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February 2, 2016

Matthew Brabham

Indianapolis, Indiana

THE MODERATOR: We're joined now by Matthew Brabham who will be racing the Grand Prix of Indianapolis this May and also the Indianapolis 500.

I feel like we keep asking everybody this, but for somebody racing at their first Indianapolis 500, this must mean so much to you.

MATTHEW BRABHAM: Absolutely. It means a lot. I grew up listening to stories of my dad being at the race. He raced in it 10 times. My grandfather also racing in it, too. Having that rear engine car come over.

The hundredth running, there's a lot of things all falling into place, really building around this place. To have the opportunity to have my rookie year as part of the hundredth running with the history, it's just absolutely awesome. I'm really excited. I can't wait for the month of May to start.

Yeah, just really grateful and appreciative of all our partners and sponsors and everyone that has supported me throughout my career to get to this start.

THE MODERATOR: A unique partnership you have going on for this month of May, the Chris Kyle Foundation, who came to fame through the movie The American Sniper is playing a part in your team with the Frog Foundation.

MATTHEW BRABHAM: The history behind the hundredth running is a huge part of it. But also the Memorial Day side of it is another big aspect of the event. We're very proud to announce our partnership with the Chris Kyle Frog Foundation, and have Taya there as our team ambassador at the Indy 500. We're looking forward to getting her out at the event and doing everything we can to support her charity and what she's doing.

It's a great initiative. Again, it all links back into what we're doing. The Indy 500, the hundredth running, Memorial Day weekend, all those great things that kind of fell into place.

It's all been really just awesome and great. Yeah, we're really excited about it. We have a lot of cool media aspects on that side. We have some good programs coming around with that that we'll announce soon. So stay tuned.

We have a really cool program, Team Murray, Brett Murray, what we're trying to do is set ourselves apart from everyone else and what we're doing. We have some really cool things coming. Yeah, can't wait to get it all started.

THE MODERATOR: We keep talking about the hundredth running, but your journey in May will start with the Grand Prix, a track you raced on in Indy Lights, correct?

MATTHEW BRABHAM: Correct. I was lucky enough to win the inaugural race of the Indy Lights race here, the Indy Grand Prix on the road course. It was a race that was raining just like today outside, pretty similar weather conditions.

Yeah, no, I love the road course. It's improved a lot ever since I started playing it on video games on Formula One PlayStation games. To be living it in real life, the track is pretty awesome.

The long straights really promote some close, tight racing. You can really pass a lot of cars because of the downforce and running low wing. I think that was one of the most fun races I ever had. I was racing with Gabby Chaves. We passed each other for the lead two or three times. It was a pretty interesting race.

Really excited to get that race under my belt heading into the Indy 500 this year, help me develop as we run into the month of May. We have a couple test days. The big thing for me is getting used to the pit stops, team strategy, how the team operates and works, what's different from IndyCar to Indy Lights. Doing the Grand Prix is a fantastic event because obviously I've raced there before, I'm familiar with the track, familiar with the event. It's just getting used to the IndyCar side of things, I guess.

THE MODERATOR: You mentioned your special memories from your time in Indy Lights. Of all the drivers that can speak to the benefits of the Indy Lights program and the Mazda Road to Indy, you're a prime example of it. In American terms, it's almost like baseball. What are some of the things you took away from that experience that led to this opportunity for you?

MATTHEW BRABHAM: Yeah, it's a fantastic program. Obviously the Mazda Road to Indy is pretty much where all of us are coming from these days. It's a clear, defined path, a ladder system that you keep moving up if you keep winning the championship.

I was lucky enough to get through the first two rungs of the championship by winning the F2000 and the Pro Mazda championship. I couldn't be here today without that.

I can tell you, racing is very tough at the moment, especially on the sponsorship side of things. That really kick started my career in the U.S. It's the reason why I'm here today.

Yeah, no, it's definitely a great program. The things I've really learnt from that, probably more so on the business side of things as well, because they offer some great programs off the track about how to present yourself, how to go about doing things, how to connect with sponsors. I've learned a lot about that.

They're also very tightly connected with IndyCar. I'm always at the events learning from those guys. It's a pretty open paddock. I can always walk up to the drivers, they're pretty nice, even if I don't recognize some of the guys there.

It's definitely a lot of fun. I definitely took a lot out of the Mazda Road to Indy. I think pretty much everybody coming up into IndyCar is going to be coming from there, for sure.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Matthew.

MATTHEW BRABHAM: Thank you very much. Cheers.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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