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IndyCar Series: Indianapolis 500

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Open Wheel Racing Topics:  Indianapolis 500

IndyCar Series: Indianapolis 500

Kosuke Matsuura
May 30, 2004


THE MODERATOR: As the highest-finishing rookie, high up on the grid, you had a very solid race and your team had a very good race. Congratulations on your run.

KOSUKE MATSUURA: Thank you very much.

THE MODERATOR: Tell us about it. Are you, as you sit here now, are you satisfied with where you finished, did you think you had more? Just your reaction overall to the day.

KOSUKE MATSUURA: Yeah, you know, if I don't make a crash, I'm going to finish top of the rookies. Today, you know, I think I was quite competitive at the beginning. But when we got the call, after 15 laps, with lower temperature, others are quicker than us. That was very difficult. I think I did my best, 180 laps, and there are a lot of things, total four races so far, and I'm very happy to finish at the top of the rookies.

THE MODERATOR: It was a long day with the delays and everything, what was that like for you as a driver?

KOSUKE MATSUURA: It was a very long day. The first, I was nearly sleeping in the car, maybe ten laps, seven laps behind the pace car, I was nearly sleeping because my car was pretty hot. It was really hot; I was nearly sleeping. But, you know, I competitive for 180 laps. I think I did a couple very good early starts, overtook maybe three or four cars, and I'm happy.

Q. How does it feel to one of the only rookies who finished the race today?

KOSUKE MATSUURA: Right now, nothing, because I'm very disappointing because I could have finished Top-5. I think I overtook a lot of cars on the track, but then a couple pit mistake and that's why I lose a lot of position. The top of the rookie, I was driving, I was calculating who is in front of me, rookie driver, and after the crash, I was nearly laughing. So maybe tomorrow it's going to be happy because I get a lot of prize money. (Laughter).

THE MODERATOR: So you're telling us you're going to like that prize money just a little bit?

KOSUKE MATSUURA: Yeah, prize money make me happy. (Laughter).

THE MODERATOR: That's universal language in all racing languages indeed. The number of incidents out there, we had several accidents; were you close to any of them?

KOSUKE MATSUURA: Also, I had quite couple of times I hit the wall. First wall, first time was when I went to -- when I enter turn three with Dixon, two-wide nearly hit the wall. And the conditions was pretty difficult, it was quite windy and it was very difficult for us. But I finish the car, and I didn't break anything these four races, and I think my manager will be very happy.

THE MODERATOR: Most rookies say the start of the race is something they are not prepared for with the turbulence and the crowd, and the stands were all full. What was the start like for you?

KOSUKE MATSUURA: You know, I think first time to get a lot of turbulence and this track is very low downforce circuit, and when you lose downforce, it's very difficult. And especially today was very windy, wind direction was difficult, turn three, turn four, and many times nearly hit the wall. I think the beginning, competing in races, in Homestead I was completely alone, driving alone. Phoenix, sometimes I fight with somebody. And then Motegi, I was fighting a couple of guys. And then today, 180 laps I was driving somebody in the drafting. That's why I ran a lot of things and I have to work and prepare for the good drafting car.

THE MODERATOR: Congratulations.

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