Saavedra surprises with Verizon P1 pole award for Grand Prix of Indianapolis

IndyCar, IndyCar News/Releases, INDYCAR PR — By on May 9, 2014 5:20 pm


SEBASTIAN SAAVEDRA (No. 17 AFS KV AFS Racing Chevrolet): “I love the rain. It was crazy at first because we didn’t know what to expect from the track – if it was going to be wet, if it was going to be dry. We were comfortable yesterday, as it got hotter, we just needed to work a little bit more – especially with the rain. We made a huge leap this morning and then the whole session was just weird. It started to rain and went from wet, to dry, to super dry, to super wet. I loved it.”

RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 28 DHL Honda): “We definitely gave that one away. It’s a fun track. Since we got here it’s been dry-wet-dry-wet. It was changing conditions and it was a lot of fun, but it ended the wrong way, so congrats to Saavedra – good job and good pace. It’s going to be a really great championship race (tomorrow) and there will be a lot of passing – especially with these long straights. There will be a lot of different strategies on downforce and tires. I think there will be a lot of (teams) mixing it up like you always do with the Verizon IndyCar Series.”

SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS (No. 11 Mistic KVSH Racing): “I am a little disappointed not to make the Firestone Fast Six…missed it by a couple of hundredths of a second. I just made a mistake in turn three on my fastest lap and that was pretty much that. The Mistic E- Cigs guys have done a good job. We have a good race car. One with a strong pace in dry conditions. It is just a matter of getting a good start tomorrow, staying out of trouble and hopefully finally getting a strong result at the checkered flag.”

MIKE CONWAY (No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka/Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet): “We did improve the car from yesterday. But we have been behind and it’s tough trying to catch up. I think we could have used a dry session this morning to help make the car a little better. But it didn’t work out that way. The conditions today were changing all of the time. We still have some work to do for the race. We’ll sit down and go over the data tonight and see what direction will be best for the race. With no warmup on Saturday, I think a lot of people will have some unknowns entering the race.”

TAKUMA SATO (No. 14 ABC Supply A.J. Foyt Racing Honda): “Tough day for us today. With the practice session being wet in the morning, we had no time to try something that we wanted to do after yesterday’s analysis of the car setup because the car requires a different setup in the wet. So we went straight into qualifying with a little bit unknown, but we tried our best but didn’t have the speed. I think we improved the car a bit but we’re struggling with the lap times and the balance. We don’t have a morning warmup so hopefully we can put things together after looking at the qualifying data and have a better run tomorrow.”

CARLOS HUERTAS (No. 18 Dale Coyne Racing Honda): “Qualifying was difficult. The car was still a bit hard to drive and, yeah, it wasn’t easy to get the maximum and the times are really close. Every little detail makes a big difference. It has been difficult to try different setups on the car because of the different conditions and it doesn’t make things easy. It would have been nice to have the same conditions in practice so we could try different setups.”

MARTIN PLOWMAN (No. 41 Alfe/ABC Supply/AJ Foyt Racing Honda): “It was a fun but tough first qualifying for us as it was the first time that I’ve used the Firestone red tires, so I didn’t have any time to learn what the limit was of these tires. I felt like we missed the balance of the car a little bit, which hurt me by a couple of tenths. Overall I think to be right on pace with Takuma with no experience is not a bad result, but of course we would both like to be further up the field. I think if we put together all of the small details, we could have been in the top 12, but we’ll save that for tomorrow when it really matters.”

GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 15 National Guard Honda): “We were right on the cusp in Round 1. We did the same lap time as the guys ahead of us and were right on the cusp and Aleshin got a penalty and we slid in. I feel like our car was good enough to get there anyway. The tire pressures came up in the rear a little too high and we were sliding a bit too much those last couple of laps. At the end of the day we’re starting twelfth. I’m proud of this National Guard team. These guys keep working very hard and we’re going to get one at some point. I think we’re going to have a good day tomorrow. We’re starting 12th and we can work from there. (On Push to Pass:) Push to Pass is going to have a huge impact here because the straightaway is so long. Without a doubt, it’s going to play a huge role in this race. Hopefully we will have a good car and be right up there.”

ORIOL SERVIA (No. 16 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda): “I’m disappointed. The car was way better than I showed. We had changed the car a lot and I went out there to qualifying and you really have two laps to make it happen. I was judging the car and by the time I figured it out it was too late. I was six-tenths (of a second) from the fastest time, and three-tenths from making the cut. It’s not like you are miles away from making the cut. You have two laps to do it and I just guessed too much and I didn’t guess right on my driving. I think we have a good car for the race if it stays dry. It’s not where I wanted to start but it’s a race that, with how they have designed this track with long straights and a lot of passing zones, it will definitely be a race where you can move forward. (On Push to Pass:) With the long straight, if you’re behind somebody that is not pushing Push to Pass and you are, you are definitely going to pass them. You can gain two or three miles just from the Push to Pass. It’s going to make it even more important to make sure you have them when you need them. We will have to be smart about that.”

RYAN BRISCOE (No. 8 NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet): “The car felt really good and I felt confident that we had the speed to qualify better, but we just ran out of time. I was preparing the car for another lap and then we got the checkered flag. It’s just disappointing that we didn’t get the chance to go another lap, but the car felt really strong and I’m confident that we could’ve qualified much better with one more. We just need to look towards tomorrow now and make sure the car is ready to go.”


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