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Indy Pro Series: Chicagoland 100

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Open Wheel Racing Topics:  Chicagoland 100

Indy Pro Series: Chicagoland 100

Alex Lloyd
September 9, 2007


JOLIET, ILLINOIS

MODERATOR: Thank you, Robert.
We're now joined by today's second place finisher, the 2007 Indy Pro Series champion, Alex Lloyd. And probably the closest finish in Indy Pro and Indy Racing League history, 0.0005 of a second. Before we get to that, Alex, talk about your run out there today.
ALEX LLOYD: It was a good race. I mean the disappointing thing was the amount of yellows we had. That was a shame. But the racing was as close as it's ever been on this track. And it always is. This track always produces great racing.
I think from my standpoint I was pretty happy when we were out in front. And obviously the yellow came at just the wrong time for me because that meant Logan then had a nose ahead of me on the back straight and he got the lead.
From then on I just really stayed in line. Just wanted to push Logan as much as I can, get away and make it a two-horse race. Coming to the last lap, I set him up as best I could, got outside on the 3, 4. It was close. I don't know quite who got it at that point.
I thought we may have stood a chance going into turn 3. We were inches apart but running very cleanly. It was just a great day for the team. Obviously I'm disappointed that we didn't come out with the win. I think someone told me it was about an inch. And it's just differences that you can really struggle to make up.
But at the end of the day, I think he may have had a slightly stronger car than me today, coming off the corners. I think that's where he got the win. And I'm thrilled for him because he's worked so hard all year. 18 years old, really been building up.
And hopefully for him this win will set him off great for momentum next year and hopefully he'll come in as one of the championship contenders and do a great job. He's certainly been improving a lot. I'm thrilled for him. And it's a great day for Sam Schmidt.

Q. Given that you're moving on, if Sam talks to you about it, would you suggest that Logan replace you full season in the seven-car for next year?
ALEX LLOYD: That obviously depends on that situation. But I would say Logan's a great fit. I mean he's really been improving a lot recently. We saw the results at Sonoma, a sixth and a fourth, something like that. A win here; second at Nashville. He's really been coming on strong.
And I think he'd be a good fit. He obviously knows the team. Gets along well with everybody. Good, clean racer. So he would for sure be a good fit. I have no idea who is going to get that seat. I've been trying find out if any of the guys knows anybody. Nobody is for sure. Sam's got his eye on a few people, and Logan for sure is one of those guys.

Q. At one stage, about ten laps to go, looked like you could have used some help getting around him. But Robbie was kind of tied up with two other guys with him. Would it have helped to have had a little bit more of a push at that stage or did you feel you still had enough to get him?
ALEX LLOYD: It would be one or the other. It would depend on who Robbie would push. If he chose to push Logan, I'd be back in third or worse. If he chose to push me, I would have won the race. It's always a bit of a chess game on a track like this.
I figured the best way we can do it as a team, wanting to have a good result for Sam Schmidt Motorsports and not just myself, is to push Logan, get the two of us away so we know it's going to be a Sam Schmidt Motorsports 1-2. We have a lot of sponsors here. That's an important thing. Then just leave it to the last corner.
I knew that's where I needed to get the job done. And at some point I thought I had it done. It was just so close that it was just one -- it could have gone any way. Maybe if we had done the same move again I would have come out on top by an inch. It's just one of those situations. And it was a great race for the fans. And for sure I'd loved to have finished my last Indy Pro Series race by winning it by that margin, but it's a race I'll remember for a long time. It was great. And like I said great for Logan.

Q. Do you have an IndyCar deal for next year?
ALEX LLOYD: Not officially right now but we're working very hard on it. And hopefully within the next two or three weeks we'll have something nailed down.

Q. Your assessment, your first year, your only year in the Indy Pro Series you come out the champion. Your assessment of the series, the competition, does it help you because you've tested in Indy cars.
ALEX LLOYD: It's the best for sure. Of all the series I've raced in. I've raced in a lot of series in Europe. From full season to one-off races, I have a lot of experience in different categories.
By far and away the Indy Pro Series is the best I've raced in. When I came over here, I didn't know too much about the series. Never even watched an oval race live, last year, and really got on board with the series very quickly and realized this was a series that was really on the up and coming together very well.
And obviously during parts of the year last year I think we showed the potential the series had. And this year it's really come on board with the additional teams, drivers. And the competition, from guys that I've known back in Europe that have come over and raced, knew were very good drivers with good reputations and obviously the regular drivers that we've had last year and knew guys coming on board.
So it's been a series that I think is by far the strongest open wheel feeder championship out in America right now. And the cars do a great job in preparing yourself for IndyCar. I've driven the IndyCar now and I can compare the two. After ten laps at IndyCar, I felt at home. That's a testament how great the Indy Pro Series are at developing you on that. It's a learning category.
One of the great things about this series and not any series I can think of in the world is legitimate chances of moving up into the IndyCar. I think it's legitimate feeder series now. Now we've got the competition and the drivers in, I think you're going to see a few guys move up.
And it's been a great pleasure to be in this series. And that's why I want to go into the IndyCar Series, I want to be part of the whole Indy Racing League for a long time to come.
MODERATOR: Thank you, Alex.

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