Indy 500 Front-Row Press Conference

Scott Dixon
Scott Dixon

1st – Scott Dixon
2nd – Ed Carpenter
3rd- Alexander Rossi
5th – Fernando Alonso

Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: Scott, first of all, congratulations on your third pole at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. You had two guys vying for it at the end and we heard your comments that Ed was the guy to beat, and we asked Ed if that surprised him, and he said, yep, it sure did. Did it surprise you?

SCOTT DIXON: Absolutely. I thought maybe the dash had broken on the steering wheel and brought up a fake number, but yeah, I don't know, we seriously don't think we expected to see the speed that we did. The whole pre-lineup for qualifying was debating with Chris Simmons, my engineer, on, man, we trimmed too much, we trimmed too much, and I was basically talking myself out of it and seeing if he could maybe put some for downforce in the car, and he was like, man, don't worry, it's going to be fine, it's going to be fine. When I saw that first number, I was like, wow, this is impressive, so obviously a huge thanks to Honda, too. They've been pushing extremely hard, I think, with the engine. They're definitely pushing it to the limit.

Big day for us. Obviously this is the pole. Got to give a shout out to Sebastien Bourdais, too, saw him this morning, and he's doing well. He's a teammate with me in the Ford GT program, and we've spent a lot of time together over the years, and he's a hell of a driver. To be honest, I think he would have been the one that snatched the pole today. So just got to wish him well. I know he's going to be on the mend quickly and hopefully he can be in a car here very soon. Today we managed to get it done, and we're starting in the right place. The hard part now is to keep it there.

Q. It's been a while since the pole winner has won the race here, but you did it in 2008; do you feel that that's the recipe for your second Indy 500 victory?
SCOTT DIXON: It's definitely the goal. The last time we were on the pole in '15 we had a really fast car. I think we led over half the race and ultimately we overheated the car on the last stint and had to wind up taking a top 5. But you know, this is one thing. Indianapolis is always about two big hills throughout the weeks, and you've got the pole first, the fact that the pole preparation of the race car, and then into the race. This is the first step of it, but now our focus is obviously quickly transferred to tomorrow. We've got another four hours of track time and trying to make the No. 9 car as fast as possible.

[adinserter name="GOOGLE AD"]Today was fantastic to get the pole, but emphasis is on the 500. You know, it's cool obviously getting the pole with NTT DATA and the No. 9 car, and hopefully in the next few days here, we'll be announcing the Camping World car, so looking forward to that, as well.

Q. Scott, the last time you were on pole here in 2015 was kind of abnormal circumstances the way that qualifying was done. Does this feel like kind of a more normal process even though yesterday was still a little weird?
SCOTT DIXON: It's been a little weird in the fact that both days we haven't run in the practice, so the first time for myself and my teammates has been just getting in the car qualifying, and it's kind of daunting. I've never done it before. You have all these crazy things that run through your mind, especially when you watch a lot of the other competitors either touch the wall or have a really bad runs. You think you're maybe heading in the wrong direction and the computer isn't telling you the right settings for the ambient conditions and things like that. Today was probably — the last two days have probably been the most nerve-racking for me. I don't know whether it's because I'm getting older and emotion is becoming more stronger, but it's definitely a tough — this year I think more so, too, is that the first lap is if you get the first lap right and you're like, okay, this is not so bad, but lap 2, 3 and 4, the fall-off with the tires has been quite dramatic, and that has been the hard thing. If you have a rough first or second lap, you know that lap 3 and 4 are really going to be tough, and yesterday that was the case for us.

Yeah, it's a little bit of a different weekend, I think, for us just with how we ran, but I think it was really exciting for the fans and everybody that — I could hear them cheering and standing up and seeing that when you're getting ready to go out and some big speeds were going up. Obviously a huge thanks to the fans for coming out today, too.

Q. Tell me about the work you and Chris Simmons have done and the entire team have done switching to Honda during the off-season. I think when we spoke at Phoenix in the preseason test, I don't think we were predicting you were going to be on pole here. How does it feel?
SCOTT DIXON: I think we kind of felt that this would be one of the first strong tracks for Honda with the aero kit especially. I think Honda and HPD and the integration that we've had with them I think has been pretty seamless. Everything is very adjustable, and they push to the limit, as we've seen throughout the year, and it's a fun environment to be involved with. You know, whether we thought we would be on the pole, yeah, you know, we shoot for those goals. You know, that's what we're here to do. I think we would have really liked a couple of wins already, too, in the season, but that just didn't play out.

