Dixon leads Ganassi front-row qualifying sweep at Iowa

IndyCar, IndyCar News/Releases, INDYCAR PR — By on July 11, 2014 9:51 pm


SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Chevrolet): “It’s a great feeling, which is unfortunate for a team like this. We’re still winless, but I don’t want to be a downer because we’re starting on the pole and starting on the right end of the field. We had a bit of a tough test here a few weeks ago, but coming back the car setup has been a dream to drive. With new people on the team, new engineers and new teammates we’ve changed some of the short track setups and it’s been eye-opening and fun to drive. We’ve rolled off the truck and been really quick. With me qualifying 14th and TK and Ryan (Briscoe) going before me we knew the car had some understeer and were able to put some front wing in (before the qualifying run). It’s great to see all the Ganassi cars in the top seven and a great team effort. I’m excited for the race – Iowa is a fun track and we’ve had some great cars in the past and some great finishes, so hopefully we can put on a fantastic show for the fans here tomorrow – that’s No. 1 on the priority list and obviously to try and win it for us. ”

TONY KANAAN (No. 10 TNT Energy Drink Chevrolet): “The result will be tomorrow, but obviously had a great qualifying effort from the team. Four cars in the top seven, that’s pretty good. The two Target cars in the front row– that makes Chip happy, makes Target happy. I’m pleased with the car. The way the qualifying works, which is by luck, you just got to draw your number. Drawing an early number hurt us just a little bit. But front row, it’s all right.”

SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS (No. 11 Mistic KVSH Racing Chevrolet): “I feel pretty good. Very happy. We didn’t test here and it is only my second time here at Iowa Speedway. We struggled in practice, made some changes this afternoon and it kind of all worked out in the end. Jimmy (Vasser) was confident that the car was going to be good, so I said ‘OK, your call.’ I am very happy for the whole KVSH Racing crew and our sponsor Mistic.”

ED CARPENTER (No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka/Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet): “It’s not a bad run for (Iowa Speedway), but the car did get a little loose on the second lap or we would have had better starting spot. You always want a better speed when you aren’t on the pole. But it has been a tricky day with the weather conditions. Waiting out the rain and the drying of the track is always tough. I think we have a good car for the race. We’ll have to see how the conditions go after the rubber from the truck race and possible rain. We were fast last year here and I feel like our race setup will be good. The 50 extra laps could prove to be a factor towards the finish. The track could really change throughout the race and you have to be able to adjust to that element.”

TAKUMA SATO (No. 14 ABC Supply A.J. Foyt Racing Honda): “It was a difficult qualifying. We couldn’t get good grip so the car was sliding. It was pushy and loose at both ends (of the track). It was a tough one.”

CARLOS HUERTAS (No. 18 Dale Coyne Racing Honda): “It was a difficult day because I have never tested here and I didn’t feel very comfortable with the circuit. We really didn’t get our set up finished and when it is an oval the car set up is very important and it makes a big difference. I really hope I can finish tomorrow and have good race like I have had already this season.”

GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 15 National Guard Honda): “The National Guard car was very good in practice. At the end of the session I think we found a lot of good things that helped us. And I thought that the car was absolutely planted in qualifying; it was absolutely perfect. We just didn’t trim enough so we were too slow. We got the car where it needs to be but we didn’t get aggressive enough in qualifying so it put us in the back. I think the car will be all right in the race. It’s always tough starting at the back at Iowa though.”

MIKHAIL ALESHIN (No. 7 SMP Racing Honda): “I like this track. It’s very unusual to me, being such a small oval. Our car is strong and I like our pace, but I think where we’re lacking right now is my experience level. I’m learning so much each time I get in the car on these new tracks, and today we lost quite a bit of practice time to rain. Schmidt Peterson Motorsports gives me a great car each weekend though, which enables me to pick things up quickly and compete near the front of the field.”

SIMON PAGENAUD (No. 77 Schmidt Peterson Hamilton Racing Honda): “In our two-lap qualifying sessions you don’t really get to feel much in the car, but the car is decent. This race has a lot of passing, and I really think it’s fun for our cars. You can use two lanes, which is great for overtaking. We have a longer race distance than last year, so there will be even more time to make up ground on the leaders. We’ll have to have a clean race to ensure we’re on the lead lap and able to fight at the end.”

SEBASTIAN SAAVEDRA (No. 17 Automatic Fire Sprinklers KV AFS Chevrolet): “We went in to qualifying blind as we weren’t able to do a qualifying simulation during the final practice session. That, of course, influenced the small lift I had during my run, which really killed the speed at a track where you need to be running flat the whole time. The Automatic Fire Sprinklers, Inc. – KV AFS Racing car feels great in race mode, very fun to drive and we made a lot of passes during the practice session. It’s just unfortunate that we’re not starting a little further up. We will move forward to tomorrow and with the combination of a good strategy from the team and great pit stops, I’m confident we will have a good result.”


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