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Indy Racing League Media Conference

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Open Wheel Racing Topics:  Indy Racing League

Indy Racing League Media Conference

Ryan Briscoe
Tomas Scheckter
Bobby Wilson
September 20, 2005


THE MODERATOR: Good afternoon, everyone. Welcome to this week's Indy Racing League teleconference. We have three guests joining us this afternoon. IndyCar Series drivers Tomas Scheckter and Ryan Briscoe will be with us in a few minutes. Starting the call with us is Menards Infiniti Pro Series driver rookie Bobby Wilson. Bobby debuted at Infineon Raceway where he qualified second, missing the pole by 11 thousandths of a second. Bobby won the Cooper tires Formula Ford 2000 Z Tech championship last year. In 2003, was the Stars of Karting presented by the Indy Racing League. Bobby, your first two races have unfortunately been cut a little short. Give us your impressions of the Menards Infiniti Pro Series car compared with what you've driven in the past.

BOBBY WILSON: I definitely think it's a blast to drive. It has a lot of power. It's great on the road course. I like the ovals and stuff. I just need a little more experience there. I'm really impressed. I like the way the series is run. It's great fan base, great ground for good drivers.

THE MODERATOR: We're headed to Watkins Glen this weekend. First of all, have you ever competed there before? Secondly, what type of approach do you take going out there to hopefully take the pole away from Marco Andretti?

BOBBY WILSON: Well, your first question, I have not been to Watkins Glen. I hear it's a great course. I can't wait. I'm pretty excited. But I'm looking to get through all the practice sessions and just learn a little bit more each time I'm on the track, just see what I can come up with and work with the engineers, put together a great setup. But I know Marco is going to be fast. My teammate Wade is going to be fast. No pressure or anything, but see what I can do.

THE MODERATOR: You mentioned no pressure. When you signed the deal with Brian Stewart to come racing for four races, what kind of expectations did you put on yourself? Did you set specific goals or is it just four races, kind of come out and just learn the car, or do you have specific things you want to achieve?

BOBBY WILSON: I do have high expectations of myself. I've always been that way through karting and everything else. I spoke with my teammate quite a bit. He told me not to worry, the guys are good to work with and everything. I guess I just try to do my best and see where it goes from there. Turning out okay. Just need to finish a race here.

THE MODERATOR: You mentioned you were teammates with Wade last year, you joined up again with him this year. What makes you guys work so well together?

BOBBY WILSON: A lot of the same stuff on the car, we're capable of getting the same out of it. I think we just learn to adapt to the tracks the same way and everything. After you spend a year with somebody, you kind of learn or feed off of them for something. It goes both ways. You just want to make the whole program better, that way you have somebody to work with out on the track.

THE MODERATOR: Can you talk about Brian Stewart. How much did you know about Brian before you joined the team and what has it been like to drive for him for the last two races?

BOBBY WILSON: Well, I just actually met Brian when I went to Infineon. I really didn't know a whole lot other than what Wade was telling me. I just tried to fit into the mold that they want. They kind of had some expectations for me as far as just coming up to speed slowly and don't try too hard and make mistakes. I like the guys. They're great. Brian is a great guy. He obviously has a lot of experience in the sport, he knows what to look for. Just trying to fit his mold.

THE MODERATOR: We'll go ahead and take some questions.

Q. I wanted to ask you about your race at Infineon. Can you tell us a little about your interaction chemistry with Mo and Tina Larson, and were you surprised to qualify as well as you did?

BOBBY WILSON: I actually was pretty surprised. The car felt really good right out of the box. I was able to come up to speed rather quickly with it. Mo and Tina, they're great people. Doug and Doug on the team, you know, they're easy to work with, it just made for a really good working environment. I could kind of take it at my own speed, let it go from there. I was impressed, I guess, with the effort, where we ended up on the qualifying result. Yeah, great.

Q. Talking about Chicagoland, what was the biggest challenge that you found there in terms of driving on an oval as opposed to the road course racing? I know you didn't qualify as well. I don't know if that was a setup issue or experience. Maybe you can give us some thoughts about ovals.

