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September 9, 2007

Logan Gomez

Alex Lloyd

Robbie Pecorari


MODERATOR: We're joined in the media center by Robert Pecorari, third place finisher for today's race. For Robert, it's his fourth Top 5 finish of the season.
Robert, talk about your run out there today.
ROBBIE PECORARI: Today we knew it was going to be some close racing. And the first half of the race, basically learned as much as possible. And rookie season, pick up everything I can learn for next season; hopefully we'll be back.
Besides that, good close racing; three-wide, definitely great for the fans and it was a fun race.
MODERATOR: Questions.

Q. I'm just looking at the pictures here. How did you get through that first big accident?
ROBBIE PECORARI: Which one was that?

Q. With Jaime and Chris Festa.
ROBBIE PECORARI: You know, I saw the cars. They touched. I just went high. Figured they'd gather it all together, go high around them all. From there I saw smoke, hit the brakes and went low. Luckily I came out on the other side of it.

Q. What are your plans for 2008?
ROBBIE PECORARI: Working on a few things. I can't say exactly what it is. But the plan is to be back in the Indy Pro Series for 2008. And there's a few things coming together. But we've got to figure it out for the off season.
MODERATOR: Thank you, Robert.
We're now joined by today's second place finisher, the 2007 Indy Pro Series champion, Alex Lloyd. And probably the closest finish in Indy Pro and Indy Racing League history, 0.0005 of a second. Before we get to that, Alex, talk about your run out there today.
ALEX LLOYD: It was a good race. I mean the disappointing thing was the amount of yellows we had. That was a shame. But the racing was as close as it's ever been on this track. And it always is. This track always produces great racing.
I think from my standpoint I was pretty happy when we were out in front. And obviously the yellow came at just the wrong time for me because that meant Logan then had a nose ahead of me on the back straight and he got the lead.
From then on I just really stayed in line. Just wanted to push Logan as much as I can, get away and make it a two-horse race. Coming to the last lap, I set him up as best I could, got outside on the 3, 4. It was close. I don't know quite who got it at that point.
I thought we may have stood a chance going into turn 3. We were inches apart but running very cleanly. It was just a great day for the team. Obviously I'm disappointed that we didn't come out with the win. I think someone told me it was about an inch. And it's just differences that you can really struggle to make up.
But at the end of the day, I think he may have had a slightly stronger car than me today, coming off the corners. I think that's where he got the win. And I'm thrilled for him because he's worked so hard all year. 18 years old, really been building up.
And hopefully for him this win will set him off great for momentum next year and hopefully he'll come in as one of the championship contenders and do a great job. He's certainly been improving a lot. I'm thrilled for him. And it's a great day for Sam Schmidt.

Q. Given that you're moving on, if Sam talks to you about it, would you suggest that Logan replace you full season in the seven-car for next year?
ALEX LLOYD: That obviously depends on that situation. But I would say Logan's a great fit. I mean he's really been improving a lot recently. We saw the results at Sonoma, a sixth and a fourth, something like that. A win here; second at Nashville. He's really been coming on strong.
And I think he'd be a good fit. He obviously knows the team. Gets along well with everybody. Good, clean racer. So he would for sure be a good fit. I have no idea who is going to get that seat. I've been trying find out if any of the guys knows anybody. Nobody is for sure. Sam's got his eye on a few people, and Logan for sure is one of those guys.

Q. At one stage, about ten laps to go, looked like you could have used some help getting around him. But Robbie was kind of tied up with two other guys with him. Would it have helped to have had a little bit more of a push at that stage or did you feel you still had enough to get him?
ALEX LLOYD: It would be one or the other. It would depend on who Robbie would push. If he chose to push Logan, I'd be back in third or worse. If he chose to push me, I would have won the race. It's always a bit of a chess game on a track like this.
I figured the best way we can do it as a team, wanting to have a good result for Sam Schmidt Motorsports and not just myself, is to push Logan, get the two of us away so we know it's going to be a Sam Schmidt Motorsports 1-2. We have a lot of sponsors here. That's an important thing. Then just leave it to the last corner.
I knew that's where I needed to get the job done. And at some point I thought I had it done. It was just so close that it was just one -- it could have gone any way. Maybe if we had done the same move again I would have come out on top by an inch. It's just one of those situations. And it was a great race for the fans. And for sure I'd loved to have finished my last Indy Pro Series race by winning it by that margin, but it's a race I'll remember for a long time. It was great. And like I said great for Logan.

Q. Do you have an IndyCar deal for next year?
ALEX LLOYD: Not officially right now but we're working very hard on it. And hopefully within the next two or three weeks we'll have something nailed down.

