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IndyCar Series: Iowa Corn Indy 250

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Open Wheel Racing Topics:  Iowa Corn Indy 250

IndyCar Series: Iowa Corn Indy 250

Ryan Briscoe
Hideki Mutoh
June 21, 2009


NEWTON, IOWA

THE MODERATOR: Ryan Briscoe, tell us about your trip today around the track?
RYAN BRISCOE: It was an exciting day. You know, had a really good car. We had to make a change in the beginning of the first stop. Started the race, and a massive push all the way around.
So we sort of got through that first stint, and then we were dialed in with my bars and weight jacker. And then the first stop we put the front wing into it, and we had the restart, and we were loose going into one.
So it actually took a while today until I really found where I needed the car to be. Once I did though, we were lightning quick, so it was great.
I think it was really tough for the start of the race, too. With all the rain we've had. The track was really green, so it was very slippery. I think that's why we saw the cautions we did, and then the track just got faster as the day went on.
So, had a great battle at the end there with Dario. Unfortunately, I didn't have enough for him at the end. I was hoping with the lap traffic we were coming up on at the end I was going to be able to catch him like the previous stint and get around him, but he actually got the luckier draw with the traffic, and was able to extend the lead.
So it was tough. But I knew where the others were and, you know, it was a pretty good day to come in second and extend the points lead.

Q. Would you have liked to have had this scenario at Texas where the last pit stop sequence would have been done under green?
RYAN BRISCOE: It was done under green.

Q. But the green flag pit stop, that's something that you would have desperately have wanted?
RYAN BRISCOE: Obviously, in Texas that would have made my day. I certainly didn't need the yellow. You know, today I was -- I didn't think I was going to have much of a day if we did have a yellow, unless we beat Dario in the pits.
But he was better than me on cold tires today. And that's where he had the advantage. I thought I was a bit quicker from about lap 8 to about lap 50 and then it sort of plateaued out on the end. But he was very good on the cold tires today.

Q. Ryan, when you're coming in for that pit stop, did you have the sense this was going to be a fateful one? You needed to win that one out there once Dario got out in front or whoever it was. It was going to be tough to catch?
RYAN BRISCOE: Yeah, the last pit stop of the day is always most crucial. We had a great pit stop. I probably left a little bit on the table coming in off the back straight. It was the first time I had really gotten the chance to practice doing it.
You know, we missed the first practice session yesterday, and that's when we really go out there and practiced the in-and-out laps. I think with Dario having tested here last week, I'm sure he had many hundreds of laps and many out-and-ins where he was able to make a little bit of a difference for me at that point.

Q. You've got three consecutive second place finishes. That's pretty good. Have you put it together and figured out what you need for that last push to get to first place?
RYAN BRISCOE: I don't think we're doing anything wrong. I think, you know, we're doing an extraordinary job as a whole team. You know, it's going to be like this, I think, for the rest of the season. It's going to be very close. Every race we go to, it's going to be tough.
We're just going to have to keep on our game. Keep doing what we're doing. And hopefully, you know, we'll start with those last few laps instead of the first few laps.

Q. I didn't hear if you had commented, but it seemed a lot of cars hit the wall in turn two. Was that bump that they talked about over there that bad or in a bad place?
RYAN BRISCOE: I haven't seen why there were crashes today. The bump was definitely there. We could drive over it no problem. It certainly moved the car around, and in a way probably made it, you know, a bit more of a challenge, which isn't a bad thing.
You know, I don't mind a little bit of character. It's like when you go to a road course and you've got elevation changes and stuff, you know, it just adds character. Obviously, if it gets too big and really starts bottoming out, you know, then we need to address it.
I think Rusty has actually already addressed it this year and tried to fix it. But the way it was today it added a challenge, and our cars could definitely handle it.

Q. How big a boost was it for the drivers in the series to come to a place like this?
RYAN BRISCOE: It's awesome. There's so much hype here. And I think the Iowans who come to this race are knowledgeable and enthusiastic open wheel racing fans.
I know that the racing community around here is very strong, with Knoxville dirt just up the road and many other dirt tracks around here. And I think there's a lot of resemblance between that and what we do in IndyCar Racing. It's just great to come out here and see a packed house. And we wish we had that everywhere we go.
THE MODERATOR: We welcome Hideki Mutoh, third place. Would you tell us how your ride went and we'll open up with questions for you?
HIDEKI MUTOH: Yeah, we had a lot of accidents today, but I just stayed out of trouble. And my guys did a fantastic job at pit stops. So I really appreciate my guys and I can gain position there.
And also my car was really good handling really good, and I could pass a few cars at restart. And my goal this weekend was a podium finish, so now I'm here and I'm really happy.

Q. How did the track run for you gentlemen both? I know the weather did play into it, but what was your reaction to how the track held up? You mentioned it was green in the beginning.
RYAN BRISCOE: Yeah, the track was good. It was a bit green in the beginning. I think we all sort of expected that with the rain we had. No real issue with marbles, which was a nice surprise. We went two grooves around the whole track green all day. And most of my passing was done around the outside.
You know, it was good fun being able to do that and go wheel-to-wheel. You know, I thought the track held up great.

Q. Do you enjoy kind of being under the radar at AGR? It kind of seems like Danica gets a lot of the attention, then you've got Marco and T.K., and a lot of people don't really notice you that much. Do you kind of enjoy that?
HIDEKI MUTOH: Yeah, I'm really enjoying with my teammates. I mean, T.K. has a lot of experience, and he is a really funny guy. And Danica is sometimes seems , you know, angry, but she's not. She's really focusing on winning races. But I like her very much, too.
And with Marco, I go out to dinner or sometimes, you know I have night life with him. We're having fun, yeah.

Q. (Indiscernible).
HIDEKI MUTOH: I don't know what he's drinking, because I'm so drunk every time (laughing). Sorry. No, I'm kidding. We drink just water.
THE MODERATOR: We really enjoyed having you today. Congratulations. We hope you come back to Iowa.
RYAN BRISCOE: Thank you.
HIDEKI MUTOH: Thank you.



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