How far back does your memory of this place go? What do you first remember about it and did you ever allow yourself to dream of a moment like this?
You know, I've been in positions to qualify in the top 10, but this was my first year where we had a chance at pole and I thought and really believed we had a chance at pole. We were aggressive all day long and a little too aggressive in the first round, but to answer the first part of your question, I remember watching Rick Mears qualify here in '91 from the Turn 2 suites, and that's my first memory of qualifications here.
But I told the guys before our first segment today and before the shootout that I'd be much more mad if we went conservative and didn't take a shot at it than if we took a big shot at it and missed. They made the right calls. I'm really proud of them.
The fact that this place means so much to you might not mean anything when you're running that repeat run, but now that it's over and you've got it, do you let it sink in tonight maybe?
A little bit, but I love the race a whole lot more than qualifying, and I really want to send a message and make sure I lead by example to the team and make sure we don't forget why we're really here. This is fun and it's huge for our team. I don't want to think that it's not. But the pole won't mean much if we don't go out and perform on race day.
I love it here. I love racing here. I love going fast here. It's cool to see the speeds climbing again. But this track and race means a lot to the other 32 guys that are going to start the race, too. I don't think it's just special to me.
Talking about just how special it is, how much do you enjoy that the fans really embrace you as the local guy?
It's really fun. I've lived here since I was 8 years old, went to school at Butler University and probably will never leave. It gives me confidence knowing people are behind you, and I'm blessed to have a great family. A lot of them are here. Unfortunately my parents and sister are up in South Bend because Lauren graduates from Notre Dame tomorrow, which is awesome, so it's a big weekend for our whole family.
Transcript courtesy IndyCar. FastScripts by ASAP Sports.