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VERIZON INDYCAR SERIES: ABC SUPPLY WISCONSIN 250


July 12, 2015


Ryan Briscoe

Josef Newgarden


WEST ALLIS, WISCONSIN

THE MODERATOR:テつ We'll go ahead and get started with our Front Row press conference.テつ We're joined by Ryan Briscoe, driver of the No. 5 Arrow/Lucas Oil Schmidt Peterson Honda.テつ Ryan, you qualified second.テつ Is track position important for this race?テつ
RYAN BRISCOE:テつ It's going to be a whole new experience for us today with the new aero kits.テつ It seems that they're making a fair bit of turbulence out there, so it might be difficult to pass, but we'll see.テつ We definitely wanted to qualify towards the front in case track position is really important.テつ On a small track like this, if you get stuck at the back, it's easy to go let down soon as well.テつ
So it's good.テつ It's fantastic that we're up the front.テつ Great job by the whole team.テつ Both cars are in the top 5.テつ So, yeah, really happy with that.

Q.テつ The weather is obviously beautiful outside for the fans.テつ But as a driver, what are the track conditions like, and what are you expecting for the race?テつ
RYAN BRISCOE:テつ I haven't looked.テつ I think the track felt really good out there today.テつ I mean, it's hot for sure.テつ There might be a bit less groove than I think we were all maybe expecting there to be.テつ But, yeah, I mean for the race, as long as the rain stays away, I think we'll all be happy.テつ
THE MODERATOR:テつ This is obviously a very historic track.テつ I think the first IndyCar race might have been in (No Audio).テつ What's this track mean to you personally?テつ
RYAN BRISCOE:テつ Well, I had my first win here back in '08, so I have a lot of great memories from this place.テつ I think it was a pretty pivotal win for me at Team Penske, and coming in I'd had a couple of pretty shocking experiences here and I wasn't a big fan.テつ So to finally get that win and then back it up next year with pole position and second place finish.テつ
I've had a lot of good races here since.テつ I've come to really love it.テつ I always have a lot of great support from my wife's family and stuff who all come from Wisconsin and live not too far from here.テつ So it's always a really good race to be a part of.

Q.テつ If you look at the lineup, it's maybe not what I would have anticipated at first.テつ What should we read into that?テつ
RYAN BRISCOE:テつ I don't really know.テつ I didn't really go up and down the grid looking at downforce levels.テつ I don't even understand them looking at these aero kits yet.テつ I wouldn't be surprised if maybe some guys maybe trimmed out too much thinking there would be more grip.テつ I'm not sure.テつ I heard Will Power's interview afterwards and I don't think he wanted to give anything away.テつ Because I was listening pretty intently thinking I wonder if he's going to tell me anything and he just said, no, it all felt good.テつ So I don't know.テつ
I thought there would have been at least the Team Penske guys would have been further up there.テつ Then obviously myself, I wasn't super quick in practice this morning.テつ I had my reasons, but even Karam, he didn't really have the best runs, I don't think.テつ
So I think we've all been able to sort of learn from our teammates.テつ I know I certainly did learn from the 7 car this morning.テつ They had a really good pole sim run, and we went in their direction to set up for qualifying.テつ We were able to learn a lot from that and do a really good job in qualifying because of that.

Q.テつ To Dave's point though, you've obviously come into the situation with the team as a replacement driver for James Hinchcliffe, but some easy adjustments it seems for you to get back into the swing of things and work with the chemistry of the team.テつ Did you expect to have such strong results so quickly?テつ
RYAN BRISCOE:テつ It's been a great experience.テつ I've got to say the team, the professionalism, the whole organization has far exceeded any of my expectations before coming in.テつ It's just an awesome group of guys, and I think they do punch above their weight and I'm really proud to be racing for them.テつ
Obviously, this situation isn't good because I'm replacing Hinch, but I'm having a lot of fun being in his seat.テつ I mean, we're still learning a lot together.テつ I felt like from Indy to Texas to Fontana we were still learning a lot about each other and developing the car.テつ Obviously, now, we come to short oval stuff and then we'll do some road courses which is all going to be new for us as a group as well.テつ So just hope to keep on working hard and doing well.テつ

Q.テつ With the new aero package, are you more comfortable starting on the outside here than you might be?テつ
RYAN BRISCOE:テつ I don't think it makes a difference.テつ I think at the start of the race I'm just going to go right around the outside of Josef and leave him in the dust (laughing).テつ
JOSEF NEWGARDEN:テつ I'm going to jump the start.テつ
THE MODERATOR:テつ Thanks, Ryan.テつ Now joined by our pole sitter for the race, Josef Newgarden, driving the No. 67 Hartman Oil CFH Racing Chevrolet for CFH Racing.テつ This is Josef's first career pole.テつ His previous best start at Milwaukee was fifth.テつ Josef, with two wins already this year, now your first pole, what's that first pole mean to you?テつ
JOSEF NEWGARDEN:テつ Oh, well, it's nice.テつ We've never gotten a pole, so it's nice to get one.テつ I think it's nice that it's on an oval because I think most of our success has come on road or street courses.テつ We've been decent on ovals and we've had a podium at Iowa last year, but we've never been dominant on ovals.テつ So to have a solid weekend so far and to get a pole, I think it's big for everyone.テつ
I think my engineer really wanted this pole because he feels this is one of the most difficult places to qualify, and it is.テつ Outside of Indianapolis, I think it is probably one of the more difficult poles you could get, so he was pretty pumped.テつ I was really happy for him.テつ
Everyone works really hard on our team to give us good race cars.テつ We rolled off really good.テつ We didn't have to do too much to our car so far this weekend.テつ We just tuned on it and gone fast, we're hoping that's going to translate to the race.テつ That's three out of four sessions, and the fourth session is really what matters, so we've got to do a good job in the upcoming race.

