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August 11, 2007

Scott Dixon

A.J Foyt IV

Tony Kanaan


THE MODERATOR: We're going to get started here. We are joined by today's second-place finisher, Scott Dixon. Scott, talk about the race today.
SCOTT DIXON: We tested very well here with the car we brought like two weeks ago. We seemed to be a mile an hour clear of definitely the AGR cars that were testing at the same time. Then when we came back, we seemed to be a mile an hour slower than them, so it seemed quite mysterious. The only thing we did change was the engine, so I'm not sure if that was sort of the difference.
Today, yeah, it was just one of those races where we didn't really have the speed. We just had to sort of try and hook on. Early on I tried to sort of get back in the pack a little bit, try and save a bit of gas. Realized that we didn't have the car to do it, maybe try and go a couple of laps earlier. But that was changed with the caution.
You know, luckily enough, the guys were fantastic in the pits. We jumped, you know, the two leaders towards the end of the race. T.K. got by on the restart. Those guys were just so fast accelerating, went right around the outside of me. We managed to keep Dario behind us, who is definitely a lot quicker, but it's very hard to pass once you stick on the white line.
Then coming into the pits, he seemed to mess it up and nearly run over the back of us there. We had a good, clean pit stop. And then on the restart, yeah, we just really didn't have enough I think for the 11 car all day. To be honest, I think it was Dario's sort of day to lose a lot of points, and they definitely messed up pretty big.
THE MODERATOR: As you mentioned with the points, he's now cut Dario's lead to eight. How do you change, if anything, your strategy heading into the final three races of the season?
SCOTT DIXON: It doesn't really change it at all. I think for us, you know, we've got to try to go out there and win races. If we can't win, we've got to try and finish second, and so on. That's the biggest way we can try and gain points. You know, the big picture is obviously to try to stay in front of Dario. But T.K.'s obviously closing the gap, too, now. I think he's only 50 points behind us, maybe 58 out of the lead. We definitely don't need him winning any more, so we've definitely got to try to put that to a stop.
Yeah, I don't know, we'll stay aggressive. We've got a test next week. I know a few other people have. We've just got to try to stay on top of our game and make sure we keep the pressure on those boys.
THE MODERATOR: We're also joined by today's third-place finisher, A.J. Foyt, IV. Today's third-place finish was a career best. His previous best finish was ninth place.
A.J., tell us about the run today.
A.J. FOYT, IV: My run was actually obviously really good for us, really good for my team. My team had amazing pit stops. That's what really got me up there. We were always in the top seven, top six all day long. But the pit stops got me up there in the lead there with 12 to go. Obviously Tony was very strong, so it wasn't really any holding him off. And then Scott snuck under me there coming off of turn two. Gave him just a little bit of room, and he did it.
But it was good for us. You know, I wasn't going to, you know -- I raced clean all day with everybody. No sense in changing there at the end. It's just very good for the team. I owe it all to my guys doing my pit stops, and my engineer gave me a great car today

Q. What tactics can you use on the road courses these next two races from getting to the ovals to gain points from teammates?
SCOTT DIXON: It's tough. You could even see them working together pretty obvious today. You know, I thought we had sort of had that discussion after Michigan, that stuff shouldn't go on. But Tony was definitely being very blatant I think much of the race. To touch on one, I don't know what Sam was doing there, because that guy was all over the place.
Everybody is meant to be on probation, and nothing happens. It's quite strange how the league doesn't seem to, you know, jump on top of these people. I've been on the receiving end of it. It's not nice. But I think a few others should.
I think there's a few ways of looking at that going into the championship. Obviously AGR's got four cars which can be, you know, tough to beat, especially when two of them are very quick and working together like they did today.
You know, then the other way to look at it is I have my teammate, Dan, who is extremely fast at most places, and he's almost out of it. So he might be a little more aggressive than those guys want to be.
There's going to be different ways that people approach these weekends. But, you know, it's going to be tough no matter what. You know, the two guys that we're fighting at the moment are going to be very, very hard to beat.