BOBBY WILSON: I think the biggest thing I learned was how much the track changes, just the temperature and the tires. If you put new tires on it, it's a lot different. I think just how subtle the tire is, like how little changes can make the biggest difference. That's kind of what caught me off guard.

Q. What are your ultimate goals? Where do you plan to go from here? Is it the Indy 500 that has you wanting to be part of this or what?

BOBBY WILSON: Well, I've definitely had a passion for open-wheel racing ever since I was a young boy growing up. I mean, go-karting was the first step. I've always been a big fan. I just followed it through the years. It's kind of taken off. I guess my interactions with Mr. Rahal and stuff through the years, with his support and the Snap On car, Stars of Karting, go-karting series. He just fills me in with some stuff, gives me some advice. Someday I want to run the Indy 500. Always been a goal.

Q. I understand you're taking mechanical engineering at the University of Wisconsin. How far along are you?

BOBBY WILSON: Had to put that on hold. Having been in F1 Red Bull driver search, I had to take some time off from school. My professors pretty much explained to me if I missed that much of a course, there's no way I would pass it. I had to focus on one or the other. Ever since, I've been focusing on racing. I'm about halfway done. I can always go back to school and finish that up. You're only young once. In the racing world, you know how important youth is.

THE MODERATOR: Bobby, thank you for taking some time for joining us today. Good luck this weekend.

BOBBY WILSON: Appreciate it, Tim.

THE MODERATOR: We're joined now by Tomas Scheckter. Tomas has six top-five finishes this season, including a victory at Texas in June. He's currently ninth in the points standings. Tomas' family has a strong heritage at Watkins Glen. His father, Jody, made his Formula One debut in 1972, was running as high as third in that race before finishing ninth. Jody Scheckter went on to be Formula One champion in 1979. Tomas' uncle Ian competed at Watkins Glen in Formula One in 1977. His cousin Jackie won a Barber Dodge Pro Series race at the Glen in 1995. One more note on Tomas, he'll celebrate his 25th birthday tomorrow. Congratulations.

TOMAS SCHECKTER: Thank you.

THE MODERATOR: Tomas, I let off a whole litany of things that connect your family to Watkins Glen. Most of those things obviously happened before you were born. Do you feel a connection to the track as we head there this weekend?

TOMAS SCHECKTER: If I'd done some more testing, maybe I'd feel a better connection. Unfortunately, I only got a couple of laps and it started raining on the test day we were allocated. Do I feel a connection? I've raced at tracks all over Europe that my dad's won, won World Championships at. From that aspect, it does not mean a massive amount to me and I don't have any extra knowledge that anybody else does or doesn't have. It's just another track that I have to go do a good job for Panther Racing at.

THE MODERATOR: You mentioned you tested briefly, got a few laps in in June. Can you take us on a virtual lap of the track, tell us what it's like.

TOMAS SCHECKTER: It's a good track. I tell you what, the American road tracks you definitely have to get used to compared to the European tracks. It's really a different style of up and down, and some banked corners, and some off-banked corners, and a real combination of different corners and different runoffs. Europe, it's almost becoming pretty standard, and you can drive from one track to the other and sort of get used to it pretty quickly. But it's very flowing, high-speed corners. It's a combination of some slow-speed hairpins to a lot of flowing fourth and fifth-gear corners.

THE MODERATOR: How does it make it different from Infineon last month? Are there some similarities between the two tracks? What are the real things that stick out as really different?

TOMAS SCHECKTER: Hopefully, I'm might prefer the Glen compared to Sonoma because we had about as horrible a weekend as you can have at Sonoma. There's some elevation, but there's always some things you can take from different courses. I think the main thing for me is I haven't even really had time to get used to the IndyCar on a road track. Half the time that we're there, we try to find even get a ballpark setup that's going to work for me and then still having to get used to the track and make sure we've got no problems. These weekends are really tough. You know, I think the second and third year we got back there, it's going to be a lot easier, that we've got some setups, we've got some understandings of what happened last year, we can change the car in this direction, we'll do this. Now it's sort of we get there for the first two-hour session and we're unloading a car we think is in the ballpark, but it's not like when we unload a bunch of cars, we might make one change if, because we know the car is that good.

