INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY
MAY 17, 2015
SCOTT DIXON, NO. 9 TARGET CHIP GANASSI RACING CHEVROLET – Pole Winner
“To be honest, it was a little better than what we thought, especially on the first lap. I thought we would be around a mid-226 mph or a low 226 mph. I’m not sure if we got a gust of wind, but we’ll take it. I think the Team Target guys did a hell of a job to get the combination together. You just have to take your best guess at it and hope it works. Winning the pole means a lot. I’m just so proud of everybody at Team Target whether it’s the engineers and everybody that has worked so hard to get the speed out of this car. I’m stoked. Just extremely happy that we are on the pole. I wasn’t sure when we went so early that it was going to stick, but I’m glad it did.”
ON THE POLE WIN:
“It means a lot. I think with all the preparation that goes into qualifying alone we still have the race to come next week. I’m just so proud of everybody at Team Target whether it’s the engineers and everybody that has worked so hard to get the speed out of this car. It was definitely a tough day. I’m stoked. Just extremely happy that we are on the pole I wasn’t sure we went so early that it was going to stick.”
HOW IMPORTANT IS IT FOR YOU TO START UP FRONT?
“It’s always a lot better than starting anywhere else. Obviously we try to keep Chip happy and that is not always an easy thing to do. I just have to thank all the people on the team. All these people that work with us. Obviously my teammates too, TK (Tony Kanaan) was some good humor back at the truck as we were watching some of the other competitors go. I thank all of them for their support. I don’t know, we are starting in the right place, but it’s a long race. We want to replicate what we did in 2008.”
HOW DIFFICULT WAS IT BEING THE THIRD CAR OUT? HOW TOUGH WAS IT TO WATCH THE SESSION?
“It’s daunting. I hadn’t been in that situation before. I can’t exactly remember how 2008 played out, but I don’t think we went that early. I think not having the fast nine there is no second chance that was it. You have a 30 minute practice to try and combine your best effort with the new configuration that we have and I don’t know man I’m just so damn happy for this team it’s fantastic, so happy for Target, we are starting on the pole for the Indianapolis 500 now we just got to try and stay there for the last one.”
IS THAT WHAT YOU GUYS EXPECTED?
“To be honest, it was a little better than what we thought, especially on the first lap. I thought we would be kind of around a mid-226 mph or a low 226 mph. I’m not sure if we got a gust of wind. But we’ll take it if that is what is going to help. It is hard going early because a lot of our competition or the ones that will be fighting for the pole will obviously coming quite late on in the run especially Penske guys. I think the Team Target guys did a hell of a job to get the combination together. The worked hard. You work and your mindset is on one combination a for a whole week, even the lead up to it on low boost. Then a low configuration and a high boost, then it changes. You just have to take your best guess at it and you got a small feeling in a session and you really know how it is going to be.
“Today with these long days and when you are not out in the car but just talking about scenarios and things. It is nerve wracking to be getting in a car that you haven’t really driven because the combination has changed so much. All-in-all we are doing our best. We are confident in our race setup. That is what counts.”
CHIP GANASSI, TEAM OWNER, NO. 9 TARGET CHIP GANASSI RACING CHEVROLET
“This is a real testament to the team. The driver really comes into play during the race. Obviously you need a great driver here, but qualifying is just all about the team. Preparation and the Target team just did a great job here today. I couldn’t be more happy with them, Scott Dixon, Mike Hull, the engineers, everybody. I’m blessed to have great guys like that to work with.”
ON THE CHALLENGES OF THE DAY:
“We felt we had a pretty good car prior to that. Going backwards is a lot easier than going forward. My hats off to Roger Penske and his team, they keep us honest. When you beat them you have done something at this place. I feel pretty good about that.”
WILL POWER, NO. 1 VERIZON TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET – QUALIFIED 2ND
“We would like to be on pole, but if we get a front row out of it, that will be good too. Now it is on to thinking about the race and seeing what we can do there.”
ON WEATHER AFFECT ON THE CAR:
“It is very planted, it is very easy. So everything you can do to get drag off the car it is going to make a difference.”
SIMON PAGENAUD, NO. 22 AVAYA TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET – QUALIFIED 3RD
ON HIS QUALIFYING EFFORT:
“It was a great run. First of all I just want to thank Team Penske. It’s incredible to be part of this team. The car preparation they are they are giving us, the engineering behind, the resources that we have is just unbelievable. That is what put the AVAYA Chevrolet up here on the front row so far. I’m really happy. I think considering what happened this morning and the change in the rules; it’s awesome to be up there on the time charts. In the other configurations I think we could have fought for the pole position. I understand it is what it is. I’m pretty proud of our effort today.”
TONY KANAAN, NO. 10 NTT DATA CHIP GANASSI RACING CHEVROLET – QUALIFIED 4TH
“It’s a bit of a shame, because I think we had a much faster car than what we showed out there. We went a little aggressive on our qualifying setup and unfortunately we picked up some understeer during the run and it cost us quite a bit of speed. It is what it and there’s nothing we can do about it, but now we’ll just put all of our focus on tomorrow’s practice.”
