Q and A with Iowa IndyCar winner Marco Andretti
Marco Andretti relates the story of his second IndyCar win, and first since 2006 at Infineon Raceway, in the Iowa Corn 250 at Iowa Speedway.
Q. Great battle tonight. Talk about making that big move on TK.
MARCO ANDRETTI: I mean, it was fun racing. You know, it's always nice at the front. You know you can always trust those guys. It was close, it was dicy, but that's what the fans want. We had a packed house tonight. It was good to see. I'm glad we could put on a bit of a show anyway.
But yeah, I think the last 30 laps I was really asking how many laps to go because I didn't want to wait until three laps to go to make the move because if he would have chopped me or something, I would have been way back kind of like what I did to him. I wanted to kind of be in the driver's seat and kind of make the move when he was least expecting it, and from there we had to really put our head down.
I got the lead a couple times so I kind of knew what I needed to stay on the bottom. I was really aggressive with the tools in the car and stuff, and we made it work.
Q. To kind of follow up on the "earning it" part, a lot of people ‑‑ your previous victory a lot of people always wanted to say matter of circumstance, the way the race came out you were able to finish with that tank of fuel. This is one you went out and raced for it. Talk about how satisfying this victory is for you.
MARCO ANDRETTI: Well, it is, but at the same time nothing has changed in my driving since. All I've gained is experience. We've been in a position to win a lot of races we've come up short, so it's more, I think, relieved is the word. You know, I never doubted the team, never doubted myself. I always said as soon as the stars were aligned and a little bit of luck goes my way that we'd be sitting here.
Q. Could you contrast the feeling of winning tonight as opposed to five years ago? Because five years ago you were a rookie. Do you have a different perspective on winning now as opposed to back then?
MARCO ANDRETTI: Still feels good, man! No, I think it's just the drought, so to speak, just made me appreciate what we have here in IndyCar racing. From the drivers to the teams, it just makes us appreciate being here that much more because we know we beat those guys.
The competition is unbelievable if you look at qualifying. That's what IndyCar racing is all about. It made me appreciate it. We've been in positions to win races but we fell short, but it's good to capitalize tonight.Q. And also, you were only 19 when you won that first race, so a lot of guys don't even start their IndyCar career until your age right now. Do you think this is the start of something big?
MARCO ANDRETTI: I'm going to be looking to make a habit of this, that's for sure. You know, it definitely gets the monkey off our back a bit because, you know, we can quiet a lot of my doubters at the same time. It feels so good.Q. With Tony being your former teammate, did it make it easier racing against him at the end? Did you kind of have an idea what he would do, since you guys used to be teammates and talk a lot and strategy and so forth?
MARCO ANDRETTI: Yeah, you kind of learn people, but I had the car to do it. That's what it came down to. You know, I was trying a couple times on the outside, but I knew I had to go on the inside when he was least expecting it, like he did to me a couple times. It was good racing for a while. We were clean, and you know, if I did anything mean to him, I'm sure he understands it's for the win, and I wouldn't be bellyaching if he chopped me. It's for first place.