Nelson Philippe has expressed his thanks to the Champ Car field for giving him time to develop as a driver after he took his maiden victory on Sunday.
The Frenchman came into the series as a 17-year-old in 2004, and admitted that he has had to mature a lot in the last three years.
"I need to thank every driver in the series for giving me time to grow," he said. "I realise now that when I came in I was just a kid, real stupid and immature.
"It's awesome to be a part of them now because I really feel like I've joined their group."
The CTE-Racing HVM driver added that he was pleased to prove wrong the people who doubted him at first.
"In 2004 when I came here nobody ever thought I would be standing where I am now," he said. "I worked my butt off for the past two years, and I think I earned the respect of the other guys when I came back much stronger at the start of this year."