IZOD IndyCar Series: IZOD IndyCar World Championship Presented by Honda
Topics: IZOD IndyCar World Championship Presented by Honda
October 14, 2011
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA
[continuing after Will Power...] ORIOL SERVIA: He's right. Here is a lot easier, flat. Actually Tony got us by I think a hundredth of a mile, and his track conditions were like 14 degrees cooler he was telling me, so that makes a big difference. So it makes me even more proud of the work the team did. Every session we were T2, and I was saying, I've got a good tow. But when you're up there all the time, it just shows the car is good, and we showed it in qualifying. It was amazing.
Front row is the best place to start for a race as crazy as this one is going to be, so I'm very happy with our position, and I think we have a great shot for tomorrow, Sunday.
THE MODERATOR: Just a couple notes. It's Oriol's third front-row start of the season. He also was on the front row at New Hampshire, and also it's his sixth top-six start of 2011. With that we'll open it up for questions.
Q. Oriol, Will obviously had his opinion there, but isn't it interesting that it used to be if you came to a track like this that was all engineering that Penske was going to win the pole, it was just a matter of if they got the top three spots or the top two. What's changed?
ORIOL SERVIA: I would like to know, but I really don't care, because it's the last race of this car, and we've been trying to figure out, yes, it usually was a Ganassi or Penske pole position for the mile and a halfs because they were the ones spending the most money in the wind tunnel to be honest and development, and it pays off in places like this where it's all about the little details.
But eventually when you have the same car for all those years, either we all learn or the word goes around or people that were working here then worked there, so it's harder for the teams with the bigger budget to keep their advantage after ten years with the same car. I just think that finally we have caught up.
Now next year we're resetting the buttons again, so it's all going to be who has the best budget, the best brains to start working on the new car and figure out what the car needs to be fast everywhere and in places like this. I don't even know what are they missing that they were doing right, but I know we do a lot more things right than we used to do, so that maybe explains.
I'm sure if you look at the field, it's a lot tighter than it used to be. They used to win by a mile because everybody else was very far behind. Now that we're all so close, there's just more chances for more people to make it.
Q. You're starting in the front row, so you'll be on the outside, and I'm wondering what you think in terms of how many lines there are on this track. Maybe you don't have to worry too much, but in terms of just practice, it looked like cars were going three wide. Would you expect to see the same thing in the race?
ORIOL SERVIA: No, I expect four wide, and I'm not joking. I think there's going to be a lot of four-wide action. I think regularly on other ovals it's two wide, here it's going to be three, and when it's going to get exciting it's going to be four. It's not just going to be one row like that, there's going to be many, many rows two, three wide. I expect it to be really hairy and dangerous and in a way exciting for the fans at home watching on TV and the ones here. I'm sure we're going to give you a lot of good material for you guys to write about, and hopefully everybody will be safe at the end and have a clean, safe race.
Q. I recall being here at Las Vegas and watching races, I think it was actually your Newman-Haas team that had two drivers going side by side lap after lap, and the lower, the inside driver, had the shortest distance around, so the outside driver couldn't pass. But that's not going to be the case this weekend?
ORIOL SERVIA: I think still at the very end it will maybe come down to that. But it also will depend if you have a fast car behind you, also helps you. It's going to be a bit of a Vegas lottery or gambling, depending which row you are. If there are fast cars on your row, on your lane, it's going to be your best shot at winning.
Plus Tony got really lucky qualifying. Congratulations, Mr. Kanaan.
THE MODERATOR: We are joined by our pole sitter, Tony Kanaan. It's his fifth career IndyCar pole, first one in three years since he won at Richmond in 2008. Take us through your lap.
ORIOL SERVIA: Just one more thing. Funny enough, or not funny, just before qualifying, I sent a text to his team owner saying, "Tony has a rocketship." Unfortunately I was right.
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