Conway scores second win on the streets of Long Beach

IndyCar, IndyCar News/Releases, INDYCAR PR — By on April 13, 2014 9:30 pm

CARLOS HUERTAS (No. 18 Dale Coyne Racing Honda): “The race was good and the pace was good. The pace on the black tires was pretty OK, you know, not fantastic and then we switched to reds. It took four or five laps to get good and then the pace was good. I was able to follow the people in front of me. We mostly moved up through strategy. It is really difficult to pass here.”

GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 15 National Guard Honda): “It was a crazy day for us. The National Guard guys did a great job for us. I must say the engineering staff and all of the mechanics were down because we were starting where we did and to charge up like that feels awfully good. When we stopped out strategy was working perfectly. We were able to click by guys, going and going. I hit Justin and they called a penalty on me and then I got hit by Aleshin and he doesn’t get a penalty. Same exact situation but I got one and he doesn’t. Honestly I feel like we had a great car today. The National Guard guys did a fantastic job and I really cant be disappointed. We could have won this race because the car was definitely quick enough but on a day like today, you just have to take what you’re given.”

JAMES HINCHCLIFFE (No. 27 United Fiber & Data Honda): “It’s a tough break, just because obviously we didn’t have a great start, but we made some moves to get back up to P2 there, we were chasing Ryan and the Andretti Autosport cars were rocking it… and to be running up front in the United Fiber & Data car, we were so happy. I guess at the end of the day patience is a virtue and someone wasn’t very virtuous today and it cost both of us, and this team, a lot. I feel bad for everyone involved. I just sucks to throw away such a strong race. But we’ll bounce back and get the UFD car up front again. (About hand injury): “When I made contact, I was in full opposite (wheel) lock and the wheel just snapped around and sprained (my hand). Nothing is broken, so we’ll be OK I think.”

ORIOL SERVIA (No. 16 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda): “It was one of those races where you feel frustrated no matter where you finish because I basically ran two thirds of the race with a broken front wing. I broke two front wings actually. On the first one, out of the hairpin I think Conway went into neutral or anti-stall because all of a sudden he slowed down when I was out of the hairpin so I kind of nailed him on exit and broke the front wing. We ran around 15 laps like that and I was really struggling so on the next pit stop we changed the front wing which cost us some positions but at least the car felt great then. And three laps into it, Marco tried a bonzai move in the hairpin and I had to move and hit Pagenaud and broke the second one so I was without a front wing again. I was amazed about how the car was still great. I had a lot of under steer but I was able to keep the pace. I wasn’t able to pass anybody because I was slow in the corners but the car was strong. It’s just frustrating because there was not one lap where I could show how fast the car was and I think it was really fast. It’s encouraging that we found a good pace for the next street race, which I hope I will be in.”

JUSTIN WILSON (No. 19 Dale Coyne Racing Honda): “The team did a fantastic job all day, had great pit stops, we had the fuel to make it to the end, we were making great fuel mileage under the yellows and great fuel mileage on track, and had a fantastic restart. I had a couple of looks, tried to go down the inside in turn one and got blocked, which is fine, he moved first, I went to the outside and got squeezed on the outside. I was like ‘hang on a minute.’ Then coming out of five the same thing happened. He [Dixon] chose the inside so I took the outside and nearly got put in the wall then so I did the old switchback out of six climbing the hill to seven and then to eight Scott had the inside but he wanted the outside as well and I got sandwiched between him and the wall, bent both sides of the car and the end of our day. I just feel for the Boy Scouts of America guys. We worked so hard, had fantastic strategy. We gambled and could make the mileage and we should have been at least on the podium. I think we are there and we have got what it takes. We have some great people and the car runs flawlessly and we are out there trying to win races. It is just frustrating when something like this is taken away from you.”

MIKHAIL ALESHIN (No. 7 SMP Racing Honda): “We had a really good day in Long Beach despite everything that happened in a very eventful race. We knew we were going to have good race pace after morning warmup when we finished sixth on the Firestone black tires. I had a good start in the race and gained two positions. We spent a lot of time fighting with the other drivers for every position we could get. Unfortunately our strategy got thrown off when I pitted only two laps before the first caution came out. On the second restart I broke my front wing because someone spun in front of me and there was nowhere to go. Our pace was really strong, and I think we had the third quickest lap time overall. It’s great to know that we had a pace to compete with everyone else today. I was able to pass several drivers and the big shunt in Turn 4 moved us up as well. On the last restart my teammate Simon (Pagenaud) got me. It was actually a really good move and showed me that I still have a lot to learn on the rolling restarts. Overall today was a very positive day and I want to congratulate the team on us getting our first Top 10 finish of the season. Now it’s time to relax and get ready for our oval test at Texas Motor Speedway this week. I have so much to learn on oval tracks and I need to use every opportunity in testing and practice before we get to our first oval race in Indianapolis.”

RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 28 DHL Honda): “We had a strong car and (Josef) Newgarden came out of pit lane and I knew he was on cold tires. He was really struggling to get up to speed through Turn 1, and then through Turn 3 he had some wheel spin so I went for it. I started to back out because he was closing the door – I could have waited a little later, maybe that’s my fault but at the same time I had at least a half a car up along sides of him so I went for it. If we had given each other a little bit of room we both maybe would have gotten through there. It’s down to me to make the pass I guess, I’m not sure… a lot of people say that was my fault. I made the decision at that split second, when he had some wheel spin, to go for it knowing that I was on hot tires. That’s the type of driver I am, I go for it. I feel bad for everybody involved. Obviously it was a bit of a bottle neck there, and it got others involved that didn’t deserve to be involved and that’s what I feel really bad about. But thank you to DHL and Honda; the 28 car was so strong today… just very, very disappointed. I’ll look at it again, but a racing driver, when he’s in the moment, and he sees a chance to go for it… I went for it because I want to win the race.”

SIMON PAGENAUD (No. 77 Schmidt Peterson Hamilton Motorsports Honda): “Our day was ruined by Will Power, and it’s unfortunate because it was dirty driving on his part. We’ll move on, though, and I’m satisfied with fifth considering the spin and everything else we had to deal with today. We’re off to a great start in the championship, but the next time we have a car this good, we’re going to win.”

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