CART Media Conference
March 17, 1998
T.E. McHALE: Good after to everybody. Welcome to the CART Media Teleconference. Thanks to all of you for taking the time to join us today. A special welcome to our guest this afternoon, Greg Moore, of Player's Forsythe Racing. Welcome, Greg. Thank for being with us today.
GREG MOORE: You are welcome. Good to be here.
T.E. McHALE: Thanks to his immense skills in his tender years, Greg, driver of the Player's Indeck Reynard Mercedes has already etched his name in the CART Record Books as both the youngest race winner and the youngest pole winner in CART history. He accomplished the former last year at Milwaukee earning his first career victory at the age of 22 years, one month and ten days, which eclipsed the mark set by Al Unser, Jr. in 1984. Last Saturday at the Miami Homestead Motor Sports Complex, Greg became CART's youngest pole sitter, when he averaged a bolstering 217.541 miles per hour to earn the pole for the Marlboro Grand Prix of Miami presented by Toyota at age 22 years, ten months and 20 days. Jean Paul had been CART's previous youngest pole winner when he started first at Las Vegas in 1983 at age 23 years, seven months and 18 days. Greg went on to finish second in Sunday's FedEx Championship Series season opener, a mere 75 thousandths of a second behind winner Michael Andretti and it was the fifth runnerup finish of Greg's career and his first, since finishing second at Mid-Ohio last year. Greg trails Michael 21 17 in the PPG Cup Standings heading into the second round of the FedEx Championship Series, the Budweiser 500 on Saturday, March 28th from the new Twin Ring Motegi Motor Sports Complex in Motegi, Japan. The Budweiser 500 will be televised on a tape-delay basis by ABC TV on Saturday March 28th, beginning at 2:00 P.M. eastern time. With that, we will open the floor for questions.
Q. Greg, I just wanted to have a quick chance to offer our belated congratulations, obviously. But, tell us, finishing second, I know you were disappointed, but does that set a good omen for the remainder of the season for you?
GREG MOORE: I think it really does. There is no doubt about it that we definitely had the fastest car out there of what we showed in qualifying by being 3 miles an hour faster than everybody. But, not only were we quick in qualifying, but in the race, we were very, very quick too. I think a couple more laps -- even one lap, it might have been a different outcome because I had a good run on Michael coming out of Turn 4. But, more importantly than finishing second, it seems good because with -- we have got some new guys on the team because I have Patrick as a teammate now, we kind of had to spread people in the team differently. And, so, it was good for my guys - even though we had an air-jack failure - to have them doing the great pit spots like they were doing, with the mechanical jacks and things like that, it is just -- gives them a bit more confidence knowing that they can do their job just as well as I can. And, if we all have a really good day, we have a really good shot at winning these races.
Q. Greg, you mentioned if you had had another lap you might have been able to win that race. Was there anything about the way you drove the race that you thought, you know, "If I had done this I could have won that race?"
GREG MOORE: This morning was the first time I actually watched the race on TV. Normally I will watch the race, just fast forward through all the commercials and stuff, just watch to see if there is anything I could have changed. And, really, I think the only thing that I could have changed on the outcome of the race is maybe tried to get around Jimmy Vasser a little bit quicker through Turns 1 and 2 and get a bit more of a run on Michael on the last lap down into 3. But, really, I was very, very happy with my performance. We went -- when we had the air-jack failure, went to the back of the cue or the back of the lineup, and I didn't really let it frustrate me. I just kind of realized that this is more of a challenge than it is a setback, and, you know, things worked out quite well, I think.
Q. In your first race there, which was your first CART race in 1996 was on that same track, didn't you have almost a similar race where you were -- you had to go to the back of the pack and then you kind of worked your way through? I mean, you didn't get as high as second, but it was a very, you know, similar performance by you. And, is that a track where you do pretty well on? I guess you have yet to see this, but how do you anticipate your car performing on the other courses like the road courses and street courses? Is it primarily like a car that is set up to run really well on the ovals?
