGET CHIP GANASSI RACING CHEVROLET, 2ND IN PRACTICE: “I’m pretty happy so far. We unloaded fast off the truck in the Target car. TK and I were fast here last year, but we got beat by others on a tire gamble late in that race. Overall the car is good and I’m looking forward to qualifying and the race tomorrow night.”

PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT: THE MODERATOR: We are joined by your teammate Scott Dixon, who was second fastest. Scott, you won pole here last year, with actually a qualifying two-lap record. Best finish of third here. You’re also second in the points standings behind Juan Pablo Montoya. Tell us a little bit about practice today and what you think we can expect in qualifying. Do you think you might be able to repeat that pole?

SCOTT DIXON: That’s obviously the goal. I think the Target team has done a good job. All four Ganassi cars are at the right end of the field so far. These sessions are so short, everybody trying to achieve different things makes it very confusing out there to see what people are actually trying to do.
I think, (with) straight-out speed, we’re definitely OK. The car seems decent in race trim. The car isn’t as fast as last year. Whether it’s the track, it’s obviously extremely hot here this weekend. With the ambient conditions and track temps way up, grip is going to be definitely key to the race.

The car feels good. Last year, I think Tony kind of got nabbed there from behind (for the win by Ryan Hunter-Reay in the closing laps). We were looking good for a 1-2 finish. That late strategy with tires got on top of us. Hopefully we can be in the right situation at the right time and come through at the end this year.

THE MODERATOR: You are currently second in the points standings. What is your mentality heading into the final few races?
SCOTT DIXON: To get as many points as possible and hope they have a problem. That’s kind of what it’s going toward. In Milwaukee, it was kind of playing out that way till the shift in strategy, which didn’t go our way.
But it’s still wide open. I don’t know how many points (available are remaining), 260-plus points on the table with four races to go, obviously double points at Sonoma. It’s wide open. But we’re on the backside of it so we have to try to make some gains here quickly.

WILL POWER, NO. 1 VERIZON TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, 3RD IN PRACTICE: “The Verizon Chevy ran strong today. We didn’t get much traffic running. It’s hard to tell where we are at and it’s obviously good by itself, but with all this downforce it would be. But we’re looking forward to tomorrow’s qualifying and with temperature dropping, it should make for some interesting results.”

SIMON PAGENAUD, NO. 22 PENSKE TRUCK RENTAL TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, 4TH IN PRACTICE: “Penske Truck Rental Chevrolet is quite good this weekend and we feel consistent on the race run after both practices. It’s difficult to predict what’s going to happen with the new Chevy aero kit as we don’t get much testing, so we’re still trying to understand some things. But we were able to have a very strong pace out there today. With it being a night race tomorrow, it’ll be a different forecast with the temperature dropping, but it will be great for the fans and we’re looking forward to it.”
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 2 VERIZON TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, 5TH IN PRACTICE: “Very hot today behind the wheel of the Verizon Chevy, but was a good day for us. We learned a lot in the first practice session and were able to make good adjustments for the second one. I was happy with the way we finished the day. The top cars are all very close together on time. The cars behave way different than what we have been used to in the past, even just from this past weekend in Milwaukee. But it’s the same for everyone.”
CHARLIE KIMBALL, NO. 83 NOVOLOG FLEXPEN CHIP GANASSI RACING CHEVROLET, 6TH IN PRACTICE: “Overall I feel pretty good with where the No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen Chevrolet is after two practices today. I feel like we made a lot of progress throughout the two practice sessions. All four of the Chip Ganassi Racing Team cars are strong this weekend and our stable is definitely competitive leading into tomorrow’s race. It’ll be interesting tomorrow with having our first on-track run being qualifying, but we’ll get it done and hopefully start tomorrow’s night race in good position.”

HELIO CASTRONEVES, NO. 3 HITACHI TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, 8TH IN PRACTICE: “The track is fast, but the temperature is much more humid that anything we have dealt with this year. The new aero kit behaves very different from what we’ve had here before. We tried a lot of things today, to be honest. Now it’s time to get together with my Team Penske teammates to see what they found out with their cars, but the Hitachi Chevy is consistent and strong enough to have a good result tomorrow night.”

ED CARPENTER, NO. 20 FUZZY’S AWARD-WINNING VODKA CFH RACING CHEVROLET, 9TH IN PRACTICE: CHEVROLET: It was a pretty good day. We made quite a few changes and tried quite a few things. We were 9th in both sessions, I think we are better than that, but you always think you’re better than you are. I feel better here than Milwaukee, but it’s tricky. When you’re running by yourself versus when you’re in traffic is very different. I think qualifying is going to be critical, getting it right is going to be hard since the conditions are going to be different. Definitely a lot of pressure to qualify well, that will go a long way for the race.”

SAGE KARAM, NO. 8 COMFORT REVOLUTION/BIG MACHINE RECORDS CHIP GANASSI RACING CHEVROLET, 10TH IN PRACTICE: “I think we struggled a bit getting the balance of the car where we needed it in practice. The track is bumpy and I had to rely on my teammate’s feedback after the first session to get the car working more how I like it. I love racing here at Iowa. All four cars here are fast and the race should be good tomorrow night for us. I learned a lot today and think we will be looking good for tomorrow night.”

JOSEF NEWGARDEN, NO. 67 WICHITA STATE UNIVERSITY CFH RACING CHEVROLET, 11TH IN PRACTICE: “Iowa is a tough track. It is super fun though, I think it’s one of the most high-speed places that we go as far as the way the banking works here and how tight of a course it is. You’re flying. You don’t go this fast this short of a place anywhere else. Iowa is one of the best. You definitely want to have a car you’re comfortable with, if you don’t you’re going to have a long night. As far as the No. 67 Wichita State University Chevrolet, we had an okay day. We have a good idea for tomorrow, we just have to stay on top of it. It’s very important that we qualify well and hang on to it for the race. We’ll see what we have tomorrow night!”

STEFANO COLETTI, NO. 4 KV RACING TECHNOLOGY CHEVROLET, 16TH IN PRACTICE: “I’m happy with today’s practice. I feel good about this track. It’s a bit like Milwaukee with very fast corners, but short, so the speed is pretty much the same. I thought the banking would play a huge factor this weekend, but I actually kind of like it so I am having fun. My Chevy car is really good, we tried to trim a little bit for qualifying tomorrow and we finished practice 16th overall today so I feel good about that. I think with a few more improvements tonight we can finish qualifying tomorrow in the top-12 and have a good race tomorrow evening.”