Q.テつ How does that affect your mindset for the weekend when you're fastest in practice and very strong in qualifying?テつ It seems like you're almost dominating the weekend.テつ Does that stress you out at all or does it help you feel more confident?テつ
JOSEF NEWGARDEN:テつ It's nice when it's going that way.テつ I don't think we've had a weekend like that where we've been dominant.テつ We've never had a weekend like that.テつ We've been strong on weekends.テつ It always goes up and down depending on how the weekend flows, but we've never just come in and dominated.テつ So if we can continue to do that and somehow have a good result in the race and maybe win, I'd be thrilled.テつ That's what you dream of doing every weekend.テつ You wish you could wipe the floor with everyone every weekend, but it's just too hard to do that.テつ Especially in IndyCar, it's almost impossible half the time.テつ
So if we have a weekend like that, then we're not going to be complaining.テつ But I think I'm trying to be realistic that the race is going to be difficult.テつ I think this was probably more the easier part that's already happened, and the tough part is going to come in a couple of hours from now.

Q.テつ Josef, is the fact that one of your principal sponsors is located here and having a lot of people here, is that any additional pressure you're feeling today?テつ
JOSEF NEWGARDEN:テつ It's totally rigged.テつ This has all been paid off.テつ Thanks, IndyCar.テつ Appreciate that.テつ
No, it's actually really nice because Direct Supply, I think they're the most wonderful sponsor a team could have.テつ They're filled with great people.テつ They're led by this man named Bob Hillis, and he is the biggest cheerleader I've ever met, but he's not in a corny way.テつ Like he is the coolest guy you could talk to before any race weekend.テつ He pumps you up, makes you feel like a million bucks and that goes a long way with myself and our team.テつ
We love having him as a sponsor.テつ And they've been a long‑time supporter not only of myself and the last four years, but also Sarah Fisher, and Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing.テつ So it's a long relationship that they've had, and we just continue to build on it.テつ
Having success in their hometown is what you hope to do, and it's a big celebration when that happens.テつ Everyone here that is part of this event, they're here to support us from Direct Supply, and we just want to do a good job now and race.

Q.テつ Not that we wouldn't have expected you and Ryan here, but generally speaking the top of this lineup looks a little different from what I may have expected.テつ Where the Penske guys are particularly and that kind of thing.テつ What do we make of that?テつ
JOSEF NEWGARDEN:テつ I was surprised with Penske.テつ I was really kind of shocked for them.テつ The thing that I would attribute it to is that the temperatures were greatly different from yesterday's practice session, this morning's practice session and now into qualifying.テつ It's much cooler for the first two practice sessions and then it got hot in qualifying.テつ I think if you were already on the edge of being loose or having a lot of oversteer, I think that played against you, and I'm guessing that's what bit the Penskes.テつ
I think we were probably on the better end of the spectrum and probably brought us more into line where we needed to be in qualifying for the conditions.テつ
So I would say it's that, but then the other thing to look at is Honda's having a really good weekend.テつ They were strong in Fontana.テつ I think it's higher downforce, Honda seems to be better.テつ You're running a max downforce here basically, so I think that's definitely playing more into their favor and they're able to run pretty well around here.テつ That's just switched the field up a bit.テつ
You're not seeing a dominance from Chevrolet this weekend.テつ It very easily could have been a Honda on pole today, and it certainly could be a Honda winner in the race.テつ So we've got to be on top of our game.テつ Those two elements are the biggest thing that affected today.

Q.テつ How does the tire fall off over a long run, and is it worse now with the kits compared to how it was last year?テつ
JOSEF NEWGARDEN:テつ It's definitely not worse.テつ The tire drop off is better I would say than last year.テつ How much better?テつ I don't think it's much.テつ I think if you dropped off two seconds total over a tire stint, I think you're probably going to drop off a second‑and‑a‑half.テつ
So you're definitely cutting down on some of the degradation, but it's not significantly huge.テつ Little bit better.テつ They definitely hang in a little bit better, and they're faster around here.テつ But I still think it's going to be you pit on lap 45, 50 with your tires and you get brand‑new tires, you're going to be able to cut through people a lot better than two guys that have the same number of laps on their tires.テつ So that's going to be the same case as last year.テつ
The big difference I think is the aero.テつ It's a lot harder to follow people nowadays with this kit.テつ So when you're directly behind someone, it's really difficult.テつ The car gets loose.テつ It didn't do that last year.テつ It never got loose in traffic, now it does.テつ So you have more probability of losing the car.テつ
But it does open up more lanes possibly with the new aero kit, so that hopefully will help us.テつ Someone goes lane 2, you want to be able to go lane 1 and pass them.テつ

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports



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