But I think everybody in some ways with the team, it was really good to have a change of scenery and a different look at how we need to do things across the board, and we made a lot of mistakes last year, and it was nice for everybody to sort of refocus and actually have kind of that new toy to focus on, too, and make the most of it.

Everybody on the engineering staff, all the girls and boys at Chip Ganassi Racing at the shop and the people that are on the road have just done a tremendous job this year to really get the most out of what we have and try and — it's been a two-year sort of catch-up that we've had to do. The other teams have had the same manufacturer for that time. It's been a good transition and a fairly quick one.

Q. Last time we saw speed like this year, I don't think you'd even come over to the States yet. What does an average qualifying speed of 232 miles an hour feel like from inside the car?
SCOTT DIXON: It feels fast. Any speed positive 215 or 220 around this place feels really fast, but I think you just block it all out. You're constantly just trying to feel how the car is, see where you can place it, see if you can improve the next lap. It's been so intense this weekend just trying to hold on to the car for the four laps. I think that's where all the focus has been.

But I think for the Verizon IndyCar Series, it's cool to see these speeds gradually creeping up. It's good to see we've made a big improvement. I think I did a 227 average last year, so it's a nice little jump.

Q. You're talking about those high speeds. We just heard from Ed, and he was saying that he thinks you guys can and should start going faster in the future. Do you agree?
SCOTT DIXON: Yeah, you know, I think it's — you know, obviously we've been there before, I think, with where we are today, obviously we could be over those speeds quite easily. But you know, there's also the safety aspect of it, too, and to be honest, I think for most people, you can't even really tell the difference, whether it's 220 or 236.

You know, it's one of those things, it's a number, and I think for the fans and even for the drivers, if you start getting to those numbers then maybe you can break Arie's average, that would be really cool. I could see that happening in the next few years.

Q. Here in the media room they showed your in-car camera, seemed like you were fighting the steering wheel. Did you have as much handling as you wanted given the speeds you were going?
SCOTT DIXON: Well, no. It's going to be tough. You trim out here to the max, man, and if you want to get rewards here, you have to go for it. You know, Chris was probably a little on the more go for it side than I was, but it was good to have that encouragement, and that's why he's in the position that he is and why he's been so successful through his career, too, so it's a great combination.

But the first lap is probably the easiest, and then it's pretty much downhill from that time on.

You know, we had to fight it. You're trying little tricks to help the car throughout the run. You're trying to change the balance throughout the run, as well, to see if you can help it for the next lap and just see where the balance is going. But you're working, man.

Q. And then you mentioned some of the issues that other teams had today in Turn 2. Was that an issue for you today? What was your general approach going into that area of the track?
SCOTT DIXON: Yeah, you're thinking about it a lot. I think I maybe should have been sitting in my bus and watching Days of Our Lives as opposed to watching all the drama going on out on the track because you get so amped up, and TK and I were sitting across from each other in the engineering room, and everybody knows how animated that guy is, so he was freaking me out, and it was just a bad deal to start with.

You know that's going to be a tricky part. We always knew that with the ambient conditions and how the wind direction was. Especially yesterday I think after we saw Seb's crash, that definitely makes everybody — it's kind of there. But as soon as you strap in the car you're just trying to do the best that you can and dial the car in as much as possible.

Q. Will you explain what your two daughters think? Do they understand what you've done? How do you explain it to them?
SCOTT DIXON: I think so. What happened today? Now they're getting shy.

No, obviously having kids has been a huge part of our lives. It changes your life in many special ways, but I think to build on these memories — we're very fortunate in the Verizon IndyCar Series, it's a very family-oriented business, and especially the competitiveness that we have, we have a lot of great friends here and the girls have a lot of good friends here, too. It's a fun environment to be involved in and hang out.

Q. A couple of drivers on their runs nearly kissed the wall with the rear. There were a lot of guys hanging it out out there, but your car looked pretty stable at that speed. How stable was it?
SCOTT DIXON: There's a trick in doing that, man. No, it wasn't — I think the balance was good. I think we had a little too much understeer on the car which definitely smoothed some things out, but yeah, you know, Turn 2 was definitely tricky today, and I think it was more in how you got the initial timing to turn. On my second lap I turned a little too late and had to lift, and later on I just kind of managed that speed by lifting a little bit to get the front to turn into Turn 2 and then go straight back out on the pedal to get it down the back straight. But if the car was good, then your day is a lot easier, and obviously today Chris and everybody at Chip Ganassi Racing gave me a fantastic car that we could get the most out of it.