GREG MOORE: No, I actually think that we are going to be a lot better this year on the road courses than street courses to what most people think. Last year, we were -- I would say we were probably a little bit better on the ovals, just a bit more consistent but can't say that we were bad on the street courses because we still won Detroit. But, we have concentrated 90% of our winter testings on the road course testing. We only had done three days of testing at Homestead for the race where I think some teams have had upwards of five, six days including spring training. I think that really we are going to surprise some people once we get to Long Beach because the Player's cars are going to be running right up near the front there. And I really don't see a track there this year where we are going to be scrambling.
Q. Was that a similar drive, would you say, to your first appearance on that track?
GREG MOORE: I would say it is a different drive because in 1996 I had passed a slower car under yellow, just trying to keep up with the leaders, and I was in fourth place. So I had to the stop-and-go penalties which put me a lap down. Realistically, with a lap down, there is not really much of a chance to winning a race with like 70 laps to go. But, like you said, I kind of scrapped my way back up and I had passed the leader to get my lap back and eventually finished 7th which was satisfying because I knew if I drive as hard as I can that I can pass most of these guys if my car is right. So, it was comforting that way. But this race probably, to me, meant a little bit more just because I didn't let it frustrate me when I had such a huge lead at first - I think they had a 10-second lead going into the first pitstop, and then when the rear air-jack broke, it was -- I just kind of said, well, it is a different challenge, and just put my head down and go about doing my job and pass as many cars as I can.
Q. Greg, when you talk about, you know, the way you reacted to the air-jack failure, it strikes me that that kind of, like, poise and calm and kind of reacting to adversity in a constructive manner isn't really something you associate with young, young people. Could you talk a little bit about, you know, how you developed this ability? Has it just always been with you or did someone help, you know, kind of keep your poise in the car?
GREG MOORE: I think that I have worked on it for the last -- probably the last two years, especially, once I got to this level, the Champ Car level. But, I still have my engineer Steve Challis who has been with me for -- it will be our 8th season together. He has been with me since 1991 in Formula Ford. So, it is kind of a comforting voice to have him on the radio. You know the odd time, he will say you are doing a great job, don't worry about it, you are faster than the leaders. So, I have still got a little bit of coaching over the radio. It is just kind of more of an assurance than it is -- kind of a comfort zone more than having someone there saying go, go, go, hard, hard, hard, he knows that I am giving my best all the time, and he is just there saying -- giving me a bit of information just saying you are doing a great job. That just kind of keeps you a tiny little bit controlled a little bit more. But, it is also something inside me, you know, when I was sitting in the pits, didn't start moving my hands around, I just kind of shook my head and realized well, (laughs), this is a new challenge; it is going to be difficult, but I think that we can -- I realistically didn't think we could win the race. I thought that we would have a Top-5 finish and that would be quite good. But the way my car was in traffic, it was an exceptional race, I think, for me and for the guys just because we smiled in the face of adversity.
Q. Greg, what exactly caused the failure of the air-jack?
GREG MOORE: I am not sure yet. The car got back to the shop today, so I think right now they are probably looking at what it was. I didn't even know that they had taken the air-jack off or actually cut the bottom of the jack off until I got back after doing, you know, all the victory ceremonies and being in the press room and stuff and they showed me it. The thing that I find the most amazing is that we have got a spring in the back of the car inside the air-jack that is, I think, there was a failure either on the spring, or on the nut that actually holds the spring inside the air-jack. I am not exactly sure yet. I can't specifically tell you what it was. But, that spring, one of my mechanics actually cut it with safety wire pliers. That is something you look at you wouldn't even think you could cut it with a welding torch, never mind with your hand. Kind of shows what adrenaline will really do to people.
Q. On your last stop, did you change tires at all?
GREG MOORE: No. Last stop we left the Firestones on because we knew that if we had a good stop, because we could fuel just as fast as anybody else could fuel, so we knew that if we had a good fuel, if I had stopped on the marks, the guys got it okay, we would be able to make a couple of positions. But, if we put the car up with the mechanical jack, there wouldn't have been no way. They just decided to leave it on. I think we had like 120 miles on the tires at end of the day.
