Saavedra leads Youth Movement Day 2 at Indy
TOWNSEND BELL (No. 99 BraunAbility-Schmidt Pelfrey Motorsports Honda): (About practicing today at IMS after competing Saturday in the American Le Mans Series race at Monterey, Calif.): "It's a good way to fix the jet lag. Running around Indianapolis Motor Speedway always feels good. No matter what you feel like before you get out there, it always works out. It's great to just get a few laps in this new car, the first time on the track with the car. Everything went kind of according to plan. We took just one run. Now we've got to go talk about it and get to work on tweaking." (How did the car feel compared to the last time you drove it in testing?): "Well, I was at Texas, which is a completely different kind of racetrack. All of the years of muscle memory I have have just been totally reset. This car feels a lot different." (On his initial feedback for rookie and teammate Simon Pagenaud): "I was just telling him what my initial impressions are of the car. I know what I like around here in terms of a feel and so just trying to offer a little bit of feedback so he could understand what I want to get to in terms of a setup. I think it's going to be great working with him. He's a smart guy and pays attention to the details." (Did anything about the new car catch you off-guard?): "The biggest thing, strangely enough, is the vibration of a V6 is quite a bit different. It's a little bit harsher of a vibration, so it almost feels like you've got a tire imbalance when you don't because you're sitting in pit lane idling. Just the feel of the motor, the steering wheel, the brakes are different, pedal position; again, just resetting my muscle memory around here because every Indy 500 was in the same car, same motor, and this is a new package."SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda): "We just shook down the primary Target car. We started off a bit slow, and we had to figure out a few issues we had. We sort of went back at it and made some progress. We didn't really change the car too much, just a few mechanical things that we needed to get through. The last run there on my first timed lap, I came up behind Graham (Rahal) and I had a tow. I hadn't had a tow, but that was a half-tow. My first couple of timed laps, the car seemed nice. It's nice to drive. We're on the same set of tires. It seems there are a few more cars running more laps and doing a little more race stuff yet. We'll probably step into that the next couple of days. Just making sure all the systems are working and everything's OK. Generally, I think both Team Target cars are doing pretty well. I think the car has speed in it. Until we get to Fast Friday and Pole Day, we really don't know who's going to be where."CHARLIE KIMBALL (No. 83T NovoLog FlexPen Honda): "Today was another really good day at the Speedway. It got hotter and a windier this afternoon, which was good, because it allowed us to work on our race car a little bit preparing for a couple Sundays from now. I think we've got a pretty good race car, and we'll continue to work toward qualifying later in the week. We're going to change over to the primary NovoLog FlexPen car tonight. We're being smart about our approach this month. Practice is important but not nearly as important as qualifying or the race."DARIO FRANCHITTI (No. 50 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda): "The basic focus of today was to shake down our primary car. We started making some smaller adjustments at the end of the session out there, but haven't really gotten into the more in-depth changes to the Target car. We'll start on that tomorrow."MIKE CONWAY (No. 14 ABC Supply Co./A.J. Foyt Racing Honda): "We didn't really find any speed today, but we got through quite a few changes, which was good to feel what they do because it's the first time we really explored some different areas. The ABC Supply car is better; it feels better every time we go out with the changes, but we just have to find more speed. We looked for it at the end there, but we went slower. So we have to find out what's going on with the rear of the car because we seem to be wearing the rear brakes, and I'm sure that's causing some drag. It could be part of it. We should be a bit quicker than we are. So we'll explore that tonight and see what we find."SIMON PAGENAUD (No. 77 Schmidt Hamilton HP Motorsports Honda): "Obviously, I'm a rookie. I can tell you what I need to make the car go faster, but it's always good to rely on someone like Townsend (Bell), who has experience here and has been running well. It's reassuring, to be honest, because he seems to be saying the same things I'm saying. So that is good. The whole team is doing a great job. We're only working on race trim right now. I feel more and more confident every day. I learn something every time I go out."SIMONA DE SILVESTRO (No. 78 Nuclear Clean Air Energy Lotus HVM Racing Lotus): "I think it's definitely better now that we've run more laps. I think it's a lot of me just trying to get comfortable out there and things like that, so we're working on that and taking our