IndyCar Series: ABC Supply Company A.J. Foyt 225
Topics: ABC Supply Company A.J. Foyt 225
Sam Hornish, Jr.
July 23, 2006
THE MODERATOR: Sam Hornish, Jr., our second place finisher, maintains his points lead by 25 points over Scott Dixon.
Sam, if you could, at one time, started on the front row, fell a lap down to the leaders. What happened to the car early on in the race?
SAM HORNISH, JR.: We weren't quite handling the way we needed to be to be up there running with the leaders. We decided we would just try to save fuel, make it so we could do a two-stop race. That was the big thing for us. We came in for our first pit stop. Two cars in front of us that were a couple laps down came in front of us. They were going pretty slow, 50 miles an hour into pit lane.
It was just an unfortunate deal for us because that basically enabled us to lose the lap. We lost probably six or seven seconds the way everything worked out. We worked hard, fought as a team, got back on the lead lap, were able to get out of here with a second-place finish on a day when a lot of our competitors in the points championship didn't have very good days. Keep working away at it, see what we could do.
THE MODERATOR: Pit stop at lap 140, your crew got you back out on the lead lap first. Looked like they did a fantastic job.
SAM HORNISH, JR.: Yeah, we had pitted a little bit earlier than that, built the car back up. As soon as the tires were done, we could go do what needed to be done. One of those things where a good strategy call on Roger's part. Everything worked out the way it should have been. We didn't have any problems, were able to get out back on the lead lap, get around a bunch of people.
The days like today where you have to stick in there and just keep working away on it are the ones that are going to win you the championship.
Q. (No microphone.)
SAM HORNISH, JR.: As far as to get up there and challenge Tony, I don't know if I would have been able to get around to him, if I would have caught up to him. I restarted -- two restarts from the end, I think I was about 11th. I was all the way to the next lap car in line. I had a whole bunch of people to pass. I pushed the tires real hard for that stint. Tony could stay up there and save fuel, run a little bit lower, make sure he didn't have to abuse the tires at all.
When I got out of there, got pinched down with Marco. I lost a lot of ground to Tony. I figured, you know, it's better to stay there. We picked up a little bit of a vibration, whether or not we picked up something inside one of the wheels or what happened. Just enabled us to -- kept us from going up there and pushing real hard. I didn't know what was wrong. I didn't want to have something happen and end up in the wall with five laps or whatever. You can limp it around for a little while, as Helio proved at Richmond.
We just decided to stay there, save a little fuel, make sure we had enough to make it to the end, stay ahead of Scheckter.
Q. (No microphone.)
SAM HORNISH, JR.: 225 laps. I'm glad that's all it is. He had new tires on. Little bit of an advantage there versus hundred-lap tires. I think they had a great day, made a good call right there at the end because he got around a bunch of people. I'm glad I didn't have to hold him off any more laps than what I did.
Q. (No microphone.)
SAM HORNISH, JR.: Well, I mean, yeah, we wanted to make sure we made it to the end no matter what today because of our problems we had last week at Nashville. The big thing for me is, no matter what it takes, make sure we make it to the end.
I felt that, you know, Helio, what happened to him, the same thing almost happened to me about 50 laps sooner when Tomas went by me. Kind of went in there and went straight (indiscernible). If I didn't get out of the throttle, same thing would have happened, into the outside wall like he was.
It shows just exactly how close this points championship is. They put the car back together; he went out there and ran some more laps. That's the thing that you're going to have to do, because a small amount of points this way or that way is probably what's going to determine the win.
THE MODERATOR: When you went a lap down, did you start thinking big picture and points racing?
SAM HORNISH, JR.: I was a little bit upset, for quite a while, when we were a lap down 'cause, you know, at the time Scott was only two points behind me -- two positions behind me and Dan was like one position behind me or ahead of me. I thought, you know, this is the wrong thing we want to do this weekend. We want them to definitely not have a good weekend and us have a good one.
We decided to keep our heads down, work on the car, make it better. It was good enough to get us there in the end.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you much, Sam.
SAM HORNISH, JR.: Thank you.
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