Firestone Indy Lights: David Hobbs 100
Topics: David Hobbs 100
June 19, 2011
WEST ALLIS, WISCONSIN
THE MODERATOR: We are joined by Josef Newgarden of Sam Schmidt Motorsports. Josef finished second, his third podium finish of the season and Josef now has a 14-point lead atop of the championship points standings in Firestone be Indy Lights.
Josef, how important was it today with those points to get that second-place finish?
JOSEF NEWGARDEN: It's huge. We have talked about it all year. A lot of people have asked about the championship and what's the mind-set, and I think scoring consistent points is the key, and certainly a second place in a podium finish is great are for us, super for us, great for our team.
But we also got the win with Esteban so that's even better. Strong weekend for the whole team qualifying and right through the race and really happy for the whole Sam Schmidt Motorsports group.
THE MODERATOR: We are also joined by Jorge Goncalvez of Belardi Auto Racing. This is Jorge's best career Firestone career Indy Lights finish, and his previous best was a fourth place at Barber.
Jorge, your first race back after Indy where you had a scary crash. Talk about being able to start 7th and finish on the podium.
JORGE GONCALVEZ: In the beginning when we come here, it's my second time on oval, it's very hard in practice to come back, the time, to go fast. But I feel pretty good with the team because the engineer gave me a really good car, just a good car for me, strong, every single lap.
In the race, we just work in the beginning for making reservation, good tires for the end. And we have -- we are really strong at the end of the race, we are really fast. And I feel, too, I have the best car I think in the end and that ever that I have. I feel pretty good with the team because they make a really good job and make the car ready for this race.
And I'm working hard, too, because I race with a leg broke, so it's very hard for me to make a strong goal. I'm pretty tired after the race, but I feel pretty good. That's why I say, it's a hundred percent every time.
Q. (No mic).
JOSEF NEWGARDEN: I think when I had one was right at the beginning. We had a good run on him on the start, and you know, that got kind of squandered by the early caution there.
After that, I was really trying to get into a mind-set of saving my tires and I was hoping that maybe I could have a run at the end when we caught lap traffic. It was looking like there was a possibility there midway through the race, but then we encountered some really tough problems with the car.
We started off with a lot of understeer and I tried to dial it in to neutral. And I used the weight jacker a lot for that, and I think that hurt it at the end because I was fighting a lot of oversteer. And obviously, this guy was coming up on us really, really fast.
So you know just really happy that we were able to finish in second place with a great points weekend for us.
Q. (No mic).
JORGE GONCALVEZ: It just means I feel it's a secure car. I have, the crash I have at 190 miles per hour and nothing bad happened to me. I feel good basically in the car. I'm pretty sure if I crash again, nothing is going to happen to me -- but I don't want to crash again.
That's why I say, it's very good that I like to race. I love this; I come, it's my work now, so I'm pretty concentrated for make every day better for me.
THE MODERATOR: Congratulations to both of you on a podium finish.
We are pleased to be joined by our race winner, Esteban Guerrieri of Sam Schmidt Motorsports. This is his first Firestone Indy Lights win. He finished second in the past two races. This is the 40th win for Sam Schmidt Motorsports in Firestone Indy Lights and the fourth different race winner in five events this season.
Talk about getting that first win.
ESTEBAN GUERRIERI: Well, it's very, very special and I'm really happy for getting the win here in an oval, the one-mile oval, which they say is really tough to get it.
So I'm happy to be here and be able to do it; and obviously for the team, because they gave me an excellent car, and it worked since the first lap in practice until the last lap of the race, just almost perfect, or perfect.
And then, well to, my sponsors, because they are always supporting me and I'm just happy and glad that everything is working fine.
And we start with a win. You know, after five races, we could win, and, well, now we keep going hopefully the same way, and keep working for a good result in the future.
Q. Given your background, did you think your first Firestone Indy Lights win would come on an oval?
ESTEBAN GUERRIERI: Not really (laughing). Not at all.
But you know, sometimes when -- I don't think it's good to plan things, and to have expectations on something, because things can go one way or the other, and you just have to do the best all the way and that's what we are doing every race, and it's working good so far.
And yeah, we just have to keep going the same way. I mean, it's very special to get my first win, because obviously I think probably my engineer was a bit worried; so that's a big step for us.
But for now on, keep working the same way, and many oval to come and some more street courses which is a challenge for me, and also to go there and do well again, because we've been doing good in qualifying, but not so good in the races.
Q. (No mic).
ESTEBAN GUERRIERI: Not really. Yeah, I mean, it was better this way. On top of that, I didn't have a radio because I think my flap (ph) came off the first lap. And I realized on lap 40 that nobody was talking to me. And I was laughing, guys. And I was like, hey, this is spotter is slipping.
But I realize, well, I thought that my flag on the air flap (ph) was a bit loose and I thought it was going to last for the whole weekend before I repair it, but I didn't. Probably it just came off.
So I didn't have radio. I was looking to the numbers on the pole, you know, in the infield with the positions and the laps. So that was my big friend for the whole lap I would say. Every lap, I was looking at the lap. On the last 25 laps, they were a bit long, also, because I was a bit in traffic, and obviously the car, that slide a bit more. But the balance was good. But I just tried to be careful, you know, and, at the end, it was good for us. So I'm happy.
And I want to say a big Father's Day to everybody and to all of the fathers on my team and everybody.
Q. (No mic)?
ESTEBAN GUERRIERI: Actually, I like to have the winning car, because that means that you have got the tools. You know you've got the tools.
So then, as I said before, the result is circumstance; if you do the job right, then you are going to get to the result. If you don't do the job right, you are not going to get there and, and not worry about the pressure might be building around or worrying about how to do the process, the learning process, I have to do this, my first season here.
And I'm happy to have the winning car, because I've been many years in Europe racing with cars that they were -- they have no development. The team has no development and. You are always catching up, catching up, catching up. And this team have like a table full of fantastic options that they know each one what it's doing, you know, and I'm getting more and more familiar every day, every race.
I think it's very special, but not only you know because it's the winning team, but because the engineer, how he's bringing up the team; he's new, the IndyCar team is coming up, as well. He puts in a lot of effort. He's teaching me a lot of how to approach life. So that's the best feeling I have. Not only in the car but out of the car, that's what I appreciate the most.
Q. (No mic).
ESTEBAN GUERRIERI: The team owner with the car are here, so I hope that would be -- well, I think the Indy Lights is very well promoted and the big teams are looking for the Indy Lights for drivers hopefully.
Again, you know, doing the job right and observing and getting things to the end, obviously the result is what matters, but there is a lot of work to do and that's what I enjoy the most.
THE MODERATOR: Congratulations on your first win. Thanks for joining us.
|Connect with The Crittenden Automotive Library|