Yasukawa looking forward to second half of season The IRL IndyCar Series will reach the halfway point of the 2003 season this weekend with the Kansas Indy 300, Round Eight of the 16-race schedule. The event will mark the first visit for Roger ...
Yasukawa looking forward to second half of season
The IRL IndyCar Series will reach the halfway point of the 2003 season this weekend with the Kansas Indy 300, Round Eight of the 16-race schedule. The event will mark the first visit for Roger Yasukawa and Super Aguri Fernandez Racing to the 1.5-mile tri-oval of Kansas Speedway, located 15 miles west of downtown Kansas City, Kansas.
Yasukawa continues to impress in his first season with the Indy Racing League. The 25-year-old rookie has led at two races to date this season and looked poised for top-six finishes at both Phoenix and Pikes Peak before problems intervened. He claimed his best result to date in seven IRL IndyCar Series starts on the 1.5-mile oval at Texas Motor Speedway, finishing ninth. Yasukawa is looking forward to using the benefits of that experience this weekend, and adding to his results tally in the second half of the season.
The 200 lap/300-mile race will be broadcast live on ABC beginning at 1:00 pm ET.
Roger Yasukawa, Driver - #55 Panasonic ARTA Dallara/Honda/Firestone:
Will be making his eighth career IRL IndyCar Series start
Currently leads the Bombardier Rookie of the Year standings
Sits 13th in the championship standings with 112 points
Best IRL career finish was ninth at Texas Motor Speedway
Best IRL career start was 10th at Homestead and Phoenix
"This will be my first time at Kansas, and John [Dick, race engineer] has told me that the track is similar in shape to Kentucky where we tested. We will obviously have some work to do when we get there. Otherwise, I think I learned a lot during the Texas race in terms of my drafting skills and that will help in the race.
"The halfway point of the season came about pretty quickly. I think I made a huge improvement from the start of the season, and there is certainly room for more. Everyone within in the team is doing a great job. They are doing every little bit to help me out. I just need to keep up my work and hopefully start collecting higher finishes."
Twenty-five years old from Los Angeles-- began his career at the age of 12 in karts, competing in both the U.S. and Italy before moving up the racing ladder through Formula Vauxhall Junior and Formula Palmer Audi in England, and Formula Dodge competition in the United States-- entered the Barber Dodge Pro Series at the age of 21, earning Co-Rookie of the Year honors-- competed in the Atlantic series last year, claiming a win at Milwaukee and two additional podium finishes in a partial season of competition-- resides in West Hollywood, California.
Tom Anderson, Managing Director:
"In all honesty, with the amount of talent we have on this team, we are a little bit behind where I think we ought to be. Both the team and Roger have a lot more talent than what has shown in the results. We haven't had a lot of things go our way in the first half of the season and, had a couple of instances not happened, our results would have been far better. If we can get some things working on our side then I would expect to score a lot more points in the second half [of the season] than we did in the first."
"As far as the overall operation of the team, I am very pleased. We are looking forward to doing some PR days at the Panasonic headquarters in Michigan and New Jersey in the second half of the season to get them excited about our program. I am obviously very pleased with the Honda engine this year. Our results so far this season are not a reflection on Honda. The engine is far better than our results have shown, and we are looking forward to moving up there in the second half of the season. Obviously the more miles we get, the better we are as a team. I am looking forward to these next few months to capitalize on our first season in the Indy Racing League."