IZOD IndyCar Series: Firestone Twin 275s
Topics: Firestone Twin 275s
June 11, 2011
FORT WORTH, TEXAS
THE MODERATOR: We'll go ahead and get started with tonight's press conference. We're joined by Scott Dixon.
Talk about the second-place finishes here and really how you're able to maximize points to move up to third in the championship.
SCOTT DIXON: I guess all in all it was a good night for points. The results, obviously they could have been both one better. I think the first race we kind of had what we had. Dario was very quick in the Huggies car. With new tires on the last stint with only about 14 to go, it's very tough to try to pass a car that runs a shorter line. I tried to push him along and keep Will back. That was that for the first one. Pretty good result for the team, obviously, a 1-2.
Second race, you could see it sort of trickling down with the draw that it wasn't looking too good for ourselves. Obviously myself starting from 18th and Dario 28th, it's a huge deficit when the competitor for the championship starts third and with not too much competition in front of him.
It was a tough race. Thought we had enough for him towards the end there. I just burnt the rear tires off and was too loose and lost a bit of time going into that last pit stop and could never really get it back.
I don't know. I think they maybe need to make a few changes to the draw concept. I think the two races is cool, exciting for the fans. I think they possibly need to invert the field to make it more fair with the competitors chasing for a championship, especially when points are involved, or maybe give you bonus points for when you pass cars or something.
THE MODERATOR: We'll open it up for questions.
Q. Were you surprised at the lack of yellows tonight?
SCOTT DIXON: Yeah, I was. I think everybody is starting to get it. It's taken a little while. Everybody has been good at giving people room. There's a few crazies out there, but that's the name of the game.
But, yeah, I was surprised. Even the first crash I think was just kind of a small little thing that Charlie and Wade kind of got into it, which luckily it was a small crash. Obviously, the second race going from green to checkered, I can't say I was expecting that going into the race.
Q. With the break between the two races, did you notice any physical differences having that downtime that you might not have known in one full regular race distance?
SCOTT DIXON: Kind of cool. Brings you back to the days when you would race go-karts and you'd have possibly five races in the one day or four. It's kind of fun to know you had a good first race. Even if you had a bad one, at least you had a chance to go back out and put on the show for the fans, just go out there and try to prove a point.
I think it's a good concept. I think it could be tweaked a little. It's a little gimmicky for a championship points race, which I think that's what concerns a lot of people. It would be disappointing if the second race tonight determines maybe the difference in the championship points at the end, which would be frustrating.
But, you know, we got what we got. I think everybody put on a fantastic show. There was a lot of passing. Everybody kept it the right way out.
Q. Starting 18th, do you pretty much go into it hoping for a caution so you can make the double-file restarts to make up positions?
SCOTT DIXON: You know, there's a few different ways to look at that. I think for us, because our car was fairly good in traffic and over a longer distance, you almost want it to go green. Some of the other cars were struggling once they got to about lap 35 keeping it flat.
I think for us, it could have been either way, to be honest. I think we could have gained a few more spots maybe earlier on if there was a caution to jump back up there. Ultimately you find yourself racing the same people once you get to the end of the race anyway.
Q. If you're going to use this format of the blind draw, they don't call it an All-Star Race, they want a 30-driver field, why don't they call it a Million Dollar Shootout?
SCOTT DIXON: Yeah, you know, it wasn't a basic advantage, obviously starting 15 spots ahead of me, 25 ahead of Dario, when you're racing for only points. Are you going to put a million bucks up?
If you're racing for a million bucks, that's totally different. That's a gimmick which maybe goes with the gimmick of what the second race is. But to race for championship points, good thing it was maybe only half points. But, still, Dario, I don't know what he lost to Will in the last race, must have been a good 10 points. It definitely adds up.
Q. Dario was upset about having won the race, then invert the start, but he pretty much did. The obvious advantage was Will starting up front, you starting from the back. Is it that exciting for the fans or would it be better to invert the start for the second race?
SCOTT DIXON: It would be a lot fairer. I don't know if you invert it off qualifying or if you invert it from the first race. Probably from the first race. But from a competitive standpoint, that's fair. When you're fighting for a championship, and the guy that you're fighting with starts all the way at the front, you're at the back, it's not very fair.
But we got what we got. That's kind of the way it goes. Obviously I think the fairest way would be to invert.
Q. On a brighter note, you're up to third in points, which you might not have expected a few weeks ago.
SCOTT DIXON: You said that right. Obviously it's taken us a little while to get back up there. We seemed to start the season the same way in the last few years.
Obviously I think we had an 80-point deficit at some point. We've gained a little bit on Will, a good 25 or 30 points on Dario. We're starting to move back up there. Those guys are consistent. They have great nights every night. They're with great teams. We're going to try to do our best and make up that big deficit.
THE MODERATOR: Scott, congratulations on two great finishes this evening and we'll see you in Milwaukee next weekend.
SCOTT DIXON: Thanks very much.
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