DETROIT – Carlos Munoz heads into today’s first of two races in the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit Presented by Quicken Loans having moved on from last week’s frustration of finishing second in the 100th Indianapolis 500, primed to win a race under more normal circumstances than he did this day last year.
Munoz, the talented 24-year-old Colombian, entered the ranks of Verizon IndyCar Series winners in the first of two waterlogged, caution-infested races on a dynamic strategy after starting 20th. But he said afterwards he wanted to win his second race in a more normal fashion.
With his three Andretti Autosport teammates mired in 15th (Ryan Hunter-Reay), 17th (Alexander Rossi) and 19th (Marco Andretti), Munoz should carry the hopes of the team for the first of two races in things go to plan on Saturday.
Now he wants to forget about Indianapolis and continue his form; he told me before the month of May he was driving the best he ever has, and being the top Andretti Autosport qualifier in now three of the past five races bares that out.
“The next day, I forgot about the second place, whatever,” Munoz said Friday. “A lot of drivers wanted to finish second, that’s for sure, and they were home watching the race.
“Like I said, I think I said to you, I haven’t been driving so good I think this year. I’ve been driving so good, even the results didn’t show a lot in the road courses, but for the package we have, I had or whatever I had in that moment, I think I’ve never been so good driving. So the result doesn’t show it, but for me emotionally, I’ve been driving the best ever in my career right now, this year.”
Munoz felt he extracted the maximum out of his car on Friday, as he reached only the second Firestone Fast Six of his career, the first since Mid-Ohio 2014 held in mixed conditions.
“We tried some stuff for the Fast Six, and it didn’t work, but it’s my first Fast Six with that like normal conditions, so just really happy. I was the best of the team, so I think it’s a good position to start the race. I was here last year on the wet, and I think it’s a good position to start the race. I think we still have work to do. I think I got everything out of the car. I think that was the limit.”