CHAMPCAR/CART: This week in Ford Racing - Kenny Brack

In just his second season with Team Rahal, driver Kenny Brack has emerged as one of the top drivers in the CART FedEx Championship Series with a series-high four victories. The championship points leader heading into this weekend's Texaco/Havoline...

In just his second season with Team Rahal, driver Kenny Brack has emerged as one of the top drivers in the CART FedEx Championship Series with a series-high four victories. The championship points leader heading into this weekend's Texaco/Havoline Grand Prix of Houston, Brack reflects on the 2001 season and comments on what he needs to do over the remaining four races to stay in championship contention.

KENNY BRACK - #8 Shell Ford-Cosworth
HAS THIS SEASON GONE THE WAY YOU HOPED IT WOULD? "Yeah, it's gone good. We planned to win races this year and we've won races, so I think at this point we need to be very pleased."

THE NEXT THREE RACES ARE ON EITHER TEMPORARY STREET [HOUSTON, AUSTRALIA] OR PERMANENT ROAD COURSES [LAGUNA SECA]. WHAT DO YOU NEED TO DO TO ENSURE GOOD FINISHES IN THESE RACES? "I think that we've been very fast on road courses, although people haven't been able to see it for some reason. We've had two pole positions and a couple of top-three qualifying efforts and we've been running up front. We've had problems and been off pace on some tracks, but I think that we've found out why and were very fast in Vancouver. I think that we'll have an unpleasant surprise for other people when we get to those races."

WHAT ARE THE THINGS THAT YOU LEARNED FROM THE OTHER STREET COURSES THAT WILL HELP YOU THIS WEEKEND AT HOUSTON? "We need to learn about the car, how to set it up and what we need to get from the car, and that's all we have to worry about."

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE CHAMPIONSHIP FIGHT AS THE SEASON COMES TO A CLOSE? "We've been in the points lead for most of the season and have managed to lose it at one point, and it's a championship that's very unpredictable and very difficult. We just have to push on and hopefully we'll come out ahead in the points after each race. For sure, the last race being a 500-mile race, you want to be in the points lead going into that race if possible because anything can happen."

WHO ARE YOU COUNTING AS YOUR CHIEF COMPETITORS IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP? "Obviously the drivers with the Penske team are strong, and Michael [Andretti] is going to be there. I would be surprised if anyone else would come into play at this stage, but you never know and someone could. Dario [Franchitti] has been very fast, so it's always a possibility. But it's these four cars I see as the likely ones who will be battling for the championship down to the wire."

YOU'VE SAID ALL SEASON THAT YOUR PHILOSOPHY ON WINNING THE CHAMPIONSHIP IS TO WIN RACES AND THINGS WILL PAN OUT. GETTING TO THE END OF THE SEASON, DOES THAT STILL HOLD TRUE? "I think that the drive you saw in Germany wasn't one of those pussyfoot type of races, so yeah, winning is what it takes. Of course, getting into the latter part of the season you've got to start thinking about the points but you can't get into that game too much. You've got to charge. Maybe in the last or second to last race of the season you have to think about playing it safe, but up until that point you've got to keep pushing. Otherwise you're going to be left behind because this is a very competitive series and that's the nature of this championship."

YOU'VE BEEN IN CHAMPIONSHIP RUNS BEFORE IN OTHER RACING SERIES. WHAT CAN YOU DRAW FROM THOSE EXPERIENCES THAT CAN HELP YOU IN THIS CHAMPIONSHIP FIGHT? "Being in championship battles you learn the mental aspects of it and that's always good. I try to help myself and the team as much as I can and we just have to focus on that task at hand. That's the hardest thing. It's such a long season to be able to remain focused and do everything you can each weekend without getting distracted by other things."

ARE YOU EXCITED ABOUT THE LAST RACES OF THE SEASON AND BEING IN A CHAMPIONSHIP BATTLE? "Yeah, I'm very excited. No matter what happens, we've had a very successful season and it's great for Team Rahal, for me, for Shell, for Ford, for everybody. We've worked very hard and very closely together and it's been a joy so far. It's been hard work, but with a group like this it makes it a lot easier because we're all helping each other to achieve the goal. In a team, and that's exactly what this is, you all have to help each other. We all make mistakes, but you have to be able to bounce back from them. It's not about preventing yourself from getting knocked down, but how you get up that's important. We are all very good at helping each other and I think that's why we've been so successful this year."

-Ford Racing-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Kenny Brack