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Team Rahal Media Conference

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Open Wheel Racing Topics:  Team Rahal

Team Rahal Media Conference

Kenny Brack
Bobby Rahal
November 10, 1999


TOM BLATTLER: I want to thank everyone for joining us this afternoon for a very important announcement for Team Rahal and the Shell brand that sponsors the No. 8 machine in what was probably one of the worst-kept secrets in auto racing the last month and a half. But today, Team Rahal announced that Kenny Brack, the 1998 Indy Racing League Champion and the 1999 Indy 500 winner has signed with the team to pilot its Shell Ford-Cosworth Reynard next year in the year 2000. In the press conferences held earlier today at Team Rahal headquarters, Bobby Rahal introduced Kenny along with Kevin Ilges, Shell's director of sponsorships and events and brand standards. In 28 Indy car races in the IRL, Kenny posted four victories, including the 83rd running of the Indianapolis 500 and won nearly $4.5 million in prize money. He also had 16 Top-10 finishes, 11 Top-5's on the all-oval circuit. But many of his early days in racing come from many of the road circuits in Europe. At this point we have Bobby Rahal on. Did you want to say a little thing about today?

BOBBY RAHAL: I'd just like to welcome everybody. As Tom, says it's probably been the worst-kept secret going. But nevertheless, it's now official. Rumors are no more than unsubstantiated facts; now it's all substantiated. But in any event, we're very pleased to have Kenny on board with us. I've been very impressed with his -- the way he's addressed everything and his attitude, and just certainly talks the talk. And as we discovered not too long ago down in Homestead, where we did a fairly quiet, private test for Kenny on the road circuit, things went very well there. We were very pleased with what we saw. I think Kenny was pleased as well. We just look forward to a great year in 2000 with Kenny aboard.

TOM BLATTLER: Okay. And I know we have Kenny on. Kenny, did you want to give the press people a little bit of your feelings at the moment?

KENNY BRACK: Good afternoon, everyone. I still want to say I'm very pleased to be able to join a race-winning team and one of the best teams in the CART series. When I make this move, I'm looking forward to a great season next year and having the honor to meet some of the team members and Bobby and all of the people. I think it will be a very good home for me, and I think we're going to achieve big results together.

TOM BLATTLER: In addition, I believe many of you have been faxed this or e-mailed it, we also had a second announcement today that veteran race engineer and designer Don Halliday has joined Team Rahal's engineering staff for the 2000 season. Many of you know that recently Don was the director at Team KOOL Green and did the engineering on Dario Franchitti's car for the last two years. He will be joining Team Rahal within the next week or so. We're looking forward to bringing Don back on and Max and the entire team. At this point, I'd like to go into questioning. I believe we have an order set up through Brenda, and then following the order, we'll move into open -- open questions for anybody who additionally is involved.

Q. Bobby, I wonder if you can address what are the chances at this point that Kenny will have an opportunity next May to finish the Indy 500 Championship?

BOBBY RAHAL: Our view is -- and thanks for your wishes. Our view is that we certainly are going through the process of our due diligence, I guess, towards participating in the month of May at Indianapolis. It's not -- I wish actually doing it was as simple as that, saying that. There's a lot of factors at hand. Our partners, you know, their consideration, obviously, is key. And it's not as though it's an inexpensive proposition for us in CART to participate; it's cars, engines, everything else. Having said that, I think that open-wheel racing and the fans deserve -- deserve our doing everything we can to get back. So over the next the next several months, I suppose, we'll be -- I'll be talking with our partners and what have you to determine if we can go forward. It would certainly be my hope we could. Not only would I love to manage Kenny there, but I would love to see Max there. I think Max would light the place up. Having Kenny and Max on my team at Indianapolis, I think having won the race as a driver, I think it might be equally as thrilling to win it as an owner. So, as I say, while we're going through the due diligence, and that's all we're going through at this stage, it would be nice. It will not come at the expense of any aspect of our CART program. That's our primary goal right now, is to win the CART Championship next year. And so we just have to sort of approach it from that point at this stage. As I say, if I had my druthers, and everything was worked out correctly, we'd be there.

