Montoya takes pole at Pocono, first Verizon P1 Award since IndyCar return

IndyCar, IndyCar News/Releases, INDYCAR PR — By on July 5, 2014 8:15 pm

SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS (No. 11 Hydroxycut KVSH Racing Chevrolet): “I’m obviously not happy with qualifying. It’s not where we want to be. The car seems to be a little better in race trim, but we still have a lot of work to do. Hopefully, we can figure something out and have a decent result in the Shatter car tomorrow.”

CARLOS HUERTAS (No. 18 Dale Coyne Racing Honda): “Today was OK. We didn’t get as much testing as we wanted a few weeks ago when we were here. I don’t really know this place well and it has been tricky to set up the car, but we will see tomorrow. Each weekend is a new track for me because I have never raced at these tracks and I didn’t really test at any of them so my first experience with them is when we arrive for race weekend. The goal is to have a good race and do good pit stops and do good strategy. Hopefully that will pay off and I will be there at the end.”

GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 15 National Guard Honda): “The car had too much understeer and just wouldn’t turn. The second lap was a pretty solid one, but unfortunately the first lap was pretty slow. We didn’t put enough aero in it and the car just pushed too much. I don’t think we were going to do a 223 (mph) or anything like that, but we ran a 221.7 with a huge lift so I think it could have been a mid-to-high 222, which would have put us much closer to the front. You can use the tools (in the cockpit) to adjust only so much and we got better (from Lap 1 to Lap 2), but the National Guard car is really good this weekend so we just wanted more. I think that our race car is particularly good so I’m looking forward to the race.”

MIKHAIL ALESHIN (No. 7 SMP Racing Honda): “My car was strong when I was out there running on my own for qualifying. I made a small mistake in Turn 1 on my second lap, which definitely hurt us. We have a very long race tomorrow, and my job will be to make sure we don’t make any mistakes. On each oval other than Indianapolis, the four corners actually feel like two to me in the car. Here at Pocono, it feels like I have an extra turn. I’m really enjoying how technical this track is. It’s very difficult for the driver because each turn is so different from the one before it. I think Turn 1 is my favorite because the bump in the middle makes it very challenging. You have to be concentrating and performing at the top of your game to drive that turn properly.”

SIMON PAGENAUD (No. 77 Schmidt Peterson Hamilton Racing Honda): “My car was bottoming out during the qualifying run, which definitely didn’t help our speed. I think, overall, our car is very good though. Looking where Ryan Hunter-Reay started when he won the Indianapolis 500 this year, I’m not too concerned about starting 10th. I think passing tomorrow will be very dependent on tire wear and how the other cars around you behave on their tires. We have strong consistency on our Firestone tires. So I’ll be depending on that tomorrow.”

RYAN BRISCOE (No. 8 NTT DATA Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet): “We had a good run today in qualifying. The No. 8 NTT DATA Chevrolet was the best it’s been all day. I think the conditions are just really good right now and we maybe could have been a bit greedier with the downforce but it was a good, solid run.”

CHARLIE KIMBALL (No. 83 Levemir FlexTouch Chevrolet): “I’m not too worried about our qualifying position right now. We qualified mid-pack last year and then we ended up finishing strong in the race. Tonight we’ll take some time to look at what our teammates did and compare notes and see what kind of data they have. I think the No. 83 Levemir FlexTouch Chevrolet looks really good and I’m excited for the 500 miles tomorrow.”

SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Chevrolet): “Today we spent both practice sessions working on the balance of the Target car. I think we’ll be OK for the race, but you just have very limited time here at Pocono. Each of the three turns here is distinctively different so you really have to be able to compromise the setup to get things right. Last year we showed you never know what can happen here after starting back in the pack and finishing 1-2-3.”

TONY KANAAN (No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Chevrolet): “I’m pretty confident in the Target car and it’s obviously a very long race with 500 miles so you have to let it play out. I think we went a bit conservative on the setup and the No. 10 car had more in it for sure. We have a good race car under us and today is a decent start to the job we’ll have to do tomorrow.”

SEBASTIAN SAAVEDRA (No. 17 Automatic Fire Sprinklers KV AFS Chevrolet): “Of course we wanted to be a little more up front, but not being able to test at ovals as much as we want is showing and starting to hurt us. Our main focus this morning was to just mileage out the car, which we managed. My Automatic Fire Sprinkler guys were super impressive to change my Chevrolet engine in an hour and a half. In qualifying, I bottomed very hard in Turn 1 on my first green lap and that killed everything because I had to lift and that lost me speed. My second lap was much quicker, but by then I had lost the momentum. On a positive note though I think we have a good race car so we will just have to see how the race plays out tomorrow.”


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