Kansas: A.J. Foyt Racing preview

* Vitor Meira on the dual intra-series IZOD IndyCar championships (Road/Street Course Champion and Oval Track Champion) announced earlier today: "It's good because some fans like the oval racing better so they will cheer for their driver to win...

* Vitor Meira on the dual intra-series IZOD IndyCar championships (Road/Street Course Champion and Oval Track Champion) announced earlier today: "It's good because some fans like the oval racing better so they will cheer for their driver to win the oval track championship and some fans that watch a lot of Formula 1, they like the road and street courses better so they would cheer for their driver and team to win that championship. It also gives the teams more opportunity to show off their sponsors, sort of like a podium finish. You may not be top three in the overall championship but you might be in the road course championship or the oval track championship. It's good for the fans, the sponsors and the teams. It brings more to the mix so I think it's a good idea."

* Meira on Kansas: "The key for Kansas, just like any other oval, is to stay with the lead group and wait for the last pit stop and then drop the hammer. To do that, we have to unload with a good setup and I think Jeff [Britton, chief engineer] is going to be a big part of that. The key is to maintain the lead group and show what you have for the last 50 laps."

* On having more downforce at Kansas than last year: "This is going to play a big part in the race because it's the same aero package that they had at Kentucky, so it will be a very exciting race! With more downforce, which is what this new package gives you, we can run closer together and the car doesn't have to be as perfect in order to have a good race. You can mask a little bit of mechanical problems with the aerodynamics. Also with more downforce comes more drag and with more drag, the draft is better so you can pick up more time being behind faster cars. The fans are going to have a really exciting race...and so are we."

* On large number (6) of rookies at Kansas: "I think it will change my approach. I've been there as a rookie, I know the mistakes that are going to happen. To be honest, it's inevitable with that amount of cars, that amount of rookies, and not only the rookies but ourselves too! We've been off of the ovals quite a long time, since October for everybody, and for me it's been since Indy. There are things that we are going to have to refresh our minds about and that's only going to be possible during the race and sometimes during practice. I think it'll be a very busy race with regard to accidents. I hope not. I've been wrong on this before, for example in Long Beach I thought we were going to have more accidents and we didn't. But if I had to predict anything, because of the amount of rookies and the length of time people have been away from the ovals, I think the race is going to have more accidents than not."

* How will you handle it? "In order to protect yourself, you not only have to be careful, but you have to maintain a position within the lead pack because the lead pack is going to have more experienced guys there. The further ahead you are, the less chance you have of going through an accident. If you're the last car, you will, for sure, go through an accident! If you're first, only if you cause the accident will you be in it. The further ahead you are, the less chances you have of getting involved in something that is not your fault."

* On A.J. Foyt not being in Kansas this weekend: "It has two sides but the good side is that he feels comfortable--and that's normally not the kind of gamble A.J. would do--but he feels comfortable with the quality of people that he and Larry put together on this ABC team. And he's comfortable enough to go do something else instead of having to be at the race and I think ultimately that is his goal. I'm glad he's able to do that and go back and forth whenever he feels he's needed. I think it's a good thing." Foyt will be at the Kentucky Derby this weekend.

* On His Success at Kansas: "It's one of those tracks where I know what to do and what to ask from the car...I really like the track and maybe it fits what I like from the car. It's a track that changes a lot during the race and I was able to predict what the track and how the car was going to be by the end of the race so we could prepare for that. You have to prepare your car for the last 50 laps of the race, not really the first 50."

* Meira has finished in the top 10 at Kansas every time that he finished the race: second in 2004, third in 2005 and 2006 and eighth in 2007. In 2003 and 2008 he was out early with mechanical problems. Last year he was running strong when Helio Castroneves punted Meira from behind knocking him out after 14 laps. In 2002, the Foyt team won the doubleheader at Kansas Speedway with Airton Dare winning the IndyCar race and A.J. Foyt IV winning the Indy Lights race.

-source: ajfr

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Airton Daré , Helio Castroneves , A.J. Foyt IV , A.J. Foyt , Vitor Meira