Q. Kenny, you did a hell of a job of tap dancing for a month, and I want to congratulate you; you have now passed the Roger Penske School of Denial. I want to be the first to congratulate; you did a hell of a job. When we talked in Texas, you've won the Indy 500; you've come from road racing. Was it just the lure of getting back to where your roots, and the fact that you accomplished everything you could in the IRL and the challenge that really pulled you -- if you don't get a competitive ride; so this looks like kind of the progression?

KENNY BRACK: First of all, I want to tell that you after my racing here, I will become a politician. (Laughs). Actually, what made me switch is I fulfilled most of my goals in the IRL, winning the series, the championship in '98 and finishing runner-up in '99, the Indianapolis 500 win in 1999, too. So I learned a lot from A.J., who is a master on ovals, how to drive on ovals, and I just felt I'm ready for a new challenge. And therefore, I looked -- I looked to start looking at things and when this opportunity with Bobby came up and became reality, you know it was -- I really didn't have to think twice about it because going from one race-winning outfit in the IRL to a race-winning outfit in CART, it couldn't be better. It's a great team that Bobby has. And I will get back into road racing, which is my background since I spent 16 years racing on road races, road tracks. That's also a factor that's influenced the decision. But I was looking for a new challenge.

Q. How did the tests go and just your first feeling about a CART car?

KENNY BRACK: I think the tests went very well. Obviously, it was three years since I was on a road course before, but we got down to pretty respectable times, but obviously there are some time things that I need to hone, fine-tune and stuff like that. But that's normal. I was very happy with the test. The car was very good to drive, too, and the team gave me fantastic support during the test, too that's very important for the driver to feel that the team is behind you, and I really must say this is -- it is a first-class team and a first-class effort.

Q. Should it come to pass that you do -- that you are able to race at Indy next May, could you possibly be at Phoenix on the off -weekend on March 19th?

BOBBY RAHAL: I would -- at this stage, it would take all of our effort just to find the things we need to find to enter Indy, let alone forgetting anything else. So, you know, frankly, my hope is that one day we can go back to Phoenix with a champ car in CART. So at this stage of the game, my primary goal is to win the CART Championship for our team, and to do what we can to participate in the Indy 500.

Q. Bobby, as a car owner, does the fact that it costs -- at least this is the word, anyway -- it costs so much less to run an IRL program than a CART program, does that appeal to you?

BOBBY RAHAL: I think there's a lot of misinformation out there, Charlie. I was told by a leading IRL team what they spend, and if you divided our series by half, because we have twice as many races, in some respects, you're spending more. So I think there's a lot of misrepresentation of the facts. Certainly, some people can do it very inexpensively, but you know, much of that is, as we've tried to convey to people, is all based on competition. The more competition, the more money -- it just raises the stakes of the game and the more money that's needed and everything else. Really the economics of it -- to win I guess is probably the best way to qualify that, the economics to win are really the same, or maybe even a little bit less in CART, I think. No, our desire to go to Indianapolis is several fold. One, because I think the fans deserve it; I think open-wheel racing needs it; and I think that -- what I mean by open-wheel racing both the IRL and CART need to do what they can to raise open-wheel racing back to its rightful place in American motor sports, and the only way that's going to happen is for everybody to be together at Indianapolis, irrespective of what happens afterwards. I don't want to speak for Tony, but I believe many people at Indianapolis feel the same. I guess my whole point of this is that our desire is -- our desire is always to try to find less expensive racing, to be sure. But the main goal is for the fans and for elevating open-wheel racing back to its rightful place.

Q. Phoenix came up a few moments ago. A few years ago, I did a comparison when CART was running there to the -- well, (inaudible) in North America of the super modify, and I did some rough figuring that at full-tilt, you can't spend any more to make it go any faster; super was well under 100,000 bumper-to-bumper, and a CART car at that time I think was probably checking in between motor and chassis between 500,000 and three quarters of a million. And I compared the two track records, since it's the one track where they both run on, and the CART cars were only 18% faster, at maybe 1,000% more expense. Does that make any sense?