THE MODERATOR: We head to California about a month from now for the final race of 2005. You finished third at Michigan earlier this summer. California, it's like one of those places, you can go with a lot of setup information. Is that a track you feel confident you can go and win at this year?

TOMAS SCHECKTER: For sure, that's a good track for us. These other engine manufacturers seem to be developing at a very high speed, as well. I think the advantage we had at Texas, that's sort of gone away. You definitely saw that last race. You know, we were all strung out. I think it was part of the race where I was behind Dan, and he pulled me out of the tow. There were three of us trying to work together to catch him. There was just no way. He was doing quicker times than he did even in qualifying. We were all in a row trying to catch him, and we couldn't. There's definitely -- they've found something and they've learnt something that's for sure working on the 26 car. Whether we can come up with something to match that, I think there's a possibility. I think also it becomes side-by-side at the end, you've got the right people working for you, you can have a chance of beating them.

THE MODERATOR: We'll take some questions for Tomas.

Q. You compared the road courses in Europe to the road courses in America. Which do you like the best?

TOMAS SCHECKTER: To be honest with you, at the moment I like the European tracks. It's just because I have more of an understanding and I've done most of my time on it. But for excitement value, the American tracks are great. I mean, they really add something different, something special. I say the one thing on American tracks, you have to spend a lot of time on the track because they are so different, so many different elevations, so many blind corners, that you need to have a lot of track time to really get used to it and understand it.

Q. You can go back a bit to Infineon with the IRL IndyCar, the basic premise was for oval racing. Has the car been turned around enough that it makes a good driving road course car?

TOMAS SCHECKTER: There's some certain things that I think they can improve on. I've spoken to Brian about it. I think most of the drivers understand, and they all agree, that there are like one or two inherent problems with it that need to get sorted out. For sure, they've done an unbelievable job to get an oval car on a road course and for the performance to be reliable.

Q. What are a couple of the things?

TOMAS SCHECKTER: I'm not sure. I would say a couple of things -- well, I suppose I don't want to speak about it. I think it's something that we're discussing with Brian, I've discussed in confidentiality with Brian, and I've spoken to a lot of the drivers, and we're all in agreement with it. It's not a major issue where it's going to stop us driving, but for sure it's an issue where it can make it, you know, a lot better for the drivers and a lot better for the racing if some of these problems get sorted out. In no way is this going to be a massive problem. It's just a couple of things that need to be ironed out.

Q. Going back to the subject of ovals, you mentioned you feel you're in a pretty good situation in terms of engine power when you reach California Speedway. In a general issue, in terms of engines for the future of the IRL, what is your feeling about having a variety of different engines like we've had for the last few years as opposed to one engine supplier, looking at it just from a driver's standpoint sort of having been on both sides?

TOMAS SCHECKTER: Well, I think everybody likes to have the engine manufacturers involved. We also don't want the engine manufacturers dictating what is going on in the series. There's a fine line. They're very big and powerful companies, but there's also a limit to how much control they have and how much they say they have. At the end of the day, it's the IRL series, and you make sure that the series is running in a healthy fashion from year to year. I think from the driver's aspect, I think for sure we want the engine manufacturers to be in. But from the IRL, they have to see what's the best for the series.

Q. What kind of pressure does that put on you as a driver if you are with an engine supplier or you don't have the engine that's really competitive, whether you're forced to maybe take some risk, get rid of some downforce to try to get enough speed to compete with some of the other engine-type cars?

TOMAS SCHECKTER: Well, we're in that position a lot of times I think last year, you know, places like Michigan where it's pretty much flat out and pretty much downforce. We were qualifying out of the top 10, but we still have to find a way to make sure that we can race up front, which is what we did. But, for sure, you have to run a little less downforce. But sometimes, too, downforce, no matter how bad your engine is, if your car is handling bad, it's going to go backwards. There's definitely a fine line. For sure, it puts more pressure on the driver. When you have a great engine, you can stick some downforce on, have a nice, safe race in the front.

