IPS: Watkins Glen I/II: Sean Guthrie preview

SEAN GUTHRIE TO RACE IN WATKINS GLEN INTERNATIONAL INDY PRO SERIES "CORNING TWIN 100's" AFTER IOWA ACCIDENT BROWNSBURG, Ind. (July 5, 2007) -- Guthrie Racing's Indy Pro Series team and driver Sean Guthrie are headed to the legendary and ...


BROWNSBURG, Ind. (July 5, 2007) -- Guthrie Racing's Indy Pro Series team and driver Sean Guthrie are headed to the legendary and challenging Watkins Glen (NY) International road course this weekend for the "Corning Twin 100's" -- the ninth and tenth races of the season, to be held Saturday, July 7th, and Sunday, July 8th.

This racing weekend was in jeopardy for the 19-year-old after a late-race accident at Iowa Speedway two weeks ago resulted in a broken left foot for Guthrie. However, he's courageously planning on competing in both road course events, despite the physical challenges that the twisty course may pose.

"I sat in the car Thursday when we arrived at the track, and it felt pretty good," Guthrie explained. "I'm a left-foot braker, so we had to move the pedals around a bit to get my foot comfortable, and I had to have a different shoe insert on the bottom. Right now everything feels comfortable, so hopefully everything will be okay this weekend. The only thing that causes a lot of pain is the clutch right now - that's pretty painful. But we hopefully won't have to use that too much as I only really need it getting in and out of the pits.

"It's only the third bone I've ever broken (others: wrist, thumb), and I'll be a happy guy if it's the last," Guthrie continued. "I can't move around, can't stand and can't do anything normal! During the past 10 days I've pretty much taken it as easy as I can. I had my mom and my little sis' (Kayla) taking care of me, too, which was a great comfort -- Kayla's a mom at age 17! I went by Car Crafters where I work during the week on Tuesday after the accident for a few minutes and got caught up with a few things, and then got some more X-rays that day. The doctors took me off of pain medicine pretty quickly as it prevented my bones from healing correctly, and so I have been doing some homeopathic stuff instead. I've also had some infrared laser treatment, and simply have done stuff to help like always having my foot elevated and rested. I was basically back to work on the Thursday after the accident, and used the next three days to get caught up. On Monday night of this week, we worked on creating a shoe comfortable enough for me to walk in. Other than that, I've not had any weight on it or have done anything too extraordinary -- I really just focused on the race and on looking forward to the rest of the year."

The challenges of a normal Indy Pro Series weekend are enormous with the amount of competitiveness in both the driver and cars that show up each week. Add that to a driver who is young, talented and completely driven to be the best, and that adds up to good reasons for Guthrie to compete in Watkins Glen this weekend.

"I'm getting back into our car this weekend -- even though I'm not 100% healed -- because I think I can do a good job in the car based on what I know today, and on the adjustments we've made to make me comfortable," Guthrie explained. "We'd rather not have to put another driver in the car at this point because we, as a team, decided to see if I'm ready, and I think I am. We do have a backup driver if we need it, but for now, the seat is mine. If I can do it, I will. If another driver has to get in the car, we'd most likely finish in the same place as I would racing with the injury I have right now, and add that to the fact that we'd have to share in the earnings, and it made sense to give me the first opportunity. I should be really quick, but if not, I'm not going to endanger myself or others and we'll adjust our decision. We'll have to see how it goes after the first practice."

Guthrie is not a stranger to Watkins Glen's 11-turn road course. He loves the track and wants to avenge some bad circumstances he encountered last year in only his second Indy Pro Series start.

"I really enjoy Watkins Glen," Guthrie said. "Last year during the first practice session I spun, which cost us tires. During the second practice session, I tried really hard to save the tires, and still ran third-quick for a long time -- the car was so good we came in from practice early. We ended up fifth-fastest, better than our teammate Raphael Matos, who had won two races for us earlier in the year. We had to qualify in the rain, and I had never qualified or raced in the rain, but ended up seventh, and I didn't think that was all that bad considering the conditions. During the race, we spun on first lap due to lack of visibility, went back to 13th, ran hard and worked our way back up to 9th, but then another guy lost an engine and both Raphael and I had a bit of a synchronized spin together due to the oil on the track, and our day was done.

"But because I know I really like Watkins Glen and I feel confident that I can run well there, that's why I wanted to go back out there this weekend. That track is not really as demanding on the brakes as other tracks. It's more of a fast, flowing track, and I like that type of track. Our whole team would have really big expectations for Watkins Glen if I wasn't hurt, but now we have to wait for the first practice to see how I feel -- then we can have high expectations."

After conquering the doubleheader races at Watkins Glen International, the Indy Pro Series warriors have no time off before heading for the concrete surface provided by Nashville (TN) Superspeedway on Saturday night, July 14th.

-credit: www.SeanGuthrie.com .

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Series Indy Lights
Drivers Sean Guthrie