Indy 500 post-race press conferences
Dario Franchitti, Chip Ganassi, Mike Hull
May 30, 2010, Indianapolis Motor Speedway
THE MODERATOR: It was a whacky day, but you had the dominant car all day long. In the end, it looked like justice. Tell us about it.
CHIP GANASSI: I was telling Dario, we were lucky had a good enough car he could stretch out his lead there by four or five seconds or whatever because we needed those four or five seconds at the end when we were having to save fuel. We were a little confused listening to some of the others about what mileage is. Everybody monitors everybody else's channels. We were a little confused by some of the numbers they were saying the other teams needed.
The other thing you have to keep in mind is, you know, we were in a situation where we got down to the last 10 laps of the race, OK, you had Castroneves, Wilson, those guys pitted, then you had the guys behind us. Now you get in a situation where they could get by you, not have enough fuel to finish the race, squirt by you, it goes yellow, now they suddenly have enough fuel to finish. You have to be prepared for all eventualities there. We had to play that game being the leader to keep those guys behind us but also stay in front of them to make it to the finish.
MIKE HULL: It was a great day. It's what race teams work to achieve, to win this race. This is the biggest race in the world. Today we had great race drivers and great race teams. I don't know what the head count is here because they never tell us, but I think they were treated to a great show. Obviously we think that at Chip Ganassi Racing.
What we had to employ today was everything we do as a race team. We had to employ setup, speed, strategy, and understanding fuel after different times during the race. That's what we do well as a team. We just try to be consistent in being able to do that.
Q. Chip, you always seem to hate talking about yourself. But please do this time. From qualifying, Shootout, you had a fierce competition going with Penske. You sent Dario out time and again to beat them. You give him a fantastic car for Carb Day all the way through today. There had to be times when you thought Helio was waiting to pounce. Then you have the end. Still with it all, Chip Ganassi from Pittsburgh becomes the first owner ever to win the Daytona 500 and the Indy 500 in the same year. Talk about yourself some this time.
CHIP GANASSI: You know I can't do that. I'm not good at that. You guys are good at that.
The good thing was at the start of the race, I don't want it to fall upon anybody, at the start of the race Dario asserted himself on the start. Yeah, there was that yellow pretty quick. But he got by Will going into one. He went around the outside. I saw him up like that on the outside of Will Power going into one, then he passed Helio coming off of two before it went yellow. That kind of set the stage. I think that was a very important kind of pumping his fist in staking his claim. Certainly you can't win the race on the start, but you can lose it.
I think that went a long way towards getting him up in the seat, knowing how his car was. Then as the race went on, we were able to pull out one second, two seconds. It was dominant up through 150 laps or whatever.
Between Scott and Dario, they led here before a bunch, and came up short. I think we led 175 laps a couple years ago.
MIKE HULL: We just didn't lead the right laps.
CHIP GANASSI: We led more laps than we led today and didn't win.
Then, you know, probably one of the deciding factors in the race was I think Roger short pitted Helio there to try to catch a yellow. What it did was it actually took him out of sequence with us. I think he might have had a better finish had he not done that.
But it was a gamble they had to try to take to try to win. They came up about four or five laps short.
Q. What about Daytona and Indianapolis?
CHIP GANASSI: Obviously, you know, Jamie McMurray, Bass Pro Shops, won that race in February. Dario and Target won the race here today. I'm a lucky guy to be in this business and to be able to work with people that accomplish that.
I didn't drive either car. I didn't change any tires. I didn't put any fuel in the cars. I don't do any of that stuff. I have hundreds of people that do that kind of thing. I'm very, very lucky is what it comes down to. I'm very lucky.
Q. You put the teams together.
CHIP GANASSI: 25 damn years or more I've been working on it. I'm just the guy that gets my name on the door, the sign in the front. But it's a lot of hard work by a lot of people, a lot of people that never get the attention they should. A lot of decision making that you never know if you made the right decision or not. You never know. You're on the end of the diving board, I used to hear Roger say. You have no idea what a lonely world it is being a car owner these days. You're in the middle of sponsors in this environment. We have great sponsors. But you got sponsors on one side, drivers on the other side, your team on the other side of you. Everybody is always pushing hard to get those cars to the front.
All we work at our teams are to win the next race. Someday we'll look back at the record books and say, Gee, that was a great race, a great year, a great win. But when it comes down to it, it's a sports business. It's every kid's dream.
Q. Chip, how much fuel was left?
CHIP GANASSI: 1.6 gallons.
Q. How far will that take you?
CHIP GANASSI: I have no idea.
Q. Was there going to be enough to get him to the end if it had remained under green flag conditions? How fearful were you that Wheldon could have picked you off?
CHIP GANASSI: I don't think he could have picked us off, but I think he could have passed us. A lot of those guys are kicking themselves because they ended up with fuel left over at the end of the race. The worst thing you want to do is have some control over the fuel either with a switch or the 'push to pass' button. The worst thing you can do, and we've done it, is come up second in this race or third and have fuel in your tank that you didn't use, you could have used more of it.
But that's this race. I mean, that's what it's like when you go into the last three laps or two laps and there's a yellow, white flag and then there's a yellow.
Q. Mike, all through practice and qualifying you guys were struggling with Penske. They seemed to have better pure speed. Dario was able to run a strong speed and they couldn't quite come up to him. What can you tell us about how you were able to make that work in the race? Did you have to do a huge amount of work? Dario and Scott practiced a lot together.
MIKE HULL: In fairness to the Chip Ganassi Racing team, I think we worked all week to do what you saw today. We were fast during the week. We weren't always the fastest car. With what we concentrate on, which is today on fuel, working on race things, mechanical grip versus what the aero side of the car is, I think that was demonstrated very well today.
As a team, we worked hard with Dario and Scott to understand what we need to do for today. Then you wait for the atmospheric condition, the density of the air. You already have a mechanical setup, the suspension side, the dampening, then you work on the aero side to try to match that up. The worst thing you can do is put too much aero in a car on a day like today. You have to have enough aero to be able to run the laps when you're out front like Dario was today.
CHIP GANASSI: I know exactly what you're saying, because I felt the same way. It takes a guy like the guy on my right to keep everybody focused and calm and on plan about what we're doing. My hat is off to Mike for doing that during practice and qualifying, just keeping everybody calm, everybody focused on the task at hand. That's what's going on right now.
MIKE HULL: Imagine what would have happened here if next week in the middle of the week my neighbor, I talk to my neighbor, maybe I'm outside getting my mail, and he said, You work for Chip Ganassi. He said, That's right, you guys won the warm-up. That's not what you come here to do. You come here to win the race (laughter).
