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April 1, 2016

Helio Castroneves

Avondale, Arizona

THE MODERATOR: Helio Castroneves is here, his 46th career pole position in IndyCar racing, fourth in the all-time list. Bobby Unser is third at 49. Your second pole here at Phoenix International Raceway, a track record.

HELIO CASTRONEVES: Wow, keep going. I like what I'm hearing right now.

THE MODERATOR: Talk about your run today.

HELIO CASTRONEVES: Yeah, I mean, first of all, what a great opportunity again to be back in PIR. This is probably my first oval ever in my career, so it's great to be back again in this place.

Yes, it's an honor to be breaking the record, which has been holding for 20 years, and now we're able to show that Verizon IndyCars are fast, and also in my car, the Rev Group car, was really on rails. We came here preseason, we showed that, and we kept going. The temperatures were really difficult because of the temperature and you've got to push to the limit, and we definitely pushed to the limit. My first lap was pretty good, and the second lap was a little bit of a moments in Turn 3 and 4, which I was not expecting that. That's probably why it was huge. But at the end of the day, we were able to put the No. 3 in the pole position and now got to focus for tomorrow.

THE MODERATOR: We had Tony up here a few minutes ago who qualified second, Juan third. Is there something about the experience --

HELIO CASTRONEVES: Absolutely, oh, yeah. That's why we keep saying that especially the way you run in the cars and in these conditions and things like that. It just shows that it's not about -- age is just a number. At the end of the day, I never thought about in these conditions, I always keep trying to improve myself, developing the way of -- whether it's an oval or a road course, always trying to push the way.

Really excited for tomorrow night, but we've got to continue working because qualifying is one thing, racing is another.

Q. Helio, earlier you had to test here. How identical was your setup? Was it similar, the same or totally different in qualifying?
HELIO CASTRONEVES: We didn't change a single spring since we came here preseason, so it was very similar.

Q. You want us to refer to you as The King now?
HELIO CASTRONEVES: Well, yes, absolutely. Yes, servant. (Laughter.) What can I do for you?

Q. May I bring you some grapes and wine?
HELIO CASTRONEVES: No, I have my people. You're fine.

Q. Talking a little bit about how much this track changed from the last time you were here 11 years ago, been repaved and reconfigured and all that. Does it still feel like the same track?
HELIO CASTRONEVES: Well, it feels when you go into Turn 1, obviously I don't think we're able to go that fast if there is not a little bit of opening on the exit of Turn 2. So definitely that helped in terms of going fast. But the conditions didn't, and that's why it was interesting to see how tough it was out there.

But the amazing thing is the difference in speed between straight and corner. It's just incredible. We're talking about three miles an hour, and when you say the only three mile-an-hour difference from the straightaway to the corner, that's pretty impressive to see how the cars are going in the corner.

Q. What did Arie say to you when he gave you the crown?
HELIO CASTRONEVES: He was very happy that after 20 years, somebody was able to do it, and he was happy to give me the crown, so that's what he told me. That was cool. That was very nice of him to do that, and it's great to see him again, and we are happy to have him working with us.

THE MODERATOR: Congratulations.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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