"From the moment when we start in go-kart, when you manage to do that special lap it's the best feeling in the world". "Knew it was going to be a struggle to get much higher than sixth just based on what we've seen out of these guys in practice". "Very, very happy for all of Team Penske". The Frenchman set a track-record time of 58.9124 seconds Saturday during the final round.
Castroneves, who started third, jumped pole sitter Pagenaud and Graham Rahal for the lead with an inside pass in Turn 1 on the first lap.
Keep an eye on the No. 12 Team Penske machine this weekend as he attempts to further slice into Dixon's points lead. "We all want to be the fastest man".
"I was concerned about that (rain) and how it would throw a wrench into the works", Newgarden said. Last year, he had the race completely in hand before he stayed out an extra lap and it went yellow, and he went to the back of the field. All four Penske drivers had been atop of the speed charts with a 1-2-3-4 sweep during Saturday morning's practice session.
It's been a big turnaround for Hinchcliffe in his hometown race after struggling prior to previous year.
The changes weren't dramatic, but besides accomodating the hotel, as well as the relocation of hospitality suites and grandstands, the hope was that they would offer a more entertaining experience for fans attending the race.
It's the first pole this season and in this race for the 33-year-old Pagenaud.
"The support I feel from this city grows every single year, it's just incredible", he said. "I'm thankful to the team for that opportunity".
Hinchcliffe's result was his third podium finish on a road course this season.
Alexander Rossi was unlucky to roll off eighth in his No. 98 Andretti-Herta Autosport Honda - he and Takuma Sato were both caught out when the qualifying session restarted and it knocked them out of the Firestone Fast Six. Thompson called it the most emotional win of his career thus far. "It's so awesome feeling the energy back in this event, it's obviously one that has meant a lot to me for a long time".
Hinchcliffe, who's in his seventh IndyCar season, is thrilled his luck is finally changing after some lean early years racing at home. Will Power grabbed the one-lap qualifying record (2016, 107.564 mph) and race record (2016, 85-laps, 88.739 mph), while winning both the Pole and Race previous year. "It's a street course I usually enjoy and (Andretti Autosport) should be competitive".
Only half the battle is complete though with the series hitting the track again Sunday to complete a doubleheader and Thompson is pumped to attempt a sweep.
"Iowa was tough", said Sato after his 16th-place finish there. No less than four drivers ended up hitting the wall in Turn 11 past year, so it seems the concerns weren't completely unfounded.