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DATE News (chronologically)
06/14/12
irl
What drivers are saying ahead of Milwaukee weekend  
Dario Franchitti
DARIO FRANCHITTI: “With all the problems, it looked like we weren’t going to be coming back to Milwaukee.  But we’re back here because of what the IndyCar Series and Michael Andretti and his team did to put this together. It’s great to be back at Milwaukee and this track is one we all love. There’s so much history. In order to get Indy car racing back to where it needs to be, we need to be at these places. There are so many things going on for the fans and I think Michael and his team have done a good job and it should be a good event.”  (About missing the test here in May): “I would have loved to test here.  At first, when they said it was because of the (Indy 500 winner’s) media stuff, I said, “Let’s postpone it.” But then the team explained it properly and said if you want to celebrate with the guys at the banquet in Indy, then you can’t test at Milwaukee. It was such a big thing to win Indy and we wanted celebrate together. It’s a bit of a disadvantage but luckily, Scott, Graham and Charlie were here and logged laps. So we can steal their information.”

JAMES HINCHCLIFFE: (How do you think the new car will perform at Milwaukee): “The first street course went well. The first road course went well. The first 500 went well and the first mile-and-a-half went well. If you’re going to look at trends, we should be all right. Based on the test we had here, we in store for another exciting race. This has always been a track that has a good ebb and flow to it. The tires fall off a lot during a stint here and you see guys that may be really quick at the beginning of a stint fall off at the end. It always provides for good racing and based on the test, we going to see more of that.” (About the top-two having grid penalties): “It’s one of those things where you take advantage of every situation every weekend whether the guys you are chasing could qualify one spot behind you or have a 10 grid spot penalty. We’re not looking super hard at the points right now. It’s my second year and first with the (Andretti Autosport) team. We didn’t come into this (season) thinking, ‘OK, the championship is a realistic goal.’ We’re sitting in a good place right now, but it’s on the back of a lot of consistent finishes. We’ re not having trailblazing, lead flag-to-flag finishes. For us, we just need to focus on having as strong a weekend as possible and let the chips fall as they may.”

RYAN HUNTER-REAY: “At Milwaukee, you may see some guys on the outside for the restart, but the line always seems to creep down because of the marbles. It’s normal oval stuff for a short oval. I think we’re going to see as good a race at Milwaukee as there has been in a long time. That’s what this car has been about.” (About his history at Milwaukee, including leading every lap from pole in 2004): “I need to find one of those setups again.” (About showing up clean shaven and James Hinchcliffe pointing out he finished second): That’s a good point, but lately, not so much, so that had to be it. It wasn’t an injector problem it was a facial hair problem.”

MARCO ANDRETTI: “Milwaukee has never been too easy. You can maybe run a lap or two flat and that will be good enough to get you the pole, but after 5-6-7 laps on the tires, you are going to be working again. If you are in traffic, and with a short mile track you are going to be following somebody, it’s going to disrupt your run as well. It’s going to be a typical short oval.” (What would it mean to win this weekend?): “It would mean a lot. Obviously, dad promoting it makes it special and loads of history here with my family and I need a win, just being selfish.” (Does you dad bring up the all-Andretti podium in 1991): “He’s not one to brag about anything, but that was a big day for him. I know it was. And obviously for the family. My grandfather is very proud of that day, too, even though he was third. I’m sure he was bummed about that.” (About pressure he feels this weekend): “Me not winning since Iowa last year is the pressure. I want to win because I want to win. It’s definitely possible. We’ve run really well in the last three races and just come up short for whatever reason. I think we have a great shot.  It sounds like we have really good cars. So hopefully, we roll off close.”

MIKE CONWAY: “This is a home race for my sponsor ABC Supply. I think they are bringing something like 800 people coming for the weekend” (What did you learn at the test): “It’s always good to come to a track before you race. It’s just good to work on the car so you know what kind of setup you need when you come here. The test didn’t start off so good, but we worked on it and ended up pretty good by the end of the test.”

JUSTIN WILSON: “We turned up here and like Mike, the car was a handful. Lots of push and really struggling. I was glad we got to test because we could make those changes to start with and hopefully the weekend is going to go a lot easier.  But like Mike, we have a 10 grid spot penalty. Keep working a way at it. We will try to qualify as close to the front as we can so we don’t start dead last and go from there. We’ll keep working it and like last week, focus on the race.” (How did last Saturday’s win affect the team?): “It’s lifted morale. This long stretch is tough on the crew guys. They’ve been working really hard and we feel like we’ve been three steps behind the entire time. To get that win obviously has lifted everyone’s morale. To be over there a few minutes ago and guys are smiling and happy for the first time in about four weeks. It’s good. We’re a lot more confident. We know what it takes and we can do this. I think that’s good. We went to the Iowa testing and focused on being quick. We weren’t there to focus on the balance and that will do. Now we want to be P1. I don’t think we were P1, but we have that mentality now.”

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