Inside the Helmet: Indy Lites

By Kellen Brauer

Site Editor

INDIANAPOLIS, IN- As we say goodbye to Indy and head north of the border into Canada, we take one last look on what everyone thought about their race at Lucas Oil Stadium. This is this week’s inside the helmet for the Lites riders.

Sweendoggy- 14th

Kellen Brauer: What was the race like for you?

Sween: Night went good; I fought hard my entire heat race and barely came away with 8th. Going into the main I knew that I was not on par speed wise with the top guys, but I just wanted to get after it throw some sweet whips and see where I could end up. I think I was a little bit better than my result, but not much as lap times will show you. I was up front early with a great start, 7th place and making passes, then Insignia cross jumped in front of me taking us both down. I remounted in 14th I then tipped over in the next corner because prodigy was down, got back up in 18th, I then doubled into the back of bigasianguy who was going single-single in the section after the start straight, which was very unexpected in the main event, and that put me in 20th. From there, dead last on lap 2 when guys had already started to spread out…I just fought hard and got up to 14th.

KB: What were you struggling with?

Sween: Mostly just getting caught up in other people’s crashes. I seem to be very good at avoiding this stuff during the week, but I get swallowed up in the night program! I’ve got my own issues as well, but I seem to have learned to stay calm during the races. I want to win a race this year, so I’d say the biggest thing is pure speed, particularly in the corners.

KB: Are you happy with your result?

Sween: I’m just happy I made the main again this week! Daytona sucked watching!!!

KB: What is your strategy for the rest of the season?

Sween: Same as this week really, just try to actually have fun and not rage (which I didn’t rage during the race at all), throw whips and just end up wherever I end up. I’m just going to ride as hard as I can without crashing, and I’m still going to leave plenty of room for other riders, even if it means I get screwed, because that’s the way I believe it should be.

Sweendoggy was just happy to make the main.

Pumaxcs- 13th

KB: How was the race for you?

Puma: The race was pretty fun for me. Wish I could of had my second place start like I did in the heat but I did what I could and once again bettered my best finish of the season. I find I’m struggling with the people in front of me mostly. Everyone out there is trying to pass like Barcia and in this game it just doesn’t work out. I really don’t want to become one of them just so I can move up because the I’m the problem that I hate so much but if that’s what I will have to do to get somewhere in this game then so be it. I’m once again pretty happy with how the race went down. The track was easily the funnest and best flowing track of the year and I had two races of practice before I got in 02 and did my heat so maybe I should just not practice at all again. Strategy for my season is just to make mains. Heats are the most nerve-racking thing in this game I’ve ever done so once I make the main I don’t really get the jitters and can normally do alright. As long as I don’t get frustrated with others or me and can get a good start I predict a top ten to be in the bag.

Alec- 10th

KB: What was the race like for you?

Alec: The race was a bit of a bummer with some bad luck on the first few laps but after being M.I.A. for a few weeks it feels good to be back in the mix. Can’t get too bummed though because its fun just being out there racing.

KB: What were you struggling with?

Alec: My main struggle is getting out of the first turn clean and not crashing or getting tangled up with other riders on the first couple of laps. I’m confident that if I can start up front I can battle for podiums and even wins.

KB: Are you happy with your result?

Alec: Not at all, I know I have what it takes to be a frontrunner week-in, week-out but I just haven’t been able to put the pieces together thus far. I’m happy with the improvements I’ve made throughout the season especially with how I’ve been riding in the mains but it’s hard to get excited about finishing 10th when coming in 2nd fastest in qualifying.

KB: What is your strategy for the rest of the season?

Alec: Let it hang, I have nothing to lose going into these last few rounds and I’m running out of opportunities to get my first podium. It’s time to risk it for the biscuit and i’ll be giving it my all in Toronto!

Cody Darr- 9th

KB: How was the race for you?

Darr: Ok not what I wanted.

KB: What were you struggling with?

Darr: Consistency.

KB: Are you happy with your result?

Darr: Not really.

KB: What is your goal for the rest of the season?

Darr: Well I really got nothing to lose now since I’m sixth in points, so I want to win, have fun and keep it easy. (Laughs)

Darr's season has not been going the way he wanted it to.

Ddavis- 8th

KB: What was the race like for you?

Davis: The race was great for me! Unfortunately I crashed three times on the first lap but came through the pack really good and avoided pile ups and ended up making it all the way up to 6th at one point and got on McNeil’s back tire who was in 5th. I had some close calls and decided to ride a safe race for 6th, but on the last lap a lapper decided to launch the wall jump into me and I dropped back to 8th. Overall a good finish and broke inside the top 10 in points finally. I’m stoked!

KB: What were you struggling with?

