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Indy Racing League Media Conference

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Open Wheel Racing Topics:  Indy Racing League

Indy Racing League Media Conference

Ed Carpenter
Wade Cunningham
Tag Garson
Vitor Meira
May 31, 2005


TIM HARMS: Welcome, everyone, to this week's Indy Racing League teleconference. We'll be joined this afternoon by four guests. IndyCar Series driver's Ed Carpenter and Vitor Meira will join us in a few minutes. We're going to start the call with Menards Infiniti Pro Series driver Wade Cunningham and ABC Sports programming director Tag Garson. Mr. Garson, thanks so much for joining us this afternoon.

TAG GARSON: It's a pleasure to be here after a wonderful weekend we all had. First of all, congratulations to the IndyCar Series, the Indy 500 and most importantly to all the drivers on just an outstanding race. Obviously, we're all thrilled at the ratings that were achieved on ABC Sports, but it was a terrific overall weekend for everybody.

TIM HARMS: Congratulations obviously to you on a great month of broadcasting, including the race on Sunday. The ratings numbers that are coming back are obviously very good, 6.6 or I've seen also 6.7 overnight average which represents about a 40% increase from last year. Just give us your thoughts about the month overall and then specifically the race day broadcast.

TAG GARSON: Well, we thought the month overall was very compelling. We knew leading into it it was going to be so. We were obviously delighted with the ratings that were achieved on the Indy 500 itself. We were anticipating higher numbers from the year before. We had moved the race an hour later. We also thought that having good weather as always is a key. And having better weather like we did this past Sunday, we knew our number was going to be up. Obviously, to the level it was is just overwhelming to us, and we're obviously very pleased about that. But we thought that it was a terrific month, culminating in just a fabulous Indy 500. There were terrific story lines going into the 500 and we think there are fabulous story lines as a result of the 500 as well.

TIM HARMS: Let's go ahead and open it up for some questions for Mr. Garson.

Q. I'm curious what that will do now to the advertising rates.

TAG GARSON: Well, the good news is actually that we are very well-sold anyway for the remainder of the races. It's obviously something that we'll be looking at for next year, but for the remainder of this year, we're very well-sold and had been very well-sold leading into the 500 for the remainder of the season. We're in pretty good shape. Obviously in terms of whatever scatter units are available, that might be looked at in a different way as a result of the 500. But, like I said, we were pretty well-sold with the remainder of the races prior to the rating on the Indy 500.

Q. Coverage was excellent all month.

TAG GARSON: We appreciate that. We are really pleased with the production. We're pleased obviously with the performance of the rating. Again, I think everyone has to remember that if it weren't for the tremendous talent and the drivers, it wouldn't be what it is. It's really a credit to the drivers and to the virtues of the sport, the greatest racing that we think there is. We're just very, very pleased.

Q. What response do you have to some writers that have said ABC's coverage at the Indy 500 focused too much on Danica Patrick and ignored the rest of the field?

TAG GARSON: I don't think that that's true, certainly not from our standpoint. I think if you certainly look at the pre-race, that will show you that we absolutely did not do that. She obviously was part of the story, and deservedly so. But we also had a feature on Kenny Brack. We also had a feature on Sam Schmidt. I think people also have to remember that during the course of the race, Danica at one point in time I think moved back down to 16th, so she really wasn't the focus of the race in the middle of it when she was back in the middle of the pack. I think that our crew did a really good job of covering all the angles, all the stories. I don't agree completely with anybody's analysis that we focused too much on Danica Patrick.

Q. Are we going to see a leveling out of the change in talent each year in the coverage of IRL, the Indy 500?

TAG GARSON: I think for the most part the talent was very consistent. I think the one change that you did see obviously was the lead play-by-play with Todd Harris taking over that role. For the most part, other than that, the talent has been very consistent throughout the past couple of years. Going forward with the remainder of the races, it will be relatively consistent as well.

