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Indy Pro Series: Milwaukee 100

Open Wheel Racing Topics:  Milwaukee 100

Indy Pro Series: Milwaukee 100

Wade Cunningham
Jonathan Klein
July 22, 2006


THE MODERATOR: Thank you for coming in, spending a few minutes with us. We have Wade Cunningham, Jonathan Klein.
Wade, we'll start with you. I have to ask the question, what happened to your car in the second half of the race? You had the dominant car all weekend long.
WADE CUNNINGHAM: Nothing really happened. I was really just driving off the time gap, had a mental number of two and a half seconds. As long as the gap was more than that, I didn't really push too hard. Got down to one point seven, I'd push it back out in a few laps. Really just cruising, really racing against the clock at the end until that last restart.
I didn't get a great restart off of turn four, but it was enough to stay in front. But unfortunately I hadn't really scrubbed the tires enough I don't think in the roll-up laps, I had a lot of pickup on the front. I just missed turn one, allowed Jaime to get under. Jonathan nearly got under as well. From the last lap and a half, it was just a battle.
THE MODERATOR: Jonathan, if you could, you finished third, looked like you were coming on strong at the end of the race. Take us through the last third of the race and then that last restart.
JONATHAN KLEIN: Yeah, we kind of -- our game plan was to be conservative the whole race and just make sure we could hold a fairly decent pace and save tires and really be nice to the car so it would be nice to us at the end of the race. That's what it was doing.
I think my engineer told me we were catching the leaders two, three almost four 10ths of a second per lap at the end. Really reeled them in. Had the yellow not come out, could have been a different story. The three of us all played nice on the restart. It was a good result.

Q. What was going through your head when the yellow came out?
WADE CUNNINGHAM: Just keep the tires clean, keep the engine clean. I was doing the best I could. Wasn't really sure how many laps we were going to get under green at the end. I figured it would be one or two.
But, you know, I mustn't have done a good enough job because I missed turn one on the first lap. That was the end of the race for me.

Q. Leaving here disappointed, Wade?
WADE CUNNINGHAM: Yeah, I'm disappointed. I think I drove an excellent race. I pulled it out to a five-second lead and wasn't really pushing. I had one massive moment in two I think around lap 40 just battling with the wind. It was a complete opposite of what it's been all weekend. It was coming from turn one down to turn four instead of four to one.
You know, the car was really good through three and four and wasn't bad through one and two all race. Really, we had everything covered. I was just trying to stay focused and drive a pace that would keep my time gap to a second place, whoever it was.
The yellow came out. I wasn't panicked or anything like that. Like I said, just didn't scrub the fronts hard enough and understeered out of the corner.

Q. When you have a dominating weekend like you have had, you're a couple laps away from the finish, you see the yellow come out, what goes through your head?
WADE CUNNINGHAM: Just stay focused and do the best you can. I think I made little mistakes all weekend. I made one on lap 98. Unfortunately that's going to spoil the weekend. It was excellent up until now. It's not like last week, I can't point the finger. Just got to take it and move on.

Q. Jonathan, you were planning on laying back. You were catching Jaime near the end. Do you think you might have been able to catch him had everything stayed status quo?
JONATHAN KLEIN: Yeah, I think the gap was probably even less than that. I could see both Wade and Jaime struggling a bit. I could see their cars moving around quite a bit, giving them some trouble.
Yeah, like I said earlier, had it not gone yellow, it could have been different. But it is what it is and we're still leaving with third-place points, which is pretty solid. I'm not sure, but I hope that we can close the gap and then move ahead of Wilson with this finish.

Q. Jonathan, talk about your test here in the IndyCar.
JONATHAN KLEIN: A lot of people have been asking if it helped or it's been a benefit. I think it has in a sense that track time is track time. No matter what kind of car you drive in, it's going to be beneficial to whatever your program is.
In regards to whether it really directly helped to my program car-wise, handling characteristic-wise, not really clear, not sure, because the IndyCar has an enormous amount of grip and drives this track completely different than our IPS cars do. Like I said, track time is track time and seat time is seat time. There's nothing that can make up for that. I think it was a benefit for sure.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, guys.

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