Q. That is what was amazing to me was, you know, you were at the end of the second stint on those tires when you were running down the leader.
GREG MOORE: Yeah.
Q. I mean --
GREG MOORE: It shows you, it is -- the talk of the weekend was how good and how consistent the Goodyears were, but I think it kind of -- it shows a little bit more when you see how well that, you know, we did considering how many miles we had on the tires. We were chasing -- we drove away from Christian and Alex and was catching Michael. One more lap, we might have had him.
Q. Congratulations on your great finish.
GREG MOORE: Thank you.
Q. Can you tell me why it is that you just seem to be so bolstering fast? What was the difference between your car -- did you just end up with one of those absolutely tremendous motors? Was it car set up? Did you just sort of screw up your courage a little bit more? When I saw you set that qualifying lap I went, "My, God, this guy is just flying. How can he do that?" So now I want to know.
GREG MOORE: We had tested there two weeks prior to the race at Homestead. We had done two days of testing. We had done a 25.2 second lap. And I told Steve and the guys on the team, I had just said we can do this track flat and we didn't do it in testing just because there was no need to. But, I knew going into qualifying that if the car was right, that we could do the track flat and the car was, you know, probably as close to a perfect race car than I have ever had for qualifying. And did 3 and 4 flat -- kind of like you said, I screwed my courage up a little bit because it is nice to start near the front. The other nice thing about it is a lot of people kind of looked at me and the Player's Team as a team that would qualify in the top 6 or 7 on the oval. But then in the race would be their biggest thing where I think now we have kind of shed that because we went awfully fast in qualifying.
Q. I remember back when you are in Indy Lites some interviewer was saying you are awfully young to be doing this. You said, yeah, but I am a mature 19. It was true. I mean, you have got a lot of poise. But that first year in 1996 some of us thought, geez, this kid isn't going to make it through the year. I wonder if you could talk a little bit about, kind of what Liz was asking you, how you have matured as a driver.
GREG MOORE: I have matured a lot as a driver. I think in my first season one of my biggest goals was just to prove to all the other drivers and teams that I deserved to be there. And, you know, I admit now that I took a few chances that I probably didn't need to take; did some passes and things that I probably didn't need to do. But, because most of them worked out, it was okay. But, like you said, I think a lot of people thought, well, this kid is kind of crazy. Then I think in 1997 I knew I didn't have to prove to anybody; that I deserved to be there; that I was a guy that could would be a consistent front-runner, and then I think that people started to realize that, okay, Greg is starting to be a bit more consistent, kind of like I was in 1993 and '94 and 1995 of Indy Lites. In 1993 I went out, I wanted to prove to everybody that I deserved to be there by either running fast or crashing basically. Took too many chances. '94, I slowed down -- not slowed down, but I just -- I was a bit more patient when I needed to be. I won three races that year. Next year, '95, like you said, winning 10, 12 races was good. I just had a different mind set. I knew now what I kind of knew in 1995 at the level of the series that I am in, I know what to expect from every race. I know better in the pit spot strategy, instead of listening to what the guys say, I can put some input into it. But, also I have learned -- I think I have become a better driver because I have learned when to take chances and what kind of chances I can take that won't put me or the car in jeopardy.
Q. Here in Montreal the reaction of the people are really getting excited about you this year. I mean, a lot of people think that you are going to win the Championship and you know how the people reacted last fall when John Villeneuve won. So I was wondering how you feel about that, your popularity is getting bigger and bigger in Canada and the people are talking about a lot about Jacques and you and comparing. How do you feel about that? Do you feel extra pressure or --
GREG MOORE: I don't really feel any extra pressure because people are comparing me to Jacques, but it is kind of satisfying in a way, because Jacques is -- he is the world Champion. He won the IndyCar Championship in 1995. He is the reigning World Champion. Obviously he is a very proven performer. He is one of the best drivers in the world. If people are comparing me to him, that is satisfying to me because it shows that people are starting to realize that I am doing a good job out there and. As far as the popularity in Canada, I don't think it is really me, my popularity. I would say it is just motor sports in general. When Jacques won the World Championship, I mean, the popularity was immense. Like you said, you saw him drop the puck for the Montreal Canadian's game. He is like a national hero kind of now. Maybe we can get another Canadian to win the Champ Car World Series this year. And, if we do that, I would say that obviously my popularity is going to go up because it is -- people cheer for the winners. They always support the people that are doing well. And, it is satisfying to me that I am doing a fairly good job and that people are realizing it.
