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NASCAR Toyota Series: Carrera Inaugural Phoenix 2013

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Stock Car Racing Topics:  NASCAR Toyota Series

NASCAR Toyota Series: Carrera Inaugural Phoenix 2013

Abraham Calderon
Ruben Garcia, Jr.
Antonio Perez
March 1, 2013


THE MODERATOR: All right. Ready to begin the press conference. We are joined by the third‑place finisher, Ruben Garcia Jr.
Ruben, give us your impressions of the race.
RUBEN GARCIA, JR.: It was a great race, a great event. I'm very happy to have the opportunity to be here. Obviously it was a great first part of the race. I was able to be in the top 10.
My crew chief, we decided to make some adjustments during the race. It was great to be able to be in the top three. A great start to the season, a great start to the 2013 campaign.
I would like to thank the track and all the sponsors. Going forward, I hope I can have much better results just like this one.
THE MODERATOR: Now we're joined by the number two finisher, Antonio Perez.
Antonio, your impressions on the race.
ANTONIO PEREZ: I'm very happy. It was a very good race. There were a lot of opportunities to attack Abraham. Abraham just took advantage of a lot of the opportunities he had.
No.15 made a lot of moves on the track. We were battling it out the whole race, but I was able to come out on top.
I'm happy with the No. 2. I obviously wanted to win. It's a good start to the season. I'm looking forward to going forward and having better results or results just like this one.
THE MODERATOR: Now we are joined by the winner, Abraham Calderon.
Abraham, your impressions of the race.
ABRAHAM CALDERON: Obviously I had a very good rhythm. It was a great car. It's my first victory. It's such an honor to have it here.
I want to thank my team, all my sponsors. Everyone worked hard to make this a possibility. I want to thank Phoenix International Raceway for this opportunity to be here.
I hope going forward I can keep providing these kind of results. It's all about the championship, being able to hoist the championship trophy at the end of the season. This is a good start and I'm looking forward to do that.
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Abraham, obviously you're very happy to get your first win here, internationally. If you could speak about that, please.
ABRAHAM CALDERON: Obviously it's incredible, incredible start to the season, incredible to start here with this win.
It was a lot of hard work, from the team, from everyone to get the car out there, to make this possible. Right now we're looking to enjoy this victory, but we're also looking for more victories going forward.
I want to thank God and my family for this win.

Q. How different was what you did tonight from what you do the rest of the season? How different was this track? How different were your efforts?
ANTONIO PEREZ: I think the biggest difference between this race and the ones we have in Mexico, we did just 75 laps. We do normal races down there and long races. I think this is the biggest difference between this race and the ones we do in Mexico.
ABRAHAM CALDERON: Obviously the main difference, as Antonio said, it's a much shorter race. We're more used to much longer races where we have more strategy.
It's a different track. That's really the main difference.
RUBEN GARCIA, JR.: Obviously I agree with what these guys said.
You know, it's a different style. We're used to having a much longer race. We have pit stops. We have strategy with our tires, with our gas. This race we only had two stops. It was much different.
At the same time this is a superior track. It's obviously a big track compared to what we're used to running on. I think that was really the main difference.

Q. What is different about the tracks you're used to running on?
ABRAHAM CALDERON: Obviously the big difference is we have shorter tracks there. We have longer tracks, but we don't have them like here in Phoenix.
Also here it's a much wider track. We have some of that down in Mexico. Some of the things you see in this track you see in the different tracks in Mexico, but here it's all together.
Like I said, we have some shorter tracks. But the main difference that really affects our strategy is how wide it is.

Q. Do you have road courses in Mexico?
ANTONIO PEREZ: Yes, we do.

Q. Abraham, after this win, what can we expect from you for the rest of the season?
ABRAHAM CALDERON: Obviously you can expect we're going to work hard. We want to have more wins like today. We want to win the championship.
The most important thing going forward is we're going to have to work harder. As you saw today, it's going to be very tight competition the rest of the season. It's going to be tough. We have to work harder as a team and keep working so we have more wins and more nights like tonight.

Q. Abraham, the important thing was that you maintained your rhythm. We saw that on the track. Can you go into depth on how you kept your rhythm.
ABRAHAM CALDERON: One of the most difficult things to keep our rhythm was, we had cautions, the cars would get cold or slow down. It would take us one or two laps to get the car feeling good and for us to get our rhythm back.
As you saw, it was a very hard‑fought race. The most important thing for us to keep our rhythm was to keep looking forward, have that final goal in mind, not look behind.

Q. Abraham, what do you think this is going to mean to the people back in your home, where you live, the race fans down there, the fact that this is your very first win? What do you think it's going to mean to all those people who weren't here tonight but watched this?
ABRAHAM CALDERON: Obviously it means a lot. It means a lot back home. Everyone knows how difficult it is to compete here in the United States, how difficult it is to compete with NASCAR on these tracks at this level.
I think it means a lot to everyone back home watching. It means a lot to the sponsors, the team. We know this makes them happy. Moving forward, I want to keep making them happy so I want to work hard and win some more races.

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