home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


May 9, 2024

Scott Dixon

Colton Herta

Alex Palou

Will Power

Felix Rosenqvist

Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: Welcome to the world famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway as we kick off another exciting month of May. Saturday it's the SONSIO Grand Prix on the IMS Road Course. It's the 11th time that the road course has helped usher in the month of May.

We're joined by the top 5 in the NTT INDYCAR Series driver standings. Felix Rosenqvist drives the No. 60 Auto Nation Sirius XM Honda for Meyer Shank Racing. Felix is fifth in points currently.

Scott Dixon in the middle, drives the No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda. The six-time series champ currently sits fourth in the championship.

Alex Palou drives the No. 10 DHL Chip Ganassi Racing Honda. The two-time and reigning NTT INDYCAR Series champion is third in the driver championship.

Will Power drives the No. 12 Verizon Business Team Penske Chevrolet. Will just one point behind in the championship.

And for the first time in his still-very-young NTT INDYCAR Series career, Colton Herta leads the INDYCAR Series standings. Colton drives the No. 26 Gainbridge Honda for Andretti Global with Curb Agajanian.

Colton, a couple top 5s, three top 10s to start the season. You come in this weekend as a winner of this race a couple years ago in 2022. What do you make of the start to your 2024 season so far?

COLTON HERTA: It's been great, but it's still early. We see how easy it is for the championship to be turned upside on its head in this series. We've just got to keep doing what we're doing, try to maximize every weekend, and hopefully this could be another good one for us. We've had great cars here in the past. We've won here in the past. Yeah, still a lot to come.

Q. Will, second in points, five-time winner on the IMS road course, six NTT P1 awards, as well. What is it about this road course that seems to fit your driving style?

WILL POWER: Dixon said yesterday, it's an easy track. Oh, boring. Sorry, it's boring. I actually like it. It's quite technical.

Yeah, I've always liked it here. It's good racing, man. You can actually pass.

I've been up and down. I've had some bad runs here, as well. I find it a very temperamental track with wind, weather, temperature. It makes it difficult to really land on a good setup. It might have been perfect to race before, the year before, and you come back and you're completely out of the window.

When we tested here, it was probably a little hotter, but I know that in practice tomorrow you're going to have to be on your toes as far as setup goes.

Q. You've got a couple practice sessions, qualifying, then get ready for Saturday's race quickly. Alex, the reigning May winner on the road course. I think your worst finish last year was eighth. Your worst finish this year so far has been fifth. What do you make of this run that you continue to be on right now?

ALEX PALOU: Yeah, it's been a great start. Interesting, lots of things going on on track and off the track. But yeah, it's been good. We had fast cars everywhere, started a bit slow in St. Pete, then picked up and just found our rhythm again.

Yeah, pretty happy. The race is I think good for us, street course and road courses, so I'm excited for this May to start.

It was good, we were really good, all the team was really good here past May, and I struggled a little bit in the August race, so hopefully I can get back to May's rhythm.

Q. The team has been good. Scott, that includes you, as well, pursuing a record-tying seventh INDYCAR Series championship, 57 career wins as you come in as a two-time winner on the road course, including, as Alex mentioned, last August. Your thoughts as you enter another month of May here at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway?

SCOTT DIXON: Yeah, it's been definitely an interesting season, as Alex kind of alluded. St. Pete, the race pace was good but we struggled in qualifying. Then Long Beach was great. Barber we had great speed and then had kind of the mishap with Graham there, and then we kind of imploded on the strategy there, as well. It was definitely a rough day. It was a hard-fought 15th, which was pretty tough.

Still there in the points. It's pretty tight. Obviously I think everybody is excited to kick off the month of May, and it is actually fun to kick it off with the road course, so looking forward to that.

Q. Felix Rosenqvist with two top 5s to start the season, two front-row starts, as well, plus the one at Thermal Club, also a two-time pole winner here at the IMS road course, as well. How do you keep this momentum flowing for you right now for you?

FELIX ROSENQVIST: Yeah, it's been good for us so far. New team for me this year with Meyer Shank Racing. It's been really smooth to transition over, I think. Seems like we're operating on the same kind of wavelength when it comes to the car setup and just general way we go about the racing. It's been really fun.

I wouldn't say it's been super straightforward, though. Like we still had some issues pretty much every weekend. I feel like there's still more to prove, and we're still fresh as a team-driver combo. There's definitely more to prove, and I think especially a race day for us has been a little bit lacking. But yeah, exciting so far. Still early days, but really good so far.

Q. Obviously the big race at the end of the month is what everyone loves to focus on, but how difficult is it to not look past what we have coming up here on Saturday?

WILL POWER: Yeah, I mean, you just focus on a session at a time, to be honest. I know the team has worked very hard to prep two cars for this race this month. Yeah, my mind is just on this weekend, and then as soon as that's over, we'll focus on the qualifying for Indy.

Q. Will and Scott, we could do this multiple years where you guys have been up here. How difficult is it to be on top of your game week in and week out? This is probably one of the most competitive years that you guys have been a part of INDYCAR. How difficult is it with how good the competition level is up and down?