Q. But also that would prove something that, I mean, Canadian drivers, I mean, they must have something special to win all those championships. I know, it is a program -- maybe you can talk about that. I mean, it has to do something with the player's program, I guess.
GREG MOORE: I think it does say something about the Player's Driver Development Program just because you look at the people that have come through it. You look at Jacques was probably the first graduate. They took him into Formula Atlantic; then took him to IndyCar Series, won that. And then he moved on to further his career in Formula I and won the World Championship. I'd say I am kind of the second guy. Patrick was the third. It just shows how the general progression of the successful drivers in the lower formulas of the Player's program can pretty much go up another level and be very successful. It is gratifying to me that Player's had the faith in me in 1995 to sign me as an Indy Lites driver and in 1996 to take over their IndyCar program.
Q. The last question is about your engineer. Last weekend Patrick Carpentier we saw there was a little problem with the setups during the race and it seems that there was like Patrick was not sure what to do and his engineer also didn't know exactly what to do. I think it is one of your strengths is communication with your engineer is really outstanding.
GREG MOORE: Oh, for sure. Because I know Steve so well and because he knows me so well. I mean, he is one of my best friends, for sure, and I would say I am one of his best friends too. We spend so much time on the road together that you would have to know each other very well. But, if you remember when Jacques was in the IndyCars, he always talked about his relationship with Tony Cicale, how they got along very, very well. And, now that he is in Formula I with Jacques, he also talks about the relationship that they have. And, that is something that I think it comes with time. I don't think you can just step into a new relationship with an engineer and be as successful as it could if you have been with the guy for three or four years. I really think that that is part of the bonuses of being involved with someone like Steve for so long or for, in Jacques's case, with Jacques or with Tony Cicale.
Q. Greg, looking ahead to the next race in Japan, you have had a chance to test on that track as well in the off-season. I am wondering what can you tell us about the new track out there and how are you going to approach that race?
GREG MOORE: It is a beautiful facility. The track is a very different track because it is kind of an egg shape. It is bigger in Turns 1 and 2 than it is in Turns 3 and 4. So Turns 1 and 2 are quite easy flat out. The track is very, very wide. But, we were on the speedway wings; there just like we did in Homestead. And, Turns 3 and 4, you have to brake a tiny little bit as you go into Turn 3. So one end is a lot tighter than the other. So that presents a different setup than Homestead because Homestead both ends of the track were very, very similar. The way we approach it is we -- because we did test there. We know the gearing, or the very close to gearing, what we should be kind of running. We know what type of speeds so far everyone have done and so that is encouraging just because we know every little bump on the track and we just look forward to going there. It is such a beautiful facility. I mean, not only the racetrack is nice, but all the surroundings, the way the stands are made; the way the all the facilities are. I mean, the pits, the garages and everything are just really well laid out. I think that the Japanese people over there are going to be really treated something special that they have probably never ever seen before because racing on the ovals is like you saw in Homestead, it is very, very, very close.
Q. Greg, congratulations. Seems very clear that you are really took the road of Villeneuve. You want to win the first Championship probably even the second Championship and then you and my friend Jerry Forsythe will switch to Formula I. Have you ever been contacted -- do you have talks with somebody privately, not official?
