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IZOD IndyCar Series: Edmonton Indy

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Open Wheel Racing Topics:  Edmonton Indy

IZOD IndyCar Series: Edmonton Indy

Helio Castroneves
July 22, 2012


THE MODERATOR:  Takuma, Will, thank you so much for your time today.  Congratulations on the podium finishes. 
We are pleased to be joined by today's race winner Helio Castroneves. 
Helio, great race, great battle at the end with Takuma.  Talk about today's race. 
HELIO CASTRONEVES:  Certainly, strategy starting on blacks, it was the right one.  Certainly we didn't know what to do, especially going up front in that direction.  In the end we decided to keep consistent, and we knew we would have a very good chance to win this race.  It's just a matter of put it together. 
Great strategy.  I knew where I was very strong and I knew where I was weak.  I think that gave me an opportunity to manage well the win. 
But Takuma did a great job.  But in the end of the day for us was a great result, a result we were looking for for a long time.  Well deserved for the team and great for the championship, as well. 
THE MODERATOR:  We'll open it up for questions. 

Q.  This is your third decade of driving IndyCars.  Shouldn't you be slowing down? 
HELIO CASTRONEVES:  I guess yesterday when I saw Dario here and Tag, I said to them, I think the good old boys is still pushing. 
But in the end of the day, I feel experience, and I was definitely able to use that in my favor to win this race.  I guess the fire is still inside.  I won't stop.  I will keep going as long as I can.  I love what I do.  I love racing.  Certainly I love to be where I'm at, as well. 
In the end of the day, you want to keep winning because that's what keeps driving us. 

Q.  (No microphone.)
HELIO CASTRONEVES:  Great.  Different moment, I have to say.  Charles is a good friend of all of us.  Joking around, my second win here, but today it count.  Certainly with Charles there, for me also it was very good to have him there.  People understand that we never, ever fought each other obviously.  Look at the size of the guy.  There isn't even a chance.  It was just asking him a question (laughter). 

Q.  (Question about being back in the championship chase.) 
HELIO CASTRONEVES:  To be honest, we're never out.  We're always in the battle for the championship since we started.  Now we're closer and we're taking the opportunities that we run very well, to take advantage of it. 
Basically this weekend was everything playing into our favor.  Since those guys battling for the championship are penalized for changing engines, going for a different spec, we decided to keep doing what we were doing.  That's why we end up being consistent and winning the race today. 
It was a calculated risk, all the strategy we play.  But I never felt we were outside of the box of this championship.  We are always there, maybe playing a little bit quiet and silent, which I like it, because many, many more years were like aggressive. 
Continuing to work in that low profile, and in the end of the day at Fontana, that's the day it counts. 

Q.  (No microphone.)
HELIO CASTRONEVES:  Taking away?  I don't think so.  I think people remember that.  Maybe some people would disagree with me, that's not my second win.  The majority when we're here, we felt the same way.  We have to turn the page. 
I'm never going to forget what happened, but I certainly got to move on.  Today was a great day, so we realize and finally can say we won here. 
We've always been quick, we've always been there, but today we certainly win. 

Q.  If you and Will end up being in this championship battle, how spirited a battle can you see it being?  Mind games you can play with him at the shop. 
HELIO CASTRONEVES:  To be honest, that's a good problem to have, especially for the team, having two teammates battling for the championship, which is the case right now. 
But I had this situation before with Sam, with Gil.  I've been in this situation before with my own teammates battling for the championship. 
Maybe with Will, might be his first time, but I've been in this position.  I don't see a problem at all.  I actually want it, because that means I know what he's got.  Sometimes I know what I need to do to beat your enemy, let's put it this way. 

Q.  How fierce of a battle do you think it will be?
HELIO CASTRONEVES:  I hope it will really tough.  Certainly Will is an incredible talent.  We all seen that.  And Ryan in a fantastic momentum right now, Hunter-Reay.  In the end of the day, it's all about being there.  Right now I'm still playing cool, man.  I just want to make sure we do what we're doing. 

Q.  How hard were you going in the end?  Did you adjust your style any because of the driver behind you? 
HELIO CASTRONEVES:  Everybody knows Takuma.  Certainly I had that on the back of my mind, so I didn't want to give him a slight chance of opportunity.  That's why maybe I play something different.  I knew where I need to be strong and where I need to take it easy.  That's what I was doing.  Saving up 'push to pass' so I could defend myself.  In the end, I just want to make sure I had enough to protect my position. 
That's what we did.  For the last 20 laps, I knew he was strong, especially on the infield.  I knew my car was pretty good on both straightaways.  With that, I was able to keep the lead and keep the position. 

Q.  (No microphone.)
HELIO CASTRONEVES:  Well, I like the odds every time I come over here.  I think the place, it suit our setup probably and our drive style as well.  Talking about the other second places, certainly I pushed as fast as I could the last few years, and unfortunately I wasn't able to close the deal.  Sometimes you don't have the car to make it happen. 
Today the circumstances played in our favor and we were able to execute. 

Q.  (No microphone.)
HELIO CASTRONEVES:  The fence was a little soft.  I have to say it was a little soft.  I was going all the way, I was hanging on when I saw that thing bending.  I would not let it go till the crowd stopped screaming.  Everybody was really excited. 
I did not plan to climb the fence there.  I realized when I was going to the Victory Circle lap that something snap out of it, Oh, I got to climb the fence.  When I saw the crowd, it was just for the moment and I'm glad I did it right there. 

Q.  Talk about pit stops. 
HELIO CASTRONEVES:  I thought a little risky, a little ballsy for my team.  I don't know if that's the right word in English. 

Q.  That works. 
HELIO CASTRONEVES:  I apologize if you can't explain that in writing (laughter). 
But normally you wait a little longer to do your pit stop.  That's what I was doing.  Once I didn't have the opportunity to pass Tag, I started saving fuel so I could go one lap earlier.  I was surprised when my team called me in.  I thought they heard something they call me in.  I did everything I could on the out-lap to beat those guys.  It was close, but certainly paid off.  It was a strategic point of the race to win the race and it was great. 

Q.  (No microphone.)
HELIO CASTRONEVES:  I don't know.  They told me even when I was in the lead to save a little bit of fuel.  There was a little miscommunication.  I couldn't do the math.  I'm not very good at math.  I was just like, okay, they're telling me to save fuel.  I got to do the number.  I knew the number that I have to do it, so it start coming back. 
That's probably one other reason Takuma start catching me again because I certainly start saving a little bit so that we have enough to use the 'push to pass' and to finish without any issues.  That was also another key to part of the race. 
THE MODERATOR:  Helio, congratulations on today's win.  Thank you for your time. 

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