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

MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 25 Snapple Honda): “Obviously I’m not very happy (with the outcome). I think it was a team decision to go out because we were worried about the weather. We plateaued too early and the car got better at the end, so we’re sitting on the outside looking in on this hundredth of a second… I’m losing sleep over this. (The rain during the session) I think it threw off our strategy a bit as we rushed and went out a bit early. When the track was at its best, we had already plateaued so it’s a bummer.”

CARLOS MUNOZ (No. 34 Cinsay HVM Honda): “I don’t really know what happened during qualifying. The Cinsay car wasn’t bad – I was feeling more or less good with the car, just the time game came into play. It was my worst qualifying of the year. Tomorrow is a long race; we’ll have to work tonight to see what happened during qualifying and make it better for tomorrow.”

JOSEF NEWGARDEN (No. 67 Klipsch/Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing Honda): “It’s a really close field, IndyCar is just really tight all around. With everyone being incredibly good and close, if you miss it by a little bit you can be off. It’s a shame we didn’t get through to the next round, I think we were close to a top-5 car, but we will be working hard tomorrow and try to run up front.”

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA (No. 2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): “Going from dry to wet conditions wasn’t a big problem for us. We gambled and took a lot of rear wing out of the car for the wet track and we paid the price. We knew we need to run a little less during the practice session, but I think we went a bit too far. I think for the dry track we were really good. The fastest car in my group. It’s another step forward. I really feel like I had a shot at the pole today with the No. 2 Verizon Chevy, so it’s a little disappointing to be starting where we are. We only used one set of red Firestone tires, so I’m managing to get it all out early in the run. I think we are going to have a great race tomorrow.”

JUSTIN WILSON (No. 19 Dale Coyne Racing Honda): “The car felt pretty good although there was a slight problem with the brakes. But the balance of the car really felt nice. I’m disappointed to get knocked out, but obviously we just need to do an even better job. The car felt good, so I’m not sure how much we gave up with the braking issue. It is going to make for an interesting race. I’m going to be coming up from the back and aiming to be up front.”On brake issue: “A different wheel every break zone would lock up, so it was constantly changing every lap. It was difficult to keep up with what was happening and I couldn’t quite push the brake zones all the way to the limit. But we will just keep working and see what happens tomorrow.”

FRANCK MONTAGNY (No. 26 Suretone Honda): “I was out at the beginning, but I saw the rain coming and I said, ‘OK I’ll keep my eyes on my back tires’. I come in, put the reds on and got out on the straightaway. I thought there was a chance for me after that, but there wasn’t once the rain stopped. Most guys here are tough you know, they have been here for ages and they know the car perfectly. I’m not too disappointed about my pace. I’m like two tenths off Marco, which is a good reference here with this championship. But to tell you the truth, it has been six years since I’ve been in single-seater car. It’s not a baby championship; it’s the big guys out there. I’ll do the best I can tomorrow; I’ve got a very good team behind me so the race will be better.”

HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): “Our No. 3 Verizon Chevrolet was doing pretty good. We were able to make it to the second round of qualifying. But then the rain came and made for an interesting scenario. It became very wet and we weren’t able to take the chance that we needed to in order to make it to the Firestone Fast Six. We get to start tomorrow from the top-10 and it’s going to be a big race, a long race and I’m looking forward to the first Grand Prix here at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”

SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet): “It was an interesting few sessions. Strategy-wise Team Target went out on older wets because we didn’t have enough new sets to run. I think Will (Power) was on the same strategy. Came in, took tires, there was a red. That definitely hurt us and caught us out. Still in the Fast Six. I think we got a good opportunity. The No. 9 Target car has been quick all week. Hopefully we can have a smooth race tomorrow.”

SIMON PAGENAUD (No. 77 Schmidt Peterson Hamilton Racing Honda): “Yeah, it’s the exact same team on the 77 side. The advantage of three years in a row is that we worked on details years after years. The first year you kind of get a feel for it. Then myself as a driver, I wasn’t fully up to speed yet. In the third year it’s a lot easier to work on your driving, improve it here and there, get the car to your liking week in and week out. That’s what difficult about IndyCar, it’s so tight, so competitive, that it’s actually difficult to get to that level. That’s why consistency with people is key. It has been for us, for sure.”

WILL POWER (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): “I know how it feels when you get your first pole. It feels pretty cool. You feel a little bit of pressure going into the race. Man, there’s no bad drivers in this series. That’s why you see such a mixed-up qualifying session week in, week out. They’re all good. They’re all good racers. They can all win races. To me, yeah, I think they’re going to do a good job and we’ll see what happens. We’ll know tomorrow.”

JACK HAWKSWORTH (No. 98 Charter/Castrol Edge Honda): (On being a one-car team) “I think it has its pros and cons. In some ways it’s good, get through the politics. To be honest, I’m working very well with the team. They’re giving me what I want. I think I’m able to kind of lead them in the right direction with the car, as well. I’m not too worried about not having a teammate. I kind of like it. Really looking forward to the rest of the season with them. We started the season out quite strong. There’s been glimmers of speed and potential. Not all quite there yet, but hopefully tomorrow is the day when we do to. Bryan is awesome. He’s experienced. He’s got the T-shirt, been there, won races. Always good to bounce ideas off him. He’s always there giving advice to myself on driving. Also he understands the feelings which perhaps sometimes I have with the car. He can relate to that. Yeah, it’s a good relationship. It really helps for sure.”

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