TIM HARMS: Mr. Garson, thanks a lot for taking a couple moments of your afternoon to join us. We certainly appreciate it and all your hard work.

TAG GARSON: No problem. Congratulations to everyone, in particular to the drivers on a terrific race. We look forward to the remainder of the season.

TIM HARMS: Just a reminder, the next ABC broadcast comes on July 31st from Michigan, the next of five more races on ABC this year. Let's welcome Wade Cunningham to the call. Wade, hello.

WADE CUNNINGHAM: Hello, Tim.

TIM HARMS: Wade drives the No. 33 car for Brian Stewart Racing in the Menards Infiniti Pro Series and is currently the series points leader after finishing second in the Futaba Freedom 100 at Indianapolis this past weekend. So far this season he's finished fourth, third and now two consecutive second-place finishes to take over that points lead. Wade, let's just talk about the race a little bit. I think we need to start with the start of the race. You qualified fifth, something that seems very unusual I would say at any level of racing, particularly with the history of the Menards Infiniti Pro Series. You got a tremendous start going all the way from your fifth spot to take over first place going into turn one. Take us back to that start of the race and how you were able to execute a maneuver like that.

WADE CUNNINGHAM: Well, you know, we knew we were quick because we had done really well at the open test I think it was three weeks ago now. We were a little bit disappointed with qualifying. The speed just wasn't there. We knew we had a pretty fast car and a good package. I had to take the opportunities as they come. I hung back a little bit going through turn three and four, and then the leaders were just swapping. By the time I was beside Jaime, it was too late. He couldn't defend his line at all. I just slipped through the lead. Unfortunately the yellow came out a lap and a half later. We'll never know whether I would have made a run for it or not.

TIM HARMS: You and Jaime raced to the start/finish line side by side at least a half dozen times during the race. Can you tell us a little about the competitiveness of the race?

WADE CUNNINGHAM: You know, once I got to the lead, there was the yellow flag, then the rain, and then we had the restart, sort of like a second race almost. I went from first right back down to fifth or sixth, I think. That was Jon Herb, Jay Drake, Travis Gregg got back in front of me and a bunch of others. I just slowly worked my way back forward. Once I got second behind Jaime, it was clear the two of us were a little bit quicker than the rest of the field. What I was trying to do was put pressure on him but not in a way that would slow us much down. I was much happier with just me and him than a pack of five cars battling for the lead. It's a lot safer. That way, you know, you can only lose one position if you make a mistake. So what I'd do, I'd run up the outside of him going down the main straight, but back out of the throttle. I'd let him take his regular line back through one, that way we could keep our momentum and pull away from the field.

TIM HARMS: It seemed to me as an observer you were able to get side by side, but then were not able to make the pass going into one. I guess it sounds like that was part of your strategy more or less.

WADE CUNNINGHAM: It was definitely part of the strategy. I mean, many times I could have gone around the outside one, but that would have just slowed us both down and it would have allowed the fast pack behind us to catch back up. I was just trying to force him to keep down on his low line, so later in the race he'd been running down there the whole time, and hopefully if it hadn't had gone yellow, I would have been able to try and suit something up for going down through turn three a half a lap later.

TIM HARMS: You're a former karting champion from New Zealand and over in Europe, raced last we're in the Cooper Z Tech series. You never run an oval prior to coming into the Menards Infiniti Pro Series. You've put up some really strong results. Did you expect you'd be able to put up the results like that so quickly in the season?

WADE CUNNINGHAM: No, I think I expect a lot of myself. I wouldn't have been surprised if I did struggle a little bit on the ovals to start with. If you'd look back to the open test at Phoenix, I was the slowest car there. I really was. You know, that was really disappointing. So then when we got back to Homestead for the first race, we just started working really hard at it. I've done a couple test days since then, gone to Nashville, gone to Kentucky. I'm comfortable on the ovals now. The speed is not an issue any more. It's just running in the pack or running in a draft, getting used to all those sorts of things. Other than that, you know, racing on an oval is very similar to running on a road course. You've got the same similar strategies and ways to pass. You've just got to be more precise and a little bit slower with your reactions because the consequences on an oval are obviously much, much worse than on a road course.

