Firestone Indy Lights: Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio
Topics: Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio
August 4, 2013
THE MODERATOR: We'll get started with today's Firestone Indy Lights post‑race press conference. We are pleased to be joined by two of our podium finishers from today's race, Peter Dempsey or Belardi Auto Racing, his fourth podium finish of the season, and Jack Hawksworth of Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, his fifth podium of the season.
Peter, walk us the race, especially through the restart there with four laps to go.
JACK DEMPSEY: Yeah, for us was a solid race. Just wish we had the pace on Gabby, he was really fast. But the restart was really tricky. Everyone was ‑‑ with tires throughout the race, and when the tires down to during yellow, we all got back on and we did not have any grip. We tried to put as much pressure on Gabby as we could, and unfortunately it was a mistake, but just wasn't lucky enough to have the opportunity to get by him and as well take myself out of the race, disappointed, anyway.
THE MODERATOR: Jack, a great race for you, an amazing battle going on between you and Carlos. Talk about today's race and that battle.
JACK HAWKSWORTH: I didn't think much of it, because it was all happeningbehind me, but yeah, it was huge. We just ‑‑ from start to finish really and got behind really quick. Jack was on me at the beginning all the way, and then Carlos, he was making his way through, and you know, he kept down into two and into four‑‑ and I mean, I was really slow through the first set to the last, so that's why he had a really good opportunity to get me.
But yeah, a bit of a mystery weekend really, because we thought after Friday, we thought, right, we're in it, it's going to be a great one. And it turned out to be a hugedraw (ph) ‑‑ just got slaughtered. So yeah, we'll have to look into it and see what happens.
Q. Jack, what were your thoughts when Carlos went away, and then later on in the race, when he came back?
JACK HAWKSWORTH: I didn't really care at the time what he was doing. I was just trying to protect my position and knock out consistent laps, not make mistakes. Zach was all over me at the beginning, and then Carlos was the red car behind me instead of the green car. Who was behind me, I didn't really pay much attention to.
Q. Did you once see the yellow flag, catching up slowly but surely to Gabby‑‑
PETER DEMPSEY: No, certainly we started out with quite a bit more downforce than most of the cars in the grid, so we knew the less yellow for us, the better, that there was to be a tire situation during the race. Taking I think three, fourtenths, Gabby the last 15 lapsus ‑‑ inaudible ‑‑ and just before the yellow came out, so certainly I didn't need the yellow, because getting pressure from behind, as well, I was watching them pass, and it's much easier focus than trying to pass one car than defend behind you.
So it certainly wasn't ideal. I was hoping to force into a mistake if the yellow didn't come out, or had a bit of a dive, but the yellow hurt us, we lost too much tire temperature and that made it very tricky for the last few laps.
THE MODERATOR: We are also joined by our race winner, Gabby Chaves. This is Gabby's first Firestone Indy Lights win, and, the victory moves you into second in the championships points standings. Congratulations, and talk about getting that first win.
GABBY CHAVES: Yeah, it really is just amazing. First of all, I can't thank the team enough. We struggled in practice and then we just put our working hats on and focused on what we needed to do for qualifying.
We had a great qualifying. I think Peter had the pace most of the session and just really struggled out there in the last lap. If it wasn't for that, the race might have been quite a bit different. I think I've got to thank the team for a great qualifying car and a great race car.
Q. Peter talked about the yellow came out poorly for him, did the yellow help you‑‑ looked like your tires were going away pretty quickly in the end?
GABBY DEMPSEY: Yeah, while I'm in the race car, I think, okay I'm kind of comfortable, while the second ‑‑ up to where he's going to attack, I've got a bit of a gap to manage. But the yellow came out, and I'm thinking, wow, I'm in really big trouble and Peter is thinking, I just lost my opportunity.
So I think we are both trying to stay on the defensive, and also, he's got to look out for the guys behind as well as attack me, so yeah, a bit of a more difficult job.
I really struggled that first opening lap after the yellow, to me felt like I was on ice. But after about a lap and a half, the car settled in again, and I just focused on doing a good job through turn one and getting through two, which is really the only big passing zone here.
THE MODERATOR: All of you are in the Top‑5 in points, 43 points separate first through fifth; is it anyone's championship with three races to go?
GABBY CHAVES: I think so. We've seen what can happen from one race weekend to another, it can just turn upside down. I think everyone in the Top‑5 has a win, so it's definitely going to be a very interesting coming down to the last few races.
JACK HAWKSWORTH: Whoever wins the last two races‑‑ Carlos has got the advantage but probably will take three wins to get it and probably win it.
PETER DEMPSEY: Agreed. In the series this year, it's all about wins, and you know, you can just as easily gain 20 points back like Jack did at Toronto with a win and Munoz finishing fourth.
My plan before this, again, was to go and win three of the next four races, and now I've got to go win three of them. So it's going to be a bit more difficult for me. But I think the five of us are certainly still there, it's so really whoever comes out and stays together for the last three races will going to win it.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you for your time time today and congratulations on the podium.
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