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September 14, 2017

Scott Dixon

Sonoma, California

THE MODERATOR: We'll get started with our post practice press conference. Joined by Scott Dixon. Three points behind Josef Newgarden coming into the weekend for the 2017 championship.

Scott, you didn't get any laps in this morning, but I imagine you probably have plans to go out this afternoon and check some things out on track.

SCOTT DIXON: Yeah, definitely. It's always nice to be out here in California. Definitely the weather today is fantastic. This morning didn't really get to run. Just seems like the tire, we don't have that many of them, so trying to save it for the ideal time on track, which should be later today. They also changed the rule of allowing a carryover from today into the weekend. That shortened the tire allotment even more.

Just trying to get the track at the best time. Definitely a few cars around this morning. Good to see the teammates out there, get a little bit of data. We'll have a lunch break here and get prepped and ready to run this afternoon.

THE MODERATOR: How are you feeling coming into the weekend? You've been in this place before: you've been the leader, the chaser. What are your thoughts entering the weekend, especially championship-wise?

SCOTT DIXON: Just excited. It's always nice to be in the hunt. It's definitely pretty tight this year. But as always, you know, Verizon IndyCar Series comes down to the wire. It's not just one competitor, it's not two, we're going into the last race with five cars that have a pretty good shot at winning it.

Today is just about trying to understand the car as best as possible, try and get some data for the weekend. But, you know, as far as the race goes, it's going to be more about trying to eliminate silly mistakes and situations that we can control.

THE MODERATOR: Talking about Sonoma specifically, what is so special or challenging about this track in particular?

SCOTT DIXON: Yeah, it's definitely very difficult. Any road course has outside things with cautions and the way the strategy can flip. But tire degradation is quite big here. Overall grip is quite tough. It's a very small window I think to try and hit the setup perfectly.

It's definitely quite technical, quite tough to get all the speed out of the car. I think as one of circuits on the schedule, this is probably one of the toughest I think to get the most out of it.

THE MODERATOR: We'll start with questions for Scott.

Q. The tire situation, is it safe to say they gave you about three hours' worth of tires for a six-hour practice? If so, how many tires would you need to make this a productive day?
SCOTT DIXON: I think most test days we generally use about six sets. Today you're down to about three, so...

It's just one of those things. I think each track is quite different. Some tracks you go to, the tire, you can run 20 laps on it quite successfully, get information out of it. Here, to get a proper lap together, you really have a one-lap or two-lap window to get the most out of it. Then it falls off quite big, then goes through another drop after 10 laps. It's the one of those things, it's same for everyone.

It's a shame. If you come out here early and spend all the money, it would have been easier if you wanted to buy tires, you could just buy tires. Probably the cheapest thing you put on the car.

Q. Win the race or win the championship or both?
SCOTT DIXON: Both. You know, it's always the easiest. If you can win the race, it's going to take care of the rest. As it comes down to the last stop or two, you'll have a bit better idea of where you stand and what you might have to achieve, where your competitors are.

I think throughout the day, especially over the hour-and-a-half period, it's going to evolve a little bit. There can always be a caution that flips it and mixes it up a lot. So, you know, yeah, you want to do both, man. That's the easiest way.

THE MODERATOR: Scott, thank you very much. Appreciate your time.

SCOTT DIXON: Thank you. No problem.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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