Today's IndyCar Series and Indy Pro Series headlines: 1. Brad Jaeger and Milka Duno teleconference 2. Williams makes most of tough situation 1. Brad Jaeger and Milka Duno teleconference: Indy Pro Series driver Brad Jaeger and Milka Duno were the...
Today's IndyCar Series and Indy Pro Series headlines:
1. Brad Jaeger and Milka Duno teleconference
2. Williams makes most of tough situation
1. Brad Jaeger and Milka Duno teleconference: Indy Pro Series driver Brad Jaeger and Milka Duno were the guests on today's Indy Racing League teleconference. Jaeger, a recent engineering graduate of Vanderbilt University, talked about racing near Nashville and his hometown of Cincinnati later this summer.
Q. Brad, we're going into a stretch here, what we could call three hometown races for you. Obviously you're living in Nashville now. We race there July 14. And then close to your hometown, the Cincinnati area, Mid Ohio on July 22 and Kentucky Speedway on August 11th. Just talk about those races and the opportunity to race in front of friends and family.
BRAD JAEGER: "It's definitely going to be an enjoyable experience. Ever since I started racing go karts back when I was 14, I've always had friends that have been asking, hey, let me know when you're going to be racing close by, I want to come see you race.
Unfortunately, until now, they've always been far away. Mid Ohio, I've raced there before, but it's still a two and a half hour drive from Cincinnati. Being able to race in Kentucky is going to be so much fun. I've had so many friends and family that are planning to come down. So just having that extra support may be what I need."
Like Jaeger, Duno comes from an engineering background. She said that experience has helped her in her transition from sports cars to the IndyCar Series.
MILKA DUNO: "I never thought I would be a race car driver. I was studying all the time. I wanted to be an engineer, went through personal development. After I earned my scholarship for studying in Spain, in two and a half years I did three master's degree simultaneously. I was in two universities.
So my focus was in another direction, in my education. But when I started racing, I started to understand everything easier. I checked the telemetry, talked with engineer. All my background helped me in racing. It's one of the big advantages I have for improving so fast and so quick. When I started (racing) in 1999, I never knew anything about a car, nothing before about racing.
And I think it was one of the secrets, one of the big advantages for improving so fast in racing is because when you understand what happens, you can just make the right information to the engineer, and he can make the right adjustment so you don't delay the process."
2. Williams makes most of tough situation: First-year Indy Pro Series driver Marc Williams had 13 laps on the 7/8th-mile Iowa Speedway to prepare for the inaugural Iowa 100.
"It was a crazy weekend really," the 18-year old from New Plymouth, New Zealand, said the morning after posting his best finish with an eighth place in the No. 6 www.purenz.com TARANAKI car for Michael Crawford Motorsports.
Ah, youth. Williams' understated tone belied the ups and downs facing the indefatigable spirit of the hungry group of drivers in the Indy Pro Series paddock. Because of sponsorship issues, Crawford initially had to break the news to Williams that the car would be parked for the weekend after arriving at the new venue in Newton, Iowa.
No practice, qualifying or racing.
"Turning up at the track and not actually getting to run and then sitting out there watching qualifying was probably the hardest thing I've ever done as a driver," said Williams, who tested at the facility two weeks earlier.
His fortunes turned as quickly as A.J. Foyt can say, "Girls and boys, start your engines."
"Then to wake up Saturday morning and have Michael Crawford come down and say, 'You're driving today so you better get ready,' and jumping in the car last minute and having a few problems in the warm-up (completing 13 laps) was making things even harder," Williams said.
Starting 21st, Williams acquitted himself well. He stayed clear of trouble and recorded his second top-10 finish in five races. Ben Petter's 10th place made it a prosperous weekend for the second-year team.
"It's an awesome circuit, really fast and I enjoyed it out there," said Williams, who last year competed in the New Zealand Formula Toyota series. "There was a lot of action. I had to take it gradually, take it quicker and quicker. We passed a lot of cars, made up a lot of ground.
"Every time I get in the car I'm learning something new. With the track being so small, there was a lot of passing and dicing. It got me used to having the aero package and how you lose your front grip when you're following a car. The more and more I can do of it obviously the better I'm going to get."
The 2007 IndyCar Series season continues with the SunTrust Indy Challenge on June 30 at Richmond International Raceway. The race will be telecast at 7:30 p.m. (ET) by ESPN and broadcast by the IMS Radio Network. The IMS Radio Network broadcast also is carried on XM Satellite Radio and www.indycar.com. The sixth season of Indy Pro Series competition continues with the Corning Twin 100s on July 7-8 at Watkins Glen International. The race will be telecast by ESPN2 at 5 p.m. (ET) on July 12. ESPN2's coverage of the Iowa 100 will be telecast at 5:30 p.m. (ET) on July 3