Continued from part 1 Q: You alluded to it earlier, can you talk about the significance of racing on this really packed holiday weekend where there's a lot of racing going on around the country and the world? BILL AUBERLEN: To be there...
Continued from part 1
Q: You alluded to it earlier, can you talk about the significance of racing on this really packed holiday weekend where there's a lot of racing going on around the country and the world?
BILL AUBERLEN: To be there on that weekend with that many people just makes, if you do well, the burnouts that you do in front of that hillside even more gratifying. These people, they're cheering. I can feel them. Then if you make it to Victory Lane, you see them all, they're all smiling. You really feel the energy. It's a great place to go. You see a lot of families show up. They all seem to have a good time. You don't know where they all come from, but man, a lot of people show up. It is quite an event.
Up top they always have the vendors and everything going on. It's a great place to bring your family and have a good time.
Q: Putting you on the spot, why should people be watching your series this weekend rather than focusing on the Indy 500 or the Coca-Cola 600?
BILL AUBERLEN: How about when they're done with the Indy 500 on Sunday, they can enjoy that all they want, just tune us in on the next day and come on over. We're after that on Monday.
Q: The situation going around, the city wouldn't allow Sunday racing? Is that correct?
BILL AUBERLEN: Yeah. I mean, I don't know if you know this better than I do. I watched a video about this a long time ago when it was built. I don't really remember the exact reason, but it was something -- some peace law about maybe church. I don't even remember. Maybe somebody else knows better than I do.
Q: That's sort of a blessing in disguise because people can focus on Sunday and Monday you're there.
BILL AUBERLEN: That's it. There's a big perk. We've got a great venue to come and watch. Indy is a staple of America. You come, and that's it. You watch that on Sunday, then get to sort of calm down, finish off your great weekend by watching us on Monday.
Q: You drove for the PTG team for a while. You rotated around the cars. Now this year you had to move to Sigalsport. Why would the PTG program not continue in the Rolex Series?
BILL AUBERLEN: They decided to change their marketing strategy and go to an alternative series, try something a little bit different. That's where they are. We compete there also.
I run over probably 40 races a year now. I've got a really busy schedule. I just raced this weekend. I'm going to race next weekend. I've raced the last three weekends straight. I mean, I drive from one series to the next, sometimes racing two series on the same weekend.
They redirected and went somewhere else. Sigalsport wound up buying three of the PTG cars, then they called me and said, 'You know a lot about these cars, how about coming over.' It seemed like a fit and was something I could do, which is under my BMW structure, I only get to drive certain cars. I'm trying to help another young driver come up through the ranks.
Q: You said you race in so many different series per year, what is it that makes you pick and choose? Is that the just the life of a road racer? You're trying to get as many rides as you can?
BILL AUBERLEN: Yeah, that was it. You know, when you're struggling for jobs, you tend to wish that you had everything you could. Then this year for some reason, I heard that this team was doing it, this team was racing, this team was racing. I was like a squirrel trying to get all these nuts. I put all these nuts in my little nest or whatever. I wound up getting all the jobs. I wondered, 'How is this going to be doing all these races?'
Now that I got them, I don't really have a life. I can't remember what my wife looks like any more. I mean, it's great. It's a great way to make a living. But it's a tough way to make a living.
As long as you're racing a great car like a BMW, this is something that's taken me to so many wins and so many championships, I'm racing in like three different M3s, one 325. It's a great year.
Q: You're able to work everything out schedule-wise? There aren't a lot of conflicts?
BILL AUBERLEN: There are a few. Then what happens is a couple of other drivers sometimes do different events. We hire a Learjet or something, jump out of one race in the middle of the night. I raced Houston on Friday night a couple weeks ago, then jumped on a jet and flew to Phoenix. The moment I landed in Phoenix, I raced a race. We finished third. Then I jumped into the evening race and raced that race right after that.
Sometimes they're close, but you can make them. At the end of the day there's only one race that is going to be a dead-on conflict I can't make. What is going to happen, the Sigalsport team is going to lose me for that weekend because I have to go to the BMW factory team for that one.