THE MODERATOR: Tomas, thanks for taking the time for join us this afternoon. Good luck the next couple races.

TOMAS SCHECKTER: No problem. Thank you very much.

THE MODERATOR: We're joined now by Ryan Briscoe. How are you?

RYAN BRISCOE: Good.

THE MODERATOR: Ryan has had three top 10 finishes this year and is currently second in the Bombardier Rookie-of-the-Year standings, finished 10th in his first Indianapolis 500, and had a season-best finish of eighth at Nashville. Qualified on the pole at Infineon. First off, I think all of us on the call just kind of want to know how you're feeling, how things are going.

RYAN BRISCOE: Reasonably good actually. I got out of hospital yesterday. I've been on my feet as much as possible. A bit sore all over. But I think nothing that will take too long to recover from. I should be fit enough to get in the race car hopefully within the next couple months.

THE MODERATOR: We're glad to hear that things are improving for you. Unfortunately, your season has ended a couple of races prematurely. As you look back on your rookie season in the Indy Racing League, what kind of grade would you give it? Did it live up to your expectations as you came into your first season of competition?

RYAN BRISCOE: Yeah, I've had a real exciting first season in the IRL. I mean, it's been a huge learning curve for me, a very different style of racing. You know, I've enjoyed it immensely. It's been a huge experience. Great to be working for a great team as Target Ganassi. I think in the end, my championship standings don't really tell the full story. We certainly had a lot of great performances, a bit of bad luck along the way, a few mistakes which I've certainly learned from and can build on. It's been a great, great first season, I'd say.

THE MODERATOR: What about the Indianapolis 500? Top 10 finish in that event. Is that the highlight of your season?

RYAN BRISCOE: Definitely. Just taking part in the Indy 500 was a highlight. It's an amazing race. It was an honor to take part. To be able to finish in the top 10 was a huge result for me. I mean, certainly this year we haven't been really in a position to dominate and win races. So to come 10th at the Indy 500 was a good result.

THE MODERATOR: As you look ahead at next year, what are some of the biggest things you've learned that you can apply towards next year that will make things better for you?

RYAN BRISCOE: Yeah, I mean, just the whole learning curve of racing on ovals, car setup, working with the team, living in America, strategy, racing on ovals. Just a lot of things put together. So I'm confident with the right equipment, you know, to be able to race consistently at the front and fight for the championship.

THE MODERATOR: Let's go ahead and open it up for some questions for Ryan.

Q. I believe you had the fastest lap when the IRL came to test at Watkins Glen. Can you tell me your impressions of the track, how disappointed you are that you won't be able to race?

RYAN BRISCOE: Yeah, it's a big disappointment I won't be taking part in this weekend's race at Watkins Glen. We certainly had high expectations and a real chance at winning. Certainly I had the right equipment and feel on the circuit to get the job done. I think everyone here on the team is a bit disappointed, everyone at Toyota, I think more than anyone myself. I was really looking forward to this race. I love the track. It really is one of the best tracks I've probably ever driven at. You know, I certainly had a great feel around there. But it's racing. I'll just have to get on with having a good recovery and I know I'll be back again in the future.

Q. What makes it so special?

RYAN BRISCOE: Well, I'd say for me this year what makes it special is that it's one of the few tracks where we can go there and know to be competitive and have a chance at winning. But apart from that, I think it would be special in any case. It's a fast track. It's got a lot of challenging turns, a lot of grip. It's just one of those tracks that stands out from the rest and is just a huge enjoyment to drive around.

Q. For non-race car drivers, if they had one serious accident, I think it would change their life, something they wouldn't forget forever. You've had several of them now, especially this last week. How do you just keep a straight head on your shoulders over that and how do you just keep going back out there?