TIM HARMS: Your next stop is Texas Motor Speedway, which is a very high-banked oval, similar to Homestead-Miami. How do you put yourself in a position to win down there? What's the strategy going in?

WADE CUNNINGHAM: I think we've just got to do the same thing we've done at Indy, we've done at St. Petersburg. You go out, you work hard during testing, you get the best car setup, you try and work harder than everyone else, and then if you do a have a good package at the end of the race, you can take it to the front and battle for the lead.

TIM HARMS: We'll let's go ahead and take some questions for Wade.

Q. Is this the first week that you've been at the top of the points standings?

WADE CUNNINGHAM: Yes, it is. I came fourth in at Homestead, third at Phoenix, then two second places. I was second coming into this weekend and now we're about 9 points in the lead.

Q. After Texas, you are coming back to Indianapolis to do a road course. Do you feel you're prepared to come back to the same track so soon and to do a completely different course?

WADE CUNNINGHAM: Absolutely. You know, after St. Petersburg we were the quickest in every single session on the track except qualifying. I'm really excited to be getting back to the road courses, especially back here at Indy. This was my first 500. It was a pretty awesome experience. I can't wait to get back there and race in front of all the Formula One fans, for sure.

Q. What is your plan for next season? Do you plan to stay in the Pro next year or do you plan to move up?

WADE CUNNINGHAM: Really if it was my choice, you know, I would be in IndyCars. You know, I'd be happy to run another year in the series, I think it's the best way to get to the IndyCar championship. If the opportunity did come up, I'd definitely jump at it.

Q. Even with experience, do you not feel that maybe you're too young to move up that soon? We see drivers going to the big series in all the different racing series so young now. Do you think that's too much pressure for someone your age?

WADE CUNNINGHAM: I think it's got to be taken on a case-by-case basis. When I was 17, I moved to Europe and I raced karts over there with an Italian team. European karting is widely regarded as the toughest motorsport in the world just because there are so many people racing over there. For example, at like the World Championship, there are 120 people trying to qualify for 30 positions. It just breeds competitiveness. You just can't make mistakes and that sort of thing. Saying that, I don't have a lot of car experience. This is only my second year. So it wouldn't be a bad idea to do another year. But you've got to take the opportunities when they arise, I guess. The IndyCar Series is the goal at the end of the day.

Q. We saw a lot of action in the Futaba 100 at Indy last Friday. What do you attribute that race being so different from other Menards Infiniti Pro Series races where basically it was follow the leader?

WADE CUNNINGHAM: I think one of the big things is the length of the straights at Indy. They're so long. Even if you do make a slight mistake coming off the last corners, corners two and four, the straight's so long, we've all got the same amount of aerodynamic downforce, you're going to be able to slip stream past the guy in front of you no matter how you come out of the out of the corner if you're close enough. The other thing, I think the corner, it's only about nine degrees banking, so you actually have to drive the car through the corner much like you would on a road course, not like some of the high-banked ovals where the car will go around all by itself. I think that contributes quite a bit. It's a lot easier to make a mistake at a track like Indy. Just to be fast, you have to make the car a little bit loose and that makes it difficult to drive, so everyone's on edge a little bit. I think that's what contributes to a lot of passing there.

Q. Can you compare driving an Menards Infiniti Pro Series car to anything you've driven in the past?

WADE CUNNINGHAM: The only thing I can really say is the balance of the car, you know, the tire grips, the aero grip, to the horsepower, I think that car has a lot more aerodynamic grip than what I drove last year in the Formula Ford 2000. It's got twice the horsepower. It's got about twice the grip, too. It's just about getting used to -- for me it was just getting used to the ovals. The road courses weren't a problem at all.

