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Matthew Brabham: A Winning Weekend In Indy

5.31.13 (via SPEED) – What a fantastic couple of weeks! Last year was the first time I had ever been to the Indy 500, and I have been waiting all year for it to come around again. I had heard lots of amazing stories from my father rushing down pit lane at over 200 mph when there was no pit speed limit, to my grandpa driving through a wall of fire.

But I had absolutely no idea of the enormous crowd and atmosphere; it’s something you have to experience yourself and see with your own eyes to gain a true perspective, and last year I was blown away. It’s such an amazing event and I am so thrilled to be a part of it. I drove the pace lap for the Firestone Indy Lights race around IMS and that was so much fun! It was really cool to see the crowd and the race track from the driver’s perspective; hopefully I’ll be racing there next year.

For the Andretti team, this is a special race as they are based in Indianapolis. A few of the guys in our Pro Mazda team race at Lucas Oil Raceway with their own race cars as it’s their local track. They have always wanted to win here so bad, and they have come very close quite a few times which has only fuelled their determination.

Saturday was race day. The weather wasn’t looking too good but we were able to get our pre-race practices in and then it was time for qualifying. I felt I had a few tenths on the field, but in the practice it seemed as though they had closed the gap. In qualifying we hit the nail right on the head and the car was pretty much perfect! It was a very easy car to drive and felt like it was on rails. I managed to break the track record and get the pole, which was fantastic!

In last year’s USF2000 race I started from the pole and managed to get a little gap in the lead before there was a big crash. On the restart , my teammate and rival Spencer passed me going into Turn 1. From then on we went side-by-side for many laps and had a great battle. In the end he got the lead and I had to settle for second place which was incredibly frustrating having been so close to winning.

 

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