Indy Racing League News and Notes 2008-04-25

Today's IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights headlines 1. Select quotes from Danica Patrick press conference at Kansas Speedway 2. Halfway around the world; teams regroup from trip to Japan 1. Select quotes from Danica Patrick press ...

Today's IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights headlines
1. Select quotes from Danica Patrick press conference at Kansas Speedway
2. Halfway around the world; teams regroup from trip to Japan

1. Select quotes from Danica Patrick press conference at Kansas Speedway: IndyCar Series driver Danica Patrick spoke with media at Kansas Speedway today.

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Q: Tell us about your week and what you're looking for here in Kansas this week.

DANICA PATRICK: Yeah, it was an exciting week. It was a lot of fun. You know, I never mind doing a lot of those live shows and talking to people like David Letterman. It's not a bad gig.

But we wanted to make the most of this event for everybody, for the team, for the sponsors, like Motorola, and for just the league and everybody. You know, this is something that had a lot of avenues of benefits.

I went and worked my butt off for a week. I feel pretty good, though. I think that everything happens for a reason, and if this would have come three years ago on the heels of Indy or something like that, you know, maybe I wouldn't have been so calm and prepared, prepared all around, from my standpoint and from the media and publicity standpoint. I try and find reason for everything. It was a good week.

But I'm excited to be in Kansas. Hopefully we get some practice in so we can get ourselves a good race car, and you're only as good as your last race, so I'm starting from scratch here.

Q. In a way, now that you've won, is there more pressure to win again and win championships?

DANICA PATRICK: No, I've always felt the same pressure to do everything, to be the greatest ‑‑ the best driver I can possibly be, and all of that included winning and championships and everything. I've always known, like I said, that I could win, and this is a very public win, and as I talked about in the very first question, something that would help myself, the team, the sponsors, the league, everybody.

I mean, I feel like it's more possible. I feel like I've always known like I could win, like I said, but the championships, you don't win championships without winning some races. I don't know if that ever happened. I see that as being much more realistic happening this year than in the past years, so that's exciting to me. I look forward to that. I look forward to getting to the end of the season and having ‑‑ I was nervous for Dario last year and I wasn't Dario (laughing), so I can only imagine how much tension there would be then. But I don't feel necessarily more pressure.

***

2. Halfway around the world; teams regroup from trip to Japan: The IndyCar Series last raced on domestic soil on April 6 on the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla. In the 17 days since, teams, drivers and officials logged more than 1,500 miles on the ground and 13,000 miles in the air as they returned to Indianapolis, flew to Japan, competed in Japan (a day late due to rain), flew back to Indianapolis and drove to Kansas for this weekend's Road Runner Turbo Indy 300 at Kansas Speedway.

For Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, which fields the Nos. 15 and 23 cars, preparations for the grueling stretch began prior to the race at St. Petersburg. The team flew in two extra truck drivers so the team's two transporters could drive the 1,100 miles back to Indianapolis without stopping. The rest of the crew flew home, arriving in Indianapolis at 2:30 a.m. on April 7.

By 4 p.m. on April 7, the trucks were back at the team's race shop and the crew was hard at work unloading equipment and stripping down the cars for repairs and rebuilds.

For the next three days, the crew averaged 12-hour days - finishing work on the cars in time to re-pack equipment into containers for the 6,400-mile flight to Japan.

After their only two days off in the 17-day stretch, the team congregated at the race shop at 4 a.m. on April 14, hopping on a bus to Chicago where they boarded the flight to Tokyo. The 14-hour flight was followed by a three-hour bus ride to the hotel.

The team spent the next two days laboring 12 hours each day at the racetrack, prepping for the Indy Japan 300. On April 18, they got a bit of a respite as rain washes out all on-track activity. Some of the crew visited the Honda Collection Hall before leaving the track by 12:30 p.m.

On April 19, the DRR team prepared to go racing. Unfortunately, more rain sent everyone back on the bus to the hotel at 4:30 p.m.

April 20 - race day - started with a 5:30 a.m. departure from the hotel. After final adjustments to the car, the green flag dropped on the Indy Japan 300 at 11 a.m. Two hours later, the checkered fell and the team packed up. By 4 p.m., they departed the track.

The last stretch of travel began with a 6:15 a.m. bus ride back to Tokyo on April 21 (5:15 p.m. on April 20 in Indianapolis). After a final set of bus rides and flights, the team was back at the race shop and headed for their own homes by 2:15 p.m. on April 21.