RYAN BRISCOE: Yeah, just stay focused, move on. I certainly feel pretty lucky right now because I think I've come off last week's accident with minimal injuries. I certainly do feel pretty lucky. I do what I love. Racing cars is just what I love doing. You know, it will take a lot more than that to stop me from doing that. You know, I'm just here at the race shop today, spending time with the mechanics and engineers. It's just great to be back here again and talking with everyone. Honestly, I just can't wait till I can get back out in the race car.

Q. When do you think that's going to be?

RYAN BRISCOE: Obviously, the season will be finished before I can get back in the car. It will depend on the plans the team has. I still haven't seen a schedule for testing or anything. I'd like to be ready, at the latest, in two months' time.

Q. How much do you remember from the accident?

RYAN BRISCOE: I remember everything.

Q. What are your plans? What do you have to do now to prepare yourself as a driver to get back in the car?

RYAN BRISCOE: I'll be doing all the rehab. My plan at the moment is possibly to go to Italy next week and go to Formula Medicine. That's where my doctor is last year, he's Toyota's team doctor. He has his own facility there, for driver training. There's also a medical center and everything there. That's where I lived the last four years. I think I'll be going back there and getting full attention every day for the next few weeks to have the quickest recovery.

Q. What has been the toughest part of this for you at this point? You said you're sore. Physically, are there things -- what can you do and not do, I guess?

RYAN BRISCOE: Basically, there's no surgery to be done. I mean, I've just got a few fractures. Both my clavicles are fractured. I've got a fractured bone in my foot. Nothing to be done for them. Just wait for them to repair. As time goes on, I'll be able to do more and more movement to exercise them, make my bones stronger. I've got a lot of bruising and swelling in my back. That should go down over time. It's just restricting my movement at the moment. It looks like there are no fractures or anything there. It shouldn't be too bad. I mean, I had some burns in my lungs. I had to be on oxygen for a few days. That's better now. My breathing is good. I think it's just time. It's all about being patient now and waiting for everything to repair.

Q. Could you describe in as much detail as possible what went through your mind immediately before the accident and during the accident. I don't know how much you remember.

RYAN BRISCOE: Yeah, I mean, I remember it was early on in the race. I think we were on the 20th lap or something. My car was really good. I was moving up through the field. I had caught the Cheever cars. I was running with them for a couple of laps. I was just taking my time, there was no rush. I'd been running with Carpentier, Barron, side by side, no problem. On that specific lap, I was following Carpentier up the straight. We were going into three. He had the low line. I took the middle groove. I was going on the inside of Barron, who was on the high groove going into three. I remember turning in. I was just following my lane, just staying out of the dirty air of Carpentier. Barron just started swapping lanes in the middle of the turn. I guess it looks like he didn't know I was there or he lost communication with his spotter or something. Yeah, on the -- sort of getting towards the middle of the curve, he started coming across onto my groove. We had a slight touch. I saw him go sideways a little bit. I thought we were going to get away with it. I thought he was going to just keep going up. Then when he came in sideways, he came right across me. I rode his front wheel.

Q. What did you think at that moment?

RYAN BRISCOE: I just remember seeing the sky. I knew I was going to hit the wall. I don't remember exactly when I was going to hit it. You just start hoping for the best at that point because you're a passenger. I remember hitting the wall, seeing flames and stuff.

Q. What was it like when you saw the flames?

RYAN BRISCOE: It all happens very quick. It's not like you're thinking a lot, apart from just hoping you're going to get out of it, you know. I guess it's a pretty scary moment. It's not much fun. I remember just being stopped there and I had all the medical people coming. The Delphi crew were on the scene very quickly.

Q. What did that feel like when you saw them?

RYAN BRISCOE: Well, I was feeling okay. I remember them coming in. I couldn't get my -- I remember, I was limited of movement and stuff. I had trouble getting the steering -- I took the steering wheel off myself, but I couldn't get the belts off and stuff. They started helping. I remember them complaining about the heat. I think it was Dr. Shied (phonetic) maybe in front of me. I remember one of them saying, "I can't stand the heat, it's too hot, or something like that." I was sort of saying, "Get someone else." At that point I remember feeling the heat myself. Actually, "Hurry up and get me out of here." They were actually very quick. They pulled me out of the car. I remember being put on the stretcher and pulled away.

