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IndyCar Series: XM Satellite Radio Indy 200

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Open Wheel Racing Topics:  XM Satellite Radio Indy 200

IndyCar Series: XM Satellite Radio Indy 200

Helio Castroneves
Tony Kanaan
March 19, 2005


TONY KANAAN: They gave me a great car. I did 20 laps all day yesterday. I need to thank Dario, Dan and Bryan for the great input they gave to me. You know, I was confident. In the warm-up today, I was very happy with my car. I knew I had to work really hard. I just didn't know Kim was going to make me drive through the field twice. Once I got in the front, I side, Finally I'm here. Then we had a problem with the fuel probe. They sent me back to 21st again. I'm like, Okay, let's pretend nothing happened. We'll start all over again. The car was very good. I strongly believe, I always said that the best car should win, and I don't think the best car won today. You know, I won't take anything away from those guys because we drove really hard, but definitely, you know, I ran with them, and I think we were as competitive as them. But we didn't put ourselves in the position to win the race. I'm not unhappy we have the third place. 17 top five finishes in a row is not bad either. We got another championship to win, so we'll work on that one.

THE MODERATOR: That's consecutive third place finishes for Tony. This guy comes in again with another top five and a great battle, we might add, with your own teammate, Helio. Perhaps you might want to talk to us about that.

HELIO CASTRONEVES: That was incredible. I had a lot of fun. I don't know about you guys, but I had a lot of fun, you know. It was just incredible. Thank God the weather holds up and the car seems to be holding fantastic. I could go high, I could go low, I could go anywhere (laughter). And I think that decision we chose. And again, Sam and I were so equal. I mean, we were so equal. We've been working together. He really been working together, as well. I think it show up today for what a great result, you know. Definitely some of the guys have a fantastic straight line. It was kind of hard for us to try make some moves. But in the end of the day, that's what the result's all about. Good finishes, good battle. You know, everybody seems to be clean. I'm happy to finish second.

THE MODERATOR: Shaping up to be a battle between your two teams again, it looks like.

HELIO CASTRONEVES: Yeah, I hope so. Last year was kind of very tough. But this year seems to be a little bit better. It's just second race. Obviously, still a long way to go. But I think every race, it's people, not only us, our team, but every team, it's looking as the last race because, you know, it's so important collect points, it's so important having these kind of good results. Definitely is going to pay it off in the end of the year.

THE MODERATOR: We're going to head into a new venture in the IndyCar Series. We're going to go on to the streets of St. Petersburg. Talk about your feelings about going back to turning left and right.

HELIO CASTRONEVES: Tony and I've been asking so much about that. I think finally we got our wish, so we better not disappoint them now.

TONY KANAAN: We better do a good job. I think we're going to have to try to sleep until then because I don't think we're going to sleep a lot just thinking about it. I'm excited. Finally we're back. Hopefully, like Helio said, we won't start, like, in the back.

HELIO CASTRONEVES: I think it's going to be a good show, you know. Everybody's really excited - not only the drivers, but the teams, you know, to go to a road course, turn right and left. We're going to need some WD, you know, try to rust it out a little bit out our joints. But we going to be in a good shape. I'm looking forward. I'm sure a lot of people, as well.

Q. How do you think the IRL cars are going to adapt to road courses?

HELIO CASTRONEVES: Well, surprising so far, it's been doing fantastic, you know, since the first test that we did. They did a minor change, literally minor change. The car seems to be holding very well. I didn't have any trouble. I don't know about them. But seems to be is going to be a good show.

TONY KANAAN: I would say don't expect to be like the oval races because road courses. I mean, you see everywhere, you go from NASCAR to CART to F1, it don't see a lot of passes these days. So I don't think it's going to be like -- we have a very exciting series on an ovals, but on the road courses, there's going to be some passes, but not like going to be like, you know, every lap you're going to see some car passes. It's all going to be a matter of how you want to judge the excitement because road courses are definitely way different than the ovals. But I think the cars will have no problem.

