St. Pete: AJ Foyt Racing preview

* Vitor Meira on his third place finish in Sao Paulo--his career best finish in a season opener: "It was a real confidence builder for us-- our team, A.J., myself and our sponsors. It makes everyone believe more in themselves and makes us all ...

* Vitor Meira on his third place finish in Sao Paulo--his career best finish in a season opener: "It was a real confidence builder for us-- our team, A.J., myself and our sponsors. It makes everyone believe more in themselves and makes us all prouder to go to work."

* On working with chief engineer Jeff Britton: "It was awesome. We didn't lose anything from where we left off in 2005. In fact, in our final race that year in California, we finished third. He's still the same way he was when I left, which is good."

* How did Meira celebrate his podium finish? "I went to dinner at a Brazilian Steakhouse with my family and a few close friends. It was a quiet celebration."

* Meira on key factors to success this weekend: "It's very important to have the car dialed in during the first practice and I think that's going to play a lot into the whole weekend. We need the core set-up to be right when we unload the car."

* Meira on why St. Pete is so physically demanding: "The track is very demanding physically and a bit misleading because when you start the weekend, there isn't any rubber on the track. But as the weekend goes on, the track rubbers up and gets more grippy. During the race, it really rubbers up and with full tanks and new tires, the steering gets very heavy and that's when things start to get difficult."

* Meira on street courses: "Street races are harder on the cars' gearboxes because of the bumps and more shifting--there are a lot of second gear corners. You can do things as a driver like not use as much rear brake because when you do, you're locking the rear wheels which makes it harder on the downshift. And you have to be careful on upshifting too but in the end, it's all a balance between gaining speed or losing time. If you do things like shift earlier and not right on the edge then you lose time and speed."

* Meira's record at St. Pete: Last year in his first race for Foyt, Meira started 17th, survived a couple race incidents and finished ninth. In 2008, Meira was running in the top 10 when he and Franck Perera crashed, relegating Meira to 19th. In 2007, Meira, running fifth, had a gearbox failure on lap 38--he went straight into the barrier at Turn 4. They repaired the car but he placed 16th. The first two years he started 12th and finished fifth.

-source: aj foyt racing

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Franck Perera , Vitor Meira