IZOD IndyCar Series: Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama
Topics: Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama
April 1, 2012
THE MODERATOR: We'll get started with Scott Dixon.
Scott, if you can, just walk us through the race today, especially that final restart there with Power.
SCOTT DIXON: Yeah, it was generally a pretty good day. I think we did a good job of saving some fuel early on. The balance of the car I think was better than the other two. We could maintain a pretty good pace.
The first stop, Hinch and I went a lap longer than Helio. We still pitted with probably two laps of fuel in the car. We were just trying to keep an eye on the degradation of the tires and how they fell off. We jumped Helio and Hinch obviously most of the race from that point on.
Strategies all kind of got mixed in the middle. Power and several others pitted, they got clear track, ran down the deficit they had earlier.
Once I caught Simona, we slowed down two or three second a laps. We were trying to get past her. With the new car, when you get into the wake of another, especially on older tires, you lose so much rear grip and it's hard to get around them. Once we had that, then Viso on the way out, then the yellow fell.
Kind of disappointed. I think we had the car to beat. We had the speed and for the most part the right strategy, but just wasn't our day today.
The restart, got a good jump on them. But, you know, obviously being on the inside, all he had to do was drive in deeper. I had been really the first one to lift or he could have kept going and I would have run wide. Tried for a few laps there, burned the rear tires off with about five or ten to go. That was all said and done.
Good points for the first two races, but definitely disappointed with today's result.
THE MODERATOR: We'll open it up for questions for Scott.
Q. You said you had to wait for Viso on the last stop. Were there problems as well?
SCOTT DIXON: I believe the middle stop and the last stop we had a bit of a fumble on one of the tires where there was a wheel nut or something. The middle one took a lot longer. Tires are done normally about the same time as fuel. You feel the fuel pull out and you're still on the air jack.
On the out-lap I would say Will gained two or three seconds just because he wasn't in traffic. Then I think they were maybe a little bit quicker on their stop as well. Between that and trying to get out of the pits behind Viso, I'd say we lost three or four seconds in that, which gave Will the advantage.
Q. Scott, this is three straight second-place finishes here. Does that add to the frustration level?
SCOTT DIXON: Well, maybe last year we had a pretty good car. Barber is a funny place. I was talking to Will about it. If you get out front, it's very hard to stay close. There's so many high-speed corners. Eventually you burn the tires off.
The first two years, I was kind of happy with those finishes. But today to have a dominant race and a car I think definitely if we were out front at the end would have led to the same thing and pulled away from Will. It's frustrating when you're in a scenario like that and you don't collect on the win. I'd say the last two years, that was probably kind of as good as we were going to get.
Q. Do you take any solace being second in points at this point in the season as opposed to being in the hole you found yourself the last few years?
SCOTT DIXON: Yeah, you know, every race pays the same amount of points. For me, my issue has been the start of the season, so we've tried to start strong. We've tried to be consistent, maybe not take as many risks as we should, but also emphasize qualifying in a good position and making the most of it.
All around as a team, with our package, I don't think we're there yet. But I think once we get a few things figured out on the car and the engine package, I think we're going to be strong.
If we can put points in the bag at the moment, try and gain on that later in the year, we should be in a good position.
But points championships are so tough. Sort of taking out a page of Dario's notebook from the last few years and being consistent. He hasn't won as many races as some others, but he's always there on a bad day and a good day. We have to try to do the same thing.
Q. Can you talk about Dario's first two weekends, with the slow start to his season, how he's handling that.
SCOTT DIXON: You know, Dario is a true professional. He's not letting it get on top of him. I think qualifying wasn't really his fault. They had a problem with the car. Will started, what, sixth or seventh in the pack. Dario was like 18th. It's hard to make anything work from that position unless you catch a lucky yellow.
Dario has been fine. He hasn't had the starts that he's hoped to, but he'll be strong here real quickly, I'm sure.
THE MODERATOR: Congratulations, Scott. Best of luck as we head to Long Beach.
SCOTT DIXON: Thank you, everyone.
|Connect with The Crittenden Automotive Library|