Q. Scott Dixon's dad Ron, who seems to be with you every step of the way, what is his position with your team or with you as you go through the Menards Infiniti Pro Series?

WADE CUNNINGHAM: Well, at the end of the season last year, after completing the championship, we were struggling to talk to the Menards teams, we were struggling to make any headway trying to get a drive here in America. And Ron did a spectacular job with Scott when he came to America and did the Indy Lights Series. We went and saw Ron in New Zealand and asked for his help and would he be interested in getting me a ride. You know, he was looking to come back to America just to follow Scott's racing anyway. So it gave him something to do when he was up here. It was kind of like one of those perfect (indiscernible) that comes along and falls in your lap and you just run with it .

Q. Does he help you as a coach or primarily the business side?

WADE CUNNINGHAM: He doesn't help me with the driving at all. It's everything else. Just the logistics, sponsorship and funding, that sort of thing.

TIM HARMS: Wade, thanks a lot again for giving us a call today and joining us. Congratulations again on a great race at Indy. We'll see you in a couple weeks down in Texas.

WADE CUNNINGHAM: Thanks a lot.

TIM HARMS: Ed, thanks for giving us a call today.

ED CARPENTER: No problem.

TIM HARMS: Ed finished 11th in Sunday's Indianapolis 500 in his second start in that race. He moved up 15 positions from his 26th starting spot. Ed, that's quite a performance to move up like that through the race. How much more comfortable were you this year in the race since it was your second go around at Indy?

ED CARPENTER: I was definitely a lot more relaxed not only on race day but just through the whole month. Being through the whole spectacle, knowing what to expect and how to handle it, I was a lot more relaxed and I think just being more relaxed allowed me to drive a lot smarter race. That's ultimately what allowed us to move up to 11th.

TIM HARMS: When you start further back in the field, what is the strategy as you approach a 500-mile race like that?

ED CARPENTER: I mean, as fast as the field was on Sunday, when you start that far back, you really have to be more aggressive than you want to be in the early going, trying to put a bigger bumper between yourself and the leaders. They're going to be coming around pretty quick trying to lap you. You try to be aggressive that first stint until the first yellow or pit stop to keep from going a lap down. Once you get into the middle part of the race, for me, I just tried to settle in. When I could get an opportunity to get by somebody, I would take it. I wasn't forcing any issues. I was taking what I could get, trying to drive a smart race, just wait around till the end. Survived all the attrition fortunately, and ended up with a good day out of it.

TIM HARMS: We saw several accidents during the race. Obviously one that comes to mind was Helio narrowly missing Larry Foyt. Any close calls for you on Sunday?

ED CARPENTER: I was behind the whole when Danica spun and there were cars going everywhere there. I couldn't see anything. It was just a bunch of white smoke because there were so many cars spinning, and my spotter did an awesome job. He told me where to go. You know, I couldn't see anything. I made it through with only hitting a little bit of debris. That was a big close call when there's that many cars scattered in a short shoot on a restart. Glad we made it through that one.

TIM HARMS: Some people are really calling Sunday's race one of the greatest Indy 500s that we've seen in a long time. You're probably a person that can really speak to that as you've lived next to the Speedway for your entire life. How do you think Sunday's race compares with some of the other great races we've seen?

ED CARPENTER: Well, I mean, being on the inside and having a good race myself, I surely enjoyed it. I know that. But, I mean, it seemed like there was a lot of star power, a lot of excitement going on before the race. But the whole month just felt good. I mean, moving carb day to Friday I thought was really cool. I don't think we got to feel the full effect of the new qualifying format because of the weather, but if that plays out again, I think that's going to be even more exciting. And really the biggest thing to me, I mean, I left the track that Friday at carb day and was kind of like wow. I mean, since I've been an adult, I haven't really seen anything like that at the Speedway. I thought it was really cool. All the same type atmosphere on race day. Race day at Indy, there's always so many people there, I never thought it had lost anything from its glory days, but yesterday was definitely a great day.

