Pocono: Labonte, Andretti - Friday interview

Labonte Comments on Conditioning For Heat Andretti Explains Heat Difference of NASCAR to IndyCar Series Huntersville, N.C. (June 6, 2008) -- This weekend, IndyCar Series competitor John Andretti is preparing for Sat urday night's Bombardier...

Labonte Comments on Conditioning For Heat
Andretti Explains Heat Difference of NASCAR to IndyCar Series

Huntersville, N.C. (June 6, 2008) -- This weekend, IndyCar Series competitor John Andretti is preparing for Sat urday night's Bombardier Learjet 550K at the Texas Motor Speedway. Temperatures are expected to rise above 90 degrees both Friday and Saturday in Texas. The event is held at night which will lower the temperatures.

Sunday, however, Bobby Labonte will be competing during the day in the Pocono 500 at the Pocono Raceway. Temperatures are expected to reach near 90 degrees in what is one of the longest events on the circuit.

Andretti explains the difference of how heat affects both types of cars while Labonte, a three-time winner at Pocono, comments on conditioning for 500 miles at Pocono.

NASCAR AND INDYCAR SERIES DRIVER JOHN ANDRETTI:

"The cockpit is open on the Indy car, so when you're running, there are no air ducts to pull the air because you have fresh air coming at you. There are no helmet hoses because the air hits your helmet, so you run a totally different helmet that channels air into the helmet. There are no cool boxes, but there isn't a need for them. In a stock car everything is confined and the idea is to keep the air out of the car. They do duct some air in, but being all metal, and I sit in an aluminum seat in a stock car whereas I sit in a beaded seat in IndyCar, a lot of heat comes through that seat. For sure, the stock cars are a lot hotter.

"The dehydration level is higher in NASCAR, not just because of the heat, but also because the duration of the race. Stock car races are quite a bit longer than IndyCar races, so there are some different challenges for sure. I think that the biggest contributor to the heat is all the metal that's around you in the stock car, and when it gets hot outside, it becomes an oven on the inside.

"The heat still affects racing conditions for Indy cars, too. When we go to Indianapo lis (Motor Speedway) we're begging for cloud cover because it gives grip. It's not so much the temperature as it is the sun. When it beams down on the race track, it makes it slick. It does for an IndyCar just like it does for a stock car and you feel it the same."

NASCAR DRIVER BOBBY LABONTE:

"Well, 500 miles at Pocono is a long event. It can get pretty warm in the car, but technol ogy has come a long way inside the driver's seat too. We've got hoses coming into our hel mets blowing cooler air. We've got different ways to stay cool.

"It's important to be as comfortable as possible because it's a long race. You have to train and be prepared for a long day. I think it is tough to climb into one of these cars, not being prepared or conditioned, and try to run 500 miles at Pocono. You take in account the heat, and it's even harder on your body.

"You have to take the right steps before you get to the track. You have to have your body prepared. I try to take all the right steps to make sure I'm ready. I'm sure each person has their own way of preparing. I'd be surprised to learn that most driver's don't prepare. I'm sure these guys are doing something to take in account the heat during these longer races. I know I do."

-credit: pe

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers John Andretti , Bobby Labonte