By 7:30 a.m. the next morning, they were back to work. Two race cars and several tons of equipment to unload and get ready to head out on the 500-mile drive to Kansas Speedway by April 24.

Partial diary:

April 6
St. Pete post-race -- Two extra truck drivers are flown in to compliment the team's two to keep the trucks running all night from St. Pete back to Indy.

8:45 p.m. -- Crew members depart St. Petersburg for Indianapolis; endure 90-minute delay in Atlanta connection due to flight being oversold.

April 7
2:30 a.m. - Crew's flight arrives in Indianapolis.

4 p.m. -- Trucks arrive at Dreyer & Reinbold race shop; mechanics arrive to unload equipment and begin stripping down cars for repair/rebuild; two damaged undertrays are sent off to third parties for repair; parts are ordered, though supply is limited.

7 p.m. -- Pizza is delivered for the crew.

10:30 p.m. -- Last mechanic leaves for home.

April 14
4 a.m. -- Crew meets at Dreyer & Reinbold shop to take a chartered shuttle to the O'Hare International Airport in Chicago

10:45 a.m. -- Flight departs Chicago

April 15
1:30 p.m. JST (12:30 a.m. EDT) -- Crew lands in Tokyo Narita.

3 p.m. -- Team has cleared customs, collected their baggage, and loaded onto a bus waiting to take them to Keisei Hotel in Mito.

5:30 p.m. -- Crew arrives at hotel; after a quick dinner, some go site-seeing the local area, but many are in bed by 8 p.m.

April 16
5:45 a.m. -- Crew boards bus outside of hotel for 45-minute ride to Twin Ring Motegi.

6:30 a.m. -- Crew arrives at track and heads to central food tent to join the IndyCar Community for breakfast; after breakfast, crew returns to assigned huts to begin layout of their office areas.

8 a.m. -- Garage opens, and the crew begins to unload their shipping crates, organize the garage, and prepare the cars for technical inspection.

5:45 p.m. -- Crew finishes up for the day and makes a quick run to the end of the Honda Welcome Party.

6:30 p.m. -- Crew hops onto bus to return to hotel in Mito.

8 p.m. -- Crew returns, and many go to sleep right away.

April 20
5:30 a.m. -- Crew boards bus and is ready to leave

11 a.m. -- Green flag for race; Bell finishes 10th, Rice 12th.

1:30 p.m. -- Crew begins post-race tear-down of equipment and prepares cargo for shipping; everything is returned to their assigned crates; equipment is cleared from huts to be packed.

3:30 p.m. -- The last cargo box is sealed, and everything is ready for return to Indianapolis.

4 p.m. -- Crew departs from track for Mito.

5 p.m. -- Crew returns to hotel; many use their last night to have one last Japanese meal, site-see, shop, and of course, pack their bags.

April 21
6:15 a.m. -- Bus departs hotel for trip to Tokyo Narita Airport

8:30 a.m. -- Crew arrives at airport, checks in baggage, grabs a meal, and many grab last-minute gifts from retail shops

10:45 a.m. JST (9:45 p.m. April 20 EDT) -- Plane departs airport for 12-hour flight back to Chicago.

8:30 a.m. CDT (9:30 a.m. EDT) -- Plane lands at O'Hare; crew goes through customs and collects baggage.

9:30 a.m. CDT (10:30 a.m. EDT) -- Crew boards chartered shuttle for return trip back to Indianapolis.

2:15 p.m. EDT -- Crew arrives back at race shop, collects their things, and heads home.

April 22
7:30 a.m. -- Crew back to work unloading cargo crates and begin work on preparing for Kansas.

6:30 p.m. -- Crew leaves for evening.

***

The 2008 IndyCar Series season continues with the Road Runner Turbo Indy 300 on April 27 at Kansas Speedway. The race will be telecast live in High Definition at 5 p.m. (EDT) by ESPN2. The race will air live on the IMS Radio Network. A Spanish-language telecast of the race will be carried by ESPNDeportes. The IMS Radio Network broadcast also is carried on XM Satellite Radio and www.indycar.com. The 2008 Firestone Indy Lights season continues April 27 at Kansas. The race will be telecast at 2 p.m. (EDT) on May 1 by ESPN2.

-credit: irl

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About this article
Series IndyCar , Indy Lights
Drivers Danica Patrick
Teams Dreyer & Reinbold Racing