Daytona Beach, Fla, Feb. 11, 2002 - The True Value IROC series held a press conference after an early afternoon practice session at Daytona with series drivers, Danny Lasoski, Sam Hornish, Jr., Helio Castroneves, Scott Sharp, Al Unser Jr., and test drivers, Jim Sauter and Dave Marcis.
Highlights of True Value IROC news conference
Test driver Jim Sauter
"Give the time they've had to devote to it, which is really not enough, they're doing a real good job. Danny (Lasoski) has been here the most this week. I think he has excelled quite a bit. He's done a great job. I'm proud of him. The others had to do their Indy open-wheel testing all over the country, they're all out there today doing a great job. I'm pleased with everything. They all had a lot of questions. That's always good for us to answer them. I think they're going to do good."
2001 World of Outlaws champion Danny Lasoski
"I've had really good coaches. Everybody has been great. It's been a total learning curve for me. I've never been on payment before. Every day I'm learning more and more. I'm having a great time and it's a honor to be invited."
HAVE YOU HAD ANY TRASH TALKING WITH YOUR BOSS TONY STEWART
"Anyone that knows Tony, there's a lot of trash talking. Ever since we've got the invite, he has been really talking it up big. At the end of the year, he and I went one on one in testing and I whipped him up bad. He says now it's time to get even."
2001 Indy Racing League champion Sam Hornish
"As far as knowing what the cars are going to do in traffic, it's getting a little bit easier. I still haven't had the affect of having 12 cars at one time actually racing seeing what it's like. For the NASCAR guys, it's second nature for them to get into these cars. We're working to getting a lot closer to that every time we get in the cars. It's been a lot of fun."
2001 Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves
"The first time I came over here (in November) I was lifting off in Turns 3 and 4, but now I'm able to go flat out. It's amazing. There totally different cars obviously from the open-wheel cars. It's the first time I've got a roof on top of me. I'm having a lot of fun. We've got a great group of guys over here."
HOW IS THE DRAFTING DIFFERENT FROM OPEN WHEEL
"Basically, it's completely different. I've been learning like all of these guys. After the second session with the NASCAR guys, everything I was thinking that I knew was the opposite. You have to be really smooth on the steering wheel. The steering wheel is not as accurate as the open wheel, so that's why it's hard to make sure you're in line. The track is unbelievable. I've never been to a track with 31 degree banking. It's just incredible. I'm having the time of my life. Hopefully the guys here at IRL are going to be OK and they're not going to kick our butts out there."
1996 Indy Racing League co-champion driver Scott Sharp
"The cars are different from the last time I was here. It's been great. Like we've all commented, every time (we get in the car), the amount we learn, it's huge. Every session, we take a big step forward. Jay has done a great job with the cars and having all these coaches that we're able to ask. It's non stop questions. Certainly, I'm getting more and more comfortable."
1992 and 1994 Indianapolis 500 winner Al Unser Jr.
"I'm here doing the same thing the other guys are doing and that's learning. Every time I come down here and race with the good old boys of NASCAR we learn something new. That's what we hope to do on Friday, learn and get another step out there and mix it up with them and just have a great time. It's always an honor to get invited."
Test driver Dave Marcis
"Everybody is doing great. It's nice to see some new faces and some new enthusiasm. Danny, I know is pumped up about it. Sam and Helio have been pumped up since November when they came down here to run some laps. I think it's great for the series getting (Lasoski) in here and Helio from CART and Sam for IRL. That's what we need * more drivers from more series so we're not lopsided with stock cars drivers from one series. So I think it's good for sport. Every time we've had a practice session, those that are town have been here, Danny has put a lot of time into it. These guys are going to do good and it's going to be a great race. The cars have been working good all week."