Indy Racing League News and Notes 2008-08-06

Indy Racing League News and Notes 2008-08-06
Aug 7, 2008, 6:12 PM

Today's IndyCar Series and Indy Pro Series headlines 1. Daniel Herrington, E.J. Viso, Sarah Fisher teleconference 2. Dixon helps carve replica goblet 3. Firestone Indy Lights drivers shuffle seats 4. Camara goes camping with Bengals 1.

Today's IndyCar Series and Indy Pro Series headlines
1. Daniel Herrington, E.J. Viso, Sarah Fisher teleconference
2. Dixon helps carve replica goblet
3. Firestone Indy Lights drivers shuffle seats
4. Camara goes camping with Bengals

1. IndyCar Series drivers E.J. Viso and Sarah Fisher and Firestone Indy Lights driver Daniel Herrington were guests on today's Indy Racing League teleconference.

They said what...? Listed below are select quotes from today's teleconference.


Q. E.J., you've gotten some heat from your competitors this year because of your very competitive driving style. Do you think it has more to do with the fact that the U.S. way of racing is a little bit different than what you're accustomed to in Europe?

E.J. VISO: Well, it's very strange. I mean, it's a question that for sure I've asked myself a couple of times. But I don't know. There are many drivers here that drive like that, and at the same time they go and complain. So I don't know, I just try to be as clean as possible, just do one maneuver on the track, and that's what I do.

Yeah, maybe coming from Europe, over there the kind of driving is a bit more -- maybe a little bit more risky and aggressive because the races are shorter and it's more a sprint race. Maybe the races here are a bit longer and you're able to take it a bit easier. Yeah, that's my point of view.


Q. And as I mentioned, you're signed with RLR/Andersen Racing heading into the last four races. What are your goals for these last four races, and do you consider it sort of an audition of sorts for 2009?

DANIEL HERRINGTON: I do. I always consider racing as an audition because you know you only have a few opportunities in the racing world to make a good showing and kind of get the right impression for people.

I've got kind of two separate goals. On the oval, since I'm very much a rookie at ovals, my goal was to learn as much as I can, do as well as I can in traffic, learn how to manage that aspect of the racing, and hopefully we can get some good results. I did an oval race at the Milwaukee Mile at the start of 2006, and that was my first oval then and we finished second, so I'm looking forward to this opportunity, and I know that they worked really hard to prepare a good car for the ovals.

And the second kind of goal of mine is we've got a road course there, Infineon, and even though I've never been there, my background is in road racing, actually as well as some of the engineers on the team, so I think we can have a really strong showing there.

Unfortunately these four races I've had earlier this year, the results have not shown kind of the speed we've shown. At Mid-Ohio we were running there in the top three or five pretty consistently, and then we had some things go wrong in the race. But last year we finished third and sixth at Watkins Glen when we raced, and that was only my second weekend in the car.

I think we can go out and be strong right away, and absolutely I'm looking forward to working and getting integrated within the RLR/Andersen team and kind of exploring possibilities to grow with them over the next few years.


2. Dixon helps carve replica goblet: Scott Dixon has made his name as championship-winning race car driver. Cherie Currie earned fame as the lead vocalist for the all-female band The Runaways. On Aug. 5, the duo combined efforts in Infineon Raceway's Winner's Circle to carve a three-foot replica of the track's championship goblet out of a hunk of redwood.

Currie, who was a member of the 1970s band with Joan Jett and Lita Ford, turned her artistic talents to professional wood carving several years ago. She shaped the goblet before handing the Echo chainsaw to Dixon.

"I think I've cut down a tree once or twice," the 2008 Indianapolis 500 champion said. "But, it wasn't my chainsaw, and it wasn't my tree."

Dixon, outfitted in protective pants and gloves, spent about 20 minutes carving detailed lines into the stem of the goblet and using the edge of the chainsaw to smooth the base of the carving.

Currie was impressed.

"That is so good," she exclaimed as Dixon turned off the saw. "I'm about ready to freak out. I'm so proud of you. That was really cool."

The finished product will be officially presented to Dixon, the reigning winner at Infineon Raceway, when the IndyCar Series competes at the 12-turn, 2.245-mile circuit Aug. 24.

