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IndyCar Series: SunTrust Indy Challenge presented by XM Satellite Radio

Open Wheel Racing Topics:  SunTrust Indy Challenge presented by XM Satellite Radio

IndyCar Series: SunTrust Indy Challenge presented by XM Satellite Radio

Sam Hornish, Jr.
June 30, 2007


MODERATOR: We're joined by Sam Hornish, Jr. Sam, obviously a strange start to the race, but take us through what happened at the beginning and how you sort of fought your way back through the night. Tell us about your race.
SAM HORNISH, JR: It was a frustrating night. We had a pretty good car, and I got a little bit of a decent jump on the start on the row in front of me, tried to pull down to go in front of the guys. As soon as I did, the back end came around. And not the start to the race that we wanted.
And all I can really say is I apologize to the guys who worked on my car. They do a great job and that was unfortunate. And first time I've done that.
So hopefully I'll never have to experience that again.
MODERATOR: You obviously saw what happened tonight with Dario when a guy has a car like that, what's your thought process there at that point when you see somebody dominating like that?
SAM HORNISH, JR: He was really tough to pass tonight. I think you saw that out there. He had a great car, ran well and I don't think he made a mistake all night. And obviously that's what you need to do around here.
And it was somewhat unfortunate. I don't know how many people you actually saw pass for position. I was up towards the front, just a shame we didn't get to qualify yesterday. Would have shaken things up a bit better. You take what luck you're given. That's not a statement saying he's not good. But a little bit of luck.

Q. (Off microphone) just how frustrating is it knowing your car is probably running the same speed as the leader?
SAM HORNISH, JR: It wasn't as frustrating as it was that last when I was trying to get him out on my last, and got blocked a little bit. And he held me down. Obviously being two laps down, trying as hard as you cannot to take the leader of the race out. I think that was pushing a little bit more than what was necessary.
But really good car. And that's the bad part about it, the first thing off the bat, spinning. We didn't notice that we broke the front wing, didn't have sufficient down force the first run. Once you were stuck back there, it didn't matter how much faster you were. You saw Franchitti, go up there, go up there lap cars and that's all the further he could go. Tough to pass out there tonight.

Q. And also halfway point of the season, obviously every point is important and you have to feel, kick yourself a little bit that you gave away a lot of points tonight to try to catch a guy that's already got a pretty good points lead?
SAM HORNISH, JR: No doubt about it. I was pushing my share to win the back -- I had the problem right off the bat and I was just, I don't know, I thought we had a good run. Halfway point of the season, that was a lot of points to give up. But I know it's not over yet.
We had the lead with four races to go last year, then an engine failure. We had it in Michigan and ended up losing the lead in the points. Got passed by not only the second and third but fourth place car in the points. I know the tide can swing and we have to keep working hard at it.

Q. (Question off microphone)?
SAM HORNISH, JR: The only thing that's really different, the car's engine, the driver, for the most part, are the same, track's the same. Unfortunately, the only thing different was the tires, and as I said, they got (indiscernible) and that's exactly what it was. Makes the car push a little more. You've got the car in front of you, the more push you got. In the turn you start the car off a little bit looser in the beginning of the race, the beginning of the run, so it pushed it out at the end.
Then you get a situation like I had with the car being loose and make a mistake early on.

Q. There was also the fact that there was no practice. It rained, whatever the track looked like when you practiced a day ago. Then there's two races out there. How does that change and make the setup a total crap shoot?
SAM HORNISH, JR: I don't think that the rain so much has changed the track as it did the fact that we (indiscernible) qualifying and the four teams, 15th on the grid. Started in the top six, that's how it goes sometimes. We understand that. But that's basically, the track we started with yesterday morning when we started, had no IndyCar rubber. And I wouldn't say it's a lot different. It's whether or not you can adjust your car back to that and realize what that's going to happen.
MODERATOR: Thanks, Sam.

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