An interview with: Jonathan Macri and Josh Beaulieu Part 2 of 2 Q: Jonathan, can you just talk a little about part of the responsibility, and you knew this was going to happen, doing things like you are doing today with this conference call...
An interview with: Jonathan Macri and Josh Beaulieu
Part 2 of 2
Q: Jonathan, can you just talk a little about part of the responsibility, and you knew this was going to happen, doing things like you are doing today with this conference call and having a lot more to do with the media? It can be a little bit unsettling for somebody who is not used to it but it's something you have to get used to if you are going to be competitive in this sport in that day and age. You are part of the marketing stance of the sponsor and you are expecting to be able to handle media and public speaking. Can you talk about some of the work you've been doing in that because you've matured in that area as well?
Jonathan Macri: I've kind of enjoyed getting involved in this aspect, just getting more and more media things to do. For my home race a couple weeks ago in Toronto, I was just flooded with different things to do. I think I handled it pretty good and just kind of separated the media aspect of it, or the racing, or when it came down to racing I was able to just sit down and really focus on what I need to do there.
Media-wise, I've done quite a bit of training over the last couple of years. I think the main thing is just getting experience in dealing with it. Last year, I was in the Toyota Atlantics series, as well, so this year, I know what to expect and what's to come, but as more and more of it comes, I'm definitely enjoying it. It's a matter of people getting to hear your name more and more times. So as many things as I possibly can get, I will be doing. So the more you hear my name, I guess the better it is for me.
Q: Both you and Josh are young enough that you cannot overlook the contribution of your parents and guardians, steering you in the light direction; you certainly are not old enough to be away from their influence and they have had a lot to do with the direction you've taken and your success, as well, haven't they?
Jonathan Macri: Definitely. They are still actually at every single one of my races, both of my parents are supporting me. Right now they are still a huge influence on my racing career. My dad is still sitting down every year and negotiating my contracts for the following year and everything, so he's still very much involved. My mom is doing a lot of my PR work right now for me. So they are a huge influence and support for me.
Q: Josh, along the same lines, with Jeremy Dale here, another Canadian, in charge of the Barber Dodge Pro Series, he's always made it very clear to us that there's as much to do to grow as a driver away from the car and away from the racetrack as there is in the car and on the racetrack. I know that he's been instrumental, along with Chris Pook and the entire ladder system, of making sure that you can do what we just talked about with Jonathan. That, to handle the media and represent your sponsor and be a professional away from the automobile is just as important as it is driving it.
Josh Beaulieu: I agree with that completely. More and more over the last few years, and couple decades, even, that's been part of the package of being a racing driver is being able to handle stuff like that and be proficient at it. Most importantly, representing the team and your sponsors the way they would have you represent them, with a good and positive image.
So I think definitely in the Toyota Atlantics Series, and now the Barber Dodge Pro Series, being affiliated with CART, that's a huge strength.
Q: Jonathan, I wanted you to look ahead beyond this weekend to the following weekend when you'll be at the oldest street circuit in North America [Trois-Rivieres], in probably one of most prestigious Atlantic races. What are your thoughts?
Jonathan Macri: I'm definitely looking forward to that race. The team has been really quick this year on street circuits. So I think that's a circuit that definitely favors my style of driving, as well. Last year, we ran quick there and finished in the top five, which was really good for me. So going there again, we came up with a strong finish in Toronto.
It's kind of hard to expect going in every week. It's such a close field; you're never really sure where you're going to be in the field, but we definitely have a good setup there. So things should turn out good for us. I really love the track there, and I know that we are going to have a good setup there and it should pretty much be a good weekend for us.
Q: I know that you are a very young guy, so I don't know how much of that history that particular venue, Trois-Rivieres, you are familiar with, but is that a place where you are aware of the history and the tradition and the prestige associated with that venue?
Jonathan Macri: Yes, actually. Every year, I'm learning more and more about it. Yeah, I'm pretty familiar with the prestige of the CART Toyota Atlantic Championship everything and coming back there and how it somewhat originated from that race as well.
But I'm still learning more and more about every single race I go to.
Q: For both Josh and Jonathan, I'm sure you guys saw the impact of the gold medal victory in Salt Lake City; and Eric Gagne has talked about how proud he is to represent Canada, even with the backdrop of the political situation of the Montreal Expos. I wonder if this is giving you guys some thought; you talked about personal team pride, does it give you a sense of the impact you could have, wearing that Maple Leaf on the fire suit, and does it give you some thought about what it means and the impact that you could have as a Canadian athlete?
Jonathan Macri: I definitely feel the pressure of just being back in front of the hometown crowd and having them put the pressure on me to allow me to do well in front of them, having friends and family, as well.
I think it's coming to race in Canada, that's definitely something extra to push for. I think you wake up each morning before going to the racetrack and you feel good about going to the racetrack. You have an extra reason to do good that day in front of the hometown crowd and everything.
Yeah, it does feel really good. This year I feel a little support of the fans and the Canadian fans, and they are really good with the support that they are giving. I think from my aspect, it definitely helps me do better in front of the hometown crowd.
Josh Beaulieu: I think most Canadian kids grow up dreaming of wearing a gold medical around their neck at the Olympics. I think that same sense definitely transfers over to racing.
My first experience, my first race this year in Canada at the Toronto Indy, like Jonathan says, you wake up in the morning and you have that much more motivation to do well and to do a good job and to have a successful weekend in front of your own country, not only your hometown, but your home country. There's definitely an element of not only your hometown, but also in representing your nation well, and especially in an international series like we are involved in.
Merrill Cain: We appreciate you both joining us today, both Jonathan and Josh, thanks for participating in the call. We appreciate it and we look forward to seeing you in Vancouver in couple of days.
We'd also like to thank Alex Tagliani of Player's/Forsythe Racing Team for joining us today. And we'd like to remind everybody that the Champ Cars return to the track this weekend. Sunday's race will air live on SPEED Channel with pre-race coverage getting underway at 4:00 p.m. Eastern time. Thanks to all what participated in today's call and have a wonderful afternoon.
Macri, Beaulieu, part I