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Firestone Indy Lights: Kentucky 100

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Open Wheel Racing Topics:  Kentucky 100

Firestone Indy Lights: Kentucky 100

Dillon Battistini
August 9, 2008


LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY

THE MODERATOR: After picking up his fourth victory of 2008, congratulations on that. But one thing that we note, last year Hideki Mutoh was able to come here and test at IndyCar. After testing IndyCar, he came here and he won the Firestone Indy Lights race. You also tested at IndyCar here and you turn around and won here at Kentucky Speedway. So congratulations, what a great race and a great win.
DILLON BATTISTINI: Thanks very much. I guess that's how history repeats itself there. But I'm just very happy with this result today.
It means a hell of a lot after the streak I've just had. Which I don't really feel was much. But it's great to be back in the top three in the championship. I really hope I can hang on to that.
If we can improve our road course, then I've still got a very good chance. So, whatever, that's what I need the most races this year, and I'm obviously in a pretty good position to aim for that.
THE MODERATOR: I tell you what a great day for the Delphi National Guard team in both races. You guys had good finishes.
DILLON BATTISTINI: That's right. I was second in the last part of the IndyCar race, but that's right. So, another win for me, and another great result for the IndyCar team. So great day for us, for sure.

Q. You came from primarily road racing, but you seem to have adapted very well to the ovals. Have you gotten used to the fact that on an oval on occasion you can run two or three-wide and have somebody right behind you? Are you used to that and are you enjoying it?
DILLON BATTISTINI: I seemed to adapt to ovals straightaway. I remember the first time I got in a car and drove on an oval. It was the week before the first race at Homestead. It just felt really fast and dangerous even at first. But then once you get into race mode you focus so much on going as fast as possible, that it doesn't feel quick anymore.
I guess you just get familiar with the drivers around you, and, you know, you begin to know what to expect from the others, and you feel more and more confident with racing in traffic.

Q. How many times did you grind when groan when the caution came out? Especially the last one with the five-lap shootout till the end?
DILLON BATTISTINI: How many times did I groan? To be honest, it didn't bother me. My race starts were very good. It was time almost to relax. I mean, they can't ever take me under the yellows. So what I have to do is keep my tires warm and focus on making a restart.
It didn't bother me. I was more worried about catching back markers. Fortunately, I only had to do one of those.

Q. I'm just curious what it's like from a driver's standpoint. Because it just looked like there was a battle every single turn. Sometimes three-wide, and to me it was a little hairy out there. It looked like a pretty dicey race.
DILLON BATTISTINI: Well, I could choose which line I wanted to take, and I chose the low line, which is the quickest I found anyway. And it suited me well.
I mean, they can try to get one, go around the outside. But I mean I was glued to the border around the whole track, and the car was good enough to stick. So I could put it wherever I wanted, and that helped me a lot, obviously.
So it was a very close battle. But we came out on top, which was great.
THE MODERATOR: Congratulations on your win.

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