What the 33 starters had to say after a long, hot day at Indianapolis:
JAMES HINCHCLIFFE (No. 27 Team GoDaddy.com Chevrolet): "With so few laps heading down to the end of the Indy 500, everybody gets a bit nuts. The restarts were the big issue. Guys were falling back and doing these big running restarts. It's really not in the spirit of the rules. It's not what we're supposed to do. It created some massive closing rates, and it really made it a mess on those first couple of laps after a restart. I was trying to drive with some dignity out there, and I guess some other people decided not to do that when there were only 30 to go in the '500.'
I'm a bit disappointed with sixth. We had a good car. I had a bad pit stop early that we fought back from. That was my fault. I think we had a third or fourth finish in us today. You 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 loose 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. Big thanks to all of the Andretti Autosport crews for the entire month, and I'm just happy to bring the GoDaddy car home and in a reasonable position."
JEAN ALESI (No. 64 Lotus-FP Journe-Fan Force United Lotus):
"Frustration is a part of my job. We worked hard. It's a shame we cannot be out there. This regulation is fair. I want to come back next year. Well, you know, everything was new for me. From the first day that I arrived, saw the car and met my team, I understood that we had to work hard, and we did. There is a part of the job that can be fixed on the track, but we had an engine that was not competitive straightaway, and we had to deal with it. We tried many things to avoid a lack of performance, but it could not be overcome. So it is difficult to be out of the race. However, I've learned a lot about this new racing discipline, and I've enjoyed it. I've had fantastic people around me, and I've really loved being a part of this great event, meeting lots of friendly and passionate fans, and spending time here in Indiana. I leave with a lot of respect for the Indy 500, an event I've followed from afar for many years, and I hope to return next year. I will start to prepare now."
BRYAN CLAUSON (No. 39 Sarah Fisher Hartman/Curb Agajanian Honda): "It wasn't good (after spin). We were struggling with the handling and not getting any speed out of it."
SIMONA DE SILVESTRO (No. 78 Nuclear Clean Air Energy Lotus HVM Racing Lotus): "I'm disappointed, but we didn't have speed from the beginning. I understand the call. We have to have more horsepower to be competitive. The guys really worked hard. We'll see what happens next year. I'm pretty disappointed to get black-flagged after only a few laps. We were trying to keep up pace, but unfortunately right now we don't have the pace, so now we have to work hard to get to the pace that we need to. It's a disappointment because the team worked so hard all month, and when you can't fit for anything, it's really, really tough. So we just have to kind of be patient with it and we have to work even harder to kind of mask a little bit the lack of speed we have right now."
WADE CUNNINGHAM (No. 41 ECat/ABC Supply Honda): "At about 30 laps, the motor started winding down, and I could no longer run sixth gear. We made our first pit stop early, which indicated we had a problem in the engine. The engine never really ran after that. It's heartbreaking. I've worked seven months to put this together to find the sponsorship to make a contract with Larry (Foyt) that would work for everyone, with our sponsor ECat and ABC. We were going forward on the start and on the one restart we had. The car was solid, but we had a mechanical problem with the engine or an electrical issue, and the engine wouldn't go over 11,000 rpm, so rather than get in the way and potentially ruin someone else's race, we pulled it back here to the garage."
MIKE CONWAY (No. 14 ABC Supply Co./A.J. Foyt Racing Honda): "My mistake coming into the pits. Came in a bit too hard and collected some of my guys, and that screwed up the front wing and we didn't realize it till I got out . Through Turns 3 and 4, it felt a little wiggly, and I thought it was just tire temperatures. But down the front straight when I went down into turn 1, I could see one of the endplates sticking up in the air. I knew it wouldn't be right turning in, so I tried to back out just going in. But I knew Will was close behind me so I didn't want to back out too much, and the car got very loose, which I was able to correct it once. But it broke loose again, and I couldn't catch it the second time and then I was just a passenger onboard. I'm very sorry for my guys; I'm glad that they are OK. I'm sorry for our sponsor ABC Supply as the car was really good, and we were moving up through the field."
WILL POWER (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): "(Mike 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 are OK. We'll move on."
SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda): "It was pretty close and (Dario Franchitti and Takuma Sato) got a run on me into (Turn) 1 there. Sato was definitely a guy throwing it in there all day, and he tried to do the same thing to Dario. I thought we were going to get really lucky because they touched, and I thought they were both going to end up in the fence. Credit to Dario. He had a bad start to the day and came through the field.
It's a 1-2 finish for Target on their 50th anniversary. You couldn't have it a better way. I just wish the No. 9 was first. He drove a hell of a race and definitely deserved it."
(Asked where did Honda's performance come from?): "I think (Honda) have been working hard, and mileage to start the month was pretty high. They worked hard on the race engine and fuel mileage, and I think fuel mileage was the biggest part today. We definitely had the Chevys covered. Real happy for Honda. What a way to win their first race of the year. They can forget about the other four. To come out and win Indy in their first attempt against Chevy is pretty cool."
(About the podium and the relationship to Dan Wheldon): "It's pretty crazy how it all lines up. Dan still owes me one, I think. Dario did a fantastic job. All of us wish Dan was still here racing with us. He's a hell of a guy and left a big void and hole in all of our lives. I hope we put on a good race for the fans, and I'm sure he's smiling down on us."
MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 26 Team RC Cola Chevrolet): "(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."
RUBENS BARRICHELLO (No. 8 BMC/Embrase KV Racing Technology Chevrolet): "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 top 10, just outside.
But I can be proud of that for my 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 think we were carrying a little bit too much downforce to be racy 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."
(Asked how his first "500" experience compared to his 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."
TAKUMA SATO (No. 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda): "What an incredible weekend. Not only the weekend, but also the month of May. I was going for the win. On the last restart, we jumped from seventh to fifth, then taking fourth, third, second. I kept pushing and overtaking. On the very last lap, I had a good tow from Dario. I thought I had the job done. But he kept pushing and didn't give me enough room, so that I was well below the white line. But an outstanding job by the team. It was a very exciting race."
SIMON PAGENAUD (No. 77 Schmidt Hamilton HP Motorsports Honda): "It was a lot of learning for me today. It was pretty exciting in the first two stints. It took me a while to get it, but by the end I was being pretty aggressive on the restarts and picked up some positions. I'm pretty happy with that. We need to find some speed, as well. We probably could have had some different gears. We passed people in the pits because the guys were incredible in the pit stops, like usual. I'm glad to bring my HP car home in one piece, as well. It's good because we're testing in Milwaukee on Tuesday. I'm going to keep learning on the ovals, and I'm going to win one before the season's over. A top-10 would have been a good result, but we came home 16th. But that's OK for my first one. The car is in one piece and in good shape."
JOSEF NEWGARDEN (No. 67 Sarah Fisher Hartman/Dollar General Honda): "We were struggling from the start. We had a couple of issues trying to get gears in the pits, which put us back in a bad position. We kept fighting, though. We did a great job of staying in the hunt. We got really lucky when we got our lap back. We just kept pounding on the laps and finally got it back. Then it seems like we lost a bank. It was just unfortunate that we didn't get to finish the race. There were drivers who were crazy at the beginning, and others were taking it easy. It was similar to what I thought it would be. I was really focused on racing and the car. I could see that the place was more crowded, but I was so focused on the cars in front of me that I wasn't really paying attention to the crowd for those first few corners."