IRL: Team Penske Indy 500 Media Tour transcript, part 2

2004 Indianapolis 500 Media Tour Transcript Wednesday, March 24, 2004 Marlboro Team Penske: Helio Castroneves, Tim Cindric, Sam Hornish Jr. Part 2 of 3 Q: Question for Sam, what with your Marlboro patch there and your love for poker games....

2004 Indianapolis 500 Media Tour Transcript
Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Marlboro Team Penske: Helio Castroneves, Tim Cindric, Sam Hornish Jr.

Part 2 of 3

Q: Question for Sam, what with your Marlboro patch there and your love for poker games. Is it also true, I've heard that you sing in a church choir, is that true? If so, what do you sing? Are you bass or have you gotten Helio there to try to get him and how does he sing?

CASTRONEVES: Oops, we were just singing, actually.

HORNISH: He was singing a little bit of Britney Spears a little while ago. (Laughter) No, I don't sing but I could try sometimes but, no -- I wouldn't say it's vicious, but it's false.

Q: Helio, last May you and Gil drove different cars. You traded back and forth and everything and then made your choices. Is that going to happen again this year?

CASTRONEVES: Well, I don't know. That question should be for this guy here. You're going to like the G Force, it's pretty good. You should go for it. I don't know; it's just a question that I think right now we are comfortable with what we have. But I guess we just have to wait and see.

KING: Tim, you're planning on running just Dallaras in Japan, right?

CINDRIC: I think we'll approach this race like we always do, prepared for whatever we need to do. The rule changes coming in here, we have no idea how that's going to affect the cars, whether it be the G Force or Dallara or affect them equally. The main thing for us is to stay focused throughout the month, regardless of which car we have or what we do. But in our typical fashion we'll prepare ourselves to do either or. But it's certainly not our intention to change the path that we already have. But if the testing shows that it's necessary to do that, then we'll do everything we can to give these guys the things to win.

KING: You'll have G Force chassis prepared just in case?

CINDRIC: Yes.

Q: Tim, your former boss (Bobby Rahal) made a big decision last week to consolidate his team, bring them over to the IRL full time. As a former key member of his team, what are your feelings on that to see him decide to make that call and his partners?

CINDRIC: Well, he and I joke a lot about that. I mean not recently, but when we came over to the IRL, you know, from CART, I had a few calls. But I think that within his organization I can see the same scenario in a lot of ways that we went through as Marlboro Team Penske just a couple years later, whereas the climate changes, and at the end of the day this is a business, and you have to put emotions aside whether you're in the car or out of the car and take care of business. I think that's the situation he was in, as well. It just happened a couple of years later for his organization than it did for ours.

Q: For all of you, actually, the IRL and IndyCar Series are looking at running road courses next year in 2005. Helio's run quite a number of them to begin with, and Sam has early on. Are you guys looking forward to doing some three, four or five road courses, street courses?

HORNISH: I'm excited to do a couple. I think that the IRL needs to remember what has gotten them as far as they have, and that's the people being able to see the whole racetrack, see the finishes, and we have great races on the ovals. I think we do need to throw a couple road courses in there to spice it up. But as long as we don't ever get to the point where, you know, it's more heavily based on road courses or street races or whatever than it is on ovals because you've got to look at the things that have really helped us grow. And while a lot of people will refuse to see that, I mean we have been going in the right direction, and it takes time. You don't just get a hundred million fans overnight; you have to continue to have good races. I think that we can do that on and off road courses.

CASTRONEVES: Well, as racing Brazil and turning right and left, for sure, we're looking for, it was a challenge coming to IRL and racing ovals. I have to learn a lot, and I'm still learning. Yeah, it would be phenomenal having road course back again. Sure, it give us chance to all the different teams that may be not doing well or drivers not be doing well with ovals, show a little bit that they can be fast in road course and stuff like that. So as Sam said, it gives a little bit of spicy on the shining on the series, and right now we already have a lot of our competition and bring this new road course around, it's going to just boost it up the series even more.

Q: This is for both Sam and Helio, and this is purely your personal preference. If each of you could add only two road or street circuits to the IRL schedule, which two would they be?

CASTRONEVES: That's a tough one. I don't know. I like obviously Long Beach is one of the places that I think everybody enjoyed, and Surfers Paradise, yeah. (Laughter)

HORNISH: Or we could just send you over there.

CASTRONEVES: It's good, man, trust me. See Surfers Paradise, you have no regret.

