IZOD IndyCar Series: Kentucky Indy 300
Topics: Kentucky Indy 300
October 2, 2011
THE MODERATOR: Dario, Scott, congratulations on a great race. Best of luck in two weeks in Las Vegas.
We're pleased to be joined by Sarah Fisher who today got your first win as a team owner. Kentucky has always been a special place for you. Now you have one more great memory here. Talk about today's win.
SARAH FISHER: Well, I still don't believe it yet. I hadn't been to the shop in three or four weeks. My daughter was born three weeks ago on Tuesday. The boys have just done a tremendous job. Andy, my husband, who is our team manager, has really stepped up to the plate to run the team and to do it all on his own while I was off messing around with family stuff. The boys just worked incredibly hard.
The big ovals were a hundred percent of our focus this year. We started off at Indy and did really well there, leading laps, and continued that here. Gosh, I still can't believe it. It's just unreal. I've already had somebody ask me, What do you think, being a driver, having a finish, or being an owner, having a win, is it just as special? It absolutely is. I cannot be happier and more proud of the group that we've assembled to accomplish this today.
THE MODERATOR: What was going through your mind with the last eight laps with Ed side-by-side with Dario?
SARAH FISHER: When I had the opportunity to pick a driver for the 67 car, when Andy and I decided to start a family, we were kind of mulling around a couple names. Ed called me one day out of the blue and said, What are you doing? I said, It's funny you ask. 24 hours later he was the 67 driver.
I know he's a very talented individual, especially on ovals. I know that if anyone could have gotten the job done today, he could have done it.
THE MODERATOR: We'll open it for questions.
Q. When you just think of all that's happened to you in the last three weeks, obviously the birth of your daughter is a moment you live your whole life for, but this is something you've lived your whole career for. Talk about finally being able to get into Victory Lane after the struggles this team had.
SARAH FISHER: You know, we've come a long way. For being in existence four years, starting off with having some issues with a sponsorship, Dollar General has stood behind us that whole time. They really believe in who we were as a team, what Andy and I were doing to try to accomplish getting our first win. To have them onboard when we got our first win really means a lot.
It's something that we're really proud of. Certainly I think Zoe is not going to miss any more races. She's going to have to go to every single one from here on out.
Q. I was impressed with the way your team reacted. You're not the vast experienced team like so many teams out there. When it came back to the restart, there was no hesitation that your team knew you had the fuel to go and Ed could do the job. Talk about the team a little bit.
SARAH FISHER: It's not just me. That's first and foremost. We have an incredibly talented group of individuals. This year we were able to give the right tools to accomplish what they needed to do on track, to do the job they did today. I'm extremely proud of every single individual that contributed to make today happen.
Q. In Las Vegas you're adding a second car with Tomas Scheckter. I'm sure Angie from Angie's List will be excited for this thing. Your team is on the move.
SARAH FISHER: Yeah, they are on the move. It's just like what I said, with all the individuals that we have, they've worked so hard. To be able to give them the tools that they need to accomplish the things that they see will enable us to win races, we couldn't do that without people like Angie Hicks of Angie's List, Dollar General. I'm sure they're proud to be a part of that delivery.
THE MODERATOR: We've been joined by Ed Carpenter, winner of today's race. This is Ed's first IndyCar victory.
Ed, you weren't leaving here with anything but a win, were you?
ED CARPENTER: I was going to try my best not to. Early on in the race, I wasn't sure it was the day. A lot of things happened during the day where I wasn't sure it was going to be the day.
But the guys made great changes on the car all day long. Yesterday I felt like we had a winning car. First half of today it didn't feel like it. We kept working at it, did everything we needed to do. The guys kept fighting, even after my visor was falling off. It was meant to be today.
THE MODERATOR: We'll continue with questions.
Q. Sarah, this is a great moment for the team. Each year your team has grown. What is ahead for 2012?
SARAH FISHER: Well, we're trying to figure that out right now. Might as well say it because I said it on Versus. We found out a couple weeks ago that Dollar General wasn't going to include us in their racing platform next year. They're doing a really big roll-out announcement. They needed to use all the capital to get that job done what they're planning on. Maybe this will change that, I don't know.
Certainly where we are going to be is trying to at least put an oval program together again and having Ed in the seat do it all over again.
Q. (No microphone.)
ED CARPENTER: I got over all that a long time ago. I'm just thankful for people like Sarah and Andy never believed that, that gave me a chance to be here today. Without the opportunity they gave me this year, and Dollar General, even though they're on their way out, I'm thankful for everything that's happened this year. It helped me to get to this point.
I always believed that I belonged, known that I could win races. Until you actually win one, there's always going to be people that think something different, and there probably will still be people that think something different. We're all extremely lucky individuals to be able to compete in this sport, do what we love to do. There's plenty of people out there that are capable that aren't doing it. That's the way it is in all sports. It's tough to make it to this level.
Q. How much does winning validate everything?
ED CARPENTER: Winning just feels good for myself, my team, my family. I don't care what everybody else thinks at this point. It took me 113 tries. I've been working at it a long time, I'm just going to enjoy it.
Q. (No microphone.)
ED CARPENTER: As I was putting my fist up, I was a little worried it might slow me down. We had a head of steam, I didn't think we were going to not win that one.
I'd be setting it up the last 10 laps, got it to where I used my 'push to pass' twice. I think I had eight or nine left. I used it twice. Both times I used them, I beat him to the line. I felt pretty good, depending on how he was using his, I did two of them and it worked both times. They told me I had one more than him. I started using them once we got to that point, tried to run him out. I'm not sure when he used his last one.
I did get a little worried out of four. He had his best run out of four than he had in a few laps. Once we got rolling down the straightaway, the Honda motor took over and the guys built an awfully slick car, so it did the rest.
Q. (No microphone.)
ED CARPENTER: I mean, you know, I think all drivers at some point have tracks that they just really enjoy. Salem was the same way for me in Sprint car. We went there every year. We found a way to be strong. This place has changed every year. Similar things have worked the past three years that we've been strong. I've been on the podium the past three years with three different teams, and essentially three different setups each time. It's just a lot of hard work and I'm comfortable at this track.
I don't know exactly what it is, but I like coming here and I sure hope it's on the schedule next year.
Q. Take us through the last pit stop.
ED CARPENTER: Going into that last long yellow, I was really just trying to save fuel, to have enough fuel to really be able to race hard. Got a good start. I think Scott was thinking he was going to fall in line behind Dario that last restart. I was able to get under him, get past him. At first I was thinking I would kind of hang out with Dario, try to get away from the guys. Felt like I had a faster car. Got outside of him, was able to stay there, close to the line. Asked one last time if I had enough fuel with the mileage I was getting running in clean air. Once the team told me that was the case, I wanted to stay outside of him. I felt like we'd be able to beat him to the line. That's the same way I lost the race in 2009. I learned a lot in that race in 2009 that came back today and helped me finish off the race. The roles were reversed to how Briscoe and I were then.
Once I knew we had enough fuel to make it, I wanted to race hard, stay outside of him, even if it meant the rest of the field was going to come up behind us. I knew no one was going to go around both of us. Wanted to stay there, get it sorted out, get the timing right to figure out how to get to the line.
THE MODERATOR: Ed and Sarah, congratulations to both of you on your first win.
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