The Canadian contingent was in Toronto yesterday for a media tour, and I had the opportunity to sit down with each of them to discuss how the Month of May has gone so far and what they expect from the race on Sunday.
Alex Tagliani talked about his comments earlier last week that he felt he had a shot at running for the pole. He also spoke in detail about his second qualifying run and his emotions after he realized that he had clinched the pole position. He addressed the success he’s seen after driving in relatively few Indy 500s in his career and how it feels to be the first Canadian to start on the inside of the front row. He also shared his feelings about sharing the achievement with Sam Schmidt and talked about what will be going through his mind as he prepares to lead the field to the green flag. Finally, he discussed the status of his race setup and spoke about the inner workings of his team after the management changes over the winter.
Paul Tracy spoke in detail about his gutsy qualifying run, including how he adjusted his car and his driving to the treacherous conditions. He talked about the success he’s seen working with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing and about watching the struggles of Dragon Racing, the team with which he’ll be working for the remainder of his season. Paul also talked about what had changed between his run on Saturday that wasn’t enough to make the field versus Sunday when he was able to secure the fastest time. Finally, he talked about the status of his car setup for the race and shared some quick thoughts on the 2012 car prototypes and the situation with Marco Andretti bumping Ryan Hunter-Reay from the field.
James Hinchcliffe talked about the relative security he felt from securing a mid-field position on Saturday and about how he felt while making his first qualifying run at Indianapolis. He also shared how having Oriol Servia as a teammate and Newman/Haas Racing as a team have been helpful in his first time out. He talked about how much time has put into preparing his car for race trim and about what he hopes to achieve next Sunday. Finally, James shared the details of what exactly he was doing with his “extreme plank gone wrong.”
The emotions from each of these drivers are plainly evident as they speak about their experiences at Indianapolis. To listen, use the player below or search for More Front Wing on iTunes.