IndyCar Series: Watkins Glen Indy Grand Prix presented by Tissot
Topics: Watkins Glen Indy Grand Prix presented by Tissotg
June 4, 2006
WATKINS GLEN, NEW YORK
Q. Scott, your thoughts as you passed a lot of the cars that were fast and were having big problems, either spinning out, crashing, having to come in.
SCOTT DIXON: It was kind of hard to tell who was fast because people were up and down so often throughout the stints. I know Marco was doing quite well there a little bit. But I was sitting behind Helio to save fuel. I know Helio's car was not as good as ours. Same with Buddy Rice at the end. I knew I passed him before and he'd been struggling.
I think it was a day where we were pretty confident throughout the race, knowing that we had the speed to do it. It's just if the strategy was going to work out for us. But whenever you're passing a fast car or catching a fast car, it's pretty good for the confidence.
Q. Were you surprised to see Marco and Cheever after their incident?
SCOTT DIXON: I think they've come together somewhere else, haven't they? St. Pete, I think. The youngest and the oldest.
No, it doesn't surprise me. It's going to happen. Not necessarily those two. I didn't even know that Marco was wrecked, to be honest. I knew Cheever was because I saw his car over here. And where Marco's car was pulled off, I didn't see. They told me on the radio after that I think we had passed him when I was following Helio, and Eddie was struggling a little bit.
The cars were tough to drive out there today. You knew there was going to be a lot of yellows just because of the conditions.
Q. Talk about the final segment. You had the restart, caution, restart immediately after that. How important was it to get an immediate reaction?
SCOTT DIXON: It was really tough. You know, I think a lot of the time you're just trying to weave back and forth to make sure there was temperature in the tires. With the slicks, as soon as they cool off where you drive through a little bit of a puddle, they lose so much grip. I think it is hard for all of us to know how hard you can go into that next corner because you're not really sure if the car is going to do it.
Was actually trying to lag back and not get the pace car for another couple laps to see if time would run out and we'd just have a finish under yellow. That kind of threw me off there and they said we were to go green the next time by. That kind of screwed that.
It was tough. Especially when that rain came towards the end, it was very hard to know how fast you could go with the car through the corners.
Q. Five Indy Racing League races, four different winners. Talk about your chances for the trophy at the end of the year? You've put yourself right back in it.
SCOTT DIXON: Yeah, I think once Indy is over, you put so much time and concentration on one winning Indy, it's so anti-climactic when you don't walk you a way from with a win. Congratulations to Sam because he drove a hell of a race. I think after that race is over, all you want to do is win the championship.
You know, starting here I think was kind of a blessing in disguise for us because we knew we'd do well here. It is a track I love to come back to. There is nothing more that we want to do than win a championship. You know, we've definitely put ourselves back in it. I think we're second, only 12 points out of the lead over Helio. It was a good day actually for points of those two boys having a bad day. Not to be down on them, but it was good to see.
So, yeah, I think we're right back in there. Both cars, I think it's both teams pretty much at the moment to fight for that championship.
Q. If you look at the top five, probably a surprise with people you saw up there. Did that make any difference in your mindset that it wasn't Castroneves or who most people would have thought would win the race?
SCOTT DIXON: I think, you know, weather conditions like this is going -- it's kind of almost like the 500. A lot of the times, you know, this year, it's probably the least expected guy that you're racing with at the end, you know, when you're fighting such tragic conditions or uneven conditions. A lot of the guys fell off early. Helio was struggling I think most of the day. His car wasn't fast. Sam spun early.
It is kind of surprising at the end. But, you know, you could see it happening just because it's one of those days.
But it was good to see Vitor up there. I think, you know, with Briscoe coming back ending up third, it's great to see. He's a hell of a driver. I just wish he could get a full-time ride.
Q. After Dan Wheldon's half shaft, did you start to thinking about maybe something with your car?
SCOTT DIXON: It's kind of good. You're the first person to tell me that. Yeah, the team normally doesn't tell us what's going on. I'm sure it's in the back of their minds. You know, I think with previous years, I'm probably the hardest guy on drive trains. I think I've broken just about everything.
Yeah, that's a good thing, I guess. It's definitely bad for Dan. But, yeah, I didn't know about that.
THE MODERATOR: Scott, congratulations once again on your second straight victory here at Watkins Glen. See you back up here next year maybe.
SCOTT DIXON: Hope so. Thank you very much.
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