IndyCar Series: Camping World Grand Prix at The Glen
Topics: Camping World Grand Prix at The Glen
July 5, 2009
WATKINS GLEN, NEW YORK
THE MODERATOR: Ladies and gentlemen, we are joined by Scott Dixon. And Scott took over the IndyCar Series point lead with his third place finish, leading by 19 points over Ryan Briscoe, and his teammate Dario Franchitti who are tied for second.
His fifth Top 3 finish of the season, his best on a road or street course in the season, and the fourth time he's been on the podium after having won it his first three years in 2005, '06 and '07.
Scott, you were close all day. Did you ever think that you had a real shot at the win? Anything you could have done differently?
SCOTT DIXON: You know, the car was pretty decent. We showed on the first stint, we opted to run a ten-lap pit, hoping and thinking we'd get a caution fairly early on. While we did, it was too early, so nobody fell into that.
So trying to run the race for all my 30 laps, you know, with about four laps to go we had pretty much destroyed them, so that was frustrating. Also, with Marco, I don't know what the goal was thinking getting in the mix of the leaders. Even though he finished up pretty decent today, it still wasn't -- I guess what goes around comes around.
All in all not a bad day. I'm not sure we could have improved too much, you know. It was definitely tough. I was hoping that we had a little more speed to get out in front of the Penskes with the extra lap we did on fuel, but it didn't work out that way.
When you're full tank and not quite at speed going up that hill was very tough, and they definitely got the pass. So huge day for Justin. He drove superb, huge weekend for him, and very happy for him.
Q. Scott, after having so much success here in the first four years racing here, where everything's pretty much on the same tire at all points of the race. How big a variable was it today with the options and people using the Reds and Justin was on the Reds at the end, and he was pretty well able to speed away from Ryan.
SCOTT DIXON: Yeah, I think there were a few of us. For me, I don't think we were trimmed enough to pass the Penskes. We could get close, but once we got to the straits we couldn't pass them. So that was a good call for them.
We were much quicker on the corners than Ryan, but that was making it tough. So, you know, I think it adds definitely a different element. Definitely hurt us on the first. If we had some caution laps there and a pack-up, I think I would have gotten passed by a few people which is definitely what we're looking for.
With the option tire and the different tires throughout the race, I think it made it a little more interesting. I think once you're running at the top, the guys on Red or Blacks are going to be tough to pass.
Q. Teammate gets into trouble early on. Talk about the swing in the points?
SCOTT DIXON: Yeah, you know, it's obviously good for me. But, you know, tough for the team. You never want to see that. Especially Dario's had a tremendous season so far, and to go through very good on the road courses, and you'd expect a much better finish out of that.
SCOTT DIXON: I'm not really sure what happened. Whether he got caught up. I think it was when Moraes cause a bit of a chain reaction up there and some of us.
You know, but you always want to make sure that the team can keep its points throughout the season. So you're racing your teammates more than some of the others. And you know, we're all going to have bad days. I had two on the road courses earlier in the year, and he's had one today. So frustrating for him, and not a good thing.
Q. (No microphone).
SCOTT DIXON: Yeah, you know, it's good to keep I guess the target cars ahead. The Penskes especially. I think Stu had the advantage with the entrants points. We've got to make sure we keep them behind, so he doesn't get the pit selection, because being pit up is definitely going to a help.
Q. You had Reds on when you started. You went 18 laps and then TV said you were showing cords. Did you make an adjustment to the car taking care of that later on, or is that the only time you ran on Reds?
SCOTT DIXON: No, we ran Reds at the end as well, but those Reds that we started with already had 10 laps on them from qualifying. We thought we could maybe get lucky with an early caution and use them.
It seems like the Reds are quite a bit easier to get up to speed on. And yeah, we definitely had a long run, 18 laps plus 10, 28, so it was a stint and a half, which is pretty tough on those soft tires
Q. In a season that's been dominated by your team and Ryan's team, what does it say for the series to have Dale Coyne win on a day like this? And a follow-up to that would be two street races coming up in July, there is nothing to think that Justin won't be a factor in those either?
SCOTT DIXON: No, I think it's fantastic. It's great for the sport. And it's cool to see some of the small teams win. I think that's probably one of the smallest teams that we have.
So I know those guys have put a lot of emphasis on the road courses. They've been here, they've tested. I don't think any of us guys tested at this track. But obviously their focus is the road courses, and, clearly, they're very well accomplished. They're good at what they do.
I think the series has done a good job of keeping the cars pretty similar. There's only so much you can do. I think the damper and springs is about the only options that are quite open, so the cars are fairly even.
It just shows when you have a good driver like Justin, he can definitely take it to the best
Q. How big a factor do you think he'll be at Toronto and Edmonton?
SCOTT DIXON: Big. He's been a big factor at any of the road and street courses we've gone so-so far, so he'll be a tough man to beat.
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