Q. I think within the next days before the race, you have to go with some other drivers on a journey around America, to a couple of cities to promote this race. How stressful is that, and how can you handle that?
SCOTT DIXON: You know, it's not too bad. I think the hardest part of the week leading up to the 500 is you're basically trying to predict things. Everybody asks you how do you think you're going to do, how is the race going to go. It's so hard to talk about the race continuously before you've even done it. You know, you have to be positive, but there's always some doubts in your mind, especially after Monday. We'll see how Monday goes tomorrow, another four hours in the car, which should be some very good prep.

But you know, I'm looking forward to a couple of days off. Obviously I've got media on Tuesday and heading to Toronto, so I love going to that town, and definitely excited about that. But yeah, it's a tough week. It's probably the hardest week because you're not really in the car much and you're talking about what may happen. I think once you get to race day, you're glad that you're finally there and you're in the green room and ready to go.

Ed Carpenter
Ed Carpenter

THE MODERATOR: Congratulations to the girls and the old man in the middle.

THE MODERATOR: Two drivers vying for their third poles, one of them was Ed Carpenter, and Ed, we were able to get with Dixon, and Dixon made it perfectly clear he knew you were — not just because you went last but you were the one all along he thought he might have to dodge, and you put up a big number. Did you see that coming?

ED CARPENTER: No. No, I did not. I was surprised by some numbers yesterday when he did that 232 and I was in the car. It actually kind of made some of the pressure go away because I was like, well, I'll be way more shocked than I was yesterday if we run that fast for that many laps. So at that point, you know — obviously wanted to be on the front row and was going to go give it everything I had, and I think we accomplished that. I don't know that we could have gotten much more out of it today in those conditions, but proud of the effort from the whole team, to have the top two qualified Chevrolets, car in the first row, car in the second row. I'm proud of that accomplishment for the team.

Won poles before, but it's great to be on the front row. Really excited that the weather looks good tomorrow and we can continue making our car better for next Sunday.

THE MODERATOR: Do you think you'll work a lot tomorrow?

ED CARPENTER: I hope so. I've got a lot of tires left to use, so that's one of the things that I'll go to bed earlier tonight than Scott will. It will make tomorrow a little easier.

Q. I asked Fernando and Alexander where all the speed came from today. What's your takeaway on what Scott Dixon accomplished, the fastest four-lap average in 21 years?
ED CARPENTER: Not sure where Scott's speed came from totally, but we knew it was going to be quicker today. But the way the wind was blowing made for quicker times. When you've got — even though it was a bit of a cross, the backside of the track is way more exposed than the front, so you get a tailwind down the back and then the front stretch is sheltered. The wind, I think, was a big part of the speeds being faster today. The track conditions were harder, so the fact that we were running quicker, one, the wind made it faster, two, the more opportunities we all get to go out and do qual runs, we're going to refine our cars and make it a little bit better. But it's cool. It's cool to see the speeds going back up, to hear the crowd roar when Scott did those laps, when everyone put up big times. It's cool. It's what makes — it's part of the mystique of this place is pushing the limits of the cars and us as drivers. So I enjoy that part of it. It's thrilling when it goes well and when it goes poorly like we saw yesterday, but that's part of what makes IndyCar special.

THE MODERATOR: Ed, you're a loyal Chevy guy, but obviously the last couple of years here Honda has been very good at this track. How much of today do you attribute to a Honda advantage?

ED CARPENTER: I don't know. I don't really want to get into that. I think Scott won the pole and congrats to them. You know, like I said earlier, I'm proud of the fact that we put both of our Chevrolets in the Fast Nine and gave it our best shot to win a pole for the whole group.

But it's certainly — the level of competition in this series from teams, drivers, engine manufacturers, it's cut-throat, and you've got to be on it all the time. We're right there, so it's not for a lack of trying, it's not for a lack of speed we're on the front row. You're not going to hear me complaining, we're just going to keep getting ready to put the best 500 miles out there we can.

