CART Media Conference
July 20, 1999
T.E. McHALE: Good afternoon to everybody. Welcome to the CART media teleconference. We're pleased that you were able to take the time to be with us this afternoon. Our guest today is team owner Barry Green of Team KOOL Green. We'll welcome Barry in a moment, but first, we'd like to turn the teleconference over to Roger Bailey, president and chief executive officer of the PPG Dayton Indy Lights series, who has a brief announcement.
ROGER BAILEY: I want to thank CART and Barry Green to make very special announcement today. I'm very pleased to report Mi-Jack has recently signed with Chicago Motor Speedway to be the official title sponsor of the PPG Dayton Indy Lights Championship Race, and part of the normal inaugural Grand Prix on August 22nd. The Mi-Jack 100 of Chicago will be the official name of that weekend's PPG Dayton Indy Lights Championship Race. We're delighted that one of racing's familiar sponsors and CART's newest events have extended such great support for the Indy Lights. On the line today is Steve Irwin from the marketing division in Illinois, and Connie Kowal who heads up marketing for Chicago Motor Speedway. Gentleman, I want to thank both of you for supporting the Indy Lights Program.
T.E. McHALE: At this point, as promised, we'd like to welcome Barry Green who joins us following a spectacular day for Team KOOL Green Sunday Molson Indy in Toronto where Dario Franchitti and Paul Tracy recorded first 1, finish in Team KOOL Green's three-year history. Good afternoon, Barry, and congratulations on one of the most memorable days in your career in motor sports.
BARRY GREEN: Good afternoon, T.E., and thanks everyone for taking the time.
T.E. McHALE: Thanks to the effort of Barry and his organization, Dario and Paul in their second seasons as Team KOOL Green teammates are both enjoying outstanding campaigns. Dario has recorded six podium finishes, highlighted by Sunday's victory, and currently stands second in the championship to rookie Juan Montoya. Paul's runner-up effort Sunday was his 5th Top-5 performance of the season. Like Dario, he, too, owns a victory at the Milwaukee Mile last month. Heading into Sunday's Marlboro 500 presented by Toyota at Michigan Speedway, Dario stands second in the championship with 106 points while Paul is 8th with 76. The Marlboro 500 presented by Toyota, round 12 of the FedEx Championship Series, will be televised by ABC TV this Sunday beginning at 1:00 PM Eastern time. With that, we'll open it up for questions.
Q. I'm just wondering what it was that you said to your guys after the incident in St. Louis, and whether you think the aftermath of that has any bearing on how well the team has done since then?
BARRY GREEN: Actually, Steve, just before I go on, I just want to say: I think it's fantastic news that Roger has just given us about Mi-Jack's involvement with the Indy Lights. Great little series. Great support series. Very important series, at least to our team, and I think to a lot of teams; and I think that's just fantastic news. But anyway, we talk about every race, and whether we win or lose, and certainly coming out of that when we had another very, very serious meeting, we just needed to sit down. Mistakes are okay, and we just need to make sure we learn from them. And I really do think that was just a racing incident. We were lucky that we didn't lose both cars in it. I think Dario did a tremendous job to keep his car off the wall, and did a fantastic job after that to hold on to finish third; and it was a great drive on his part. But, you know, it's a very difficult situation when you've got two drivers like -- I'm lucky enough to have two, aggressive drivers. I think it's a fantastic problem to have. I'd be very, very disappointed if I had one driver that was so fast and the other driver is never anywhere near fast enough to beat the first guy. So we had a similar situation last year. I think that situation was somewhat different, but again, we came away from both situations learning from it. We didn't -- we don't necessarily have strict team orders. We have -- we all understand that whoever does the best job in qualifying that he will have the right-of-way, at least going into the first turn if they are side-by-side. And then later on in the race, if there's a situation, then I've got to weigh the situation up. And, of course, that will vary from race to race as we go through the season, depending on where we sit in the championship. But it's a real worry to have your two cars involved in the same incident. But I tell you what, at least they are both fast enough to be up in front, and I'm real proud of that.
