Indy Pro Series: Corning Twin 100s
Topics: Corning Twin 100s
July 7, 2007
WATKINS GLEN, NEW YORK
MODERATOR: Gentlemen, thank you and best of luck tomorrow.
We have in the media center now our winner, Wade Cunningham. Wade, of course never hurts to get to turn 1 quick. You battled Alex Lloyd pretty hot and heavy going into turn 1.
WADE CUNNINGHAM: Yes, it was important to stay on the lead on the first lap and get to third line up the hill going into back top. I could see he didn't get a good run out of 1. I forced him on the dirty side of the track from the start. He really had to defend from Hideki. It gave me a cushion, and I could drive my preferred line. I push pretty hard in qualifiers the first few laps, caused a caution pretty quick. Had to do the same thing twice more. It was pretty easy race, really. Just had to make sure I did the fundamentals right and not make many mistakes.
MODERATOR: The last lap the gap closed, were you in control all the way?
WADE CUNNINGHAM: Yes, I was trying to keep that 1.5 gap. After the last restart, I saw Alex got forced back a bit. I saw him catching Hideki quite quickly.
I thought maybe I had to push a little harder in the last five laps in case Alex got into the thick, because he's I'm sure a bit quicker. But it's difficult to tell when they're running behind someone else. I just had that little cushion and I just maintained it.
MODERATOR: Of course tomorrow, second half of the 2100s, you have the honor of starting sixth, I believe. Any thoughts on that?
WADE CUNNINGHAM: It could be worse. I could be starting eighth.
MODERATOR: Well said. Questions from the media.
Q. Wade, you had an incident this morning. Can you describe what happened and what had to be done to the car to get it race-ready?
WADE CUNNINGHAM: Yes, we went out at 9:00 in the morning for second qualifying and the track temp was about 25 degrees colder. I didn't have the tires up to temp. I slid off and beached myself off the curb in turn 10 and I ran parallel to the track in the dirt. I couldn't pull it back. I just dove it straight into the exit wall there, the right front. I hit the right front corner, the undertray and the nose.
Q. Obviously you had to have your car repaired. Only practice you had was in the warm-up lap. Doesn't seem like they did anything, put exactly where it was?
WADE CUNNINGHAM: It was nearly spot on. A couple things which I'd like to improve, but I don't think they were from the accident. I think it was just general set-up. You never know what's going to happen. Full tanks, different tires. The only thing I was worried about was starting on the stickers. I scrubbed them as good as I could. We got the caution pretty early. It gave me time to build up some heat on my tires.
Q. A few days ago, anything you learned there that gave you the three seconds qualifying lead?
WADE CUNNINGHAM: Definitely worth the test, as everything goes. I need to thank the team owner for letting us come. You could see the other top runners really struggling in the first and second practice today. They were playing catch-up all weekend. They're there now. But we were always just a little step ahead because of that. So it was very worthwhile, and I'm sure it contributed greatly to where we were at now.
Q. Last couple of races your team has really stepped up the pace. You struggled at the beginning. What made the difference and how come you're in the top 1 here but you're in the top 2 and 3 in the last few races?
WADE CUNNINGHAM: I think the team has been putting in pretty long hours, getting the car better. Dave and I are getting a better relationship. He's my engineer. But we had pace at Homestead and I threw into the wall in the lead. Then I threw it into the podium at Indy. For sure we had a top 2 car that day. So we've had the raw speed and everything. We haven't put it together on the days.
And we're here now and we're on a roll. Once you get your confidence up, it's a lot easier.
Q. Third or second win, back at Watkins Glen?
MODERATOR: Third or second win, back to Watkins Glen.
WADE CUNNINGHAM: I definitely think we have the strongest car. I don't see why there's any reason why Hideki or why Alex would get to the front a lot sooner than I. We're going to be starting there right on top of each other. It's going to be who can navigate traffic and get to the front.
I'm going to save the yellows tomorrow. People will make mistakes. It will give us a chance to catch anyone who gets in the way. I definitely think it's doable. It's happened at St. Pete which is difficult to pass on. So there's no reason why it can't be done tomorrow.
MODERATOR: This is Wade's first win of the season, fifth of his Indy Pro Series career. Most recent win September 2006 at Chicagoland.
And as Rick mentioned, he has finished third in his first appearance, second in his second appearance. And won his third appearance at Glen. And good luck tomorrow. Our winner, Wade Cunningham.
By the way, the unofficial points, currently Alex Lloyd, 425; Hideki Mutoh, 311, which puts Mutoh 114 behind. And Bobby Wilson is third with 259.
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