Menards Infiniti Pro Series Cleanevent 100 at Nashville Superspeedway July 17, 2004 Thiago Medeiros, Paul Dana, Jesse Mason MODERATOR: Let's get our second- and third- place drivers introduced. We have Paul Dana, who came into this race third...
Menards Infiniti Pro Series
Cleanevent 100 at Nashville Superspeedway
July 17, 2004
Thiago Medeiros, Paul Dana, Jesse Mason
MODERATOR: Let's get our second- and third- place drivers introduced. We have Paul Dana, who came into this race third in points. He started second here today. It's his second consecutive second-place finish. We also have Jesse Mason, who is a rookie. He's fourth in points. He started fifth today, finished in the top three. This is his second third-place finish this season.
Q: Talk about the race today, how everything went for you. Obviously, it was a good day.
JESSE MASON: We had a good race today. We were fighting the car pretty much all weekend. The guys, including Doug Zister, my engineer, did an amazing job all weekend to get the car ready, getting it back into shape and where we want to be, close to the front.
It was a good race. We had a little bit of trouble in the draft, with the front end washing out. We were caught behind (Rolando) Quintanilla there for a little while, but I was able to get him on one of the restarts, which is good.
The hot weather did a little bit of a number on the tires, but the car progressed during the race. I was able to make some adjustments and get the back end to come around a little bit for me and just rode it out, really.
We were in third there. I thought maybe in the second-to-last restart, I would give Paul (Dana) a shot. Like I say, in the draft, we were having a little bit of trouble.
I have to thank all the guys at Brian Stewart Racing. Mo Larsen, my chief mechanic, is amazing. All year long, he's been great. It's good to get up here (podium) again. We were here in Homestead. It's good to be here again. Hopefully, in Milwaukee, we'll give Thiago (Medeiros) and the rest of the guys a run for their money.
PAUL DANA: Long, hot. Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.
We've been really fast all year. We have had our share of bad luck earlier in the season. Now I think we've got that behind us, and we're running consistently. Thiago (Medeiros) has been nipping us a tiny bit for pole and again here, and that costs you. Jesse (Mason) is absolutely right; we were all struggling with grip, especially when you're behind another car.
We had a lot of chances with the restarts. That second-to-last restart, I had it right finally, was alongside him (Medeiros) in (Turns) 1 and 2, at least was making a race out of it. I smelled it, at least. It went yellow again. I kind of bobbled the last restart, and that cost us. At least we're keeping him honest. Hopefully, we'll get him here sooner or later.
MODERATOR: Congratulations, guys.
We have our winner in here today, Thiago Medeiros. Thiago came into the Menards Infiniti Pro Series Cleanevent 100 leading in the points. He definitely padded the lead today. He started on the pole and actually made history, being the first driver in IRL history to win four consecutive races. Believe it or not, all those came from the pole position. He has also led 173 consecutive laps over the last three races.
Tell us about your day. Congratulations.
THIAGO MEDEIROS: We tested here almost a month ago. We couldn't find a really good baseline setup to start the weekend. We were quickest in the first and second practices, then we could get the pole here.
The pole here was really a big advantage for us because it's a really hard track, really hard to overtake, especially because the concrete has a different grip level. Sometimes you have a lot of grip, sometimes not. It's really hard to keep the car behind somebody. If you have somebody behind you, the guy has to be much quicker than you, trying to get a run on you or on the restart, like Paul (Dana) did.
We had a really good car here. I just think I did a good job, just drove the car around. I think the team gave me a great car all weekend. I'm really happy.
MODERATOR: Did you realize you were making history today?
THIAGO MEDEIROS: Oh, yeah. I mean, that's the result -- that was our goal when we started the season. We couldn't win Miami, but we got two points extra from leading the biggest part of the race. After that, we had a great race in Phoenix, Indianapolis, Kansas. A great weekend for us here again. That was our goal. I mean, we have to be working hard day by day. We know how hard the guys have been working at the shop. I have been working out a lot, developing my training and everything. I'm looking forward for my IRL (IndyCar Series) test, maybe in August. I'm working on it. I just try to give my best performance, trying to get that opportunity in my life, to do the thing that I most like to do, racing.
MODERATOR: And the Gibson guitar trophy?
THIAGO MEDEIROS: Unfortunately, I don't know how to play guitar. Basically, when I have the time, I'm going to try to do a course and try to learn how to play.
Q: I want to ask, I know two of the later restarts, Paul Dana almost had a move on you. Talk about that for a second. Were you worried when Paul almost got alongside later in the race?
THIAGO MEDEIROS: Yeah, that restart, I think I did not warm the tires up enough, and then I had a big push. I mean, I lifted because I had understeer on the restarts, and he could almost get a run on me. Right after that, I made a couple changes on the car. The tires got grip, and we had a great car again. I still kept the lower line. That was the best here. We did it, so I'm really happy about this result that we got.
MODERATOR: Thank you. Congratulations.
THIAGO MEDEIROS: Thank you.