Indy Pro Series: Iowa 100
Topics: Iowa 100
June 23, 2007
THE MODERATOR: We have the winner of this year's Indy Pro Series Iowa 100, Alex Lloyd. Congratulations. As most of us know this his your sixth win of the year and expands his points lead. It's his eighth career victory.
And Alex, today you've become the all-time winningest driver in the history of the Indy Pro Series, so congratulations. We'd like to get your feelings about today's race and where you're at in the season and how things went.
ALEX LLOYD: Thanks. Today's race has been brilliant for us, it really has. You know, it was a difficult one, it really was. It was as close as I expected it to be before the race. It was so difficult to pass out there, and you know, for the most part of the race, I was struggling a little bit to keep my car low.
So I was going on the higher line and I discovered with my engineer some settings within the car that worked a little bit better. And I thought if I can do, I'll stay on the high side and leave that bottom bit for later in the race because I figured I would have one chance at getting the lead; and if I made that opportunity or made the pass too soon, he would see what I was planning and if he got past me he would probably block that again.
So I left it as long as I dared do, really, and got that run at the end and put my nose in there, and I know he wasn't expecting that; and that was one of the reasons why I was going on the high side so much. It tricked him a little bit.
All fairness to Wade, he didn't squeeze me. We had a very clean race. It was just fantastic. Whenever you win a race and it's that close and that time and it comes down to, you know who has that last little bit at the edge and who can deliver it in the final few punches, and that was a really fantastic feeling.
I think for myself, the whole team I never have seen the team so pumped as when I came into victory lane; they were going mad. I think a big thank you to them, Sam Schmidt Motorsports, Lucas Motor Oil, everybody has done a great job all year. As you say, it's the eighth win altogether, and six of those have been with this team. And it's just been a phenomenal first half of the years it really has and hope we can continue this for the second half.
ALEX LLOYD: Not as difficult as I hoped it would be when I was in second. I was hoping it would hold Wade up in particular, so I could get a run but as it happened we were all able to get through there pretty smoothly. I think there was only one point earlier on in the race when I was in third and we got held up a little bit, and that enabled me to get through to second.
In the middle of the race, I was thinking where am I going to make the move here. If I could get through, I felt like I could probably at least keep him behind me; I felt like he could keep up with me but I could keep him behind me.
We really didn't get too much. I guess my most worrying moment with traffic was on the last few laps when I figured that I had the race covered. I had the bottom line, the car was working great. He didn't look like could run that low; and therefore, he was running out of the slipstream; so he could not keep up with me. And then I saw the traffic with a few to go and I thought, this could be the only thing that could hold me up and give him a chance. When we got through is there cleanly and I managed to bring it home and for us it was just a fantastic day.
Thank you to everyone at Iowa Speedway. They have done a great job. I think the race was as exciting if not more than what we were all promised beforehand. So they have done a great job and I'm looking forward to racing here for many years to come.
ALEX LLOYD: It's tough, it really is. I think it's easier when you've got a speed differential, but when you're all running the same speed, as certainly the end, the three of us, Wade, myself and Hideki were all running very, very similar speeds.
It's very, very difficult. And certainly for us, we couldn't pass on the high side. I mean, you can go up there but you just lose the momentum. You couldn't keep that speed as being on the bottom, so you really had to make the pass to the inside, which is, again -- our car worked great.
When we got into the lead, we were really able to hug the bottom which as I knew at that point that, nobody else was going to get past unless traffic held us up a little bit. So I think that's one of the reasons I wanted to wait again. Wade's tires looked like his front tires were going off a little bit. He was washing up the tracks and he could not keep it as low as he needed to be and I think he thought he had the bottom covered but there's always that -- there's always that car length if you really force the issue. And I managed to find that car length that we needed and have a few inches to squeeze the car in there and he gave me those inches, as well, and we had a clean race and it was just a fantastic feeling.
Q. How does it feel to be the winningest driver in the history of the Indy Pro Series racing?
ALEX LLOYD: It means a lot to me. I think before the year, I never really thought that I would be one of those guys that would get hung up on small details, details like that of statistics. I was never really a statistics guy. I set my goal as winning Indy, winning the championship.
But as soon as you start realizing that these things are possible, it really, really made me want it. I was disappointed last weekend that we didn't get results we were hoping for. We lost the win streak. But we really made up for it here today.
And to have my name at the top of those statistics is a very special thing and it's something that I've been working very hard for and worked very hard for since I joined the Indy Pro Series. You know, for me, I can't say enough about the whole series. I think they have really if a way saved my career, because I was struggling a lot in Europe before I came over here and tried to find a drive.
And coming over here, the way it's run, the team owners involved, everybody within the series have done a really great job of promoting young drivers and giving guys like me a chance.
Q. You mentioned your team and you gave credit to your team and how exuberant they were at the end of the race today. Why would this race make them more exuberant than, say, your fifth win?
ALEX LLOYD: I would say it's the nature in which we won it. When it's that close and you've got to -- you've really got to pull the stops out and you've got to do something that the other drivers maybe had not thought of doing; and a strategy that, like I say, you have to work on from the beginning of the race, making sure that he thinks you're going to go high.
If you're going to make a move, you're going to go high and then trick him into going low with a few laps to go, it's one of those feelings that when it comes off like that and it works and you win the race.
And it's a race that it could have been anybody's, it really was; just down to who timed it, who worked in the traffic right and who got it done. When you have a race that you win with a few laps to go, it's certainly a very special feeling.
I think that's probably the closest race that I've won, and the most hard-fought race. So for me it was very special and the team, I guess, the same thing; just seeing us cross the line, having spent a hundred laps or whatever it is in second place, to cross the line in first was fantastic with just a few laps to go.
THE MODERATOR: Congratulations. Thank you very much for your time.
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