Q. As much as goes into race day in terms of the variables that can occur, how much does it matter where you start?
ED CARPENTER: It doesn't. You know, I think you've seen from — the statistics will show you that you can win from anywhere, and I don't know, no one has won from a pole since, what, 2008 or '09, I think. So you can start from anywhere. But it is easier being towards the front. I started 27th or something last year, and at the point we had our mechanical problem we were up to 11th, and it's hard work going from 27th to 11th. When you can sit at the front and kind of chill out and pace yourself, save some fuel and just hang around, slowly make your car better, you have to take a lot less risks up there, so strategically I think it opens up more options, but it doesn't mean that you can't get there. It's a 500-mile race. It just makes for a little easier first part of the race.

Q. Did you have enough time to communicate with J.R. relative to his experience before you went out?
ED CARPENTER: Yeah, we did. I think it was actually ideal because we were close enough that if we needed — the only thing we can change at that point in line is wing angles, so if we would have wanted to change wing angles we could have, but it was nice that he was close enough to us that the conditions were essentially the same. There were a couple subtle differences in our cars going out there, decisions that we made going in, and once we got his feedback we decided to hold fast where we were. But we could have had an opportunity to change, we just felt like where we came out there was where we were going to be best, and I think we made the right call. I think that's what we had today.

Q. Ed, you mentioned the conditions were pretty much perfect for what you guys did today. For what you and Scott accomplished, are we maxing out what we can see here at IMS?
ED CARPENTER: I mean, as teams that's our job to make things better and quicker and find ways to extract speed out of the car. Things are obviously going to change next year. We're coming out with a new aero kit, a new car next year, so that's going to be on track in July, I think, so we'll get it — I think here, so we'll get a sense for what its beginning baseline capabilities will be. But I hope that we keep pushing the speeds and doing it safely. I mean, obviously Seb is in the hospital and we heard it yesterday, but at the same time, that was a major, major crash, and relatively he's in good shape. He's still there for his kids, and if he choose to come back and do this, he's fine. The technology and the safety and the amount of effort that this series and the facility puts into it, I think we're showing that we are at a place where we can try to push the limits, and it's what racing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is all about in my mind.

Q. I've had a chance to ask a couple drivers about their preferences, starting in middle or inside or outside. Virtually everyone said they hate starting in the middle, where you are. Do you have a preference, and if so, how do you approach Turn 1, lap 1 being in the middle when everything gets sucked into that vortex there?
ED CARPENTER: I don't really worry about it. Being in the middle in the fifth row is a lot harder than being in the middle of the front row. There will be a hole for me in there, whether I get the holeshot or am able to fall in behind Scott or whoever. There will be my 14th one of these. One thing I've learned is that you can't choreograph what you're going to do on the start of this race. It goes different every single time, so just take it as it comes.

Q. Ed, you mentioned aero kits a minute ago. We watched the Chevrolet teams go back and forth all week with the side pod aero kit, putting half of it on, putting all it on, back and forth. At the end of the day, two fastest Chevys, neither one ran it at all. Are wind tunnels a complete waste of money?
ED CARPENTER: Who said we don't go to wind tunnels? I don't know. I mean, we do our prep and get ready for here just like Penske does and Ganassi and everybody else, and we put out there what we think is going to be best for the given day and the conditions, and that's how we make our decisions. We don't make our decisions based on what other people are doing or what we see from other teams. We trust in our process and our people, and that's what we've done around here, and that's what we'll continue to do.

So you know, as far as what everyone else is doing, I'm just focused on what we're doing.

Q. Speaking of focused on what you're doing, how good of a race car did you feel that you've had from your race running that you've done earlier this week?
ED CARPENTER: Early in the week I felt pretty good. Thursday we weren't as good as I wanted to be. I was a little concerned with everything Thursday, you know, the whole thing. But Friday I think we made some headway on a couple things, working on the qualifying car that I think will translate to the race car, so I'm really excited to get back out on track tomorrow, and we have plenty of other things we can try.

Tomorrow is always an important day to put the race car to bed and put it away feeling like you have it just where you want to be, but I'm content. I've been happier and more confident with my race car, but tomorrow is an important day.

Q. When you're in the race car, can you hear the crowd reaction?
ED CARPENTER: No, I wish I could. Everyone tells me how much support I get from the local crowd, and I wish I could hear it. I've heard it, obviously, on video, but like I mentioned when Scott did his time, sitting in the car waiting to go, I hear the crowd then, but I never hear them live for me, which is good because I'm still competing. But I certainly appreciate people telling me about it, and I appreciate the support that the community here in Indianapolis gives me, so hopefully I can give them a lot more to cheer about next Sunday.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you very much, Ed.

