Pagenaud leads Schmidt Peterson 1-2 in Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston race 2

IndyCar, IndyCar News/Releases, INDYCAR PR — By on June 29, 2014 9:23 pm


SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS (No. 11 Mistic KVSH Racing Chevrolet): “It was an interesting day. We took a bit of a gamble starting on the black (primary) tires. We didn’t think we would be the only ones, but as it turned out there were only two of us who did and it kind of worked out. We managed to hang on during the first stint and were really strong once we switched to the red (alternate) tires. We started to run down the leaders and then there was the first yellow. On the restart I was strong and the other guys were struggling. I passed (Will) Power and went for Helio (Castroneves). He was on the inside and I went to the outside, the right side. I put my nose next to him and I guess he never saw me coming. He changed lanes and we made pretty heavy contact. That busted my front wing pretty good. After that it was a tough fight. I had to be really creative to compensate for the balance of the car. I played with the brake balance and I was having trouble stopping the car and lost a lot of positions. Then there was another yellow and another yellow and another yellow. We hung in there and at the end of the race I was able to make a couple of moves and in the end we had another top-five finish. We just have to keep on working and hopefully we can win one for the Mistic and Hydroxycut guys.”

MIKE CONWAY (No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka/Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet): “Going into the chicane on the first lap, Marco (Andretti) made a move in front of me and I couldn’t stop quick enough. It clipped the front wing and I think it cut the tire too. So I had to pit immediately and that really killed the race for us. I thought I could get away with it but it cut the tire. My (left) thumb was okay during the race after spraining it Saturday. It felt a little numb at times because I think the tape might have been a little too tight. But it was okay. I just tried to fight back and stay on the lead lap as long as I could. It was hot in the car but I felt pretty good. I was able to get some air coming into my visor during the yellows. I had a close call with a piece of carbon that flew up from (Luca) Filippi’s car. It hit the right mirror and almost me. It was close to hitting me in the head. That would have hurt.”

TAKUMA SATO (No. 14 ABC Supply A.J. Foyt Racing Honda): “A frustrating, difficult day for us. We made a good start and went side-by-side with Munoz through the chicane, he forced me wide through the shortcut. I didn’t gain an advantage, and didn’t overtake him until turn 5. So I thought there shouldn’t be a penalty. After that I overtook a couple cars on the track and gained some good positions. IndyCar saw it differently and told me to get behind Munoz who was three cars back. We lost a lot because of that but we kept going. We still got back to the top 10. Then on a restart, Marco tried to dive inside me in turn 4 and punted me and I was forced wide and picked up the marbles and I lost many positions. We pitted because the car didn’t feel right and we thought it was another flat tire so we pitted. I kept fighting back and we got back into the top 10 but unfortunately I clipped a curb too high and the car bounced badly and hit the wall. After a long tough day it’s a shame we couldn’t achieve a good result. The car was good so hopefully we can have a good race in Pocono.”

CARLOS HUERTAS (No. 18 Dale Coyne Racing Honda): “Well I feel really good for yesterday and today is disappointing, but it is impossible to finish every race without having at least one problem. Hopefully we don’t have any more. It was strange because the car just shut off completely. It must have been an electrical failure or something but we don’t know right now. All in all, I am proud of our accomplishments this weekend.”

GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 15 National Guard Honda): “It was a frustrating day, we had a great car. On the first stint I was just trying to stay consistent, which we were able to do. I tried to stay patient behind Aleshin and got by him when he pitted because I cranked off a really fast lap on my in-lap. We were right there and I thought we were going to have a good day. All of a sudden we had an issue with the gearbox control until and it lost all pressure and the car wouldn’t shift. It was another bad luck day that we can’t get back. The car was good though and that gives us hope for what’s to come.”

LUCA FILIPPI (No. 16 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda): “At the beginning we were struggling a little with the red tires. I was trying to find my pace with too much front grip and towards the end of the stint it was much better. We were able to stay out and push and came out of the pit stop in fifth because of our strong pace. After that we were running well in fifth but unfortunately there was a slow puncture. So during a yellow we had to pit because we were losing pressure. So in that moment our strategy changed. We didn’t know if we would make it to end with that second stop only or not so we pitted again. Maybe we could have finished the race without it, but after that we were still fast but towards the end we were in traffic and faster than the guys in front. There was an accident in front and I hit Bourdais and I lost part of the front wing so I started to have a lot of under steer but still we were able to overtake people. Then (Will) Power had a problem and Montoya got by him. In the meantime, I don’t understand what happened, I braked in my normal place for that area and I hit him (Montoya). I don’t know if he had a problem with fuel or tires but something happened to him because I was very surprised by his braking zone and I couldn’t do anything but touch him. I went in the marbles and our race was over. We were top-seven and with all the issues we had it would have been a good result. We were fast. Obviously I’m not happy, but I gained a lot of experience this weekend. It’s been a long time since I have raced and racing at a high level like this is not easy. To get the perfection you have to work on it and hopefully we will be there in Toronto. The weekend was surprising from a speed point of view; we were fast all the time. I made a few mistakes which I shouldn’t have but I was pushing very hard and this is what happens when you do that. Generally you have to be optimistic and happy. Next time I will be used to the team and we have a foundation to get a good result.”

MIKHAIL ALESHIN (No. 7 SMP Racing Honda): “I can’t really explain my feeling. I just have so much emotion in this moment. We had a great qualifying today and a great car during all of the race and then I had a contact with Graham (Rahal) after his pit stop and then at this moment, I thought that that’s it. But then I had a good strategy and as I said I had the same pace as the leaders so I could catch up and I would overtake some of them and because of the changes, we were up there. And then can you imagine? In the end I had a flat tire. I had a flat tire on my car in the last few laps so I was really lucky to finish actually. Really lucky. I’m very happy and the team did an amazing job. Just can’t even say. I don’t even have any English words to thank the team for that because they did an amazing job.”

RYAN BRISCOE (No. 8 NTT DATA Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet): “It feels good to come out of this doubleheader in Houston with a top 10 finish. This series is just so competitive and it’s a fight to the finish at every race. This one wasn’t any different and we were able to come from 15th and get an eighth-place finish. It’s still not exactly where NTT DATA Racing wants to be but we’re getting closer.”

CHARLIE KIMBALL (No. 83 Levemir FlexTouch Chevrolet): “The No. 83 Levemir FlexTouch Chevrolet was quick – I kind of like it in the Levemir FlexTouch green. The Novo Nordisk guys did an awesome job in pit lane and the Chevy guys have been working really hard all weekend to give us an engine that’s drivable and gets good mileage. Overall I’m really happy with a top-five finish and we just drove the wheels off of it when we could.”

SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet): “Well that was obviously not the day we wanted to have with the Target car. Race 1 in Houston for us was unkind and today Race 2 was the same way with spec master cylinder issues. It just wasn’t our weekend and we hope we’ll have the same turn around to our season in Pocono next weekend like we did last season.”

TONY KANAAN (No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet) : “Not a bad day I guess, but we need to be more competitive and run toward the front with the Target cars. It was hot again today and you really had to be in shape for two straight days of racing in these conditions. There was some really exciting racing out there and hope the fans here in Houston enjoyed it today.”


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