Dixon paces opening day at Grand Prix of Indianapolis

IndyCar, IndyCar News/Releases, INDYCAR PR — By on May 8, 2014 5:24 pm


SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet): “The cars are on a knife edge. The straights are so long that you’re trimming the car out to levels that I think we’ve only seen once before in Brazil on a street course with another really long straight. That there makes it tough, the window of being on the edge and going for the quick time is uncomfortably small, but it’s a lot of fun. You’re constantly chasing the track, and the conditions, today it is very windy, tomorrow it might open up and rain, and then for the race, I hope everyone comes out for that, but I like it. They did a hell of a job with this track.”

MIKE CONWAY (No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka/Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet): “It was a tough day for us. We are struggling to get the grip level right now. We thought we had some things figured out at the test, but it didn’t work out today. It is very exciting to run the road circuit at IMS for the first time. It’s a beautiful circuit. I think it will be a very entertaining venue for the race fans on Saturday. We’ll work hard overnight to improve the car and get it better for qualifications. There is rain in the forecast for Friday and that could change a lot of things for everyone here.”

HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Verizon Team Penske): “The day was good. We tried a few things, some of them were a little crazy, but we’re trying to prepare for qualifying tomorrow. We weren’t as fast as we would have liked to be but we still have a practice session in the morning to work some things out. Overall, with today being our first official practice sessions on the road course I’m happy with where the No. 3 Verizon Chevy ended up. I really want to be the first winner of this race so we are going to give it all we have!”

CARLOS HUERTAS (No. 18 Dale Coyne Racing Honda): “We tried something at the front (of the car) in the second practice and it didn’t really work so it was hard to drive. We had some issues this morning on certain parts of the track and we tried to fix the car and we tried something different and it didn’t really work at all. I am getting comfortable with the track but we need to get the car working the way I want to. That is the biggest problem at the moment.”

GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 15 National Guard Honda): “I think we are starting to figure some things out with the National Guard car. We’re getting it into a better zone, and definitely more competitive. I’m proud of these guys for keeping their heads down and getting it done. There is still work to be done but its work to be done coming from sixth (in afternoon session) versus coming from the back which is a good change for us. Hopefully we can improve on Friday, hopefully it will stay dry and we’ll see what happens.” (About the track): “It’s (track) fast. I think that’s what this place has over others. This is the fastest road course that we will go to this season. The top speed is 196, 197 mph which is pretty quick for these things on a road course. I’m pretty impressed. The facilities are phenomenal as you would expect; this is Indy. It’s IndyCar Country and I hope the fans come out and support this. It’s by far the closest field you have seen in IndyCar history this weekend. It’s very, very competitive.”

ORIOL SERVIA (No. 16 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda): “Graham and I started the day with the same setup and had the exact same grip on the car but in the second practice, we tried two different solutions and I think Graham is happy with his and I wasn’t happy at all. It’s a benefit of having two cars. I’m pretty sure we will end up moving towards the solutions the National Guard team found.” (About changes to the track since the Open Test:) “They have done a good job finishing all of the small details. They painted the curbs and they look great. It’s funny how just a little bit of color and aesthetics change the whole feel. They’ve painted the curbs in three different color tones which look really nice. I’m sure the fans are going to like it and they will look great on TV.”

JUSTIN WILSON (No. 19 Dale Coyne Racing Honda): “I think we found a little bit of performance. The car feels a little bit better but there is still more to come. I’m not completely happy with the car yet, we have to keep searching and I think we’ll get there. We have a couple of ideas. I like this track. It’s a lot of fun to drive. It’s pretty high commitment for such a low downforce track.”

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA (No. 2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): “The track was pretty hot today, so we had to change the car over a little bit from what we had in the test session last week. Last week was frigid compared to what we have for conditions today. We spent the first session just trying to figure out what we needed because it was almost like starting over. I felt we really gained a lot in the second session. It’s hard to judge where we are because I think other teams used more tires than we did. We haven’t really used any tires today so it doesn’t really show how good we are, but I think we have a really good No. 2 Verizon Chevrolet.”

SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS (No. 11 Hydroxycut KVSH Racing): “It was a very good day for the Mistic E-Cigs team until the last run. We tried something on new tires and it didn’t work out, but overall the car was really strong. The Mistic crew did a really good job. We were kind of tippy toeing through the changes trying to see what we could get, but it is supposed to rain tomorrow so everything goes back up in the air and we will see where we land.”

CHARLIE KIMBALL (No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen Chevrolet): “We made some huge steps forward from practice one to practice two. The speed was there in practice one, but we just didn’t quite get the lap time we wanted. We’re really focused on getting as much work in terms of setup on the No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen Chevrolet done today because the weather looks a little uncertain for tomorrow. We’ll just have to react to those conditions, but the Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing guys are ready rain or shine. We’ll be in good shape for qualifying and focused on getting a good starting position for the Inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis on Saturday.”

RYAN BRISCOE (No. 8 NTT DATA Chevrolet): “I’m pretty happy with how today went. I mean our lap time doesn’t really show how good of a day we actually had. We did some race prep when the track was getting faster so we probably missed putting together a fast lap time when the track was at its quickest. We just spent a lot of our time today doing laps and getting adjusted to these hot conditions since it is so much warmer here today than it was when we tested last week. Hopefully once we trim it back and get it ready for qualifying, we’ll have the speed.”


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