BOBBY RAHAL: I think you're comparing an apple and an orange. That's difficult. Have you been around Phoenix?

Q. No.

BOBBY RAHAL: 18% is a hell of a lot. My point is I think you're talking two very different formulas. You're talking two very different -- well, I have nothing bad to say about modifies. I've seen them run once or twice. I think there might, but it's just a different animal. And I'm not sure that, you know, if that were the case, then if cost was the only -- if cost and performance were the two issues, then it's probably even cheaper formula to run, but that isn't necessarily what brings people to the track. What brings people to the track is good competition, excitement, technology, all kinds of things. There's all kinds of attributes to it. So I'm not sure that the -- I'm not sure that the formula you're using to create value or what have you is really relevant.

Q. Well, I guess that was my point is that 18% increase in speed at so much more money, did it make the competition any better?

BOBBY RAHAL: Hard to say. We don't just run in Phoenix.

Q. Kenny, first of all, how much of a learning curve do you anticipate going through, switching cars and series; and second of all, what are your goals and expectations for the 2000 season?

KENNY BRACK: Well, first of all when you go into a new series, there's a whole lot of stuff you have to learn and the learning curve is going to be steep to start with. There is a new car. There is some new technology. There is a whole lot of new people that I need to get to know. And I need to get to know how they work. I need to get back on road racing again, which is my background, but I haven't been on a road racing -- or a road racing track driving, road racing cars, for about three years; so there's a whole lot of stuff there that I need to learn. However, I have set myself high goals, and I want to win races next year. I'm racing to win, and I think I can do that.

Q. Bobby, you talked a bit ago about that you felt that CART and IRL need to be at Indianapolis. And I've conducted an informal poll amongst the champ car teams in the last week; nobody is really saying a whole lot. It's pretty certain that Penske is going to go; it's pretty certain that is going to go with both Michael and Christian. How did you think it would effect open-wheel racing if CART goes up there and sweeps the Top-6, top eight spots at Indianapolis?

BOBBY RAHAL: I'm not sure how it would affect open-wheel racing, other than I think that for us to go back to Indy -- and CART would be to elevate -- with all due respect, it would be to elevate the event back to a level that it once was. As much as the great drivers made Indianapolis, it was also a case of great teams. If you look historically we talk about leader CART, you talk about Penske, Team McLaren, Team Lotus, the list goes on and on. It's important to -- I think the inclusion of the CART teams into the Indianapolis Motor Speedway again would just raise the level of the entire event. The sponsors would spend the kind of money that they once spent there. Hotel rooms wouldn't be cheap anymore. There would be bad things to happen along with it, I guess. But I do believe that it would -- it would bring back the stature of Indianapolis -- and as a result of that, that would -- there would be kind of a halo-effect over open-wheel racing as a whole, no matter where it was. I don't think anybody is looking at this as an anti-IRL move or anything. I think the IRL will probably continue to exist. But if we can, you know, compete at Indianapolis, you know, then the other two -- the two separate series can go their separate ways afterwards.

Q. CART has compressed its schedule after May to free the month so teams can order cars, arrange for engine, in Indy. And they have also reduced the number of testing days allowed. That frees a fair amount of time. But do those changes provide enough time to effectively test with the unfamiliar IRL equipment, so that you can be fully prepared to mount a professional effort at Indy, and does that not put pressure on you as team owner and sponsors to make a decision quickly so that you can orders make hotel reservations and do all the other things?

BOBBY RAHAL: I think it makes tremendous -- you're very right. Number one, it's not -- I don't think anybody would feel that all you had to do was show up and that's all you have to do. There will be a need to test -- it will have to be in effect, parallel -- for us, it would have to be a parallel project because we cannot let this have a negative impact on our performance in CART. That is our major reason for being our goal and what have you is to win CART races and the CART Championship. So anything we do, or our ability to go, will be predicated on its lack of negative impact on our current effort. Having said that, there are good people out there that can, you know, shortcut a lot of the learning curve, so to speak, with those cars. And so, in terms of populating a new team or sort of a sub-team to be able to do this, there is expertise that is available. Having said that, it is a big demand on the CART teams to go forward with this, both financially and with people.

