IndyCar Media Teleconference (Update 4)


Juan Pablo Montoya

Championship leader Juan Pablo Montoya was the last driver to meet with the media during today's INDYCAR Media Teleconference. Below, are a few notes from Montoya's talk with the media bullet-point style:

–1st corner at Pocono a lot of understeer, 3rd corner a lot of oversteer. Finding the balance is trickier. Says team is good at figuring out what a car needs on ovals.

–Rates his season about an 8/10.

–Big to win at St. Pete, as he thought street courses were weakest spot during the offseason.


Graham Rahal

Graham Rahal was the fourth driver to join today's media teleconference. The Ohio-native is 9 points behind Juan Pablo Montoya and sits second in the series standings. Below, are a few notes from Rahal's talk with the media bullet-point style:

–Although Pocono has not been a great track, feels team is "in a great spot," headed into the final two races.

–Says his attitude is to "go after it," rather than protect what he has. Not going to change mindset he had at Mid-Ohio, Iowa and elsewhere.

–Says he feels "heavy responsibility to help grow IndyCar racing." "American drivers do well, certainly helps," but it's not "the end all be all."

–Says he has made a deliberate effort to have a calmer demeanor in the car, and thinks it has worked out.

–Hasn't spent much time thinking about the points. It would be easy to get frazzled looking around at fellow contenders, at same time, team has nothing to lose.

–Thinks Dixon is the best driver in IndyCar, idolized Montoya as a kid. "Excited to be in this position competing with them."

–Team was terrible on all ovals last year, but has improved setups this season.

–Says his job is to stay close to Montoya at Pocono because "Sonoma fits right into our wheelhouse."

–This season has taught him "racing is fun again." Last two seasons "were brutal." Taken a "more relaxed approach" this year.

–"Double-points (at Sonoma) throws a huge curveball in things."

–Thinks sport is on rise. Says looking at 2016, there is more sponsor interest than before. Believes promotion needs to be better and thinks other drivers need to do a better job promoting on Twitter and other social media. "All signs point to a healthy future."

–Hugely important to keep Pocono: "Has a lot of IndyCar history," and "we're short on ovals."

–Talking about fiancĂ© Courtney Force, Rahal says he's "more at ease in life these days than before."

–"Aero-kit has thrown some curve balls at us."


Scott Dixon

Scott Dixon was the third driver to join today's media teleconference. The Kiwi is 34 points behind Juan Pablo Montoya and sits third in the series standings.

–with a 500-miler, the driver usually gets a better chance of how the race strategy will play out.

–with current formula, "mechanical issues are few and far between" in 500-milers

–personal view is that championship should finish on an oval for the spectacle and how circumstances can change.

–Similar to Mid-Ohio, yellow flags and strategy will be tough to read at Sonoma.

–Doesn't think there's any benefit to being the only Ganassi car in contention. Not sure having teammates in contention or not really comes into play.

–Worst-case scenario is to go to Pocono for three years and not return. Hopes IndyCar can go to Pocono for many years.

–Every championship is very different. Having been in championship races before helps keep one a level-head. But doesn't think having won a championship will "make or break," how this one will play out.


Helio Castroneves

Helio Castroneves was the second driver to join today's media teleconference. The Brazilian is 58 points behind teammate Juan Pablo Montoya and sits fourth in the series standings.

–If he cannot win championship, he hopes one of his teammates can

–Two weekends off helped recharge everyone's batteries, especially the crew guys.

–New panel on back of car and new aero package will make weekend a challenge

–would be great to add to Penske legacy at Pocono

–Turn 1 dictates the entire speed of the race track

–says he can't worry about where fellow championship contenders are

–sees a big-time difference in Graham Rahal over last few months. Notes Rahal has "been taking a lot of chances."


Will Power

Will Power was the first driver to join today's media teleconference. Below, are notes from Power's answers to media questions

–Power rates his season a 6/10. Team has had speed but circumstances had caught them out. Still has a chance for title with double-points.

–Says you feel pressure if you're in position Montoya is in, because it's unclear sometimes what you have to do to win title.

–Felt like he had a really good car at Pocono last year and should have won

–Less pressure having won a previous championship

–Admits that having a points lead takes him out of his comfort zone

–Aero package is a bit of an unknown this year with the body kits

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