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Firestone Indy Lights: Valley of the Moon 100

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Open Wheel Racing Topics:  Valley of the Moon 100

Firestone Indy Lights: Valley of the Moon 100

Pablo Donoso
August 24, 2008


SONOMA, CALIFORNIA

THE MODERATOR: We'll let you guys go. Thank you very much. We're just waiting for Pablo Donoso to join us, and he will be in shortly.
We have been joined by race winner Pablo Donoso for Team Moore Racing. This is his first Indy Lights victory of the season -- his first-ever Indy Lights victory and the first victory for Team Moore Racing. He led all 30 laps of the race today, and an interesting note, he also continues to set the series record. He is the ninth different driver to win this season, which is an Indy Lights Series record, so congratulations to you, Pablo. How did the race go for you today, and what were your thoughts?
PABLO DONOSO: Well, today was great, you know? Winning is the best thing ever. It was really nice. It's my first victory, like you said, in Indy Lights, but it's my second victory on this track. I won in 2005 here running in Mazda Series. So I think I'm loving this place. I really love this track, and the team gave me an awesome car, so I was pushing hard during the race and made some gap and I was able to keep that gap and finish the race in first place, which is the greatest thing ever.

Q. I've got two questions. Number one is has Eliseo called yet? He hasn't called?
PABLO DONOSO: No, I don't have the phone. Probably he's calling me now, but he couldn't come for this race. He's in Pittsburgh. But like I said on the other race, when I did the podium at Milwaukee the other day, it's great to have him and have somebody with a lot of experience pushing you and helping you and giving me a good ride because he negotiated with the team, so it's great to have him.

Q. You've won here before in 2005 and they changed the track this year, but everybody is saying it's hard to pass, and I thought the idea of changing the track was to make another passing area, but obviously it's still difficult.
PABLO DONOSO: You know, it's difficult to pass, but it's possible when you have a good run. Yesterday I passed. The area on the back straight, I think the change of the track is better. I think you're going to see passes for sure today on the IndyCar. This is part of racing. There's tracks easy to pass or hard tracks like this one, and you have to deal with that.
Yesterday I improved two positions which gave me the pole today, and today I was able to keep my position. But I think people was fighting hard behind me. I think the track is great.

Q. It's interesting, three years ago Marco sat in pretty much the same seat that you are having done two championships, winning two different races in two series, and he said he marked his calendar for this race, he likes the Infineon, but that was the beginning of the next step, was, of course, winning here in the IRL. Is that the direction you want to go in?
PABLO DONOSO: You know who beat Marco Andretti on this track? I did, in 2005. He came in second in a really good race. When I saw this track was on the championship, I was expecting, I said in my head, I beat Marco Andretti here, and he won in Indy Lights, he won in IndyCar, so probably I can win in Indy Lights here. Probably if I go into IndyCar and I have a good ride, who knows, maybe I can win, either.
This track is great for good drivers, and obviously we have really good drivers. The times are pretty close. I hope to in the future -- I don't want to push my career, nothing, but if I have a good ride in IndyCar maybe, who knows. I'm going to try to win.

Q. Going into the race, how confident were you that you could score this victory today? And secondly, when you took the checkered flag, what was going through your mind about this victory?
PABLO DONOSO: Well, when I came here I came with a lot of confidence. I knew it, and I believe in my team, I believe I can have a good result. So yesterday when they told me you have the pole for today, I said, okay, I'm going to fight this race. Maybe I don't have the fastest car, but I'm going to fight hard because it's hard to pass here.
I told TMR we need to improve some little things on the car, and we did and the car really improved, so today the car was pretty fast. When I first start the race I saw the car was better in those places where yesterday it was hard.
So I guess I was calm and waiting, and when I crossed the finish line, I screamed, vamos todo al día, meaning, come on, let's go for more. I was pretty calm and focused into the race, and we did it.

Q. Some of the guys who have a lot of road racing experience like Dillon Battistini has won four times, all on oval. Your last race of the year is on an oval. Is it your turn?
PABLO DONOSO: Now I'm in a hard position for Chicago because I'm supposed to run with Brian Stewart, but the other day we crashed pretty hard, so the car was broke. I don't have a contract racing with TMR Racing for the next race, so I have to work and see what happens for the next race. I'm not sure if I'm going to run.
But I really love ovals. I moved to Silver Crown for two years to learn the technique, to be smooth, to be good.
I think I'm pretty fast. I did my first pole this year on ovals, so who knows? I hope if I can have a pole in Chicago it would be great. I really like that track. I ran the last two years there, and it's an awesome track. It's pretty fast, and it's great. So I have a lot of confidence if I have a good car for there.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Pablo. Congratulations.



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