CHIP GANASSI: Plus, I don't think he would have said that anyway.
MIKE HULL: You won the warm-up. It's really important to win the race here and that's what we work on.
Q. Dario always has been an elite driver, but what he did today puts him in an elite category of drivers. Talk a little bit about how this kind of only elevates him.
CHIP GANASSI: I'll start with that.
The guy's a champion. He's been there, done that. He knows what it takes. From the first day of practice up until five minutes ago, he's the consummate professional. The last time I saw him, he's the guy you want in the car in that situation.
We show up here at the beginning of May. He and Scott and Mike and I had dinner one night. We just had a nice, calm dinner like I do every year with the drivers. The beginning of practice that week, the first or second night we get together. We just said, Look, everybody knows what we have to do, everybody knows what why we're here. We talked about it in Long Beach. We talked about it in Kansas. We talked about it that night at dinner. We're here to win the race. We know what we want to do. Let's get everybody moving in that direction to that one goal, which is the checkered flag here today first to finish.
MIKE HULL: Chip said it. What I think about Dario Franchitti, first of all, personally, Chip has afforded me a long time to do what I do with first rate guys like Dario driving racecars for us. Then it's our job to get them across the finish line first, get them across the finish line as two teammates, because that's how we've done what we've done over the years.
What we have here is a guy, I know he just had his birthday, I don't know how old he is, we have a 20 year old guy in a body of a guy that has a ton of experience. He comes to work every day like a 20 year old. He wants to get the most out of the day. That matches our ethic because that's what our ethic is all about: Get the most out of the day. He just matches up so well for us. He's always trying to make us better.
We've had pairs of drivers over time that have been fantastic race drivers. You can't take away anything from them as pairs of guys. These two guys we have right now never, ever hide anything from the other driver. They never hold anything back. First time we've ever seen that at Chip Ganassi Racing. I hate to admit that, but it's true. Arty used to say, I always keep a little bit in my pocket. Dario puts what's in his pocket for Dixon and vice versa. I think that makes a big difference over time.
Q. Mike, before the game, when the cars are on the grid, I saw you had your team grouped around you like a huddle and you were Peyton Manning calling the play. What do you tell your team before you take off?
MIKE HULL: We talk about today. We talk about what's important for us today, what we're trying to achieve as a team. We try to put it in the present tense. We don't talk about winning the Indy 500, the last lap, where it's going to take us. We talk about, Let's get to the first stop together, let's do what it takes today, let's make this happen together just like we've practiced to do.
The greatest thing about our team is the fact that we've done this as a group together for quite a long time. When someone comes and someone goes, they fill a different place, they always make that job better. That's what creates the consistency and momentum we have as a team.
So, you know, I know that Tom Moore is on the sidelines for Peyton. It's great to have guys like that on the sidelines for us. Appreciate the comparison.
Q. Scott Dixon losing the wheel, was that the only mishap today of Ganassi?
CHIP GANASSI: On Dario's car we had a clean day.
Q. Scott Dixon, that was the only mistake?
CHIP GANASSI: Yes.
Q. How would you characterize Dario as a human being basically?
CHIP GANASSI: I don't know. I don't know. He's a great race driver, I know that. I've not hung out with him much outside of the racetrack, so I don't know how he is as a human being. Seems like a great guy. I don't know much else. He's a great guy. I've never characterized anybody as a human being. I'm sorry, I don't mean to be smart, I don't understand the question.
He's a great racing driver. He's a great person. I like hanging around him. I don't know much else about him.
Q. Chip, you made a decision after a very frustrating when he went to NASCAR to bring him back here. That was a tough year. Did you ever feel like there was no doubt in your mind he could come back and be what he was before, as he has now, or did you have concerns what happened that year was such a downer that it would affect him?
CHIP GANASSI: Yeah, you guys know me well enough to know, I'm not the kind of guy, if we make a mistake, OK, we make a mistake, we move on. If I thought Dario didn't know how to drive, he wouldn't be driving the car, no matter what happened in NASCAR. I knew he knew how to drive. I knew he was the best driver available when that seat became available, and I told him that.
I think I said, you know all know what I said to him, I told you. He was the best guy available to drive the car and still is, so... His NASCAR experience, that was like a semester at sea or something that we did. We did it and we're glad we did it but we're glad we're back home, too.
Q. Chip and Mike, there's a lot of major changes in the way the 500 worked out today. Would another change of 10 gallons more fuel been a help to you guys?
CHIP GANASSI: You can sit there and sharpshoot any race you want. I don't care if you're in NASCAR, IndyCars, Grand Am, I don't care if you have a fuel switch or you don't. If you have X amount of fuel in your tank, and with that X amount of fuel you can go X amount of laps, just pick a number, you have fuel to go 20 laps, and there is a yellow with 22 to go, you can bet everybody is going to come in and fill up and save fuel till the finish.
I don't understand why you guys don't do a better job of explaining that to the fans. Everybody is like, We don't like fuel races. There's no way to stop fuel races no matter what you do. There's always going to be that case where there's a yellow right before the exact amount of laps that you need to get full to finish. Everybody keeps trying to put a switch in, take the switch out, have 'push to pass', all this stuff. It doesn't mean anything. There's always going to be a fuel race. I'm not saying every race is going to be a fuel race, but there's always that incident where there can be guys saving fuel to get to the finish. It's just that simple.
The only way you could legislate that is have everybody stop with 10 laps to go in the race and fill up and say fuel has nothing to do with it so the first part of the race means nothing. You're always going to have that no matter what you do. There's always going to be that instance. Does anybody not understand that? You're always going to have that case 'cause we never know when people are going to crash. You never know when. That's one of the things about sports, you don't know the outcome of it. You're always going to have that case.
10 gallons more fuel, yeah, would have helped us today, but maybe last week it wouldn't have.
MIKE HULL: At the point everybody pitted, 10 gallons of fuel wouldn't have made any difference. You still would have had to come back in. We have a 22 gallon cell. What you're say is should we have a 30 gallon fuel tank. If we had that, lap 60, we all would have made it to the end, yes. We came in over whatever it was, 63 or 64. You're not going to make it. It doesn't matter what clever strategy you employ. If you're full rich and running with your foot flat on the floor at lap 163 at the Indy 500, you're not going to make it.
