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Infiniti Pro Series: Michigan 100

Open Wheel Racing Topics:  Michigan 100

Infiniti Pro Series: Michigan 100

Ed Carpenter
A.J Foyt IV
Arie Luyendyk, Jr.
July 28, 2002


MODERATOR: We'll get started with our winners press conference. We're joined by AJ Foyt, IV. This is your second Infiniti Pro Series win. You won the inaugural race in Kansas City. We also have Arie Luyendyk, Jr., Who finished second today. This is your second consecutive second place finish. And Ed Carpenter, this is your third top five so far. Gentlemen, the rain obviously shortened the race. Do you think you could have held on had the yellow not come out?

AJ FOYT, IV: I don't really know. I mean, there's about five cars that could have won the race. Me and Arie and Ed, we ran good together the whole race. We ran safe. Just got lucky enough. I didn't even know what lap it was when I took it, when the yellow came out. So I didn't know what was going to happen. We just got lucky enough that it was halfway and the rain started coming down. Arie and Ed drove a great race. They deserved to win the race just as much as I did because everybody led the race and everybody had a strong car.

MODERATOR: Arie and AJ were pretty fast all this weekend. Ed, you had a pretty good car this afternoon, so the yellow must have been disappointing for you.

ED CARPENTER: Yeah, all weekend we kind of really just worked on our race car because that's where we struggled the first two races. We'd been fast all weekend, but when it came down to the race, my car just wasn't quite as good. We came here focusing on the race and I had a really great race car. Unfortunately, we just ran out of time.

MODERATOR: We'll take some questions from the press.

Q. Just talk about drafting and the learning experience it was, what you did learn out there.

AJ FOYT, IV: That was my first time to really -- except like Kansas, I just rode around the bottom the whole race. This is my first actual race where I would get behind, draft, pass on the outside, or just stay in line really what is we were trying to do. Kind of hard to be patient. But that's just something we've got to learn. It was really fun. Just really learned a lot today.

ED CARPENTER: That was the biggest thing. We had some drafting at Kansas, but it was nothing compared to here. We could actually draft all through the corner. We could run two-by-two and run all together. But, I mean, I think the three of us, looking back, if the three of us just would have hooked up in a line, we probably could have drove away from everybody else, because I think we had the strongest three cars. It's hard to sit behind someone. We're sitting there, people come up and start passing you. We all have egos, so it's kind of hard to sit there and ride around the bottom.

ARIE LUYENDYK, JR.: It was great. I think we set up our car to run around the bottom of the racetrack because we planned to maybe run away with it with AJ and I because we both had really strong cars on the bottom of the racetrack. I think that was the key to have a good car that didn't push in traffic, a good car where you could just keep your foot on it all the way around the racetrack. I think that's why the three of us did so well today because we had a really good car in traffic and that's basically it. It was fun, though. Unfortunately, I was up there all the race, but didn't get a chance to win. But there will be more chances out there.

Q. It seemed like you guys slowed up before you took the green, checked up a little bit, the car behind you got on the brakes. Do you know what really happened?

ED CARPENTER: I know I had to check up on the brakes. I think Ronnie Johncox was in front of me and I kind of saw him go, so I started to pick up the throttle, and he slowed down. That's why I slowed down. I don't know where it started, if you guys picked up early and then had to slow down. We started the later start here than we had the other races, and I think we're all -- we had our foot on the trigger, I guess, got a little rambunctious.

ARIE LUYENDYK, JR.: I led the field to the flag. The start/finish line is so far away, you just get a little anxious when that pace car drops off. I think we just got on it a little too early. The green flag didn't fly. Then I cracked the throttle a little bit. That's probably when that happened.

ED CARPENTER: When the lead guys left a little bit, by the time it gets back to the fifth and sixth row, I barely hit the brakes, the guys behind me hit it a little more. Just like a chain reaction. When it gets back there, they're really checking up a lot. It probably started out nothing much and ended up a whole lot back there. I'm sure that's what Cory this is anyway.

Q. Arie and AJ, when the yellow flag came out, Arie, you took the point, AJ was behind. There was some of us that kind of reckoned back to Texas, a podium deal. AJ, do you remember this? Did you guys think of that at the time?

ARIE LUYENDYK, JR.: I was thinking about Indy, Paul Tracy, that's what I was thinking about. No, no, it's really close. I mean, we're not going to protest it just because I'm happy to be in the situation of second place is fine. We'll win one this season. But it was really close to call. My guys were saying, "You won the race." His guys were saying, "You won the race." We were out there driving around, switching spots in back of the pace car, no one really knew. Then they said the final is that he won. So I let him by.

AJ FOYT, IV: I wasn't really thinking of it. In Victory Lane, I was thinking, like he said, about Indy, another big controversy thing.

MODERATOR: AJ, you took over the points lead with your win today. Did your grandfather have anything to say to you after the race?

AJ FOYT, IV: No. He just told me, "Good job." I did a good job, that's about it.

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