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Firestone Indy Lights: Corning 100

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Open Wheel Racing Topics:  Corning 100

Firestone Indy Lights: Corning 100

J.K. Vernay
July 4, 2010


WATKINS GLEN, NEW YORK

THE MODERATOR: Thanks James and Sebastian. We'll see you in Toronto.
We will get things started with today's race winner, J.K. Vernay. This is J.K.'s third win of the season and fifth podium finish in six starts. He won at Saint Pete and Barber, and this is the closest Firestone Indy Lights finish this season to date. The margin of victory was .2135 of a second and it's the fourth race with a margin of victory under 1 second this season.
J.K., if you can talk about that pass you made on lap 19 to take the lead today?
J.K. VERNAY: James did a little mistake in corner 1 and I was able to catch him in the straight to overtake him, and I had a chance to pass him and just a little mistake, and I was close enough to overcome him. So really good pass, and I had to brake a little late, and after he just gave me hard luck because he was a bit quicker than me. I had less wings than him. We took a bet with my engineer we said okay maybe we not have a lot of chance to overtake him, so we tried to overtake him at the start.
After it was really, really difficult, the car was great, except in the first corner because of the down force, but I did my best, team did a great job, my engineer worked very well and my mechanics to give me a great job to win.
I'm really proud of this victory because I didn't know this track, and the team improved my car, I improved my driving during practice and qualifying. I finished eight-tenths, and that was quite far, but we worked hard with my engine to find the best set-up and the best line to be giving a good performance, so I'm proud of this victory. It's one of my best.
THE MODERATOR: Obviously you made big gains in the points here. Can you talk about the season's championship and your goals?
J.K. VERNAY: Yeah, I think James Hinchcliffe is now second, I don't know about points, maybe more 30. It's a good thing. What I want to win is the championship, I prefer to win the championship than a few races. It was a good thing, unfortunately for Charlie, he had a problem at the start I saw, but we just have to stay focused and the car is good. I have a good team and since the beginning of the year -- I'm a rookie so I don't know the tracks, and I have just a bit of experience in the oval.
I did two races, so we just have to be smart, focused, learn, take advice from the Indycar driver. They are really nice with me and they give me advice, so I want to take everything from the driver and to learn really quickly to do my best.

Q. (No microphone.)
J.K. VERNAY: Yeah, after the race started a little mistake, and there was a bit of gap, and I tried everything to come back. It was hard because Hinch was really, really fast here, but I tried everything to come back and to be close enough that if he did a mistake to be close enough to overtake him.
So yeah, for sure if he didn't have this mistake, I would not be able to overtake him but the race was really long and, yeah, it was a small mistake and I was here and close enough to overtake him.

Q. How do you like this course?
J.K. VERNAY: This track is fabulous, honestly. I like all the people inside the track who come; it's really, really nice, and the track is fabulous, the long straits, the corners are great, fabulous but difficult, also, to learn.
Yeah, just -- I mean when you arrive here, I did the track on the simulator, but it's completely different because you have the bumps on the tracks, so it's completely different and difficult, but beautiful.

Q. Is this track similar to track courses you've run in Europe?
J.K. VERNAY: Not really, you have some corners that are similar but not the whole of the track. It's a little like driving in Europe, but here it's different, and also a big change for me because the carriage is different than I was driving, and the tires are working completely differently, so when I arrive first I have to learn the track and also to remember that I have to drive differently also the car.
It's a big hit every time.
THE MODERATOR: Congratulations on today's win, and we will see you in a few weeks in Toronto.

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