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Indy Racing League Series: AmeriStar Casino Indy 200

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Open Wheel Racing Topics:  AmeriStar Casino Indy 200

Indy Racing League Series: AmeriStar Casino Indy 200

Helio Castroneves
Sam Hornish, Jr.
July 7, 2002


KANSAS CITY, KANSAS

MODERATOR: We're going to start with Sam Hornish. Junior. It was pretty rough, dicing back and forth, and you came home with a second place finish. Tell us how it felt out there today with the traffic.

SAM HORNISH, JR: It was very hot. Traffic is good. The car ran really well. It was a good run for the Pennzoil Panther team. Feel like we should be in first place, but things don't always work out the way they should.

Q. Talk about the race restarts?

SAM HORNISH, JR: The first race restart that I saw, the second and third cars in line, which were two lap cars, did not go. So they thought the fair thing would be do move one of them and put one of them behind the 12 car. I don't know exactly what happened, but when I looked in my mirror I see two cars side by side. On the restart, it's not dual-file restart. We're not running NASCAR. It's hard to -- I don't want to point fingers at anybody, I don't want to be mad at anybody, but to come all that way and run that rase, of course I'm hot and a little bit mad about things right now. But it's a long day. To have a car that was running that good, to end it that way and to get beat like that, it's no fun.

Q. When they did come out with the last restart?

SAM HORNISH, JR: I still had it in third gear. I didn't know what was going on. I had to go back down to second and try to go. You're a sitting duck at that point, especially when the other guy is side by side with your lap car that's in the middle, and I know that if there's not going to be any -- if they want to let that happen, then you might as well just move the lap cars to the back of the field. That's not really fair to them, either.

MODERATOR: Helio, qualifying wasn't the best yesterday but you worked your way up the field. Tell us about your strategy.

HELIO CASTRONEVES: Well, I have to be honest, we did not have the fastest car, but at least handling we were able to keep it up behind traffic, and that's the only way to keep with some of the guys that looks much faster on the straightaway. In those type of track, we just have to be smooth. I follow the other ones; that they are passing you because it's flat-out all the way. You just have to be careful to not touch wheels or bump. It's kind of turning out to be wild at some point. Again, I was just trying to keep it up with those guys. Strategy-wise, we did pretty much the same as everyone. I guess the last yellow could have been more laps, maybe we would have joined Airton and Sam. But again, I'm very happy because that's the points. Little by little, that's the way you keep a lead on the championship. It doesn't matter if you win a championship by one point or 20 points, as long as you are in the front, that's important.

MODERATOR: I know in the past couple of days, you and your teammate, Gil de Ferran, were planning a lot of race day simulations. This is your first time racing at Kansas Speedway. Give us your impressions of the track.

HELIO CASTRONEVES: First of all, I have to give a lot of credit for you guys because it's smooth like a baby's butt. It is unbelievable. I guess you saw, you can go two line, almost three lines, but, oh my goodness -- and as the race goes on, the track was getting better and better. So it was truly -- I'm really impressed with this facility. So you guys did an excellent job on that part. You're right. Gil and I knew that the race would be something like that. Really, wheels, side by side, everyone like that, so just trying to simulate as much as possible. I guess it work a little bit.

Q. Will it take you a while go get over this before the next race?

SAM HORNISH, JR: Nothing I won't get over by the next race. Just not to win, that's where we come out here, that's why we run. The only car that we could not touch all day was Scheckter, and when he went out, I thought for sure that was ours. I don't know, it's hot out. It was hot all day long. The car, when you started sweating from the time you put your helmet on, and, you know, 15, 20 minutes are or so, a little bit more, so I'll start feeling a little bit better about it. I need to talk to Bryan about it and see what he has to say. I just feel bad for the team. The Pennzoil Panther guys, they did an awesome job today, got me in and out of the pits today. We had a good car, a fast car. Just trying to figure out a way to cool off, mentally and physically.

Q. (Inaudible)?

HELIO CASTRONEVES: I guess that's the way we started the season and the way we are going to end up the season, three of us have to go, my teammates as well. We really are fighting. And again, we have not really missed -- we have a race in Richmond that cost a lot of points, and nothing that we can do. You just have to keep it up again, come back strong like we did today. Score more points until we have an opportunity to have a chance to win again.



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