IZOD IndyCar Series: Iowa Corn Indy 250
Topics: Iowa Corn Indy 250
June 23, 2013
THE MODERATOR: We are pleased to be joined by Michael Andretti of Andretti Autosport, our winning team owner, this is the consecutive one, two finish for Andretti Autosport at Iowa. Just talk about the great season your team is having.
MICHAEL ANDRETTI: Yeah, it's just been a great year. We work really hard, and all that hard work is paying off. We are working great as a team. All four cars are communicating very well and all four drivers and engineers and everything, and you know, it's like I've been saying and preaching all year. That's where we are getting our results and it's been awesome.
As for coming here to Iowa, hope they never take this race off the schedule. You know, it's just been such a great race since the moment it made the schedule. It's a great racetrack. We have great fans that come out and support it, and I hope it stays on the schedule for a long time.
Q. Ryan said that he thinks that your guys have particularly figured out the short ovals, but it's not the only place that your cars seem to do really well. I asked you at the beginning of the season what the dynamic is rolling behind the team. What would you say is the great strength of the program right now? Where is the really great focus?
MICHAEL ANDRETTI: Well, I think just what I just said before; I think the focus is on team and team work. IndyCar Racing is very tough, because you get very little track time. You don't get the test. You barely get any practice on a race weekend.
So, you know, getting information is very important, and you need to get good, accurate information, and you need to have information that you can trust, and that's what we have with all four cars that are out there running all the time. We are getting four cars of data, and the four drivers and four engineers all work together and trust each other, and so we are getting four times the work done than if you had one car out there.
I think that's the biggest thing. I don't think it's anything else than that. I don't think we have any tricks or anything like that. Just good, hard work and good team work.
Q. Next race is Pocono and that's really when the championship gets even tighter. Can you foresee, you're looking at two, three guys battling for the championship.
MICHAEL ANDRETTI: Boy, I hope you're right. Or three that they are battling‑‑ that one pain in the butt out there, that Penske car‑‑ (laughter).
Q. But forecast what these races are going to be like in terms of one of your drivers trying to break away in the championship.
MICHAEL ANDRETTI: Well, I mean, hopefully all the ones that are in the championship now, especially the three with James and Marco and Ryan, that they just continue to finish races and continue to get points; and races like today where Marco didn't have a great car but he still came home ninth and got some important points and that's what it's going to take.
We just have to hope we finish the year without any problems with the cars and all three of them, if we do that, I think one of them has a chance at winning the championship.
Having said that, guys like Helio, with his experience and everything, it's going to be really difficult and he's going to make it go right down to the wire, I can assure you. But it's always nice to have more than one bullet in the gun, and right now we have three real legitimate shots at winning the championship.
Q. James didn't have a win coming into the season, and now has three in ten starts. Can you talk a little about how he's grown as a driver here in 2013?
MICHAEL ANDRETTI: Yeah, it's just really come together. You know, just a matter of time for James. He showed great brilliance last year in a lot of races and even races before and other teams that he's been with.
We all knew he had potential. It's always one of those deals, you get that first one and it seems like the next one comes a little bit easier because you have that confidence to know that you can do it, and I think that's where James is right now.
He's had a weird year, for sure, where he's been feast or famine; he either wins or he has problems. But he knows he's capable of winning, and you know, if he can just hopefully get through all his problems and continue to do what he's doing, I think he has a good shot at the championship.
Q. With races back‑to‑back, I know everybody is tired but does it help to come from a one‑mile oval like Milwaukee to come here?
MICHAEL ANDRETTI: Honestly, I don't think it really matters. I don't think it really does, because it's the same amount of work between getting the cars ready for each event that really, it's not a big thing. I think maybe for your thought process; you can continue thinking the same way as you did the week before, that makes it a little nicer. But in the end, it's not a big difference.
THE MODERATOR: Congratulations on a great race and one, two finish.
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