Q. Mike, what happened on the pit stop where Dixon lost a wheel?
MIKE HULL: The tire changer put the tire on, had a problem with the wheel nut. He came away to get his other wheel nut I'll try to get this right came away to get his other wheel nut. When he did, he came all the way back and put the gun down. The guy that sends the car thought the wheel was on and done. So he goes to the air jack guy to drop the car, and he did, and the car left.
We work hard to prevent those things. Didn't like that it happened.
Q. Mike, the reason you guys are here is because of Dario's victory. I was equally impressed with how much you did to help Dixon recover. Talk about that. Chip, are you wishing back in January you were talking to the league about doing 20 million for Daytona and an Indy win?
MIKE HULL: Tony Kanaan proved today you can get from the back to the front. If you think about that, the extraordinary exhibition, if you want to call it that, what they did as a team to recover the way they did for race day, what Tony did in particular early in the race, and I'm with Dixon, I said to Dixon on the radio, when we were all the way at the back, Tony got to the front, you can get to the front. We worked together all day as a team to do that. We never gave up. That's what we do.
We thought we had Dixon in a position in fourth place there to where the three guys in front of us, if they'd have been green to the end, I think there might be a different guy sitting here.
I think it works out as a team. We work as a team, and that's how we work. It's just great to be here today.
Q. Chip, were you on your way to Charlotte tonight? If so, are you going to tell Juan Pablo to pick it up a step?
CHIP GANASSI: I think I'm going to go. Feeling pretty good about racing today. I have a new burst of energy. I think I'm going to go.
THE MODERATOR: Dario, congratulations. We detailed the fact you were dominant all day long, but everything got a little unusual. I'm sure you have all seen races where the dominant car did not win.
DARIO FRANCHITTI: Yeah, last year springs to mind. You know there's a big puddle of oil under the car. I think we broke an oil cooler, seriously.
THE MODERATOR: You're the king of extreme weather.
DARIO FRANCHITTI: Yeah. What can I tell you? We tried our best in qualifying, and we came up a little short. None of us were happy with that. We worked, Scott in particular on Bump Day worked very hard on the car. On cash Carb Day we did again. We left thinking the car was good. From the first lap today, yeah, it wasn't easy to drive, it was bouncing around in one as much as I've had a car move around here in the rear, but I couldn't fix that because it was in balance other corners. But it was fast. Everybody had a problem in traffic, but we seemed to get through.
It was all looking good right up until that whole yellow, then we had to save fuel, were we saving enough, was Tony going to catch us. Turned out he wasn't. Turns out we had plenty of fuel because of the slow down lap. Came in to pit lane, did some burnouts, still had some fuel in it. There was enough.
Wasn't good for your heart, was it, Chip?
CHIP GANASSI: No.
DARIO FRANCHITTI: Much easier to get on it and keep the foot down because the Target car was good. But great day. To win two of these things is pretty damn special.
Q. Dario, you're a student of motor racing. This puts you in an elite category, your hero Jim Clark won here 45 years ago today. What does that mean right now?
DARIO FRANCHITTI: They showed me a list of two time winners. Those guys are legends. I said the other night, I'm just a driver, those guys are legends. I'm so lucky to be drive for Chip and Team Target, getting in good cars, especially having gone away after we won in '07. To be invited back was pretty cool. To have won a championship and an Indy 500, I didn't expect any of this. I said before, I expected to be retired by the time I was 35. This is all bonus and it's pretty cool.
Q. It looked to me that little bit of wing you added at the first stop changed your day. Watching the timing, you were half a second clear per lap. Reminded me a lot of Montoya. Did the car feel as solid as it looked?
DARIO FRANCHITTI: I don't know how other people's were to drive. My car was a handful, but it was a fast handful. When it's fast, you can hang on to it. When it's not quite like that, you have to start making adjustments. It was a handful particularly in one, but it was a handful doing 223s when other guys were doing 221s. Looked better after the tires. We made one change.
CHIP GANASSI: What happens is you get in a situation where he comes in, we say, How is your car? He says, It's dancing a little bit in of turn one, push off of two, three and four. We say, Okay, do we want to make a change to the car? We're looking at the speeds everybody is doing. Those guys are doing 220s. I'm saying, You have to make a decision. Do you want to take a chance on slowing your car down or leaving it alone?
That's what we're thinking about in the pits while he's saying what his car is doing.
DARIO FRANCHITTI: I have a very narrow view of what's going on. This morning I went into the truck, we had a meeting. I asked Chris, Are you happy with the wings we're running? Scott and I split downforce levels. We didn't want to run exactly the same because we wanted to give ourselves a cover things a little more. He said he's happy. You don't want to do this? He's like, Nope. We added half a turn on the front wing. As I said, it was a handful, but it was a fast handful. My boy did his job today. He was great.
Q. Earlier this week we asked about the possibility of the $20 million bonus and all. You said at that time the 500, it's enough. Now that you have the 500 in your pocket, is it enough?
DARIO FRANCHITTI: Yeah. Quite frankly, it's a lot of money, 20 million bucks. Hasn't been announced they're doing it yet. For me, this is enough. Physically, this is enough. That was a tough day out there. For me it's enough.
I think if you want to win either of these races, the Coke 600 or the Indianapolis 500, you have to specialize at it. Chip might change my mind at some point. He seems pretty happy at some point as the man that won the Daytona 500 and Indianapolis 500 in one year, that's pretty cool.
Q. Chip said early on, the first lap going into one, when you got around Power, you stuck it in there, it's sort of like you sat up in the seat. He felt it was like a moment of you realizing you had command of this race. Was there such a moment? Did that pass and move through one and two...
DARIO FRANCHITTI: I thought I had a good chance. I thought I had a fast car by the time I did the first stint because I knew how the car was running through the whole thing. At that point, I thought, We're in the fight here. That move at the start, though, I knew the car was capable of it. It's something I've done before here. When I got past Will, I thought, Fair enough. I was sitting on Helio's gearbox. I thought, Damn, this is good. Pulled on past him, the yellow came out. Restart, but different people, we were able to gap them on the restart and go.
Again, we made a lot of right choices in the car setup. All day from lap 1 to lap 200 I drove the thing as hard as I know how.
Q. We tried without success to get Chip to talk about himself. Being the first guy to win the Daytona 500 and the Indy 500 in the same year, you know firsthand what a different world NASCAR is. What does this accomplishment by Chip mean to you?
DARIO FRANCHITTI: I wish we would have had those cars in '08 (laughter). Mind you, might not have been sitting here, which would be a real shame. It all worked out perfectly. We said that at Long Beach last year, didn't we? Worked out perfectly. Got to have a holiday, come back, have some fun.
