How many pushes-to-pass did you have left in your last stint at St. Petersburg – I think there were 25 laps to go? Were you surprised at how easy Dario went past five or six cars near the end?
Well done, anyway. You deserved a top finish in Brazil, too. I hope you will win Long Beach as I will be there at my favorite corner, around the fountain! Alex Smith
Alex Tagliani replies: I think we had 10 pushes-to-pass left after that green flag, and I used them all in the last 10 laps, especially to make up a little time in the straights. We were just trying to look at the lap time and go as fast as possible without overheating the tires. Firestone is doing such an amazing job with the tire compound, that we were able to complete a 51-lap segment on the same set and go fast enough that we were able to finish sixth. Great call from Rob and the engineer, and an amazing quick stop by the boys, to make it work.
So, I used the push-to-pass every lap near the end to make up the time so I could be gentle on the tires in the corner; some laps I used the P2P twice, so I could save the tires in a couple of corners. This is important, because when your tires lose grip from age, they slide more and if you try to go as fast in the corner as you would on new tires, you produce more heat in them and that is when you overcook them.
Do you sit down as a team and watch replays of the races? Is that a good way of improving yourselves? Can you learn anything?
Alex Tagliani replies: Jean, yes, I watch the races afterward. And these days I watch previous races on racetracks I have never driven on, like Kansas, Barber (I watched the Grand-Am race), Kentucky, Sonoma, Watkins Glen and Iowa. I also use a Virtual GT/D-BOX platform to practice on those tracks. To view the simulator in action, you can check out www.fazztraceteam.com. It's really cool because the motion of the platform gives you all the feeling of being in the car.
I know there are rules about this, but can you tell me how pit-lane order is decided? I understand that you were at pit-in at Brazil because you were a new team, but now you are 13th in points, will you be in the 13th pit at Barber? How is it decided? Jason White
Rob replies: Unfortunately, the rule isn't to give FAZZT Race Team the first pit at pit-out! Pit-lane order is based on entrant points following the previous event. A multi-car team such as Andretti Autosport or Team Penske must declare whether they are going to average or split their cars before the start of the season. As you note, Jason, we were assigned the first pit at pit-in for Brazil as a new team. We moved along pit lane a little for St. Pete and will move up some more based on being 13th in points entering Barber. Hopefully, we will then move farther toward pit-out before Long Beach! Thank you for your entries, and apologies if yours wasn't one of the ones included. Keep sending your questions to email@example.com, and we will publish the best of them next month.