2010 INDIANAPOLIS 500 PRESS CONFERENCE
Indianapolis Motor Speedway
May 30, 2010
An interview with:
Marco Andretti - 3rd finisher
THE MODERATOR: Did you have the sense that you actually were the third-place driver?
MARCO ANDRETTI: In my mind, it's a pretty well-written rule you can't pass under yellow. I was holding pace car speed. I'm talking to my team, there goes three people by me. The car didn't shut off till turn one. I was under power, for sure. Actually, Brian said, I don't think in the rules it even had to be under power. He were able to still keep pace car speed.
When I saw the crash in three and four, I slowed down. I mean, he's actually rewarding me for that because he's the one who is only on us about carrying speed through there. If I would have carried speed, I would have had no problem, I would have been a lot quicker. I actually had to stop and use a lot more fuel to start going again.
But, you know, I guess right now, my thoughts go out to Conway.
THE MODERATOR: It's interesting, another great finish for you at Indianapolis. Beyond that, given where the team was, you ended up having a darn good day.
MARCO ANDRETTI: Yeah, I never doubted us. I think qualifying is so different here than it is to race because the Firestones will hang on for four laps with very aggressive setups, you can pull a time out of it. When you have to run full stints in traffic, it's a different ballgame. It's 500 miles.
THE MODERATOR: Questions.
Q: Marco, you seemed to run a pretty clean race. Got up there in third. You lost a couple years ago by a bit. Getting good quality runs at the Brickyard, obviously you want to get a win, is that giving you confidence having run well?
MARCO ANDRETTI: Yeah, I mean, it means a lot. Fortunately, like, I think every time I finish here, I've been on the podium. We had a third in '08, as well. We've run strong here. As far as confidence, that means a lot to me because it shows that we can do it. It's just about getting everything right.
I think it was going to be interesting if we ran the distance. Dario on his own was untouchable, but in traffic he was more human. It would have been fun. It was fun the majority of the day.
Q: Talk a little bit about Dario, your former teammate, winning this race. What kind of teammate was he?
MARCO ANDRETTI: Dario, yeah, is the best. He's always been the man at saving fuel. It really rewarded him here today. I don't know how he did it, but impressive.
As far as teammate, yeah, great friend of mine as well. Just a genuine good guy. You know you can trust him. As far as setting up a car, he has a great feel as well.
When he was a teammate, it was good to kind of see his approach at things. Sometimes it's quite different, but it's quite good. When he's on, he's on.
Q: Can you explain the finish of the race.
MARCO ANDRETTI: Just got passed under yellow. Basically in the closing laps, it's so frustrating because I'm looking at Dario, the leader of this race, and the laps are counting down. I don't want to lift, you know what I mean? When I'm told in my ear, I could have very well ended up where T.K. did. I'm glad one of us as a team kind of pushed Dario a little bit.
I could have very well ended up where he did if I didn't lift. It's so hard when you're looking at the leader to disregard racing them, even if you feel you have something for them. It was frustrating there. But it is what it is. That's why Indianapolis is what it is.
Q: Could you talk about the evolution of the car during the course of the race, whether you thought you would finish third at the beginning of the race?
MARCO ANDRETTI: I think, yeah. I've said it kind of all week. I'm sure I was the only one who believed it. I felt good. Fortunately the way circumstances played out during race week when we were able to kind of work on the car, I was able to stick it in the first day qualifying. I was able to switch my mind a hundred percent to race mode. We had some really good closing days. I was feeling really good about my car, even though we qualified 16th.
I know how I felt going into '08. We were able to lead that race outright. I felt just as good coming into here. It took us a little longer to get to the front. But I think once we were in clean air, it was smooth sailing, for sure.
Q: In the last yellow, when did you feel like things weren't right, that you needed to make an appeal?
MARCO ANDRETTI: Well, because it's a written rule you can't pass under yellow. We're all cooling down. We saw a horrific incident. I'm talking to my team saying, Great job all day. Here comes three people doing 150 miles an hour right by me. I kept pace car speed, which is what we're supposed to do under yellow.
Q: With the change, if you haven't spoken to Danica, what are your plans to say to her?
MARCO ANDRETTI: Don't really have anything to say. She went up a place before she went down a place.
Q: On the television broadcast, they were playing your radio transmissions. They wanted you to get 4.0. As a driver, they're asking a specific fuel mileage, how do you alter your driving to accomplish what they want and still keeping up with the car in front of you?
MARCO ANDRETTI: You can't. That's the thing. I had to let him go. That's the thing. I knew the race win was out of sight when they told me Dario needs 4.0 and I need 4.1. Right there I knew there was no way because he also had the track position on me as well. From there, it's, let's bring home as many points as we can. We were able to.
Q: Did you have enough fuel to finish the race if it hadn't gone yellow? Could you have made it? If you pushed hard, would you have run out of fuel?
MARCO ANDRETTI: No, I would have run out. That's why I had to let T.K. go. Unfortunately, they said he wasn't going to make it, which to me it's like, Okay, now really I'm not racing him. That was the only I guess good news, but not really because he's your teammate. At that point now I'm worried about Dan. I couldn't control him.
If I would have raced Dan, we weren't finishing the race. Like I said, it was very easy to ends up where Tony did.
THE MODERATOR: Dan said the same thing you are. Your instinct is to go.
MARCO ANDRETTI: Exactly. It's a race.
THE MODERATOR: You do that well here, Marco. Thank you for coming.
MARCO ANDRETTI: Thank you, guys.