Indy Pro Series: Corning Twin 100s
Topics: Corning Twin 100s
July 8, 2007
WATKINS GLEN, NEW YORK
MODERATOR: Thank you. And good luck with the remainder of the Indy Pro Series.
It's our pleasure to welcome to the podium, Alex Lloyd, seventh win of the season. Ninth career win, which extends his series record.
And, Alex, this year sure beat last year at Watkins Glen, didn't it?
ALEX LLOYD: Yes, it really did. Last year I got maybe 10 laps into it, found myself in the wall and that was that. It was disappointing, actually, because we were very fortunate to drive. It all fell apart.
But this year we had to fight for it, for sure. We started off Friday morning not too great. We worked for the front row. Yesterday I felt we had our best car than what we were able to show, was just not having the straight line speed and losing out a chance for the race because of that.
But today we got it all together. We made up for that mistake. Got into it. And Wade was behind me-- it was a big test of how we are in our car performance because he's been the benchmark all weekend. And we managed to pull away. I was thrilled with all my guys. They've just done a really great job with everything, get the car to the race and getting us to the podium. And it's been a pleasure to work with these guys and a fantastic experience this weekend.
MODERATOR: Being that far back in the inverted start, do you concentrate on racing your way past the people in front of you or do you concentrate on the fact that Wade was coming up behind you?
ALEX LLOYD: I think if you concentrate on people behind you, I think you'll end up going further behind you. To me, personally, I just look at the guy in front of me and work out how I'm going to get past him in the quickest possible stage. And I knew it was important to get to the lead right at the beginning.
If I took too long they would get past me, then we had to battle for it.
Very close first corner, because I know Bobby Wilson got touched and spun around. And we were heading right for him, really had to check up. And for a flash of a second I thought this is all over now; it's going to be a real problem.
But we got through in the third and just got our head down and worked our way to the front before the other quick guys behind me. That was my main aim, get to the lead before they do and see what we can do.
Q. Alex, this has obviously helped because Hideki finished behind you, so you picked up more points on that. Where do you think you stand as far as winning a championship? You've dominated the series pretty much. How was your mind set on this? You're still going out for all wins. Is your mind set we've got the championship, or are you still working hard to get it?
ALEX LLOYD: I'll never say we've got the championship until somebody hands me that trophy and I have both hands on it. You never know what's going to happen in racing.
When Bobby Wilson spun out, had the flash of the championship being thrown away there and then. Luckily we got around it. Double-header weekend like this weekend, we could have a problem in race one and crashed, and we really suffered in two races. You just never know.
Today we have Hideki finishing wherever he has. I'm not sure. But with us winning, it's put us in a very strong position and really hard to lose now.
And I think if we have a good next couple of weekends, Nashville and Mid-Ohio, and we can keep the gap we've got, it will extend it more, I'll be confident that we've got it in the bag.
But until we get through these three back-to-back weekends, I'm not counting any chickens. I'm going to try to keep trying to win races and do my best. And when somebody says you've got the championship, then we'll celebrate.
Q. Alex, yesterday you talked about having taking wind out of the car. How do you make the choice as to how much to take off overnight?
ALEX LLOYD: We knew what other people were running in that race yesterday. And we believed if we take off more, a lot of wind for the warm-up, because we've got a chance, ten minutes to test it. And we'll go more than what we may end up racing with so we know we can come back and we can try the maximum instead of taking a little bit off. We'll take a gamble for the race, take more off and it might not work.
We tested a few things in the warm-up. We weren't quite as aggressive then, then went back a little bit to the race. It worked out perfect. We did today what people were doing to me yesterday.
So that was a great feeling to be able to pass people down the back straight because that was where everyone was getting past me yesterday.
This is what we needed yesterday. This is what we needed, and if we had to try this yesterday, maybe we could have been up here again in first place. Sure we could have been second. So today is great. We got it all together.
Q. Alex. You've been extremely successful this season. What is it that makes you and this team so successful? Did you see that coming from the beginning or did it take a while to develop?
ALEX LLOYD: I think I saw it coming. I was looking for a team to drive with at the end of last year. And for many years now Sam Schmidt has been a really great team. Won races. I knew it was the best place to go. I knew as a driver that I was capable of winning like the year before. And I realized very early on joining these guys we'd be very strong.
You could never predict winning this many races. It just was beyond my expectations. But I did have high expectations of winning a lot of races. But I think we've just got strong individuals that have got a lot of experience in these cars.
This is my second year. And not just my second year over here. I've really been racing a lot of different cars all around the world, from testing Formula One cars to starting grassroots back in England. I've really driven everything. So that's really helped me. I feel like I've got a lot of experience, and the team has helped me a lot with ovals this year, because that's what their forte is.
The series started off as an oval-only series. They're very strong on those. I needed some help, and they taught me a lot during the year and we've got it all down now. It's been a great relationship.
Q. Alex, there was talk about the concrete, some of the corners being kind of slippery. Next week the entire track is concrete. Have you guys tested there? If not, what do you expect out of a concrete track?
ALEX LLOYD: We took the gamble of testing there last week. So we should be pretty good. The team has always been good there in previous years. We were very quick there when we tested. We only did a limited amount of running. We only had one car between three drivers. And it rained a little bit. So we only got maybe an hour's running in, or I personally only got an hour's running in.
It was good to do because I haven't raced there before. That was the race I had to miss last year. So I've got high expectations. I hope to get pole and win the race. Who knows, you turn up on the test day, on Friday, and it could be your day. It might not be. You just have to work hard to get it together. Fortunately, so far this year we've not been strong in the first practice session, we've been able to get it together for qualifying in the race and come home with the win. That's what we'll be aiming to do next weekend.
MODERATOR: The concrete track you're referring to is Nashville?
ALEX LLOYD: Yes.
MODERATOR: We'll wrap it up on that note. Again, congratulations and good luck the rest of the season.
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