Q. If I could follow up on what you just said real quick: When you've got a situation where you've got -- like you had this last weekend: Dario, he's won more championships right now than Paul. Is there anything being said in Paul's area -- don't do anything here, or is he allowed to race for the win in that situation?
BARRY GREEN: I'm definitely not counting Paul out of the championship. We all know Paul Tracy. He can come along and win two or three in a row. And you know, last weekend, put him right back in the championship. They are both at this stage going for the championship. And in that particular race, Sunday, it was all too close for comfort, and I wanted to make sure that the arguments stayed behind us. Paul had a tough job. Christian was on a roll coming off his win at Elkhart Lake. And the pace of that race was unbelievable at that race, the lap times they were turning. And I want to make sure that our problems stayed behind us and Paul concentrated on protecting his title rather than concentrating on trying to pass Dario. I think Dario was a little bit quicker on that day anyway, but it was a pretty impressive finish to see the lap times that they were running toward the end there. I love finishing 1, 2. I'd just like a little more comfort zone next time between 2 and 3.
T.E. McHALE: I need to correct a misstatement. Obviously, this is the U.S. 500 presented by Toyota.
Q. Barry, would you address -- I'm sure everybody wants to get back to Paul and Dario momentarily, but could you talk about the competition at Michigan and California last year, and maybe restate whatever your position has been about the Hanford device and the competition it seems to form?
BARRY GREEN: I think the competition at the 500 today, at Fontana and Michigan, it's fantastic. We've come out with a formula, I think, where the guy that's running second or third or back in the pack is not necessarily at a disadvantage if he's got a good car. He can get a good -- a good toe off someone; a good slipstream off someone, and really have a good chance to pass the guy in front. It's been a real success and I think CART's challenge is to come out with perhaps the next step down to make it -- to make it a little easier for some of these cars to pass on some of the other circuits. But Michigan and Fontana, I think you're going to see another great race there this weekend. It's 500 grueling miles on these cars. We are just hammering them out there now, because of the pace we run. And I think it's going to provide another great, great weekend of racing.
Q. Last year I had the sense that the guys, that the draft aspect of it was so great, that the drivers coming up on somebody were actually being surprised as how fast they were overhauling and had to take evasive action not to tail end somebody. Is that an accurate assessment? Do you remember what I'm talking about?
BARRY GREEN: I'm not sure it's a serious problem. Obviously, the driver you'll see in any racing series, you'll see the driver leave it for the last possible moment so that he can get all the assistance from the car in front that he can get. And sometimes you'll see them, you know, having to turnout into their own lane pretty quickly. But we don't think it's a problem. We just think it's a great device right now.
Q. Barry, Paul was in Detroit yesterday. And I wanted to turn the focus onto him a little bit. He talked about last year and problems, and that he was just trying to force things all the time to make it happen. Is that how you saw it, and how has he changed and grown since last year?
BARRY GREEN: I think Paul did a tremendous job for us last year. We didn't see the podium finishes that we all wanted to see, and he was a little disappointed, and we were disappointed in that. But you had to be inside this team to understand what he was doing for us. He's a tremendous test driver, and he gives it a 110 percent any time he's in that race car. We've all seen that. He's good for this team. He fits into this team. But, you know, last year was a big change for him; a change into this team, and it was a big change for us getting used to him. And even though we thought we were very, very comfortable right from day one, we still had to figure each other out, and it took us some time. I think that we've made a tremendous change to the team this year by bringing Tony Cicale back on board. And it's one of those hit-and-miss things. I wasn't sure that Tony and Paul were going to get along and be able to understand each other and work with each other. But it's a match made in heaven. It's just like the Villeneuve days. These two understand what they are trying to tell each other. Tony has done a tremendous job at figuring Paul out right away, and I think he's changed his focus just on a couple of small things that have really helped. I think Tony is telling Paul to focus on absolutely only the positives, and not the negatives, and I think that's helped Paul a lot. He's just comfortable. He's more comfortable. He loves working with Tony. He knows he's doing a good job. He's excited about his driving right now. And I think just last year, with frustration because he didn't have the podiums, he still did that good job. We didn't quite have the team together around him, and now we have that.
