Kanaan, Chevrolet drivers Indy 500 post-race comments

Team Chevy Racing

Tony Kanaan, KV Racing Technology Chevrolet
Tony Kanaan, KV Racing Technology Chevrolet

Photo by: Michael C. Johnson

TONY KANAAN, NO. 11 GEICO | MOUSER ELECTRONICS – KV RACING TECHNOLOGY CHEVROLET, FINISHED 3RD: ON HIS LOSS: “To lose the race this way, battling until the end… it’s not a loss. I had a lot of fun. I mean the first thing I did when I passed the five cars on the restart I looked at the grandstands because I wanted to see the people. They were all up and cheering for me. During the yellow flag I can see it. People were screaming. It’s awesome. I love this place. I can’t thank enough the Hulman George family and everybody. What a great way, what a great race to honor Dan Wheldon today.”

ON THE FINISHING LINE UP – FRANCHITTI, DIXON AND KANAAN, FRIENDS OF DAN WHELDON – IT’S NOT IRONIC THAT IT FINISHED THAT WAY: “Not at all. I think that shows what friendship is all about. We separated the men from the kids today in this race. Like I said, it was an awesome way.”

THOUGHTS ON THE LAST LAP: “On the last lap I was trying to set up Scott ….. I knew I was a sitting duck on that restart and then I see Tako going on the inside of Dario and, I know Dario. I said, “either they’re both going to crash and I’m going to have to pass Dixon for the win, or Dario’s going to win.” And, Dario won.”

WHEN YOU MADE THAT MOVE TO FIRST, I HEARD THAT YOU HAD A MESSAGE FOR DARIO. WHAT DID YOU SAY? “Tell my teammate – I call Dario teammate - we’ll do it like old times. He knew exactly what I was doing. We’ll play it really well and we’ll play it on the last lap. And that’s what we did.

ON WHETHER THIS WAS AN APPROPRIATE TRIBUTE TO DAN: “We gotta thank the fans. What a hot day and the stands were packed. I can’t thank then enough. I made sure to look up on lap 26 and 77 to see all of those people in white glasses. It was awesome. It was a great day – I think it was a great day.”

WE KNOW YOU WANTED THIS ONE WITH YOUR FACE ON THE BORG WARNER TROPHY BESIDE DARIO (FRANCHITTI) AND YOUR BUDDY DAN WHELDON. EMOTIONALLY HOW DIFFICULT WERE THOSE FINAL 15 LAPS? “I mean it actually was good. It felt good. His (Dan Wheldon’s) three best friends fighting for the win, I knew the odds were that one of us will do it. One of us will do it for him; obviously, I tried everything I could to do it. I haven’t done it yet. To lose this one like this it’s an honor I think, we battled me, Dario and Scott (Dixon). Danny wherever he is right now I think he is extremely happy. His three best friends on the top three.”

ORIOL SERVIA, NO. 22 PANTHER/DREYER & REINBOLD RACING CHEVROLET: THOUGHTS ON SUNDAY’S RACE, FINISHED 4TH: “I’m just so happy to bring the Mecum Auctions car home in 4th place. I also want to thank Panther DRR and Panther Racing. They made a huge effort in getting the two teams together and I hope bringing them a top-five satisfies the big effort it took to bring it together. It was the first race with Chevy power and we finished in the top-five. We finished fourth in the biggest race of the season and in what fashion. We had a flat tire in the first stint and we went a lap down. We couldn’t get our lap back until the last stint so it was tough work. Once I had my lap back I was last, so I had to pass a lot of cars. We had been working in the car the entire race. Every stint we changed front and rear wings and tire pressures. I had the best car when it counted, which was in the last stint. It was awesome. I was able to pass a lot of cars and get some prize money. I told the guys before we started I wanted to get them some prize money today and we did.”

RYAN BRISCOE, NO. 2 IZOD TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, FINISHED 5TH: YOU FINISHED STRONG, HOW DO YOU FEEL? “I am feeling like I wish had won the thing. I will say it was hot and slick today and it was tough out there. Hat’s off to the Ganassi guys. They had two bullets and the times that I was around them they were very fast and they deserved the 1-2 finish. It’s disappointing for us because we were so strong in practice, qualifying, and started off on the pole and I am very proud of the whole team and IZOD for supporting me all week long and everyone at Hitachi as well for coming on board this year. I am proud but a bit disappointed. I had a pretty good car. I was driving a lot in traffic. We were probably running a bit less downforce than the Ganassi cars. But man, they were fast. They were fast. It was good. I had a good race car that second-to-the-last one (pit stop). I made a few positions and certainly got ourselves back in the game. It was a long and hot day. It was pretty tiring out there. I’m a bit upset. I really wanted to win this, and we had a good shot at it. Hopefully, we can come back next year and try again.”

