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Friday, April 18, 2003
Q&A with Sarah Fisher
By Sarah Fisher
Special to ABC Sports Online
The Indy Racing League is in Japan for the first time ever this week, and Sarah Fisher is hoping she can drive her way into the Winner's Circle at Motegi. Catch the action on ABC this Sunday (1 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT).
While preparing for the race, Sarah took time to answer your questions. Feel free to email Sarah your questions, as she prepares for next month's Indianapolis 500.
Could you explain the difference how the car feels on the track when you are a frontrunner versus in the back of the pack? Is it just set-up and the car won't go? Or is it more the car not inspiring confidence to do what you need to do.
|Sarah is currently in 11th place in the IRL IndyCar Series standings.|
Sam Win, Cincinnati, Ohio
You can only push the car as far as it will let you. When you are in the back (at least in my individual case), it is because of something within the car that won't allow you to run in the front. It isn't always set-up, it can be numerous problems. So, as a driver this scenario is much more mentally strenuous. It takes a lot more focus on driving to push the car till it gives up and focus on trying to fix whatever problem during the race. When you are in the front, the car is usually near perfect and is much easier to drive.
Two aero questions: The structure on top of the intake: does it hinder or help aerodynamically or is it just a camera pod? Also, how fast could the cars really run at Michigan or Texas if you were not hindered by wing restrictions?
Dan E., Reeds Spring, Mo.
The structure you are referring to is just an in-car camera pod. All of our cars have to run them as it would be unfair for those who have in-car cameras and those who don't.
We would run on the edge of too fast if the IRL didn't keep us limited by rules at tracks like Michigan and Texas.
What part of the two-way radio conversations, while in the actual race, do you find most distracting?
Mark Nelson, Eureka, Calif.
None of them really. But I only have two people in my ear during the whole race -- my engineer (Mark Weida) and my spotter (Tony Hirschmann). It's a little frustrating when they both talk at the same time because they both have really valuable information, but that usually only happens during yellows. They both do a great job overall.
I am doing a research project on your success in the IRL. I was wondering if you could tell me what you say is the thing that has helped you out the best in this arena? And also I was wondering if you could tell me what you think has made you so popular in the IRL?
One of the things that has helped me the most after I got to the IRL was that I still had good people around me. It doesn't matter if you are a top-notch driver or at the back of the pack, everyone questions your surroundings. Fortunately I had people around me that believed in me (mostly my parents) and have had the support off track to retain my confidence on the track.
On being popular, the only thing that I can attribute that to is that I am still -- and will always be -- down to earth. Anyone can come up and talk to me. I pride myself in being the girl next door. It doesn't matter if it's a 5-year-old girl or an older male fan, I can somehow relate to each and every one of them.
I saw your race here in the Phoenix area. You really had a chance to win that race, except for the mistake on your pit stop -- does that kind of unusual and silly mistake upset you, as it sure would me if I were the driver!
Reid, Glendale, Ariz.
I think it upsets everyone. In the end, I am accepting of someone who works extra hard -- 110 percent -- and maybe has a mistake. Those are the people who will make sure what happened doesn't do so again and so it doesn't become a problem. However, I don't accept people who don't put in the effort to practice and give all they can to make the overall plan succeed.
Is it hard to concentrate on your job at hand when there's so much turmoil in the world?
John Adams, St Charles, Mo.
Off track, certainly. Our racing world is so little when you look at the big picture. We must go on and do our jobs -- just like every American. Yet we drivers must be aware of what's going on and pray for those who allow our world to function.
When will your official gear be on sale?
Kathy Ramsey, Newport News, Va.
Since we got a late start on our season, we are still working on that one. But we will have some official Sarah Fisher t-shirts and caps on sale at the merchandise trailers at the Speedway in May and hopefully online as well. There are various pieces on sale already, and IMS has some cute female shirts!
How much does it cost to field a racing team cars, etc.?
Joseph, New York, N.Y.
A lot more money then I can really comprehend. We aim for around $5 million per car per year.
If I purchase a handheld scanner before the Indy 500, will I be able to pick up your communications to your pit during the race?
Randy Grimes, Glendale Heights, Ill.
Sure. I don't know for sure where the frequencies are available to fans, but I think you can pick up a list of scanner frequencies at one of the racing radios trailers at the track. You can listen to all of the drivers if you choose.
For more from Sarah, go to www.sarahfisher.com.
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