Bourdais claims pole for Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio

IndyCar, IndyCar News/Releases, INDYCAR PR — By on August 2, 2014 6:04 pm

TAKUMA SATO (No. 14 ABC Supply A.J. Foyt Racing Honda): “It was extremely slippery track conditions and I spun out on my out lap. The engine was still running and I tried to shift, but it was stuck in a false neutral at which time the engine shut off. It’s really a shame that we couldn’t complete a lap.”

CARLOS MUNOZ (No. 34 Cinsay HVM Honda): “It was my first Firestone Fast Six, so I’m really happy with that. One of my goals for the year was to make it into a Fast Six, and I did it. I’m also a little disappointed, because when you have a chance to get the pole position it’s tough to feel good about finishing fourth. I’ll have more shots at pole later this year, but this one was so close. I’m happy with the result. It’s a great position to start the race. It’s going to be a long race, and as we saw last year, strategy counts a lot here. We have to sit down and come up with a good strategy for the Cinsay car tomorrow.”

HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet): “The No. 3 Hitachi Chevy has been improving each time we got on the track; getting better in each session. Unfortunately the qualifying session was a bit crazy. Not only was it wet, there were so many yellows that we only got one timed lap in. At the end of the day it was the same for everyone. We were the first car out and tried some different lines. Sometimes that is not the best place to be. It gives the other guys some direction on where to run. It is what it is, though. We’ll just have to keep working and hope the race tomorrow is better than qualifying.”

CARLOS HUERTAS (No. 18 Dale Coyne Racing Honda): “I am happy with being in the top 10 for the start tomorrow. I think I could have maybe gone a little bit faster and maybe made it into the Firestone Fast 6. It was really difficult out there and it isn’t bad starting 10th. This is a great course and I’m getting comfortable after the test last week which went really well. Having that time on track makes me feel like I’m starting at a similar level as the other drivers, which is helpful since it is my first year in the series. All in all, it has been good. I’m looking forward to the warm up tomorrow to give us a better idea of the race pace. With such a long race, anything can happen.”

MIKHAIL ALESHIN (No. 7 SMP Racing Honda): “The rain changed everything this afternoon for qualifying. We had so many red flags during our group that the pressure was really on with everyone only getting one timed lap. I didn’t push as hard as I should have on that lap, because I really think we had the speed to transfer out of the first group. It’s a delicate balance, because of course I didn’t want to spin out of control pushing too hard and causing a red flag. It’s always a compromise between being on edge and taking care of your equipment. Today I didn’t find that ideal balance.”

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA (No. 2 Hawk Team Penske Chevrolet): “The No. 2 Hawk Performance Chevrolet was actually pretty good. I was really enjoying myself, but then again I love to be sliding around. When I’m sideways I’m comfortable. For me I was just trying to get two laps in that were quicker than my first lap to try to get into the next round. I got to (Simon) Pagenaud and tried to get around him, but I got a little too greedy. The spin and the red flag meant that we were going to lose our two fastest laps of the session so there wasn’t much we could do at that point. But the Hawk Performance Chevy was good. We finished P1 in the first session so I know it has good speed.”

GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 15 National Guard Honda): “It’s been a pretty good day for us. This morning I thought the National Guard car was very quick. I think we made some improvements in the dry conditions and were eighth and I think we were a little better than that. And then of course we got Mother Nature thrown at us for the qualifying session. To qualify seventh is pretty good. It’s a good place to start from, a good place to work from at this track. Obviously we would like to be further forward. We missed advancing to the Fast Six by one-hundredth of a second which is pretty hard to swallow but that’s kind of the way these things go. We had a good car in the dry so I’m looking forward to the race. It looks like it’s going to be a nice day. It’s great to be at home and it’s great to have the Ohio National Guard out here with us.”

JUSTIN WILSON (No. 19 Dale Coyne Racing Honda): “It was slick – very slippery out there. The car feels good. Unfortunately we weren’t quite quick enough to make it into the top six but when it’s wet like that, it’s a bit of a lottery. We’re starting eighth so we have a chance there and we’ll see what we can do in the race. I’m not sure what to expect in the race tomorrow. It’s going to be tough. We want to get to the front. We’ve been quick all weekend so we want to be at the front, but at the same time it’s hard to overtake here, it’s almost impossible. We’ll just have to play it smart and see what happens.”

MIKE CONWAY (No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka/Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet): “I thought our car was coming into a similar feeling like the test when we practiced this morning. And that is good. Then the rain came and we haven’t had a good grip level on the rain tires this year. I tried to push the car harder and it was sliding around too much. So we’ll hope to get back to the earlier setup and get a good car in the morning warm-up. This place is always difficult to get a proper lap. And it’s physical on the driver too. It won’t be an easy race.”

SIMON PAGENAUD (No. 77 Schmidt Peterson Hamilton Motorsports Honda): “We’re disappointed to start ninth, because our car has had more speed than that all weekend. We didn’t adapt to the rainy conditions as well as we should have. On the other hand, we know we have a good car for the race. If we come up with a solid strategy and the race falls our way, you never know what could happen.”

SEBASTIAN SAAVEDRA (No. 17 Automatic Fire Sprinklers KV AFS Chevrolet): “I am excited for the team for securing their third pole of the season. I’m a bit disappointed as we should have had both cars in the Firestone Fast Six as we had a strong car, but unfortunately we had limited laps because of the red. We showed in the final practice session this morning the strength we have. So with the better weather tomorrow we should be able to prove that again in the race. Congratulations to Bourdais on his pole and look forward to the race tomorrow.”


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