Nikon Indy 300 Post-Race Transcript
Moderator: We are joined now by our second and third place finisher, Scott Dixon from Target Chip Ganassi Racing and Ryan Hunter-Reay from Rahal Letterman racing. Scott second place talk about your run out there today.
Dixon: It wasn't too bad, could have been a big staggered at the start, had to give me spot back to Ryan, I figured I was in front going into the Chicane and then obviously two of us weren't going to fit through there so I decided to set it up and then I had to get back behind and then pretty much that's where I saw his rear end, it wasn't too much fun for me and I pretty good time on the pit stop I think, and that yellow came out and as we were doing our pit stop the pace car stopped in front of us so we couldn't get out of the pits and therefore Briscoe passed the pace car and we lost the spot again and it was a bit of pain there and obviously just didn't have enough speed to pass, he was super quick especially on the longer runs, we were a little quicker at traffic, it was a great day, it was a bit of a mixed up race in the middle part there, but obviously I feel bad for Will, I think he was really quick and if he hadn't made the mistake I think he was going to be very tough to beat.
Moderator: Ryan, your run out there today?
Hunter-Reay: It was a nice way to end the season, I wish it was a points race it would have been great for us but it is what it is, we're back here in Surfers it is my first time back in a couple of years and I haven't finished outside the top 5 here, and I really like this place it is a blast to race here, everything on track and off, and everything is up in the air for next year with Letterman and myself, I don't have a ride yet, so it is a good way to go at the end of the season and hopefully that helps spark things up a bit. So you know like I said I just hope to come back, it is a great place to be, a great place to race and I had a blast this week.
Q. Could either of you tell the difference as you were driving around people, who had things to prove in this race and who didn't, cause I sense some guys at the back were just trolling around because it wasn't a points race, there wasn't as much on the line, could you tell that?
Dixon: I don't know I think the race spaced a bit, I pretty much raced with Ryan all day there was a bit of action going on behind me I think with Ryan and Tagliani for a little bit, it is a race man I'm competitive I don't care if it is for points or for nothing, go for your life, I am going to do the same thing, I will do the same thing I'm competitive and I want to win, I'm pretty sure it is the same for everyone.
Hunter-Reay: You shouldn't be in a race car if it matters if it's a points or a non points race, that's for sure because when you put the visor down and you're out there with everybody else, you don't even think if it was a points race or not, to tell the truth I was pushing as hard as I could and unfortunately I got stuck behind Tagliani there and I had to be patient trying to get him a couple of times, but I lost my gap to these guys and that's that. I didn't see any differences in anybody else, it was a regular race.
Q. Scott that was pretty good are you confident going into next season that you can defend the title.
Dixon: You know it's pretty tough to defend a title, winning is tough but to defend is harder and last time we tried it, it didn't work out too well but obviously next year I think the team looks very strong, the development has been good in the off season already the car is super fast and I have a new team mate joining me next year, with Dario he has been fantastic already and exceptionally quick for the amount of time he has been out of the car and qualifying 4th and most of the weekend being in the top 3 so I am looking forward to it, I think next year having the two last 500 championships and the last series champions makes a very good team and I think definitely hope we can continue as I would love to win the championship again, but if Dario's in a position at the end I will be definitely trying to help him as well.
Q. Scott you have been talking about Briscoe and his championship hopes because now he looks like the guy who could win a championship next year.
Dixon: I think Briscoe definitely is a huge talent and we saw that today, the guy is very fast, he can hold races together and we were very close in the fact that he was my team mate, he was very quick when he was my team mate so he is going to be tough to beat, Helio's always very tough to beat, Penske I think no matter who is in those cars they are always fantastic driver, I think next year Ryan, Dario, Helio even Ryan here are going to be pretty tough to beat, let alone Wilson and a bunch of others to, but I'd say Briscoe will be at the top.
Q. Scott, How exciting was it to have a Bledesloe Cup or Anzac battle at the top of the field today?
Dixon: It was fun, it was good to see fortunately I think it was going to be two Australians on the podium together it is cool to be able to come down here and put on a great show, I was born in Brisbane and I grew up in New Zealand, there are definitely a lot of Kiwis here today and I'm trying to put on a good show for them and trying to close the gap with the last few laps to and put a bit of pressure on Ryan and see if he would hit the wall, but obviously it didn't go that way.
Q. Scott: I think I heard on the radio that your car may not be as good as you would like it to be, to get by Briscoe when you were getting close to behind him, would you change the set up if you had to do it over again?
Dixon: Yes probably but you can't do that so I think Briscoe's car was very good, he was very quick at the front straight we were extremely quick through the chicane sat 7, 8, 9 through to 12, we closed the gap every time but the track is very fast, so it is one of things that if I was in front of him he would have had a tough time trying to pass me as well, but that's most of the time when you are on a race track like this, or in a race, you're trying to pressure somebody to make a mistake so if you keep it together and continue on your way it will be very tough to pass.
Q. You kept on saying how nice it would be to come back to Australia but at the end of the day is it really matter to you.
