IZOD IndyCar Series: Iowa Corn Indy 250
Topics: Iowa Corn Indy 250
June 23, 2012
THE MODERATOR: We are pleased to be joined by Ryan Hunter‑Reay. Today's victory moves him into second in the championship points standings. Talk about a great race for you and the team.
RYAN HUNTER‑REAY: Thanks, guys. It's really great to see all of you in here. That's what I said last weekend when we won Milwaukee; I want to do it more often. I said it was hard work last weekend at the mile, but these short ovals, just they are a handful. Once you get to about halfway through the tire lights, you're just doing everything you can to keep the car from hitting the wall on exits, and getting through traffic is extremely tough.
But I really have to thank my teammate Marco Andretti and the 26 team for coming here, testing. They were the one car from our team that tested and did an excellent job with the car, and we basically raced what they came up with in the test. So it's a huge credit to them and really, the team is working very well together.
So it's great to get another victory for the 28 DHL SunDrop team and get Chevy back on top, as well. It's definitely nice being two in a row. Two in a row, that's a game changer; that's when you know we need to start running up here more often and putting performances like tonight together.
Q. We see you and your teammates and engineers routinely debriefing on pit lane, fairly informal collaborative and just cracking up; maybe not that formal in the way in the trailer kind of thing. Do you think that collaborative effort, kind of easy relationship you guys seem to have has played a role in the team coming forward so quickly?
RYAN HUNTER‑REAY: Absolutely it does. That's a good point. There's nothing standing in the way‑‑ there's nothing standing in the way communication‑wise with all of us.
. We are very open with what we find. If one of us finds something that works, we are communicating it to the others, because we know it will benefit us and it's already worked.
We have only been working the three of us together for, what, eight, nine races now, and it has a lot of potential, because we really, the communication is great. The atmosphere within the team is the best it's been since I've been here for sure. We are quick and as a group and after practice, we always get together like you said and we hash it out on what we thought worked for one another and what we think didn't, and that certainly makes a difference when you have a three‑car team.
Q. Not only are you second in the points but you are three out, looking at the races coming up, some road course races, how viable is it that you're going to be at Fontana battling for the championship?
RYAN HUNTER‑REAY: You know, it all comes down to consistency and that's how championships are won. We have to be consistent. We have to go week‑in and week‑out and be consistently strong and be within the Top‑5, for sure, every weekend and certainly the Penske team will and the Ganassi guys and also some wild cards will show up on a lot of these street and road courses.
So we have to be good there. But we do have Fontana on the schedule and our cars have been really good on the ovals, even the big ones. We just have to be consistent. That's all we are really focused on, and we are at a point now where we are happen way through the season.
So there's still a long, long way to go. I for sure don't feel like I'm almost there so to speak. I have the same feeling I had after I left Milwaukee: This is not good enough. We need to dig deeper and that's what we need to do for sure.
Q. The heat races earlier in the week, do you feel like you learned a lot about the car and everything from those and that helped you out tonight? Or once you got out was it a wash and start all over again?
RYAN HUNTER‑REAY: The thing about the heat races, I love the idea but we are all on new tires, and on new tires as you saw tonight, everybody kind of runs single file until the tires fall off halfway through the stint, which happens to be the last 30, which is where we finished the heat races last night.
So we were just getting to the interesting point in the tires when the checkered flag came down. We found out what not to do last night. We tried something and we figured if we try it, we need to try it now because tomorrow night, we need to make this thing stick. We found out what didn't work, which sometimes is as valuable as finding out something that does.
Q. Noticed there was a couple of incidents coming out of corner two; was that a tricky spot tonight?
RYAN HUNTER‑REAY: The car is so light, because of the reduced downforce that we have this year, this track raced a lot different. Coming out of turn two, you were on a four‑wheel drift in traffic and you're sliding, trying not to hit the wall; and at the same time you're trying to set up a pass.
It was extremely tricky coming out of two. You had moments where you thought you don't have enough grip; and you come around the next lap and the rear would be coming around on you. It was extremely dodgy at times, and it was difficult, really, to keep on top of your tools in the car. The guys asked me at one point, "Do you want more front wing?" And I was like, I don't know, I don't know if I do, because at one end I want it. And the other end I don't and at this point in the tires I do and at this point, I don't. Very difficult. Very difficult.
THE MODERATOR: Ryan, congratulations on back‑to‑back wins and thanks for taking the time to join us.
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