HOW WAS IT STARTING OUT FRONT? “It was fun and we were changing the lead a bunch of times in the beginning of the race in the first ten laps going back and forth and it was a lot of fun. Leading those four parade laps……….I was just taking it in. Its special just to take one lap at the Indy 500 but to bring the whole field down to the green flag is unlike anything else.”

DID YOU EXPECT THAT FROM THE HONDA’S? THEY WERE GOOD ON CARB DAY AND GOOD TODAY “The Honda’s were good on opening day and with this race, the turbo boost bit….I am proud of Chevrolet. The reliability was right there and you know, I feel like it’s going to be a tough battle all year long. We didn’t get the big one. We got four in a row coming here but we didn’t get the big one. Our guys should be really proud and we will move on to the next race.”

HOW TOUGH WAS IT DRIVING IN THE HEAT? “It was tough in the heat and the wind was moving around as well. I was just trying to keep my eye on the wind and I will tell you what, those last few laps I was so loose in turn one that I was white-knuckling it and I was exhausted. I am just really proud of my team for the car they gave me today and all month long. We raced hard and we were right at the front at the time when it counted and I can’t ask for any more than that.”

JAMES HINCHCLIFFE, NO. 27 TEAM GODADDY.COM ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT CHEVROLET, FINISHED 6TH: “Ya know, I’m getting sick of this number six. Every time we finish sixth we’ve had more than that on the table and for one reason or another we haven’t put it together. So, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, if sixth is a bad day for us we’re doing something right. The car was pretty good early on, we fought the balance a little bit and were a little bit lose early – we worked on the car and had on bad pit stop which put us to the back and we spent the middle part (of the race) trying to get back up. Then we were running up there in fourth and fifth and were the top running Chevy for a while. On that last stop I overshot the (pit) box by a mile and really put us back there and I feel terrible for it. I think we had the pace for third or fourth place, but with these restarts and the way these (other drivers) are falling back and getting these big runs, it’s not in the spirit of competition and I try to drive with some dignity out there. I guess when it’s 30 (laps) to go in the Indy 500 that goes out the window for everybody else. But, it’s another sixth place finish and it’s good for points. Big thanks to all of the Andretti Autosport crews for the entire month and I’m just happy to bring the Go Daddy car home and in a reasonable position.”

HELIO CASTRONEVES, NO. 3 SHELL V-POWER/PENNZOIL ULTRA TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, FINISHED 10TH: ON RACING WITH THE NEW DW12: “All month it’s been a little bit difficult to drive. As soon as we hit the track Friday before qualifying, then it was great and I thought surely we can go everywhere, but not fast enough. But again, you win some and you lose some. It was a good performance from the Shell V-Power/Pennzoil Ultra Chevrolet race team and hopefully we will keep moving forward and keep working on it.”

WHAT WAS GOING THROUGH YOUR MIND IN THAT CRASH WITH THE TIRES FLYING BY? “Yeah, in fact I was right in the middle of the corner and I didn’t want to push the brake. I saw this smoke and the cars around me and the parts bouncing. I passed two cars and then I saw the tire bouncing and I took to the left and I made a judgement and unfortunately it hit the right front and bent my steering wheel but I don’t think it was that bad to be honest. It’s okay, and certainly I was expecting a lot for this race, especially with the car we thought had and a top-10 was the best that we could do.”

DID YOU THINK YOU HAD A SHOT TO GET UP THERE IN THE END AND GET A TOP-FIVE? “Yeah, you could see it was very crazy up there and like I said, unfortunately I tried everything. I tried to lay back, I tried to stay in front and nothing was working out. Hopefully we will find out what was going on and move on to the next race, which is Detroit.”

HOW DO YOU FEEL AFTER STARTING OFF THE SEASON SO STRONG? “For me I am disappointed. And I am sure it is the same for the team as well. Our Shell V-Power/Pennzoil Ultra Chevy race team should have had a better result than that but some things happened in the race like when we hit the tire and that might have knocked off the toe in the front just a little bit and that probably cost a little bit of drag and made the car slow down a little bit. And the second thing is that the restarts were really difficult so we have to look at that, and analyze it a little bit and see what happened. But at the end of the day, we finished the race and this place is about surviving. And today, top-10 was very good.”

ON TODAY’S RACE: “It was a very good car – a comfortable car. But, unfortunately going to the next phase, I couldn’t do it, especially on the restarts. First we chose the wrong lane, or second, it would never get the draft. It was very weird. We tried high downforce. We tried low downforce. Certainly it was not what I was expecting. I knew I had a good car but not on that pace. It was a pace that I wasn’t very happy with. The team did a great job. It was another top-10. Hopefully, in the points, it didn’t hurt as much. Congrats to Ganassi – one and two. Dario is a three time winner now, so he joined the club. I’m happy for them.”

