INDYCAR: What Drivers Said After Qualifying For Sunday���s Honda Indy Toronto

JORDAN KING (No. 20 Ed Carpenter Racing Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet) – qualified 8th: “That was a really tricky qualifying session with it raining, then it got dry and then started raining again. We did a good job in the first session on the wet tires. We got through to the second round by a few tenths, but I knew that would be the hard one. Group 2 had already had some running on the slicks and had a feel for how the track was where we had just been out in the rain. Even with it being a bit greasy, I set my fastest time of the weekend, so I feel I upped my own performance a bit. We really worked on the car and ironed out a lot of the issues we’d had so far this weekend. The car is back up there where it should be, where we have been in the past. I think we could have snuck inside the top six, but I was taking a small margin because you could still see rain on your visor. I’m happy with it, but it was close.”

JAMES HINCHCLIFFE (No. 5 Arrow Electronics SPM Honda) – qualified 9th: “That last lap was everything we had. I made that mistake out of Turn 8 the lap before, which first lap on those sticker (tires), is usually the best. Who knows what that lap could have been… The lap after, we were kind of building on that and we got thrown a curveball, so that’s my fault. The Arrow Electronics car was getting better every session and the rain and these conditions kind of threw us for a loop. It’s a shame. I think if we hadn’t had that spin, we might have been able to transfer into the Firestone Fast Six. Proud of the SPM guys – it’s been a bit of a struggle this weekend. We’re keeping our heads honest. We can race from here and try to give the hometown fans a good result.”

ROBERT WICKENS (No. 6 Lucas Oil SPM Honda) – qualified 10th: “We ended up switching the Lucas Oil car back to a dry car setup before qualifying. I think being in Group 2 is a bit of a handicap because everyone in Group 1 didn’t end up using any alternates and were quicker in Round 2 with that leftover set of reds (Firestone alternate tires). We were the only car that went out there on blacks (Firestone primary tires) on the first run and it started raining. We maybe went a little too early on to the reds to make sure we could get a red lap in for the Firestone Fast Six, but it wasn’t enough today. Tomorrow is a new day, and I’m just looking forward to putting the helmet back on and racing in front of the hometown crowd.”

CONOR DALY (No. 88 Harding Group Chevrolet) – qualified 11th: “Well today was great. We saw some improvements in P3, but we just got balked on our fastest lap there. To go out on the rain tires that I’ve never driven on either, and it’s a new tire with a whole new situation on the street course, but I love the rain. We had one lap to do it and we did it, so I was over the moon happy. I have to thank Chevy for dialing us in there and all the No. 88 Harding Racing guys because we made improvements every session. We went half a second quicker than we’ve gone in the dry in Q2, so coming out 11th, as well, is just awesome. It’s such a big boost for the weekend because qualifying has always been a struggle of mine for sure, but to come out and do it like that is nice.”

MATHEUS LEIST (No. 4 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet) – qualified 12th: “Pretty good qualifying. I have to say thanks to my team. We kept working hard since the first practice and kept developing and improving the car. We made it to the top 12, which I was not expecting. I’m pretty happy to be honest, I think we might have a great car for the race, too, and I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”

GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 15 Rousseau Honda) – qualified 13th: “The whole session was influenced by weather, but that’s not necessarily the reason we’re where we are. We didn’t have enough to advance to the next round, which is frustrating. Our car in the dry is really strong, but not in the wet. We’ll have to work hard overnight to make sure we have a good race car. The good thing is we do have six sets of new tires for the race. We’ve got three sets of reds (Firestone alternate tires) that are brand new and also three sets of blacks (Firestone primary tires), so we’ve got tires for days over these guys. And if the wear on the reds is a factor, it could play into our hands. And if it’s not and the reds do last and they are quicker, it could play into our hands even more. We’ll see how it goes in the morning warm-up. I’m clearly disappointed for both myself and Takuma (Sato) after the way this weekend started. I don’t think any of us saw ourselves in this position.”

MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 98 Oberto Circle K / Curb Honda) – qualified 14th: “It’s definitely a disappointing result. We had a great car and should have definitely been fighting for the pole position. We came in for the Firestone reds (alternate tires) too early, and when the track was dry enough to give it our fastest lap, our tires had already past that point. Not happy that we didn’t get the result the Oberto/Circle K car deserved, but we’ll race our tails off tomorrow and fight for the win.”

