Monday, July 21, 2003
Rushed to IRL? Not exactly
By Sarah Fisher
Special to ABC Sports Online
Editor's Note: Sarah Fisher is preparing to drive in the Firestone Indy 200 at the Nashville Superspeedway. Catch the action this Saturday on ESPN at 8 p.m. ET. As the race approaches, check out her latest mailbag...
Q: Sarah, Robin Miller claims
your career has been hindered
because you were "rushed" to
the IRL. Do you agree? What
would spending time in
the Pro Series or Atlantics
prior to the IRL have given you
that track time in the IRL couldn't?
John Althardt, Indianapolis, Indiana
It would have given me a chance to get used to rear-engine cars and drafting. Set-up is basically all the same with each car, it's just a feel that drivers have. The way a rear-engine car feels is entirely different from any sprint car or midget out there. So that was a learning curve either way. In each series I've been in, it was always the top-level series (such as the IRL).
From my experience, sure, the Infiniti Pro Series would have helped. But I was already used to being thrown into World of Outlaws and USAC and have proven my abilities to perform at higher levels. The first opportunity that I've had in a close-to-perfect scenario of a good car and great people was at the end of last year. We're trying to get our program back to the competitiveness that it was last year. In any top-level series, you can't win with less. But you can win with equal. I hope to be there soon.
Q: Hi, Sarah. I'd like to know if you would like to see road courses brought into the IRL schedule, or if you prefer oval track racing?
|Sarah Fisher says she won't rule out NASCAR in theory, but she's committed to the IRL.|
Gene Banton, Las Vegas, Nevada
I grew up on both ovals and road courses. So, either way, the IRL knows what it is doing and will be on top of their schedule. Every great driver can do both.
Q: Sarah, you're a great
driver and I'm sure that
your first win is not far
off. My question is, would
you ever consider taking a
ride in any of the NASCAR
divisions or in the IROC
series? I am a huge NASCAR
fan and I would truly love to
see you run in that series.
Good luck to you, and I'm
looking forward to seeing you
in victory lane.
Don Gamble, Jackson, Tennessee
Right now, I really enjoy where I am in the Indy Racing League. It's hard to say whether or not I would ever participate in NASCAR. I have never driven a stock car before, so either series would definitely present itself with new learning curves. However, I never limit the exploration of any and all opportunities that present themselves. I really believe in what the IRL is doing and their growth. It would be a difficult decision to race elsewhere.
Q: When will you be testing the
new engine package and where?
Shae Laskee, La Grange, Kentucky
I am not sure when the Dreyer and Reinbold team will get to test any sort of new engine package. Hopefully soon.
Q: You appeared highly upset
before the start of the
Richmond event. I was in the
corral and you were sitting
on the ground practically
under the trailer. Everything OK?
Pete Lively, Virginia Beach, Virginia
That is my focus. I was thinking about the night before and what that evening's race was going to present our team with. We hadn't run in the night where the track changes by approximately 50 degrees. That was definitely a challenging race for us, but because of the focus we all have, we were able to get through to the end. Starting on the front row showed everyone that when it comes to set-up/driver, we have what it takes. From there, we need to take that to the next step given the next short-track opportunity.
Q: Is there any
chance of you coming out to
California one of these years
for the annual Turkey Night
Grand Prix midget race on
Thanksgiving? The Irwindale
Speedway is a great short
track, and the crowd would
love to see you race.
Robert Black, Moorpark, California
I just might. As long as the midget team that I would drive for is top-notch, I would have no problem coming out.
Q: Which tracks would you like
to see the IRL add to next
Kenneth Carlson, Plano, Texas
These tracks were all new to me in the start and some still are. I don't really have a personal favorite, but I would like to see Las Vegas back on the schedule. It was definitely a track that demanded all the elements -- driving, set-up and horsepower.
Q: I noticed that you changed
Web masters and rolled out a
new Web site this year. I
was wondering: How important is a Web site to drivers and
teams alike in the business of racing?
Robin Wagener, Gary, Indiana
It's important in the sense that we control the messaging from it. I'm still working on improving it everyday. It's our direct link to our consumers, the fans. So, the better it is, the better product you will receive.
Q: My daughter had to do a book
report on a famous woman. Yep,
she picked you. I went to Indy
again this year to get an
autograph, but you were busy. How
can I get one for her? I have
a hat that is full. I'm starting a new one. Could you
sign it? You're hard to catch up to! Thank you.
Thom Altma, Hamilton, Ohio
You can always send it to P.O. Box 533189, Indianapolis, Indiana 46253. I will sign it and ship it back to you. You can also check my Web site for a list of upcoming appearances.
For more from Sarah, go to www.sarahfisher.com.