Firestone Indy Lights: Grand Prix of Long Beach
Topics: Grand Prix of Long Beach
April 18, 2010
LONG BEACH, CALIFORNIA
THE MODERATOR: Thank you so much. Congratulations.
We'll get started with James Hinchcliffe. A few notes on James' win before we begin. This is his first career Firestone Indy Lights victory after 18 starts in the series. He led all 45 laps today, a career best. (Indiscernible). James, talk about finally getting on that top step of the podium?
JAMES HINCHCLIFFE: It's been a long time coming. Like you said, 18 races in. We had a couple of close calls last year. For no reason we could point to to get it all together. Even this year, we were pulling the first race in St. Pete. Kind of got taken out there in the first corner, so we had a chance to show what we had in the race.
And Barber didn't go great. We started P-5 because of qualifying and finished P-5. So for us to get here and finish pole, to get off the truck and couldn't practice, and to get pole position and the flag is a really good feeling.
I've got to say thanks to all the guys from Team Moore Racing, all the crew. It really is a team effort, and it's just super great to get that first win out of the way. I think it means a little bit more being here at a great event like Long Beach.
Q. You talked outside about the restarts. How many times during the race did you say I've got to run, I've got to run, and then you see the yellow?
JAMES HINCHCLIFFE: The restarts were certainly something that I would have rather not had to deal with. But I never thought I had this thing won until I crossed the line, because Charlie was right behind me, and I knew J.K. was right behind him.
If anything, it's almost good that J.K. was giving Charlie a good time because he was having to drive his mirrors as much as he was trying to chase me.
We got going and got a good lap before that yellow came out. And you've heard the classic saying of yellows breed yellows, and that was the case. I got frustrated by the end. One or two is what I was expecting after what we saw in practice and qualifying.
But the fourth one I'm starting to think how much are these AFS guys paying these dudes to give Carly one more run at it? And no, likely, we had such a good car.
On the restarts everything was great, and the Firehawks held up well. It was a race where we worked on not making any mistakes and we managed to pull that off.
Q. This is one of the more historic street circuits anywhere in the world, especially in IndyCar Series. How good is it to win your first race here?
JAMES HINCHCLIFFE: I really think it means something extra. This race has been around for 36 years. You look at the guys won here, and it is a who's who of open-wheel racing champions.
So to add my name to that list means a lot. The fact that it was my first one here makes it even more special. It's such a cool event, the fans, the atmosphere, everything about this place. It's sort of the Monaco of the open-wheel racing scene. To get a win here, does mean an extra bit.
Q. You've got one, do you feel like the monkey's off your back a little bit? You can go into win number two a little more?
JAMES HINCHCLIFFE: I think so. I think you see that a lot in motor racing in all levels when the guy gets that first one off his back. I've won races at similar levels to this before. So I knew I wasn't completely new to it. But to get it in Firestone Indy Lights was a great relief.
We knew we had the car. We've had it all year. We just had to put it together. It didn't take us ten races to get it done, it took us three. And we're still clawing back points from an unfortunate incident in St. Pete.
But this is a good start. We've just got to take one race at a time. I've been saying since the beginning of the season, people asked what the goals are and the championship. My goals are to show up every weekend, fresh in the mind. Forget about everything that's happened and focus on that one weekend. If we do that and give it our best, hopefully, we'll come out on top, and the championship will work itself out.
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