time. We've improved the car quite a bit, so I'm happy with that. I'm happy that the team is working with me to make improvements, so that's good."JUSTIN WILSON (No. 18 Sonny's BBQ Honda): "It's been a good day for the Dale Coyne Racing cars. Obviously, we want to be quickest. But it's practice, so we're just trying to learn as much as we can and keep developing the 18 car to find that next step." (About speeds): "Obviously, everyone is nervous; it's a new car. You're not sure what to expect. We had last year's car for eight years, and I think they started out (the month) at 218 range and got up to 228 when we were finished. It just takes time to work out the details and fine-tune it. I think the speeds are going to be just fine in qualifying. This car is working well. Ours definitely seems to be very tune-able. It feels very much like last year's car."WADE CUNNINGHAM (No. 41 ECat/ABC Supply Honda): "Today was productive. We struggled with Rookie Orientation on Thursday because we had a massive imbalance in the car, which we looked at and found at the end of the day. I was a bit leery going in this morning, but from the out lap I could tell we had made improvements in the car, so I was comfortable straightaway. We had to go through the last phase of Rookie Orientation, so we had to stay under 215. Then we started on the ECat/ABC Supply car for the day. It got hotter in the afternoon, so I lost a bit of speed, but we focused mostly on running by ourselves. Basically just trying to learn the car because we have no knowledge or background with the car, so we're doing basic mechanical changes and trying to find what the car needs. We weren't setting the world on fire. We didn't try, but we made gains and I think we have a decent handle on what we need from the car and how it needs to be driven. It's new for me and new for the team, so a relatively happy day."SEBASTIAN SAAVEDRA (No. 17 Team AFS Chevrolet): "I have to take the guys out for dinner tonight. More than anything, (Ryan) Hunter-Reay and Hinch (James Hinchcliffe), who were in the front. It's exciting. We've been struggling the past couple of years, and so starting the month of May this way, it's a very satisfying feeling. There's some big strategy at Andretti Autosport, and we're five cars and all of us, we have homework to do every day. We have things to try, and we sit down all together to see what works, what we need to try for the next day, but everything is a big strategy. Everything needs to be very well established. It's the professional way to do it."RUBENS BARRICHELLO (No. 8 BMC/Embrase KV Racing Technology Chevrolet): "It has been a bit of a different day. Early on we were able to improve our speed a little, but since then every change we have done hasn't been a positive result. At the end of the day, I got Tony to drive my car because I needed to see if I was developing the car in the right way or not. He was getting the same speed as me, so that gives me more confidence to carry on my work. It is only the second day, and luckily at Indianapolis I have another week to practice."TONY KANAAN (No. 11 GEICO/Mouser Electronics KVRT Chevrolet): "We got some things accomplished today, but our work was limited because of the amount of track time we had. It is only the second day of practice, so we still have time to develop the car and find the extra speed we looking for. Hopefully we can have a productive day tomorrow as we prepare for qualifying this weekend."E.J. VISO (No. 5 CITGO/PDVSA KV Racing Technology Chevrolet): "It was a good day of practice. Once again, everything went as planned. We are focused on our program, developing new things for the car. I think tomorrow is going to be a pretty intense day, and I'm looking forward to continuing to make the same kind of progress we have made over the last two days."ED CARPENTER (No. 20 Fuzzy's Vodka/Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet): "Saturday was a tough day for our team. Not one person here was happy after practice. The guys worked really hard last night and came up with a good program for today's practice runs. We got off to a good start today and rebounded well. We still have a ways to go for next weekend to where we want to be. Today was a huge step forward from where we were Saturday. If we can gain half the progress in the next couple of days that we made today, we'll be in a good position. We need to keep our heads down and keep working on the car. We must work on getting the Fuzzy's Chevrolet a little faster. I think it will be a little work chasing down the Hondas, but I think we can do it."MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 26 Team RC Cola Chevrolet): "Each (Andretti) car was on a different program today, so we could cover all of our bases and take advantage of having five cars. We stuck to single-car runs in the (No.) 26, so we didn't show the same speed of the guys who were taking advantage of the tow from other cars. But everyone learned a lot from each other."RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 28 Team DHL/Sun Drop Citrus Soda Chevrolet): "It was a good first day for us. We