GREG MOORE: No, I haven't. I know a lot of the people in Formula I just because I have been to three Formula I races now. And, you know, but I know Frank Williams. I have met him. I have met Jackie Stewart. I know Ron Dennis through the Mercedes connection; Norbert is an acquaintance of mine from Mercedes. But, like you said, I want to win in Championship before I even thinking about anything else. I still got this year and next year on my --
Q. You would like?
GREG MOORE: Well, I mean, I have got this year and next year on my contract with Player's Forsythe, and then -- I quite enjoy North America. I like living in Vancouver. I like being around my friends and family here. But, if I have won the Championship a couple of times by the time I am 25 or 26 years old, then, you know, maybe I would think about Formula I. But it would have to be with a proper team, a proper offer. I would have to -- like Jacques did, there is no point in stepping into a different series with a team that is not capable of winning. Got to be able to step in and go up in the front with three or four of the front-running teams. If you can't do that, there is no point in doing that because the program that I am in here in the Champ Car Series is definitely one of the best teams in the world.
Q. When you have a few minutes free what do you do? Do you have a special hobby or something?
GREG MOORE: I enjoy mountain biking a lot. It is a lot of fun. But it is also very good exercise. But I have also just recently taken up fly fishing. And, so it is -- kind of a relaxing thing where you can just sit there and fish for three or four hours and even if you don't catch anything, it a very relaxing and peaceful time you can be on the lake fishing away. It something that I have really taken to. I am enjoying it a lot.
Q. I know that because my father is an artist painting fly fishing. Okay. Congratulations I will see you in Long Beach.
GREG MOORE: Thank you.
Q. Are you aware of the sense -- if you have the sense of history attached to being the youngest ever winner on the youngest pole --
GREG MOORE: Yeah, there is a gratification there. I feel -- I feel lucky that I have been able to be in a situation to be able to win my first race and beat Al Unser Jr.'s record as being the youngest winner, but also to get the youngest pole. But, it shows the situation that I am this is very -- it is one that is very, very competitive. But not only am I happy that I have won -- gotten those two records, but it is kind of a carrot for other younger guys to go after. When I was there and I watched Al Unser Jr. and Michael Andretti race when I was younger, I said one day I wanted to beat those guys. And, to beat them, and then to beat their records, it was quite -- it was -- deep inside, I really enjoyed it. It was a sense of satisfaction there. And, it was something that, you know, I want to try and beat Jacques' record now as the youngest champion. I guess that is the next one I will have to try and beat.
Q. When you learned that the team was going to expand to include Patrick for this season, was there any part of you that felt any reservations about it?
GREG MOORE: Last year during the middle of the season there was rumors about Patrick coming to the team and the team expanding to a two-car operation. At the time I had a lot of reservations about it just because I didn't want to change my mind set during the season. I just wanted to think about trying to win some more races and finish some more races. I didn't want to change really what my mindset was. But, over the winter as Patrick had joined the team and now that we know each other, we get along awfully, awfully well. We both seem to have a very similar style of driving, both on the oval and on the road courses. So I think that once we get to tracks where we can't test, like the street courses, Long Beach, and Vancouver and Toronto, that will be a definite bonus for us because he will be able to go in one direction on setup; I will be able to go another. And, at the end of the day, we can both kind of say, well, this was better, and that was better. Well, how are -- he can start with A and I can start with B, and we can come up with the C setup and then go to D and E for the next session. So I think that would be a very, very good thing for us.
Q. You commented about the Reynard handling a little bit better in dirty air. Maybe I am calling for a little speculation, but do you think it was your ability to handle traffic better? Was the car better in dirty air? Or was Michael being held up by traffic? What do you think it was that gave us that fourth closest finish on Sunday?
GREG MOORE: I think the last lap, it was definitely traffic. I mean, if you look when we got the white flag, Michael had about a 1.3 seconds on me. And then I came up to Jimmy and he came up to -- I think it was PJ in Turns 1 and 2 and I knew that if he slowed down a tiny little bit that that would be -- because on your last lap, once you have taken the white flag you tend to be a lot more, like he said, conservative just because you want to finish the race and you have got a bit of a cushion there. Whereas, for me, because I had been doing so many passes on the outside and trying to -- I have been taking a few more chances than I probably needed to, but I had to get up into second position; I knew what the track would hold and that is why I kind of charged a tiny little bit. I mean, you look at the race on TV and Michael's car was very good in traffic and I think it is just that he was a bit conservative right at the end where I was charging awfully, awfully hard.
