Ryan Hunter-Reay: "It's frustrating; things just aren't falling into place right now... we can't be finishing fifth."
Ryan Hunter-Reay, No. 1 DHL Chevrolet - Ryan Hunter-Reay wheeled the No. 1 Chevy to a fifth-place finish today, his seventh top five of the season. Hunter-Reay's DHL machine had the speed to contend for the win, however, as only one of two drivers in the 24-car field to commit to a two pit stop strategy, the American spent most of the 90 laps of green flag running trying to conserve fuel.
It is some of the hardest work in a race car to save that much fuel and to have nothing to show for it, that sucks. But we'll pick up and head to the next one. It's frustrating; things just aren't falling into place right now... we can't be finishing fifth."
Marco Andretti, No. 25 RC Cola Chevrolet - RC Cola racer Marco Andretti started today's 90-lap race from the fourth grid position, his best start on a road or street circuit in the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series season. The American finished ninth, his 12th top-10 finish of the season.
"For whatever reason we just didn't have the same car we had in warm-up. I didn't have the car for a three-stop race; we were just hanging on. We're going to have to make something happen (in Sonoma). I definitely want another Firestone Fast Six and to build on that. We need to find points for the RC (Cola) car wherever we can."
James Hinchcliffe, No. 27 GoDaddy Chevrolet - Rolling off the grid from the 12th position, James Hinchcliffe was seen as high as second during his three-stop race at Mid-Ohio. The 26-year-old comes away from the 14th round of IndyCar competition ranked eighth in the championship points standings.
"I definitely like doing the three-stopper better than the two-stopper, but with where we started, and it was my mistake in qualifying who put us in the back, we knew we had to be the first guy to do something on the three-stopper.
So, we went for that early stop, and it was looking like it was going to work out well... if I had managed to get Helio (Castroneves) on his outlap there on the last stint, it would have made our race look a whole lot different for us.
But ultimately, we were a bit off from some of these guys, no doubt. If we had gotten ahead of them, we might have been able to stay ahead of them, but we weren't great in traffic. Huge effort from the GoDaddy guys - really great in the pits all day.
We had one little bobble on one stop but other than that it was fun. It's fun running around Mid-Ohio flat out. But yeah, from where we were at the start of that last stint, it would have been nice to finish fifth or sixth instead of 10th.
With the season we've had, anytime you get a top-10 finish in this series is good. If you look at the guys in front of us - guys like Scott Dixon, Justin Wilson and Marco Andretti - it's not like we're slumming it; it's just that competitive right now. We missed it by the smallest amount today, but the team did such a great job all weekend.
Big congrats to Charlie - that's awesome. I know what that feels like. We'll take this and move on to the next one. I feel good, the team's working well and we just gotta put our heads down and fight."
E.J. Viso, No. 5 Team Venezuela PDVSA CITGO Chevrolet - Working off a two-stop strategy, E.J. Viso came to the twin checkers in the 17th position on the 13-turn permanent road course. The Venezuelan moves to 12th in the championship points fight heading into Sonoma in three weeks.
"Well, definitely finishing 17th is not at all what we were looking for. I think many factors during the race didn't play in our favor. I believe the direction that we went when we made the decision on how much downforce we were going to put on the car didn't help.
We just trimmed a lot to be faster in the straights, but definitely cost us some time in the corners. At the same time, we were asking a bit too much from the tires that we wanted them a little bit sooner than expected.
The second to last pit stop really cost us time as well. Losing those three or four seconds allowed the group of cars behind me to cycle out in front of me in the next pit stop. Anyways, these things happen and all we have to do now is stay strong and head into the next one."