Indy Pro Series: Carneros 100 & Valley of the Moon 100
Topics: Carneros 100, Valley of the Moon 100
August 26, 2007
THE MODERATOR: We're joined by race winner, Richard Antinucci. Familiar face for us up here in the media center all weekend. For Richard, his second career win. Finished second place in yesterday's race here at Infineon. Started seventh today to come back and win the race.
Also joining us from Sam Schmidt Motorsports, Ryan Justice, finished second, a career best. Prior to today's second-place finish, his previous career best was a fourth at the road course in Indianapolis and Iowa earlier this season.
Also joining us from Rahal Letterman Anderson racing is Andrew Prendeville. His first career podium finish. Prior to today, his career-best finish was a fourth at Mid-Ohio and on the oval at Indianapolis back in May.
Richard, start with you. Talk about your result out there today.
RICHARD ANTINUCCI: It was a great result. I hope it just gets us closer to our ultimate goal, which I've been saying all weekend in this interview room that, you know, I want to set up myself in IRL. My Uncle Eddie is here. I got to thank everybody who brought me up to here, which is again my Uncle Eddie and Vision Racing. They've both supported me, gotten me in this seat. In five weekends, we've now collected two wins and a second place in a row.
We've got good momentum. I think the team has made the best IPS road course car, for sure. I look forward to getting on the oval and hope to make that the same there.
THE MODERATOR: Ryan, talk about your day.
RYAN JUSTICE: I think definitely we just got lucky yesterday. We had a pretty mediocre result, I think maybe mostly because of me. But we got lucky and were able to invert to the pole. The crew did a fantastic job getting my car ready for today, helping me to find some speed, try and hold on to as many positions as we could.
I knew Richard would be strong. I also knew my teammate, Alex, would be strong. Unfortunately, he didn't get a start. Definitely really happy to finally give the team the results that they're used to after our season getting off to such a rough start. Just really pleased to finally get the momentum going and hopefully finish off the year real well.
THE MODERATOR: Andrew, your first podium in the Indy Pro Series. Talk about your run out there today.
ANDREW PRENDEVILLE: It was a good run. We're very happy with our first podium. The team's worked extremely hard this year. Usually some frustrating results, but this time we came on the podium. We're hoping to keep this moving into Chicago and the momentum into the off-season.
THE MODERATOR: Questions.
Q. Richard, everybody says you can't pass here. Tell us how you were able to get through seven cars.
RICHARD ANTINUCCI: Well, by having the grid reversal, in theory, the people starting at the front of this race were a little bit slower than ultimate pace as in qualifying. So this starting grid didn't respect the true potential. You have the seventh- and eighth-place guys normally, and sixth, based on yesterday, coming through the field.
But it wasn't to be for Alex. He was unlucky. I'm sure he would have given us a tough run. We went back with the team, I got great engineering, and we went back and looked at the data, picked up on what we learned yesterday following Lloyd. Having lost out of the start, it was a bitter pill to swallow.
We got it right today, put in some good gears. Thought it over, just cruised. The car was amazing. I had just to be patient. Things almost got a little silly with Mr. Prendeville here, but, yeah, we both got around. I thank him for that. We both made the podium, so it's good. I thank my team and Vision again.
Q. So many young drivers in America today, they're looking over at the stock cars. You're looking towards open-wheel. What is it about Indy racing that draws you in? What is your goal?
ANDREW PRENDEVILLE: I grew up watching IndyCars since I was four. It's the only thing I've ever wanted to do. I think it's more exciting. There's something more intense about watching open-wheel cars. I think it's more exciting for the fans.
RICHARD ANTINUCCI: Same here. The first races I remember watching were IndyCar racing. Back in the late '80s, early '90s, I was still living in the States, before I moved back to Italy. Yeah, that was my first thing to watch. That's what I see as the pinnacle.
Obviously my uncle set very high standards by winning the biggest race. I'd love to emulate him and just to even be in the IRL would be an ultimate achievement for me.
RYAN JUSTICE: I agree with what Andrew and Richard said. I feel definitely the racing is close. More so for me, I feel like open-wheel racing in general is a little bit higher up technology as far as the cars, the personnel, everything that goes into a race weekend compared to a NASCAR-type vehicle.
I just really enjoy being around the technology and the development, all the thought, engineering that goes into one of these race cars as well as the racing.
Q. Ryan, can you tell us about your progression through the year, what you found out through the year?
RYAN JUSTICE: Well, when you look at the box scores, it sort of looks like I started from the bottom and worked my way back up. But for us at Schmidt, we knew in winter testing that we'd be pretty good, definitely competitive.
Getting our year off to that kind of start, it seemed like it just put a black cloud over everything. It was mechanicals, off-track excursions, whatever sort bad luck could come our way did. We were able to post some good results, but only flashes of brilliance. We certainly weren't able to put together the streak my teammate had.
I definitely learned a lot. Like I said, I just feel really fortunate to be with a team like Sam Schmidt who's won so many championships as a team and with drivers also.
I hope to be back next year. I'm just really happy to finally start posting the results that I know I can achieve and I know the team's capable of.
Q. Richard, can you compare road racing in Europe to here.
RICHARD ANTINUCCI: Well, in terms of styles, yeah, you have different regulations, safety car, a lot of yellows. Some yellows in Europe would be deemed unnecessary, but here they are necessary. It's probably for safety issues. So they're probably more in depth on safety measures here.
But, no, I don't think the style or approach to the race is any different here. You got a lot of good drivers. I remember this guy in karts here, Ryan Justice. You got a lot of world class people from karts all the way up to this category here, which is the top feeder series for IRL.
I don't think it's any less competitive and I don't think the approach to the race is any different. Maybe the setup is a little bit different due to more safety cars and pace car laps.
In terms of regulations, you cannot defend your line here. I had three or four meetings in a row with John Lewis. But we've cleared that. It's looking really good (laughter).
Q. How do you compare these tracks to road courses in Europe?
RICHARD ANTINUCCI: Just like I said at Mid-Ohio, it's great. This is another really fun track. It feels like a rollercoaster first time you're out there. I didn't know where the hell I was going when I went over the hills and down. But it's really fun.
Also the venues are all in nice places. Went out and had a nice dinner in San Francisco. I think it's a very complete championship with nice tracks and nice venues to go to.
THE MODERATOR: Guys, thank you very much. Congratulations.
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