Q: How much do you see your home?
BILL AUBERLEN: I haven't been home in five weeks, not a day in five weeks. I heard it's nice, though.
Q: It's not a life you mind? You enjoy racing that much that sacrificing home for good parts of the year is okay?
BILL AUBERLEN: Yeah, it has to be. It's a life I chose. If you want to be good at what you do, you have to be totally dedicated to what you do. I don't think some people realize the dedication that these NASCAR, Formula One, the top CART guys do, the IRL people, the dedication they have to do to be at the top is so much. I'm 37 years old. I'm not sure if I'm ever going to have a family because I don't think it's totally fair to have a family and leave for five weeks at a time, come home for a couple days, turn around, peel out the other way. I have a wife that's starting to feel the pain of it a little bit. I take her to as many races as I can. One of the best ones I'm going to take her to is Lime Rock. It will be nice.
Q: When you talk about the dedication that the guys at the upper echelon series have, don't you in some ways have to have more dedication when you're going from one series to the next? At least they have a little more structure.
BILL AUBERLEN: Yeah, and they all have some breathing room. You need so much dedication to it, when you get out of one car, you've already prethunk all through the night the other car, the other series. When I get to the gym, all I do is I train, sit on this treadmill or running or whatever I do, all that runs through my head is exactly what's going to happen the next week. I try to put it all in perspective and run every scenario through my head before I get there. It's just four times the amount of work now. You either do it right or you make it look really bad. You need to just put your head into it and do it as well as you can.
Q: How much longer can you do something like that?
BILL AUBERLEN: Here is how long. People say, 'When are you going to retire?' I'm 37 years old and pretty much at the top of my game. They say, 'When are you going to retire?' To answer the first part of the question, 'How much longer can I do four series?' I'm not sure if I'm going to do that next year because it's no life and all racing. I need to balance it just a hair better than that. 'When are you going to retire?' That is when these young kids can beat me that come on the team. Until they do that, I think I'm still going to just keep on banging away at it.
Q: When you race at Lime Rock, you spoke of it as being a bunch of right turns, one left turn, what is it that you find challenging about racing at Lime Rock and are able to so successfully overcome that? What turns you on most about racing on that track?
BILL AUBERLEN: I've had some great challenges that were put against me. One time we had a change of engine before the race and I had to start in the middle of the rain from pit lane dead last. I wound up winning that race. I think I passed 56 cars to do it. You always put another challenge in front of you. One year it will be to be the fastest you can be, qualify, get the pole. Ultimately it's always to win the race. Strategically, maybe one year it's about how to do your fuel stops better than somebody else. The track kind of remains the same. It's every year to structure whatever equipment you have the way to get yourself to Victory Lane. Sometimes it's not always so clear, but in Lime Rock it seems to be a little more clear than anywhere else.
Q: You have the physique of a linebacker. You obviously stay in excellent shape. What did you do at Redondo Beach when you grew up? Did you play athletics at all?
BILL AUBERLEN: I played soccer for a lot of years because my family came from Germany. That was a very big part of our upbringing. Then when I got into high school, I started playing high school football. That's where you started getting bigger and bigger. That wasn't so conducive to racing.
I have a body physique that can move around if I let it. Then when you race World Challenge, they weigh the driver with the car. You can be stronger and physically bigger, I can put on 15 pounds, be a lot more muscular. Other years, they weigh the car by itself. It benefits you to lose weight.
This year I tried coming in like that. I went from 170-something pounds to 156, 157 pounds. I lost a lot of weight. I tried it. I thought, you know what, I just don't look like I want to look. Then I changed it up a bit, added a few more pounds of muscle, now I'm in the low 160s. But it looks a lot different.
You're even trying to find an advantage to lose 10 pounds on your body that equates to a better time at the end of your stint. That's part of what I've done kind of my whole life.
NATE SIEBENS: At this time we'll go ahead and wrap it up for the evening. Thanks, Bill, for joining us. We really appreciate it. Good luck this weekend in both the Grand-Am Cup Series on Monday morning and the Rolex Series on Monday afternoon.