Q. Why does Tony seem to be so fast out front today?
SCOTT DIXON: I have no idea, man. When we were here at the test, you know, we were very similar or quicker. Then when you come back, for a guy to get the pole position by over 1.2 mile an hour seems pretty suspect to me.
A.J. FOYT, IV: I don't know.

Q. A.J., what's changed with Vision Racing the second half of the year that made you so much faster?
A.J. FOYT, IV: I think really it's just one of those deals where the team's coming together. Me and my engineer's coming together. You know, this is our first year to work together. He's just starting to learn what I like and what I don't like.
You know, he's gave me a decent car all year long, but today's car was really I could do whatever I wanted to with it. Just a little bit more speed, overall speed. But, you know, I think everybody wants that, including Dixon, to catch up to the 11 car.
But, you know, I can't ask for anything more than my guys, the pit stops to keep getting better. Everybody is just working hard. And Larry Curry, the team manager, to do whatever they can to get us faster.

Q. (No microphone.)
A.J. FOYT, IV: Obviously, I'm happier how I'm running. I did struggle my first couple years. Just learning more and more about these cars, learning the setup more about these cars, learning more about what I like. This is my first year in the IndyCar Series with an engineer to work with, so I think that definitely helps a lot also.

Q. (No microphone.)
A.J. FOYT, IV: No. No. When we were in the pack before the yellow came out, it was a group of four or five of us, and then it was Tony. I knew with him behind me, I knew the minute he pulled the outside of me that easily, then just kept on going on the outside of me, you know, I don't think anybody was going to touch him today. It was pretty much a race for second.

Q. (No microphone.)
A.J. FOYT, IV: Yeah, I was telling my spotter on the radio, because it was so early in the race, there was no sense I was on the inside, she was on the outside, there was no sense in us to be side by side. From like the second lap, I was doing that, I was telling her to line up, wanted her to line up so we could run faster. And finally she did. We ran like a mile-and-a-half faster, started catching back up to the past. You hate racing side by side for 10th place on lap 10.
THE MODERATOR: Guys, thank you. Congratulations.
We're with race winner, Tony Kanaan. Two in a row.
TONY KANAAN: It was a great night for us, as a team obviously having Dario flying again, it wasn't really good. I thought we were going to fly out of here because he's a helicopter pilot, but not that way. Glad he's okay.
Great, great job. My guys worked so hard. You know, obviously since Indy, we've been having a lot of ups and downs. We kept the spirits up. Here we go.
I mean, a special weekend for me, for myself. It was my dad's birthday yesterday. He's not around any more, so pretty touching. I'm glad that I got a win for him. Tomorrow is Father's Day in Brazil. I'm a father-to-be. My wife better give me a good gift tomorrow (laughter).
THE MODERATOR: Questions for T.K.

Q. (No microphone.)
TONY KANAAN: Obviously the car that is leading, it always has an advantage. When he was leading, I knew I was a little bit stronger than him. But obviously we play some team tactics. I mean, I kept behind him so we could pull away from people. Then we were going to play at the end of the race. I was basically at that point protecting him. I had no intentions to pass him at all.
I think his car went to a little bit more understeer than mine. On the restart, when I was able to pass Dixon, I don't think he was quite as fast as Dixie. So at that point I was able to pull away because they kept fighting with each other. When you run side by side, you're definitely slower than the car in front. That's what happened.

Q. How was the driving this week compared to last week?
TONY KANAAN: Night and day. I mean, obviously wasn't a pack race, so it made it a little easier. But still some crazy moves out there. I don't know what you guys saw. I touched with a lap car or the lap car touched me. I don't know. I mean, but it was much better, I have to say.
After Brian Barnhart put everybody under probation, I would say I think we calmed down a little bit.

Q. (No microphone.)
TONY KANAAN: It was the story of our life, isn't it? He will never go away. I've been in too much -- actually, the whole league the past few weeks, since Watkins Glen, we've been having good presses, but we've been in the press for the wrong reason, so I don't want to create any more.
I'm definitely going to have a chat in Portuguese with him so you guys won't understand what I say. I'm not happy about it, I have to say that. I don't know what he was thinking. But we'll talk. We'll sort it out.
We only know each other for 23 years, so I guess it's like a marriage. We're going to get home and talk about it.

