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Infiniti Pro Series: Cleanevent 100

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Open Wheel Racing Topics:  Cleanevent 100

Infiniti Pro Series: Cleanevent 100

Paul Dana
Jesse Mason
Thiago Medeiros
July 17, 2004


GLADEVILLE, TENNESSEE

THE MODERATOR: Let's get our second and third place drivers introduced. We have Paul Dana. Dana came into this race third in points, he started second here today. It's his second consecutive second-place finish. We also have Jesse Mason, who is a rookie. He's fourth in points. He started fifth today, finished in the Top 3. This is his second third-place finish this season. He finished third also in Homestead. We'll go to the media for questions.

Q. Could you talk about the race today, how everything went for you. Obviously, it was a good day.

JESSE MASON: We had a good race today. The car we were fighting pretty much all weekend. The guys, Doug Zister, my engineer, did an amazing job all weekend to get the car ready, getting it back into shape and where we want to be, close to the front. In the race, it was a good race. We had a little bit of trouble on the draft, the front end washing out. We were caught behind Quintanilla there for a little while, but able to get him on one of the restarts, which is good. The hot weather did a little bit of a number on the tires. But, you know, the car progressed during the race. I was able to make some adjustments and get the back end to come around a little bit for me, just rode it out really. We were in third there. I thought maybe in the second to last restart, I would give Paul a shot. Like I say, in the draft, we were having a little bit of trouble. I have to thank all the guys at Brian Stewart Racing. Mo Larsen, my chief mechanic, amazing is all I can say. All year long he's been great. Good to get up here again. We were here in Homestead. It's good to be here again. Hopefully now and in Milwaukee we'll give Thiago and the rest of the guys a run for their money.

Q. Paul.

PAUL DANA: Long, hot. Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. We've been really fast all year. We have had our share of bad luck earlier in the season. Now I think we've got that behind us and we're running consistently. Thiago has been nipping us a tiny bit for pole again here. And that costs you. Jesse is absolutely right, we were all struggling with grip, especially when you're behind another car. We had a lot of chances with the restarts. That second to last restart, I had it right finally, was alongside him in one and two, at least was making a race out of it. I smelled it at least. It went yellow again. I kind of bobbled the last restart, and that cost us. At least we're keeping him honest. Hopefully we'll get him here sooner or later.

THE MODERATOR: Congratulations, guys. We have our winner in here today, Thiago Medeiros. Thiago came into the Menards Infiniti Pro Series Cleanevent 100 leading in the points. He definitely padded the lead today. He started on the pole and actually made history, being the first driver in the IRL history to win four consecutive races. Believe it or not, all those came from the pole position. He has also led 173 consecutive laps over the last three races. Tell us about your day. Congratulations.

THIAGO MEDEIROS: Oh, yeah, we tested here almost a month ago. We couldn't find a really good baseline setup to start the weekend. We were quickest in the first and second practices, then we could get the pole here. The pole here was really a big advantage for us because it's a really hard track, really hard to overtake, especially because the concrete have a different grip level. Sometimes you have a lot of grip; sometimes not. It's really hard to keep the car behind somebody. If you have somebody behind you, the guy has to be much quicker than you, trying to get a run on you, or on the restart like Paul did. We had a really good car here. I just think I did a good job, just drove the car around. I think the team give me a great car all weekend. I'm really happy. We could get the results we wanted for Milwaukee next week.

THE MODERATOR: Did you realize you were making history today?

THIAGO MEDEIROS: Oh, yeah. I mean, that's the result -- that was our goal when we start the season. We couldn't win Miami, but we had the biggest -- we got two points extra from leading the biggest part of the race. After that we had a great race in Phoenix, Indianapolis, Kansas. A great weekend for us here again. That was our goal. I mean, we have to be working hard day by day. We know how hard the guys have been working at the shop. I have been working out a lot, develop my training and everything. I'm looking forward for my IRL test maybe in August. So I'm working on it. I just try to be my best performance trying to get that opportunity in my life, to do the thing that I most like to do, racing.

THE MODERATOR: And the trophy?

THIAGO MEDEIROS: Unfortunately, I don't know how to play guitar. Basically when I have the time, I'm trying to do a course and try to learn how to play.

THE MODERATOR: Questions from the media.

Q. I want to ask, I know two of the later restarts, Paul Dana almost had a move on you. Talk about that for a second. Were you worried when Paul almost got alongside later in the race?

THIAGO MEDEIROS: Yeah, that restart, I think I did not warm the tires up enough, then I had a big push. I mean, I felt lift, and he could almost get a run on me, because my car was really understeer at the start. Right after that I made a couple change on the car. The tires got (inaudible) and we had a great car again. But just the restart, but I still keep the lower line. That was the best here. We did it, so I'm really happy about this result that we got.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you. Congratulations.

THIAGO MEDEIROS: Thank you.

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