Davis: First rounds I was struggling badly with my setup, but Tysen helped me out and got my bike feeling prime and it paid off in Indy.

KB: Are you happy with your result?

Davis: For sure! I’m happy whenever I break the top 10 but hopefully by Vegas I can finish inside the top 5!

KB: What is your strategy for the rest of the season?

Davis: Qualify well, maybe win a heat race if I’m feeling lucky, and finish in the top 5 is the goal.

KB: Thank you!

Davis: No problem, I’d like to thank http://www.panicrev.org for backing my team. You can check out my series progress here: http://img141.imageshack.us/img141/3397/mxssx.png

McNeil- 5th

KB: What was the race like for you?

McNeil: The race for me was definitely not my best, I was making mistakes everywhere!

KB: What were you struggling with?

McNeil: I was struggling with just doing my consistent lines that I’ve practiced all week, I think all the nervousness went to my head and the power outages 3 minutes before the main didn’t help my focus at all.

KB: Are you happy with your result?

McNeil: Not really, I could have done worse but I could have done better at the same time.

KB: What is your strategy for the rest of the season?

McNeil: My strategy is just to try and run upfront, no matter how I get up there. I need to make up a lot of points in 4-5 rounds that we have left, and it’s going to be a tough ride for sure.

Mark Zeidler- 3rd

KB: What was the race like for you?

Zeidler: Pretty fun after I worked my way out of the first lap calamity. I made a small mistake on the 2nd lap allowing Robert past, and then we just shmobbed for the next 8 laps with me staying within a second of him at all times. I was really fun to just get to put down lap after lap, and we were both really going for it, setting mostly 58 second lap times.

KB: What were you struggling with?

Zeidler: I ended up having the most awkward get off in the obstacle after the first triple. I feel like I hit it the same as I did the other 14 laps, but for some reason my little dude decided to loop his Larry coming out of it. I didn’t lose any spots, but I lost touch with the leaders and had to try extra hard in the remaining laps to catch Tyskorn again.

KB: What happened with Tyskorn?

Zeidler: I ended up right behind Tyskorn to begin the final lap, and knew I was going to have to do something great to get by clean in one lap. I knew Tyskorn wasn’t doing the 3-4 after the whoops, and my plan was to get along side of him there so I could square up under him on the wall double and make the pass down the start straight. I totally misjudged how much I would gain, and his line entering the next corner. I thought he would turn in earlier, which is why I jumped to the right a little bit instead of just going straight. So I landed on him and we both went down in a heap. While laying there I was all about getting up first and taking the position. I managed to win that race, but as I rode around the last lap my conscience got the better of me, and I decided to give the position back, as I know I surely wouldn’t want to lose a position like that on the last lap. It’s one thing to lose the spot via a dirty block pass in a corner, but getting landed on is the worst.

KB: Are you happy with your result?

Zeidler: No, I want to be winning these things every week. I have the speed, and the consistency, but my opening laps have been letting me down. It takes me until lap 3-4 to get into a groove, and I am losing a lot of time in that period.

KB: What is your strategy for the rest of the season?

Zeidler: To win. I really need those gloves.

T. Crain- 2nd

KB: What was the race like for you?

Crain: The race was pretty good. I didn’t have any issues with people this week, I lost the lead on my own really.

KB: What were you struggling with?

Crain: I didn’t have much time on the track, but it really wasn’t bad, and I was pretty comfortable with the track. I was washing out a bit and didn’t find a solution to it until after the race.

KB: Are you happy with your result?

Crain: I still can’t believe Phathry let me by, so I’m really pumped on second.

KB: What is your strategy for the rest of the season?

Crain: I just want to stay consistent with finishes.

Tyler Crain rode solid to bring home second place.

Robert- 1st

KB: What was the race like for you?

Robert: The race for me was really just stay smooth and things will come to you. I guess it worked because I only slid out once and I ended up winning.

KB: What were you struggling with?

Robert: What I was struggling with was really only my starts in the heat. For the main and LCQ, I had decent starts. I still had to make my way back up through the pack, though.

KB: Are you happy with your result?

Robert: Well, considering going through the LCQ, getting the lat transfer spot of the night, lined up all the way outside on the gate, and winning the whole thing, I would need to say yes, I am happy with my result. (Laughs)

KB: What is your strategy for the rest of the season?

Robert: My strategy for the rest of the season is to not override the tracks. Let the laps come to you. In the beginning of the season I really struggled with that. I have been riding the 450 a little to try and work on my corner speed. The extra power really makes a difference when I hop back on the 250. I’d like to thank AEO Powersports Yamaha, BP Grading, and Excavating Associates.

Robert came through the LCQ to win his first race of 2012.

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