“It was a difficult run. We definitely didn’t do as good of job as we wanted it to do. We picked up a little bit of understeer during the run and it cost us a lot of speed. But, it is what it is. There is nothing we can do about it and we have to go on from here.”
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT YOUR RACECAR?
“I’m alright. We have a good race car. I’m going to go for it again.”
HELIO CASTRONEVES, NO. 3 SHELL V-POWER NITRO TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET – QUALIFIED 5TH
ON MAKING CHANGES FOR QUALIFYING:
“Changing the plans like that it is obviously it gets everyone as a surprise, especially with only 30 minutes of practicing. But the good news is it went to some of the numbers that we already know what to do, still don’t get me wrong, because it was numbers we hadn’t run and only 30 minutes. The team actually did a great job. I couldn’t support the series more in those situations you’ve got to make sure that everybody is in a safe position.”
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS, NO. 11 HYDROXYCUT – HAUS VAPORIZER KVSH CHEVROLET – QUALIFIED 7TH
“I had one big moment. On my first lap I got one big gust (of wind) out of turn two going into turn three and I almost hit the fence. Other than that the run was pretty much under control. It was very consistent. We didn’t make any changes after the morning practice when we didn’t have the speed we wanted, the Hydroxycut Haus Vaporizer guys just rubbed on the car. At that point the worst thing you can do is overreact. The balance was alright it was just a matter of being more consistent and gaining a little bit of speed. The guys found a little problem with the floor and maybe that is what made the difference. I just tried to keep on top of my tools to make sure the scrub was at a minimum. We didn’t expect the speed I ran, so I can’t be any happier with the way qualifying turned out. Hats off to the Hydroxycut Haus Vaporizer crew. They did a really good job preparing the car.”
JOSEF NEWGARDEN, NO. 21 CENTURY 21 CARPENTER FISHER HARTMAN RACING – QUALIFIED 9TH
“Anytime you qualify for the Indy 500 it’s a good day. All of us at CFH Racing are happy, we’re looking pretty solid. We got all three cars solidly in the mix after we’ve definitely had a tough week. We’ve had some issues, things not go our way, and some unlucky instances, but we’ve kept striding. The whole CFH Racing group has been amazing; we had to build two brand new racecars basically. They built my car overnight on Thursday and they built Ed’s in about two hours that has to be a record time to build a car.
“The four lap average was not bad considering where we came from. We’ve had good cars all week, it has just been a little difficult with some issues, some unforeseen things, and then the crashes happened. CFH Racing has been amazing, we’ve got all our cars in the field and that’s pretty much all you can ask on qualifying day. Obviously we’d like to be a little higher, disappointed we’re not a little faster, sitting in the top ten is pretty good, it’s comfy enough.
“We’ve got a great racecar with the Century 21 car. We should be able to race to the front and you never know, it’s the Indy 500. You always have a chance to win this thing.”
ON HIS QUALIFYING EFFORT:
“All things considered I think we might end up in the top 10 here, pretty good for what we were doing. We got thrown a couple odd punches throughout this week that were unexpected and a couple of things we couldn’t really foresee that came up. We were able to put two T-cars in the show solidly, probably in the top 15 for everyone. That is hats off to CFH Racing they are just an amazing group. They really know how to get it done. They build cars faster than anyone I’ve ever seen and they build fast cars too. What we are going to be working to do is put the Century 21 Chevrolet in Winners Circle and I think we’ve got the team to make that happen.”
JR HILDEBRAND, NO. 6 PREFERRED FREEZER/CARPENTER FISHER HARTMAN RACING CHEVROLET – QUALIFIED 10TH
“I was thinking we were going to get a little bit more out of it, the conditions have changed. The track grip is better than we were anticipating. We ended up being a little bit conservative for the run. It’s obviously good to be in a Chevy here today. We’ll certainly have a good starting spot and I’m looking forward to the race. I’m looking forward to getting out tomorrow and getting the car ready for next Sunday. We definitely have high expectations. We had an awesome race car here last year; in fact, the fastest car I’ve had around this place was with this team last year, so we’ve set the bar high for ourselves. The race cars are good; they’ve felt good all week so we just have to do the little things. That’s how we were successful last year and that’s how we’ll be successful again this year, by just paying attention to the process.”
ED CARPENTER, NO. 20 FUZZY’S VODKA CARPENTER FISHER HARTMAN RACING CHEVROLET – QUALIFIED 12TH
“When I was upside down out of Turn 2 this morning, I didn’t know we were going to have the delays that we had. If things would’ve stayed on schedule, we would’ve been qualifying for a spot on the last row, but the way things worked out, it gave the team the time it needed to get a car ready for me. There’s definitely more there. It felt good. We were off a little bit on the gears, so just a gear change and we would’ve been well into the 225 mph range. I don’t think we expected to win the pole with the morning we had, so I’m just thankful for the whole CFH Racing team. All three crews pitched in and got the Fuzzy’s Vodka backup car ready. It was good teamwork and a great effort to get me out there and I’m very thankful.”
DID THAT LAP SURPRISE YOU?