WILL POWER: Yeah, you have to keep updating. You have to keep learning. It's incredibly tough now. I think it's tougher this year than ever. I love it. I love the competition. That's what I thrive in.

It's the toughest series in the world. I don't think you see qualifying sessions as tight as this anywhere in the world.

If you don't do an absolute perfect lap -- that's how it feels. If you just make one little mistake, you feel like you're threatened to not make it into the next round.

It's great. I think more people need to know about it. I hope the series keeps pushing forward to let people know how great this series really is.

SCOTT DIXON: I haven't got much to add. I totally agree. But I think that's the fun part is how difficult it is, and obviously the teams and driver lineups have got much tighter.

But yeah, that's what makes it difficult, and it's never a constant. It's never the same thing. You're always chasing something different. It keeps it kind of fresh.

Q. From 2020 until last year there were multiple races on this course. This year it's only one. Do you like it that way, or would you like to come back for a second event like we did the last four or five years?

COLTON HERTA: I don't think we need two races here. I'm happy with having one. I think we've raced here a lot, so I like the one race, personally.

SCOTT DIXON: I think it would be nice to go to some different places.

FELIX ROSENQVIST: I think it's because Colton lives in California.

COLTON HERTA: I live in Nashville.

FELIX ROSENQVIST: I live here, so I don't mind it. It's close to the track here, so it's great.

Q. This is less so about preparing for races, but I was talking with Marcus Armstrong about his car's livery. I was wondering for you guys, what makes a good livery? What stands out for you? I feel like that's kind of an interesting question.

WILL POWER: I think what is interesting is when Pagenaud had that really bright car, you would see him from so far back. I actually reckon it kind of made people more aware he was there. I think that matters. I don't know if it's good or bad, but you knew if he was coming up the inside. It may be a bit safer.

ALEX PALOU: I don't know, I think racing car as long as it has some good stickers and good bright colors, that's -- as long as it's fast, I would agree we don't really care. I'm happy with my liveries this year. They've been really cool to see and easy to spot on TV. I think that's the most important, especially having so many people overseas looking always on TV.

Yeah, cannot complain about mine.

Q. Obviously the racing is the most important thing, but is it if your livery gets revealed to you and it's a color that you especially like, are you maybe more excited or anything? Or sometimes the sponsor of the car might mean more to you if it's more personal. Has that ever happened to any of you?

COLTON HERTA: I think when I got to run my dad's old livery from the '90s was super cool last year at Laguna. At the end of the day you're going to try as hard as you can every weekend to win a race, so it doesn't matter what paint scheme you're running with, but there are some -- yeah, some cool ones, I think. That was one of them.

I'd love if INDYCAR did a throwback weekend and we got to see throwback liveries from any time period of racing.

Q. Will, you've had such a long and successful relationship with David Faustino. He's still going to be the guy running the team, but is it going to take a little bit of time tomorrow to get used to a different voice in your ear?

WILL POWER: No, I mean, he's run a lot of tests and been on the radio. It will be different, yeah. He's not used to counting me down to the box or sending me, so there will be a few things that we have to really, I guess, practice as much as we can. I think warmup is the only time we get to do that.

But we've raced so long together, and I've been at it so long, I can almost do strategy from the car, and he's the one that basically does the strategy anyway, and Ron sort of calls the races.

Not a massive change. It will suck not having Ron. I've really got used to him. He's very calming and good on the radio. That's a pity, but that's the way it is, and we have to do our best.

Q. Will it be a bigger challenge at the 500 because the race is so much longer?

WILL POWER: Yeah, it's not ideal losing someone off your stand, losing two people is definitely not ideal. We were better off with them.

But I sat down with Dave and we just said we're going to do absolutely the best we can with what we've got. We've got very good people on the team. It is what it is. That's the way it is, and we will do our absolute best to make the most of it.

Q. Will, considering that the data showed that you didn't press the button in St. Pete, are you kind of shocked that you're the guy that essentially had quite a bit paying the price for this with personnel?

WILL POWER: Yeah, well, Ron is the manager of the INDYCAR team, so he just happened to be on my stand. That's the call that Roger made, and nothing I can do about it. It is what it is. Yeah.

Q. Scott, how do you feel heading into May, and does the fact that you have obviously won a 500 kind of take the pressure away, or is there still pressure of getting that elusive second title?

SCOTT DIXON: There's always pressure no matter what race it is because everybody wants to do well, so it's more of a -- it's kind of what you put on yourself, too.

But no, excited. I think every year that you get the possibility and especially when you come with a team like this, you get a great opportunity to come back and try and win it.

I know all five cars are going to be strong, and it's going to be a hell of a race as we've seen in the past. Hopefully this year we're in it to win it, and hopefully we've got a fighting chance at the end.

Q. For Will, you've kind of mentioned the absence of a win since 2022 is starting to weigh a little. What more do you feel you need to do to get that win over the line?

