“I learn a lot from him, how was he timing it and everything,” Muñoz said. “I put this in practice and I start to get stronger and stronger.”
Muñoz is the current Firestone Indy Lights points leader, a developmental feeder series for the IZOD IndyCar Series. After an impressive first Indy 500, Muñoz was asked if he would talk to his team owner, Michael Andretti, about continuing the rest of the season in the top open wheel series.
“It’s up to him,” Muñoz said. “I have to do my job. My job, I’m still Indy Lights championship leader. This was my main goal since I start the year. This was one race more to have more experience and it came out really good, I think more than expected.”
Allmendinger was only a rookie in the sense of the word as the accomplished driver competed in his first Indianapolis 500. The 31-year-old won five races in the now defunct Champ Car Series and is a seven-year NASCAR Sprint Cup Series veteran.
After Sunday’s race, Allmendinger became the fifth driver in history to lead laps in both the Indianapolis 500 and the Brickyard 400. He joins a racing club that includes Tony Stewart, Juan Pablo Montoya, Robby Gordon and John Andretti.
Even for an experienced driver, starting the Indianapolis 500 for the first time frayed his nerves.
“The first issue was I was sissy on the start,” Allmendinger said. “That might have been the worst Indy 500 start ever. I went from like fifth to 20th in one lap. I’ll be ready next time. After that, it took me about 40 laps to settle down.”
As the No. 2 IZOD Team Penske Chevrolet shuffled back to the middle of the field, the rev limiter was being hit in sixth gear. After the team straightened the engine out, Allmendinger shot through the field.