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IndyCar Series: Peak Antifreeze Indy 300 presented by Mr. Clean

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Open Wheel Racing Topics:  Peak Antifreeze Indy 300 presented by Mr. Clean

IndyCar Series: Peak Antifreeze Indy 300 presented by Mr. Clean

Dario Franchitti
September 8, 2007


MODERATOR: Anything else for Scott or T.K.? Thank you very much.
Dario, where we left off, if you would talk about your day out there.
DARIO FRANCHITTI: Yeah, my day started off very well. First run already I knew the Canadian Club car was very fast, which is something I haven't had here at Chicago before. And it's a big part of running up front here, just getting a good car, very good balance in the car. But the speed was there as well.
We were able to tweak the car through the first and second sessions just to get a good balance, got good balance in traffic, good balance on our own.
So that was up until qualifying. We ran quite a bit quicker in practice, in qualifying, than we ran in qualifying itself. And I saw that number, I was quite shocked. I thought did I do something wrong or has the track slowed down. It looked like the track it slowed down quite a bit.
So I'm really happy to be starting this race from pole and hopefully we can keep it up front tomorrow.

Q. Dario, what kind of a threat or what sort of a threat do you rate Scott Dixon as?
DARIO FRANCHITTI: He's been a big threat for a long time. He's one of those guys, you can never count him out. Never count him out. The usual suspects, the ones you see up front week in week out, you can't count them out. Scott, Dan, my teammates, Tony, Marco, Danica, the Penske guys.
I made the mistake of counting Tony out this year at one point. I thought it was a two-horse race for the championship. Tony didn't say anything to me, he just went out and won a bunch of races and put himself in the championship fight. And I don't count them out. And Scott is as tough as anybody out there.

Q. Will there be any team tactics used by you guys tomorrow?
DARIO FRANCHITTI: I don't know about team tactics. We'll certainly help each other out there if we can. We've done it on big tracks quite a lot, to the point I thought it was one of the reason that Dan drove into the side of me in Michigan, he was getting frustrated. But as far as we'll use our teammates to go forward, I think. We won't use our teammates in a negative way.

Q. That's really just part of the sport, isn't it?
DARIO FRANCHITTI: Absolutely. You see teammates work together very well, especially in IndyCar Series. I think we've seen it with pretty much all the teams.

Q. Dario, winning the pole, you were fast out there early; and did you expect to stay there, or did you think somebody was going to knock you out? You were there a long time.
DARIO FRANCHITTI: Yeah, it was flashbacks to Indy a little bit. Sitting there watching everybody take a pot at the Speedway. I wasn't sure. I wasn't sure had we got the most out of the track the way it was, or had the track slowed down or had we made a mistake. It proved to be that the track had slowed down.
So qualifying is such, it's a small part of what goes into tomorrow. It's nice to start up front, have a clear track. And the trick is to stay there through all the craziness out there, all the passing and all the pit stops and all that stuff. So we've got to work hard on keeping the car out there tomorrow.

Q. For lack of a better term, the last three, four weeks have been crazy for you. How have you been able to push that craziness aside and remain focused on what you have to do?
DARIO FRANCHITTI: I guess practice, Bruce. I've been doing this a long time. 24 years, I guess, 23 years I've been racing. And you learn to put things out of your mind and go on with the job. It's been crazy with -- just look back from Michigan onwards. You get on with it. And each week you try to do a better job.

Q. What do you think about Japan Hideki driver?
DARIO FRANCHITTI: I think Hideki raced in the UK against my brother. So my brother knew him from then. I think he did a very good job in the IPS series this year. I watched him closely. I haven't been on the track with him so far. But his pace looks very good. I think he's got a good future.

Q. What do you think your feeling is going to be tomorrow after the race whether you win or lose the championship; do you think you'll feel relief that this thing is finally over with?
DARIO FRANCHITTI: I think my feelings will depend on the result. If I win it, there will be relief. If I don't win it, I'll wish there was another three or four races.
It really -- it comes down to this, doesn't it?
MODERATOR: Dario, thank you.

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