Firestone Indy Lights: Edmonton City Centre Airport Round #2
Topics: Edmonton Twin 100s
July 24, 2011
THE MODERATOR: We are pleased to be joined by two of our podium finishers from today's race, Steven Wilson of Andretti Autosport and his teammate Peter Dempsey. This is Stef's fourth podium finish of the season, and this is Peter's fourth top-five finish of the year.
Peter, yesterday was quite a dramatic race for you. Today things definitely went better with this finish. Looked like you and Esteban were having a little bit of a battle when he was a few laps down.
PETER DEMPSEY: Yeah, for sure it's better than yesterday. Last thing I wanted to do today was end up on my roof again after the guys worked so hard last night to put the car back together. Everybody at Andretti Autosports came together last night and worked on my car. It was even better than what it was yesterday. So hats off to the team. I really appreciate them putting all the effort in. I think me and Stefan worked as hard as we could all weekend under the circumstances.
Yeah, I mean, I don't know what Esteban was doing there the last couple of laps for sure, being two laps down. Myself and Stefan are pushing each other hard and trying to race as fair as possible. He definitely really hurt me there at the end trying to get a second place out of it. At the end of the day, if anyone is going to finish second, I'm just glad it was just my teammate.
THE MODERATOR: Stef, it looked like clearly you and Peter were out there pushing each other as teammates for a great finish. Talk about how good it has been good for you to have Peter join you.
STEFAN WILSON: It's been pretty good really. We work really well together, push each other really hard, and we're really fair with each other. That's what teammates are supposed to do, unlike the Schmidt guys where they race a bit too hard and crash into each other.
We have a lot of mutual respect for each other, which is good, which is what you need. We had a good weekend at Toronto. It's a shame that we weren't able to emulate that same success here. I think some of it was down to such little track time we had. We didn't have a lot of time to adjust that car setup. We only had half an hour.
I had to miss that half an hour because I made a mistake in the practice and crashed. Put me out of the practice and cost us a lot of track time. Track time is just so vital here. Two races, a lot of points on offer. We just didn't make the most of it really.
Pleased, though, to come back. We started 13th yesterday. It was pleasing to be able to pass a lot of cars in the race yesterday. That's something I really enjoy about racing, is the overtaking and passing people, racing fairly and cleanly.
Pleased to get a top-three starting position today and get second, you know. Feel a little bit disheartened because we're a little bit far off the Schmidt pace. Esteban and Josef were just much quicker than us, pulling away quite a lot each lap. It's kind of demoralizing to see that when you're pushing and working so hard.
But we're going to bounce back for the next race and we'll be able to work together like we did at Toronto and try to get some success there.
THE MODERATOR: We've also been joined by our race winner, Josef Newgarden of Sam Schmidt Motorsport. This is Josef's fourth win of the season. He previously won at St. Petersburg, Indianapolis and Iowa. He finished second in yesterday's race one.
Josef, talk about that race and the pass there with Esteban where his car got a little damaged.
JOSEF NEWGARDEN: Yeah, it was pretty entertaining, I would say. We don't want to see that happen. It's funny because everyone has been asking this weekend specifically with the dynamic between Esteban and I. I think it's fine.
I said before and I'll say it again, we're good friends. We go out to eat every night. I think we push each other really hard. That's why we find so much speed out of the cars. It's a good working relationship. But we're hard racers, as well.
You could be good friends, but it always changes on the track. You're always pushing to beat each other. We're not going to stand out of the way.
For things like that to happen I think is normal. It's racing. It's a development series. You see it in IndyCar as well. It's going to happen. It's racing.
I didn't really see the incident on a replay so I can't speak to it. I didn't see him coming from that far back. Might have just went a little too deep and locked up and hit me in the side pod.
I don't know how we kept going. I thought we were done after that. Certainly he went for a little bit. I think his wing cut into his tire. That put him in.
We'll keep pushing forward. I don't think it's going to change anything. We're going to try to keep pushing each other, be quick, be ahead of these guys, move on to the next one. You can't talk about it too much. But I think we'll be fine.
THE MODERATOR: We'll open it up for questions.
Q. (No microphone.)
PETER DEMPSEY: I went back to the hotel last night. I'd never seen the crash until it was on YouTube last night. I couldn't believe how much of a (indiscernible) crash it was. Turned around and upside down.
But, no, it doesn't affect me. Just want to get back in it and give the boys the results. Glad we could do that today. Hopefully we can roll on to Three Rivers and get Josef out of the middle seat.