Dixon: I think everybody who has worked on this event should be very proud; it is a fantastic event that we all like to come to. I have been here since 2002 and it is definitely a great show with great support series with the V8s and things like that so it is a great time for me, close to home, see my friends and family, it is definitely one of the best courses as far as being technical and challenging and then also the fans and people who come and watch. If they can put it together I'm sure we will be thrilled to be back.
Moderator: Thanks guys, much appreciated.
Moderator: We are joined by race winner Ryan Briscoe, a couple of facts for everybody, Ryan is the first Australian to win this event, he is the 17th different winner of this event in 18 times the race has been run and the only previous win by a team Penske driver in Australia was in 1992 by Emerson Fittipaldi. Ryan if you would tell us about your run out there today?
Briscoe: Thank you it is very exciting to win here today at home, a pretty smooth race, side by side with Dixy and he was sort of forcing the issue on the outside and had to cut the Chicane and pretty thankful for the people making the rulings that he had to let me go back in front and from there I was trying to keep the pace with Will, I think we were running a couple of tenths quicker than him once the tires came up to temperature and it looked like until he made a little error which was very unfortunate, cause he had a fast car all weekend so once we got the lead I was able to put down some fast laps and pull away from Scott a little bit, we called for an early pit stop once we came up on some lap traffic we didn't want to get held up so we pulled in to the pits a lap early to maintain track position and from there that was it we had some good restarts, some good pit stops and kept it clean didn't make any mistakes and that was the key thing today.
Q. Pretty flawless donuts in your celebration there at the end to.
Briscoe: Yeah that was the first time in a Indy Car so I was pretty pumped.
Q. Ryan accept that you have a wet suit from champagne you don't look like you have been in a race car yet, you look so fresh, can you talk about what it is like physically in this kind of race?
Briscoe: It is pretty physical but the worst thing was I kept losing skin off my hands from the bumps and chaffing so I lost of bunch of skin and everyone shaking my hand and I managed to get a band aid, it wasn't too bad, it was pretty hot out there, I had the drink system so I managed to drink a bit during the caution periods, trying to keep fresh, it is hard work I won't deny it, it's very hard work out there.
Q. Even though this is a world championship race how much does it mean to win.
Briscoe: It means almost a million points a year so it is very special and you know I really hope we can come back here, it is an amazing even, the fans the location, everything going on, all the support teams it is a very exciting place to have an Indy car race and I really hope we have the opportunity to come back in the future, as a round of the points but um it is very special it is not often in my career that I have had the opportunity to race in my home country and I have had a lot of friends and family watch me race here and it means a lot to win this weekend.
Q. Ryan, Will Power has a lot of pressure on him, because this is his home race in Australia, you probably had more of a back seat approach to it, as far as media commitments go did you feel you were pressured by commitments because it was your Australian race?
Briscoe: I've been racing a fair bit in the lead up to this last weekend, I was racing at Laguna State so unfortunately I wasn't able to come out here earlier enough to take part in all the media stuff, but I think Will the name of his team is Team Australia so there is a lot more attention on him here I was probably in the shadows a bit as far as that goes but it is as much a home race to me as it is to him, that's for sure. I felt bad when I saw him hit the wall, and go out because he had been nothing less than dominate all week end and I could see out in front it looked like he was doing it pretty easy but I guess it wasn't too easy, but it is shame for him cause he was hands down the quickest guy here the weekend and it is a shame he couldn't get a better result.
Q. You have had a lot of success in this season, how much does this mean for you going into the 2009 series as far as momentum and particularly as this win is in your home country.
Briscoe: It is important for sure, the first two rounds next year are street courses just like this so this weekend I had a new engineer on board and it was great having the opportunity to work with him so it is a good kick off going into 2009 but I'm not really treating this race as a stand alone event but it is a big one, my home race and no matter what it was going to be special but for sure I think I would have learnt some things this week end and hopefully carried them to 2009. This year has been very good for me and especially the second half so I do have a lot of momentum behind me I really want to carry that into 2009.
Q. Can we talk about your history a little bit, you've dabbled in quite a few things, F1 test driving and all that do you feel you have found a place you belong?
Briscoe: Yes I do, it is a lot of hard work, it is so competitive in the Indy car series and I think every single driver would love to have the seat I have right now so there is definitely a lot of pressure to hang on to it and hope that next year I have a lot of success and solidify my seat here at team Penske. Roger is an amazing guy to work for it is hands down the best team I have ever worked with and it is first class all the way and Indy cars are on the rise as a series globally and just getting stronger and stronger all the time and next year we will see one of the strongest ever seasons of Indy car racing.
Q. What members of your immediate family are here today?
Briscoe: My Mum, Dad, my Sister and my Uncle.
Q. Their names are:
Briscoe: Geoff and Marion, and Nicole my sister.
Q. Ryan you're in pretty good company here in Australia with sharing a Penske win with Emerson Fittipaldi, talk about that a little bit.
Briscoe: Yes any win with Team Penske is very special I said from the beginning it is one thing becoming a driver for Penske racing, but to then become a part of the group of winners for Penske is extremely special so hopefully we can keep that going.
Moderator: Ryan we appreciate your time and congratulations.
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