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Firestone Indy Lights: Drive Smart Buckle-Up Kentucky 100

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Open Wheel Racing Topics:  Drive Smart Buckle-Up Kentucky 100

Firestone Indy Lights: Drive Smart Buckle-Up Kentucky 100

Stefan Wilson
October 2, 2011


SPARTA, KENTUCKY

THE MODERATOR: We are very pleased to be joined by today's race winner, Stefan Wilson of Andretti Autosport. This is his second career win. He previously won at Toronto earlier this year. This is his first win on an oval. It moves Stefan into second place for the championship.
Really crazy race there today, especially on the start. Talk about that first lap and the rest of the race.
STEFAN WILSON: Yeah, I don't really know much about it. It all happened behind me. I went into turn one. Everything was pretty good. Josef went outside of me straightaway. He was obviously pushing pretty hard.
Really unfortunate to have so many cars knocked out in one incident on the first lap. It really spread the field out. It would have been nice to race against a few more cars out there.
It was a really fun race. Me and Josef dialed in really well together. We're really respectful of each other and gave each other room to race properly. We fought for quite a few laps there. I'm quite glad we had that battle because it took up the majority of the race, better than just having a lonely race out front. It was fun to race side-by-side, not just lead from the front and go out and win, but to drop back into second and get back by him. Really pleased we could do that.
I can't thank the team enough. Gave me a good car. A lot of it's down to them. I just drive it.
THE MODERATOR: Questions.

Q. (No microphone.)
STEFAN WILSON: Yeah, I mean, I think I could definitely move up. But the thing is, it's pretty hard to find the funding these days.
I'm evaluating all my options for next year, whatever I finish in the championship. I don't see it being a bad thing to do another year of Indy Lights. That's what it's here for, is just to gain experience and grow sponsors.
I'm evaluating that situation, whether to do a few races in IndyCar, do another year of Indy Lights, win the championship outright, rather than finishing second or third. I really want to earn my position in IndyCar.
The thing is, I just turned 22. It's not like I'm at the end of my career. I can afford to take another year of learning and make sure I learn everything in Indy Lights before I move up.
It showed. When people move up too soon, when they're a bit too young, they really make too many mistakes, don't keep in the series very long. But people like James Hinchcliffe, Charlie Kimball, who are all a bit older, spent a lot more years in the junior ranks, they've moved up and had some really good runs this year.
I want to make sure I'm ready when I move up and make sure I'm fully learned. This is what Indy Lights is here for.

Q. (Question regarding sponsorship.)
STEFAN WILSON: It's not in place yet. I have a brand-new sponsor in the form of Citizenry, a leasing company. I'm very passionate about, being eco-friendly. It all fitted really well. They're only an associate sponsor this weekend, but they'll be a primary sponsor for Vegas. I'm really looking forward to that relationship with that company.
But it's great to start off and give them a pole position and a victory straightaway. It's great because, as you mentioned, we missed a race this season where we weren't able to run the whole race obviously because of funding, which makes it really tough to keep in the championship battle.
We wanted to do these last two races. A lot of thanks to that company.

Q. (No microphone.)
STEFAN WILSON: Yeah, I think so. I mean, there's no guarantees. I didn't know what was going to happen when I got in front of him. He could have quite as easily got the draft, had another go, do what I was doing to him.
His car really worked well on the low side, on the very bottom of the track. He was able to run the yellow line the whole way around. In his first early laps he was much quicker using the lower line. I was like, Wow, this is going to be a hard race to catch him and get around him, especially having practiced yesterday, it seemed like a pretty hard track to get by someone.
Straightaway I was just trying to stay with him, find my move. The outside line seemed to grip up a little bit halfway through, seemed to allow me to accelerate off the corner more. I started getting a little bit further in front each time. I knew it was just a matter of time to continue doing what I was doing and I'd get by.

Q. (No microphone.)
STEFAN WILSON: I think so, yeah. Coming into Kentucky, I was a little bit nervous. Generally a car, it doesn't react well to bumps. I was expecting our car to be much, much better at Vegas and here than Kentucky. I'm shocked that we were able to come here and get the victory here. It gives me a lot of momentum going into Kentucky.
I can't thank the guys enough. They gave me such an awesome car. I did very little to the car actually during the race. I didn't have to tune it too much. Just kind of let it come to me a little bit. A few pounds here and there on the weight jack and that's all I needed to hook it up.
I think if it's this quick here, we should be equally as quick in Las Vegas. The only difference would be the weather. It's going to be a lot warmer than here in Kentucky, although I think it's a night race. That could play a factor.
Don't want to count our chickens too early, but I think we should be in good shape.
THE MODERATOR: Congratulations on a great win. Best of luck in Vegas.
STEFAN WILSON: Thanks a lot.



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