Indy Racing League News and Notes 2008-06-12

Today's IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights headlines 1. Andretti, Foyt, Rahal follow in fathers' footsteps 2. Gomez tops Firestone Indy Lights test at Iowa 1. Andretti, Foyt, Rahal follow in fathers' footsteps: Life in the IndyCar Series...

Today's IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights headlines
1. Andretti, Foyt, Rahal follow in fathers' footsteps
2. Gomez tops Firestone Indy Lights test at Iowa

1. Andretti, Foyt, Rahal follow in fathers' footsteps: Life in the IndyCar Series can mean a lot of time on the road away from friends and family. For drivers Marco Andretti, A.J. Foyt IV and Graham Rahal, their famous fathers/grandfather are the reasons they started racing. And family is never far away at the racetrack.

Andretti, in his third season in the IndyCar Series, is the son of Michael Andretti, the winningest driver in CART history, and the grandson of Mario Andretti, the 1978 world champion. Marco drives for the Andretti Green Racing team co-owned by his father.

Foyt is the grandson of four-time Indianapolis 500 winner A.J. Foyt. In his fifth season in the IndyCar Series, Foyt spent the first three driving for his grandfather's team before moving to Vision Racing.

Rahal is a rookie in the IndyCar Series, driving for Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing. His father, 1986 Indianapolis 500 winner Bobby Rahal, co-owns a competing team in the series, Rahal Letterman Racing.

All have grown up with added scrutiny due to their famous last names, but each relishes the opportunity to make their own mark in history.

"I think we all kind of feel the same amount of pressure," said Foyt, who has 10 top-10 finishes in his career. "We all have a lot to live up to. I think it's a little bit less pressure now that I'm driving for another team."

Rahal eased some of that pressure with his first career victory in April at St. Petersburg.

"After St. Pete, it takes quite a lot of pressure off," said Rahal, 19, who became the youngest race winner in IndyCar Series history. "Because a lot of people say, 'You're with a great team, but maybe you got out there because of your name.' And until you win, I think the question is always there. The question will always remain, though. Until I'm more successful than dad, I don't think I'll ever stop hearing about it. The problem is dad was obviously very successful, so it's going to be pretty tough to do that."

Any pressure comes from external sources. As a family, the Rahals don't always talk about racing.

"When we're home, we try to be the type that it's just a family and not talk too much about racing," Rahal said. "If we do go to lunch or something, racing might be the topic for a while but usually something else comes up to get off on a different tangent.

"Golf has always been a huge part of my life. As a kid, with dad, it still is, it's something we enjoy doing together and we do quite a lot."

As Father's Day approaches, these young drivers are thankful for their heritage and the racing lifestyle they can share with their fathers and grandfathers every race weekend.

***

2. Gomez tops Firestone Indy Lights test at Iowa: Firestone Indy Lights teams arrived at Iowa Speedway on June 11 hoping to get practice in before expected weather arrived.

They got what amounted to two different tests: A morning sessions in cool, overcast conditions, and an afternoon session with sun and wind.

Logan Gomez turned a fast lap of 20.1829 seconds, 156.073 mph in the morning before rains delayed the Open Test by nearly five hours. No one could top the time in the afternoon as the winds slowed the cars around the 7/8-mile oval.

"The setup is really good on the car," Gomez said. "Darrell Soppe is with us this week to replace our old engineer who left us before Milwaukee. We know we have a good baseline on the car for when we come back next week. We're looking good in the Menards Guthrie Racing car for the race. I can't wait to get back here."

Andretti Green Racing/AFS Racing's Arie Luyendyk Jr. (155.026) was second fastest, followed by points leader Richard Antinucci (154.663 mph), J.R. Hildebrand (154.470 mph) and newcomer Franck Perera (154.459), who was debuting with Guthrie Racing's No. 55 car.

"I think we'll have a quick race car, for sure," Hildebrand said. "The car was good in traffic, we could catch up to guys pretty easily. We didn't have a problem getting around. I'm looking forward to having a solid weekend."

Jon Brownson had the lone incident of the day, but was uninjured in his contact with the SAFER Barrier between Turns 3 and 4.

***

The 2008 IndyCar Series season continues with the Iowa Corn Indy 250 presented by Pioneer on June 22 at Iowa Speedway. The race will be telecast live in High Definition at 1 p.m. (EDT) by ABC. 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 with the Jeld-Wen 100 June 21 at Iowa Speedway. The race will be telecast at 5:30 p.m. EDT June 26 on ESPN2.

-credit: irl

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About this article
Series IndyCar , Indy Lights
Drivers Michael Andretti , A.J. Foyt IV , Bobby Rahal , Graham Rahal , Mario Andretti , Jon Brownson , Marco Andretti , Richard Antinucci , Logan Gomez , A.J. Foyt , Franck Perera , Arie Luyendyk Jr.