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IZOD IndyCar Series: MoveThatBlock.com Indy 225

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Open Wheel Racing Topics:  MoveThatBlock.com Indy 225

IZOD IndyCar Series: MoveThatBlock.com Indy 225

Scott Dixon
Oriol Servia
August 14, 2011


LOUDON, NEW HAMPSHIRE

THE MODERATOR: Joining us is second place finisher Oriol Servia, driver of the Telemundo Newman Haas Racing car and third place finisher Scott Dixon, driver of the Target Chip Ganassi Racing No. 9.
Scott, we'll talk to you, and we'll get to the race in just a minute. But certainly you're in a bit of a surge with your win last week at Mid-Ohio and now your great run this weekend.
SCOTT DIXON: Yeah, it could be better if they didn't screw up the results like they have. I don't know. It's been obviously a good couple of weeks. Today we just kind of stayed out of trouble.
I felt bad for Dario, obviously getting him and Sato. I didn't see the replay of what happened of them getting tied up. That at least brings him back into a bit of a hunting ground, which is exciting for the fans, if the championship doesn't get tied up with two races to go.
But, yeah, it was a fun race, definitely a difficult race, very hard to get into a rhythm. It's kind of difficult to find where the grip was because you kind of started, stopped, started, stopped again. It was one of those days where you just tried to do the best with what you had.
THE MODERATOR: Oriol, we'll talk about the finish in a minute. But you have to be encouraged with the performance of the Newman Haas Racing team with both you and James frequently in the top 5 in the last few races.
ORIOL SERVIA: Yes, absolutely. It was an outstanding weekend for Newman Haas. We had the pace the whole weekend, both cars. And we probably are the most consistent team out there in qualifying for sure. And in the race, I think we both had a car going.
So, yeah, it just feels bad when it's that close and especially the way it ended up that we couldn't get the win. As Kathy was saying, I should say like PT in India, I won my second race today. But it's not in the books.
THE MODERATOR: Oriol Servia has been scored in second place, best finish of the season. Previous best finish was third at Milwaukee. Scott finished third. His seventh podium finish of the season. We'll open it up for questions.

Q. Both of you, when this weather came down, conditions changed dramatically with the cars spinning and crashing into each other, did you radio to your team what was the condition and to get in touch with race control?
ORIOL SERVIA: I have to say while it was green, I had more rain in my visor than I've ever had in an oval. Usually as soon as there's a couple of drops, they stop, just because in an oval you can't really race in the rain. We pushed it a little longer than usual, but there was still some grip out there, although it started to be a little slippery.
And then in that last yellow it kind of stopped and just before we were going to go again, it started to sprinkle again and I was saying, hey, it's raining a little harder. I said it a couple of times.
But they said we're going green. So I got ready. And regardless of if it was the right or wrong decision, they went green.
And in IndyCar, I've never seen before after they throw a green and then it goes yellow after, but they go back to restart before. They did it in NASCAR -- I've never seen it in IndyCar. That's to me the most confusing.
As Scott was saying, Ryan deserved to win because he was leading for all those laps. But I actually won the race. They went green. I was leading when the yellow came. They even called it in race control: Car 2 was the leader. He had second. He had a bad restart. I don't know what Ryan was doing. He was actually doing Ss before in the corner, past the cone that you're not allowed to.
And I don't know his tires were too cold. He was not warming them up, I don't know, but they threw the green, I was ahead and the yellow came.
So, again, I just never seen how -- I've never seen before them reversing an order like that.

Q. Did you speak with your team to get in touch and clear all the confusion?
ORIOL SERVIA: Of course. As you can imagine, I was screaming, and they were like just be quiet. They are reviewing it, and we all saw you were leading just be quiet, leave the radio open so we can tell you what's happening.
I told them while we were there my heart rate was higher just waiting.

Q. There's a lot of anger all the way up and down pit lane and in the garage. In a sense do you almost feel like nobody was a winner today?
SCOTT DIXON: I think as Oriol said, if you go off how we normally race and the rules that we have, today I don't even know why we have a rule book, because it makes no sense.
When have we ever gone back -- we're not racing dirt cars, we're not racing USAC. We don't go back to a previous restart. We don't count pace laps. When has that ever happened in IndyCar racing? Never, since I've been in my 10 years.
You know, so it's just confusing. I don't really -- you know, as Oriol said, which I stated earlier, Ryan deserved to win the race. Oriol won. I finished second. Ryan didn't go. We went past the restart cone. You snooze, you lose. That's the same thing that happened to Conway at Edmonton. If you don't go, it's free game. And he didn't go.
ORIOL SERVIA: It's clear. If there would not have been the crash they would not have reversed the order, because I was ahead. And it's like actually at the start of the Indy 500, Tagliani didn't go. He crossed the line first. And I crossed second. They didn't reverse.
He didn't go when he was supposed to. That's the start of the Centennial of the Indy 500, we wanted him to lead, but he was sleeping, I don't know what he did. But the same thing happened now. I just feel like at the end I won the race. That's how I feel.