Q. Switching gears, but there's been a lot of talk about possible unification, getting back together with Indy. Some people are saying it might happen in the next 30 days; that a plan might be hatched out. What are your thoughts on that? And also, I understand that you were recently meeting with Tony. Is that true, and if so, what did you talk about with them?
BARRY GREEN: I talked to Tony quite often, not necessarily about CART and IRL issues, but about some other issues, other business issues. All I can say, I think is that I've always said as long as both sides were interested in getting back together, as long as both sides were interested, it was possible. And at least now there is conversation. It's ongoing. I don't think that there are -- there's much else to say about it than that. I don't think that any real details have been discussed, in depth at least. But I am very encouraged to say that there is conversation.
Q. I guess the question is: Are we, the media, making too much out of all of these conversations that have been going on, or are you guys really closer and do you suspect that something might happen in the near future?
BARRY GREEN: I don't think that there's a lot to talk about right now. I'm very positive only because there are conversations going on. We are not rushing around and organizing new meetings. But I'm sure that we'll have another meeting in the near future.
Q. Along the lines of the question that was just asked, do you think it's possible, Barry, for these cars with the Hanford wings to be able to race on some of these tracks that are a little bit higher-banked than Michigan and California, some of the tracks that the IRL is running?
BARRY GREEN: I tell you, I am not really -- if I've seen the track, I could comment on it. If I haven't seen, the track I couldn't. But I would rather leave that up to the CART staff, Wally Dallenbach and Kurt. They always go out and have a look at any new possibilities, and they are the ones to make the real call. But we are always looking at new venues and new ideas. And the Hanford wing has certainly helped us tremendously to at least control the speed somewhat on the big speedways. CART has got to continue to work on controlling those speeds and improving safety. They have done a tremendous job over the years, and we've just got to be able to continue to do that so we perhaps can run on circuits that suit our sponsors and our fans.
Q. Basically, question back to Toronto: There was a situation where it's a track that Dario had certainly done well at in his first two years, but obviously had not been able to quite put it all together. But certainly was an event that both he and your team had to feel good about going to. And yet at the same time, there was, you know, Juan Montoya, who has basically been not running away with the championship, but certainly doing a heck of a job. And just how important was it both to the team and to Dario to come through with the win there, you know, at a place where, I guess, basically my question is -- if you hadn't done well, would that have been a fairly big psychological blow?
BARRY GREEN: Dave, you know, I mean any time you win in this series right now, you can pat yourself, your driver and your whole crew on the back because you've done one heck of a job. But certainly to win in Toronto -- what an event they have up there. What an atmosphere they have up there. The fans were fantastic. All well-educated. Just a fabulous weekend. And I can't imagine what pressure Dario put himself under. He rides himself hard. He works himself hard. He really works hard at his job. And having done so well up there and qualifying the last two years, and, of course, leading the entire race last year and dropping out. I'm sure he put himself under an extreme amount of pressure. But that race there I think just shows you what he's all about. He's so well-calculated and a brilliant race car driver. A great guy to work with. A lot of fun to be with. Just a real professional. And for this team to win up there, finish 1, 2 up there, especially at this time of the year where we're just -- race after race, plus our testing -- and we've been fast all year. We've had the one win and maybe we should have had one or two more by now. But to come along with a 1, 2; it was very big to this team. And I think as you said, the timing was critical. We need to keep the pressure on. We need to -- we're hunting that championship, and this puts us right back in the thick of it, really, with both drivers.
Q. And certainly not to forget Paul, but Paul himself is under a lot of pressure any time he races in Canada, too.
BARRY GREEN: Paul has a lot going on up there, and I don't know how he keeps it all straight because he's pulled from all directions. He does a tremendous job and this weekend, I don't think I've ever seen him so focused every minute of the time he spent in the race car. Absolutely no mistakes. And he should be real proud of how he drove up there, and we certainly are. He did a heck of a job for us, and he knows it.