I think it says a lot about Chip, the people he employees. The mindset, whether it's here or down in Concord, it's the same mindset: we're here to win. All he wants to do is win. If you're not interested in that, if you take your eye off the ball, he lets you know. That's all he cares about. Mike is the same. We go racing, and we like to win. To be a part of a team like that just makes your job so easy as a driver. You're going to get beaten, absolutely. But you know everybody is on it all the time. That comes from the top down.
Q. Can you take us through your thought process the last five or six laps. How concerned were you with running out of fuel, getting caught by Wheldon?
DARIO FRANCHITTI: I was concerned about running out of fuel. I was concerned about Tony, that he pitted. The guys were like, Right, just get to the finish. Just see if you'll get to the finish. Dan is a ways back. He's coming on a bit, but he's a ways back. We have a good gap. I was managing the gap to Dan. That last lap, I saved a lot of fuel. But Dan was coming on. I think I lifted for the yellow pretty early there.
I was quite happy. My biggest worry was not that, it was running out of fuel. I just noticed, as well, British drivers 1 2 3, four of us in the top 10. That was pretty good.
Q. Two Indy 500 victories. Are you now on par with Jim Clark and Jackie Stewart or are you now above them?
DARIO FRANCHITTI: I could win races, Indy 500s, for the rest of my life, till I'm 70 years old, and I still wouldn't be in the same vein as Jim Clark or Jackie Stewart. Those guys are absolute legends. I'm in awe of both of them.
Q. What did you think when you looked in your side view mirror and there was T.K. from 33rd to behind you?
DARIO FRANCHITTI: I thought, I knew it. I had a dream last night that T.K. and I were going to fight to the finish. But by that point I had those thoughts and it was down to business again. Right, get away from T.K. so he can't draft me and save more fuel. Manage that gap, try to hang on to those guys ahead of me to save as much fuel as I could. Then I kept looking and he was still sort of a similar distance. I thought, Man, if he's saving as much fuel as me, he's going to make this a difficult last five laps or so. Then he pitted, and that took a lot of pressure off. Until he pitted, I never took my eye off him because he can always surprise you. He didn't get the result that he deserved, but to have gone from last to second was cool. He will win one of these races one day, you watch.
Q. Last year you led a bunch of laps and at the end you got stuck in traffic. Today was it really your goal to get out in front and try to stay out in front? Also you talked about how difficult the car was to drive, difficult to match Penske. Did you have to make the car so it was totally on edge to be able to have that speed?
DARIO FRANCHITTI: I think in order to be quick here you have to be on edge. You seldom drive around here and think, This thing is quick and it's easy. Qualifying '07, that's maybe the one time.
As far as staying out front, Scott and I last year were able to lead a bunch of laps, then we had those problems in the second to last pit stop. It just shows you it's a team sport. Everybody, even the best, even Team Target and Team Penske make mistakes. Today my guys were perfect. That's what it took.
Chip told us this morning, didn't he, Make no mistakes, we're in the hunt here today, guys.
Q. When you have a situation like you had at the end, confusing race, is it hard to keep track of all that stuff, concentrate on all those goofy things?
DARIO FRANCHITTI: It's much easier when you're just running wide open, definitely. I say 'wide open,' as hard as it will go. But that's part of it. Strategy is part of racing, whether it's IndyCar racing, stock car racing, sports car racing, you have to find the best way to get to the finish line, right, Mike? Doesn't matter what it is, you have to find the best way, and we did that.
Q. You got around Helio right away. He dropped back. Toward the end there he was in third place and coming. Did you think he had been holding back and was on a real charge? Was he one, along with T.K., you were concerned with at the end?
DARIO FRANCHITTI: At that point I was kind of concerned about T.K. and I was doing the best I could at that time and that was it. There comes a point where you can only go as quickly as you can, you can only save as much fuel, all those sort of things. We managed it.
Q. What does it mean for you being a role model for Scottish kids because you are not only a great racing driver but a great ambassador?
DARIO FRANCHITTI: Thank you. That's a tough one to answer.
I think by the way maybe you live your life, that's all you can really do. Yeah, that's about it. It's very important, both at the track and out of the track, we look after the kids, the fans, the younger kids, because I remember going to racetracks and seeing my heroes. When they were nice to me, it was an unbelievable feeling. I think it's very important.
Q. In terms of emotion, feeling, can you compare this one to your win in '07?
DARIO FRANCHITTI: I think that would be like comparing my two dogs, our two dogs. You can't do it. They're both different. They're both pretty cool, yeah.
MIKE HULL: Need a third dog.
DARIO FRANCHITTI: Need a third dog, exactly (laughter).
I have to say that feeling, when you drive into Victory Lane, you see some of my family, my dad was here, Ashley, some of my family from Nashville, my friends from Scotland, my team, it's cool, man. That's it right there. You get out and you get to drink the milk. That's what it's all about.
Q. Obviously a British 1 2 3 here. Same in the Turkish Grand Prix. What does it feel playing a part in British motorsport history?
DARIO FRANCHITTI: It was great to see Lewis and Jensen fight hard but not take each other out. It was close.
I think we have to think about Mike Conway, as well. Any news on Mike Conway? There's a lot of British drivers here, a lot of quick British drivers. Great having four of us in the top 10 and a 1 2 3. I don't think that's been done before. I think we're doing something right in the UK. I think I'm a generation ahead of most of the other guys, but it's great to see them. Obviously in LMS, as well, F1, LeMans next week, a couple weeks' time. I think we've got some pretty good British drivers right now. I'm very proud of that.
THE MODERATOR: Did you have the sense that you actually were the third-place driver?
MARCO ANDRETTI: In my mind, it's a pretty well-written rule you can't pass under yellow. I was holding pace car speed. I'm talking to my team, there goes three people by me.
The car didn't shut off till turn one. I was under power, for sure. Actually, Brian said, I don't think in the rules it even had to be under power. He were able to still keep pace car speed.
When I saw the crash in three and four, I slowed down. I mean, he's actually rewarding me for that because he's the one who is only on us about carrying speed through there. If I would have carried speed, I would have had no problem, I would have been a lot quicker. I actually had to stop and use a lot more fuel to start going again.
But, you know, I guess right now, my thoughts go out to Conway.
THE MODERATOR: It's interesting, another great finish for you at Indianapolis. Beyond that, given where the team was, you ended up having a darn good day.
MARCO ANDRETTI: Yeah, I never doubted us. I think qualifying is so different here than it is to race because the Firestones will hang on for four laps with very aggressive setups, you can pull a time out of it. When you have to run full stints in traffic, it's a different ballgame. It's 500 miles.