TIM HARMS: Let's go ahead and take some questions for Ed.

Q. How do you physically prepare for such a long race? This is the longest race you run on the schedule, right?

ED CARPENTER: Yeah.

Q. How do you physically prepare to endure that?

ED CARPENTER: Well, I do a lot of weight training in the wintertime. Then once the season starts, I kind of cut out all the weight training and do a lot of cardiovascular training all year round. Now that the weather is nice, I cycle a lot outside. That's the biggest thing for me, is just racing is an endurance sport, so riding a bike for long hours at a time. I mean, you wear your body down. As you wear your body down, you just have to focus that much harder to keep going. And that's the whole thing with racing. Indy is a long race. It's mentally very hard. The sharper you are physically, it helps your mental status.

Q. Have you ever been dehydrated during a race or do you manage to be able to stay hydrated?

ED CARPENTER: No, I haven't. I mean, I get very hydrated before the race. I mean, the night before and the morning of. And then we carry water on board in the car. If we didn't carry water on board, it would make it a lot harder. Having that water in the car for the yellow flags and everything makes it a lot easier.

Q. Ed, how is everything over your way?

ED CARPENTER: Things are going great. Just another beautiful day at the Speedway. Enjoying the day off.

Q. I understand you borrowed Owen Snyder from USAC to help out during the month of May. Is that true?

ED CARPENTER: Well, we brought him in to help on Jeff Ford's car. That was all he was really doing, was helping over on Jeff's car. I worked with Larry Curry all the time every day all day. Larry was doing everything on my car.

Q. Is there a chance that Jeff may run a few more races with you guys this year?

ED CARPENTER: We had just done a deal for Indy. The deal we did with Toyota was just one additional race for Indy. I think someday I'd like to see Vision Racing run a second car, but right now I think we need to keep focusing on one until we get a little stronger and can do a second car the way it needs to be done.

Q. I take it Owen is now back at USAC?

ED CARPENTER: Yup. He's back. He had a good time helping out Jeff and being part of the team. He's back to his day job over at USAC.

TIM HARMS: Ed, thanks a lot for taking a couple minutes and giving us a call this afternoon.

ED CARPENTER: No problem.

TIM HARMS: Best of luck. We have Vitor on the line. How are you doing, Vitor?

VITOR MEIRA: I'm good.

TIM HARMS: Congratulations.

VITOR MEIRA: Yeah, that was good, thank you very much.

TIM HARMS: Let me ask you a couple questions here before we let the media ask you some questions. First of all, let's start off with your team, Rahal Letterman Racing. There's obviously a lot of attention been focused that direction, most of it of course falling on Danica, Buddy, and even Bobby. It seems you're content to be in the shadows, to be that underdog, to phrase it that way.

VITOR MEIRA: It's not that I content. I mean, everybody wants to be at the spotlight. But it doesn't bother me I think as much as would some other guys. I think that that's the way to look at it.

TIM HARMS: Let's talk about the race real quick. You had a pretty good month. You started seventh. You fell back to 11th for a while early. Really for most of the race, you were in the top five or six. Tell us how the day unfolded for you and how you worked your way up to where you ended up in the second spot.

VITOR MEIRA: I mean, I was even thinking about it this morning, and everything happened like we planned to. I mean, the only thing that wasn't really according to our expectations was the qualifying. Everything else worked perfectly. On the last practice, we knew the track at the beginning of the run would be -- I mean, the track was going to be green, not rubbered and all. And our car was set up to the rubber track and to a track with more laps and cleaner. The car, actually we made very few changes during the race. What changed the most was the track this came to the car. The track came to us in a big way. After lap 100, I really started to like feel the car really good, and that's when we planned. That's how we thought it was going to happen. Was a little risky, but that's a little bit how we thought was going to happen. And the race, in the result I had, was only possible because was no mistakes. I mean, the car was fast, everything was good, but we did no mistakes at all. So that's where the result comes from.

