SEAN GUTHRIE HEADS TO INDY AFTER EARLY SEASON BREAK FOR THE "FREEDOM 100" ON THE INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY'S 2.5-MILE OVAL ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico (May 18, 2007) -- Guthrie Racing's Indy Pro Series team and driver Sean Guthrie are headed to...
SEAN GUTHRIE HEADS TO INDY AFTER EARLY SEASON BREAK FOR THE "FREEDOM 100" ON THE INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY'S 2.5-MILE OVAL
ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico (May 18, 2007) -- Guthrie Racing's Indy Pro Series team and driver Sean Guthrie are headed to the biggest race on their schedule at the most famous race track in the world, the "Freedom 100" on Indianapolis Motor Speedway's 2.5-mile oval, for the fourth of 16 races in 2007 for that series, to be held on Friday, May 25.
"I'm really looking forward to next week's race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway," Guthrie said of his next race. "The last couple of weeks I've been working so hard at Car Crafters (father Jim's business in New Mexico, the largest collision repair business in that state). I'm just trying to learn everything in my new position as Parts Manager there, so there's been a lot of time spent at the repair shop. But once we get to Indy, my focus will be totally on racing. I'll be able to relax a bit and just race. There's still a lot of work to do once we get to Indy, but for me, I'm really looking forward to a normal race week where I can relax, concentrate on racing and simply get the job done."
The race track most famous for hosting the annual "Indianapolis 500-Mile Race" every Memorial Day weekend has been the most prestigious stop on the Indy Pro Series schedule since the series' inception. The amount of pressure put on the drivers in that development series to win at that track is very similar to that of their IndyCar counterparts. A win at Indy in any capacity is a career maker. Some drivers can handle that pressure, and some can't. Guthrie chooses to approach the weekend with a level head and a cool, calm demeanor.
"Honestly, I look at it like any other track - in the end, it's 2.5 miles of asphalt," Guthrie explains matter-of-factly. "You can't let it intimidate you. That's how I think about it. You can't put that much pressure on yourself. It's just another race -- a big one, but another race on our schedule. The preparation won't be astronomical. The work has been done for me with the car, so now I can just show up and concentrate on driving, which I haven't had the luxury of doing since I've been so involved with repairing our various crashed cars. It will be really nice to relax and have some fun for once."
Taking that approach may add up to a win at the Brickyard next week, something Guthrie would cherish more than anything else, since his father and team owner, Jim Guthrie, also competed in the Indy 500 at that track three different times (1996, 1997 and 1998).
"At this point in the year, winning the "Freedom 100" race would be a phenomenal experience that would not only be huge for my career, but it will help us as a team to offset some of the costs from the early-season crashes. It would also be a good start to the rest of the season, allowing us to get some momentum for the rest of the year and help us finish strong. It would be really nice to win it,"
The Guthrie Racing team flew into Indianapolis a few weeks ago for the Indy Pro Series test on the oval at IMS in preparation for the "Freedom 100," and the results at the end of the day were mixed.
"We felt like we had a good test with Tom (Wieringa, teammate), and he's happy, so the team is now concentrating on getting me to be a top-five car. We figured out how to make the car slower, so we think we can also make it faster by trying some interesting things once we get back to Indy this week. We still have some changes to make at Indy that we think will really make us strong. Although we didn't make the progress we wanted at the test, it was not all that bad either. I feel we'll be right on target for a top finish once we are able to work a bit more on our setup on Thursday."