IZOD IndyCar Series: Honda Indy 200 presented by Westfield Insurance
Topics: Honda Indy 200 presented by Westfield Insurance
August 8, 2010
THE MODERATOR: We'll wrap-up with Helio and Will. Congratulations.
Congratulations, Dario. Today's race was Dario's 25th IndyCar race win which now ties him with Gordon Johncock as 12th on the all-time race win list. Also it's a pretty big win for Target Chip Ganassi Racing, providing team owner Chip Ganassi his third win of the weekend. If you could talk about today's race and especially these three wins for Chip.
DARIO FRANCHITTI: Quite a lot of things running through my head right now, getting to that quarter century, doing it here at Mid-Ohio, a place I found almost every way to lose a race. 12 years ago it was my first pole here. It's very satisfying.
I think the key to the race, obviously the Target car was very fast. I drove every lap like it was a qualifying lap today, whether I was behind Will or ahead of Will. But the key was that first pit stop by the Target boys to get me out ahead, especially a 35-foot pit box. It's the tightest we run. In practice, we couldn't get the thing out of the box with Will parked in his or get it in properly. But when the race win was on the line, it didn't seem quite as difficult and managed to pass him. I think that was the key today, because we were incredibly evenly matched on the track.
As far as Chip winning three races, I watched the Grand-Am race and watched the great job that Scott and Memo did. Before I got ready today, I was watching the Cup race. Juan was leading. Coming up to one of the restarts, literally I think I was running third behind Tags and T.K., just about to go green, they came than and said, Montoya just won at the Glen, so it's up to you now. I thought, Oh, God, no pressure now.
That's incredible for Chip and the teams to dominate like that. I think it says a lot about the job that Chip does, the people he puts in place, the partners he has. He works so bloody hard at it, it's nice to see him get this kind of success.
Q. Take us through the in-and-outs in the pits.
DARIO FRANCHITTI: Yeah. Well, the in was critical to sit close to Will coming in. But then as I approached my box, I couldn't really see because Scottie's guys were set up, too. I couldn't see the entry to my box. I had to back up and slow the entry down to make sure I got the car parked where it needed to be.
I'm sitting there, they're doing the tires, the fuel. As they drop the car, Kevin starts to wave me, I can see Will is still in his box. I thought, This is going to be tough. I did the things in the car I know to do to get the car swinging round. I got it swinging to the left, cleared Will. I could see him moving, too. For whatever reason, I had better traction and was able to pass him by, geez, I don't know, a foot, foot and a half, was getting damn close to the grass.
It's funny, these races sometimes come down to those small moments.
Q. (No microphone.)
DARIO FRANCHITTI: Yeah, I made a fairly bad start today. The guys on the inside - Will, Takuma - passed me. I was a good bit quicker. I was trying to size him up and I managed to get him in turn four, got a good run out of him on turn two and passed him on turn four, then could concentrate on catching Will and working on my fuel mileage a little bit more to try to stretch that first window.
Q. Do you feel you have to finish one spot ahead of Will?
DARIO FRANCHITTI: You can only do your best. We all want to win the championship. Team Target, we want to win the championship. The only way we know how to do that is to do our best. If we can get it all together and we can start winning races, it's going to make our job a lot easier.
We've got to put pressure on Will. The last sort of Watkins Glen, Toronto, Edmonton, we finished on the podium every time, but Will was always a place ahead. That wasn't in our plan, wasn't helping us win the championship.
Then we look back at Iowa when we were leading the race and had that gearbox failure. You know, we're still a fair bit behind, but it's definitely doable. We'll keep fighting.
Q. (No microphone.)
DARIO FRANCHITTI: Not that bad. One point on the track I was worried about. I was able to gap him every time. I was quite happy. I was driving pretty much as quickly as I knew how, not leaving much of a margin. But the gap was quite comfortable. I mean, it would have been a lot nicer if that last yellow hadn't come out. But I just kept my head down.
Q. (No microphone.)
DARIO FRANCHITTI: It's a track I've enjoyed driving. It's a track I've been quick on. Gil de Ferran and I still have the outright lap record from quite a few years ago. It's nice when it finally all comes together, have days like today.
Q. You had some heartbreak and close calls here.
DARIO FRANCHITTI: We've had quick cars here, but it takes so many different factors to win any race. There can be no mistakes. You know, you go back to 1999. We were leading the race by a very large margin and got a slow puncture. Can be something as simple as that. In '07, Scott and I were fighting it out. We thought we'd go a lap longer than him on fuel, gap him, win the race. We caught traffic on that in lap, Scottie won the race. It's all these little things and it takes them all to go right to win the race.
Q. Were you aware of Alex Tagliani?
DARIO FRANCHITTI: I knew Tags was on a different strategy, and so was Tony. When they were up front, they were pretty quick. It was fun to be up there with Tony and racing with him. Kind of thought what might have been had qualifying gone a bit more his way this weekend.
It's always fun to be up front there with T.K.
THE MODERATOR: Congratulations. We'll see you in Sonoma.
DARIO FRANCHITTI: Thank you, everybody.
|Connect with The Crittenden Automotive Library|