Firestone Indy Lights: Sukup 100
Topics: Sukup 100
June 22, 2013
THE MODERATOR: We'll get started it with our Firestone Indy Lights post‑race press conference. We are pleased to be joined by two of our podium finishers from today's race, Gabby Chaves, who finished second. This is his fourth podium finish of the season.
Talk about that tough battle out there. You were trying to run sage down but at the same time hold Jack off on the charge.
GABBY CHAVES: Yeah, it was definitely tough out there. I felt like we really came on strong at the end. We had a great car from the beginning but certainly at the end, I think we were the strongest car out there.
It's really tough. I mean, you saw sage, who is the leader of the race, having trouble getting around lap traffic, so it's definitely hard to pass around here. A couple opportunities I had, you know, you just come across the guy behind you, and it's really impossible to keep your foot down, you lose all the air in front of you, and you go straight into the wall basically.
So it's really tough to take advantage of a good run, especially with a short great like we have here. But I'm really happy for the team, especially. I think the guys did a great job and they deserve this one, two, three finish.
THE MODERATOR: We are joined by Jack Hawksworth, who finished third.
Jack, we have had a rough couple races here. Talk about bouncing back with a podium finish and a great race today.
JACK HAWKSWORTH: Definitely been a rough patch. The last three races have been pretty horrendous. I think we finished last in every single one, it's not been good. But yeah, today was good. Started second. I led the first half of the race, but shifted up a little bit early in the race I think.
As soon as I did that, a lap later, Sage just drove straight past me. I screwed up a little bit there. Went a little bit early and then at the end of the race, was in second. Car was really coming in nicely. Zach got off‑line and as I was passing him, he nearly put me in the wall so I ended up losing a bit of momentum.
Gabby got past me at the end of the race, very strong, we could run really, really high and that enabled me to really be only one who looked like he could make a pass at the end.
So, yeah, good job from the team, good job from everybody, really, and thank you to all my sponsors, Lucas and Mazda.
THE MODERATOR: We are pleased to be joined by our race winner, Sage Karam. This is Sage's second consecutive Firestone Indy Lights victory and your fourth here at Iowa Speedway, and today's win vaults you to the top of the Indy Lights points standings. Talk about today's race. It was a great battle out there.
SAGE KARAM: It was definitely one of the hardest‑fought wins I've ever had in my life. That's definitely going down as probably the best drive I ever had to do in a car to get a win. So I can't be more happier than this.
We had a really bad start to the day. I was seventh in practice and qualified fifth, and you know, I've won here three years in a row, so seeing this race on the schedule always was, all right, that's the race that's going to boost me in the championship, and you know, to qualify fifth, I was down, and the team, I had to keep my spirits up in the trailer and stuff and kept the confidence up.
I talked last press conference out at Milwaukee about having confidence, and I'll tell you what, I was lacking going in. You know, to get the win, it is actually‑‑ I wasn't expecting it at all.
Had a really good start. I saw an opening on the outside, and took after my mentor, Tony Kanaan, gave me a few pointers and I knew there was a lot of grip out there. There was no one up there; so I took the outside, took it flat, went from fifth to second in lap one, almost had the lead and then had to work around Jack. Had to try a different bunch of lines and then finally got the pass done.
Yeah, it was a really strategical race out there. I burned my right front tire off Jack and those last 40 laps was crazy. I was holding on hoping for the best and thank God the tire just had the life to last.
THE MODERATOR: Talk about being the points leader heading into what's going to be the closest to your hometown race at Pocono Raceway in two weeks.
SAGE KARAM: Yeah, that's awesome, going in as the points leader. I was hoping to come out of Pocono with the points leader being close to the points lead. I don't really know what happened much behind me, but all I know is Carlos was a little off the pace. I don't know what happened there.
It was a big points swing, and getting the win, maximum points was humongous, and most laps led, I got the two bonus points.
So it's going to be really close. I have a lot of friends and family coming to the Pocono race, and it's going to be cool saying I'm the points leader and I'm going to be in my hometown there.
THE MODERATOR: Congratulations on a great win and we'll see you in a few weeks.
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