Q: Ryan, After really a tough first two races of the year, you've got to be happy with the second-place finish?
RYAN BRISCOE: "It's amazing. What a weekend. We came out of the box really strong and led a couple of the practice sessions and then qualifying just was a mess. It was a combination of things, didn't really get a clear lap together, and we went the wrong direction on setup and I ended up in 12th. It's crazy how competitive the IZOD IndyCar Series is right now. Just by a fine mistune of the setup we're sitting 12th on the grid when I thought I was going to be going for pole.
"To be able to be back up on the podium fighting for the win today, absolutely amazing. Roger Penske, he made the master call again, and it worked. We pitted before that full-course caution came out. We started on the hard tire, which we were the first car on the grid actually on hard tires, so when we got back out, we were on the soft tire, able to make a gap over Hunter‑Reay and Will and stay ahead of them after the next pit stop. So that was key to at least giving us a shot at winning.
"Unfortunately, at the end, Mike Conway, he was just a bullet. I don't think he got pickup on the tires and just drove around Dario and myself like we were standing still and drove into the distance. But it was a great race. Really want to thank Penske Truck Rental and IZOD. Without them I wouldn't be here. And obviously Roger Penske, he's just a legend to race for."
Q: Dario, could you can walk us through your race today?
DARIO FRANCHITTI: "Absolutely delighted with a podium finish. A lot of Target guests today. They always come to the Long Beach Grand Prix, so we had a lot of guests.
"Yeah, qualifying wasn't great yesterday, wasn't what we hoped for. I was a little surprised at the start. It was more spaced out than I thought it would be. On the one hand, I was disappointed not to have a chance to pass the guys ahead. On the other hand, I was just happy we made it through the first corner unscathed.
"First run the car was very good actually, inconsistent all day, though. It was very quick from sort of Turn 1 right through to Turn 10, but just out of the hairpin, I don't think I did a good enough job relaying to my engineers what I needed there this weekend so we would get gapped out of the hairpin by about one or two car lengths and I couldn't make it up on the rest of the straightaways so it was very difficult to make a pass, and that was consistent all day. But the car was good on reds, good on blacks in that second spin.
"I lost the radio. I could hear them; they couldn't hear me, actually. I could hear them intermittently, I guess, after the first stop. Second stop, really struggled to get up to speed. I don't know if we tried something different with tire pressures or what, but I struggled to get up to speed out of the pits, lost a bunch of positions and, after the restart, I thought we were doing OK, we were kind of sliding around and trying to clean the tires up, and here comes the Conway Express. He was hooked up and blew by both of us in two coughs.
"I spent a lot of the day stuck under the wing of a Penske, whether it was Helio [Castroneves] or Ryan at the end there. I felt I was a little quicker through a lot of the track, but just out of that hairpin was getting gapped all day. I'll have to think about how to fix that for next year.
"At one point we'd made some places up, and then with my slow lap it got us back in traffic again to I think T7, so when the guys got together in Turn 1, that was definitely a lucky break for me and got me back on the podium. So very happy with that."
Q. Ryan, once Conway got past you, it looked like he was pulling out about a half second a lap. Was his car that good or were you just struggling a little bit on the restart?
RYAN BRISCOE: "Well, you know, I was thinking about it, and I just really think it came down to the fact that Dario and I on that restart were right down the inside of the track and drove through about, you know, 600 feet of marbles into Turn 1, and I think we just coated our tires with a lot of rubbish. I'm not positive because I haven't seen it, but I'd be guessing that Conway probably kept his tires clean and was more on the racing line. It took us six, seven laps until it started feeling good.
I think our lap times at the end were pretty competitive and just as good as his, if not quicker, but just him keeping his tires clean, it made all the difference. I thought I was doing a good job, and I'd be trying to get the power down and he'd just drive by me. You know, kudos to him. It's a pretty special place for him to get his first ever IZOD IndyCar win, and he drove well, so good job."
DARIO FRANCHITTI: "Yeah, I never thought about that. You're probably right (about the marbles). I thought they were supposed to sweep. There was no sweeping all day, and I was behind Ryan on the last restart, and I got in the marbles trying to draft him and pass him, and I was completely sideways on the straight, because for some reason we talk about sweeping the inside of the first corner or the outside so we can actually run side by side, and I guess they just forgot today."
Q: Were either of you involved or near any of the accidents today, and if so, how did you respond with your car?
DARIO FRANCHITTI: "I was pretty close to that last one in Turn 1. I locked up the fronts going in, and I was just able to get around – I think Scott [Dixon] had to hit some of the debris. Scott was an innocent bystander there and he was coming through and there was all kinds of crap lying on the track, and I just managed to get a tighter lane than Scott and miss it, so I was pretty lucky there."
RYAN BRISCOE: "I started 12th, but we were so spread out, I was actually quite happy that we were spread out – I couldn't sleep last night because I just wanted to get through Turn 1 today, and I was like, 'Perfect, I've got no one around me, let's just get this race going.' After that the next restart I was leading, and it was definitely a nice place to be on restarts.