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IZOD IndyCar Series: Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit

Open Wheel Racing Topics:  Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit

IZOD IndyCar Series: Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit

Mike Conway
Ryan Hunter-Reay
James Jakes
Alex Tagliani
E.J. Viso
May 31, 2013


THE MODERATOR: We'll get started with today's post qualifying press conferences. We will start with James Jakes who qualified fourth. This is a career-best qualifying result for James.
James, talk about today's qualifying.
JAMES JAKES: Yeah, obviously it was pretty tough out there with the conditions. I think the biggest key was staying patient. We were out in the first group, of the first 12. It was quite a bit wetter, you just had to make sure you had a clear lap at the end of the session with a couple of minutes to go to maximize the potential out of the car. I think we did that.
Been pretty happy with the pace all weekend, especially in practice this morning. But the balance on the reds changed quite a bit. Still got a little bit of work to do. Obviously with the weather coming in, what they're forecasting tomorrow, starting up as high as you can is going to be key. We got a great position.
THE MODERATOR: He's also been joined by Mike Conway.
Mike, talk about today's qualifying.
MIKE CONWAY: Yeah, obviously with the drying in our session, it was a case you got to get that time in. The tires just start to go off really quick. I did one time, tried to back off, go for another one. That was enough to put me through.
Obviously the other two after that were still tricky. Drying conditions, and in the end there, tires got pretty hot. But, yeah, to be third straight back in the car again is good.
Thank you to Dale Coyne for making this possible and all the guys on the team.
THE MODERATOR: Our IndyCar Series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay qualified fifth.
Ryan, walk us through your qualifying run today.
RYAN HUNTER-REAY: It was a lot of fun. I really enjoyed it with the rain, the drying track. It keeps you nervous, keeps us on your toes. You're always searching every lap for that 10th of a second, which is a lot of fun in these cars.
I don't know where the speed went that last round because in the top 12 we were 80.2, then only 2/10ths quicker in the Fast Six.
A little disappointed with it. But we're in the Fast Six. We're starting up front. We should be able to go have a good day.
Unfortunately, Mike Conway is here crashing the Fast Six party again.
MIKE CONWAY: Sorry, man (laughter).
RYAN HUNTER-REAY: Never count him out.
THE MODERATOR: We're joined by E.J. Viso, who will start in second place.
E.J., talk about today's qualifying.
E.J. VISO: Pretty much mirroring what the other guys said. This is a busy track. They keep us busy. This qualifying was fun. One of the sessions was a fully wet session, then the second one was damp, then the third one was fully dry.
Team gives us a pretty competitive car. Little by little things are coming together. I'm excited to be once again in the front row. Congratulations to my friend Mike Conway who did a great job.
THE MODERATOR: We'll open it up for questions.

Q. Guys, how unique is that between now and the race that you just qualified for you're going to be on the track qualifying for another race the next day?
RYAN HUNTER-REAY: I don't want to sound like Debby Downer, but the rules don't make any sense, with you getting locked into one group, all the odds getting locked into group one.
Yeah, very strange for sure. But you kind of roll with it and get going. It's all part of it.
MIKE CONWAY: I think it's funny. If you're lined up on that side, that would make a lot more sense.
E.J. VISO: It rains a little bit for one group, then not for the other, you're going to be screwed because the rules are not written the most clever way.

Q. Mike, you come and go in this series. You turn up, you win races. Today you've qualified third. How difficult is that, particularly for a smaller team? And what was the track surface like out there, particularly the new section?
MIKE CONWAY: Yeah, I mean, obvious not easy jumping in and getting the job done.
I think obviously Justin has done a great job with the car over the year. It felt good. It's definitely a handful around here. Yeah, no, just felt comfortable as soon as I got in. If you can just get up to speed really fast knowing everything is all good, makes your job a lot easier.
Yeah, didn't have too much time to prepare for this one and the last one. But still happy with third and I hope we can do well in the race.
JAMES JAKES: It's fun to drive. It slows a lot better than the old one used to do. When you go down into three, four, five, six, it's fun. The asphalt and concrete, you get a balance shift mid entry to the corner. A big thank you to the Penske organization for doing such a great job here, making it so fun to drive.
E.J. VISO: I think this Grand Prix every time is getting stronger. The changes they've been doing, for sure they needed to do changes for this car on the tarmac and the asphalt joints. They did a great job. It definitely keeps us very busy due to all the grip changes. It's fun. It's the same for everyone.
RYAN HUNTER-REAY: Big thanks to Mr. Penske and his group for extending the track back to the way it used to be when CART was here.
E.J. VISO: I think Helio didn't like it (laughter).
RYAN HUNTER-REAY: It's definitely fun. It's violent in the car, but it certainly improved a lot with the new pavement.
THE MODERATOR: We also have Alex Tagliani joining us. He qualified sixth.
Alex, your second consecutive top-six qualifying result. Walk us through today's qualifying session.
ALEX TAGLIANI: Yeah, it's really nice to be back in the front. Obviously we struggled a little bit with the new tires this year, from the beginning of the year. We worked a lot. The team worked a lot. Kind of nervous at the beginning to unload the car, being a one-car team. We unload and the car was really fast. Really happy about that. The team did a great job.
Qualifying, car was really good. Made some changes. Got really greedy at the end. We knew we had a chance at the pole. We kind of messed up the car a bit. It was really unfortunate because the car is really fast. Hopefully we can make it up in the race.

Q. Can you tell us more, Ryan, about calling it violent? Also how key is positioning here in terms of qualifying?
RYAN HUNTER-REAY: Yeah, in the car it's extremely bumpy, low level the grip because it is a new surface. You're constantly sawing at the wheel in there. It's really busy, especially once the rubber gets washed away with a little bit of rain. The balance you just had changes.
It's tough to stay after, that's for sure. Yeah, it's going to be tough to pass, it always is on street circuits. Optimistic we can get more passing done in turn three, with the difference between red and black tires, the alternates and primaries.
We now have two passing zones instead of just one.

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