Q. Both of you, was it the right decision to go green to begin with at that point, given the conditions on the track?
ORIOL SERVIA: That's a tough one. They actually asked me. I said it's raining harder, I would wait another lap or something. But it's tough for them, too.
It's five laps to the end, they're trying to get it, it's hard to guess how wet it is. I don't want to throw everybody under the bus. It's tough to decide. They asked, hey, what do you think, should we restart? I don't know what to answer. I said if they sweep very well and at least there's no marbles, there's a chance.
But just before, honestly like 20 seconds before, it started to rain again. It was a difficult call, I think.

Q. Oriol or Scott, what you talked about the rules, it seems to be very confusing? Do you have in IndyCar --
ORIOL SERVIA: The rules are not confusing, it's the enforcement of them sometimes.

Q. Or not clear. Do you have like, in F1, a drivers association when you're not happy with race control?
ORIOL SERVIA: We just don't have the same power that the drivers association does.

Q. It seems that over the last five years or so there's been so much of an emphasis put on entertainment more than competition, whether it be NASCAR or other racing series. Do you think that what we saw today was more of a situation that they were going to have this thing finished one way or the other, and that entertainment took over from what should have been legitimate competition?
SCOTT DIXON: Yeah, you know I'm glad -- I was a bit worried I think around lap 80, whenever we had the first caution, because it felt like they were speeding the pace car up and we were just going to run to lap 113 and call it a day. I was glad to see they got the blowers out and tried to get the track ready and obviously the rain stopped. That's what the fans come to see. They come to see racing.
I'm glad they just didn't nip it in the bud there and end the day. As Oriol said the last call was -- it was kind of confusing. It had dried up.
It did start raining on the last lap coming to the green. But regardless, whether it should have or not, it still went green. It is a tough call. I wouldn't want to be the one trying to decide.
But obviously there's going to be a lot of pissed off people with a bunch of wrecked cars on the last restart where they think they probably shouldn't have gone back to green. So it's -- I don't know. It's just like a bizarre day.

Q. Your comment prior to the throwing of the green, did you complain to Chip about the condition of the track?
SCOTT DIXON: Chip's not on my car. He's on Dario's car.

Q. I know, but he was in your pit.
SCOTT DIXON: I don't know. He doesn't talk on my radio. But I expressed my concern to Mike Howell, that obviously it did seem to pick up. But as Oriol said, it was the lap before it actually seemed like it was dry. We weren't getting too much moisture on the visor. But once it did start to pick up I did complain and say maybe we shouldn't go back to green.

Q. Scott, today even just coming into the racetrack, especially coming into the race, the start -- we had to hustle everything to get the weather in, did you have that feeling, do you ever get that feeling that this is going to be a weird race, especially the spins and the first lap and Helio crashes and the restart, do you ever feel like it's going to be one of those days?
SCOTT DIXON: It was one of those days. I'm sure everybody was thinking the same thing at the start of it. And a lot of us, I think that the pressure today, too, is if you look at the weather forecast, you know, we could have been sitting here until Wednesday to get the race in. So they were going to push as hard as they could. I think it was a good move to move the race time up.
But, yeah, I think at the start it was kind of a cluster, and everybody -- you didn't know whether you were going to get a restart because it would go green, and yellow, green, yellow. There was no real flow. I commented it was just a strange race to try and get going. With the cooler conditions, maybe a bit of moisture, maybe that's why we had more cautions and things like that.
But I think at the start of the day, the track was in good condition.

Q. Both of you, kind of related to what Bruce was asking you about the entertainment value, obviously with IndyCar having been absent here for 13 years and everyone eager to put on a good show, do you feel like you did put on a good show, or do you feel like with all that happened it wasn't?
ORIOL SERVIA: I think it was a good show. You know, there was definitely a lot of action, especially when we're lapping some cars. I mean, it was full of action. I had a lot of moments myself, and then trying to pass Ryan. I thought once we had it, while we had a couple of lap cars. Scott had a couple of runs on me.
So there was a lot of action. I'm sure behind us there was a lot, too. In terms of a good show for the fans, I think it was there. It's just, again, it just feels bad to have to have such a sour ending when it could have been different. So it's just a shame.
SCOTT DIXON: There was a lot of action. On track, it's not too often you go to an IndyCar race and someone jumps out of a car and flips people off. Just saw the picture a little earlier. That was pretty classic. Good to see that Will's back at it.
You don't see stuff like that. It's good to see everybody fired up. Obviously everybody's a little confused with what went on during the day. Probably the fans as well.
But the racing was good, as Oriol said. It was tough. There's lots of passing. There were cars that were definitely worse off and it was hard to get around them. That packed the leaders back up. It was all happening.
For me at about lap 200 it felt like it was 500 miles in already. So it was a good day. I think we put on a good show. It was a little confusing, but all in all, I thought it was a hell of a race.



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