Q. Your assessment, your first year, your only year in the Indy Pro Series you come out the champion. Your assessment of the series, the competition, does it help you because you've tested in Indy cars.
ALEX LLOYD: It's the best for sure. Of all the series I've raced in. I've raced in a lot of series in Europe. From full season to one-off races, I have a lot of experience in different categories.
By far and away the Indy Pro Series is the best I've raced in. When I came over here, I didn't know too much about the series. Never even watched an oval race live, last year, and really got on board with the series very quickly and realized this was a series that was really on the up and coming together very well.
And obviously during parts of the year last year I think we showed the potential the series had. And this year it's really come on board with the additional teams, drivers. And the competition, from guys that I've known back in Europe that have come over and raced, knew were very good drivers with good reputations and obviously the regular drivers that we've had last year and knew guys coming on board.
So it's been a series that I think is by far the strongest open wheel feeder championship out in America right now. And the cars do a great job in preparing yourself for IndyCar. I've driven the IndyCar now and I can compare the two. After ten laps at IndyCar, I felt at home. That's a testament how great the Indy Pro Series are at developing you on that. It's a learning category.
One of the great things about this series and not any series I can think of in the world is legitimate chances of moving up into the IndyCar. I think it's legitimate feeder series now. Now we've got the competition and the drivers in, I think you're going to see a few guys move up.
And it's been a great pleasure to be in this series. And that's why I want to go into the IndyCar Series, I want to be part of the whole Indy Racing League for a long time to come.
MODERATOR: Thank you, Alex.
We're now joined by race winner Logan Gomez. His first career Indy Pro Series win. His previous best finish was at Nashville earlier this year. For Sam Schmidt Motorsports, it's their 22nd win in the Indy Pro Series.
Logan, give us a little run through of your run out there, today.
LOGAN GOMEZ: Well, we started fourth. And qualifying rounds went really well. We went out first in qualifying, when the track was a little, still a little hot from the sun. We went well. Qualified fourth, and started the race. We stayed out there pretty good. Moved up to second pretty early in the race and sort of stayed there behind Alex, just trying to pull away, pull a gap. And there were a few accidents. A lot of yellow flags, and as Alex and I were being caught by I believe Wade and Travis Gregg, tried going around the outside of them and then the wreck happened when I was outside of them.
I was ahead of them by probably a few feet. And for the next restart, started in the first position, and held it. And the last lap was probably the closest I've ever been to another car in an Indy car.
So it was a good race. And my teammate, Alex Lloyd, did a great job. Couldn't have asked for a better teammate or cleaner racing out there.
MODERATOR: Questions.

Q. How close was that? Did you know you won? Can you try to put it in words, how close 0.0005 of a second is?
LOGAN GOMEZ: No, no, I don't even think I could describe how quick that is. Going so fast out there. Everything seemed like it was in slow motion from corner 4 on to the start/finish line. It was a matter who could straighten the wheel the quickest and who got the better run. Alex definitely gave it all he could. And I couldn't have asked more from the team just giving me a great car and it stuck on the bottom, didn't have to lift or anything.
And everybody this weekend did a great job. And for the last few races, we've really improved our game quite a bit. And it's nice to go out with a finish, on the podium in first place.

Q Did you know you won?
LOGAN GOMEZ: I was watching his left right and my right front and seeing if they lined up. As I went across the start/finish I looked ahead to make sure I didn't go below the apron. No, I didn't know.
My spotter, Davy Hamilton, who really helped me out during the race, did a great job. I guess he had the perfect view and he saw we were ahead by just a few inches, if that, and I was very pleased to hear that.

Q. Logan, before the race I stopped by and said safe race. You said "I'll see you afterwards." Did you have a premonition this is where you would be?
LOGAN GOMEZ: I've been watching how the team's been progressing and my driving. And I'm really confident on ovals now. Ovals were new to me at the beginning of this year. And we've been quick on them, thanks to Sam and his team.
But as far as racetrack and things like that, I've really been struggling. Now I feel that I'm obviously comfortable and running close. And before the race, we'd been fast all weekend. Qualifying fourth was a pretty good effort. It's the best we've qualified. From there it's down to the driver and I was pretty confident.

Q. What exactly did Davy say when he told you you won?
LOGAN GOMEZ: He said, "You got it." From corner 4 to the start/finish line he was on the radio saying, "Go, go, go!"
From that point, the mic was keyed up and you could hear everything he was saying. I could tell before he even said that I won by his emotions. I gotta thank the team because they've been really, really supportive even off the racetrack and away from the racetrack. They're more of a family to me than just a race team. It's not just a business. They really care and couldn't ask for much more.

Q. This is your first year in the Indy Pro Series, and you're so young. What have you learned? What are you taking away from this rookie year?
LOGAN GOMEZ: Definitely being young is -- you know, taking away from this rookie year, definitely a win really helps for next year and confidence going into the off season. You could get really a lot of momentum built over testing and things like that. You can go to Homestead with a full head of steam and really do well.
I feel we've been improving. I started out as a rookie, and I feel that I'm up to par with the rest of the drivers in the series. And to beat somebody with as much experience like Alex is really the notch in my belt, to say that. And he ran me clean. He's been a great teammate. If anybody has helped me, it's been Alex throughout the year, just really teaching me, and not verbally telling each other do this, do that, but just more being there and being fast everywhere.
And I've been able to sort of learn and follow him and adapt to his driving style and things like that.

Q. Does this mean any more as close as you are to home because you are so close, and have you seen your friends and family yet and what did they say?
LOGAN GOMEZ: Actually, I haven't seen my family yet. I saw the sponsors. They were excited. Like any sponsor, it's great. And being close to home it's nice. Indy and this are my two favorite races. And now this has to be my favorite. But we'll see how Indy goes next year.
Being close to home, you've got some family here and friends that I didn't even know were here are going to show up later. And it means a lot. And not having to drive home too far means a lot, too. So it should be an interesting night tonight.
MODERATOR: Congratulations, Logan.

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