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VERIZON INDYCAR SERIES: THE SHELL AND PENNZOIL GRAND PRIX OF HOUSTON RACE 1


June 28, 2014


Dale Coyne

Carlos Huertas


HOUSTON, TEXAS

THE MODERATOR:テつ We'd like to welcome Carlos Huertas and Dale Coyne.テつ Dale, we'll start with you.テつ A great weekend obviously getting this win for Carlos, getting his first career win.テつ How happy are you as a team owner to see him succeed here at the Grand Prix of Houston.
DALE COYNE:テつ It's great.テつ He's done a steady job all year.テつ He's never crashed, he's never spun, he's never gone off in the run‑off area, but he's been very steady and very fast.テつ He gets mad in the race car once in a while, but that's good, and he performs.
We used a good strategy today to get him to the front, but then he showed he can stay in the front.テつ We put him up there and there was a lot going on behind him, and as soon as Justin had to pit, and as soon as that happened he was able to pull away, so it shows what he's made of as a driver.
THE MODERATOR:テつ We'll go ahead and welcome Carlos Huertas.テつ This is Carlos' first career Verizon IndyCar Series win.テつ His previous best finish was eighth at the first Belle Isle race and the first race that he has led laps in the Verizon IndyCar Series.テつ Carlos, talk about your win today and how you were able to get through all the chaos and all the action at the Grand Prix of Houston here today.
CARLOS HUERTAS:テつ Yeah, it was a really long race and I really struggled on the wet.テつ I had no pace, so I decided to stay very calm, and normally I'm calm but today I had to stay more calm because people were passing me, and I just didn't have any grip.テつ Then when it started drying up, I thought maybe we had a chance, and then I kept asking how many laps to the end of the race because I thought we could make it on the fuel.テつ Funny enough, before the race on the strategy meeting, I asked the team if it was possible to do the race with just one stop, and they started laughing, and they said, if you have a pace of 80 seconds, then for sure, but I wouldn't recommend it.
But yeah, it was a great day.テつ I was worried when Justin wasn't pitting because I think he was trying to make it to the end, but then they realized they couldn't make it.テつ I'm very happy I won.テつ In every series I've won at least once, so it's great.テつ And winning in a professional series like this one is incredible.

Q.テつ Carlos, can you take me through that final restart when you had your childhood hero behind you and you were getting ready for what looked like a one‑lap dash?
CARLOS HUERTAS:テつ Yeah, I was warming the tires really well and the brakes, and then I saw him in my mirrors.テつ He got really close, and then I just second gear, full throttle, I had a good gap, and as soon as I came out of the corner, he did the overtake, and I knew he didn't have anything left.テつ There was a big gap, and then they said yellow came out, and I was like, I have to do this again.
It would have been nicer to win the race full speed, but anyways, it's a victory, and I'm happy.

Q.テつ Carlos, we asked the other Carlos this, as well.テつ Is it a thrill to beat Juan Pablo, someone you grew up watching?
CARLOS HUERTAS:テつ Look, like it's beating any other driver, just you guys and obviously the fans, they know what he has done and they keep reminding us.テつ I already know it.テつ It just shows the level of series, that if I do a good job and I beat guys like that, it's amazing.テつ I have huge respect for him, and to beat him shows that I've done a good job.テつ But my objective is to beat all the drivers, and I treat them all the same, otherwise it wouldn't be the same feeling.

Q.テつ And also, this race ended just a few minutes after Colombia's win in the World Cup, and then three Colombian drivers win the podium.テつ Is that a big deal to you?
CARLOS HUERTAS:テつ Yeah, it's great.テつ Obviously the football, as you guys say it, soccer, is huge in Colombia, and I was there last week for every game, and every time the game starts, like the whole country stops.テつ People don't even work.テつ My win is just a little bit, I hope they're happy, and the people that watched it back home, my girlfriend, my friends, my family, my mom was sitting there watching it, I hope they're very happy, because it means a lot to me.テつ Maybe you guys don't see how happy I am, but believe me, I'm happy.

Q.テつ Do they play tomorrow by chance?
CARLOS HUERTAS:テつ No.

Q.テつ How prepared were you for the changing positions today, and is that something that you anticipated coming into this weekend?
CARLOS HUERTAS:テつ I was a little bit prepared.テつ I spoke with Juan before the race on Thursday, and he said, prepare, because Friday and Saturday is going to be really wet, and I was like, really?テつ It's really hot here, I don't believe you.テつ And then yesterday was dry, which was nice, and then today I knew even if it rained we would have had half the race dry, and that's what happened.テつ I'm used to it.テつ In Europe I had races like that, especially in British Formula 3.テつ I didn't do any mistakes, and it was easy to do that, so hopefully we don't have another start like today where I couldn't see anything.

Q.テつ Dale, I guess nobody can call you the little guy anymore.テつ Talk about that accomplishment.
DALE COYNE:テつ I think it shows the depth of what we've put together.テつ A lot of things changed this year from last year, but we were still able to put together a great group of guys.テつ I think we had a very, very good strategy today.テつ That strategy comes from years of being here, so in the interview I said people forget how to run a timed race.テつ I was all excited when they said it was a timed race, open the pits on yellow we'll really show you how to do this thing, but those strategies have been around for years, so I think all that helped.テつ Obviously both guys could run strong, and again, Carlos, he runs so clean, and able to run strong when we put him out in the front.テつ Sometimes it takes strategy to do that.テつ We've done that a couple times this year, and it's worked out well.テつ So we're very, very pleased and we've been close to getting a race win earlier this year or two, so maybe we can do more than one this year.

Q.テつ Carlos, Juan has always been a big hero to you, the satisfaction level of being able to beat Juan Pablo Montoya in an IndyCar race.
CARLOS HUERTAS:テつ It's great.テつ He's the best Colombian driver.テつ He's been one of the very best in the world, past world championship races, everywhere he's been, and nearly won the F1 championship, as well, has won in NASCAR, and then he comes back here and he's competitive straight away.
It shows that I did a good job today.テつ The field is very, very strong.テつ He said before, if you have a mediocre day you can easily be lost, which is a second off, which is not bad, but you're last.テつ It says a lot about the series, how competitive it is, and also the circuit, being the lap time is so short, makes it even tighter.テつ You have to be on top of your game every session, every qualifying and every race.

Q.テつ Carlos, last race at Texas there was a discussion between you and Juan, I guess you guys spoke it out afterwards.テつ Can you speak a little bit about that and what went on afterwards?
CARLOS HUERTAS:テつ Yeah, he was really angry because he lost the race, and I did a little mistake which I agree 50 percent as I told him.テつ We tested in Pocono.テつ It wasn't a good day for me.テつ And then we had dinner.テつ We spoke about it.テつ We had a little fight in a nice way.テつ He told me, look, you have to do this, and I said, yeah, you're right, but I didn't touch you, you touched me, and then he goes like, oh, you broke my front wing, and then we came in front of his car and the wind was okay, and I said, I'm really sorry.テつ But it's racing.テつ He wants to beat me, I want to beat him, and he knows a lot.テつ He knows everything.テつ He's raced against many, many people.テつ He's always giving me good advice, helped me a lot.テつ Sometimes people have the wrong impression about him, but he's a really, really nice guy.テつ If he can help you, he does it.
Apart from just telling me things about the racetrack, about the car, on the personal side he's helped me, and we've spent some time together, joked a little bit.テつ So it's been good.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports



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