WILL POWER: Well, I just keep doing what I'm doing now. I'm qualifying at the front, running at the front. Definitely had a shot at the win at bar we are. Had a shot at the win at Long Beach but yellow fell at the absolutely worst time. We're there. We're there. It'll come if you keep knocking on the door. Just going to keep doing what I'm doing. Very motivated to win a race here very soon.

Q. Alex, how do you feel the start to your championship defense has gone and maybe what's gone well and what do you feel needs to go a bit better?

ALEX PALOU: Yeah, I feel it's been good. I spoke about it a little bit at the beginning. Obviously I would prefer to be P1 by like 100 points, but I don't think there's enough races yet.

But it's been good. The car has been really fast. The team has been performing really well. Maybe we've been lacking a little bit more speed at the beginning as we said in St. Pete, but from there, I think we've been able to fight for the win every single race week, but there was just cars and drivers and teams that done a better job than us. Yeah, we'll keep on pushing hard.

There's some races coming up now that we were really good last year, so yeah, so far we improved or matched every single result from last year. Yeah, we're looking good.

Q. Scott, obviously having won on the road course twice, what do you think you can do this year to repeat that?

SCOTT DIXON: I don't know. Obviously you want to be fast, which has been a bit difficult for us here in the recent past. The fall race was definitely a big swing on strategy, and it played out well. I think our race pace has always been very strong. But we'll see how it starts tomorrow.

I think just with how these races go, you can kind of be in a great spot at the start and then it can swing pretty quickly. Just got to be on your toes, and hopefully you can pick the right strategy. But I know the race on Saturday is going to be very, very tight.

Q. In terms of Kyffin arriving at the team, how do you think he's doing so far?

SCOTT DIXON: Yeah, he's been doing really good. He's pretty quiet. I think he's just trying to consume as much as possible. But no, I think the biggest thing with him was making sure he keeps it on the track and doesn't kind of upset the weekend for himself, from first practice or second practice. He's been good. He's been doing a good job.

Q. Felix, it's been outstanding the way that you're qualifying this season in a new team with a car that we don't usually see them going to the Fast Six and everything. How close do you think you are from a race win nowadays?

FELIX ROSENQVIST: Yeah, the qually package has been phenomenal, I think especially on the street courses. Even in Barber it was pretty competitive.

As Will says, it's just so tight every weekend. I feel like I just had a good window. Like I've been gelling well with the car setup, which has allowed me to be confident when it matters.

But I think the race is a different story. Everything kind of resets on Sunday, and you need different strengths on Sunday. You need to be good for a whole three or four stints instead of one lap.

I think if we do what we do, we will probably have a shot at some point. I think a podium is probably more realistic target, considering how we've been in the races, but yeah, we get better every time, and I'm sure kind of what Will said, as well, if you're up there, especially in qually, but if you put yourself in a position where you can fight for the top 5, top 3 at the end of the race, I think your day will come.

Still early days. We're really motivated to just keep improving everywhere we go, and I'm sure our day will come.

Q. Will, you're in a different position right now because you're in a win drought, which is something that we never expected. We get used to seeing you win. But at the same time you're leading the championship and now you're coming to a race where you are like a master because you won like five times. Of course you're close to race wins in your last races and everything, but how important is it to have this race specifically right now because it's a race that we know how well you perform? How important is that?

WILL POWER: Yeah, they're all important. They all pay the same points. You've just got to -- I guess you've got to have that mindset, that focus on the session, each session at a time. You can't really look too far forward.

But if you could win this race, it certainly gives everyone on the team and all the guys on your car and yourself a lot of confidence, and you just feel good going into the most important race of the whole season.

When I won the 500, I qualified on pole and won the road course and then won the big one. I would love to completely sweep it where you get pole, win, pole, win, but I'm sure everyone here is exactly the same. That's the focus. Just keep pushing and doing the best I can at my craft.

Q. Felix, you got one of the best ever at Indianapolis to drive alongside you as a teammate. How will Helio Castroneves impact your preparation for the race, and what are some of the benefits of having him there to give you some extra bits of advice and all that stuff?

FELIX ROSENQVIST: It's still early days. On the open test we didn't really run that much, so we didn't really have a chance to communicate much about the car and all that. But I've been fortunate to be with a lot of veterans. I've been with obviously Scott and Tony and now Helio. It's super cool to see how they go about their business and the prep.

I've seen already Helio is pretty relaxed, I'd say very old school. He doesn't really stretch before he jumps in the car. He just kind of puts on his suit one minute before and jumps in. He's very simple in his approach, which is cool. He's tied to be the most successful guy here at the speedway, and it's cool to see that approach work, when I've also had teammates that they kind of have to go into a mantra before they jump in the car and stuff like that.

Yeah, I'm curious to see how it's going to play out. He's a great guy, fun guy to have around, good energy, so we're really excited to be three cars for next weekend, or in two weeks.

Q. Do you care to go into who the mantra guy is, Felix?

FELIX ROSENQVIST: No. I'll let you guess.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

ASAP sports

tech 129
About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297