TIM HARMS: When you talk about kind of setting up the car like that and knowing from the get-go that as you said the car is not going to be as good as it could be at the beginning, it's going to be good later, how does that decision process come about? Is that mostly you making the final call on that? Is that the engineers having the most input on that decision?

VITOR MEIRA: Well, it actually just came across when we did our last run on practice day. The car was really, really good. I could run everywhere. I was really comfortable with the car. And when we went to carburetion day, the track wasn't as good. The only clue we had and the only thing that changed was the track, that we had no activity on it for five days in between last practice and carb day. So the only thing that changed was the track. We guessed that the track after more running, after more cars on it, during the race, the track was going to be back to what was. And that was indication we had. But the final call or something like that, I think everybody makes it at the Team Rahal. I think that's why we're working so good. There's no one decision from one man. It's everything the group.

TIM HARMS: You passed Dan Wheldon for the lead on lap 162, led a handful of laps there. What was going through your mind there at that time leading the Indianapolis 500?

VITOR MEIRA: Exactly what you just said. "Oh, I'm leading the Indianapolis 500." I was really only focused on doing anything that could hurt me and focusing to making the car go as fast as I could because I know Wheldon was coming and he was quick. So basically that was it. I mean, wasn't that much going on. Just trying to stay ahead of Wheldon and trying to make the best out of what I had.

TIM HARMS: Let's take a quick look ahead. We're coming up on the night race at Texas, which has historically been a terrific race for not only the competitors but also obviously for the fans watching. It's a track where you've had some real good success. You've won a pole position there. You finished in the Top 10 in three of the five starts there. What are the keys to you going down to Texas and doing well down there?

VITOR MEIRA: Well, I think at least for our team we going to have a really good setup there. Texas did not happen -- I mean, your car, it's not going to be good there if you don't have a good engine. And Honda has been supplying with us, as you guys could see again at the 500, with the best engines on the field. I think one good thing at Texas that is going to be also Buddy coming back, if everything is okay, if he gets cleared and everything. We've been really working good together. Was a shame that he had this accident at Indy. But he will be back strong to Texas. It's really good. It's always a pleasure to work with him. When we work, when we have a good thing like Buddy, Danica and me have, it makes everything so much easier. That's why I think it's going to be our strong thing for Texas.

TIM HARMS: Let's go ahead and take some questions for Vitor.

Q. When you look back at the Indy 500 from the moment the race started until the race ended and compare it to other races that you have raced in, where would you rate your and the team's performance?

VITOR MEIRA: The team's performance, from 1 to 10, I would rate it 11 because, I mean, actually I mentioned several times on other interviews, every time I came in the pits I gained at least one position, and that's at least. That's over seven pit stops. That's a lot of -- those are a lot of positions. Our car, if I had to point a weakness, was in traffic. We were not as good in traffic as we wished it. Of course, it was good. The car was great. But I think on that matter, we could have improved. And those positions on the pit that I gained, because of the team, they were crucial. I mean, they made my day so much better. Not only the crew over the wall, but also the guys from on the time stand, that they constantly improved the car as we went. On my rate, I always give my best. But sometimes even giving your best, you do mistakes. In this race, I mean, I had very few things I would have changed. For example, one of the things I would have changed and I wished to do better was the start. The start of the race wasn't my best one. But I think, I mean, we took away everything we had from the car at all situations. I think we gave our best job. That's what counts, I guess.

Q. As I watched the race, it seemed as though from about the 10th or 15th lap you got into a rhythm. You were pretty spot on on just about everything you did. Right or wrong?

VITOR MEIRA: Yeah, you're right. You're right. I mean, again, it's no reason at a 500-mile race to push like a hundred percent on the first 10 laps. It's just time to sink in, check the car, evaluate everything, and start thinking about what to do from there on. And I think that's when we started to really do well. And also the track, the track was improving. The track came to us a little bit. I mean, the car wasn't as good on the beginning of the race as it was on the end of the race.

