IndyCar notes and quotes: Friday evening at PIR

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AVONDALE, Ariz. – Testing is underway for the second three-hour session of the day at Phoenix International Raceway, with just over an hour remaining until 8 p.m. MT and local time and the end of the session.

There were a handful of driver availabilities following the morning session and here’s a handful of selected quotes:

  • Helio Castroneves, on whether mechanical grip will change from day to night: “It’s extremely important for us to try and drive at night, which is the actual time of the race. Even when we come back here, maybe the weather might not be much of a difference, but still it gives you a direction. But mechanical it’s part of it, for sure. It’s the whole thing. Today is basically the first practice for everyone. Everybody is adapting with the aero package, kind of like getting comfortable, getting the rhythm back. Tomorrow will be a little bit of the momentum from today.”
  • James Hinchcliffe, on the track itself: “The track is a whole lot of fun. This is a tough little place. It’s incredible how little time you have to think about anything around a lap here. It’s so flat out, you cannot let your concentration waiver for even a fraction of a second. The backstraight is not a straight. The front straight is the only chance you have, whether it’s to adjust your weight jack, your roll bars, whatever it is. You have about three and a half, four seconds to get it done over a lap. That’s exhausting.”
  • Marco Andretti, on whether this track will be a one groove track: “It’s definitely too early to say that because I guess I have to run in the nighttime to see what happens with the track temps to give you a better answer on that. I think there’s a little room in one and two to get some clean air up high. It would be a little risky to do that in three and four. You could catch the right front in the marbles. The problem is the exit of one. You could run sort of maybe two wide entry to mid. But it tightens up pretty quick at the exit. The guy on the bottom is going to come up. He can’t hold the guys on But I don’t know, having said that, halfway through the stint, the tires will go out, there will be some degradation, dirty air. It’s a little bit early to give you a full scoop on that.
  • Tony Kanaan, on the timing of sessions: “IndyCar did a great job timing because timing-wise this afternoon’s session was really close to what the times of qualifying is going to be on Friday when we come back and the night session is going to be the time of the race. That’s why you didn’t see anybody running together. Tonight you’ll see it a lot. Tomorrow you’ll see the same thing, people doing qualifying stuff during the afternoon and at night racing stuff.”
  • Will Power, on the track’s physicality: “Yeah. It’s going to be the most physical race of the year, I’m pretty sure. Especially when you add all that downforce. I mean, the wheel is so heavy. Yeah, I have to say after the previous test, I was thinking I don’t think it will be possible to do an entire race physically all green, but we’ll see.”