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Indy Pro Series: Carneros 100

Open Wheel Racing Topics:  Carneros 100

Indy Pro Series: Carneros 100

Nick Bussell
Alex Lloyd
August 26, 2006


THE MODERATOR: We'll get started. We are joined by Alex Lloyd, second place finisher today in the Sonoma 100. Alex drives for AFS Racing. This is his third top-three finish on a road or street course this year. It is his first visit to Infineon Raceway. It is his fourth top-five finish of the year, and he entered the race weekend ninth in points.
Alex, again, first time you have ever even seen the course getting here this weekend. It had to be a challenge for you, but obviously looking at your three top-three finishes on the road and street courses, something you've been looking forward to.
ALEX LLOYD: Yeah, absolutely. You know, road courses, I've always done. We've got a good car on the road courses. On the ovals, I think we've been struggling a little bit with the car. But on the road courses, we've got a good car and can you really make up something with the driving as well.
It's a type of race that I'm used to, enjoy. Obviously, this is one of the tracks I enjoy as well. It's difficult one to learn. Certainly with the ups and downs, it makes it very challenging.
But, you know, generally an enjoyable, good day, you know, and a decent result.
THE MODERATOR: How tough was Wade up there? He had a strong race, didn't he?
ALEX LLOYD: Yeah, he was. I mean, it was difficult. This is one of those tracks. It's always going to be whoever gets into the first corner first is really going to win unless there's a mistake. We knew that in qualifying. I was a little bit disappointed yesterday.
I thought we had a good enough car to be on the pole. We had it really most of the day, and Wade put in a really quick lap at the end, which we couldn't match, got stuck in traffic and whatnot.
From then on I knew overnight it was going to be tough if I couldn't get into the first corner first. But we had probably the best car today, I think. We had a really quick car. I could just glue myself to Wade's gearbox.
You know, unfortunately, unless he makes a mistake, which all fairness to him he didn't make any mistakes, that's as good as you can do really. You can just push as hard as you can, try for the mistake. It didn't come, so second was the best we could do.
THE MODERATOR: Tell me a little bit about looking forward to tomorrow. What can we expect? More of the same? Some thoughts on changes you might make?
ALEX LLOYD: We're going to make a couple of changes, I think. Generally we had a really good car and a good day. But, you know, it's going to be a tough one again. We're starting fifth on the grid, I think. You know, with how hard it is to overtake, it's going to make life very difficult.
But, you know, there's nothing to lose tomorrow. Everybody, I'm sure, got it in their mind a little bit today that you've got to finish. If you don't finish, then you're starting at the back for tomorrow. I'm sure everybody's got that little bit of caution they're thinking about.
But tomorrow that's all gone, especially for me, who is not in the fight for the championship. I'll be giving it everything. If I get a chance to get close enough, I'll try and put my nose in and see what we can do.
THE MODERATOR: We're also joined by third-place finisher Nick Bussell with Cheever Racing. Nick was, again, our third-place finisher. I belive it was his best finish this season since his second-place effort at Homestead. Nick also placed fourth in the race last year at Infineon Raceway.
How did things go for you today, and what can we expect for tomorrow from you?
NICK BUSSELL: Things went pretty good considering we've struggled up until this point in the season. We've turned some things around with the development of the car. It think it showed today. We were able to run there with the leaders.
Like Alex talked about, I don't think we really could have made a pass on any of the front two unless somebody made a mistake or went off. Neither one of them really did. We were all driving pretty hard. It was going to be real difficult to pass.
THE MODERATOR: The challenge to the road course, you guys both enjoy the racing here?
NICK BUSSELL: Yeah, almost all of us have come from road racing background. We're now getting our high-speed oval experience in the series. We all, I think, pretty much enjoy - I know I do. I like Infineon. I say that it's probably my favorite of the road courses of our season. Definitely challenging and physical. There's a lot of places to make mistakes. I enjoy this place.
I improved on my finish last year from fourth to third. See what we could do tomorrow. We'll be starting third again. We'll see if we can get around those guys up front and see what happens.

Q. Alex, you missed about a month because of an illness. Did the temperatures and I guess the nature of this course affect you at all?
ALEX LLOYD: No, it's fine. Yeah, unfortunately I had to miss a couple of races. We got back into a position where I was fit enough to race. It's no problem at the moment. Back to a hundred percent. Can race as hard as anything.

Q. You did finish second. You look like you had a heck of a duel going the whole day. How much enjoyment do you get out of having a good race for second?
ALEX LLOYD: Well, what's always good is when you come out of a race, you know, you finish second. You can come out and say, We gave it everything. We didn't make any mistakes. We were really quick. Restarts were good. Start was good. We gave it everything we could.
It was a good, fun, clean duel where I was pushing as hard as I could. You know, it's always fun when you come out and know that you couldn't have done any more. Second place, in that respect, is a good result because, you know, that was as good as we could do today.
THE MODERATOR: Guys, thanks so much. Congratulations. Good luck tomorrow.

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