THE MODERATOR: Questions.
Q. Marco, you seemed to run a pretty clean race. Got up there in third. You lost a couple years ago by a bit. Getting good quality runs at the Brickyard, obviously you want to get a win, is that giving you confidence having run well?
MARCO ANDRETTI: Yeah, I mean, it means a lot. Fortunately, like, I think every time I finish here, I've been on the podium. We had a third in '08, as well. We've run strong here. As far as confidence, that means a lot to me because it shows that we can do it. It's just about getting everything right.
I think it was going to be interesting if we ran the distance. Dario on his own was untouchable, but in traffic he was more human. It would have been fun. It was fun the majority of the day.
Q. Talk a little bit about Dario, your former teammate, winning this race. What kind of teammate was he?
MARCO ANDRETTI: Dario, yeah, is the best. He's always been the man at saving fuel. It really rewarded him here today. I don't know how he did it, but impressive.
As far as teammate, yeah, great friend of mine as well. Just a genuine good guy. You know you can trust him. As far as setting up a car, he has a great feel as well.
When he was a teammate, it was good to kind of see his approach at things. Sometimes it's quite different, but it's quite good. When he's on, he's on.
Q. Can you explain the finish of the race.
MARCO ANDRETTI: Just got passed under yellow.
Basically in the closing laps, it's so frustrating because I'm looking at Dario, the leader of this race, and the laps are counting down. I don't want to lift, you know what I mean? When I'm told in my ear, I could have very well ended up where T.K. did. I'm glad one of us as a team kind of pushed Dario a little bit.
I could have very well ended up where he did if I didn't lift. It's so hard when you're looking at the leader to disregard racing them, even if you feel you have something for them. It was frustrating there. But it is what it is. That's why Indianapolis is what it is.
Q. Could you talk about the evolution of the car during the course of the race, whether you thought you would finish third at the beginning of the race?
MARCO ANDRETTI: I think, yeah. I've said it kind of all week. I'm sure I was the only one who believed it. I felt good. Fortunately the way circumstances played out during race week when we were able to kind of work on the car, I was able to stick it in the first day qualifying. I was able to switch my mind a hundred percent to race mode. We had some really good closing days. I was feeling really good about my car, even though we qualified 16th.
I know how I felt going into '08. We were able to lead that race outright. I felt just as good coming into here. It took us a little longer to get to the front. But I think once we were in clean air, it was smooth sailing, for sure.
Q. In the last yellow, when did you feel like things weren't right, that you needed to make an appeal?
MARCO ANDRETTI: Well, because it's a written rule you can't pass under yellow. We're all cooling down. We saw a horrific incident. I'm talking to my team saying, Great job all day. Here comes three people doing 150 miles an hour right by me. I kept pace car speed, which is what we're supposed to do under yellow.
Q. With the change, if you haven't spoken to Danica, what are your plans to say to her?
MARCO ANDRETTI: Don't really have anything to say. She went up a place before she went down a place.
Q. On the television broadcast, they were playing your radio transmissions. They wanted you to get 4.0. As a driver, they're asking a specific fuel mileage, how do you alter your driving to accomplish what they want and still keeping up with the car in front of you?
MARCO ANDRETTI: You can't. That's the thing. I had to let him go. That's the thing. I knew the race win was out of sight when they told me Dario needs 4.0 and I need 4.1. Right there I knew there was no way because he also had the track position on me as well. From there, it's, let's bring home as many points as we can. We were able to.
Q. Did you have enough fuel to finish the race if it hadn't gone yellow? Could you have made it? If you pushed hard, would you have run out of fuel?
MARCO ANDRETTI: No, I would have run out. That's why I had to let T.K. go. Unfortunately, they said he wasn't going to make it, which to me it's like, Okay, now really I'm not racing him. That was the only I guess good news, but not really because he's your teammate. At that point now I'm worried about Dan. I couldn't control him.
If I would have raced Dan, we weren't finishing the race. Like I said, it was very easy to ends up where Tony did.
THE MODERATOR: Dan said the same thing you are. Your instinct is to go.
MARCO ANDRETTI: Exactly. It's a race.
THE MODERATOR: You do that well here, Marco. Thank you for coming.
MARCO ANDRETTI: Thank you, guys.
Dan Wheldon, Alex Lloyd, Mario Romancini
THE MODERATOR: Mario is the highest finishing rookie of the race. Congratulations on a fine run.
MARIO ROMANCINI: Thank you. I'm sorry, I was a bit nervous. Clearly when I took the checkered flag, I was in front of Simona. I lifted because of the crash. But I think it's OK. I think it's official now.
I'm very, very happy. I think this place keeps me good memories and still giving me a lot of good emotions. Last year I started 18th on the Lights and finished third. Today I started 27th and finished 13th as best rookie.
I would like to thank my guys, crew, engineer, team owner, sponsors, all of them. It was a very tough day I think to have your first Indy 500 with these temperatures, so many crashes. I had to save a lot of fuel in the end. Simona was saving a lot of fuel as well as a lot of the other guys. It was very, very difficult, but I'm very, very happy to finish at best rookie.
THE MODERATOR: Congratulations. Questions for Mario.
Q. Does anything prepare you for how long this race is? At what point did it set in that you have a long way to go before you get to the end?
MARIO ROMANCINI: Yeah, it was very difficult. That was one of the things that I was most scared, like how long it will be, how long it's going to take until the end of the race.
Once you get the momentum going, you are always trying to improve your position, go faster and faster, the race goes like this. I thought it would last a lot, it would be very, very long. But it wasn't. All the time was very focused with my engineers, trying to improve the car, asking about the next pit stops.
The momentum was just taking me throughout the race. I didn't feel that I ran 500 miles. It was quite easy at this point.
Q. You mentioned the temperatures. Did you feel hot in the car? Can you describe were you sweating, you felt warm or what?
MARIO ROMANCINI: For sure, it was very, very hot. Even 20 minutes before the start when we had to go to the grid and wait there, I was feeling how hot it was. It was one of the keys for this race. The setup of the car changes a lot when the track temperature is so high. We started to start with a lot more downforce on the car.
In the beginning, when I was talking my engineers, I was like, Are you sure there's not too much downforce on our car? But it was the right decision because as the temperature came up, we actually needed a lot of downforce, a lot of grip. At the end of the stints, like around lap 28 or 29 of the tires, it was very difficult to keep it flat.