Q. Did you feel any physical pain or anything during the accident?

RYAN BRISCOE: During the accident, not really. I didn't feel any real sharp pain straightaway. It was just a lot of -- I guess a bit of panic and shock, a bit of pain all over. In the ambulance, when I was lying down, I could feel my back was quite sore. That's about it.

Q. Is it scary? Do you have time to be scared or are you just sort of almost an observer watching it?

RYAN BRISCOE: Well, you know, it's difficult to say. I guess it's the same for anyone who has been in a car accident. It's difficult to know exactly at the time what you're thinking. I can't remember exactly what I'm thinking. I just know whenever it happens, you're sort of thinking -- you're just hoping for the best. There's nothing you can do physically about controlling the car. Yeah, I mean, it's not pleasant. You just sort of hope and think, "Let's get out of this." Hope that nothing bad happens.

Q. I'm thinking about the mentality of the driver. This is your sixth accident of the year. I could have the number wrong. You just keep coming back. Is that a requirement, that you have that sort of nerve to just keep going through it?

RYAN BRISCOE: Yeah, I mean, what do you do? It's motor racing. This sort of stuff happens. I just get on with the job. You get out there and you just keep focus and keep working hard. It's not something you really keep thinking about all the time. I'm thankful that I've gotten out of this and I'm on my feet. Now I'm just looking forward to having a full recovery and getting back in the car.

Q. Have you watched a tape of it, of the one in Chicago?

RYAN BRISCOE: I saw the tape on the IndyCar site, but you don't see it very well. They sort of follow the gearbox of the car.

Q. In some ways, might it be scarier to watch the tape of it than it is to be in it?

RYAN BRISCOE: Well, it's a pretty exciting tape to watch. But, you know, knowing I'm here, able to watch it, and I'm talking about it, it doesn't really worry me to watch it. I'm just happy that I got out of it.

Q. In some way, same thing happened to a University of Memphis football player. He worked, spent three years on the bench as a substitute quarterback, never got to play. In the third play of the game, he broke his leg in two places. The coach the other day said, "The toughest part is now going to be mentally." Is that going to be about the same thing as you? You worked hard to get where you are, now you're on the sidelines.

RYAN BRISCOE: I'd say absolutely. Especially to have something like this happen right now, with back-to-back poles, obviously the second one was taken away. With four races to go, our performance has really been looking strong. Chicago race was looking fast. We were always quick in practice. In the race, I was moving up. I was looking forward to a good result there. Obviously, Watkins Glen, I was looking forward to a good result there. In Fontana, too. It's been a real tough year for all of us. It's been a lot of hard work. To have to sit out these last two races where our performance has been looking at its prime, it's really hard. But there's not much I can do about it. I'm just going to work hard now away from the track, work hard physically to get better. Obviously, just stay focused mentally, not get myself down. Just keep my hopes high, keep working hard and just look forward to the future. I mean, I'm a pretty lucky man right now. I have to say I'm pretty happy.

Q. Can you tell us a little about how your previous Formula One experience and testing experience, what part of that sort of translated or transformed over to your IndyCar experience.

RYAN BRISCOE: I'd say there are two main things that transfer from the Formula One testing to the racing this year in the IRL. The first is just being used to driving a high-performance race car with a lot of horsepower, you know, with a lot of -- just a big car with a lot of horsepower, a lot of grip, high performance. That's probably the first thing. Coming from Formula One, which is arguably the pinnacle of motorsport, going to anything from there isn't a huge challenge. Obviously, racing on ovals is a different discipline, and it doesn't correlate that much. Secondly, I'd say in Formula One the teams are so huge, there are so many people, engineers, mechanics, management staff to work with every day, I think that was probably the biggest help. Coming over here to Target Ganassi which is one of the biggest teams in America, I guess it was maybe a bit less intimidating for me coming from Formula One to acclimatize myself to working with so many engineers and mechanics in such a big facility. So I felt quite comfortable here from the word "go" at Ganassi. It's been a really good team to work for. Definitely it's been, from my career point of view, almost like starting over. I think I've brought along a lot of experience in specific areas.