"I think I know what I want to do after racing now. I think I found a new hobby," Dixon said. "It's something I'd never thought about doing, and Cherie was a great instructor. I'm just glad I didn't chop the thing in half."


3. Firestone Indy Lights drivers shuffle seats: There will be several familiar faces returning to the Firestone Indy Lights this weekend at Kentucky Speedway.

Heading the list is Robbie Pecorari, who has signed to drive a fifth Guthrie Racing entry for the remaining four races of 2008. Pecorari, who finished second for team owner Jim Guthrie's team at Kansas in April will drive the SAI Hydraulics Guthrie Racing No.44 machine.

"Robbie has raced with us a few times this season, and the kid just has talent," said Guthrie Racing team owner Jim Guthrie. "Adding Robbie brings even more experience and talent to our already top-class roster."

Pecorari has made three starts for the team, including his runner-up run at Kansas. The former Firestone Indy Lights race winner hopes to make an impact in the final three race weekends of the season.

"I want to thank Jim and everyone at Guthrie Racing for giving me the opportunity to run the rest of the season with them," Pecorari said. "We have talked many times since Star Mazda in 2005, and it is great to know I have a team that is capable of winning races behind me."

Pecorari won his first race in 2007 at Nashville Superspeedway, and has continued that success with four career top-fives on ovals, and five top-10 finishes on road and street courses.

"We had a great run and challenged for the lead in Kansas and I was running for a podium spot at Mid-Ohio until we had some bad luck, but I am looking forward to getting Guthrie Racing their first win since the 2006 season," Pecorari said.

Another veteran driver returning to the series is Jonathan Klein, who returns to Team Moore Racing as driver of the No. 22 TMR Xtreme Coil Drilling car for the events at Kentucky and Chicagoland.

"I am ecstatic to be back in the Indy Lights Series and working with Team Moore Racing again," Klein said. "I am so thankful for this opportunity and for Tom Wood and Mark Moore going out on a limb to help make this happen, I just can't thank them enough. I think the best way to say thank you to them is to go out there and try to give TMR their first win. I'm looking forward to going to a track where I know how to produce a stout performance."

Several other drivers will also be racing in new cars this weekend. Pablo Donoso, will drive for Joe Mobley's No. 3 Mo'sGold car this weekend, while Mike Potekhen and P.J. Abbott return to the series this weekend with SWE and Michael Crawford Motorsports, respectively.

Newcomer Christina Orr, a veteran of New Zealand's Toyota Racing Series, will debut with Alliance Motorsports, while Daniel Herrington makes his oval debut with his new team RLR/Andersen Racing.


4. Camara goes camping with Bengals: Conquest Racing driver Jaime Camara took time out of preparations for Saturday's Meijer Indy 300 at Kentucky Speedway to travel to Georgetown College and attend the Cincinnati Bengals Training Camp. Camara took in the morning practice from the sidelines and watched the squad, including quarterback Carson Palmer and wide receiver Chad Johnson, run through its daily workout routine.

After practice, Camara visited with kicker Shayne Graham and linebacker coach Jeff FitzGerald about the upcoming IndyCar Series race at Kentucky Speedway. Graham recently hosted a celebrity go-kart race benefiting his Shayne Graham Foundation while FitzGerald spends the off-season as a part-time instructor for the Richard Petty Driving Experience. The IndyCar Series rookie presented Graham with a pair of signed driving gloves, which should get use when Graham visits Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for a few laps around the track later this year.

"It was great to have the opportunity to go out to camp," said Camara. "It was definitely a new experience. Coming from Brazil where soccer is the top sport, American football is something very new to me. I've watched the Super Bowl before, but after today I might have to start watching more football. It was a great opportunity to learn about the game and see other athletes doing what they love. It was good to meet with Shayne and Coach FitzGerald and to learn that they are huge racing fans away from the field."


The 2008 IndyCar Series season continues with the Meijer Indy 300 Aug. 9 at Kentucky Speedway. The race will be telecast live in High Definition at 6:30 p.m. (EDT) by ESPN2. The race will air live on the IMS Radio Network. A Spanish-language telecast of the race will be carried by ESPNDeportes. The IMS Radio Network broadcast also is carried on XM Satellite Radio and The 2008 Firestone Indy Lights season continues with the Kentucky 100 on Aug. 9. The race will air at 2 p.m. Aug. 14 on ESPN2.

-credit: irl

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