Q. Again, you know, talking -- putting the Toronto race in perspective of the season, you know, now we go to the U.S. 500 at Michigan, which is always -- it's kind of a lottery in terms of the results there. Any 500-mile race is. But again, not necessarily saying that Toronto was a turning point, but clearly we're at a critical juncture in the season, I would say, and just what do you -- how do you view the U.S. 500 in terms of -- in terms of its potential impact on the championship?
BARRY GREEN: Well, I mean it comes at a critical point in the season. And it's a hard, hard race. I mean, 500 miles of absolutely abuse on these cars and these engines for 500 miles around there at those speeds. We need a lot of luck to get to the end. I'm confident. We've got a tremendous package. I'm real pleased with everything we've got. The Honda and the Firestones are there, and we've got a good setup. We ran well at Fontana with both cars. We ran extremely well at Michigan last year with Paul's car, and we've been testing there and we've run well. So I think we've just got to get back up there, and qualifying will not be important. We don't really care where we qualify, as long as we feel we're competitive with plenty of fuel on board, and that's what we'll be focusing on all weekend.
Q. The question I'd like to ask is actually the reverse from earlier. What have improvements in Dario been this season that you've noticed?
BARRY GREEN: I think Dario's driving every race with more and more confidence. In fact, you know, we finished off last year in a very dominant form. We had a good car and we figured out what Dario really liked in a race car. We started out this season, I think, in good form. We've had a couple little -- little B-and-Fs that haven't helped, but he's driving with a lot of confidence. He's a man that he can stop practice halfway through the practice session, get out of the car, and he's very, very confident of where he's going to qualify within a spot or two. And not many drivers can do that. A lot of drivers have to see the times posted on the screen. Dario is very confident with his feel on used tires. He figures out what a new tire is going to do for him. He figures out where he's going to be. If he's going to be happy with that; if he has to work a little more on the car or not. He's just driving with more confidence. He puts more and more pressure on himself, more pressure on the whole team this year, every team. The job we did last year to win a race isn't going to win the same race this year. So we have all got to do a little bit better and he's striving to be the best he can, and doing a great job at it.
Q. Are both of your drivers hard on the team in terms of something is not going quite right, do they let everyone know about it, or how do they tend to go about things do they just put more effort on themselves?
BARRY GREEN: I'd say Dario is perhaps a little more wound up than Paul is, and can certainly voice his opinion about things that are going around him. Not necessarily on the team. He's very, very good with the team, and so is Paul. And they just understand the importance of the team effort. And we say that with a big T, because we emphasize that here. No one on this team can be bigger than the team, and that includes the drivers. And these guys understand, and both of them understand how important each and every member is. They also understand how they have to use each other. I mean, Paul and Dario have to use each other to get where they are at. They have to use each other's setup. They have to prepare notes. I would say Dario is just wound a little more tighter than Paul, and applies more pressure to himself than Paul. And when something goes wrong, maybe he's a little more vocal. But 30 seconds after that, you sit down and you talk about it, and you reason -- reason your way through it, and hopefully learn from it and get on with it. A pleasure to work with. He really is.
Q. A lot of eyebrows were raised when Paul's contract was extended last year. Do you feel like you got some redemption on Sunday?
BARRY GREEN: It surprises me that anyone raises their eye eyebrows. It was a no-brainer for me. Again, because I knew what he had done for me throughout the year, and how hard he worked, and a lot of the success that the team was having was because of his efforts. Any time we do well like that at a race, it's a pleasure. I am pleased with everyone I hired. And right now, I'm proud of the group, and there's no one I would trade in for anyone; and Paul is one of those. I wouldn't change him for anyone right now. This is a very good combination. He's a very big part of Team KOOL Green. And, you know, I'm hoping he'll be around for a good time to come.
Q. If I can just be clear on something, Barry, is the idea to let whoever is running fastest that day or is it whoever is in the lead in the championship?