RUBENS BARRICHELLO, NO. 8 BMC | EMBRASE – KV RACING TECHNOLOGY CHEVROLET, FINISHED 11TH: “It was a great achievement today. The first oval experience; it was very different than anything I’ve done. We carried too much downforce all the way. That kept me safe. It kept me racy. I mean, I could race sometimes, but it was very hard to follow people and to keep it running fast. You could see that people were in a much lower level of downforce that were in front of us. I’m still very proud of what the team has achieved. It’s a pity that we didn’t finish in the top-10, just outside. But I can be proud of that for the first time out. We had some problems with fuel pressure, so that was, sometimes I was having some lift from the engine, the engine would die on me. Apart from that, I had a wonderful afternoon. You learn who races a little bit harder, who races a little bit more friendly. But the last 20 laps, I tell you, they are completely different from the whole other 180. It’s just, people are just really, really going for it, as I did, but like I said I was flat out all the way through, but I had a bit too much push.”

HOW WAS YOUR FIRST 500 EXPERENCE COMPARED TO YOUR EXPECTATIONS? “I didn’t have much to expect, to be honest with you. People were racing hard. At 220, 225 (mph), it’s just madness out there sometimes. But sometimes people are good. Some of them have more respect than others, but all in all, I had a positive afternoon.”

ON THE RACE: "It was a very busy afternoon. I had to be a quick learner and the last 20 laps were totally different to the first 180. Today I wanted to be competitive, but I also wanted to make sure I was running till the finish. I think right at the end we had a little too much downforce on the car, but I am so proud of what we achieved. The team did a fantastic job of keeping me safe and I really enjoyed my first Indianapolis 500. It was very hard to follow people and to keep it running fast, you could see that people were in a much lower level of downforce and they were in front of us opening. So I’m still very proud of what the team has achieved. And it’s a pity that we didn’t finish top 10, we’re just outside, but I can be proud of that for my first time out.

“I didn’t really have much to expect, to be honest with you. People were racing hard, and you know, it’s 220-225 and it’s just madness out there sometimes. Sometimes people are good and some of them have more respect than others, but all in all I had a positive afternoon.

“We had some problems with fuel pressure, so that was, sometimes I was having some lift from the engine, the engine would die on me. Apart from that, I think we were carrying a little bit too much downforce to be racey right at the end. But having said that, I had a wonderful afternoon, you learn who races a little bit harder, who races a little bit more friendly. But the last 20 laps, I tell you, they are completely different from the whole other 180. It’s just, people are just really, really going for it, as I did, but like I said I was flat out all the way through, but I had a bit too much push.”

JR HILDEBRAND, NO. 4 NATIONAL GUARD PANTHER RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 14TH: “Not anybody’s doing in particular, but it ended up being a long day for us. We got caught up in somebody’s pit lane incident early that put us back, and we continued to work our way back up through the field but we continued to runinto problems. It’s disappointing for the National Guard team because we felt like we had a good shot at running up at the front today, and at points in the race we had that going. But we’ll keep working through the season and keep working our way up through the points and get ready for next year.”

E .J. VISO, NO. 5 CITGO | PDVSA – KV RACING TECHNOLOGY CHEVROLET, FINISHED 18TH: “I had a lot of good thoughts and a strong belief that we would finish in a great position today. It didn’t happen because of some issue that occurred with the car during the race. The biggest problem was a big vibration that we believed was coming from the dampers. The vibrations then caused a whole series of other problems. I feel lucky I did not put the car in the wall. I want to give a lot of credit to the team. We had a pretty smooth month of May. We learned some things and grew as a team. I didn’t have the best car out there today, however the entire crew put in a lot of effort and we did finish the race. I want to congratulate my teammate Tony Kanaan. He almost won this race and ended up finishing third. I believe we are getting better every race and some good results are coming.”

SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS, NO. 7 DRAGON RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 20TH: “There were challenges today and with the limited track time, we just couldn’t overcome them in the race. I just feel very bad for my guys because they have worked so hard. It’s difficult because I know the package we have has got potential but we just didn’t get it right today for the race. The car was pretty good when I was on my own but then in traffic I couldn’t run anywhere close. As soon as I got close I would have to drop back and people would get a run on me so that was frustrating. But like we’ve said, the car is in one piece and hopefully we’ll get everything together for Detroit and get it right.”

