Carlos Munoz: I could have won

Carlos Munoz

Carlos Munoz finished second in the Indianapolis 500 as a rookie but is already focused on returning to Indy Lights where he is the current championship leader, hoping to graduate full-time to the IndyCar Series by next season.

However, he hopes that team owner Michael Andretti was impressed with his efforts and would entertain the notion of having him compete in a few more IndyCar races for Andretti Autosport.

"Right now, let's wait and see what the future (holds) for me," Munoz said. "Right now I'm thinking Indy Lights. I don't know, maybe Michael will have something but right now, Indy Lights is my main program … We'll see what happens in a few days."

After qualifying second last weekend, leading laps on Sunday and finishing second to Tony Kanaan, Munoz has to be considered a lock for Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year. When asked if he should go request a few more races in 2013, Munoz remained steadfast in his commitment to Lights.

He did add that if fans and media were impressed, they should direct their enthusiasm to Michael and Andretti Autosport officials.

"It's up to Michael," Munoz said with a laugh. "I should ask you guys (the media) to press on him what you all think … My job is to remain the Indy Lights championship leader. This was my main goal since I started the year. This was just one race more to have more experience and it came out really good, I think more than expected."

Munoz admitted that he was nervous at the start of the race and on his first pit stop but that it quickly went away once he found a rhythm and became comfortable in traffic. He said that he was disappointed that the race ended under caution because he believes he could have passed Kanaan for the win.

"Our first two pit stops were not that great," Munoz said. "I had a lot of people to overtake me. I went one-by-one back to the front. The last two pit stops, the guys and me, we did a great job to not to lose any position.

"The last yellow flag, maybe I could have the shot to win. The car was awesome from the first lap to the last lap and I'm proud and not ashamed of anything. To be a rookie, and to finish second, I think I had a great race." SBNation

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