Q. Would you think it's advisable that perhaps since the IRL schedule starts earlier than the CART schedule to perhaps run at Orlando to get a feel for the cars in competition?

BOBBY RAHAL: That track is about as far away was you can get from Indianapolis; so, I don't see that that would create any value whatsoever.

Q. Kenny, can you talk a little bit about how much you knew about Bobby when you started racing and a little bit about how this all came together?

KENNY BRACK: First of all, I told you I would be in Cleveland when I was out there this summer. Well, I've heard of Bobby. Obviously, he's a famous driver. He's won a lot of races and championships and whatever he's done, he's been in Europe driving, Formula 2 and stuff like that. When I drove Formula 3000 a few years back, I had a friend helping me out (inaudible), and he knows Bobby very well and he was telling me stories about Bobby's excursions in Europe. So I've known of him for quite some while. We got to speak probably late summer this year. When he called and asked first was interested in driving for him, it fit very well into my plans because obviously I've had a lot of success in IRL and fulfilled my goals there and was looking to see if there would be another challenge out there. To go from a race-winning team in IRL to a race-winning team in CART, that's a fantastic opportunity for any driver; so, there really wasn't a lot to -- I didn't have to think of it that long. He gave me a very specific offer, very straightforward. I really enjoyed working with him and his team.

Q. And one other thing, for you, how important would it be for you to go back to Indy, and is that something that if you can't go, is that going to be -- how much of a disappointment is that going to be if things can't work out?

KENNY BRACK: Indianapolis is the world's biggest race. If you look at the people attendance and everything, and obviously, I'm aware of that, from a driver standpoint. I will never win a bigger race in my career simply because that's the biggest race there is. But now, my goal for next year is to win in the CART series and win with Team Rahal there. Obviously, I would like to go back to Indy and defend the championship and whatever you call it. But I also do understand that if there's things that cannot make that happen -- my primary goal for next year is to win racing in the CART series, but I would like to go back if there is a chance.

Q. How much of a statement do you think you've made by signing the defending Indy 500 champion and, I guess, a message, I guess, to the IRL?

BOBBY RAHAL: You know, I don't know. There was certainly never any -- the reason I asked Kenny to join this team is because I respected Kenny for his successes in Europe, in particular, and Formula 3000, which has proven to be kind of the place to come from. If you can compete there, you can do it anywhere, I suppose. I mean, it's great saying you've got an Indy 500 champion in your team; that makes two of us now. But I don't know what the statement would be, and I'm really not sure there should be a statement, other than Kenny is here because of his talent.

Q. Is there a growing movement amongst CART owners to look at Formula 3000 than there is in the past as a source of talent?

BOBBY RAHAL: You can add Max to that role call of Formula 3000 graduates. I think what it is saying, and I've always felt this, 20 years ago I went to Europe as an American when it wasn't very popular to do so because I felt that for me to improve my craft and for me to have any kind of credibility, I had to prove that I could compete with the best, guys that were out there, my contemporaries. I think we did that fairly well over there. So when I came back, I think people looked at me, you know, that I had ventured forth in a very difficult situation and competed. Formula 3000 is no different now than the way Formula 2 was in my day. They don't have Formula 2 anymore, but it was the equivalent of Formula 3000. You look back, in those days just about anybody that was there was either very successful in Formula 1 or in Indy car racing or in world sports car racing or things of that nature. I think that we look at Formula 3000 as a place, or certainly, you know, where there's a tremendous international population or varied international population. We look at those series as being true gauges of a driver's talent, which is my way of telling everybody in young America to get over there and prove it over there if they really want to get to the top. But certainly, if you look at the graduates from Formula 3000 and to (inaudible) they have been extremely successful in Indy car racing. So therefore, you begin to put some comfort and some security in the knowledge that somebody who can do it there will be able to do it here as well. I think that's why Formula 3000 is almost starting to look like the place to come from. Having said that, there's some very good guys in Formula 3. And I think there's a guy this year that did a fairly reasonable job in CART, an American kid, Gidley. He did not a bad job. When he was with Walker, he certainly didn't embarrass himself. It's not like there's not opportunities out there. But if you can do it in Formula 3000, in my mind, then you're capable of winning anywhere and anything.

