Podium finishers interview with: <B>A.J. Foyt</B>, <B>A.J. Foyt IV</B>, <B>Jason Priestley</B>, <B>Cory Witherill</B> R.J. Howard: Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to welcome my slate of...
Podium finishers interview with:
<B>A.J. Foyt</B>, <B>A.J. Foyt IV</B>, <B>Jason Priestley</B>, <B>Cory Witherill</B>
R.J. Howard: Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to welcome my slate of panelists here today. First off, winner of today's race we have A.J. Foyt IV; second place, Jason Priestley; third place, Cory Witherill.
We're also very fortunate enough to have present here at the very end of the podium the legend himself, Mr. A.J. Foyt. Thank you for coming in.
A.J. Foyt: Thank you.
Howard: A.J. the IV, first victory, new series, new race. You have been fast all weekend. Tell us a little bit about your run out there.
A.J. Foyt IV: I couldn't ask for any more out of my crew and the car. Right when we got here, everything was going good. We didn't scale the car. We didn't do anything to the car since it got out of the trailer. Couldn't ask for any more. Hopefully move down to Nashville and hopefully do just as good.
Howard: Jason, first race under the belt, new series and everything, give us your impressions how the race went overall and how everything felt out there.
Jason Priestley: I think we all knew going into the race that staying in the draft and being able to close up on your competitors was going to be an important part of the race. I think we were all suffering from the same thing: Being right behind guys, we were losing a little bit in the front end. But you know, my car was great all weekend. My guys worked really hard. We had to do an engine change yesterday, and my crew worked really, really hard. I am real thankful to be here and thankful to them for all their hard work.
Howard: Patience paid off for you today, Cory, you worked your way up through the field. Tell us a little bit about your run today.
Cory Witherill: Well, patience plays a big part in a race like this, especially when it is nothing but flat out and drafting, and I am familiar with these conditions. And my team, they are awesome, and my engineer, Harvey (Spencer), and my driver's coach, Bob, I couldn't have asked for a better team.
We struggled earlier in the weekend and just plugged in there, and got out there, and just stuck it out there and knew that we'd have a good showing today and hope for a win but definitely a top three.
Howard: If I am not mistaken, the gentleman down at the end had a first victory in the stadium in Kansas City some time back.
Foyt: That is quite true, my first major win was a little, I guess, it's a quarter-mile high dirt, and hell, I couldn't be more happier than I am right today. I thought Anthony did a great job, and hell, I was driving harder than he was (laughter) (inaudible). But he's having all the fun; I am awful proud of him. Of course, we got two more cars to go, so if you all excuse me, I still got ... my race ain't over yet. I am just starting. I am proud of all you guys. I think everybody did a great job. It was a sad day that some of them ... misfortune happened to somebody, I am just hoping that nobody is really hurt bad because that's the biggest thing about racing, you can crash your cars and all that, you can replace them, but believe me, I know what broken bones feel like, and that is the reason you see me limping and all that. I hope everything is fine. Cars can be replaced. I thought it was a great day.
Howard: I'd like to open it up to the press here on the floor.
Foyt IV: Am I changing the tires still? (Laughter). I will be out there in a little bit.
Q: So many laps you were side-by-side. (Inaudible)?
Foyt IV: I have never really, especially in these kinds of speeds, ran side-by-side. Me and him ran side-by-side for about three, four laps one time. We were just running right there, and nobody made a mistake, and everything was going good, and unfortunately they got together behind me and ended up taking out four cars that were really able to win the race.
Q: How did you avoid the accident with Luyendyk, Johncox and Fike?
Priestley: I was right up behind Aaron Fike and just at that point in the corner I seemed to be just far enough behind him that when those guys spun in front of me, I just listened to my spotter, he told me to go low, and I just hoped that he knew what he was doing and I just ... fortunately I was able to drive around it.
Q: Can you compare this to your experience here last year?
Witherill: It's pretty much the same, the track conditions, the temperature and everything is very similar in between the two cars when they ran the CART Indy Lights series here. The only thing was last year we were more grouped together, we're more ... all 12 cars were in the big pack and running three across, two across. Here we were kind of strung out a little bit there, I think just, you know, when time goes on, when people get a little bit more comfortable racing with each other, it is going to be real tight, close racing.
Q: What do you think of Kansas Speedway?
Foyt IV: It's a really nice track, really smooth track. I never had any problems on the track at all. I mean, corners, every part of the track is really smooth, every part I ran on.
Q: Did you have a problem on the restart?
Priestley: I just didn't time it right, and with these cars, momentum is really all the game. So Anthony (A.J. Foyt IV) just got away from me, and I just couldn't close the gap. It was just, actually I was right behind (Ed) Carpenter, and it seemed like he checked up for a sec ... he seemed to check up for a sec, so I checked up, and then they just ... those guys just got away from me. But I thought Anthony ran a great race and certainly, you know, running fourth and fifth all day I was watching the race and it was going on in front of me, and I thought that (Ronnie) Johncox and (Aaron) Fike and Foyt, those guys were all running and (Arie) Luyendyk (Jr.) were all running right ... we were all running at the same time, and those guys were racing really hard together and racing really well. I thought unfortunately that incident happened, I guess on the 49th lap, but I thought everyone handled themselves really well and the racing was really competitive.
Q: How do the Infiniti Pro Series cars compare to the Indy Lights cars?
Witherill: The cars are very similar. They've got about the same amount of horsepower. I think these cars actually handle a lot better. I have driven in an IRL car, and they are very similar, feel similar when I ... my first time going down to pit lane and out on the track when we were out testing. I think with these cars in the series, this is the series to be in if you want to go Indy-car racing the next -- in any one's career, so it's definitely the right stuff.
Howard: Thank you very much, gentlemen, for coming in. We do appreciate it. Congratulations to all of you, and we thank you all for coming.