Q. Did you have any reservations with the tires? Was there anywhere in the back of your mind?
GREG MOORE: Not really, no. I was looking forward to the race because we had done quite a bit of testing over the winter for Firestone both on the road courses and on the ovals and it was -- it was satisfying to see that all the testing that we had done in the winter, improved the consistency of the tires, paid off for us because you look at the, you know, we didn't -- when we didn't change tires, it was -- I think that was a very good decision for us because we probably would have gone back to 8th or 9th and it would have been a lot harder again to try and improve positions. But it was something that I think was a good call.
Q. How is your dad feeling?
GREG MOORE: Dad is actually getting better. He is on the mend, for sure. He is actually at work today selling some cars, so he will be -- as soon as he goes back to work you know he is feeling a lot better.
Q. You were talking earlier about this car you think will be a whole lot better on the road course this year. Can you explain to the uninformed just what your crew might have done to the car to make it better for the road this year or is it the '98 -- is it just that the 1998 car is a better car on the road?
GREG MOORE: I think the '98 car is a little bit better than the '97 car, for sure. But, it is not only that because everyone has got '98 cars this year. So, that means if we had improved, everyone else would have improved if it was just the new car. We have done a bunch of suspension changes to the car -- not really changing the geometry of the steering angles, anything like that - just changing shock settings, trying different setups on the springs, a softer spring or stiffer spring, tire pressures, cambers, things like that and the tires. Just general setup things on the car that we seem to have improved quite a bit. I mean, on the testing that we have done with other teams, if you look back at the Laguna test that we did with Christian and those guys, we were faster than them. But really every road course we have been at, we have been very competitive. So, I am really looking forward to the rest of the season.
Q. I am wondering in listening to something that you said earlier talking about how you have matured through the years and you were going back to Indy Lites and then reflecting back to the race yesterday, I get the feeling that you have found a comfort zone.
GREG MOORE: Meaning -- I am not exactly sure a "Comfort zone."
Q. Meaning that you feel a lot more comfortable not only with what you are doing, but the fact that you know what the other guys are doing as well.
GREG MOORE: Oh, for sure. Like I think it was Bob said earlier about the chances I took in '96 and people were kind of saying, "Well, is this kid going to last the rest of the year?" I really didn't know how Michael was to race with or how Al Jr. or Paul Tracy or any of these guys were to race with. I have seen them on TV, but you don't really know until you have actually done it wheel-to-wheel and a race is different than practice and qualifying. So I have, for sure, found a bit of a comfort zone just because you kind of learn the characteristics of each driver. You learn, you know, Paul likes to do this or Jimmy likes to do that. Al Jr. will do this, if you go on the inside, Al will try and go around you on the outside. He won't give it to you easily. Just things like that, you learn. And it is -- I don't know if you can call it a comfort zone, but it was just -- was just becoming more experienced, I think, more than anything. I know where I can pass some drivers and some drivers that you know you don't try that otherwise they are going to put you off.
Q. Considering the way that you stepped through the field on Sunday, does your team now have more confidence even though they may have had confidence before but now they have more confidence that your patience will allow them to overcome any kind of problem early?
GREG MOORE: I think they probably do, for sure, yeah. It is satisfying for the guys when they see, you know, they realize they have an air-jack problem and go back to last in the cue or the lineup, and they see that we can work our way back up, not only through me on the racetrack but also through them in the pits. I mean, we had a great stop our last stop which put us up to third instead of sixth. So that is something that the guys can take pride in. And something that I can take a bit of pride in, too. They have the comfort zone. They know deep down inside that I am out there giving 110 percent every time that I am in the car that I can. And I know inside too that these guys are -- they are willing to do anything and everything they can to have, you know, put me out in the best car that they can give me and also the fastest car in the pits.
Q. You mentioned a moment ago that your father is feeling better.
GREG MOORE: Yeah, my dad is definitely on the mend. Spent some time together last night because I haven't seen him in three weeks, I have been away. He still has a bit of a cough but he is definitely himself again which is quite nice.