Q. Some of the teams in CART have been running Lights or Atlantics programs. Is there anything significantly different as far as putting a budget together for an Indy-only or an Indy in Las Vegas opportunity for the team?

BOBBY RAHAL: Well, the costs are tremendously different. You go to Indy -- first off, if you're going to go to Indy, you've got to go to win, which means multiple cars, multiple engines, crew. You can't do it on the cheap. There are some very good teams in the IRL, and to think that you're just going to stroll in and blow everybody off would be, you know, that wouldn't be too smart; let's put it that way. So therefore, just the capitalization and equipment, is well over $1 million forgetting operating expenses. It's not like it's a cheap or an easy deal to do. And as I said earlier, it can't come at the expense of your existing program. In some respects, it's a real hardship to gear up for it, but at the same token, if the long-term benefit is that open-wheel racing regains its positiveness and what-have-you, then you do everything you can to try to figure out a way to do it.

Q. Bob, I wanted to get your idea of how quickly this has to come together in term is of Indianapolis in terms of Indianapolis, will Kenny be bringing anyone with him for that effort, and I wonder whether Ford would have a problem with you -- I say Chevy, but the GM Aurora engine would be the engine you want to win with, I imagine? Can I have your thoughts on those things?

BOBBY RAHAL: As I said earlier, we have very strong relationships. And my relationship with Ford is absolutely paramount to me. Ford Motor Company has been very good to Team Rahal and to Bobby Rahal, and we've developed a very good relationship over the last several years. So I will do nothing that compromises that relationship, first and foremost, and the same holds true with Miller and with Shell and with everybody else on our team. And that's why I say there's a lot of work to be done, and it pretty much has to be done within the next 60 days, I would say, in order to go forward. But make no mistakes, my loyalty to Ford is 100%, and we're not going to do anything that comprises that relationship.

Q. Is it possible that the Nissan engine will not be a problem for Ford?

BOBBY RAHAL: To be honest with you, I don't even know. I haven't even broached the subject with Ford yet. They know there's some discussion or some consideration, but we haven't gotten into any discussion of any note.

Q. With Don Halliday, that's a terrific addition to the team. How do you see Don's role in 2000?

BOBBY RAHAL: As happy as I am that Kenny has joined our team, I'm equally so that Don has returned to our team. Don, we've known each other for quite a while, and the respect I have for him is just complete. So I think Don -- although, I want to make something clear: I'm not dissatisfied with our engineering group whatsoever. I thought they did a hell of a job, particularly the second half of the year. But I think Don brings something that we don't have much of in our engineering department, and that's gray hair. They are all young guys, and I think having the wisdom and the guidance and the perspective that Don can bring to us is really all we're going to need to go forward and be truly a championship team. With Don, I think there's no question that we give Kenny and Max the best efforts on the racetrack. And knowing their abilities, I think you put that all together; we look very positively on the 2000 season.

Q. Do you see Don as a race engineer or overseeing race engineers?

BOBBY RAHAL: Don will be a race engineer, as well as kind of in charge of the race setups and things of that nature.

Q. If I could just quickly follow up, have you determined yet wherein terms of race engineer is Don going to work for Max or for Kenny or is he going to float between the two?

BOBBY RAHAL: Since Tim's departure, we're doing a number of changes within the team. And while nothing is 100% defined, I certainly think that Tim Rider and Max developed a very good relationship as the year went on. I don't see much point in upsetting that cart, so to speak. And so therefore, I think it only makes sense that Kenny and Don work together. But having said that, just as I expect Kenny and Max to work together, I expect that Don will shed a lot of his expertise with Tim and assist in the development of that program as well. There's not going to be very many -- the lines will become, I think, a little blurred over time. But certainly, I believe probably at this stage that it will be Don't head listening to Kenny on the phones.

