An interview with Al Unser III Indy Racing League Teleconference Transcript THE MODERATOR: We are joined now by Firestone Indy Lights driver, Al Unser III. Good afternoon, Al. AL UNSER III: How is it going? THE MODERATOR: Doing great.
An interview with Al Unser III
Indy Racing League Teleconference Transcript
THE MODERATOR: We are joined now by Firestone Indy Lights driver, Al Unser III. Good afternoon, Al.
AL UNSER III: How is it going?
THE MODERATOR: Doing great. Thanks for giving us a call. Al in his fourth season of Firestone Indy Lights competition, driving the No. 21 Playa Del Racing Car, and in 20 career starts, he's recorded eight top-five and 15 top-10 finishes, and he's getting ready for his third Firestone Freedom 100 at Indianapolis later this month, and he's finished fourth and eighth at Indy previously.
Let's talk a little about the season overall. First you've got your two top-10 finishes in the first four races, how have things gone so far?
AL UNSER III: Things are going great. The Ethos car is running well. We did pretty good at the season opener, and then St. Pete was a lot of fun, definitely the second race had its fair share of chaos going on.
It was good to be back at Kansas. And other than that, you know, we've just been finishing races and that's what's kept me so good in points.
THE MODERATOR: You've competed in parts of four seasons going back to 2004; from your perspective, how is the season or how has the series changed and developed since your first few races back in 2004?
AL UNSER III: Well first of all, it's really nice to be running a full season, even though I'm in my fourth season, I really have never done a full one. So it's really nice to be doing that.
But also, the competition level has gone up so much, especially this year, and we've got the highest car count that I've ever seen with 25, 26 cars at some events. That just brings -- everybody has to step up. You know, Kansas, I think the whole field qualified within a second and a half or something like that, and it just makes it all that much more challenging and makes the decisions you make have so much more impact.
THE MODERATOR: Let's talk a little about Indianapolis. Obviously a very special place for your family. How much would it mean to you to win the Freedom 100?
AL UNSER III: (It would be)Huge. I was there -- I just flew back to Henderson (Nevada) last night, and I've been hanging out in Indy watching the rookies going around and so forth. I was there; the Speedway was honoring my family for what they have done there. It means so much to be able to win at that track.
I was listening to Mario and some of the things he was saying about Indy, and he's right; it's a really fun place to race and it's very challenging. It's unlike any other place that I've been to, and to win there with what my family has done would be huge.
THE MODERATOR: Kind of in the same vein beyond winning the Freedom, how important is it to you to some day maybe get the chance to run in the 500?
AL UNSER III: Big. Big. Watching those rookies going around, going, man, I can do this, it just made me itch to get in the car.
And then yesterday watching Marco (Andretti) set his fast lap, you know, he got a big tow off of Graham (Rahal), and I'm watching both of them run out there going, man, I should be right there with those guys.
THE MODERATOR: Just tell us about the sponsor that's backing your effort. You brought Ethos on board late last year. Seems like that's a pretty strong program.
AL UNSER III: Yeah, the sponsor is Ethos Fuel Reformulator, and Ethos -- the product is the Fuel Reformulator, and it's a deal you put in your gas tank and in your crank case, and it gets you better fuel mileage. It also cleans up your emissions.
And this is a product that me and my dad are both endorsing, and before we did that, we got some of the product and took it home and tested it in our cars at home. It works. We are getting better fuel mileage, and I've seen an improvement with how long I get to go on a tank of gas, which I guess this days is a big help.
Q: How with your dad and your grandpa there as lead advisors and stuff, how much input do you get from them while you're practicing and throughout the month so far?
AL UNSER III: You know, from my dad, I get a fair amount, and he's the official driver/coach for the big cars, for IndyCar; as well, with my grandpa.
But my dad will come down during my sessions and help me translate some of the language to the engineer, explain some of the stuff that maybe he's felt and really he's a big help and he watches my line and definitely chimes in on if I don't get a good restart or something.
But other than that, he's a big help. And my grandpa, as well. If I have any questions, I can go and hit him up, and he gives me straight, fair answers.
Q: Have either one of them said, let me take it out for a lap
AL UNSER III: No, they haven't. I think they are pretty done with their racing career. I know that my dad definitely wants to be in the 500, and I would love to race against him, especially at Indy would be lots of fun.
THE MODERATOR: Thanks for joining us and we appreciate the time and wish you best of luck in a couple of weeks when you get your shot on practice.
AL UNSER III: Of course, and we'll be in the number 21 Ethos Green Machine, and just keep an eye out for us.
THE MODERATOR: Thanks.