Fernando Alonso
Fernando Alonso

THE MODERATOR: It's great to have the gentleman who won the 100th edition, Alexander Rossi, put up a great qualifying effort, and this guy has just been outstanding the whole time, Fernando Alonso. We've got a lot of work to do, we know you're on deadlines, so we're going to open it up to questions right now.

Q. Fernando, two Formula 1 guys up here at the moment; how do you look at that in terms of what F1 racing means in this event and the progression that Alex has had coming over here?
FERNANDO ALONSO: Well, I think it's good news for motorsport in general. I don't think that we need to separate too much F1 or IndyCar or rally or stock car. I mean, at the end of the day, it's just motorsports. You know, it's good to see Alex here, as well, and as I said, I think we all have that sense that motorsport is what we love in any series or in any conditions.

Q. Alex, how well do you know Fernando when he came over?
ALEXANDER ROSSI: Not so well, other than the fact that in my debut in Singapore he was the one of the only people that came up to me before the race and just said to enjoy the experience, and that meant a lot in a world where there's not a lot of communication across teams. It was pretty exciting news, I think, for everyone when it was announced he was coming over, and the fact that he was my teammate for this month and will continue to be is a pretty special experience for me. He's proving why he's one of the best in the world right now.

Q. Fernando, of all the people you're talking to to get tips and advice, I would assume that Rossi would have to be as important as anybody because he made the journey you're trying to make.
FERNANDO ALONSO: Yeah, absolutely. I've been listening to everybody. We are lucky, I am lucky that it's probably the best team for a rookie to come in with a lot of cars on the team and a lot of experience, coming from different series, and we have Takuma, also, that came from Formula 1, and Alexander. So yeah, from all the comments that arrived to me, the comments from them are very, very useful because they know how one car behaves and how the other car behaves and what they needed when they came here. Probably experienced more or less the same journey as them.

Alexander Rossi
Alexander Rossi

Q. Alex, you were disappointed to miss the Fast Nine last year. Are you excited or disappointed that you're not two spots higher?
ALEXANDER ROSSI: Yeah, I'm always disappointed if you're not in front, but I think it's a good effort from the team. Seeing Scott's speed is pretty impressive. I know we couldn't have done that. We've got to be content with the front row. It was something that really bothered me last year and for a year actually that we didn't make the Fast Nine, so yesterday was a pretty big relief, and today was just about trying to go as high up as possible. Front row is good. You can win this race from anywhere, so it's a good place to be, no dirty air, and we'll just get the race off to a strong start and see where it goes.

Q. Fernando, you've got two teammates in front of you on the standings there. Is there any sort of benefit when it comes to race day to have two teammates in those early laps?
FERNANDO ALONSO: Probably it wouldn't make a big difference. I think the biggest priority probably was yesterday, to secure the spot in the Fast Nine. Once you are in those Fast Nine, I think the positions obviously are important. If you're in pole position the rest is less important. But yeah, if I'm around on the race with my teammates, will be always a good thing because always you respect different your teammates compared to any other car, and that's probably a good thing for the start.

Q. Fernando, how happy were you with the car and your driving on that run? Can you just talk through the problems and the positives? And also I heard you say that maybe you trimmed out a little bit too much in the end; is that correct?
FERNANDO ALONSO: Well, yeah, the car was on the limit, but I don't know if it was possible to be on pole position, but definitely very close. I had an overboost problem in lap 2 out of the last corner, and it was like hitting the brakes. I went one gear down and started again picking up the speed, and I crossed the line and it was 30.7 or something like that. When I thought it was 225 or something, I nearly came to the pit lane because this qualifying run is over with this problem. Still running, still putting the laps together, and then I was happily surprised with the total time.

I think today the car performed better than yesterday already on the practice, it was very, very competitive, so yeah, probably we were close to pole position today.

Q. Alex, how are you not just a year older but a year better, at least for this race?
ALEXANDER ROSSI: In every way that's possible, I think. Every day that you drive a race car you get better, I think, and that's my impression and belief, so you've just got to take that forward and continue building on that and work on areas that you need to improve, and last year there was a lot of areas that needed to be better, and I think for qualifying specifically it was about lap 4 for me, and so this year we made sure that that wasn't an issue. In fact, this year it was actually lap 2, so I guess coming back in 2018 we'll need to make sure lap 2 is better.