“No, not really. We had that 30 minute session. It was a new engine and our gears were wrong. It wasn’t really a great session. I was trying to get comfortable, so we were able to clean things up from where we were in practice. There was a lot more there unfortunately the way the day went, we didn’t get an opportunity to get it all out of that car. Trying to be conservative too and not get in too big of a hurry and overstep it again. I’m happy to be in the race. First of all thankful to my team for stepping up and really coming through and building another car, all three groups on the team were phenomenal.
“We wanted to get in safe. Hopefully we will be in the top half. We can do it from there.
“I think the fans and the media were worried about three poles a whole lot more than I was. I’m happy I’m in the race. My goal forever and this year is to win this race. I’ve won the past two poles, and it doesn’t really do anything for me. They are cool. But I’m here to win the 500.”
YOUR THOUGHTS ON CHANGES TO RULES THIS MORNING:
“It is a tough spot to be in. I think we need to figure out what is really going on. They are doing the best they can. It is what it is and it is the same for everybody.
“I am extremely proud of my whole team. We have a couple of bad things happen. We’ve tore up cars, and they have responded with a ton of resiliency and come through in the clutch. I am proud of every person on our team.”
CHARLIE KIMBALL, NO. 83 NOVO NORDISK CHIP GANASSI RACING CHEVROLET – QUALIFIED 14TH
“I felt like the No. 83 Levemir® FlexTouch® Chevrolet had a solid run to put us in the show. I took pretty good care of the car and thankfully we weren’t right on the ragged edge. I’m just really proud of the Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing guys because they did a great job of adapting to everything that happened today and after yesterday was rained out. We’ll start in the middle of the pack, but I think we have a much better race car and we’ll be able to make some moves up to the front.”
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 2 VERIZON TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET – QUALIFIED 15TH
ON HIS QUALIFYING RUN AND IF IT IS WHAT HE EXPECTED:
“No I thought we were pretty good and the car balance was really good. Went out this morning and the third run was pretty competitive. Went out again and for some reason we lost a ton of time.”
HOW DID NOT HAVING YESTERDAY AFFECT YOU AND TALK ABOUT THE CHANGES MADE PRIOR TO QUALIFYING TODAY?
“It doesn’t. Drive when we need to drive. I think IndyCar did the right thing. Yeah, everybody wants to see cars go fast, but to be honest with you if you can tell the difference between a car going 230 mph and 235 mph down the straight then you are my hero.”
SAGE KARAM, NO. 8 COMFORT REVOLUTION/BIG MACHINE RECORDS CHIP GANASSI RACING CHEVROLET – QUALIFIED 23RD
“It’s just been a crazy last few days with the weather and the few rule changes that came about today. I think all of those factors definitely impacted the speed of the No. 8. It’s obviously not where we wanted to qualify, but 23rd is better than last year when I started 31st. I think all week we’ve had a much better race car than qualifying car. Starting back there is definitely going to make it more difficult to get to the front, but it’ll be a much better story when I do.”
TOWNSEND BELL, NO. 24 THE ROBERT GRAHAM SPECIAL CHEVROLET – QUALIFIED 26TH
“I’m really shocked, to be honest. After the first lap and I saw the lap speed, it was demoralizing. I came across the finish line and I thought there was a digit out on the steering wheel because it didn’t feel that bad. I am really disappointed with that qualifying run today. I was wide open and the Robert Graham Special wouldn’t go. I’m not sure I have had a qualifying attempt when the car just wouldn’t go. I feel I have been here at Indy too many times to be that surprised with a performance like that. We were two mile per hour faster earlier without a tow. The gearing felt right but the car just didn’t accelerate as we expected. We will go back and look over the data and see what we happened. I didn’t think we would start that far back in the field (26th) after the solid week we had in practice. We’ll run a number of laps on Monday to get prepared for the race next Sunday. The temperatures tend to increase as you get closer to the race. The crew worked so hard the past few weeks and the car was well-prepared. It just wouldn’t go in these conditions today.”
SEBASTIAN SAAVEDRA, NO. 17 AFS CHIP GANASSI RACING CHEVROLET – QUALIFIED 30TH
“I’m very frustrated with my qualifying run today. We were so competitive throughout the week and we’ve shown a great pace by ourselves. I went out there and I have no idea what happened. We lost three miles per hour and we started pulling on the front straight. We need to get back in the garage tonight and see what happened to make our speed so far off this today.”
STEFANO COLETTI, NO. 4 KV RACING TECHNOLOGY CHEVROLET – QUALIFIED 32ND
“I think we have a good race car, but a bit disappointed about the qualifying because it is the slowest we’ve been all week. We have to look at what happened and do better for next weekend.”
BRYAN CLAUSON, NO. 88 JONATHAN BYRD’S/CANCER TREATMENT CENTERS OF AMERICA CHEVROLET – QUALIFIED 33RD
“Not happy with it really at all. Felt like we had quite a bit more speed than that earlier today. Not really sure where it went. I think as a group we are struggling a bit, our teammates not much better than we are. We will have to go back and figure out where we left the speed and find it again before later today.”