Firestone Indy Lights: Legacy Indy Lights 100
Topics: Legacy Indy Lights 100
April 7, 2013
THE MODERATOR: We're pleased to be joined by the top three finishers from the Firestone Indy Lights Legacy 100. Jack Hawksworth, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, second place. This is Jack's second consecutive second‑place finish, and he also finished second in his debut race at St.Pete.
JACK HAWKSWORTH: I won the first race.
THE MODERATOR: I'm sorry. Talk about starting the season off strong and adding another podium finish.
JACK HAWKSWORTH: Yeah, that was a great way to start the season. A lot of points on the books, which is always good, and yeah, it's a testament to the team for doing a good job over the winter. Yeah, we were able to, I think, get the most out of the weekend that we could. Didn't seem to quite have the speed just yet, but we'll have to work hard now for Long Beach, and we've got to come out fighting because they don't want to get into lazy habits. Yeah, we'll come back at Long Beach and whatever is on the table we'll go get.
THE MODERATOR: Gabby, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, third place. This is your best Indy Lights finish, and you finished eighth at the debut race at St.Pete. Talk a little bit about today.
GABBY CHAVES: Yeah, I mean, especially after that first race weekend in St.Pete, we were leading the race and then I just contacted with Carlos. That ended our day. It was looking really good.
After a disappointing finish in St.Pete, to come back and finish on the podium, especially after yesterday's crash, which kind of puts you down a little bit so you kind of‑‑ you've got to pick yourself back up, and I think that's what we did today, so I'm happy with this result.
THE MODERATOR: Questions?
Q. Jack, you had a really good start. You were charging down the front straightaway right alongside Carlos but looked like you were very polite going into Turn 1 there. Just take us through your start there.
JACK HAWKSWORTH: I mean, going into Turn 1 I was alongside him. We were level but he just got into the side of me. I came ‑‑ I had no option really other than to try and slide in behind him at that point and then maybe try to get a run up to the side. But he got down the inside of me and then he made a bit of an error and ended up running a bit wide, which gave me a bit of an opportunity in 2 and 3 to get close, but thereafter backed off again because he slowed up and I come up and then Gabby got a good run out of 3 and into Turn 5, and then after that it was on the‑‑ I ended up going to the brakes in the couple of corners, and then once we got through the chicane at the back, it was all over.
Q. Gabby, you made a good start, as well. Looked like you had quite a big wiggle in Turn 1.
GABBY CHAVES: Yeah, I had a good jump. I went ‑‑ as soon as I saw Carlos go, I went with him, and seemed like I got a slightly better jump, and Jack like kind of pulled up on them. I tried to stay clear of them by going all the way on the inside on 1, and then there was no grip there, I locked up the tires, and for a second there I thought, this is not going to end well, but then these guys are experienced racers, so it worked out fine. After that I was trying to work my way around Jack for the first lap, and he defended well. There was nothing I could do about it.
Q. I know obviously you haven't had a chance and won't have a chance for a while to see the television broadcast of the race. All three of you guys were checked out and running your own races, first, second and third, there was a pretty good battle raging behind you all day long between fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh place. Could you talk about what it's like to maintain concentration when you're really not fighting anyone? After those first couple of laps, none of you really had battles to worry about, all you really had to do was keep hitting your marks and just maintain your speed and your tires. Talk about the concentration factor when you don't have somebody in your mirrors the whole time.
JACK HAWKSWORTH: Yeah, I mean, when it's kind of a long race like that and you're on your own, you've got to keep focused and really concentrate. I mean, my race wasn't dull because the‑‑ Carlos opened up a gap but it wasn't a huge gap, which wasn't going to be‑‑ it could be surpassed if something happened with the tires or had he fallen off at the end. He didn't, so it ended up being an easy race, but we had to keep ourselves in the game all the way through just in case. Anything can happen at the end, I could be pushing it, so I just kept fighting all the way through. My objective was to complete the 40 laps in the shortest amount of time possible, so all the way through the race I pushed hard and managed my tires so that I had tires at the end hopefully if he dropped off, but they were too strong for us today.
Yeah, we might seem like we were on our own out there, but still, there's a lot of stuff going on, so your focus is still there.
GABBY CHAVES: Yeah, it becomes a bit of just a race to really, I think, manage the tires and then manage the gaps in front and behind you. My race was a bit like that. I pushed really hard the first 10 laps, tried to stay as close as I could to Jack in case either he made a mistake or his tires fell off.
But after I saw that he was just that little bit quicker every single lap and the gap keeps opening just a little bit, a little bit, and I've got a big gap behind me, you just kind of try to keep pushing hard but taking care of the car, taking care of the tires in case maybe you get another shot with a full course caution or something like that.
CARLOS MUÑOZ: It was a long ways for me, no laps not fighting. I was going by a lap, just putting some goals. It's easy to lose concentration when you're on your own. I was trying to push all the laps and maintain the same gap compared to Jack.
You know, it's difficult in the beginning, I was trying to save the tires. I was not pushing really hard. If the car was doing something wrong, I was trying to correct that with my driving, so that's why maintaining concentration in all the race, I was really concentrating on all the laps during the same time, so that was my goal. So I would say, okay, this lap I was going 10 laps by 10 laps, okay these 10 laps I'm going to do this, these 10 laps ‑‑ that's the thing I do so I don't lose concentration.
Q. Last year you had a good car here and had a problem late, I think lap 37 or 38. A bad result from the year before, is that still in your mind?
CARLOS MUÑOZ: Last year I had a really (indiscernible) the tires a lot. I ended up in the wall because the tire was gone, the front tires. Then Sunday weekend I started working for long distance race. I thought I had a better car for race than qualifying because I was focused too much on the race because I was a little bit scared of the same problem as last year.
But no, this time I had a great car, like we learned from the mistakes from last year. I knew I had a better car for this weekend, for the race. That gave me really confidence in myself.
THE MODERATOR: And just to formally introduce him, we're joined now by the winner of the Legacy 100 Andretti Autosports, Carlos Munoz. This is Carlos' third Firestone Indy Lights race and his first here at Barber Motorsports Park. It was pretty much a perfect weekend for you leading all the practices, getting pole and then leading flag to flag. What does that do for your confidence, especially coming off a disappointing finish in St.Petersburg?
CARLOS MUÑOZ: Yeah, and also the same in Edmonton. I was first in all the sessions. It was really good. As I said in the interview before, my championship is starting this race. We had a collision in St.Petersburg, was really not nice for both of us, but now we are first and third. After St.Pete, after Monday, I just didn't think about it. It was closed in my mind. Now I'm thinking about Barber. It helps, no?
I think we learn from the mistakes, everyone, and I'm trying to‑‑ we are in the Indy Lights Series to learn, no, and to do all perfect in IndyCar.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you for joining us.
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