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October 1, 2011

Scott Dixon

Dario Franchitti

Will Power

Graham Rahal


THE MODERATOR: We are pleased to be joined by Graham Rahal. This is Graham's second front row start of the season. He also started from the second position in Baltimore just a few weeks ago. Graham's best start at Kentucky was in 2009 where he started fifth, that was also his best finish of fifth as well.
Graham, talk about this great qualifying run today.
GRAHAM RAHAL: Well, I mean, it was really good. The Service Central guys did a great job. We had a fast car all day, but they actually didn't even tell me this before we ran, but we found out they looked over the setup sheet and one of the tows was wrong for the whole day. We made that change and it was like the car just came to life. It's been really good and it's been fast all day, but the car in qualifying felt almost perfect.
I thought Will was going to be tough to beat but I didn't see that kind of speed coming. But it feels good to start on the front row. For us we've been knocking on the door particularly the last few races. We've been there, we've been qualifying right up front. Hopefully tomorrow we can break through and finish up front.
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Graham.

Q. (Question regarding the cold weather.)
GRAHAM RAHAL: It's just tough. The reason they went green the third time by is it's tough to get heat in the tires. It's extremely slick. Literally you touch the tire when you leave and it's like there's no grip at all. I think the tires are harder than in years past, too, so that makes it tough. When you combine those things, it becomes extremely slippery.
Really we needed that extra lap. Although in saying that, when we went out there, after I saw Scott and Dario's run, we thought instead of going for it on the first lap, we'll kind of cruise around on the warmup and it seemed to work because on the fourth and fifth laps, the good laps, it was planted on the bottom without a problem.
Certainly, like I said, the guys did a good job. The temperatures, it's cold, it's really cold.

Q. (Question regarding rivalry.)
GRAHAM RAHAL: I think that the teamwork of us all has gotten stronger as the year has gone on, quite frankly particularly here. When we showed up for the test, I don't think any of us were happy at all with the cars. We made the cars a lot better. Most of us run a very similar setup.
I think all four of us in the race, our cars are extremely good. You'll be able to pass here. We saw in practice today. A lot of people asked me if we'll be single file. Guys in practice were everywhere today.
As far as any rivalry, truthfully right now the goal right now is to help these guys win a championship. We're not in the hunt. Certainly for us we can either finish sixth in the championship or 14th, obviously we'd like to be sixth, but certainly to help the team win a championship...
THE MODERATOR: We've been joined by Dario Franchitti and Scott Dixon.
Dario, qualifying today, I understand you made some changes to the car before you went out there.
DARIO FRANCHITTI: We had to change the motor. The guys, I don't know if they had problems with telemetry but we let it get too hot this morning. It was a bit of a rush for the guys. The balance of the car was good in second practice and also very good in qualifying. Just got on the back straight and the thing didn't accelerate. Not sure what that was all about. Got on the front straight, it didn't accelerate either. Pretty upset with the qualifying. That's not what we need to be doing.
The good thing is being part of the Target team, we know we can rebound and we know we've got all the stuff to come back tomorrow.
I think we have a good racecar. It's good in traffic. After a number of laps, it's very consistent. Seemed fairly quick earlier. Hopefully that will be the case tomorrow.
THE MODERATOR: Scott, it seemed like today you were really focused on race trim in practice.
SCOTT DIXON: Well, we did all of it. We tried to find speed. I think that's been the most difficult part, is obviously the test here the car balance-wise and feel of it feels pretty good, but straight-out speed by itself is maybe not the best.
Same with these guys, in race traffic, even when we fill the thing up, it seems to go the same speed. This morning in traffic and towing up, we put up some good numbers. Feels good in that scenario. Where we qualified is not where we want to be, but we'll do our best to have a comeback and try to get back to the front of the field in the first stint for sure. Need to try to get around Will so he doesn't get the most laps led.
It was a difficult day. A bit odd, qualify on the pole, three teammates qualify three miles an hour slower.
THE MODERATOR: We'll continue with questions.

Q. (No microphone.)
DARIO FRANCHITTI: I think you'll have at least two lanes, possibly three. Just looking today, there haven't been marbles up there. There will be room to maneuver, so I don't see that as a problem tomorrow. I think we'll be all right with that.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you very much for your time. We appreciate it. We'll be joined shortly by our polesitter.
We are joined by Will Power. This is Will's eighth pole of the season and his 24th career pole.
Will, you'll have a milestone, two drivers have accomplished nine poles in one season, Mario Andretti and Danny Sullivan. For the second consecutive race you're putting some distance between yourself and your competitors. Talk about that key starting spot.
WILL POWER: Yeah, I think it's great to get the Verizon car up there, get the point, put ourselves in the best position to lead laps and win the race.
Full credit to the crew. They spent the last week or last two weeks getting the best chassis combinations and every bit of bodywork we've got all together at the shop finding the best car for me. Just been working hard because we realize that's sort of been where our weakness has been, is on the ovals. They've come up with a really good car.
THE MODERATOR: We'll open it up for questions for Will.

Q. (No microphone.)
WILL POWER: Like I said before, we try to get the best car combination that we have, find the best chassis, the lightest chassis, all those little details that matter. We just try to do everything to win the championship. We've lost the championship in '09 and '10 two years in a row to Ganassi. I think the whole team as a group are very determined to not let that happen again.
We're doing everything we can. I'm doing everything I can. We really want to get a championship.

Q. What is the situation as far as pit-out is concerned? A lot of the guys are complaining when the tires are as cold as this, you're slipping out into the bottom lane.
WILL POWER: Yes, I agree. It is bloody dangerous. For one person to make a little mistake and slip up onto the track, I mean, we all saw what happened to Alex Zanardi. For me, very keen for the two-stage limiter, run the 60 miles an hour on pit lane, maybe the 90 or 100 mile limiter around there for safety. I don't think that's going to happen.
To me it's very close to the track. I think everyone just has to be careful.

Q. Do you think it would be safer if everyone is doing yellow-flag stops?
WILL POWER: Absolutely, I think you'll be better if there's yellow-flag stops.
THE MODERATOR: Congrats on the pole. Thank you very much.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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