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Firestone Indy Lights: Miller Lite 100

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Open Wheel Racing Topics:  Miller Lite 100

Firestone Indy Lights: Miller Lite 100

James Hinchcliffe
June 20, 2009


NEWTON, IOWA

THE MODERATOR: Thank you very much for coming tonight, we appreciate it.
With us now is James Hinchcliffe, driving the No. 7 car tonight, third place finisher, running for Sam Schmidt Motorsports. James, congratulations, tell us about your run tonight, and how it went out there?
JAMES HINCHCLIFFE: Yeah, thanks very much. It was an interesting evenings, first off with the delays it sort of made everything tough. And it was mentally tough for us to stay in the right mindset when everything got delayed like that.
When we did get going, we weren't sure if there was still water on the track, so it was a little bit tough. So the beginning of the race went quite well. We had a pretty quick car up in the lead four there.
At one point Bia got a run on me. And as soon as I went off the line and out of the groove, my car was not that good. So side-by-side traffic I was really struggling. So she got by, and Mario got by.
I was flicking knobs and turning switches and doing all sorts of stuff inside the car to try to make it better. We got it a little bit better. So we were able to keep with that pack. And just sort of capitalize on other people's mistakes and stay out of trouble ask time traffic well, because at a place like this, it's really tough.
So it was great to finish third, and move up, and Sam Schmidt Motorsports, 1, 2, 3, 5, and it's tough to do better than that. So thanks to the whole team. And thanks to the fans for sticking around, they waited a long time, too.

Q. You mentioned the delay. Did you see any water on the track? That was the question some of the folks had in the media center?
JAMES HINCHCLIFFE: No, I didn't see any. But like I said before, I'm sure if there was our Firestone Dry tires are good enough in the rain, too. It would have been fine, we would have stuck right there no problem.

Q. How important is third place for you?
JAMES HINCHCLIFFE: I think it's really important. With guys like J.R. having a bit of trouble and finishing ahead of Mario and Sebastien as well it's good for us in the points. It's always good to be up on the podium.
One of those restarts I got around Bia and the yellow came out just as I got past her and they didn't give me the position.
You sort of do the would have, should have, could have, if I had been where she was on that play on the restart, and things had played out.
But anyway, congrats to her, and Wade and Gus as well coming up from 11th to finish 5th is great. It was a great day for the whole team.

Q. This is your best finish on an oval, isn't it?
JAMES HINCHCLIFFE: It is indeed.

Q. How does that work?
JAMES HINCHCLIFFE: We've been getting steadily better. The first two were tough for us. We had mechanical problems in qualifying and then in Indy again in the race. So Milwaukee was pretty much my first proper full event. And then to come here and get this podium, it means a lot.
It just proves it's not over until it's over. It looked like Wade had this thing wrapped up, and he just got in the wrong place at the wrong time, and we were able to capitalize on that. So it was a heck of a race.
It's going to be good to watch on TV, for sure. A lot of side-by-side racing. I nearly touched both Wade and Bia at one point, and I did touch Harrington at one point. I think everybody got into somebody out there. So on a track like this you're going to get that sort of racing, and that's what the fans like.

Q. (No Microphone)?
JAMES HINCHCLIFFE: It takes a little bit, I won't lie. But I'm comfortable now. I know the limits of the car. I know how hard I can push. I know when to push and when not to push. But it's a completely different skill set coming from a road course racing background.
It was definitely a baptism of fire. I had a great team to sort of teach me and help my education move along pretty quick. I mean, now I love the racing. I really enjoy it. How can you not? When you look at that, that was a pretty thrilling thing.
To think, the big cars tomorrow are going to go do that for twice as long. It's going to be pretty cool.

Q. (No Microphone).

JAMES HINCHCLIFFE: I think the Fire Hawk is a bit of a good luck charm. I absolutely think that's what's going to have to happen. I'm going to have to track him down before every single race, steal his gun again, and let it rip.

Q. James, thank you, and congratulations. Appreciate you being with us.



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