Infiniti Pro Series: Kentucky 100
Topics: Kentucky 100
PAUL DANA: We picked up ground on Jessie Mason and Luyendyk today. That helped. We need to do this. But like last week, neither he nor I won, but he picked up ten points on me. We need to dominate and he needs to really struggle. We have a shot. We have the car to do it.
Q. Paul, a question about the accident.
PAUL DANA: I don't know. He was just -- he just slid into me a tiny bit, and I think it was -- it didn't get any one of my wheels it. Moved me a little bit and I just short sort of caught it and I honestly don't know, if the heat went or spun to the inside, I don't know, I didn't see it. It was behind me.
Q. Talk about the Sprint car drivers performing well in the series and did you ever have any experience with that?
PAUL DANA: Not really. I just actually did a Midget race for the first time in my life a couple of weeks ago and you're sideways the whole time. It teaches you phenomenal car control. They both have stepped into quality teams. Usually where the Sprint Midget guys struggle is not in the driving; it's in the technical side in setting up the car and being able to feel the real subtle changes with spring rate and shock that we do; that's the learning curve. And both of those guys have stepped into front running teams. Don Lambert, the crew chief from Mo Nunn, has a ton of experience, and the Sam Schmidt have been the cars to beat. Around here again, by yourself you're flat-out all the way around. Anybody with courage and experience is going to be able to do that. Travis Todd was in the lead most of the time, which is easiest when you have clean air and it's everybody else behind him that's struggling. It doesn't surprise me that they are really good drivers and stepping into strong programs.
THE MODERATOR: We welcome the winner of the Menards Infiniti Pro Series Kentucky 100, P.J. Chesson and Kathryn Nunn, Morris Nunn Racing, the car owner. P.J., talk about your run here this afternoon, you took the lead with about six, seven laps left in the race. Just talk about that pass and from there on out, how you were able to hold off Paul Dana.
P.J. CHESSON: Yeah, the car was really good. I had a good guy on the radio talking to the race. It's a big patience game. We sat back, we knew we had a decent car. We kept working on it and adjusting the car. As the race went on we got better and better and better. I just can't say enough about my guys, all of them, from my owner, Kathryn, right on down to the intern, the guy that helps there, too. Just fifth race out, we won two races, I don't know how you explain that, just unbelievable.
Q. This is your second straight win, third straight top two finish, talk about how you came into the ride and joined the series this year?
P.J. CHESSON: I was milling around Indianapolis and I got introduced to Kathryn in a bus by Roger Bailey. This is the 956,000th time I've told someone this introduction, so, that's why. But I was looking to go into something similar to a Sprint car, something as close to that as I could possibly get to. We were on the gas and dealing with wings and aero stuff, and this seemed like the best avenue to go down. So I went, and I approached Roger Bailey about it, and he introduced me to Kathryn at Indianapolis during the month of May. We hit it off pretty well and so far, so good.
Q. How does a Sprint car translate into a pro car?
P.J. CHESSON: Obviously, a Sprint car is on dirt and there's wings, and you don't ever draft, because if you draft you end up in the fence or a parking lot, whatever comes first. What a Sprint car has taught me, I think is patience and to be calm in the car and race under a very highly intense situation, and be able to stick there, hang in there and battle back and work with the race car that I have on the track during the race. So whether it's moving around on the racetrack or working on the car, one or the other, it's just taught me to stay calm and stick with it.
Q. Was there a reason you were running the high line when you were back about eighth in the race?
P.J. CHESSON: Not really any reason. There was just a good view from back there. The car didn't want to be around the bottle, so I drove around the top and I didn't really have much to say in it. It's like trying to ride a horse. If he doesn't want to go, he's not going to go, no matter how many times you beat him.
Q. So basically it was just a matter of the car coming in and you moving to the bottom of the track?
P.J. CHESSON: Yeah, basically.
Q. Kathryn, can you talk about your choice to hire P.J. and do you feel reaffirmed in the hiring now with two straight wins?
KATHRYN NUNN: When I met P.J., I was really impressed that he had such a long-term plan. He sat down and told me where he wanted to be in two years and where he wanted to be in four years. I really liked his character and personality; the fact that he's such a free spirit. And I actually told him at the beginning, well, we are two months old. Literally this team is two months old, so I have no expectations for rest of the season. This is a learning experience the rest of the year. We'll work on getting up front next year. So I'm just over the moon, just ecstatic at what he's done. A 2nd, and now two 1sts, it's incredible.
P.J. CHESSON: I think I want to sit the rest of the year out,.
Q. What does it say about the team, that you ran such a clean race?
P.J. CHESSON: I think it says a lot about the guys. There was one incident down there with little Al who ended up to be on the outside. He was racing really hard, and I think just when the cars move around, just the car dances. These cars dance side-to-side a little bit and there's really not a lot of room that high up on the racetrack to have any kind of a little error or little bobble. I think other than that, it's good to know that me being a driver, you feel comfortable running on the outside of another car. As long as they all know what kind of car they have, they know what their car is capable of doing, which they all seem to do. We ran a really tight path the whole race. There was a couple -- I saw some tire smoke with Thiago and Leo Maia on the back stretch there. Just a real close race, and I think it says a lot about the guys that I'm racing with.
Q. Were you able to run the bottom line?
P.J. CHESSON: Yeah, at end of the race, you've got, at that point it was 99 miles or so on the tires. They didn't really like to be held -- we never set up our car to run on the white line because I don't really like running down that low. The car was good, and it worked there. It worked around the top, so that's where we stayed. At the end of the race the shortest distance around, one lap to go. I knew that Paul was good down there, so I figured I would run down there and make him go by me on the outside. So that's what I was thinking.
Q. How are you going to celebrate your win today?
P.J. CHESSON: I don't know. I think I'm going to go to the library and I read a book. (Laughter). We'll have to see when I get out of here. I'm going to the casino tonight and maybe I'll throw some of Kathryn's money on the table and see what happens. (Laughing.)
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