TONY KANAAN (No. 14 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet) – qualified 15th: “We had a dry setup on, and then with the rain, I don’t think we responded accordingly, so we paid the price. Tomorrow is the race, so we’ll try to make something out of it.”

SPENCER PIGOT (No. 21 Preferred Freezer Service Chevrolet) – qualified 16th: “We just put the red (Firestone alternate) tires on too soon. We started the session with them, and by the end of it, when the track was at its best and its driest, we had already used the tires up. We were pretty high up throughout most of the session, but times picked up pretty quick there at the end. The timing wasn’t right to put on a second set; but in hindsight, we should have done blacks (Firestone primary tires) then reds. That was the original plan, but the weather threw a curveball at us. It’s a little disappointing, as we’ve been so quick. We know the car can be fast, so tomorrow we’ll get the Preferred Freezer Services car moving in the right direction. We’ll have a lot of work to do in the race, we were pretty confident we would be advancing today. We were just a little too eager on the dry tires and wore them out too quick.”

SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS – qualified 17th: No comments available.

MAX CHILTON (No. 59 Gallagher Chevrolet) – qualified 18th: “It was a hectic qualifying session. We started out on wets (rain tires) and decided quickly to come back in for Firestone reds (alternate tires), which I think was absolutely the right decision. We just kept getting quicker throughout the session, but unfortunately, so did most everyone else. It just didn’t come together for us in qualifying, but I’m still very confident in what we can do tomorrow during the race with the No. 59 Gallagher Chevrolet.”

RENE BINDER (No. 32 Binderholz tiptop timber Chevrolet) – qualified 19th: “It was a really short and tricky qualifying session due to the red flag. We did a great job in the first outing running P7 until the red flag. We only had time for one lap for the second outing and I was not going to risk too much. We will start P19 tomorrow and we look forward to a solid race.”

CHARLIE KIMBALL (No. 23 Novo Nordisk Chevrolet) – qualified 20th: “It was another learning experience for the team today with the session going from wet to dry, but I think we definitely made the right call starting on the Firestone alternates. When we came in and put the second set of alternates on and went back out, we unfortunately just caught the checkered flag first, and with the track rubbering in and getting faster every lap, we lost a few tenths, which could’ve made the difference in where we ended and advancing to the second round. Regardless of how it ended, it was a great learning experience for the team especially with us and the No. 59 car splitting strategies with tires. It’s not where we wanted to be and it’s not where the speed of the No. 23 Novo Nordisk Chevrolet is, but I think tomorrow with good pit stops and a good strategy we can move forward.”

ED JONES (No. 10 NTT DATA Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) – qualified 21st: “It was a tough session for us. It was the first time we ran in the wet all weekend in the NTT DATA car. The No. 9 team elected to go with a full wet setup, and we went full dry. It obviously started raining, and we struggled with traction. On my lap, I just lost the rear end of the car and there was nothing I could do about it. So, it was super frustrating and we had time in the car to advance, for sure. Now we have a lot of work to do tomorrow, but I’m sure the team is up for it.”

ZACH VEACH (No. 26 Relay Group 1001 Honda) – qualified 22nd: “We started off on wet (tires) and put on a set of Firestone reds (alternate tires) and went for it. The track just kept going faster and faster and I think we used our reds a couple laps too early. The only option I had to try and transfer was to try and make something big happen on the last lap. I must have hit the wall three times before I even got to the last corner, and I needed probably one more tenth and just pushed too hard and lost the car. Unfortunately, we lost our lap, so we should be starting from 14th, but we’re starting on the back row. We have a long day ahead of us tomorrow, but if it’s meant to happen, it will.”

ZACHARY CLAMAN DE MELO (No. 19 Paysafe Honda) – qualified 23rd: “We made the right call by going out with the Firestone reds (alternate tires) on our No. 19 Paysafe car immediately at the start of qualifying. There were only a few of us on dry tires and the times were definitely faster on those. Unfortunately, everyone else had the time to come in and change tires and we ended up at the bottom of the timesheet when all was said and done. That said, it’s been extremely fun to drive an Indy car here. The fans are great, the course is great and I’m really excited for the race tomorrow.”

Source : https://sports.yahoo.com/indycar-drivers-said-qualifying-sunday-214008743.html

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