Q. And Kenny, just a quick question for you. Earlier, a lot of the talk was of you getting back into road racing and all of that. At least from the sound of it, it didn't sound like you had running the Reynard on the oval. I just wonder, obviously the Reynard and the IRL cars are very different animals, and I wondered what you see as being sort of the challenges to you in taking what you've learned driving in the IRL the past couple of seasons and applying them to a very different car on the ovals in the coming season?

KENNY BRACK: I think changing series is a big challenge itself. There's a lot of different areas that I need to get familiarized with. I want to say this, though, that I'm very grateful for Bobby that he put faith in me and signed me. For a driver, it's a fantastic opportunity to go from a winning team in IRL to one of the best teams in CART, a winning team in CART. And I think that it's -- a lot of areas that's a challenge. But the biggest challenge for me will be to get going on the road course and get familiarized on that type of track first. And I don't think -- but I could be wrong -- but I do think that the oval stuff is -- I don't expect the CART car to be that much different from an IRL car, to be honest with you, on the ovals.

Q. I'm curious, was there one particular little thing that stood out about Kenny when you first started focusing on him?

BOBBY RAHAL: You know, I'm not sure even Kenny remembers it. But I think it was at the end of 1996 or early 1997, Kenny called me up. He was coming over from Europe and he wanted to get a ride in CART then. Of course, we already were pretty well set on drivers at the time. But I've always -- I think the thing I've always respected Kenny for is that he's a hard worker; he's got a great work ethic. I spoke to a number of people that have worked with him in Europe and everybody, they always mention the same things: He was fast. A lot of guys are fast, but Kenny had the dedication and the ethic, I guess, that it takes to become a -- not only to win races but to become a champion. There's a big difference between winning a race every now and then and being a champion. But I think he proved to me in his Formula 3000 exploits that he was capable of driving quickly, and, of course, in the IRL, he seemed to have tempered his -- I think in 1997 when he was with Rick, he had a tendency to stick it in the fence, which comes with inexperience more than anything else. I would rather have somebody with a little enthusiasm, and you kind of soften it a little bit, than to try and get somebody with no enthusiasm and push him upwards. I think A.J. has done a great job in sort of maturing Kenny for the ovals. So my sense is that he just seemed to be a complete picture for me.

Q. Getting Don on the team, was he -- did he become available when Steve went over to --?

BOBBY RAHAL: I don't know exactly when Steve went. But I felt Don was -- Don lives in Columbus, and I think that Don felt that being at home was -- just as Steve turned down offers to move out of Indianapolis to work because of his family, I think Don wanted to find a professional home to go with his personal home. And I'm just thrilled to have Don. I think he's truly a great engineer, and I really look forward to working with him.

Q. And one further question: Now, you've commented a lot about Formula 3000. I'm looking at -- we have Indy Lights here, which is supposed to be a development series for CART, and there always seems to be some things that are, you know, lacking. You talk to fans, you talk to other people, and I understand; I know a lot of people go to Europe to race that 3,000 to get the experience. What can we do to improve Indy Lights to bring it up to a better level?

BOBBY RAHAL: Part of the problem is that IRL is taking guys who should be in Indy Lights. But you say you're going to go to Indianapolis; it's pretty easy to find sponsorship for that. So the IRL has had an effect on Indy Lights in terms of the number of cars. Not necessarily the quality of them, but the number of them. With Indy Lights, probably at CART, we need to do more to promote it, to market it, merchandise it as a clear -- when you look at how many guys have graduated from Indy Lights and gone directly to CART, how many champions, the numbers are pretty impressive. You could probably make a case that more guys have gone from Indy Lights to CART than, say, Formula 3000 to Formula 1. We need to do a little better job merchandising it and marketing it. But on the same token, it is a very good training ground. Guys like Casey Mears (ph) have stepped their game up, I think, and the Boss brothers. There's a lot of very good young European drivers in it. If we can get Indy Lights to be a little more popular on a worldwide basis, but particularly within the United States, then I don't think you'll have to go to Formula 3000, you know. I think Indy Lights will take its place as the proper training ground for CART.

