Carlos Munoz Looking for Strong Sophomore Season with Andretti Autosport

Following a solid rookie season in the Verizon IndyCar Series, Carlos Munoz is back with Andretti Autosport in 2015 and looking for success.

“I think it’s going to be a really hard season in the beginning because of the new aero kits for 2015,” he told SpeedwayMedia.com. “I think between Chevy & Honda, we don’t know where we really are, where the other teams are; it’s going to be a big question mark. I am feeling comfortable, it’s my second year in this series and I have some experience. I think we can do great things. I have bigger expectations, higher goals, so I’m looking forward to the first race in Brazil.”

With a year behind him, Munoz is entering this year looking to snatch up podium finishes and wins, but notes that the expectations for the year will be based “race by race”, depending on things start out with the addition of the aero kits. Munoz has seen the new kits and says that the car looks unbelievable as they’re “crazy nice”.

“I think Honda’s done a great job and we’ll see what happens in the end,” the driver of the No. 34 Cinsay Honda added. “I think it’s going to be good for the competition and it’s going to be really nice for the fans to watch the cars, and as a driver, I think it will be an even better show for them.”

Beyond having the experience under his belt, the 23-year-old feels that this upcoming season will be stronger having learned from the mistakes that he made last season.

“I know now what not to do or what to do to prevent the same mistakes because of my own experiences,” he explained. “I’ve been to the tracks now; I have the data, what things work for me, what didn’t work for me. As a team, they know a little bit more about what I like or don’t like with my driving style. It’s really important to have all of that.”

Despite some mistakes along the way, Munoz had a solid rookie season, scoring three podium finishes en route to finishing eighth in the season ending standings. Certainly one of the biggest highlights was the fourth place finish in the Indianapolis 500, marking Munoz’s second top-five in the biggest spectacle of racing following a runner-up finish in 2013. When asked what it would mean to him to win the race, Munoz commented, “I think first I have to win it then I will see. It’s been two years in a row fighting for the win and I think we have a great chance this year to fight so I will fight to win, and after I do I’ll let you know how I feel.”

Though rather than dwell on the success, the Columbian is already set and focused on 2015.

“I thought over the good stuff and the bad stuff so it’s in the past,” he said. “I think the goals I had were accomplished so there’s nothing more to dwell on and just look ahead to 2015.”

He does note in looking back, though, that the second half of the year was stronger than the beginning, and attributes that to jelling back with the team in developing a good relationship with his engineers and race strategist.

“I think we missed all of that in the beginning of the year, and I think, too, my experience level,” he added. “I think Penske, Ganassi and really Chevy was really strong at the end of last year, too, so it was harder for us to fight with them. With my experience and the experience of the team, I think all my team is more or less the same for this year, so hopefully it’s going to be better for me.”

With the season kicking off in just over a month and a half, Munoz says that he’s looking forward to getting to Brazil.

“It will be my first time there and it’s the first race so it’s going to be really important to start really strong,” he commented.

Though beyond Brazil, the sophomore driver is ready for whatever course may come his way, knowing the need to do well on each to be part of the championship discussion.

“I think once you’re racing here in America, as an IndyCar driver, you have to be competitive on all of them,” he commented. “On ovals, short ovals, road courses and street courses – you have to be strong on all of them to win a championship. Personally I think I’m strong on all of them but I have to improve on the short ovals like Iowa and Milwaukee; I have to work a lot because they are really tough.”



The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com.

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