So for sure I think the biggest challenge today was the temperature and staying out of trouble. I've never seen so many crashes in my career.
Q. Having run the Freedom 100 here, you were aware of what the track was like. How did the track change with all these people?
MARIO ROMANCINI: Changes a lot. The grandstands, just by the fact they are packed, seems like the front straight is narrow and everything looks different. There are so many distractions, so it's more difficult to keep your focus on the car in front of you.
As you said, on the Freedom 100, it was good for me to get a feel of how it was to race here at the Speedway. But with this car, I had to learn so many new things during the race. It's a lot faster than the Lights car. You cannot play with your lines because of the marbles. At the end of the race, you really had to be very precise with your lines. The outside, it was very dirty.
So I think I had one of my biggest learning days of my career so far for sure.
Q. You mentioned the crashes. Were any of them close?
MARIO ROMANCINI: One of the first ones I think was Junqueira on turn two. I almost caught him. He crashed, his car came to the left side of the track. I had to try to avoid it. It was really close.
I'm glad we were able to stay out of the trouble. We finished the race. Of course, I'm very, very happy to be the best rookie. But when we started the race, we just had in mind, Let's finish the race, and we did it.
Q. Would you describe this as a strange race, given all the crashes, having to conserve fuel at the end, kind of a choppy race?
MARIO ROMANCINI: Yeah, I don't know if it's strange because when we look to oval racing, there's always a lot of crashes. But for sure for me it was something new 'cause in Kansas was my first oval race and I didn't have to save much fuel there. It wasn't so long as this one. We didn't have so many crashes.
As I said before, I think I learned a lot today. I learned so many new things that I will be able to use for Texas, for Iowa, for the next oval races. It will be really good for me.
THE MODERATOR: Mario, thank you very much for coming in. Congratulations.
MARIO ROMANCINI: Thank you.
THE MODERATOR: Congratulations, Alex. Talk about your day.
ALEX LLOYD: What a day. I knew we had a good car. You know, I was optimistic before the race because I knew we worked basically solidly all month on race setup. People say, Your speeds are OK, you made it in the field, that's a great job. I knew we were certainly a lot quicker than where we qualified. I knew our biggest forté would be racing.
We were conservative with our setup. We started our first run of the day and had a good car. From that moment we never really tried to reinvent the wheel. Kept tweaking on it, playing with it, worked on our racecars, didn't try to take downforce off. Today we were conservative with downforce. We knew it was hot. Turned out hotter than anybody imagined yesterday by a few degrees. We saw on the grid a few people trimmed out. I thought, from my few years of experience now, that just doesn't seem like the way to go.
So, yeah, I mean, the car was great from the beginning. I knew we had to be patient and work our way through. We did that bit by bit. Great work by the Boy Scouts guys in the pits. Good restarts. My spotter did an excellent job calling it for me. I have to thank the Boy Scouts of America. A lot of key people, individuals, that have come for this event. We've had a stuff start to the year, no doubt about it. I'm glad the fact that Dale Coyne and Gail put me in, getting in these cars, we showed we're a small team, but we can fight with the big guns and go knocking on the door of an Indy 500 win.
Big day for all of us. We're truly thrilled. Maybe better than I even anticipated. If I thought about the perfect day with no mistakes, I thought we could be solidly in the top 10. Great strategy by the guys. Here we are. Pretty amazing day.
THE MODERATOR: Questions.
Q. Alex, you said the other day you were keen on a top 10 finish. Were you ever close to an accident?
ALEX LLOYD: No, I never had any close moments. Normally in this case there's always some close moments. The first year I didn't finish the race. Second year I did. Had a pretty solid day. There were some pretty close moments.
In this, no major dramas. The car was really that good. We didn't have any dramas. I could be very patient. The accidents come in this racetrack when you're not quick enough and you're trying to hold it flat behind somebody in the dirty air, it washes up. When you're quick enough, you don't need to drive it over the limit, you can just drive it to that limit, things come a lot smoother.
It was a real smooth day for us out there. Nothing major. A couple times I tried to go around the outside and the restart after they swept the track. It was still a few marbles down there. Lost a little bit of grip, a couple of guys went by. But it was a matter of staying patient.
If something happened like that, you got to back out of it, just back out of it. Lose the spots, go work on it again. I think that's what paid off for us today, we didn't get carried away, kept working, kept saving fuel. We saved a lot of fuel.
I figured out a way of how I could save fuel and still get good runs on people at the end. It was lifting a lot going into turns one and three, saving the fuel, but then keeping it hammered through the exit of one, exit of two, and saving through three and four, get a good run out. Meant I could jump some spots while saving fuel. That was really the key for us. We were going to have a pretty good day up until then anyway. When I kind of figured out how to do that, how to get through, that was really where we started to charge through. A couple laps ago I got the green light to go race. That was a nice feeling. All this work, you're so worried if we have to pit now, it's for nothing. But the guys did a great job. They called it perfectly. We had just enough fuel to get ourselves in it pits. That's all we needed. Didn't need any more. That was a great job.
I think just as I got past Dixon on that straight that I passed him, going into turn one, I got, Go, you have the green light, race this thing to the finish. At that point I could shift down a gear, get the car really working. I knew it was hooked up, I could stand on it, chase down as many as I could. It was one of those days where things work out. Went perfect for us. We didn't make any mistakes. Key to this race: Make no mistakes, drive hard.
I tried to find the balance of driving as aggressively as I could and being patient, too. I think we found that pretty well today. That enabled us to make positions when we needed to, enabled us to not take any silly chances, too. Great day for the Boy Scouts guys.
Q. Your IndyCar career has been a little bit of an exercise in frustration for you the last few years. Here you are with a team that doesn't have the resources and you're in the press center. Do you feel vindicated? Are you going to go home tonight and pump your fists a little bit more than you are right now?
ALEX LLOYD: I think I probably am. About 20 laps to go, maybe 15, when we started making some moves, we were coming through pretty quickly, I tell you, I started shouting in my helmet a little bit, C'mon. I was getting excited. I was really pumped up, ready to go. Not the best thing to do when you're trying to save fuel. The guys don't want that. I felt like I figured something out that I could save the fuel, make positions. I was pumped.
Like I say, it's been a tough road since the Indy Lights championship in '07. I've kept my head high and I kept working hard. I think a big part of that is my family. I've got my wife, my two daughters now, which is even more motivation to work hard and get results like this because at the end of the day I've got to figure out how to put food on the table. When you're not getting many drives, it's not the easiest thing in the world.
