IndyCar Series: Peak Antifreeze & Motor Oil Indy 300
Topics: Peak Antifreeze & Motor Oil Indy 300
September 6, 2008
THE MODERATOR: Scott, we appreciate your time. Good luck tomorrow.
We're joined by Helio Castroneves, second in points going into the final race and a fourth-place qualifying effort. You went out second to last. What was it like waiting and knowing what you had to do out there?
HELIO CASTRONEVES: Well, going to practice there was a lot of drafts out there, and I knew I had at least about the fifth-best car. Ryan seems to be the guy that would be a little bit faster. If I couldn't do it, I was counting on my teammate here and I'm glad that he did it.
Again, starting in the front, it was good. It's not like a road course here that you have a kind of advantage, but it's a place that if you have a good car you can pass in the race you're not going to not go anywhere. It's fine, fourth place, starting right behind actually Scott, so it'll be fun. I'm going to count on this guy here pretty much, because I'm going to need him for sure.
THE MODERATOR: And we are joined also by Ryan Briscoe, PEAK Motor Oil Pole Award winner. Congratulations, Ryan, fourth pole of your career, first time on an oval. Congratulations. Tell us about winning the pole, and also same situation as Helio, you had to wait until the very end. You knew the time that you had to beat and were going out there and doing it.
RYAN BRISCOE: Yeah, thanks. I think it helped. It's kind of nice being the last car to go. You know what the goal is and nothing really changes what you do, but it's kind of a settling feeling.
Yeah, I knew I had a fast car and I was really feeling pretty confident going into it that I had a car fast enough for the pole. I felt coming around for the green that I didn't quite have the speed that I was carrying in practice this morning, so I didn't really know what that first lap was going to come out, but I was pretty relieved to see that it was a bit faster than pole speed and was able to maintain it.
My car has been great out of the box this week. It's always a great feeling when you don't need to make big setup changes and it really just comes to you. It's a great feeling. Hopefully I can run at the front.
Q. Helio, Scott Dixon was in here a few minutes ago, and he commented that you were below the white line during your qualifying run. What do you have to say about that?
HELIO CASTRONEVES: I don't have anything to say about it. I think it was a good lap, and so far it was fine. We'll see what happens.
Q. Your car ran well this weekend. Is this the same car you drove last weekend or is this a different car?
RYAN BRISCOE: It's a different car. I mean, only because I was told that (laughter). It is a different car. It's only raced several times this year.
Q. How can you as Helio's teammate play a factor in the race tomorrow? Is it going to be like watching like a blocking situation? Or talk about your role in the race tomorrow.
RYAN BRISCOE: All I can do is try to be up in front, be competitive. You know, keep winning those laps in the race if I can. It's going to be tough. He's been really good in practice, but so have I. Hopefully I can keep him from leading those laps in the race. There's not much you can do. Helio needs to go out and have a good, strong race tomorrow, and we don't wish bad fortunes on anyone, but Helio needs to have a good race and Dixon needs to have a bit of bad luck. I'm just going to try to run a good race.
Q. Helio, you've kind of been involved a lot these last races for the championship. Texas in '02 really stands out and then '06 and '07. Talk a little bit about how stressful it is to go into this race with the championship on the line and it being on an oval where it's going to be determined.
HELIO CASTRONEVES: Well, oval is always very competitive. It's hard, as you know, going to a place that there's so many variables and so many other drivers and competitors and the difference can be one car -- even if one car is one mile-an-hour faster when you have the draft, it definitely accomplishes that. So with that, it becomes much more closer fuel than on a road course, for example. Yeah, what I need to do is what I've been doing since I started racing here, so there is not much of a difference. We've got a goal, we've got a plan which everybody knows. We need to win, and we're going to try everything we can to do that.
Q. Ryan, you kind of got off to a little bit of a rocky start this season, but you're kind of finishing strong. Just how important is that end for you?
RYAN BRISCOE: It's going to be really important, really. I mean, I've had better days, but really I was able to turn things around, get some really good, strong races off, and I really felt as though as I've seen what's gone on and I've been becoming more competitive and more consistent, and really, you know, since mid-season really, the big focus for me has been on the ovals, just really preparing myself to be strong next year.
So I'm looking forward to a strong race tomorrow. Hopefully I can run strong all day though long, show some signs of improvement that I've been showing all year and try to be one of the drivers running for the championship next week.
THE MODERATOR: Congratulations on a good day out there, and good luck tomorrow.
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