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Firestone Indy Lights: Milwaukee 100

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Open Wheel Racing Topics:  Milwaukee 100

Firestone Indy Lights: Milwaukee 100

Bobby Wilson
June 1, 2008


MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN

THE MODERATOR: Thanks, guys.
It's got to be an absolutely thrilling win, Bobby, half an hour down the road from your hometown. Tell us about it.
BOBBY WILSON: Yeah, I grew up here, coming to the Milwaukee Mile as a kid. To win here, it's a dream come true. A lot of friends, a lot of family here. Just couldn't ask for a better weekend. We were fast in practice. Didn't get pole, but a win's better. I'm just happy for the Team E crew.
THE MODERATOR: We talked about traffic out there. We talked about race traffic, how you were working race traffic. Tell us about your mindset working through that traffic.
BOBBY WILSON: You got to be really careful. I realized a lot of those guys were fighting for position. It was kind of a patience thing. You just don't want to ruin your whole race over trying to lap traffic. So I was looking for clean air quite a bit, just trying to make the best of my tire wear, making sure I had enough to win the race.
THE MODERATOR: Bobby's first oval win. Two previous wins came at Watkins Glen in 2006, one at the road course in Indy in 2007. Questions for Bobby.

Q. (No microphone.)
BOBBY WILSON: Yeah, had the race been a little longer, I probably would have forced the issue in the lap traffic. I just didn't care to, didn't want to get into their fight for their position.
I knew the time interval and I knew the lap countdown. Just hanging in there, not forcing the issue, not getting into trouble was the key to winning this race.
Yeah, Jeff can say that. Jeff was fast today. But I think we had a better car. Had the race been longer, I would have forced the issue. It's just a timing thing.

Q. (No microphone.)
BOBBY WILSON: My Firestone tires were excellent (laughter).

Q. (No microphone.)
BOBBY WILSON: When I was by myself, I was actually loose. I knew I had to find a pretty good balance there. When I was running in dirty air, I was getting understeer. I think everybody was battling that.
It was just staying on top of it, using the cockpit adjustments, maintaining your tires, running, not pinching the car off, winding it up so you don't get loose or drive into the wall. It was just staying on top of it.
THE MODERATOR: With the win, Bobby ties Wade Cunningham's series record for consecutive seasons with a win. That would be three consecutive seasons with a win.
You said you've been coming to the Milwaukee Mile a long time. Give us a Milwaukee Mile memory.
BOBBY WILSON: I'd have to say I think it was Paul Tracy just dominating here with Penske. I just remember that quite a bit.
THE MODERATOR: Sit in the grandstands or down in the infield?
BOBBY WILSON: Grandstands. It was usually in the grandstands, so...

Q. (No microphone.)
BOBBY WILSON: I'm just trying to do the best I can. I mean, we're a start-up team this year. It was put together on short notice. I'm glad to be part of Team E. I'm not just a driver. I'm not just not an arrive-and-drive guy. I'm not like everybody else. I'm part of that program for years to come whether I move up or not. It's a comfortable feeling sitting there and I'm always going to be part of it.

Q. (No microphone.)
BOBBY WILSON: It was. It depends on the dirty air and everything. When I was by myself, I had a really good car. I noticed a lot of like tire pickup on the caution laps. It just took a few laps to get that stuff off. You'll always have that. Really no issues.

Q. (No microphone.)
BOBBY WILSON: Not really because I knew there was one to go. Down the backstretch I looked in my mirrors. I know how hard it is to pass here. It was just timing. I was not going to force the issue on I think it was Logan in front of me, Wade, the other cars there. I wasn't really worried. I was just looking ahead. Looking up at the flags, checked my mirrors. He wasn't really there. It was a good show.

Q. (No microphone.)
BOBBY WILSON: Yeah, I mean, I felt really good in the car, basically put it on cruise control. Just having a good car at this track is the difference between winning and losing. Just have to be smart in traffic and not force the issue, not get yourself into the situation where you're crossing the dirty air, then it gets loose, you catch it and make mistakes. I tried to hang back and not make mistakes, but be under the car in front of me at the end.
So it was just timing the laps and timing the time intervals between Jeff and I.

Q. (No microphone.)
BOBBY WILSON: Well, when I passed Pablo on the outside, I was pretty sure. I was comfortable running that high line.

Q. (No microphone.)
BOBBY WILSON: I'm happy. I don't look at it like there's any set deadline. You just can't predict what's going to happen in your career. I'm just happy to be racing, being always a contender. We haven't had the best of finishes this year, but we've had some bad luck and stuff that's happened to us that put us in this position.
Right now is the time we're going to turn the season around and be strong from here on out.
THE MODERATOR: Bobby, congratulations. Thank you for coming on in.
BOBBY WILSON: Thank you.

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