Dario Franchitti discusses his 29th IndyCar victory in Sunday's Milwaukee 225.
Q. Dario, you won the pole and led the most laps today and won the race to maximize on points. Can you take us through the win and how important it was for you?
"I wish it was that simple. Up to the first pit stop, the car was really good, and with the track conditions, I was able to pull away a good margin. Just working on trying to keep the balance of the car because not only was it understeering at some points, the rear was sliding around, too, so it was difficult trying to pinpoint one area of the car to fix.
"After the first area of the pit stop we could see Tony [Kanaan] was looking a little strong, and sure enough him and I had a pretty good battle. He caught me in traffic, made a good move, passed me and I got him back on the restart. That was fun to race with TK. Typical Tony – very aggressive but in the best possible sense, not giving an inch but not doing anything crazy or obstructive; unlike his Brazilian brother in the Penske car. But that was a lot of fun.
"You know the track was changing as it went on. And Chris and the boys were trying to keep up with it, and we did a good job of that I think. But trying to think what happened next. I was just in there hanging on. You know, Tony obviously got in the situation, I was better down on one and two than Tony, or Oriol [Servia] for that matter and they were better in three and four, but Tony, it looked like he got oversteer in traffic on the exit, and that shows how close to the limit we are with these things. On the in-car, it looks like we are not doing much, but trust me, we are not doing much because anytime you do that (indicating very, very, slight turn of steering wheel), the reaction is that (indicating exaggerated reaction of car movement). You're actually just driving the thing on a knife edge.
"So we had that one restart where Helio blocked the inside and then blocked the outside. No wonder he got a flat tire, some of the parts of the track he was using (clearing throat).
"And then the last restart with Graham [Rahal] there, you know I was able to get going, and take off. I felt that the two strongest cars were probably Helio [Castroneves] and I think certainly Tony was maybe strong. So those were the guy I felt I was going to have to battle. In clean air, I think I was a little bit quicker. In traffic, they might have been a little better. I don't know.
"Anyway, just a great job by the Target team again, in the pits, and with the strategy, and you know, just typical Milwaukee though, working on traffic all day. Not allowing anybody to get a run on you, which I did most of the time but occasionally screwed it up and Tony took advantage on one of those. Great to be racing back here at Milwaukee Mile."
Q. Tell us how special it was to have your dad in Victory Lane.
"A lot of you know, my dad comes to most of the races. But it's always special when I win and I can see my dad's face, but especially today on Father's Day. I don't think I'm alone here, and most of the drivers on that grid, without the sacrifices of their parents wouldn't be here. So it's pretty special."
Q. After Texas, how disappointed were you coming out of that race and coming into this one?
"Well, I was disappointed with the [qualifying] draw. By that I mean I was disappointed by the fact that I think all of the drivers agreed, we should have used inversion. But anyway, that's in the past. I was very pleased with the race. We drove well both in the first race and coming from 28th to seventh in the second race. That was a pretty good night in a short race with one pit stop on a splash, and no yellows, it was a good night for myself and Team Target.
"It won't happen again, having talked to Randy [Bernard], and Randy's apologized for the idea and everything. It won't happen again. It's happened; it's in the past. There's nothing we can do about it and we'll just keep on going and get our hands down and our arses up and try to win some more races."