IndyCar Series: ABC Supply Company A.J. Foyt 225
Topics: ABC Supply Company A.J. Foyt 225
May 31, 2009
THE MODERATOR: We're joined by Scott Dixon. Second win of the season. Won at Kansas in April. With his win today he takes the points lead, four points ahead of Ryan Briscoe and Dario Franchitti.
SCOTT DIXON: Thank you. It was definitely a fun day. You know, as always, I think the Milwaukee Mile is an extremely tough track to go around by yourself. When you have 20 or more cars, it's even tougher.
I think for us, we just kind of waited patiently in the second and third spot for most of it, trying to save fuel, seeing if we could make a jump there. There in the end I think the second-to-last pit stop actually maybe cost us a little bit because we stayed out so long, got traffic, slowed us down a lot when Dario got the lead.
You know, we were consistently happy. The car was extremely good in traffic. We had many good runs on Briscoe today. You know, as you do, you definitely made the car very wide at many points. I think we had some good runs where we maybe could have passed him earlier. With 25 or 30 laps to go, we definitely had a great run through one and two, got a huge run going into through and took the lead. From that point on, the car was hooked up.
Q. Obviously on a mile oval, knowing how to use traffic to your advantage is a big key. Do you think you were able to use Scheckter as a pick when you made that pass over Briscoe?
SCOTT DIXON: No, you can't really use traffic. You just got to time it right. You know, Briscoe, you've got to try to look ahead, see where those guys are using their lines, see if he's on the bottom, see if he's on the top, what's going to be the quickest way if you can get around. Luckily for me, my car was fantastic on the high line in one and two. A lot of times people were driving through the middle so I could get a good run. You could get good timing sometimes. Sometimes it will bite you in the ass. It's a tough track.
Getting through the traffic is the key to it. You have to have a good car in traffic. That's definitely how I think the race was won today.
Q. When you got out ahead at the end, you really pulled away in a hurry. You were two seconds ahead after two or three laps. Earlier when you were leading, your lead was going up, coming down. Was it just a matter of the way you caught traffic? What was the difference at the end?
SCOTT DIXON: Yeah, at the end, I had to make the decision, we were good to go on the fuel. Maybe early in the day I was trying to save a little bit of fuel. I think if you get too out in front, you can find yourself in a bit of trouble if it comes down to pitting under green and things like that. I don't think you ever want to get too far ahead.
At the end you know you can go green to the finish. I think to get a bit of relaxation, a bit of breathing room, the only way you could do it was try to get through the traffic as quick as possible so you could try and get a good run on them. That's what I was trying to do in the end. Once we had a very sizable lead, the Penske car was there, I just relaxed a little bit and stayed right there.
Q. You went three-wide with Briscoe and Scheckter. Looked like it was going to be tricky. You didn't back off at all.
SCOTT DIXON: No, it worked out fantastic for me because my car was good on the high line in one and two. That's where I used it there. Then I had such a great run, I got onto the inside. My pick of line was definitely on the low line through three and four. So it worked out fantastic.
I could tell that Briscoe during the day was not very good on the high line through three and four as well. The grip for a lot of cars seemed to be quite low there. I knew at that point once I got onto the inside of him, you know, it was going to be very tough for him to try and push it.
Q. Scott, this is a bit of redemption for you. Back in 2005 you wrecked a couple cars here. Talk about that.
SCOTT DIXON: Yeah, you know, it's been a tough place. I've had good and bad days here. Second last year was a helluva race. Led a lot of laps then lost it, probably a similar way that Briscoe lost it today.
Even 2004, '5, we had some rough days here. '05 I think we destroyed a car in practice. When I qualified, I destroyed another car. It was two cars in four laps, which must be a record, as well. Glad that's behind us and we're much better in this position today.
Q. After the first two races this year, obviously you got out to a terrible start in the season, could you have imagined being in the points lead three races later?
SCOTT DIXON: No. You know, it's more frustrating, how tough the competition is now. We've given up our two bad races in the first two races. For us now we've got to go out, we've got to try to maintain and gain as many points as possible. Luckily enough, there's been a few guys that have had some bad days, like Helio today, T.K. had a rough one the last couple. Briscoe has been consistently strong. I think at the moment, between him and Dario and a couple others, those are the guys you got to watch for us.
It's going to be a tough season no matter what. We at that point knew we had to gain a lot of points back. We had a pretty dismal Indy. Considering where we were running, to come away with a sixth position there was frustrating. We got to try and win a few more.
Q. You're like Mr. Calm. That three-wide thing did look pretty exciting from our vantage point. Is it just another day at work or did that get your heart rate up a little bit?
SCOTT DIXON: Well, I think, you know, in the car, you know, I think every driver is a totally different personality when they're in the car. You know, for me, all I'm trying to do is get to the front as quick as possible. You know, you do get hyped up in positions like that. The heart rate definitely goes up. You're excited. I just want it to go well.
So, yeah, no, I like to be quietly aggressive. You know, today that definitely paid off.
Q. You were speaking of a couple others in the points race. Is it time to put Danica in that category? She's fourth now, 22 points out.
SCOTT DIXON: You know, that's the thing, there's so many great competitors. They can pop out at any point. You know, I think she could definitely be a factor, especially with a lot of ovals that we have. She's had some great races at the street courses early in the season. Definitely earned a lot more points than I have on those.
So it's hard to know. But, you know, there's a good six, seven, eight people that could win this championship.
Q. Last year you finished second to Ryan Briscoe under caution. You were running him down last year. Did that factor into you trying to take the lead with 25 laps to go at all?
SCOTT DIXON: If I could have, I would have taken the lead at lap one. But, you know, it wasn't possible for me at that point. We'd been working on Briscoe for a good majority of the day. Dario had a great pit stop there. Pitted a bit early, kind of launched him into the lead. At that point I definitely knew we had a better car than both of them. It was just trying to get the right run at the right time.
If we had clean air, we'd definitely get away. If I could have done it much earlier, I would have done it. It was great timing. I guess similar to how he lost it last year. So just replacing those two finishes.
THE MODERATOR: Scott, congratulations on the win. Thanks so much for coming in here.
SCOTT DIXON: Thanks.
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