Q. (No microphone.)
PETER DEMPSEY: No, I didn't. Surprised I didn't need to go to the medical. I was expecting they were going to go and check me out. But it was a very soft roll. Just kind of popped up in the air and landed on its roof. Wasn't like it did multiple tumbles or anything like that.
I was fine. I was just sitting in the cockpit and trying to decide when to unbuckle by belt so I didn't damage my neck too much. Apart from that I was delighted to get back in the car today and focus on the next one.
Q. (No microphone.)
PETER DEMPSEY: Thankfully I got away with very little damage. Only two suspension wishbones and a little bit of bodywork damage. That made it a bit easier to get back in the car today. I didn't want the guys to be up working too late last night.
I got away lightly. The car was upside down, so I was blessed.
Q. (No microphone.)
PETER DEMPSEY: I think the track definitely picked up a little bit today. For me especially we changed the car from yesterday. I think the hotter conditions suited the setup changes, which was great. After the midgets or touring cars out racing before, there was a lot of dirt and grit on the track. Halfway through the race, it was pretty cleaned up. It's great to have a race go green the whole way. See how the car works in the long run.
I think the track has been in really good condition. I'd like to thank everyone at Edmonton here for putting it together. It's been a great weekend.
Q. (No microphone.)
JOSEF NEWGARDEN: I don't think that's where we're going to stay. Yesterday, especially, it was very difficult for us. I think we were so even, you know, I might have had a little bit on him at some points and maybe he had a little bit on me. But it wasn't quite enough to do anything.
I think the same situation was happening there. He tried to pull something and you see what happens. It was so difficult for us to overtake each other because we were so even.
Wherever we filed in at the start is where it was going to be. Certainly if restarts were going to happen during the race, he was able to get jumps yesterday and out of that hairpin and you weren't able to challenge. I think the same thing was going to happen today. I was a little surprised when he tried to lunge like that. You saw what happened. It didn't end in a good result.
But, I mean, it's a tight battle between us. We're interlocked here in this championship. I think we're probably the closest competitors right now. Certainly it looks like it could potentially come down to us, as it has so far this year.
It's tough for us. We're teammates and we're pushing each other, but we want to beat each other as well. It's not an easy thing for us to do.
Again, as I said before, I think it will be okay. I think it's a good thing. It's nice to have your teammate as the guy you're competing against. You can help push each other, keep an eye on each other, make it even between each other. That's a good thing.
I'm excited about being his teammate this year. He's a great guy. I've certainly learned a lot off of him as well. He's 26. He's an older guy. He's got a lot of experience. So I'm trying to absorb all of that as well and take as much advantage from the situation as I can.
Q. (No microphone.)
JOSEF NEWGARDEN: Yeah, he does. Sam is realistic about things. He's great to talk to. Even when an incident happens, he's pretty chilled out. That's why he's so easy to run for. He's easy to talk to. He's there for you. He's been a racer himself. He knows how it works. It's not a difficult thing with him.
You never feel uncomfortable talking to him about something, which is nice. He'll certainly talk to us, we'll have meetings about it. He said in the interview out there, You can talk about it till you're blue in the face, but you can only do so much talking, things are going to happen on the track. You can't prepare for it for the future. You just try to learn from it and make it better in the next race.
THE MODERATOR: This is the only doubleheader of the year. Would you like to see more of those in the future?
STEFAN WILSON: I'm going to say no actually. I'd like to have more races, for sure, on the calendar. I think it takes away a little bit. When you win, you want to be the only winner on that race weekend. It's really odd to get two wins on the same weekend. It kind of almost dilutes some of the success a little bit.
That may sound a little bit odd. But the IndyCars only have one race. There's one winner, one champion for the weekend, whereas on a race like this, doubleheader, you can have two. It kind of dilutes some of the victory celebration, I guess. I don't know.
I'd like to see more races on the calendar, but I'd like to see not so many doubleheaders.
PETER DEMPSEY: If he won yesterday, he wouldn't be saying that.
STEFAN WILSON: If I won both races, I'd be saying, Yeah, let's do it.
JOSEF NEWGARDEN: If he won today, he wouldn't be saying it.
STEFAN WILSON: I wouldn't mind seeing one or two, but not the whole season.
THE MODERATOR: Congratulations to all of you and we'll see you in a few weeks in Mid-Ohio.
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