WEST ALLIS, Wis. – Starting and finishing second in your first career IZOD IndyCar Series race, much less the the Indianapolis 500, can be a bit overwhelming.
That is, unless you’re 21-year-old Carlos Munoz. Munoz was at The Milwaukee Mile last week testing for this weekend’s Milwaukee IndyFest.
The Andretti Autosport driver won the Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year Award after qualifying and finishing second. He hoped to emulate his hero, fellow Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya, who won the Indianapolis 500 as a rookie in 2000.
He has been equally impressive in his second season in Firestone Indy Lights, where he has won three poles and two races in four starts, and leads the standings by 27 points.
During a brief break during testing we had the chance to speak Munoz regarding his season.
“The championship in Indy Lights has been the goal and focus all season. Indy was just an extra race that turned out really good,” Munoz said.
“It was unreal, the whole thing from start to finish the month of May, we came close to winning both races. We’d like to do more IndyCar races again this year but the center of attention is Indy Lights Championship and collecting the champions bonus,” Munoz said.
Munoz finished fourth in last year’ Milwaukee race.
“Milwaukee with the flat turns, traffic and wind direction changes is very demanding,” Munoz said. “That’s why we’re here today to get some more laps in before the race”.
Munoz hopes his performances this season will lead to a full-time IndyCar seat in 2014.
“I hope the 500 finish and my Lights season will lead us to that next season,” Munoz said. “A lot of people are looking and talking more about Lights after our close finish at Indy and my race in the 500, hopefully it will draw more attention to the series.”
Could Carlos Munoz be the future face of IndyCar? Time will tell.