BARRY GREEN: Really at this point in the season, that's correct.
Q. Race to race?
BARRY GREEN: Yeah, if we were winning in a 1, 2 situation, and we had a ten-second lead over third, and we were holding that ten-second lead, we would probably just say in that formation. If we were losing that week to third place and we're halfway through the race and we couldn't pick the pace up, we might try reversing positions and seeing if whoever of our guys is running second can get away from the other guy and pick that lead up over third place. There's all these sorts of different scenarios we've got to figure out going through the race. We talk amongst ourselves in the pits, and that's how we play it out. We continually remind the drivers as it comes down to the last two or three races, it may be very, very difficult.
Q. We always talk to drivers, and getting their comments regarding coming to a racetrack like Michigan where there are high speeds and long races that abuse the cars and the bodies. This time, let's take a look from an owner's perspective. What kind of emotions do you go through leading up to a race like this?
BARRY GREEN: Well, I'm not sure where we start. We start back here in the race shop preparing for a 500-mile -- or any race, for example. Did we get that; did we get that right; is the car reliable. And then we get to the racetrack. And the first five or ten minutes of the practice will tell us whether we've got a comfortable car, or whether we've got to work hard and get the thing going a little faster. So you've got another panic set on just after you start practice. Come qualifying, it's hard to remind yourself all the time it's not important to qualify first at Michigan, because just about every other race, it's so important to be on the front row or two. So I think what I'm saying is it's not important to be on pole at Michigan. It's certainly important to know that we can run pretty fast and be very, very comfortable in traffic. We've got to get through qualifying. And then come race, it's a matter of looking at all the different strategies and having a bunch of good guys around yourself in the pit, and I do have that. Two or three guys working on all sorts of variations or adjustments to the car or fuel mixtures or pit-stop ideas. Once the race starts, though, unless there's a long yellow, you don't have a long time to panic. You just make sure you focus on your job and try not to miss any opportunities out there. And I guess, however the driver feels, he's going to let you know on the radio; and hopefully, on a good day, we're not talking a whole lot. Perhaps we're talking a lot more to the driver than he is to us, and if it's the other way around, we've probably got a problem. It's a grueling week. It gets more and more exciting. And just the chance to win that race on Sunday just drives me and drives our guys.
Q. Sounds like buy wholesale aspirin and tranquilizers.
BARRY GREEN: The challenges with our schedule the way it is, you get enough sleep for the boys. The other guys that are working so hard to win there on the first and second there in Toronto on Sunday, really quickly load up and get the trucks on the road and in here at work on 7:30, 8:00 by Monday morning. Really, no time to celebrate, but we all know that even when we win a race, we've got to make sure we don't miss the start of the next one. We say "the start"; that starts the next day, the preparation, turning the cars around. Very different setup for a Michigan than Toronto. A lot of things have to be changed. But these boys have certainly made it a lot easier on Sunday finishing 1, 2 than if we had not finished at all. That's what drives them, the taste of that victory, and they are hoping for another one this weekend.
Q. Finally, when you have a situation that has occurred over the last year or so, all of the sudden you find the two cars together and they knock each other out, then you come up with a Toronto-type race. Is it morale-wise extremely important for the team to see that yes, they can race 1, 2 and come out cleanly, and now both teams can take a deep sigh of relief the next time they could go 1, 2?
BARRY GREEN: I think there is. But to win a race, to finish first in a race is fantastic. But to finish 1, 2, it really shows what a team has done. And this is just one big team. When we do have little incidents like we've had in the past, and I'm sure we're going to have to talk about some of in the future, but those are the ones you've got to be careful of. The drivers are one problem, but dividing the team over a situation like that is another one, because these guys work so hard to get these cars in race-ready condition. And then we have a crash and one guy fairs worse than the other, and maybe they may figure it's the other guy's fault. And of course, the damage, it's tough. We've got to keep the guys talking and make sure we talk our way through these problems and make sure we listen to both sides of the story before we judge. But a finish like that on a weekend really does unite the team even more so. But it's the management's job just to remind everyone how important it is to work as one, and my guys are doing a good job at that right now.