CINDRIC: That was the easy way out. (Laughter)

HORNISH: I'd agree on Long Beach and probably Elkhart Lake or Mid-Ohio.

CINDRIC: I think this whole road course-oval situation, I think we need to go where the market wants us, where the fans want us regardless of turning right, left, oval, racing backward. I don't think it matters where we go, I think it just needs to be the strongest markets in North America. From our perspective, it needs to be wherever the marketplace is best for the IRL to continue to grow, and it shouldn't matter which way we're turning or what way we go. We're in the racing business, and wherever Tony (George) thinks we ought to be to grow this series is where we ought to go.

Q: What about Cleveland, the Beach?

CINDRIC: Let me interpret that for him. (Laughter)

CASTRONEVES: I didn't know there was a beach there.

KING: There is, but it's a lake.

CINDRIC: We try to keep him out of those places.

Q: Tim, last year the big story, of course, was Helio would try to go for three in a row, and now Penske is trying to go for four in a row, which I think would be a record. I think you tied it last year. What's the pressure on that?

CINDRIC: Well, I think, first of all, if there's an owner out there that deserves that kind of accolade, to come here and win four times in a row or what have you, it should be Roger. You know, what he's put into this and the passion that he has for it, and I think these guys both share, I know they share the same feelings. Just to be part of that situation and be part of his organization at this event, regardless of the outcome of it, is something special. You know, to be able to go through the month of May and have that type of discussion and that type of scenario, it may or may not play out. But like I said, for a guy to have that opportunity, it should be him.

Q: Gentlemen, Roger has said for many, many years that he won't have team orders if it comes down to the finish. Nothing proved that any better than the Homestead race between the two of you.

CINDRIC: There's always one team order.

Q: Yeah, don't crash. But that was almost in effect for us to see last year here with you and Gil. Do you expect that to maintain itself as the same if it comes down to the two of you for the finish? Will they let you go?

CASTRONEVES: Oh, yeah. At least my point, yes. So far the team's been successful this way.

CINDRIC: It happened for you twice, '01 was the same. Gil tried to pass you on the outside.

CASTRONEVES: I'm sure it's going to continue the same way we've been doing. So for if we're winning this way, why you want to change? Let's just keep the same way.

Q: Which of you two is better? (Laughter)

CINDRIC: At what? (Laughter)

HORNISH: At PR? (Laughter)

CASTRONEVES: What? Come on. I can do both. I can fake a little driving, too. (Laughter)

HORNISH: We both have our days.

KING: I feel like I'm watching a joust.

CINDRIC: Next question, Mike.

Q: This is for Sam. Can you talk about being in a team, particularly a team that demands so much teamwork, as opposed to being with a single-car team the last few years?

HORNISH: Well, one of our advantages of being on a single-car team like you don't have to worry about your teammate beating you. That's the biggest one, though. That's really the only advantage. Right now, being with a teammate for the first time in my IndyCar career full time, it's been pretty good so far. I mean I wouldn't say that either one of us have learned a lot from the other person, but we're still kind of getting to know each other. But if you look at the setups on the car, they usually tend to be fairly close when it comes down to the race, you know, I may be running a little bit less wing or even he might. And I've enjoyed it so far because it gives me a benchmark. If I'm having a bad day and there's no other teammate, it could easily be put upon the driver. But if I'm having a good day and I have a teammate, it's easily put on the driver that you're doing a little better job. I don't know how, other than to say it's just been a great, great experience so far and hope that we'll have a lot more one-two finishes. It tends to be exciting when we get running side by side. I know that would be hard to do that here at Indianapolis, but going back to the question of whether there would ever be any team orders, there's nothing more they want than to see the two cars going across the finish line side by side. It would be a great picture.

Q: Tim, a lot of traditions that you liked about this event, some has changed, and I know it's been shut down for a couple of years now, but did you kind of get your eyes well up with tears that you saw the Steak 'N Shake had been leveled across the street? (Laughter)

CINDRIC: Without a doubt. I think the first time I came here and went to go across the street for Steak 'N Shake because I stay in the Speedway Motel just as a tradition, Roger and I both do actually. I think this year we might have negotiated some new carpet in there. (Laughter) Stayed in the same room every year that I've been here. And there's a few traditions I have, and Steak 'N Shake is certainly one of them. That's probably the way I ended every day that I was here. Actually a tear came to my eye here. But I'm sure Tony (George) will make it right with something else.

Part 3

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Bobby Rahal , Sam Hornish Jr.
Teams Team Penske