did a lot of work on our own in single-car runs and then working on how the car handles in traffic and in race conditions. Each of Andretti Autosport crews worked really well as team today, as we tried to learn as much as we can between the five cars. We ran in tandem with (James) Hinchcliffe and Seb (Sebastian Saavedra), and we pulled Seb along in the tow for the fastest lap of the day."BRYAN CLAUSON (No. 39 Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing/RW Honda): "If you had told me that we were going to come out here the first two days and top the speed charts, I would have told you that you were crazy. Another great day for us. These SFHR boys build fast Honda race cars. It's been a lot of fun to step into a great situation for myself, and I'd like to say I was doing an awesome job, but they are making my job a heck of a lot easier with the race cars they put out there. I don't know what else to say. It's been a great start to the month, but we have a long way to go, and sometimes speed charts can lie a little bit, but we have a real fast race car. We did some long runs today, and I felt like we had a good balance. I'm a rookie, so I don't know what to expect for the rest of the month, but I'm really confident." (About taking advantage of INDYCAR's USAC scholarship): "When Randy (Bernard) started this, I think this is what he was dreaming of, someone would win it two years in a row and be put in this position. Those six (Firestone) Indy Lights races last year have been so beneficial in coming here, especially running the Freedom 100 last year. It gives you such a baseline. Turn 1 is unlike anything else you experience as a race car driver at this place, and even if it's at 189-190 mph in a Lights car, you still have that feeling to draw from. And yeah, you're going 20-30 mph faster, but you're still feeling the same things. That experience last year was huge, and hopefully we can keep this run at the top of the charts for another two weeks and make everyone on the USAC side proud." (About doing double-duty, racing the Hoosier 100 on Miller Lite Carb Day at the Indy Mile): "The Hoosier 100 is still on the table, but if I keep this up, there's a chance they are going to yank me from that. It's been a great start to the month, but we'll see how the month plays out, how things shake out. We're here to focus on Indy, and at this point, we feel like we have a great opportunity to have a good result at the end of the month and have a special month at SFHR." (When Sebastian Saavedra sat down at the podium): "Is that what happens to your hair when you go 221? I only went 220, and my hair is still flat." (After Saavedra said he was buying dinner for the teammates who helped him go fastest today): "I think I was in there, too. When are we going?"JAMES JAKES (No. 19 Boy Scouts of America Honda): "Another good day, really. The No. 19 Boy Scouts car is really working well here. I've had a great balance ever since I've run the car in the rookie day. We've just got to keep fine-tuning it and hopefully going in the right direction, and we should be in a good position for qualifying." (On the challenge of this being the first oval he's driven with new car): "Yeah, I hadn't driven this car on the ovals. The first time I did was in the rookie day. I think, from a driving point of view, it's not that difficult. But from a setup point of view for the teams, obviously, it's more difficult. The guys had those cars for a long time, 10 years. After you've perfected something for that length of time and then you throw in a new start, it's good. It's good for the series. Everyone's got a clean sheet of paper." (Has anything surprised you with the new car, good or bad?): "To be honest, how the car has handled so far here has been up to my expectations, really. The car is generating more downforce from the floor than previous years, so there's no reason why it shouldn't be handling good around here. It's so high speed. I think I'd like to work on the balance of my car a little more in traffic. But apart from that, I think we've got a strong package. The DW12 is performing well here." (Will adding horsepower Friday change the balance of the car at all?): "I personally am not too keen on the idea. I don't see why we should be working all week leading up to Friday just to change the car 50 more horsepower. I think, at the end of the day, my personal opinion is that it shouldn't be about the speed. I think it should be about the show we put on for the fans. If we're putting on a good show at 215 mph versus a poor show at 225 mph, then I'm sure they would take it. I think the show is more important and getting the cars working together on the track. Having a good race is more important than having a huge top speed."JAMES HINCHCLIFFE (No. 27 Team GoDaddy.com Chevrolet): "It was tough yesterday watching everyone else drive and sitting on the sidelines, so it was nice to get out there today. From the word 'go' the car was really good. The Andretti Autosport guys have obviously done a lot of hard work over the winter. When we first got these cars in December and January, we