“You have to run the same lane and if you come up on a car it’s a real pass. The good thing about this package is if you come to a restart at the end of the race with 10 laps to go and someone came in and put new tires on and the rest of the field stayed out that guy would come to the front and win. We have never had that in the series before. It’s more about the driver having to lift and drive the thing. I think they have it about right and when people find out what their actual package is they will enjoy it. The cars are going faster in the corner so it is hardly a change.”
Hunter-Reay has a great starting position in third but with as unpredictable as the current package can be at Texas he expects to see some volatility throughout the field.
“You are going to have comers and goers all night long and as little grip as you have at this place it’s going to be anybody’s race,” predicted 2012 IndyCar champion Ryan Hunter-Reay. “We are certainly all sliding around. We’ll have to work on the cars and make the Andretti Autosport cars better. The problem is if you take too much downforce off these cars the rollout is an issue. We’re light as is in the banking and when we get to the rollout it’s diabolical. We have to be careful. We are on the edge of losing the raciness we have, too so we have to be careful.
“We’ll get a little more grip at night but not much. The weather is pretty nice for Texas so it is interesting.”
Graham Rahal starts way back in 19th in a Dallara/Honda and is hopeful the Rahal Letterman Lanigan team can get his car up to speed in racing conditions.
“I like no downforce but the tires don’t have the grip any more so it’s pretty hairy,” Rahal said. “We have a slow car. We have to find some speed. I’m not too unhappy because we’ll keep working on this car to get it right. I think tire degradation is good unless everybody ends up in the fence Saturday night, which could happen.
“We need our cars to fall off so we have good racing but it has to be a certain balance.”
James Jakes qualified 10th and is coming off a great race last Sunday at Detroit when he finished second to race winner Simon Pagenaud.
“It would be awesome to do well on an oval because this is the first oval I ever raced on,” Jakes said. “They threw me into the deep end here so it would be nice to get a great result here.
“We have a good car here it seems. We’re pretty excited. You just have to be patient and really work on the race car. I think the Hondas are in great shape and we will keep on pushing.”
The changes that were made on the IndyCar package at Texas was made to put it back into the driver’s hands – to separate the good cars from the bad cars and the great drivers from the bad ones.
That is why the top drivers actually like a car that is harder to drive.
“I think this package is good; it’s about right,” Power said. “We are lifting in the corners. You have to drive the thing. It’s moving around. That’s the way it should be, isn’t it? It’s how Rick Mears used to drive on the ovals. That’s when the guys back in the day had a lot more power and less grip so I think it’s about right.”