Q. I was on the podium waiting for the end of the race, and I was standing next to the Team KOOL Green video crew. These guys were just wired watching you guys finish, and the guy could hardly hold his camera up to take a shot. It was fantastic. I wanted to skip ahead a little bit. Cleveland is off the schedule for next year (inaudible). Would you like to see a road course or oval on the schedule next year?
BARRY GREEN: That's a tough one. I'm so busy running my little operation here and trying to win race, I pretty much leave all that up to CART. As far as where we should run and where we shouldn't run. I'm pretty proud of what they have run so far and the schedule they have. I'd like to see a 50/50 mix. I think that's a pretty good balance. And there's such a variety within that mix with the one-mile oval and the super speedways and everything in between, and then the road courses like Elkhart Lake, and then you've got the Long Beaches and Torontos and quite different -- I think it's a pretty special series, and I think I'd like to see the mix probably the way it is. But I'm prepared to listen to any argument: Is this better four our series; is this better for our series; should we go there. It's all about the fans, and it's the fans we want to keep happy. And if we need to go to Atlanta. Or if we need to go somewhere else, and that's good for the fans, that's what we should do. I think that's CART's thinking as well.
Q. Are we pretty much capping out the amount of events that we can put onto this series from a team owner's perspective utilizing the resources and all?
BARRY GREEN: We've looked at various other formulas. Maybe little less testing and a few more races. That's a possibility. They are high-maintenance machines, and we would need quite a lot more equipment if we add a lot more races. I think the number we've got right now, 20 races is a good number, plus or minus a few is okay with me. It would be -- it wouldn't hurt to have a few more and be seen a little more. But we just want to make sure we're doing the best we can, and we feel we can improve our series and improve our racing more. Every sport is in the same boat. How can we improve it a little more. And we've got a lot of competition out there, not just from auto racing, but from all sports. I'm very proud what have we've got. I think we can do a little better, and we've got to work at that. I think 20 is a good number, and I think the mix is great.
Q. Before this season began, Dario, in my mind, was the favorite to win the 1999 PPG Cup. Even with Sunday's result in Toronto, do you think Team KOOL Green with Dario Franchitti are capable of beating the Target team with the kid from Columbia, after seeing what Montoya has accomplished after the first half of the season?
BARRY GREEN: Oh, yeah. There's no doubt. I'm very confident. I'm not just worried about Montoya. There's several other guys out there that are very, very competitive right now, and still -- still in the hunt. Montoya has been impressive since he has come over. Everyone knew he would be fast, but didn't think he would be as effective as he's been. He's done an effective job, and my hat's off to him. He's certainly --
Q. Who else would you be worried about besides Montoya?
BARRY GREEN: People that are all in the first four or five spots there. Just look at the lineup.
Q. When Dario's contract expires, rumors suggest that he will head to Formula 1. How close are your guys with BAR, given the fact that you're the number one sponsor? Could you speculate?
BARRY GREEN: I've got a lot of friends at BAR. And obviously, working with Villeneuve and Craig Pollack in the past and Tom Mosier (ph.) there, a lot of friends there. They are busy doing what they are doing, and they have got their hands full. We've got our hands full trying to win a championship. And we have one more year after this solid on Dario's contract. I'd like to perhaps sit down with him in the near future and think about the longer term. He's the sort of guy that I just love to have on my race team. He fits right in. He's a real professional, and that's all about chemistry. I'm not sure he's going to rush off to Formula 1. When we sat down and renegotiated the contract last year, it was a great meeting. He was happy. I was happy. We went forward. He loves this series.
Q. Barry, taking on that same -- that same tack that you just answered, even some speculation around the paddock last weekend that perhaps there might be something going on between Dario and Eddie Jordan, given David Hill's eminent retirement, and even some talk of you being interested in Gil de Ferran, whose situation next year is a little bit cloudy.