Q. The way it looked to me Sunday is you were building up one heck of a head of steam coming around Turn 3 and then coming out of 4 and outside of Andretti's car being about twelve feet wide, I think you had that thing balls to the wall; didn't you?
GREG MOORE: I was definitely trying a lit bit harder than I think Michael was on that last lap. When you are in the front you have a bit of a comfort zone there, a bit of a cushion that you can play with. And, I think he tried to do that. But then he realize that I was going on the outside, like I would do to anybody just the same way he did to me on that last lap, he just kind of moved up a tiny little bit in the middle of Turns 3 and 4 and just took the air off the front of my car which is just enough to slow me down, just make me lift a tiny little bit. But I think because I did have, like you said, I had a bit of a head of steam on him coming out of Turn 4; if we had one more lap, I think Turn 1 would have been exciting.
Q. Talking about Motegi, Jimmy Vasser when he was here testing at the end of season here last year was shifting gears because he said the track here in Saint Louis Gateway's shape is much like Motegi. Are you having to shift gears over there?
GREG MOORE: There was a couple of guys that were trying it. I really think that we are going -- it is going to have to be -- because we have a primary car and our backup car, we will probably have a shifting setup in one car and then a regular setup in the other car. And then to see which is -- we will go out and do a back-to-back test and see which is quicker. In our test, we weren't shifting. De Ferran was shifting. Jimmy was trying it once in a while. But, I think St. Louis, because Turns 1 and 2 there are even slower than Turns 3 and 4 at Motegi, for sure St. Louis track will be a shifting track now.
Q. Is that a little bit upsetting?
GREG MOORE: I personally don't agree with the rule change about -- at St. Louis going to the speedway wings. I think if you look at the race that we had in St. Louis last year, it was a very entertaining race not only for the drivers but also for the fans. You can run two abreast through Turns 3 and 4; if you were passing a slower car, but you could also set guys up because you can run quite closely behind them. Whereas, with the speedway wings, you can't get that close to them because you don't have near as much down-force on the car is upset a bit more by the turbulent air. I don't know honestly right now how the race is going to be in St. Louis. I think that it probably will be a little bit more of a follow-the-leader, a guy will have to make, I think, a bigger mistake before you are going to be able to get by him.
Q. There has been a lot of testing with that new rear wing for speedways. Have you had a chance to use it and if you haven't, can you give us some thoughts on it?
GREG MOORE: I honestly haven't had a chance to test it yet. I think that what it is, it is a rear wing that puts more drag in the car. And actually takes a little bit of down-force off. If it reduces the speeds and still makes the car safe, I think it is a good thing. But, if it reduces the down-force and makes the car nervous to drive even more so than it was on the speedways, I don't think it was a good change. But, I can't really comment on it until I have had the chance to test it. I know de Ferran thinks of it -- he had the chance to test it and he thought it was a good change. At least it was a step in the right direction. So, you know, I trust his abilities as a tester and as a driver to look out there for the safest possible changes that we could make. So, I really think that if we can slow the cars down a little bit, but still making them fun to driver and still being in control quite easily, then I think it is a good change.
Q. I was talking to Jerry Prittel (phonetic) yesterday about the tires obviously. And, you had 120 miles on those tires at the end of the race. How much farther do you think they would have gone and still had reasonable grip?
GREG MOORE: I think we probably still had another 30 miles on the tires. We have done 150 miles on tires and still have been able to do a really low 26 second lap at Homestead. So, I think that we could have gone another 20, 30 miles. But after that, it starts to go away quite quickly.
T.E. McHALE: We want to thank our guest, Greg Moore for being with us this afternoon. Best of luck, Greg, in the Budweiser 500 at Twin Ring Motegi Saturday, March 28th and during the rest of the FedEx Championship season. Before we go this afternoon a reminder three-time PPG Cup Champion Bobby Rahal and his team Rahal ownership partner, David Letterman will host a teleconference for the Motor Sports Media this Thursday March 19 at 1:00 P.M. eastern time. To participate call 1-800-451-7724, conference I.D. No. is V-793. So we hope those of you will be able to join us for that. We thank you all for joining us this afternoon and wish you a good afternoon.
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