IZOD IndyCar Series: Iowa Corn Indy 250 Presented by Pioneer
Topics: Iowa Corn Indy 250 Presented by Pioneer
June 25, 2011
THE MODERATOR: Congratulations. For the second consecutive year you find yourself in victory lane as a team owner here at Iowa.
MICHAEL ANDRETTI: I'm beginning to really love Iowa.
THE MODERATOR: Talk about tonight's race and seeing Marco get that win.
MICHAEL ANDRETTI: I'm just so happy and relieved for him. There's been a huge monkey on his back, and it was on mine, as well. There was just a lot of pressure on us, him as a driver, me as an owner, because of some of the past things that happened at Indy and stuff. So to come back and win like this, it was just a great, great day.
I'm happy for all the Venom guys. They did a great job. The last pit stop they brought him out P1. They did it when we needed it. It was just really truly a team effort, and Marco drove a hell of a race there in the end. To be driving the guys -- he was beating the best. He had Tony out there, he had Dario, Dixon, and he drove very well there in the end.
Q. Not to get overly dramatic about how much the team needed this victory, but how much did the team need this victory?
MICHAEL ANDRETTI: It was a big win for us for sure. I think a lot of people were really pounding on us and thought we were down and out, but I can tell you this team has got tons of fight in it, and we are never out. We got together and made a few little changes in the team, and everybody just rallied and everybody worked their butts off, and here we are. I'm just proud of everybody on this team.
Q. You guys have won three of the five races here at Iowa. What is it that makes you so good here at Iowa?
MICHAEL ANDRETTI: I don't know. I think, one, the drivers like the track. I think that's a start. We tend to have pretty good cars on the smaller ovals. From the past we've always seemed to have good setups for the races, and it was that way today.
His car did really well. He drove up through the field. He didn't inherit anything. He earned every spot out there.
But I don't know why. I'm not complaining. We like coming here.
THE MODERATOR: We have also been joined by race winner Marco Andretti. Great battle tonight. Talk about making that big move on TK.
MARCO ANDRETTI: I mean, it was fun racing. You know, it's always nice at the front. You know you can always trust those guys. It was close, it was dicy, but that's what the fans want. We had a packed house tonight. It was good to see. I'm glad we could put on a bit of a show anyway.
But yeah, I think the last 30 laps I was really asking how many laps to go because I didn't want to wait until three laps to go to make the move because if he would have chopped me or something, I would have been way back kind of like what I did to him. I wanted to kind of be in the driver's seat and kind of make the move when he was least expecting it, and from there we had to really put our head down.
I got the lead a couple times so I kind of knew what I needed to stay on the bottom. I was really aggressive with the tools in the car and stuff, and we made it work.
Q. To kind of follow up on the earning it part, a lot of people -- your previous victory a lot of people always wanted to say matter of circumstance, the way the race came out you were able to finish with that tank of fuel. This is one you went out and raced your ass off. Talk about how satisfying this victory is for you.
MARCO ANDRETTI: Well, it is, but at the same time nothing has changed in my driving since. All I've gained is experience. We've been in a position to win a lot of races we've come up short, so it's more, I think, relieved is the word. You know, I never doubted the team, never doubted myself. I always said as soon as the stars were aligned and a little bit of luck goes my way that we'd be sitting here.
Q. I wonder if you could contrast the feeling of winning tonight as opposed to five years ago because five years ago you were a rookie. Do you have a different perspective on winning now as opposed to back then?
MARCO ANDRETTI: Still feels good, man. No, I think it's just the drought, so to speak, just made me appreciate what we have here in IndyCar racing. From the drivers to the teams, it just makes us appreciate being here that much more because we know we beat those guys.
The competition is unbelievable if you look at qualifying. That's what IndyCar racing is all about. It made me appreciate it. We've been in positions to win races but we fell short, but it's good to capitalize tonight.
Q. How important is it for this series to have an Andretti back in victory lane?
MICHAEL ANDRETTI: Well, it's important for us, I know that. But I think it's great. I think it's something that we needed. I think it's going to be a popular win, and I think we need to get him up there winning more than just this one, and hopefully Graham will get up there, too, and get a little rivalry going. I think that sort of thing is always good.
Q. And also, five-year drought included -- you were only 19 when you won that first race so a lot of guys don't even start their IndyCar career at your age right now. Do you think this is the start of something big?
MARCO ANDRETTI: I'm going to be looking to make a habit of this, that's for sure. You know, it definitely gets the monkey off our back a bit because, you know, we can quiet a lot of my doubters at the same time. It feels so good.
Q. Just a couple days ago you were out at a local ethanol promotion. We had 2,500 corn growers here today. Just a comment you might make to them and this fuel that you're driving on?
MARCO ANDRETTI: Yeah, you know, I think it's great that we can be green and still have performance. We're thankful to have their support. I love this place. I mean, Iowa is great. It's my third podium. I've been on every level of the podium here. It's a unique place as far as to drive, so I love coming here.
Q. Tony being your former teammate, did it make it easier racing against him at the end? Did you kind of have an idea what he would do since you guys used to be teammates and talk a lot and strategy and so forth?
MARCO ANDRETTI: Yeah, you kind of learn people, but I had the car to do it. That's what it came down to. You know, I was trying a couple times on the outside, but I knew I had to go on the inside when he was least expecting it, like he did to me a couple times. It was good racing for a while. We were clean, and you know, if I did anything mean to him, I'm sure he understands it's for the win, and I wouldn't be belly aching if he chopped me. It's for first place.
THE MODERATOR: Looking ahead for both of you, how important is this win headed into Toronto, a track synonymous with the Andretti name from both a team and driver's standpoint?
MICHAEL ANDRETTI: Well, I think it's huge, and hopefully we can get the momentum going here. It's always nice to get a win. I think it just lifts everybody within the team and hopefully we can just now ride this momentum. I'd love to see him winning in Toronto. That would be just huge.
MARCO ANDRETTI: Yeah, I mean, as is here, but the Canadian race fans are great. We love going up there. Obviously Dad is like a god up there, seven wins. But I'm looking to make my mark up there for sure.
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