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IndyCar Series: Detroit Indy Grand Prix presented by Firestone

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Open Wheel Racing Topics:  Detroit Indy Grand Prix presented by Firestone

IndyCar Series: Detroit Indy Grand Prix presented by Firestone

Scott Dixon
August 31, 2008


THE MODERATOR: Okay, we're joined by our 5th place finisher in today's race, Scott Dixon, the Championship points leader heading into the season finale next week. Scott currently has 606 Championship points; 30 points up on Helio Castroneves. Scott will win the Championship with a finish of 8th place or better next week in Chicagoland.
Scott, your run out there today, if you would, talk about the race?
SCOTT DIXON: Well, I don't think it was much of a race, to be honest. It was pretty pitiful. I don't know, the car was clearly quicker than anybody's. We were saving a ton of fuel up front and sort of having a merry old day, and that changed pretty quickly.
We left with a half tank after that caution. I think I was probably the only person or maybe a couple of others. It's just a hard situation when you're in that point when nobody else pits and you have a lot of slower guys that pitted early on and have a lot of fuel and you have to try to pass them.
That was pretty much the race. Then from that point on, we were just trying to pull up there.

Q. Why did you decide to pit so early?
SCOTT DIXON: I didn't decide it.

Q. In the morning practice session, you go out have a very fast time, and somebody else passes you like four other drivers. Each time you would come out and kick it up again, every time someone was faster. Were you trying to send a message to them that I'm quicker?
SCOTT DIXON: You mean this morning in practice?

Q. This morning in practice.
SCOTT DIXON: This morning we just did a couple of quick laps, and then we leaned it out and did sort of lean running. And the guys that went quicker actually put tires on. So there were four or five guys that put tires on toward the end of the warm-up. And we were just sort of saving fuel. I think we ended up saving some on the car. It's still decent. But we don't race that way, so we don't practice that way.

Q. Second week in a row you're not happy. Helio's not happy with the way things turned out. Does it baffle you a little bit that things are kind of the strategy doesn't seem to be going the way it should?
SCOTT DIXON: No, it's not calls or anything. We win as a team; we lose as a team. But I think, you know, my anger or whatever is just from frustration.
I think we clearly had the quickest car today. Nobody was going to touch us, and still we ended up fifth. So I think that's disappointing. I think that's what makes it tough to deal with.
So for the moment, yeah, we weren't the quickest car. We maybe had a top 5 at best, in the 6th position. But I think when you lose like that, it's very tough.

Q. How close were you on fuel at the end, and would you have had to make another pit stop had the race gone the full distance rather than the time distance?
SCOTT DIXON: You know, it's hard to tell with yellows. We were definitely I think we still had another three or four laps to go. We thought we were a little bit closer and then they shortened the race by a couple of laps, I think. And we didn't seem to have a problem there.
But I think most of us were sitting behind us, they were all trying to save fuel. I think everybody was in that same boat, which was kind of lucky for us, because we couldn't push it towards the end. So that definitely helps. It always depends on how the race goes. If we had another yellow, it would have been fine. If not, it would have been tough.

Q. When you got bogged there in the back 20 laps in, were you thinking, oh, man, here we go again like Sonoma? What did you do to just keep your cool as you sat back there in traffic throughout much of the race?
SCOTT DIXON: I had already seen that movie, man, and it's not a good movie to watch. It's unfortunately fresh in my mind.
You know, it's tough. We passed two or three people. You know, Tagliani was very tough to pass, and those are the guys that obviously they're going a long distance. At some point you think you're going to be maybe 20 laps behind them, so it's very tough to dive in there, especially when you're fighting for a championship, too. You have a lot of things you have to sort of balance out.
You know, it's not a pretty picture. Especially when the leaders at that point sort of go out, pull a big lead. Come in, pit, get fresher tires and more fuel than you. It's pretty frustrating.

Q. I'm sure you're aware by now what happened with Helio. In your five years in the IRL, have you ever seen that call made like that?
SCOTT DIXON: I remember a black flag at the 500 a few years ago, so I've been in that situation before. I don't know the ins and outs of it. But it's always a tough thing. I can't really comment on that. I think when you're in that position and you think it's a wrong call, it's tough to deal with. Unfortunately, you can't do much about it.
THE MODERATOR: Scott, we appreciate your time.

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