Firestone Indy Lights: Kansas Lottery 100
Topics: Kansas Lottery 100
Arie Luyendyk, Jr.
April 27, 2008
KANSAS CITY, KANSAS
THE MODERATOR: All right, we're joined today by our second and third place finishers in the Kansas Lottery 100: Arie Luyendyk Jr. and Robbie Pecorari.
ROBBIE PECORARI: Yeah, there you go. No one gets that right.
THE MODERATOR: So, Arie, this is your best finish this season; is that correct?
ARIE LUYENDYK JR.: That's correct.
THE MODERATOR: How about your run today?
ARIE LUYENDYK JR.: It felt pretty good. Starting sixth, I would have wanted to qualify, but we had to start sixth. And I had a really good start. I think I was up to third, you know. I was big and fast on cold tires the whole weekend, and it's been kind of to my benefit. So it was good.
We got a really good start, got up there, and worked really well with Hildebrand. And it was kind of a shame. Those yellows kind of hurt me because we really were close like one and two, breaking away from the pack, and I think I had something for him at the end. But those restarts kind of made the car a little bit loose, and the balance changed and fell to third.
But still a really good finish for the team. Good for the points. The car was a pleasure to drive today, and I really liked Kansas.
THE MODERATOR: Great, Rob, how about your day?
ROBBIE PECORARI: Going into qualifying, if it was going to be there, we don't think we would have had the best car. We basically planned for a good race car basically the whole weekend. Starting 23rd out of 24 cars, we knew we had a decent race car and we could run to the front. And the Guthrie Racing Team gave me a car that could run there all weekend.
THE MODERATOR: Great, we're going to open it up to questions.
Q. Did you guys have any success at all on the high line? It seemed like the low line was the preferred one on the track. When up there, you could get next to somebody, but you couldn't clear them?
ROBBIE PECORARI: For our car, we could run anywhere; from the white line to we went around the outside three wide in turn three and four. For us we could run anywhere behind traffic, just a great car overall.
ARIE LUYENDYK JR.: I mean, I tried one time to get around, you know, first place there for a while. On the high line, it was definitely more difficult to get it done, you know. But he radioed in and said, let's work together, so we worked together. And I could see that he was struggling with some understeer.
So I was kind of taking my time. I was actually in the wrong gear when I was on his high side. I should have been in fifth, and I was in sixth. So I was kind of keeping that in my pocket for if it came down to a last lap pass. I was a little frustrated it didn't end up the way that I wanted it to in the end there. But the car was really good, and I think I could have gotten it done on the outside.
Q. Robbie, this is your first appearance of the year, you ran last year. What hesitated your getting started?
ROBBIE PECORARI: Well, actually, we did the race down in St. Pete, which didn't quite go the way we wanted it to. But besides that we're just a little bit underfunded for this season. We managed to run last season. Hopefully, we can come back and do some more races after this finish. You know, maybe even with Guthrie Racing, phenomenal team, phenomenal car, and maybe something for Indy. From there on we're not really sure yet. If a big sponsor comes in, we'll definitely be there for the rest of the season.
Q. Did you need help from behind to get a chance of passing on the last couple of laps?
ROBBIE PECORARI: Not really. I always tried coming up. We were going twoâwide, putting a big hole up for him. Toward the front it seemed like a lot of cars were probably struggling to stay right behind the cars.
It would have been nice to have a little taller gear to give it just enough to get by at the line. But besides that, you know, it was a pretty good race.
Q. This season's been going extremely well for you. Your finishes are up. It seems to me where you should have been all the time anyway. What is the difference in your driving or the car you've got?
ARIE LUYENDYK JR.: Well, I think you have to look back and see, you know, over the years sometimes we've struggled to get into a car and to meet budget. I really wanted to come back here and make an impression. You know, I'm determined to do well. And Andretti Green is behind me and AFS. And I think that's been the difference.
If you look at the preparation in our cars, if you go to our shop, you know, the amount of talent that's on our team, our team is really deep. And Rafa is a great teammate, and I think that's making a difference. We have a really open relationship. We share a lot of data. You know, we really work well together, and the cars are just phenomenal.
So, it's only a matter of time before we see Victory Lane, and Rafa already has. And I think we'll be really strong at the speedway if you look at how competitive Rafa was. Unfortunately, I couldn't be there. But looking to win there for my first win to be awesome.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you and congratulations.
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