put one aside just for Indy and have been working on that thing for the last four months, so a huge credit to them. We had the GoDaddy car running well on its own and running well in traffic. We did some traffic simulations and some race simulations, so we'll see. There's still a lot to do. There's a lot to learn with this new car. We're coming off a car we had eight or nine years of data with, so we are literally going through everything step by step getting ready for the race. There's a lot of learning to do in the next couple of days to get ready for qualifying and the race, but so far everything is good."ANA BEATRIZ (No. 25 Team Ipiranga Chevrolet): "It was, I think, a good day with the Ipiranga car. It was a little bit tough to start. Marco (Andretti) did a check in my car; it felt a little unbalanced. We worked that out this afternoon, and I believe we found a good balance at the end. Now we can be more aggressive downforce-wise, so I'm looking forward to longer runs tomorrow and running in traffic."TAKUMA SATO (No. 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda): "It was a good day. There was a chance of rain in the forecast initially, but it stayed dry and we were able to get a lot of work done. We verified quite a few setup changes, tried all of the setup changes we wanted and made good progress. We ran a good number of laps with decent speed. I am happy to hand over the testing to Michel (Jourdain). We were working on a bit of both the qualifying and race setup; basically general car setup."MICHEL JOURDAIN JR. (No. 30 Office Depot/RLL Racing Honda): "Today was a short day for me. Yesterday I did most of the running, and Takuma ran in the afternoon. Today he did most of the running, and I ran a little bit in the afternoon. The car felt really weird, so we are going to check it over tonight. It felt very, very different from yesterday, which sometimes happens at superspeedways. We tried to make some changes from yesterday, but we will go back and check to make sure all of the settings are all right. We still have many days before qualifying, so I am looking forward to working on the setup more."HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Shell V-Power Pennzoil Ultra Team Penske Chevrolet): "Today wasn't much different than yesterday. We will continue to work on the Shell Pennzoil car to make small changes as we go. The track changed a little with the wind today, so that was good to see. We will keep learning a little but every day to get better."WILL POWER (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): "The Verizon car was good today. This was the best track you'll get as far as conditions go. We will take what we learned today and use it to get better tomorrow."RYAN BRISCOE (No. 2 IZOD Team Penske Chevrolet): "Yeah, the No. 2 IZOD crew continues to do a great job pulling more power out of the car. Obviously, we still need to get more, but I'm confident that come Race Day we will have the car we need. Today was a good day to build on leading into tomorrow."JOSEF NEWGARDEN (No. 67 Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing Honda): "Finishing second and third today shows how competitive SFHR is. Our consistency and speed solidifies the job that they do and how well they go about it. We're learning a lot more having a second car here, and it's really elevated the program overall. I feel super-comfortable in the car because the team makes me feel comfortable. They've done a great job of giving us a good program and making it easy on us."ORIOL SERVIA (No. 22 Panther DRR Chevrolet): "It was a good day. It's Indy, and knowing that the weather looks good, it's easy to get carried away and try to do too many things too early. We are just trying to pace ourselves and learn every step and make sure that we do each step well. We did some steps today and there's more to do. I'm really happy with the progress, and I'm also happy to see that JR (Hildebrand) has definitely very good speed, which we can keep learning from and sharing. There are still things that we want to try just to see how it feels, since it's our first time in the DW12 on an oval regardless if it's the right direction or not. Overall, I'm very happy like yesterday. We had another solid, mistake-free day, and we just need to keep checking off the boxes."***A total of 37 cars are at the Speedway, with 27 passing technical inspection and six in the process. Thirty-one drivers have been on the track to date and turned 1,138 laps today and 1,831 laps this month. Wade Cunningham turned 58 laps today, most of any driver. There were five cautions for a total of 51 minutes today.***The next IZOD IndyCar Series race is the Indianapolis 500 Mile on May 27 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The race will be televised by ABC at 11a.m. (ET) and broadcast by the IMS Radio Network on SiriusXM (XM 94 and Sirius 212). The next Firestone Indy Lights race is the Firestone Freedom 100 on May 25 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The race will be televised live by NBC Sports Network at Noon (ET) and broadcast by the IMS Radio Network.