This is an exciting day for us. I have to thank my mum and my dad, my whole family. I've had a lot of support these last few years and I've needed it. As I said, when you have two young children, you're scrounging around for a drive, after 2007 when everything went perfect, the start of this year, things didn't go as planned for the first few races, you just have to keep digging.
They try and teach in the Scouts, never give up, all these great morals. It's kind of pretty fitting today that that's what we've been through as a family the last couple years. Now we're here on the podium of the Indy 500. It's a great feeling. Again, I just got to thank Gail and Dale Coyne for giving me this opportunity. Haven't done many races the last couple years. Three IndyCar races in two years. There's a lot of other guys out there he could have picked over me, guys with more experience. But he didn't. He picked me. I'm thrilled to be able to deliver him a result of the biggest race in the world.
Q. When you took off and owned the Firestone Indy Lights Series, I know you had in mind the next step is right there. Did you ever have doubts that people thought it was luck what you did in Indy Lights in 2007? Did you doubt yourself?
ALEX LLOYD: I didn't doubt myself. You always have your up and down points. That's where family come back in to pick you back up. If I was doing this on my own, probably would have had some tough moments. But at the end of the day it's about bouncing back from those tough moments.
I've been working as hard as I can possibly work. I just figured, if I keep working, if I do everything to the best of my ability, I know I can do the job. I just need that opportunity. The opportunity came this year. Today we really had a great car. The guys worked so hard since Kansas we struggled. We didn't have our best car. We realized that we needed to step up our game.
But the difference in two, three weeks' time is unbelievable. You know, I think it's going to take a little while to sink in, how this race has gone. You wouldn't have predicted it given the start to the year that we had. I knew the quality of people we had on the team, the motivation we have, you can achieve a lot of things with willpower. The Boy Scouts, we have millions of scouts out there, 50 million alumni cheering us on. I can feel that excitement from all the Boy Scouts, all the people I've met over the last few months. That definitely helps motivate me, motivates the whole team to produce a result like this.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you.
ALEX LLOYD: Thank you.
THE MODERATOR: Interesting to be up there in a nice spot, Dan.
DAN WHELDON: To tell you the truth, I first and foremost want to thank the National Guard for giving me the privilege and honor to drive their racecar, which obviously Panther Racing allow. It's incredibly rewarding when you hear a lot of the stories about what the soldiers do. It kind of blows your mind. But when you meet people that are on the line fighting for us to allow us to run this country freely is for me an honor.
Hopefully I put a great smile on their face, the troops overseas, obviously the people that are based in the U.S. But we came up a little short, but it was a fantastic result. I think the Indianapolis 500 was big this year. I got to thank Izod for that, too. I think they've done a phenomenal job of bringing a lot of different mainstream media to this event. I was downtown Indianapolis with my wife and son last night. We kind of got caught up in the chaos because there was Vanity Fair parties, GQ parties. It's great to be part of the IndyCar Series right now. For me personally, this event has always been the greatest event in the world. It's essential the biggest sporting event in the world. I'm very proud to be part of it.
Second two years in a row is not good. I have to make sure I improve that one more spot next year. It was a good race. I think everybody at Panther Racing did a phenomenal job. I perhaps should not have been so disciplined. Back in the day, I probably would have ignored some of the instructions I got on those last five laps. As I've got older, I think I'm a bit better behaved.
THE MODERATOR: Questions.
Q. Dan, how did you conserve fuel to get to the end? How did you conserve fuel and use your 'push to pass' button?
DAN WHELDON: I was out of 'push to passes'. That's why it took me long to pass Tomas Scheckter than I would have liked. It was funny. My engineer, David, I should apologize to his wife, because I've been calling him disgraceful hours during the night with ideas and stuff like that. I have to say, if anybody knows my wife, she's the best wife out there. But to put up with me during this month and have a 16 month old running around has been quite an experience for us. I know she's back there. But her putting up with me this month is hard.
But we had a little story during the Long Beach race that he told me. I had an idea that he was telling me what we call a fib in England, which is a lie, which way you want to look at it. When it went green for that last stint, he told me I was good to go. I had that feeling he was telling a little story then.
I took it upon myself to save fuel early on in that stint. I was lifting through the middle of every corner at one point just to kind of set myself up for the end. I was still able to run a relatively good pace doing that once I got past Scheckter.
It allowed me to basically maintain that pace right up until the end of the race where a lot of the other cars dropped off. But, you know, it's definitely a team effort. I think, you know, the strategy that the team called, they always do a great job of that. They could have crumbled under the pressure. This is a big event. It's particularly big when you have the National Guard on the side of your car. They pulled through and did a great job.
Q. The situation with Graham Rahal early in the race, do you think it was worth for him to get a drive through?
DAN WHELDON: I can guarantee you Robin Miller from SPEED thought it was my fault. He's his number one fan.
No, it was totally out of order. He put me on the grass at over 220 miles an hour. He totally deserved I think that penalty. I think the rules are in place. I think Brian Barnhart does a phenomenal job. It's tough for him because he's got to allow the drivers to race, but you've got to be able to put on a show.
At the end of the day, if you want to block somebody intentionally, you can very much do that, but it gets incredibly dangerous. When you do that, somebody's going to get hurt.
So I think everybody knew clearly going into this race what defined blocking. He didn't adhere to that rule. He got the right penalty. That's no laughing joke. I have to say that here in my first year I did the same, got punished for it. I'd like to think I'm one of the cleaner guys out there and learned from that. Obviously as a veteran of the series, I've been around a lot longer than people like Marco, I don't want to say veteran, but it's one of those things you need to adhere by the rules and set an example.
Q. You've had incredible success at this Speedway, a win, two seconds. What is it about this track that suits your driving style?
DAN WHELDON: You know, I think it's the fact that I bug my engineer at all hours of the morning. You know, I've been blessed when I've come to this track. I've driven here for Andretti Green Racing, which is now Andretti Autosports, Target Chip Ganassi Racing, and now Panther Racing. Everything organization, although they're different, they all bring great racecars to Indianapolis. When you're in that position, particularly I really felt that this year. Qualifying didn't go according to plan, but every day and after qualifying we were on track we were very competitive. When you have the opportunity to win, you've got to put every effort into it because you might not get that.
I'd like to think I have a very good feel for the racecar. I'm sure that the engineering staff would say I'm incredibly demanding. It's on races like this where if you're detail orientated, methodical, you can prepare what is a very good racecar. It doesn't matter where you start, you can get to the front. You have to have the whole team, too. Again, the team did phenomenal pit stops. They had a great strategy. I believe myself and my engineer work well to the point of being able to get, you know, good racecars. It certainly pays off, especially at a track like this.