ED CARPENTER, NO. 20 FUZZY’S PREMIUM ULTRA VODKA ED CARPENTER RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 21ST: “It was a weird day for us. Rubens blocked me one time and I hit him and bent our front wing. We had to change the wing and then we had to go back to the original wing at the end. The front wing failed all day for us. We kept trimming out rear wing because we weren’t able to adjust the front wing. I had nearly spun out a couple of times before I finally do it. It was fun to go from 11th to third there. But I was racing for a win and I just spun out. I feel badly for our Fuzzy’s crew but they worked hard last week to get a car prepared in a day for qualifying. If the Dallara part had worked, I think had a real chance to win the race. The washer on the wing failed early in the race and we just get it to work. I felt like I was in the battle to win the race. It was where I thought I should be late in the race. We had a great team effort from the team all month. They rallied to get us back in the race after the qualifying crash and they had great stops today. It was nice to get the car upfront for Fuzzy’s and everyone involved in the car. I thought we had a real chance today. When I got to the front, I just my foot in it to try to win the 500. But it just wasn’t meant to be.”

KATHERINE LEGGE, NO. 6 TRUECAR DRAGON RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 22ND: “It was 500 miles so we really learned a lot. I’m pleased in a lot of ways but also disappointed as it just didn’t go the way we hoped. We went a lap down early and then you’re kind of moving backwards through the field. I think we had a car to finish better than 22nd and I hate that we didn’t finish higher because the entire TrueCar crew has worked so hard. I’m glad we finished the race and I really thought I’d be in a lot worse shape when I got out of the car but I feel pretty good. The Indy 500 is definitely an experience.”

ANA BEATRIZ, NO. 25 TEAM IPIRANGA ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT / CONQUEST RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 23RD : “We kind of went into this race not knowing what to expect from the No. 25 car because we weren’t able to run on the last Sunday or Carb Day, so we were a little conservative just because we wanted to feel how the car was growing as the race was going. I thought it felt good – a little bit too easy and stuck. We decided to take some downforce off and that was right about the time I got into some big traffic and I passed Ed (Carpenter) in Turn 1 and almost completed the pass and at the exit (of the turn) I lost the rear (of the car) somehow. It was very fast and very sudden – I couldn’t catch it. I thought we’d be okay but I touched the wall and we were lucky to be able to (rejoin the race). But we were nine laps down so at that point it becomes just another race and you have to be patient. The focus becomes just to finish and bring the car home and I was happy to be able to do that. I’d really like to thank all the effort from the Iprianga Andretti / Conquest team all month. They did a great job. The Indy 500 is hard, you have to do everything perfect to win it and do well, and unfortunately I failed today and made a mistake. But we’ll move forward.”

MARCO ANDRETTI, NO. 26 TEAM RC COLA ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT CHEVROLET, FINISHED 24TH: NOTE – RETIRED ON LAP 187 AFTER HARD CONTACT WITH OUTSIDE WALL: “(Oriol) Servia decided to run two-wide at Indianapolis for two consecutive laps and makes me turn in from the white line. I had no hope of making that corner because not only am I turning in from the white line, he just crossed my bow, so I was completely out of it. Nothing I can do. I’m disappointed. I definitely rang my bell. I’m disappointed for the RC Cola guys; they deserved it. It wasn’t over by any means at that point.”

SEBASTIAN SAAVEDRA, NO. 17 TEAM AFS ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT CHEVROLET, FINISHED 26TH: NOTE – RETIRED WITH MECHANICAL ISSUES ON LAP 143: “We had an amazing car today and were running a really strong race. There were very little adjustments made on the first couple pit stops. From then on, we were really pushing the leaders. It is very unfortunate that our day ended the way it did. We just need to stay positive. The AFS Racing/Andretti Autosport team did an amazing job today to go out with a good strategy. Everything was going well, until we lost power to the car. We could not find the root of the problem, so we called it a day.”

RYAN HUNTER-REAY, NO. 28 TEAM DHL/SUN DROP CITRUS SODA ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT CHEVROLET, FINISHED 27TH: NOTE – RETIRED WITH MECHANICAL ISSUES ON LAP 123: "It's such a shame to go out like this. We had a great car. But, that's Indy. You've gotta wait another year to come back and to try again. We were just taking our time, saving fuel behind the Ganassi boys. Something broke in the right rear, and we lost the CV joint. I don't know what happened - I never hit the wall or anything - but it just broke as I was going down the straightaway. I suppose we're lucky not to have crashed. It might have been related to a severe vibration in the car early on... It was hot out there, which made it tricky. The track was slick but the biggest thing was the wind, it was really blowing in turn two, which made it really tough."

WILL POWER, NO. 12 VERIZON TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, FINISHED 28TH: NOTE – INVOLVED IN A MULT-CAR ACCIDENT ON LAP 79: (Conway) said the team sent him out with a broken wing. I don’t understand why they would do that. I’m fine but I’m just disappointed for the Verizon guys. All the work they put in this month and to be just taken out that. Obviously both of us our OK. We’ll move on.”

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tony Kanaan , Dan Wheldon
Teams Andretti Autosport , Panther Racing , KV Racing Technology
Tags barrichello, briscoe, castroneves, chevrolet, hinchcliffe, kanaan, servia