CHAMPCAR/CART: Las Vegas press conference transcript, part 2

Champ Car World Series Las Vegas Motor Speedway Announcement Transcript Part 2 of 2 Jeff Motley: Thank you. Now, we're going to take questions from here at the press conference first. If you have a question, say it and I'll repeat it so...

Champ Car World Series Las Vegas Motor Speedway Announcement Transcript

Part 2 of 2

Jeff Motley: Thank you. Now, we're going to take questions from here at the press conference first. If you have a question, say it and I'll repeat it so those on the teleconference can hear it, then we'll go to the teleconference.

Q: Two-part question. How long is the agreement with Champ Car to race here?

Kevin Kalkhoven: This year only at the superspeedway. But depending on how things go, we can happily extend this. It's very exciting for us. We love having a superspeedway event on the calendar. We'll see how it goes.

Q: The race distance?

Kevin Kalkhoven: It's 300 miles.

Q: Talk about why that particular date and the marriage between the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and the Champ Cars, why the decision to run both races on the same date.

Kevin Kalkhoven: Well, we wanted to run on a superspeedway, that was one thing. We certainly wanted to be in Las Vegas, that was the next one. And this just seemed a tremendous marriage, which I'm certainly looking forward to very much.

Q: Will you have national TV coverage?

Kevin Kalkhoven:  We will have the cable channel that we currently use,
which is Spike.  I guess it's also going to be broadcast live on HD.

Paul Gentilozzi: Yes, it will be broadcast live on HD Net. We're in discussion about a same-time broadcast on our other television partner.

Q: Could you address, for people who aren't familiar with that style of racing, a lot of people are coming out that are NASCAR fans, what is the appeal of this style of racing compared to what NASCAR presents?

Paul Tracy: Well, I think one of the key things that I think brings us and doing this race with the NASCAR crowd is they're going to get the opportunity to get up close and personal with the cars and the drivers. They'll have the opportunity to get a paddock pass, to get close to the cars, see the cars up close. That really doesn't happen in NASCAR. As you guys know, it's virtually impossible to get in the garage area unless you're a team member. That's something we've always had, an open-door policy. We want the fans to be able to interact with the drivers and the teams and see the cars up close.

Really on the racetrack, I'm sure it hasn't been decided what aero package we're going to run. As Paul said, they're planning on having speeds of around 210 to 215 miles an hour. We'll have an incredible race. It's a Handford style wing like we used to run at places like Michigan or Fontana. You'll see a pack of eight to ten cars all dicing for the lead for 300 miles. It's going to come down to the very end, the guy who positions himself. So really a very similar style of racing to NASCAR but at a much higher speed.

Q: NASCAR runs a different type of tire rubber than you run. Is that going to have any effect on your cars?

Paul Tracy: Oh, I don't think it should. I mean, the intention is to right after the race blow the track off with the jet dryers, clean it, sweep it. I'm sure it will be slippery for a few laps, but once our cars get running, you get everybody going, you know, after a few laps, the rubber will change. As the race progresses, it will be quicker and quicker.

Q: For Paul or Kevin, what is the future in your minds of oval racing in Champ Car? Is there going to continue to be a mix of races? Will we see more ovals in the future?

Paul Gentilozzi: I think that ovals have always been a significant part of Champ Car's history, and we haven't forgotten that. The emphasis was on road racing as we got the company reorganized. Now we're spreading our horizon. I think you'll see a larger number of ovals as we look forward.

Q: Two-part question. First of all, it's a one-year deal. Either Paul or Kevin, is it difficult for you to do a multi-year deal just because of the uncertainty surrounding the series? Paul Tracy, do you see things going in a positive way for Champ Car? How long will you hang on in the series if you see things aren't going the way you'd really like them to?

Paul Gentilozzi: I wanted to say, there is no uncertainty about our series. We're very certain where we're going with the series, and I think have made huge gains this year.

Go ahead, Kevin.

Kevin Kalkhoven: I want to reemphasize that. The owners are absolutely committed to the future of the series. No one is in any doubt about that whatsoever. We knew what we were going into when we started. We're actually ahead of our business plan. Things are motoring along very nicely. We're very, very comfortable with the future. The second part of the question was for Paul Tracy.

Paul Tracy: Well, I guess to answer the question, I feel very comfortable with the direction -- from my standpoint, I'm very comfortable with what my owner, Gerry Forsythe, Paul and Kevin are doing. I'm very pleased with how the series has been going this year. Adding races like this is only a bonus. As we sign races up for longer term in the future, like Cleveland last week has resigned for three years, and I know that they're in negotiation with the races in Canada. I would like to continue doing it. I guess from my standpoint, my motivation is always to win. This year has been a bit of a bumpy road for us. I won the first race, but we've had a bit of an up-and-down go at it. Hopefully my team owner is going to offer me a job here in the next month or so. I'll just wait and see.

Q: Kevin and Paul, this takes care of one of the two tba dates open the 2004 calendar. Can you shed any light on when we might see an announcement about the other?

Paul Gentilozzi: Well, I would hope, and Kevin can certainly jump in here, I would hope we get this other tba resolved in the next two weeks.

Kevin Kalkhoven: Anticipation is we'll have a 2005 schedule out by September, and we'll have the rest of this year sorted out very, very shortly.

We're already looking very much to the 2005 season and believe that we're going to have a very exciting and interesting season.

Q: Can you comment on whether St. Petersburg is the favorite for that final slot?

Paul Gentilozzi: No comment on that.

Kevin Kalkhoven: Keep your ears and eyes open, but we're concentrating on Vegas today.

Q: Paul or Kevin, have there been any rules as far as what kind of aerodynamic package will be used?

Paul Gentilozzi: Well, Lee Dykstra, our tech director, is doing simulations and reviewing that package now. We'll release something to the teams pretty shortly. But it is under study. We want to be very careful about what that final aero package is based on our experience the last two years.

Q: Paul and Jimmy, is there going to be a hometown battle between the four of you in this race? Will that make it extra special and maybe little side bets going on because you are in Vegas?

Jimmy Vasser: You can count on that. You can count on that. There's been some bragging rights being thrown around for many years, so you can count on that kind of a battle.

Paul Tracy: I guess from my standpoint, I've won a couple of races already in my hometown in Toronto. I guess I call this my second hometown here. I'm very motivated, as well as Jimmy is. I think Jimmy's got the highest success rate on these types of tracks, the superspeedway. I'll take him out to dinner a couple times to see if I can learn some tricks. You can hear him laughing at me.

Jimmy Vasser: I might need some tricks here in Toronto this weekend, Tracy, so we'll go to dinner and talk before the race weekend.

Jeff Motley: Thank you. We'll break it up here for some one-on-ones.


Part 1

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Jimmy Vasser , Paul Tracy , Paul Gentilozzi , Kevin Kalkhoven