Q. Dan, when it was coming maybe 10 laps to go, reminiscent of the old Andretti Green team with Dario out front, you and Tony. Did you have any thoughts about going back to those days?
DAN WHELDON: No. The only thing I thought is, I'm going to catch these guys. I have Packy Wheeler as my spotter, primary spotter. He knows my mentality. I think Marco gave it away a little bit that he was struggling on fuel. I saw him let Tony by. I knew both those cars were going to struggle because I thought they were pretty much on the same strategy.
Dario, I didn't know. But I was confident of the fact that I saved quite a lot of fuel early on in that stint. It's very difficult when you're in that situation, you know, when your engineer or your strategist tells you you're OK to the end. What I always do is I look at the number of laps to go and look at how much fuel is left in the tank. That wasn't adding up when he first told me I was clear.
In that situation, you have to be disciplined. There's always the hope of a yellow. But the way this race played out, the way the races have played out during this year, there's been a lot of green stops. That's when I took it upon myself to save the fuel early. If you try and save it right at the end, it's very, very difficult. I knew because of that I was in a pretty good position.
I was hungry to win, but the team were getting on my butt about saving fuel those last three laps. Maybe if I was young like Rahal and Marco Andretti, myself back in the day, I would have totally ignored them, tried to run Dario down when I saw him slowing down. I knew it was close. Just one of those things.
You know, that's all I thought about. I live in the present. I didn't think of those days. We have a great team at Panther Racing. I think as everybody can see, we're continually getting better. The team work incredibly hard. If you look at the No. 20 car, that was competitive all month. I told Eddie he's not allowed to leave, he's got to come back for more races. The team do a good job. Very happy the position I'm in right now. Just would like to win this race again.
Q. A little bit of elaboration on the last lap. From above things looked chaotic. What were you thinking the last lap and whether you could get to the finish line? Were you wondering about the caution benefitting you then?
DAN WHELDON: You know, on the last lap, I was thinking, I can see Dario struggling. I could tell he was hanging on. Like I say, I could tell by the pace he was running at the start of the stint that he was going to be even closer than I was. The downforce levels all the same, what have you. I knew he was going to be struggling. My spotter was telling me, Let's go run him down. The team were telling me to really bring it home.
I thought that was going to be the opportunity where I might be able to pick him off. That's all I was focused on. Then obviously when the yellow come out, I knew obviously Dario was safe. It was one of those things.
I have to say often when the yellow comes out, it's kind of one of those chances for a breather. That wasn't the case on this last one because you still had to make sure you save fuel to get around to the flag. Yeah, at that point there was not much I could do other than just conserve when the yellow came out and kind of push Dario a little bit to see if he did run out, but he made it past the line.
Q. How do you keep track of your own fuel with the guys around you, still concentrate on the racetrack? How hard is that?
DAN WHELDON: You get used to it. You know, it's part of this race. What makes this race so fantastic is everything that goes into it. You know, you see the team effort. But it's the families of these team members. These mechanics, they're in this garage at 6:00 in the morning. They're here till 10:00 at night. It's all the details.
As you do more laps around here, as you get more confident in yourself, understand how races play out through strategy, but also through historical data, you know there's things that you have to keep an eye on. Around here, that's certainly one of them.
Typically towards the end, you know towards the end of a stint the car goes out a little bit. I have to say the Firestones were very good this year. But it's management. That is one of the things that makes this race great. You drive a hundred percent all the time, but you've got to keep up with the controls in the cockpit. You've got to maintain good fuel mileage at a high pace.
This track, if you can do that, you're good at that, it makes a difference. I have to give credit as well to Honda. Honda have been very, very impressive. I've been with them since end of 2002. Again, these motors are turning some rpms and some speeds. At the speeds we do, they get great fuel mileage and you never see them break down. Proud to be associated with them. They did a very good job.
Q. In all the preparation work the week before, very cool weather, then you drive in 85 degrees, the track very hot, how hard is it to prepare a car with so little time?
DAN WHELDON: You know, that's a good question. I mean, you call it the month of May, but now it's the two weeks of May. You know, we really didn't have any very hot conditions. Obviously, the teams, and the National Guard help us, by trying to track the conditions for key moments of the month of May, like qualifying and obviously the race. We knew it was going to be very hot. That's why we ran a ton on Sunday to have an idea of what we needed from the racecar.
When I get in the racecar, typically a lot of the tracks I know the feel I want to get, particularly for the longer events. I knew I wanted, and we were able to get pretty close to that, on the Sunday. There were definitely some things I wanted to try. We did a little bit more running than we would have perhaps liked on Carb Day. On Carb Day I think some of the guys on the team will say this, I'm never one to say the car is perfect, I always want more. I was probably down playing how good I thought the car was. It's just making sure you have that feel. It was definitely the feel I needed today, certainly the last three or four stints.
Q. If there hadn't been a yellow, could you have caught Dario?
DAN WHELDON: He was definitely slowing down. It's always very difficult to answer a question like that. He said he did burn out softer and stuff like that. I guess you'll never know. But I'll be interested to see how much fuel was in both cars after they come out of tech. I would definitely say we were closing him down at a high rate. Like I say, it's very difficult to answer that one.
Q. You and this team make no bones about your desire to win the Indy 500. Even though this is a runner up finish, these are solid points. Based on your experience, how do you balance those two emotions out, coming up short here but also recognizing it's a good day for the championship?
DAN WHELDON: Yeah, I mean, it's a good day. But I can tell you, if I have to race till I'm 86 years old, I'm going to race till I win another Indianapolis 500. It's an amazing event. It truly is. Yeah, we have Texas coming up. But, honestly, it's important after a race like this, it would be perhaps different if you win, but after this event you download the readings of the racecar with the engineer just to make sure you have a good baseline to start from next year, or if we test in the winter, then you focus about the next race coming up, Texas.
I think we're in pretty good shape for that race. So we'll be able to download probably more than we would have normally for this race and not Texas. It's one of those things. It's such a great race. It's disappointing not to win. But, like I say, the team did perform very, very well. Anytime you can finish second in the Indianapolis 500 is a good event.
Am I a hundred percent happy? No. Especially as I feel I could have gone a little bit quicker those last few laps had I perhaps not been as disciplined as I was. But nonetheless, we got a good result and we'll carry that momentum to Texas and hopefully that will propel us to a great second half of the season in the championship.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you for coming in, Dan. Congratulations.
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