</pre> Goals for the race at TMS "Our goal for the Excite 500 is to finish in the top five and to try and obtain rookie of the year status. When I think back to last year and my first Indy Racing Northern Light Series race ever -- it was...
</pre> Goals for the race at TMS
"Our goal for the Excite 500 is to finish in the top five and to try and obtain rookie of the year status.
When I think back to last year and my first Indy Racing Northern Light Series race ever -- it was at Texas Motor Speedway. Last year, it was almost as if I didn't want to race with the other cars, I didn't know the boundaries of the race car, and there was also a championship battle going on, and I didn't want to affect that outcome, so I really just went out and ran laps.
Now, I've learned a lot about the racecar and I know its boundaries. I can run good laps and I can feel what is going on with the car. "Driver feel" is something you can only learn by experience. I get in the car now and feel the 'when, where, why and how' of loose, but when I got in the car at Texas, I only knew it was loose but didn't know the quantities like I do now."
What do you think about the track at TMS?
"I like the Texas track a lot. There is a lot of banking and the feeling of running an Indy car is really neat there. The toploads of downforce that the driver feels when running on that track is incredible. I'm used to running high-banked tracks like Eldora and Winchester and I've done well on tracks like that."
Thoughts on the Racesearch.com Rookie of the Year Award.
"We're not that far out of the rookie of the year hunt. If we have a great finish at Texas, and the other contenders don't do well, we can wrap it up. That would be great for our team!" (Note: Sarah is currently in 4th place, with 105 points. Sam Hornish, Jr. has 107, Jeret Schroeder has 122 and Airton Dare has 124 points) Thoughts about returning to Texas Motor Speedway for the second time this season:
"At the race in June, the car just wouldn't go fast. We found out after the race that one of the spark plugs had a crack in it and therefore all eight cylinders didn't fire, so the car ran, but it wasn't running at top peak performance."
Thoughts about the season as a whole
"Looking back on my rookie season, it hasn't been exactly what I'd wanted it to be, but I think when you're learning a new series, it's never perfect. We had a few incidents, but what is important that I learned from each and every one.
The Kentucky test is really where we really turned our momentum around. Rob Edwards (engineer and team manager) really figured out what it makes the car go fast and we were able to capitalize on that.
If we do well at Texas, that would put a good cap on the season -- we got into a good rhythm at KY and a top-five finish at Texas would show we are not a fluke and are for real.
Sponsors are always looking for results and if we can show them what we've got at Texas, they will definitely want to climb on board for next season and beyond!"
Sarah Fisher notes/fact sheet:
· Note: Sarah will turn 20 on Wednesday, October 4. We're having a surprise birthday party for her at the Walker Race shop tomorrow, with Subway sandwiches (her favorite) and birthday cake. The cake features a racetrack with three IRL cars on it - the Indianapolis 500 model car for the 2001 race is in front at the checkered flag - and it has Sarah's name written on it!
· Sarah finished third in The Belterra Resort Indy 300 on Aug. 27 at Kentucky Speedway in the Walker Racing Cummins Special Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone. This was her best finish in the Indy Racing Northern Light Series to-date.
· Previous starts/finishes at Texas Motor Speedway:
Texas 10/17/99 17/25 Texas 6/11/00 25/12
· Her Texas race in 1999 was for another IRL team. She signed with Derrick Walker Racing in Jan. 2000.
· Qualifying at TMS was rained out in June, so Sarah started the race in 25th place based on driver points standings
· Sarah's best finish at an IRL race prior to Kentucky was her 12th place finish this past June at TMS
Her last two starting positions in IRL races have been 5th (Atlanta) and 4th (Kentucky). Can she move up the starting grid at Texas?
· Sarah led her first-ever laps at an Indy Racing event at Kentucky (nine laps). Can she do the same and more at Texas?
· Sarah is currently attending college part-time. She is intending to major in mechanical engineering and business. Her classes are in Calculus and Intro. to Computer Applications in Engineering. She is currently working on a drawing project for her engineering class that involves drawing the steering wheel of her race car on a computer program.