Q. Is there any way you think the way you performed in this Indy 500 has made you a better driver?

VITOR MEIRA: I think it did actually. I mean, it was not an easy race. And I think every driver - me and I think even the best drivers up there - everybody have something to improve. And this race was a race that I really used -- I really could, instead of only driving and thinking about gaining positions all the time, I thought about the strategy, what to do, what not to do, when and how much to push on the beginning, at the end. I mean, I really kind of used more a little bit my head than I was using previously. I think that's one of the things that made me a little better from now on.

Q. All of this said, when the checkered flag fell and you were behind Dan Wheldon, what were your emotions?

VITOR MEIRA: Well, the first thing I came on the radio, I pushed the radio button to say was, I mean, just thanks for the over-the-wall crew. Again, those guys made my day. They made it so much easier. I mean, my first reaction was like, Well, we could have won it. We could have won it. That was a race that if everything went our way, if we had a little bit of luck, we could have won it. But then after like 20 seconds afterwards, I was like, That's the Indy 500, I just drive second. Stop complaining, enjoy it. That's what most people in the world would like to really be on your position, so enjoy it and thank everybody that supported you.

Q. Considering the performance that you had, is it a little disappointing to read the post race report, barely see your name mentioned?

VITOR MEIRA: Well, you know what, I can't change that. I'm doing my best. Of course, if I had win it, that would have been different. But it's down to me and to the team and to everybody to win it. I mean, that's the way it is. We have Wheldon that won it and Danica that's making history. Why would you want to talk about the second place guy, having all this thing going on? I mean, everybody is going to choose what to talk about. The only thing I can do is my best, my best for the team. More than that, it's too far away, too far from my reach. I mean, it's going to be the people's decision and the media's decision. I wish I could do something about it, but the only thing I can do about it is do my best and win races.

Q. I wrote about you more than once, because we still didn't get the full story about your hand. Was it your left hand or right hand injured near the end of the race?

VITOR MEIRA: It was my right hand.

Q. You said you felt a stick and there was a lot of blood. Did you have to get stitches? How did they treat it?

VITOR MEIRA: It wasn't that bad. I think when you are all sweated and hot, I think it just, I don't know, maybe gets much more -- there's much more mess than it's supposed to. When I took my glove out, it was pretty bloody and everything. But, I mean, I actually wasn't really feeling that much. Also because you are there on the action, the adrenaline is going. But, no, I mean, it may be a thing for a stitch or something. I just didn't bother. It's healing fine.

Q. It was more superficial and it just bled a lot?

VITOR MEIRA: Yeah. As soon as I washed my hand and everything, I saw that it was maybe a case for one or two stitches, but nothing more than that. At the time the thing hitted me, it felt bad for a lap or two.

Q. No pain now?

VITOR MEIRA: It's okay now. I can just turn everything. I can close it. In a couple of days, it's going to be good.

Q. Have you spoken to the other guys that had to go to the hospital, like Larry and Bruno? Are they okay? Have they been released?

VITOR MEIRA: The last update I had was last night, actually came from Brian Barnhart at the banquet. Larry was released already from the hospital. Bruno, his surgery went fine. He is going to be fine. I'm going to be visiting Bruno maybe this afternoon when he's okay, when he's awake. As far as I know, I'm not a doctor or anything, everything is fine with him. Larry is at home.

Q. Is Bruno still in the ICU or back in the regular hospital after surgery?

VITOR MEIRA: I don't know. I can't answer that. I just don't know. I wish I knew.

TIM HARMS: Vitor, thanks again for joining us. Congratulations on a terrific month of May. Good luck the rest of the season.

VITOR MEIRA: Thank you very much.

TIM HARMS: Ladies and Gentlemen, thanks again for calling and participating this week in our teleconference.

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