Today’s IZOD IndyCar Series headlines:
1. Q&A with team owner/driver Sarah Fisher
2. Target Chip Ganassi team members receive ’09 title rings
3. Duno to address students in Iowa
1. Q&A with team owner/driver Sarah Fisher: Sarah Fisher, who will compete in the Iowa Corn Indy 250 presented by Pioneer this weekend at Iowa Speedway, participated in a Q&A session to discuss her career and status as the only female owner/driver in the IZOD IndyCar Series. Below are select quotes.
Q. When you started racing in the IZOD IndyCar Series 11 years ago, did you think you’d be here racing as an owner/driver?
SARAH FISHER: There have been a lot of ups and downs in my career, and I definitely didn’t see myself here. I’ve had to rebound to where I am, which is fantastic. To own my own team, own my own cars and work with my own people is something I’m most proud of now.
Q. You’re not running the full schedule and Sara Fisher Racing will run selected events for the rest of the year. Your plans have not changed, correct?
SARAH FISHER: We’re going to do exactly what we planned. We have 10 races with the No. 67 car and five races with the No. 66 car. We’re going to do all those events and try to grow it from there. Just because Jay (Howard) missed Indy doesn’t mean we are going to do less for Service Central. We’re actually going to try and do more. It’s going to be a tough year because of that. But that’s the risk you take when you decide to be a team owner. We have to do it because it’s necessary for the big picture.
Q. What is the big picture for Sarah Fisher Racing? Is it two full-time cars?
SARAH FISHER: That would be nice. I think that would be a really big challenge for us now. It would be safe to say that our goal would be to field a full series-long one-car effort with two cars at Indy. I just don’t think there are enough sponsorship dollars to do two cars for the whole season. I could be surprised.
Q. You were the first full-time female driver. There are now four women competing in the series and a fifth – Ana Beatriz – has run races, too. Did you ever imagine that when you started?
SARAH FISHER: No. I was just a silly little kid with Coke bottle glasses back then. What I really like about having more women in the field is that they are all quality drivers. Look at Simona (De Silvestro); she really earned her way up here. She’s done a really good job in the series so far. Competing against the best drivers in the world is a goal of the series, and when we bring new people in it’s nice to back that up.
Q. Even though you are as young as you are, you’re sort of the “grand dame” of the sport.
SARAH FISHER: I know, and I’m not even 30.
Q. And you’re still here after 11 years.
SARAH FISHER: It’s all from being that approachable “girl next door” that I am. I have such a great fan following that supporters like Dollar General and Service Central, the sponsor of the second car, see that. They see a female entrepreneur going out there and trying to run with the big boys and they hope their customers and their employee can emulate that as well. To have the support now in my career is the best. When I was a driver only, it may have hurt me, but as an owner I get to take that to a new level.
Q. What does the future hold for Sarah Fisher?
SARAH FISHER: Being an owner. I’m almost 30 and I want to start a family. I see this team taking off without me in the driver’s seat. I have to make sure that it can do that before I decide to do that. I love racing. Even if I wasn’t driving an IndyCar, I’d be driving something. Once you start, you can’t stop.
2. Target Chip Ganassi Racing team members receive ’09 title rings: Target Chip Ganassi Racing employees gathered in the team’s Indianapolis race shop this week to receive rings commemorating Dario Franchitti’s 2009 IZOD IndyCar Series championship.
“Winning races together with Target has led to seven open-wheel championships with some terrific champions,” team managing director Mike Hull said. “The Target bull’s-eye has been with us from the start, so the branded ring that they have commissioned to commemorate Dario’s championship is very special. It represents the dedication to finding new ways to win by every Target team member combined with the same ethic by each Target Chip Ganassi Racing team member. It continues to be a terrific combination that wins.”
3. Duno to address students in Iowa: Milka Duno will address students June 18 at Grand View University (Viking Theater) in a program presented by the Iowa Department of Human Rights in conjunction with Duno’s “Milka Way” Program.
Duno, who will compete in the Iowa Corn Indy 250 presented by Pioneer in the No. 18 CITGO/CANTV car for Dale Coyne Racing, will speak with students about the importance of education and how a strong academic background will serve them their entire life.
The 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series season continues June 20 with the Iowa Corn Indy 250 presented by Pioneer at Iowa Speedway. The race will be telecast live in High Definition at 1:30 p.m. (ET) by VERSUS. The race will air live on the IMS Radio Network, XM channel 145 and Sirius channel 211. The race also will be carried on www.indycar.com. The 2010 Firestone Indy Lights season continues with the AvoidTheStork.com 100 on June 19 at the Iowa Speedway.