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Firestone Indy Lights: Lefty's Kids Club 100

Open Wheel Racing Topics:  Lefty's Kids Club 100

Firestone Indy Lights: Lefty's Kids Club 100

Carlos Munoz
October 19, 2013


THE MODERATOR: We are now joined by the winner of today's race, Carlos Munoz of Andretti Autosport.
Carlos, talk about today's race.
CARLOS MUNOZ: That was a really nice race for me and Gabby. I knew I couldn't let him the inside line because I was feeling really comfortable out there, even though I know the tires was degrading more the inside line.
Yeah, I used all my tools I had there. I was really clever. I knew he was struggling with the tires in the end. I think it was three laps to go, two laps to go, I knew he was going up, so I went up to try to take him away a little bit. I was clever doing that. That's where I make the gap and I win.
THE MODERATOR: You're going to be in a unique position today. You'll do the IndyCar race tonight. Talk about doing double duty tonight.
CARLOS MUNOZ: It's going to be tough. It's different than Indianapolis. Never was really like between IndyCar and Indy Lights. Yesterday was tough for me in the Indy Lights to go back to the IndyCar for the last practice to change the mentality, because everything is go much quicker.
Going to be tough race. I starting 13th, I think. So, yeah, is going to be a long race. My main goal is to finish that race.
THE MODERATOR: We'll open it up for questions for Carlos.

Q. You talked about the difficulty of the transition. What is the hardest part? Is it the speed of the IndyCar is so much greater?
CARLOS MUNOZ: The speeds are much more higher and also it's really tough now in IndyCar with the aero kit. All the Indy drivers complain about it. It's tough. You don't enjoy as much as you enjoy the Indy Lights for sure.
The lines are completely different. You go really in the top line in the IndyCar just to try to be like for the best of the car. That's been a struggle a little bit. As I say, when I went from the Indy Lights to the IndyCar, everything was much faster. It's going to be a long race. Hopefully I will get up to speed after a few laps.

Q. Does the Lights experience help you moving to IndyCar? Is that a good transition from one to the other?
CARLOS MUNOZ: Yeah, you learn everything, the main keys, from the Indy Lights that you need in IndyCar. You learn a lot, like how to find clean air, how to go the lines. It's like a really good school for the driver who want to move up to IndyCar.
The rest of that, you use the same driving style. You have to think about the clean air and everything, so it helps you a lot. I think Indy Lights is a great school to move up.

Q. You compared the Lights with the big cars. How different is the line around here? There's lots of seams all across here. Are you having to run across them more in the little cars compared to the big ones?
CARLOS MUNOZ: Yeah, in the Indy Lights, when first I heard the IndyCar drivers complain about the seams, I think, Why they complain about it? In Indy Lights, you don't feel that. You maintain low, do all the lines you want, flat. It's completely different.
IndyCar you really feel everything, every little bump, everything. If you go this lap really low, next lap higher, it change a lot. In Indy Lights, everything is softer. You enjoy much more racing, no, because you have to think about the car, but in the IndyCar you have to think maybe I will crash. You are really fighting with it.

Q. What are your plans for 2014?
CARLOS MUNOZ: My plans are clear. I really want to move up. I think I have done quite good this year to move up. That's my main goal, no, to do a full ride next year in the IndyCar, to learn as much as possible. I had a great opportunity in Indianapolis to run, and Toronto, and this race now.
It was great, all these opportunities, to learn as much as I can for next year and do the best job that I can.

Q. I wanted to ask about your season as a whole. Today it was someone else having tire troubles trying to get around you. I look back to Iowa where your front right was virtually blown through. What have you learned from this year? Up until Indy, it looked like this was going to be your year, you were just going to walk it. Then unlucky circumstances, to say the least.
CARLOS MUNOZ: I think we struggle a lot halfway through the season with the bumpy tracks, like Toronto, lot of changes. In the beginning, me and Hawksworth were close from each other. Everybody else was behind us, 4/10ths, 5/10ths. Then in a couple races, Jake was like faster than everybody else was. I think they improve a little bit.
In Iowa, what happened with the left front tire, we were there testing one day before the race, maybe was the tire, no? But yesterday I was not happy with the car in the practice. I knew I have to change something. Was too much understeer. I could do 50 laps with this car understeering.
My engineer, my team did a great job overnight. We changed quite a lot the car. I use all my tools through the race. Also that help me to maintain the tires.

Q. Do you feel the compliment when teams come calling you to drive their car at the last second, like Toronto and here?
CARLOS MUNOZ: Is great that they call me, no? Is never nice in the last moment, because you have nothing to prepare the IndyCar. They been testing here at Fontana a month ago. That helps a lot. I was in New Orleans filming a film with the IndyCar. Everything is new for me. It's totally different, the IndyCar. I haven't had the time to really work it and to prepare it. In Toronto also I didn't have the opportunity to prepare anything.
But it's a great opportunity for me that they call me last minute. I doing my job. Is great, you know. Is like a satisfaction for me.
THE MODERATOR: We'll wrap things up with Carlos. Congratulations on the victory and a great season.
CARLOS MUNOZ: Thank you very much.

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