IRL: Indy 500: Matsuura, top rookie press conference transcript

88th Indianapolis 500 Top-Finishing Rookie Press Conference Kosuke Matsuura Sunday, May 30, 2004 MODERATOR: As the highest-finishing rookie, high up on the grid, you had a very solid race and your team had a very good race. Congratulations ...

88th Indianapolis 500 Top-Finishing Rookie Press Conference
Kosuke Matsuura
Sunday, May 30, 2004

MODERATOR: As the highest-finishing rookie, high up on the grid, you had a very solid race and your team had a very good race. Congratulations on your run.

MATSUURA: Thank you very much.

MODERATOR: Tell us about it. Are you, as you sit here now, are you satisfied with where you finished, did you think you had more? Just your reaction overall to the day.

MATSUURA: If I don't make a crash, I'm going to finish top of the rookies. Today, I think I was quite competitive at the beginning. But when we got the call, after 15 laps, with lower temperature, others were quicker than us. That was very difficult. I think I did my best, 180 laps, and there are a lot of things, total four races so far, and I'm very happy to finish at the top of the rookies.

MODERATOR: It was a long day with the delays and everything, what was that like for you as a driver?

MATSUURA: It was a very long day. At first, I was nearly sleeping in the car, maybe 10 laps, seven laps behind the Pace Car, I was nearly sleeping because my car was pretty hot. It was really hot; I was nearly sleeping. But I was competitive for 180 laps. I think I did a couple very good early starts, overtook maybe three or four cars, and I'm happy.

Q: How does it feel to be one of the only rookies who finished the race today?

MATSUURA: Right now, nothing, because I'm very disappointed because I could have finished in the top five. I think I overtook a lot of cars on the track, but then a couple pit mistakes, and that's why I lost a lot of position. The top of the rookie, I was driving, I was calculating who is in front of me, rookie driver, and after the crash, I was nearly laughing. So maybe tomorrow it's going to be happy because I get a lot of prize money. (Laughter).

MODERATOR: So you're telling us you're going to like that prize money just a little bit?

MATSUURA: Yeah, prize money makes me happy. (Laughter).

MODERATOR: That's universal language in all racing languages, indeed. The number of incidents out there, we had several accidents; were you close to any of them?

MATSUURA: I had quite couple of times I nearly hit the wall. The first time was when I went to -- when I enter Turn 3 with (Scott) Dixon, two-wide nearly hit the wall. And the conditions were pretty difficult, it was quite windy, and it was very difficult for us. But I finished with the car, and I didn't break anything these four races, and I think my manager will be very happy

MODERATOR: Most rookies say the start of the race is something they are not prepared for with the turbulence and the crowd, and the stands were all full. What was the start like for you?

MATSUURA: You know, I think first time to get a lot of turbulence and this track is very low downforce circuit, and when you lose downforce, it's very difficult. And especially today was very windy, the wind direction was difficult, Turn 3, Turn 4, and many times I nearly hit the wall. I think the beginning, competing in races, in Homestead I was completely alone, driving alone. Phoenix, sometimes I fight with somebody. And then Motegi, I was fighting a couple of guys. And then today, 180 laps I was driving somebody in the drafting. That's why I ran a lot of things, and I have to work and prepare for the good drafting car.

MODERATOR: Congratulations.

-ims-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Kosuke Matsuura