BARRY GREEN: I spent the whole weekend there with Jacobi (ph) Dario's manager. He was over from England. We had a great weekend together; dinner, lunch a couple times. We talked about how we can both get more out of this relationship. Nothing about shortening it. That has not been discussed. Dario is very, very happy. Very happy with the team, I think, right now and very happy with the series.
Q. de Ferran's situation for next year is a little bit murky. A lot of ifs, ands and buts. But have you had any discussions with Gil, given -- you know, given obviously that he is doing a good job.
BARRY GREEN: I like to keep in touch with all the drivers, especially Gil de Ferran who is extremely good. But Team KOOL Green is set for a while now, and we've got two good ones and they are working well together. I don't think I'm about to change anything yet.
Q. What went through your mind, the one little snippet of film right after the race last Sunday I enjoyed watching was when the two guys stood up in their cars, and there seemed to be a very genuine warm embrace of both of them finishing where they were. Did you see that moment, and did it give you a special feeling?
BARRY GREEN: It was special, because these guys -- each one of them believes they are better than the other one, and they have got to. That's how a race driver -- he's got to strap himself in there believing he's the best. And both these guys, as I said earlier on, are pretty hard on themselves; put a lot of pressure on themselves. But it was great for me to see, because that means the message is being received. This is one team, and they are using each other. And I think they really did appreciate each other on that day; that they got to that point, and were able to finish that first and second place because of the work are doing together. They are good friends, and it's real special as an owner to have a couple of drivers that you know had their misunderstandings on the racetrack. And we sat them down and I say we, the group: The engineer, myself and the drivers, sit them down and gone through them. And we've come out with a resolution to carry on and to carry on successfully. It was special. They both knew they did a helluva job on Sunday.
Q. Quickly, just to make sure there's no misinterpretation, obviously Paul wasn't holding anything back there at the end. From what you're telling me, the lap times were both up there without the --
BARRY GREEN: To run under a minute lap around there on tires that we had abused for so many laps was pretty impressive. The tires were fantastic, but they had taken a lot of abuse at that speed. And they were running low 59s, mid-59s. And believe me, if we could have gotten a little more space between second and third, we would have taken it. They worked hard.
Q. Barry, a couple of drivers -- actually, several of them have called what the Hanford device produces as fake racing, as they call it, and it takes away from the purest racing in terms of overtaking. And if that's true; that okay true? Maybe a little more NASCAR, that provides a better show and attracts more interest?
BARRY GREEN: Well, I'm not sure about fake racing. Those buys are running wheel-to-wheel, hard and fast out there. And believe me, we still have got to get those cars set up and comfortable for that driver for them to be able to do that, and that's the challenge. That's all part of the challenge. I don't think that if you look at the grid on -- for Sunday -- this coming Sunday's race there wouldn't be that much difference in 1st to 28th. In CART racing today, it is all very, very close. I think this device has helped us -- slowed the cars down. Slowed the cars down somewhat, and at the same point, allow the drivers to make some passes. But, you know, I go back to Fontana last year where Paul Tracy, we were working away in traffic in the first half of the race, and we felt we could pass, but we felt we needed a bit more speed and we started trimming it out. And I think he got his really trimmed out to where we felt we could hold off the guys behind us. And that's where he put all the pressure on himself for the final race start and too much pressure and made a little mistake. But he drove for the 40 or 50 laps before that with a trimmed-out qualifying trimmed-style car, right on the edge, and did a tremendous job on staying in the lead there. I don't call that fake racing. I know how hard he's driving, and he's going through to get the job done; so, I can't agree with that.
T.E. McHALE: With that we're going to wrap it up for the afternoon. Barry, we want to thank you for making so much time for us today. Best of luck in the U.S. -- that's the U.S. 500 presented by Toyota on Sunday, and during the rest of the FedEx Championship Series.
BARRY GREEN: Thanks, T.E., and thanks everyone for being on. It was a great day.
T.E. McHALE: Thanks again to all of you for joining us. We'll talk to you next week.
|Connect with The Crittenden Automotive Library|