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July 23, 2011

Ryan Briscoe

Scott Dixon

Dario Franchitti

Will Power

Takuma Sato

E.J. Viso


THE MODERATOR: We are pleased to be joined by several of today's Firestone Fast Six qualifiers. We have three sets of teammates represented today with a little more than 2/10ths of a second separating first from fifth, as well as 5/100ths separating first and second.
We're joined by Will Power. Will won the pole here in 2007, 2009, 2010. Scott Dixon will start third. He actually won the race last year. Also Dario Franchitti. Today Dario matched a career-best start here at Edmonton of fourth. And Ryan Briscoe, who won the pole here in 2008 and has appeared in the Firestone Fast Six here at Edmonton the past three years.
Ryan, talk about qualifying today.
RYAN BRISCOE: Yeah, pretty exciting learning a new track today. Very rushed throughout the practice sessions, making some changes for qualifying. Wasn't bad. We got a really good lap together in Q2 to make it into the Fast Six.
Really I think we were just lacking a bit of speed to really fight for the pole today. Didn't help my first lap I flat spotted a bit and struggled a bit from there on out. The Penske Truck Rental was competitive. We're going to hopefully make it a little bit stronger for tomorrow. It's a good starting spot. We'll see where we go from there.
THE MODERATOR: Scott, you started third last year and won. Think you can do it again?
SCOTT DIXON: Well, it was a bit of a 'gimme' last year. Obviously we'd like to improve on the track and actually lead a lap to win the race.
But this weekend it's been tough. It's a very demanding circuit. The fact for me it seems quite technical, braking zones are where you gain most of your speed, and turn 11 I really need to pull my finger. I think we're going to put on a good show. Braking zones in turns one, five and 13, people are going to get aggressive especially if you're back in the pack which could be a recipe for some crashes.
Both Target cars were good. Both of us had the ultimate lap in it, but I myself just couldn't put the ultimate lap together.
THE MODERATOR: Dario, your thoughts on today's qualifying session?
DARIO FRANCHITTI: Yeah, I'm really not as happy with the car as Scott. There's a couple areas I'm really struggling with it. I feel we compromised some other parts trying to fix that. I think if we can figure it out for tomorrow, we're looking good.
As Scott said, everybody is out there struggling trying to put that whole lap together because there is that variety of corners and that compromise. We'll have a busy night tonight. Hopefully we can get both Target cars up front tomorrow.
THE MODERATOR: Will, looked like you had a moment where you might have white-walled today.
WILL POWER: Yeah, I think it was my third lap. I bent the car. That made it pretty difficult from there on. Still good to be starting up front. I just noticed it seems quite tough to pass around here, which is surprising with the layout.
But, you know, I think you have to try to have a clean race, not get involved in any incidents and get some points tomorrow.
THE MODERATOR: We're also joined by E.J. Viso, and our polesitter Takuma Sato. E.J. started sixth last year at Edmonton. For Takuma, it's his second pole of the year, winning his first at Iowa Speedway.
Takuma, talk about the pole.
TAKUMA SATO: Yeah, thanks. It's a very special moment for me and for the team, as well. I mean, like you said, Iowa was another great moment. My first pole. To be able to do the same thing here, it means a lot. Obviously, the conditions today was tricky, as everyone couldn't run yesterday and we had only two sessions. But I was comfortable.
Through the Q1, really confident to commit, gaining a lot of time here. Q2, maybe I was asking too much from the car. But Q3, I came back and competing and challenged for the pole with these guys, it means a lot. I'm very happy.
THE MODERATOR: E.J., your thoughts on your qualifying session today?
E.J. VISO: Well, first of all, congratulations to Takuma. I think it's a special day for KV Racing. I congratulate Takuma, but the congratulations is for the team. It's been a special season for all of us. We've been working as a real team. The driver combination we have is good. We're sharing information the proper way. I think we never had such a big harmony in the team, at least in my career. It's been great the way we've been working. The results are coming. Engineering part is getting every time stronger. Crew 5, crew 59, every time getting stronger. Today was a good day.
Definitely we didn't have the speed that Takuma had. I was struggling a bit in the fast corners. But I'll take the fifth position. It's a beautiful new track. Congratulations to everyone involved with the new track. I think it's going to bring a lot of excitement to the fans. Definitely there are a lot of places to overtake and to be overtaken. It's going to keep us very busy. Thank you.
THE MODERATOR: We'll start with questions.

Q. (No microphone.)
DARIO FRANCHITTI: We've done it before. We'll be all right.
WILL POWER: He's behind me, so it's up to him.

Q. (No microphone.)
DARIO FRANCHITTI: No, I can't, sorry.

Q. (No microphone.)
TAKUMA SATO: Obviously the position is extremely important to get clear in turn one. Here seems to be very tight corner in turn one with quite bumpy braking. Good thing is they repaved nicely through the apex. I think we are able to run two-wide into turn one and get a clear race start, then from there, go for it.
Like E.J. says, this track now is quite challenging for the overtaking. But with a long straight and heavy braking, it's allowed to do so for us. It's going to be quite exciting race.

Q. (No microphone.)
WILL POWER: Yeah, I think being on the outside, it's up to the guys on the inside to give you room. Yeah, I'm hoping for a clean start. It's a long race. We all want to finish.

Q. (No microphone.)
WILL POWER: Yeah, I mean, Takuma did a fantastic job. It's pretty tough to keep a streak like that going every week, to get everything just absolutely right.
But it just shows how tough the series is now. If you don't get it perfect, you're not going to be on pole. Full credit to KV and Takuma to pull it together like that.

Q. (No microphone.)
TAKUMA SATO: Well, I mean, only I can do is race hard to get the good result. That's only I could do. Obviously last week we had press conference in Tokyo. Everyone is really exciting for the Indy Japan, the final. We had an event for the charity event, invite the kids from the affected area, 2500 people turn up in Motegi. We had a great day. Hopefully that's a boost up for some energy.
Like Will said, this series is so competitive. A lot of people is really interested in watching it. So hopefully, you know, tomorrow we have a clean race and have a strong race to return some good message to Japan.

Q. (No microphone.)
SCOTT DIXON: Not wishing any bad luck on anybody, but we need these two obviously to have some bad luck. Will is a little closer. Dario has a pretty handy lead. But I had a similar kind of lead in 2008 and nearly lost all of it. I think Dario actually when you won the championship, in '07, it was a similar thing with four or five races to go.
It can happen. Anything can happen. We're going to come to each race and try to do our best and try to win. The hard thing at the moment seems to be just trying to keep the car on the track. It's been lots of carnage out there at the moment, especially with the two-wide starts and things like that.
For me we just want to have a clean weekend, for the team start pushing, charging, hopefully get some good points.

Q. (No microphone.)
SCOTT DIXON: You can't really. Obviously when it becomes a new season, you want to start as well as you can because, you know, with the competition we have nowadays it's very hard to gain that back. Dario really hasn't had a bad race this year. To try to make up that deficit is almost impossible.
For us, we kind of just have to try to start better next year. Makes the rest of the year a lot easier.

Q. (No microphone.)
RYAN BRISCOE: I think they've done a great job with the track. It's in good condition, apart from a bit of water today running across the track. Hopefully we can fix that if any more rain comes. But it's a great track. Big braking zones. I think it looks great. It's pretty smooth. Just a couple of bumps in a couple of corners. For running around an airport, I think all the paving they've done is beautiful. The grandstands look good, the big screens around the place. It should be a good race for the spectators to be watching.
THE MODERATOR: Congratulations, guys, on a great qualifying session. Best of luck tomorrow.

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