Q. What did you see on the restart?

HELIO CASTRONEVES: I think he went a little bit hot inside. But, hey, it's the last lap, what do you expect, you know? But I was kind of curious, he washes out, you know, to the wall. Actually, I was fighting with them because he was in the outside. I couldn't have much of like a perfect look. But, you know what, he had a fantastic car. His car was very fast. He seems to be able to not only be dealing with traffic really well, but also have great speed, you know. It's one of those days, you know. Sometimes it's your day and sometimes you're the windshield, sometimes you're the bug. It's a shame that he didn't make it. I don't feel sorry --

TONY KANAAN: Somebody told him that one day and he liked it.

HELIO CASTRONEVES: That's the only English saying that I know (laughter).

TONY KANAAN: "Boy oh boy" as well.

HELIO CASTRONEVES: Boy oh boy (laughter). It's just a shame. What can I say? It was good for me.

Q. (Inaudible)?

TONY KANAAN: One thing I said that I want to do different this year, it was obviously consistency. It was the key for me to win the championship last year, but I would like to win more races. So far we've been just consistent. We'll try to win more races. But, you know, there are days that you got to evaluate what you have and you got to take what you got. I think two third places in the row in the beginning of the year, is not bad. But I would say in comparison to last year, I do think we had a car to win both races, we just didn't put ourselves in the position to. Series like this these days, this is not good because a win can cost you a championship in the end of the year. So we got to figure out, it's still early days, but, you know, having a tough day and finishing third all the time is not that bad.

Q. (Inaudible)?

TONY KANAAN: It's a secret that Michael Andretti taught me and I'm not going to tell you guys (laughter).

Q. You had a little help.

TONY KANAAN: Oh, yeah, of course. I work on that a lot. I don't want to say what it is. But I do work on that a lot. And I got it a lot from Michael.

HELIO CASTRONEVES: Don't worry, I won't tell anyone (laughter). I'll be quiet.

TONY KANAAN: I'll talk to you in the plane.


TONY KANAAN: But, I mean, I developed that a lot, the cold-tire situation. You know, I think I was always good at it because this guy here in Indy Lights days, used to go out of the pits and just bang the wheels out of each other, even in doing a practice session, and for no reason really. But that was just I was young and stupid. It's not that we're old and wise right now (laughter). You know, it's just -- I learned that and I just tried. It's not something that I planned. I never said, "I'm going to pass ten cars. I'm going to pass nine." I just look at the situation. Depends where you start. You got to set your car up, as well. You got to have the car to do it, as well. It's not just me. You've got to evaluate that. I knew I was starting last. I knew I had to drive on the outside for a few laps. That's what I did this morning. My car wasn't good. I made a change to be able to do that. That's how I got those 12 cars in the first lap.

Q. (Inaudible)?

TONY KANAAN: I was. But that's what I did. If you look at it, the yellow was clinging on the outside. I was up there. People are thinking, "You're crazy, you're picking up all the marbles." But I was clinging, because that's where I wanted to go. Once it got green, that's where I went. Obviously, once you get up to those guys in the front, they figure out what you do a lot. It's not that easy. In the back there, a couple guys don't realize. I still can pull it off sometimes, but eventually it's going to end because it's been happening quite often, and I don't think I'm going to keep doing that. At one point it's going to get to me.

Q. (Inaudible)?

TONY KANAAN: Fuel problem. The fuel didn't go in. We had a fast stop. I'm leading. I'm like, "Great job, guys. Very good."

"Well, you got to come back, you have no fuel in."

"All right."

HELIO CASTRONEVES: That was a short fuel. It was like -- it was very short.

TONY KANAAN: So I came back in with no time to change the fuel probe. We did it again. So I'm out there. I said, "Okay." No, it didn't. I got half a tank. Thank God went yellow, because I didn't have the fuel to go. They said, "It's okay, got half a tank. You got to come in." I said, "I am not coming in. You guys better figure out a way to fix it." I knew if I would come in, the fuel wouldn't come in anyway. It went green I drove my wheels off. Then fortunately it went yellow. Everybody came in. We changed the fuel probe, got full fuel.

THE MODERATOR: Congratulations. Great race.

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