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July 23, 2011

Esteban Guerrieri

Josef Newgarden

Oliver Webb


THE MODERATOR: Well get started. We are pleased to be joined by two of today's podium finishers. Josef Newgarden from Sam Schmidt Motorsports, he finished second. This is Josef's fifth top-two finish of the season. He now leads the points by 26 over teammate Esteban Guerrieri, today's race winner.
Josef, talk about that great battle out there with Esteban.
JOSEF NEWGARDEN: I really couldn't. It's disappointing that I wasn't able to get him at the end there. But it's a great day. It's really a good day for Sam Schmidt Motorsports. It was a shame to see what happened to Victor. Sounded like he had a tough time with Dempsey, which is not fun to see. It would have been nice to have all three of us on the podium. I'm sure Sam would have loved that. But sometimes it doesn't shake out that way.
Tomorrow is another day. Maybe we have another chance to do that.
But, yeah, it was a good day overall. Just didn't have enough to get by him. With a guy like Esteban, you need to have a little bit more if you want to pass him. I think I learned some tricks out there at the end and hopefully I can apply that out there on the race.
THE MODERATOR: We're also joined by Oliver Webb, who finished third. This is Oliver's first Firestone Indy Lights start.
Talk about today's race, Oliver.
OLIVER WEBB: We didn't have a good qualifying. We qualified 10th after finishing 5th in practice. Didn't get a lap in on the last lap which mattered the most.
The race was good, though. We stayed clean. Got into seventh on the first lap, then put into the grass when David Ostella, my teammate, got taken out, I'm not sure who by. Then just stayed clean, put in some good laps, which put us into P3 for tomorrow's race.
Made a couple of moves before the third safety car. Then the crash, which was obviously a bit unfortunate, but gifted me the third place.
All in all, first race to get a podium is really good.

Q. (No microphone.)
JOSEF NEWGARDEN: Turn five, the first hairpin. Yeah, I actually didn't think they were going to come flying up like that. I thought I had enough of a gap out of the first corner to hold them off. I went as deep as I could. They just came soaring up, a little locked up. I couldn't do anything. I was boxed out on the side.
Obviously you can't pull over to defend or anything like that. I didn't think I needed to. I thought I had enough gas to be fine. Then I see two of these guys sailing past me. Had to hold the outside, missed the corner a little bit.
Hey, sometimes that happens. Sometimes you're on the good end of things, sometimes you're on the bad end of things. I think we got a little of a bad break with the way they came up on the inside of me.
After that I got Dempsey back right away. Squeezed me to the grass, though, when I went by him. I don't know, he's a tough guy to race, for sure. He's a nice guy, we're friends, a good competitor, but he's sometimes very difficult on the track. Maybe a little bit too tough.
Then Esteban there at the end, again, just didn't have enough to get him. I think we were quick. So was Esteban. We were able to pull away from the field and have a good pace together, but just wasn't enough to get by him. We were matching each other pretty good and I just couldn't get that last bit on him.

Q. (No microphone.)
JOSEF NEWGARDEN: Yeah, it's very tough. It's an interesting dynamic. We're good friends, which is great. There's not really any animosity between us. We are 1-2 in the championship, battling quite hard. He's my teammate, like you said.
It's a very difficult element, but a good element as well. I think he's a very high-caliber driver. You certainly want to be racing against the best of the best. I like I'm fighting with him for the championship. Making me a better driver as well.
But you need to be careful. You can't get too aggressive with a teammate. It's not good for the team in general. You have to be thinking about the team there and what's best for everybody.
But certainly you're not going to be too cautious. If you get an opportunity, I was going to take it. Just wasn't able to get a good enough one to capitalize on.

Q. (No microphone.)
JOSEF NEWGARDEN: Are you talking about at the beginning? Did that make it difficult?

Q. (No microphone.)
JOSEF NEWGARDEN: Yeah, you know, I think, what did we have, two cautions total? Three, okay. I expected cautions today for sure. I thought it was going to happen.
Certainly at the beginning, it's funny you said that at the beginning, I would have expected it certainly at the start. You pile everyone up. We have these big brake zones. I was not surprised to see something happen. But definitely during the race when it kind of fans out, I think it was less likely for a caution to come out.
Again, still things can happen. We got a lot of rookies in the field, a lot of guys trying to race each other really hard. It gets tough at times I think between people.

Q. (No microphone.)
OLIVER WEBB: Yeah, it's all been a bit sudden. It's all happened in a few days. We've traveled a lot this week. Went from Manchester to Atlanta to Indianapolis to Vegas to here all in four days. I don't know whether I'm tired or awake. But it was a good race.
The car is different. I always love driving a different car, getting used to other drivers, seeing how they react. Obviously, the rules are completely different with defending. It's hard in my head when I see someone in my mirrors to stay on one side. It certainly makes the overtaking safer.
Today was a bit different, a bit unfortunate. I think some people were racing a little bit too hard. Like I said, that gifted me from 5th to 3rd. I think I entered 5th but was gifted 3rd.
THE MODERATOR: Congratulations on the race today. Best of luck to both of you tomorrow.
We are now joined by our race winner, Esteban Guerrieri of Sam Schmidt Motorsports. This is Esteban's second win. His first win came on the oval at the Milwaukee Mile in June.
Esteban, congratulations.
THE MODERATOR: Talk about that pass there on lap one that set the tone for the race.
ESTEBAN GUERRIERI: Yes, the start was not bad. But arriving in turn one, I was in the outside. Basically I tried to hold on my second place, not to let Dempsey by. Then when I was second, I was catching Josef on the tow. I think my car, I felt my car very good on the braking through the whole weekend, or let's say the first session and the qualifying.
So I had to risk a little bit, you know, because I knew it was a time to do it in the first lap. I was very close. So, yeah, I lock up my fronts and I probably out-drive myself a little bit, but it worked out.
Straightaway after that we had the caution. So I think that overtaking probably was the key of the race because then after that I could control the race, being in front.
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Esteban.

Q. (No microphone.)
ESTEBAN GUERRIERI: No, I never went defensive. But, yeah, probably we had a bit different aero balance, so he was more quick toward the midsection and I was a bit quicker on the straight.
But my car was very good, as I said before, on braking. I never went defensive. He was never on my ass to be able to out-brake me. All what I did was on the tight section, which is seven, eight, nine, try not to do any mistakes, try to keep it safe, obviously drive the good line, not to go wide or anything. Then on the heavy braking, try to do what the car was doing best, which was braking.
On the straight we had good speed, as I said. So definitely that was the key, you know.

Q. (No microphone.)
ESTEBAN GUERRIERI: No, nothing happened. Because yesterday we didn't have any practice session, so they gave us one session today, half an hour. We had to strip the gearbox, to change gears, to do some things on the setup, many things between the first session and the qualifying, and also between qualifying and the race.
So that's why I say it was a big merit to the guys that they did such an amazing job and the car felt good through the whole day.

Q. (No microphone.)
ESTEBAN GUERRIERI: No. I think it's not a difference between racing a teammate or anybody else, you know. Racing, you are there for win. I mean, he wants to win and I want to win. We start to know each other better, so we understand quite more about how he race and he understands how I race.
But I think the level of aggression is always there, being teammates or not. Obviously you don't want to crash with your teammate, of course. But I try to respect, let's say, everybody to a certain point, to respect everybody, not only my teammate.
THE MODERATOR: Esteban, congratulations on a great win and best of luck in tomorrow's race.
ESTEBAN GUERRIERI: Thank you very much. Hope I see you here tomorrow again.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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