Q. Fernando, I know you had the engine issues in morning practice. Was there anything from morning practice you took that helped you with those engine issues?
FERNANDO ALONSO: Well, as I said, the practice felt good on the car, and then we spotted some issues with the engine. At one point in the morning we didn't know if we were able to run in qualifying because we had to change the whole engine. But the team was amazing. They were guys from all six teams working on car 29 just to make it possible, so thanks to all that teamwork, I was able to go for qualifying. And yeah, I don't know, nothing really to say about the engine. It's difficult to compare anything, but everything felt normal, good for qually, apart from this little issue, or big issue in 4.

Q. Fernando, I have a follow-up with the engine issue. Was this engine already used you have now in your car, or was it brand new and never raced before?
FERNANDO ALONSO: I think it was a new one.

[adinserter name="GOOGLE AD"]Q. Will you use it for the race or change it out?
FERNANDO ALONSO: I have no idea.

Q. Fernando, at any point during the engine change, were you beginning to get a little nervous? It seemed like talking with your crew —
FERNANDO ALONSO: I'm just glad that they changed engines before qualifying and the race, so I'm not nervous.

Q. They were supergluing parts of your rear pod while you were still in the tech line. What does that say about the crew that you've got?
FERNANDO ALONSO: Amazing. As I said before, I think my crew — but not only them, the whole team, you know, as soon as we decided to change the engine, I saw like 20 people around my car changing parts. That was a truly good thing to experience today, how the teamwork plays here. I was extremely proud and happy of them.

When we get to qualifying, I wanted to put a good run for them, because it's been a very busy day for them, and big, big thanks.

Q. Explain the experiences you've already found between American racing and Formula 1 racing since you've been here.
FERNANDO ALONSO: I mean, there are — you know, I think at the end of the day, the big thing which is just the race itself and the competition remains very similar. You know, we are all here to race hard and to compete and try to be faster than any other guy out there.

But there are differences. You know, the way the whole event — I think it's not possible to fit in Europe a two-week event. Also the close contact with the fans here is good. It's fun, and you enjoy them. I think if you do that in Formula 1, you know, with the level of technology, sophistication, you know, all the hard work that is there in terms of making small differences on the cars, et cetera, would never work, and probably that formula that we have in Formula 1 would never work here because it's just too short and too complex to understand all the technology that is around and sophistication around the cars, but probably the fans out here, they don't care about what we have inside the engine cover.

It's different formats. One is working there, one is working here. It's fantastic.

Q. Today Scott Dixon, this is the fastest qualifying since 1996. Where did the speed come from today, and what's your general takeaway on what Dixon accomplished today?
ALEXANDER ROSSI: Great question. We knew from this morning it was pretty quick. Speed was coming relatively easily without executing perfect laps. When you put together a perfect lap and the car is with you, you see a 232 average.

I don't really know what it was today. I think the lower humidity was helping the engines. The wind direction was favorable for lap time because it was a true crosswind. There was no penalty on either of the straights, and that makes the corners difficult, but if you can get through the corners, then it was a much more favorable wind for lap time today than yesterday, so I think those two things combined are probably the biggest differences, and yeah, like I said, they had to get it right, and they clearly did.

FERNANDO ALONSO: I agree. I've never been here.

Q. Going back to last year's race, before it started, did you have any feeling about how it would unfold? And then secondly, going into your second, is there any way to prepare for the unpredictability of it?
ALEXANDER ROSSI: No, not at all. I think this is the one race you go into where you actually don't have a plan, you kind of just roll with it, and that's what we did last year because we had to because my pit stops took about a minute and a half — I'm kidding, but close. So we had to adjust on the fly.

I mean, this race because of the yellows, because of the length of it, and because how many times you can kind of move forward and backwards in positions, there's not really a set strategy. It's just about taking it one lap at a time and executing each of those laps. And then your plan kind of comes into play in the last 20, 25 laps if you're in the front, and then you start to have a process that you go through. But yeah, I'm more relaxed I think than I was last year just because I know what to expect, and I'm really looking forward to Sunday. Sunday was probably even before the end result was my favorite day of the year. I'm really looking forward to watching Fernando go through that because I think from 6:00 a.m. to noon before the race even starts —


ALEXANDER ROSSI: Yeah. Is probably the coolest six hours of your life. He'll really enjoy it.

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