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September 6, 2008

Ryan Briscoe

Helio Castroneves

Scott Dixon


THE MODERATOR: We'll get started with our post-qualifying press conference. We have Ryan Briscoe and Helio Castroneves joining us shortly. Right now we're joined by Scott Dixon, starting on the outside of the front row, the ninth front row starting position for Scott this season. Scott, I guess talk about your run there and then maybe talk a little bit about tomorrow.
SCOTT DIXON: It was pretty good, actually. I was a little surprised we qualified so far up. I think our car was good this morning, but it's been really quick in race trim. The car has been really good coming up. Straight up speed, it looked like TK and Briscoe were definitely quicker than us this morning. When you find yourself in new cars and then doing qualifying, we kind of knew that was going to play out. I was a little shocked that TK didn't go quicker, and obviously Danica was pretty close, as well. All in all, I think we're pretty happy. I just wanted to qualify in the top five, definitely stay close to Helio.
He tried some tricky stuff in qualifying, so I don't know what's going to happen there. But it was generally a pretty good day.

Q. When you said tricky stuff, did you mean below the white line?
SCOTT DIXON: Yeah, definitely. Before we go out in qualifying, we always say, just keep it above the white line and the drivers knew the same thing. What are you going to do about that? They never said what type of penalty there is for it. Anyway, it doesn't really matter I don't think to be honest.

Q. Now that we've had all this big buildup going into tomorrow, you seem like you're pretty relaxed and ready to go. Any thoughts at this point about just getting it over with, finally getting to the race?
SCOTT DIXON: Yeah, I wish we were going out there right now to be honest. I was feeling like last week was the last race or something like that. It's definitely been dragged on for the last few races. I think definitely Detroit was definitely disappointing in the fact that it was a fast car and we got the pole and we just didn't make good on the deal. No, I definitely guess I'm anxious to get in the car, get on the racetrack. One way or another, I want to win this one. I know it's been a long year, and to top it off with a championship would be fantastic and the ultimate.

Q. In order to win the championship, what's going to be your strategy? Are you just going to keep it all together? It looks like you can make it to the finish.
SCOTT DIXON: No, we're going for the win. It would be nice to go out and win, but I know exactly what he wants to do. We want to go for that record-breaking seventh win of the season, which would be fantastic. That's what it comes down to. We're here to do one thing and that's race. I'm going to do anything similar to that, so we're going to keep doing what we've been doing all season. I think we've got a car that can win. It's going to be very tough on straight-on speed, but I think just coming down to the wire, I think our car is going to be really strong.

Q. You said earlier today on the line that you thought that Ryan was going to be the guy to beat. What made you think that?
SCOTT DIXON: You know, we can always pull all kinds of things off of the timing and scoring things, and there's different calculations you can set up to see what cars have tows and don't have tows, and straight up, he was definitely quicker than us throughout the day.
Same with TK. TK, I think, they didn't quite get what their car was capable of this morning. Second is a pretty good day for us.
THE MODERATOR: Scott, we appreciate your time. Good luck tomorrow.
We're joined by Helio Castroneves, second in points going into the final race and a fourth-place qualifying effort. You went out second to last. What was it like waiting and knowing what you had to do out there?
HELIO CASTRONEVES: Well, going to practice there was a lot of drafts out there, and I knew I had at least about the fifth-best car. Ryan seems to be the guy that would be a little bit faster. If I couldn't do it, I was counting on my teammate here and I'm glad that he did it.
Again, starting in the front, it was good. It's not like a road course here that you have a kind of advantage, but it's a place that if you have a good car you can pass in the race you're not going to not go anywhere. It's fine, fourth place, starting right behind actually Scott, so it'll be fun. I'm going to count on this guy here pretty much, because I'm going to need him for sure.
THE MODERATOR: And we are joined also by Ryan Briscoe, PEAK Motor Oil Pole Award winner. Congratulations, Ryan, fourth pole of your career, first time on an oval. Congratulations. Tell us about winning the pole, and also same situation as Helio, you had to wait until the very end. You knew the time that you had to beat and were going out there and doing it.
RYAN BRISCOE: Yeah, thanks. I think it helped. It's kind of nice being the last car to go. You know what the goal is and nothing really changes what you do, but it's kind of a settling feeling.
Yeah, I knew I had a fast car and I was really feeling pretty confident going into it that I had a car fast enough for the pole. I felt coming around for the green that I didn't quite have the speed that I was carrying in practice this morning, so I didn't really know what that first lap was going to come out, but I was pretty relieved to see that it was a bit faster than pole speed and was able to maintain it.
My car has been great out of the box this week. It's always a great feeling when you don't need to make big setup changes and it really just comes to you. It's a great feeling. Hopefully I can run at the front.

Q. Helio, Scott Dixon was in here a few minutes ago, and he commented that you were below the white line during your qualifying run. What do you have to say about that?
HELIO CASTRONEVES: I don't have anything to say about it. I think it was a good lap, and so far it was fine. We'll see what happens.

Q. Your car ran well this weekend. Is this the same car you drove last weekend or is this a different car?
RYAN BRISCOE: It's a different car. I mean, only because I was told that (laughter). It is a different car. It's only raced several times this year.

Q. How can you as Helio's teammate play a factor in the race tomorrow? Is it going to be like watching like a blocking situation? Or talk about your role in the race tomorrow.
RYAN BRISCOE: All I can do is try to be up in front, be competitive. You know, keep winning those laps in the race if I can. It's going to be tough. He's been really good in practice, but so have I. Hopefully I can keep him from leading those laps in the race. There's not much you can do. Helio needs to go out and have a good, strong race tomorrow, and we don't wish bad fortunes on anyone, but Helio needs to have a good race and Dixon needs to have a bit of bad luck. I'm just going to try to run a good race.

Q. Helio, you've kind of been involved a lot these last races for the championship. Texas in '02 really stands out and then '06 and '07. Talk a little bit about how stressful it is to go into this race with the championship on the line and it being on an oval where it's going to be determined.
HELIO CASTRONEVES: Well, oval is always very competitive. It's hard, as you know, going to a place that there's so many variables and so many other drivers and competitors and the difference can be one car -- even if one car is one mile-an-hour faster when you have the draft, it definitely accomplishes that. So with that, it becomes much more closer fuel than on a road course, for example. Yeah, what I need to do is what I've been doing since I started racing here, so there is not much of a difference. We've got a goal, we've got a plan which everybody knows. We need to win, and we're going to try everything we can to do that.

Q. Ryan, you kind of got off to a little bit of a rocky start this season, but you're kind of finishing strong. Just how important is that end for you?
RYAN BRISCOE: It's going to be really important, really. I mean, I've had better days, but really I was able to turn things around, get some really good, strong races off, and I really felt as though as I've seen what's gone on and I've been becoming more competitive and more consistent, and really, you know, since mid-season really, the big focus for me has been on the ovals, just really preparing myself to be strong next year.
So I'm looking forward to a strong race tomorrow. Hopefully I can run strong all day though long, show some signs of improvement that I've been showing all year and try to be one of the drivers running for the championship next week.
THE MODERATOR: Congratulations on a good day out there, and good luck tomorrow.

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