De Silvestro talks Franchitti crash, Houston podium on SportsDash (VIDEO)

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After a weekend in Houston that saw her earn her first IZOD IndyCar Series podium result but also witness the aftermath of Dario Franchitti’s devastating crash, KV Racing Technology’s Simona de Silvestro visited NBCSN’s SportsDash with Yahoo! Sports to discuss both of those matters.

Echoing the opinions of several other drivers, De Silvestro said the Franchitti crash reminded her of the infamous accident that killed Dan Wheldon in the 2011 season finale at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. However, she maintained that INDYCAR is doing all it can to make improvements to the safety of the sport.

“At the end of the day, we’re still racing cars over 200 miles per hour between concrete walls,” De Silvestro told SportsDash’s Carolyn Manno and Dave Briggs. “It’ll always be a dangerous sport and we all know it. But I think [the series] always pushes to be better, more safer.

“The cars have become really safe and also, the fencing. There have been a lot of things going on since 2011, so everybody’s really trying to push the boundaries in that department, that’s for sure.”

Franchitti will be kept in a Houston hospital for a few more days before he is transported to Indianapolis for additional treatment. The three-time Indy 500 winner suffered a concussion, a fractured right ankle (on which he has had a first surgery to stabilize it), and two fractured vertebra in his back following his hit against the Turn 5 catch fence on the last lap of Sunday’s race.

On a brighter note, De Silvestro said she was pleased with being able to finally land on an IndyCar podium for the first time.

“Now we can keep on going to be even more competitive,” she said of herself and her No. 78 team. We want to get more podiums, and I think we can win races.”

Montoya: ‘Hopefully I get a chance to do Indy again’ (VIDEO)

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Juan Pablo Montoya is on site at this weekend’s United States Grand Prix, his latest trip in a summer and fall filled with a lot of international travel and a number of different race cars he’s been in.

Montoya is committed to a full season in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with Acura Team Penske in 2018, as he’ll share one of the team’s Acura ARX-05s with Dane Cameron.

However, the question of whether he’ll be able to race in the 102nd Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil remains.

Team Penske has said it plans to only run four cars next month of May, with Helio Castroneves as the fourth driver alongside the three full-time cars driven by Josef Newgarden, Simon Pagenaud and Will Power.

While Montoya has said elsewhere that he’s shopping offers and has talked with other teams, it’d be highly surprising to see the two-time Indianapolis 500 champion who developed the Chevrolet engine for IndyCar’s 2018 Dallara universal body kit in a Honda-powered IndyCar, although he is running Honda’s brand (Acura) in sports cars.

Montoya elaborated on his Indy 500 prospects in an interview with NBCSN pit reporter and insider Will Buxton at the Circuit of The Americas.

“Not full-time no,” Montoya told NBCSN of his IndyCar 2018 prospects. “Hopefully I get a chance to go to Indy, hopefully with Penske, (and) if not someone else. We’ll see.”

Photo: IndyCar

Montoya has extolled the early testing both on the 2018 IndyCar and on the Acura ARX-05.

The first Acura chassis has run at Road Atlanta and Sebring International Raceway thus far, and will be put through its paces at other venues over the next few months.

“It’s been good. We did a lot of work with INDYCAR on that car. Fans are gonna like it,” Montoya said of the 2018 kit.

“Going to IMSA with the Acura program, we’ve done a lot of testing. It’s a beauty to drive. It drives better than what it looks! I haven’t had that much fun driving a race car in a long time.”

Acura ARX-05 Daytona Prototype international (DPi) race car to be campaigned by Team Penske in 2018