Q. Testing program for Kenny and Max, when do you start that?

BOBBY RAHAL: We'll start in mid-December. There's been some pretty severe testing restrictions put in place for next year; so we have to be somewhat judicious with what days we use and when. But I think we'll probably be -- like the second week of December we'll begin our test program.

(Swedish Question and Answer).

Q. What was A.J.'S reaction when you told him you were going to be leaving to go drive in CART, and did he do all the setups of the car for you, or are you familiar with the setups in case Bobby does run IRL, will you be able to bring that to the team? How big of a following do you have in your home country, here in the States, and do you think CART going to race in Europe would be popular?

KENNY BRACK: I'm not sure I can answer all those questions at the same time. We'll start with the first one. I have a very good rapport with A.J. He's been very good to me over the years that I've raced with him. He's a legend, obviously, in his own person, but he's also -- I feel, a life long friend to me. And he took it very cool. I explained -- I sat down and discussed with him and explained what I felt; that we had a very good relation, and we had achieved so much. I wanted to, you know, to go on and do other goals for next year. And he -- having been a driver himself, he understands where I'm coming from, and he had no problems with it. We're the best of friends.

Q. As far as the setups on the car there's rumors that A.J. typically does setups for his drivers and doesn't tell them everything, what he's doing. I'm wondering how much did you know about the setups of the IRL cars? And if Bobby does decide to put together on effort at Indy, will you use some of that knowledge to help your team now in?

KENNY BRACK: I don't think any driver knows the complete picture of the setup of the car. What you do need, the knowledge that you need as a driver is how the car needs to be fast at different tracks, and maybe on idea, if it's not feeling right, maybe an idea how to start to make it better. And I think I do have a decent feel for Indianapolis because I've been there three times and been successful there. It's a fantastic place. And I think that I have developed some sort of feel that I know how a car should feel like. But no, I don't have the setups.

Q. How big of a following do you have back in your home country here in the United States, and do you feel that if CART does race in Europe like rumored that it would be popular?

KENNY BRACK: That's only three questions. The first question is that I have a good following in Sweden, probably as good as any other top Swedish sportsman that competes in whatever sport. I'd say there's maybe 10, 20 different sports personalities, and I'm one of them. I wouldn't say that I have more following than anyone else, but I don't have less, either. Secondly, I have developed pretty good following in the United States, too. But it's a little bigger country than Sweden you have to consider there's only eight and a half million Swedes, total Swedes. That's smaller than New York, for example, but a lot bigger area. It's easier to get a good following in Sweden than the United States, overall.

Q. Do you feel, knowing what you know about Europe, would CART be popular in Europe?

KENNY BRACK: I think so. Formula 1 has quite a strong hold on Europe, and I think maybe that's one of the reasons that no other major oval series have been able to establish themselves in Europe because of the politics going on between track owners and Formula 1 and what you have. But I think that CART would make a very good show in Europe, too, as it does in the United States. So I'm looking forward to a deal like that if it's happening in the future.

Q. Bobby, it's been a year now since you've been just a team owner rather than a driver, and I was wondering how you were going to settle in the role and if you were going to continue to dabble in some vintage racing?

BOBBY RAHAL: I'm very happy in my role as strictly the co-owner of Team Rahal. I can honestly tell you that I did not -- at no point in the year when I saw in the year when I saw the cars roll out for practice or qualifying or racing did I get itchy and think I wanted to be in it. I guess I made the right decision at the right time. Having said that, I have just returned from my first vintage weekend with my own car, I guess, and I just had a blast. I had the good fortune to race some other neat cars. What I loved about it was there was absolutely no pressure and there were great parties at night, and lots of fun people.



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