Q. Has any of your family or friends had a chance to come over from Australia to watch you race this year in America?

RYAN BRISCOE: Yeah, my mom and dad came over, have been over a few times this year. They both came to the Indy 500. Dad came to another couple of races. Actually, dad was at Nashville as well with my sister, which I must say was one of my favorite races this year. I thought it was a great facility and an awesome race and my best result of the year. So that was a good one for me. My mom flew over straight after my accident in Chicago and has been spending the whole week here with me, mothering me, looking after me, which has been good.

Q. How quick were they on the phone to you following your accident?

RYAN BRISCOE: Actually, it was really lucky. It was the first race this year that wasn't televised live in Australia. We're all so thankful for that because it would have been a bit too scary for mom and dad, I think, to see that live and not know exactly what was going on. So after the accident, I remember asking our PR girl, Pat, to ring home. She already had done so. She was the first one to deliver the news which was the best way to do it. I mean, at the time we knew that I was okay and fine, so I guess the first time they saw the accident, it wasn't too much of a bad impact for them.

Q. The IRL has released its 2006 schedule. 14 races, you're losing three ovals from this year, and also condensing the season. Begins March and runs through September. Are you liking that better, races closer together?

RYAN BRISCOE: Well, it's going to be very busy for the teams. Obviously, from my point of view, I'd take on any calendar they put in front of me. I think that will be fine. I don't know, if it's good for the fans. It makes it more like a football season. But it will work for me. I think it will work.

Q. How difficult is it to be patient for two months when you can feel the need to get back in that car?

RYAN BRISCOE: It probably won't be easy. A lot of people have been asking if I'm going to go up to the race this weekend to watch. I'm thinking, well, you know, I think I'd probably rather not because I'd probably want to shoot myself if I was up there at the race just watching. Yeah, I think I might stay at home and watch it on tele with a couple of my crew guys who are just as disappointed at not being there. But, yeah, it's going to be tough. You know, as I said before, I'm just going to try to stay focused on getting better and look forward to a better future.

Q. Is your mom still here?

RYAN BRISCOE: Yeah, mom's still here.

Q. How long is she going to stick around?

RYAN BRISCOE: She's going to stick around I think till early next week, go home. I might be going to Italy. So when I go to Italy, she's going to go home.

Q. What is the name of that doctor?

RYAN BRISCOE: Dr. Ciccarelli.

Q. You were talking about your parents. Do you think about what you've been putting them through with this profession, especially this year?

RYAN BRISCOE: Yeah, I feel sorry for them (laughter). Sorry, Mom and Dad.

Q. Do you remember the first time you were ever in an accident in a race, and was it difficult to get back in the car after that one?

RYAN BRISCOE: No, it's not really something you think about. The next time you get in the car, you just go out. I know every time I get out in the car at a new track, the same approach every time, is just to get a feeling for everything. You go out the first time, get a feel for the track and the car. That's usually enough to feel comfortable with everything. You think about what's happening at that time. I've never really gone out in the car and been thinking about possible consequences and what's happened in the past. I think that's important.

Q. Do you think you need to change anything as far as your approach, considering the number of accidents, or is it just a matter of learning curve like you were saying?

RYAN BRISCOE: I think that's quite irrelevant to what happened in Chicago.

Q. But in general for the whole year. I understand what you're saying about Chicago, where the other guy was coming down on you.

RYAN BRISCOE: Yeah, I mean, there's room for improvement. I've been working on that. So, yeah, I mean, I think any driver at all times can always improve. I'm no different to any other.

THE MODERATOR: Ryan, thanks a lot for joining us. We wish you the best as you continue to recover.

RYAN BRISCOE: Thank you very much.

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