IZOD IndyCar Series fans are in for a treat as Venezuelan race car driver, E.J. Viso took a moment from his schedule to offer us a glimpse of the life of a race car driver. A driver since the age of five, Viso began his racing career at age five driving go-karts in his native Venezuela.
Now in his sixth IndyCar season and first with Andretti Autosport during the 2013 IZOD IndyCar season, the 28-year-old driver pilost the No. 5 Team Venezuela PDVSA CITGO Chevrolet.
Coming off a 2012 season where the Venezuelan native achieved four top-10 finishes and one top-five finish with a best finish at the Milwaukee IndyFest coming in fifth, Viso is currently ranked #7 in the IndyCar Standings following the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.
Talk about the practice sessions
We were fast, and we had a pretty good base setup, which little by little we evolved. Things were good – working with Ryan, James and Marco to better each of our setups was a great advantage for all of us.
What happened during the accident in the final practice?
We had a mechanical issue – the bolt that holds the steering column in the steering rack came out. I lost steering and went straight into the wall.
How great was it to see Andretti, not just the No. 5 car crew, but guys from all four cars come together to make sure you got out to qualifying?
It was great – that was real teamwork which obviously paid off because we were able to have the car ready to go and I was able to qualify. Unfortunately, qualifying did not go the way we wanted. We had a small issue with the car that created understeer in my qualifying run. It didn’t let me go to the next qualifying round, but at that point I can tell you that the car was pretty well put together after that big accident, all thanks to the team.
Leading up to the race, how were you expecting it to go?
I was very, very positive about it. I had a great feeling. I knew I had a good car – I was fast in the practices, and I knew we were going to have a good pace. I like the guys in my crew and I believe they did a great job. Our strategy was spot on. In the first pit stop we lost valuable seconds, it happens, but if that had not happened, we would have easily finished in the Top Five.
You, along with Scott Dixon, were the drivers that moved up the field the most – by 15 positions – on a track that’s very hard to pass on, tell me about that.
It all boils down to teamwork and having a good car and a good crew. I believe that I’ve been clicking pretty well with this team. I like how they handle situations and I like how close they work with the car – everything is spot on. They give me all the tools to make it happen so, of course, at that point it’s all in my hands and I obviously took the opportunity.
First race with your new team, with three teammates and an entire organization around you plus your teammate won, another on the podium & you were in the Top 10, how does that feel?
It feels great! Definitely it’s a nice way to start this year. I feel that this year is going to be a great one. I am really, really, really excited to be working with these guys not only on the track but off the track. I feel that I always have a good team behind me. I really am working hard with them and I believe it’s going to be a tremendous year.
About Andretti Autosport
Based in Indianapolis and led by racing legend Michael Andretti, Andretti Autosport fields multiple entries in the IZOD IndyCar Series. Andretti Autosport also campaigns multiple cars in Firestone Indy Lights, the Pro Mazda Championship and in the USF2000 National Championship. The company boasts four IZOD IndyCar Series championships (2004, 2005, 2007 and 2012), two Firestone Indy Lights titles (2008 and 2009), one USF2000 championship (2010) and has won the Indianapolis 500 twice (2005 and 2007). For more information, please visit www.AndrettiAutosport.com.