IndyCar-Post Race Party: The Drivers Own Words

Exclusive statements from drivers taken post race at the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama IndyCar event.

Tristan Vautier #55 Schmidt Peterson Racing  Honda
“It’s a little disappointing to finish tenth when you start third and run second but we showed good pace today. As a decision by the team, we did many changes between qualifying and the race to try and save the tires, but it didn’t work out that well, so it’s a good lesson to remember for next time. I made some mistakes and there was quite a lot of track position lost to that. It was a very good learning race, but obviously we didn’t get the result we wanted.”

Sebastien Bourdais #7 McAfee/TrueCar Dragon Racing Honda
“In the race I felt like we did just about as good as we could after starting 23rd. We were running 11th and Jay(Penske) was pushing me pretty hard to try and get Vautier. I did, and then messed up. It’s a bit of a shame, but at the end of the day I tried and tried and tried, and we were going to finish 13th, but on the White Flag I got a message on the radio saying ‘good run.’ To me, that was pretty much the end of the race, but apparently it wasn’t, so we lost another three positions and that’s pretty tough to swallow. I’m pretty disappointed about that because I got the message too late to look up and see which flag was out at the flag stand. I guess next time we’ll just have to communicate a little better.”

Alex Tagliani #98 Team Barracuda/Bryan Herta Autosport  Honda
“I think the weekend was alright. When we have races like this and can still manage to come back and finish 11th, it’s good. The boys did a good job in the pits and got me a position at the end when were were back battling with Graham, so that’s cool. You know, we think we got hurt a lot on the first stint of the race. We got hit from behind and we lost a big aero part in the rear bumper. Something around like 200 pounds of downforce, so we had to rebalance the car by taking some front wing out. When you do that, you’re just making it where the car slides around more, and on black tires that makes it worse, so it cost us on that first stint quite a bit. We fell all the way down to P20. I was just saying we could come in the pits and take some front wing out and after that we just started climbing our way back to 11th. We did the fifth fastest lap in the race, but I think our first stint really killed us, so I think it’s an okay result. I know we can’t be too upset about it. I think there’s people that are leaving with less points, and we scored a bit of points. Just to have weekends like this and still score points and capitalize on it is okay. We’ve been fast and when we can score podiums and win a race, it’ll be even sweeter.”

James Hinchcliffe #27 GoDaddy.com Andretti Autosport Chevrolet
“From what I gather, Graham got into the back of Oriol who got into the back of me and I got into the back of Tony(Kanaan). I hit Tony pretty square and there was no damage to the nose of our car. Oriol got into the back of me which broke something. I didn’t notice it right away, which I guess was a little bit unlucky in a sense because we got the one to go and I started warming the car up. As I was putting some stress on the rear of the car, the wheel broke, which is what it was ultimately. If that had’ve happened once we got back to Green Flag racing, or if it hadn’t gone yellow and I would’ve kept going around, it could have been a massive shunt around here. So in one sense it was a blessing in disguise that it happened when it did, but then it was frustrating to not be allowed to be towed back to the pits. This happened with Dixon last year at Long Beach and he sat in the car for the entire race, waiting for a caution. We had the exact same thing. For both of us it didn’t work out, because the caution never came. It’s too bad. Just missed opportunities. When you have a bad Saturday, you put yourself in positions for things like this to happen. It’s on us more than anybody. We just have to move on and put this behind.”

Oriol Servia #22 Charter/Mecum Auctions Panther/Dreyer & Reinbold Chevrolet
“We lost the bumper right away. I saw three cars abreast right in front of me going into Turn 8. I knew there was going to be trouble. I slowed down but I think Graham(Rahal) didn’t see what I saw and we all ran into each other and it was pretty bad. Graham got into my back and I got into Hinch. I got lucky that I only lost a bumper, but then obviously the car was not behaving it’s best with just half a bumper on. I was still able to do okay. We all know we’re better than our finish though.”

Charlie Kimball #83 Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
“It was pretty good. A lot of credit to Firestone, because the red(option tire) have a lot of grip and stayed that way through the whole stint. Strategy wise, maybe we should have gone with more reds instead of blacks in that third stint, but a lot of credit to the #83 Race With Insulin crew. They did a really good job in pit lane with clean stops. The Novo Nordisk team’s been working well with the whole Ganassi Racing crew all weekend. We came up with a solid car and I think to run up front like that, I’m pretty happy with it. Now we have to take the next couple of steps and get a win.”

Scott Dixon #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
(On finishing second for the 4th year in a row)”Yeah, it’s definitely getting a little annoying. I think we had the car to win today. We had a fumble at the start there with Hunter-Reay I think when he kinda stopped. Our whole line got fumbled and pushed us back to sixth or seventh at that point. We had to fight our way through the field. We had a fumble in the pits on either the first stop or second stop. I think otherwise we would have gotten Charlie(Kimball) since he was on blacks and we were on reds.”

One comment

  • I like your work. Very nice write up. Intersting what seb said. Dragon is an interesting team in a strange sort of way.