8.1.2012 (Via Ryan Hunter-Reay, SPEED) – What a great streak it was for our Andretti Autosport team to win three races in a row, and though we did everything we could to make it four straight, the circumstances just didn’t come together at Edmonton to make it happen.
Finishing seventh was disappointing to say the least. We’re going to have to do much better than that in the final four races to win the championship, but it was remarkable to have qualified on the pole. With the engine change that we made prior to the start of practice, we knew we had a 10-spot grid penalty no matter where we qualified, but to win the pole was an amazing turnaround for the No. 28 DHL/Dr Pepper team. We started practice Friday morning and really struggled to find speed. We ended that first session 22nd out of 25 cars. But, the fact that we came back 24 hours later to win the pole speaks volumes about the capabilities of the team as a whole.
All three teams at Andretti Autosport have worked well together all season, and after that first practice session, all of the drivers and each of the engineers went to work to find more speed. The IndyCar field is so competitive that missing even the smallest detail somewhere can make a huge difference, so having cooperative teammates all working together helps find those things that you might not find on your own.
We would have loved to have been able to start on the pole to take advantage of our effort, but we took the penalty in stride and kept our heads down to make up the difference. It was strange to have no yellow flags during the race, and even one yellow flag would have been a huge help to make up ground. We’re not satisfied with seventh place, but qualifying as well as we did probably saved us 10 to 15 points at the end of the day. And each point is going to be critical going into the last four races of the year.
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