SARAH FISHER SWITCHES TO NASCAR AND GOODYEAR TIRES AKRON, Ohio (April 13, 2005) -- Few drivers in NASCAR's Grand National Division have Sarah Fisher's background of racing experience. An open-wheel racer by training, Fisher is a veteran of ...
SARAH FISHER SWITCHES TO NASCAR AND GOODYEAR TIRES
AKRON, Ohio (April 13, 2005) -- Few drivers in NASCAR's Grand National Division have Sarah Fisher's background of racing experience. An open-wheel racer by training, Fisher is a veteran of the Indianapolis 500 and has been among the most popular drivers in the Indy Racing League.
But the ebullient Fisher is angling in different waters now. She has a developmental contract with Richard Childress Racing and is beginning her stock car racing career by driving in the NASCAR Grand National Division, West Series.
Goodyear is the exclusive tire provider for the Grand National Division, which also includes the Busch North Series. Fisher drives for the highly successful Bill McAnally Racing team, which has generated champions in the West Series.
"It's a lot of fun," said Fisher. "The people are great. The driving is clean."
Sarah Fisher started her racing career when she was five years old, driving quarter-midgets. She won WKA karting championships and raced in midgets and sprint cars before climbing into an Indy car at age 19.
The difference between piloting a light weight, high horsepower Indy car and driving a 3,400-pound stock car is about the same as the difference between scuba diving and skydiving. Few drivers have successfully made the switch and those that have are among the best in the sport's history. The list includes A.J. Foyt, Mario Andretti and Tony Stewart.
One of the biggest differences between the driving disciplines is understanding the differences in the tires.
"I like the consistency the tires have here," Fisher said. "On those open wheel cars, the tires go away in 20 laps."
Not so, she said, with the tires Goodyear supplies for the Grand National Division. "You could feel it lock in. In two to three laps, depending on how hard you run on them. It's a huge difference. They really come in."
The West Series is the oldest stock car racing circuit on the West Coast. Former champions include Kevin Harvick and Hershel McGriff. The series offers drivers a chance to learn how to drive the type of full-sized stock cars NASCAR's top divisions compete in.
An Indy car, Fisher said, is a technical masterpiece with sensors all around the car. Those sensors feed information to the driver and pit crew about what the car is doing on the track and what changes might be needed during a pit stop.
In stock car racing, the driver is the sensor.
"Here you have to be more open," Fisher said. "There is a lot more input (a driver) can have. The biggest thing is learning that feel, versus technology. It's a different technique."
Fisher knows that if she is to reach stock car racing's major leagues and join the ranks of stock car racing pioneers Sara Christian, Ethel Flock Mobley and Shawna Robinson, she faces a challenging learning curve.
And she knows that the consistency of Goodyear's racing Eagles will be with her every step of the way.