Q. (No microphone.)
TONY KANAAN: Again, I compare to Indianapolis. Nobody was thinking about Dario and Dixon. They all talk about me and Hornish and Helio. And look what happened? They finish 1-2. Everybody's talking about Dario and Dixon, and nobody's talking about me, so I like that. I like that. I don't have that pressure. I still have no pressure.
I think it's going to be really hard for me to win this championship. The best thing I can do is keep winning races and see what's going to happen. From now on, they being chased by me. I've been in that position before. I would say for me, just keep doing what we doing and then we'll see.

Q. (No microphone.)
TONY KANAAN: No, not at all. I think I still -- I still want my team to win this championship. If it's going to be with me or Dario, we need to win this championship. I will do whatever it takes, if I need to help my teammate to do that, and I think vice versa. So right now the focus is get Andretti Green to win another championship.

Q. (No microphone.)
TONY KANAAN: That's a good point. I don't know. I think, you know, we've been very strong week in and week out. It's just the way racing is, you know. I mean, I had plenty of bad days. Scott had a few. Dario had two weekends in a row.
Really, I don't know. If we're going -- if somebody makes a calendar, I think Scott should be in June and Dario in July and I should be August basically (laughter).

Q. (No microphone.)
TONY KANAAN: Not really because at that point, if you saw me, I was trying to of move up to try to pull Dario with me and help him out. I couldn't do it. I couldn't do it. Actually I start to run too high and slow down. At one point, I say, Well, guys, you're big boys, you guys can fight, I'm going away. I don't like to fight. I want the easy life. Then I went back down. That's when I took off. Obviously, they kept fighting for position. Side by side is definitely slower and I was able to pull away.
I have to say was a nice picture in my mirror when I saw them getting smaller and smaller and smaller.

Q. (No microphone.)
TONY KANAAN: No. I mean, how can you say something wrong? Dario didn't know it was a checker. I don't know what happened to Danica. I have no idea.

Q. (No microphone.)
TONY KANAAN: Oh, okay. Then there's your answer right there. You can't drive with a blowed tire. It's not something weird happened. I mean, the car didn't explode on his own.

Q. (No microphone.)
TONY KANAAN: Well, I understand. Gets toward the end of the season, everybody's pushing. She's pushing to win a race. Dario, last lap, he's trying to gain a couple of positions because Dixon is second. It's getting towards the end of the season, and people, they see they have less and less. One weekend more, it's one less chance you have to win, so people are trying everything. Some people have a tendency to get desperate, I guess. That's what happens.

Q. (No microphone.)
TONY KANAAN: I did not have breakfast and lunch that day probably. I have no idea. I mean, we came here and test. My teammates had the same car. But it happens. I mean, it's mystery of racing sometimes. Look at Michigan. Dario and I had the same car, and he was flying.
I don't know. The only thing I can tell you, this is my Kansas car, it was my Kansas setup. We were very strong in Kansas until we had the incident in the pits. I think maybe I like to drive a type of car here that it's a little bit at the edge, and some people don't like the way I drive the car. That's probably the advantage.

Q. (No microphone.)
TONY KANAAN: No, actually we work really hard. Even in Kansas, we struggle in the past, although I had won a race there. So, you know, over the years we tire tested a lot, so we developed a different tire. And I think the tire suit our setup a little better, and that helped.
I would say, you know, it's more a coincidence than anything. We found a way to go in Kansas that I think we thought was going to work here, and it did. I like that because everybody count us out here. Our best result I think was a fifth as a team. Like I said out there, I like to change the odds a little bit.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you very much, T.K.
Eight points between first and second place, 52 between first and third place. This is Kanaan's fourth win of the season, his 11th of his career. 15th time in league history a driver has won back-to-back races. This is Andretti Green's 30th win in the IndyCar Series.
Thank you all very much.

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