Indy Racing League Weekly Teleconference Transcript June 17, 2003 Part 2 of 2 Dario Franchitti Q: Yeah, what the heck were you doing on a motorcycle and what happened? D. Franchitti: Well, I was doing what everybody else does on ...
Indy Racing League
Weekly Teleconference Transcript
June 17, 2003
Part 2 of 2
Q: Yeah, what the heck were you doing on a motorcycle and what happened?
D. Franchitti: Well, I was doing what everybody else does on a motorcycle. I was riding the thing. And, basically, there was a mechanical failure, which involved a lot of oil getting spit on the back tire. I guess the best way to put it is the bike invited me to leave.
Q: Were you just joy riding or were you racing, or what were you doing?
D. Franchitti: No, my brother actually just bought a Honda 600RR and we were out. It was his first day on the bike, so I was out just, you know, showing him some of the roads. I was just taking my time with him. I'm actually very glad he was with me, because had he not been with me, I'm sure I would have been riding a lot quicker and therefore would have had a bigger accident. So I was glad that he was with me. And as I said to him afterwards, I said 'I'm not sure that you're ever going to know about riding bikes after falling off.' So yeah, it was something I used to do a lot, and it's just unfortunate the mechanical problem happened.
Q: Where was this? Where did this happen?
D. Franchitti: In Scotland.
Q: In Scotland. I guess it's kind of ironic that the danger you guys have in these cars, and here you're on a motorcycle, and that's where you meet a little peril.
D. Franchitti: Well, these things happen.
Q: In that accident, you went through some brush I understand, and could you have been injured further more so. Were you fortunate? I'll put it that way.
D. Franchitti: Yeah, it's one of those deals and you sort of think about it. If I'd have done this, I would have been injured less, maybe. If I'd have done this I would have been injured more, but you know, I did what I felt was best, and unfortunately we ended up with the result we have. It could have been worse. It could have been better. And you know, what can you do in these situations?
Q: What is your brother's name?
D. Franchitti: Marino.
Q: Marino? At the race Saturday night, how much pressure did you feel when you went out there to -- when you were stepping back in after giving the car up for three races?
D. Franchitti: On Sunday, during the race?
Q: Sunday, I mean, I'm sorry.
D. Franchitti: I mean, there's no more pressure than usual. You know, I knew we had a good car and we'd worked on the car throughout the weekend. I think Bryan Herta was testing the car there, and he did a great job giving us a good base to work from. I knew we had a good car, certainly better than the car I had in the first two races. So I knew we could do something and I just wanted to get out there. As at any race, I wanted to get out there and win.
Q: Yeah, and one other question, you said that, you were there watching these other guys drive during the races like at Indy. What did you do during the race? Were you in the pits, and did you pace back and forth, or how did you keep yourself going during the race?
D. Franchitti: At Indy, I was listening to the radio and I was in Tony Kanaan's pit, watching exactly what was going on and supporting him.
Q: Dario, was this the longest stretch you've been out of a car in some time?
D. Franchitti: Yeah, I mean 10 weeks. Yeah. Sometimes in the off-season you probably miss a couple of months.
D. Franchitti: A month or two months, but I've never missed -- those were the first races I've missed in my career through Indy.
Q: And then when you mention your brother, Marino, is that M-A-R-I-N-O?
D. Franchitti: That's right.
Q: And is he younger than you?
D. Franchitti: Yeah, five years younger.
Q: Five years younger. Could you put a number to that? I'm sorry.
D. Franchitti: Oh, that is 25.
Q: And then I missed your phrase, or your words, when you were trying to explain what had happened. That the oil got on the bike and then you said 'I suppose the best way to put it is--'?
D. Franchitti: The bike invited me to leave.
Q: Thank you, OK. I appreciate it.
D. Franchitti: All right. Thanks.
Q: Can you kind of talk about Tony's season a little bit? I mean, he's, I guess, been the big pole-winner this year. It hasn't converted into a lot of wins, but up in the leading points. Can you talk about his season, and what's made him so strong this year?
D. Franchitti: I pushed hard to get Tony on the team at the end of the last season, and Michael and I were definitely on the same page on that. He wanted Tony as one of his drivers, and I wanted him as a teammate. I felt he was very quick, and you know, he can really push me and at the same time do a good job, and he has. He's proved that, absolutely. I think what's happened is the relationship on the team between the drivers and the whole team is such that it's just a good place for him. The team has given him cars that, if he can win races and qualify on pole with it, he has taken full advantage of it. He just did a wonderful job and he's performing 100 percent, and yeah, I think he's driving sensibly, but at the same time incredibly quickly, so yeah, I'm very proud of him.
Q: What's his secret to these poles that he's been getting?
D. Franchitti: Oh, he's just been quick. He's just in the right place in the right time with the car right, and he's been quick. Him and his engineer, Eric, are working really well together, and it's just all clicking.
K. Johnson: Dario, you currently make your home in Nashville, Tennessee, which will be the site of the Firestone Indy 200 coming up on July 19. What special significance might that race hold for you given the opportunity to basically compete in your hometown?
D. Franchitti: Oh, I think it would just be nice to race down here. It would be nice to maybe even stay at home the night before the race. But you know, basically I race in front of my friends down here, so that will be pretty cool.
Q: You're tied for 20th in the standings now, and your 50 points out of 10th. What are your goals now for the rest of the season to get back up into the top 10 and so forth?
D. Franchitti: My goals are to win as many races as possible. You know, obviously score as many points as possible, win as many races and just make sure that I do whatever I can, as well as to make sure that Tony Kanaan ends up winning the championship.
Q: Do you think you're definitely too far behind to catch up with him?
D. Franchitti: I would say realistically, yes, unless every one of the top-five or something doesn't finish another race.
Q: Well, where do you think you can make top 10?
D. Franchitti: As I say, I'll just do my best and get as high as I can, and try and win every win race I'm at, and we'll see what happens.
Q: Dario, is there any, for lack of a better term, regret that you had this bike? And when you look at your teammate at the top of the standings, do you think to yourself, well, maybe that should be me?
D. Franchitti: Well, I certainly don't think that should be me. I think it's one of those things that you can't, you know, go back and change things. So I think to think that way is pointless. You know, I wish that what happened didn't happen, but at the same time, you can't put yourself, you can't just wrap yourself, in cotton wool the whole of your life. You've got to go out and live your life at the same time.
K. Johnson: Well, Dario, we certainly appreciate you taking time out of your testing schedule to join us today, and we wish you the best of luck in the remainder of the IndyCar Series season.
D. Franchitti: Thank you very much.