IndyCar Series: Kansas Lottery Indy 300
Topics: Kansas Lottery Indy 300
April 29, 2007
KANSAS CITY, KANSAS
THE MODERATOR: We're joined by our second-place finisher, Dario Franchitti. His best finish since a second place in Infineon in 2006. Dario has finished in the top 10 in all four races this year.
Dario, talk about your day out there.
DARIO FRANCHITTI: Yeah, it was a good day. Started off, it was very, very tricky conditions on the track with the high wind and the rubber from the truck race yesterday. The Firestones don't mate very well with that rubber, so the track was really, really slippery for the first stint. Those first laps were pretty difficult just hanging on to the car.
Then we -- as the run went on, we started making up places. Then we had -- I think Tony had a problem. We made some places up because of that. I think we were running third. We had a miscue in the pits. We came in. The pits had just closed for the yellow so they made us do another pit stop.
I think our day, could sort of summarize, the car was a bit tricky to drive at the start of every stint, but by the end it was very quick. Unfortunately every time it was a yellow, seemed you'd have Dan and Dixon up front, then a bunch of lapped cars, then me and the Penskes. Those lapped cars weren't making it very easy.
But all in all, pretty happy. The pace of the Andretti Green cars has definitely improved. It's a good momentum builder into Indianapolis. The Canadian Club car looks good
Q. Dario, Dan told ESPN he doesn't feel like he's the favorite to win at Indy next month. Considering he's won two of the first four races, he's led 485 laps, do you think he's being falsely modest?
DARIO FRANCHITTI: Dan's not really known for his false modesty (laughter).
I don't know. Definitely Indianapolis is a different type of track than these one-and-a-half-miles. The regulations for sure are different. Run as little downforce as we want. I'm hoping we're going to be a little bit stronger when it comes to that race with Andretti Green cars, all five of us at that race.
I think Dan's definitely one of the favorites.
Q. Last year Andretti Green struggled quite a bit. They were off the mark. What have you done over the winter to pick up the pace to be back up near the front?
DARIO FRANCHITTI: Yeah, we did, we struggled a lot last year, all four cars. We've just worked hard. The owners gave the engineers a good development budget to go and find the speed. And with a formula such as we run in IndyCar, everyone in Dallaras, Hondas, Firestones, it's all the small things you got to find. These guys have been working hard over the winter and continue to do so because we feel the opposition, particularly Ganassi and Penske, they're moving that bar up higher and higher. We've definitely made inroads into that, but we still got a little bit further to go.
Q. By lap 40, were you aware that you were basically the AGR flag carrier? There was a lot of talk before the race, teammates, two red cars. You were really out there alone. Could you talk about that a little bit.
DARIO FRANCHITTI: Yeah, I was. It was disappointing because I think Tony was very strong today. I felt it was disappointing for him, what happened in the pits. But, no, everybody played nice today. Sometimes you get teammates doing things to help. Especially I think Hornish was a lap down, and he -- when running with him, he was behaving very well, not trying anything crazy to hold me up or anything.
I don't think it hindered me today, being out there on my own. It would have been nice to have TK up there, but it wasn't to be.
Q. Were Wheldon and Dixon that good?
DARIO FRANCHITTI: I definitely felt I struggled a bit the first stint simply because I had to get through traffic, where I think they had a clear run at it. And, as I said, my car got better as the stint went on. By the time my car was up to what I felt was a good balance, was running quickly, they were gone. That was a continuing theme all day with, again, the restarts, with them being up front and me having to fight through X number of back markers that seemed to start going quite a bit quicker when you come up to lap them. It's interesting like that. I guess if they drove like that all race, they wouldn't be a lap down, right?
THE MODERATOR: Dario, thank you very much.
DARIO FRANCHITTI: Thanks, guys. See you in Indy.
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