In Case You Missed It: Bruno Junqueira, Pablo Donoso teleconference Select quotes from Paul Tracy media availability Herrington takes over No. 5 RLR/Andersen Racing seat
1. In Case You Missed It: Bruno Junqueira, Pablo Donoso teleconference: IndyCar Series driver Bruno Junqueira and Firestone Indy Lights driver Pablo Donoso were guests on today’s Indy Racing League teleconference.
Background on Bruno Junqueira: Bruno Junqueira is competing in his first season in the IndyCar Series, driving for Dale Coyne Racing.
Age: 31 (Birthday is Nov. 4, 1976) Career Starts/ 2008: 14 / 10 Career Victories/2008: 0 Career Top-Five Finishes/2008: 2 / 0 Career Top-10 Finishes/2008: 3 / 1 Career Poles/2008: 1 / 0 Career Highlights: Made four Indianapolis 500 starts, winning the pole in 2002. Recorded fifth-place finishes in the Indy 500 in 2001 and 2004. Won races in each of his first five seasons in Champ Car. Finished second in points three times. 2008 Highlights: Earned his first top-10 finish of the season with a sixth at Watkins Glen. Ran second late at Mid-Ohio before pitting for fuel and finishing 13th.
Background on Pablo Donoso: Pablo Donoso is a rookie in Firestone Indy Lights, driving for Team Moore Racing.
a. Age: 23 (Birthday is Dec. 3, 1984)
b. Career Starts: 12
c. Career Victories: 0
d. Career Top-Five Finishes: 4
e. Career Top-10 Finishes: 7
f. Career Poles: 1
g. Career Highlights: Began karting in Chile before racing in Europe. Began racing in the U.S. in 2005 in Star Mazda. Competed in USAC Silver Crown in 2006-07.
h. 2008 Highlights: Won pole at Milwaukee, beginning a streak of seven consecutive top-10 finishes. Finished a career-best third at Mid-Ohio. Ranks eighth in points.
They said what...? Listed below are select quotes from today’s teleconference.
***Q. You qualified ninth at Mid‑Ohio and 11th at Watkins Glen. How much confidence does that give you heading into Edmonton?
BRUNO JUNQUEIRA: A lot. I know the track. In Edmonton, I had a good race last year, but I finished seventh because I had a problem with the pit stop.
We were very competitive last year, and I was racing with Paul Tracy all the time. So, I think it's going to be good. For sure, Watkins Glen, to qualify in the top six, and Mid‑Ohio was good, and hopefully we can get another top-10 qualifying in Edmonton, and I hope I can get the points in this race and we can do it.
***Q. You’ve had a pretty strong season; do you think you can have a podium finish?
BRUNO JUNQUEIRA: Yeah, I'm feeling really good. That's our best chance because it's a track that as I said we know and most of the teams don't know, and let's see if we can get a good result. Watkins Glen and Mid‑Ohio we were running good both races and really had a chance to be on podium in Watkins again, but unfortunately the pit stop in the end cost me. And Mid‑Ohio was the opposite; there was no yellow flag at the end and I couldn't get the podium. Both races I qualified good and ran at a good pace, and hope I can do that in Edmonton and hope I can get a great result there.
***Q. What led you in the off‑season to decide to come over to Firestone Indy Lights for this season?
PABLO DONOSO: Because I love IndyCars. For me, IndyCar is the best thing in the world, it's better than Formula 1, and what I really want to do. So when I moved to Silver Crown, it was just to learn about ovals, and that's what I really wanted to do in 2005 when I came to the USA the first time. I was running World Series in Europe, and so it was something pretty similar to the Indy Lights car, but I didn't have the backing. So this year, we did some good deals with the sponsors and everything, and we couldn't run for a couple of races in the series anyway, but this is where you have to be, nice (prize) money and everything.
There’s more: The complete transcript and complete audio recording in MP3 format are available at www.indycar.com/media. Please contact IRL Public Relations for log-in information if necessary.
2. Select quotes from Paul Tracy media availability: Vision Racing driver Paul Tracy met with members of the media in Edmonton. Select quotes are below:
“It’s good to be back. Obviously, everything came together kind of last minute. I’m excited about the opportunity with Derrick Walker, Vision Racing and Subway as the sponsor. We’re going to jump into the deep end here, but I think the team’s motivated, I’m motivated to do well, and if we can have a good result, we’ll see what develops for the future. That’s really the first step in getting back into the series full-time.”
(About pressure) “Not really. I’m not in a points battle. There’s really no pressure from where you finish in the championship. For me, it’s an opportunity to get going. We’re just going to take it step-by-step everyday. I haven’t driven since Long Beach, and the team hasn’t competed at this level since Long Beach, so from that standpoint we’ve just go to do the best we can. We all want to do well. Our expectations are to do well, but really haven’t set any type of goal for myself like we have to win the race or anything like that. We’re just going to go out there and do the best job we can. There’s always a possibility to win a race no matter what happens during a race. Anything can happen in motor racing, we’re going to give it the best we can, but I haven’t come here saying we’ve got to go and out run everybody, because I think that would just be setting yourself up for disappointment.&r dquo;
(About competition this weekend) “I’ve pretty much raced against everybody in the series at one point or another. Scott (Dixon) and Helio (Castroneves), I haven’t raced against Dan (Wheldon) and a couple other guys in the series, but all the frontrunners I’ve run against in my career.”
(About Edmonton) “You really have to be quick here to do well. It’s kind of like Cleveland where if you’re not on the pace, you’re really going to struggle. From that standpoint, the car has got to be good here. To stay in the front, you have to have the pace to do that, because it’s not too difficult to pass. I’ve been here before, Justin (Wilson) has been here before, the Champ Car guys have been here before, but the top level at this game, guys like (Scott) Dixon, Helio (Castroneves) and (Tony) Kanaan, they can learn a track in 10, 15 minutes. From that standpoint, there’s a small advantage maybe going into the first practice, second practice, but by the time qualifying comes, the top teams will have it figured out.”
3. Herrington takes over No. 5 RLR/Andersen Racing seat: Daniel Herrington, who has four top-10 finishes in nine Firestone Indy Lights races on road courses, will take his oval rookie test July 24 at Kentucky Speedway and compete in the remainder of the season with RLR/Andersen Racing.
"Although Daniel hasn't been in any oval Indy Lights races yet, he finished second at Milwaukee in a Star Mazda race in 2006,” team co-owner Dan Andersen said. “We expect him to pass his rookie oval test quickly, and we'll field cars for both him and J.R. Hildebrand at the Kentucky race on Aug. 9."
Herrington competed in five Firestone Indy Lights races last year with SpeedWorks and four races this year with Michael Crawford Motorsports, finishing a career-best third last year at Watkins Glen 2. He was running at the finish in all but one event.
Herrington will replace Andrew Prendeville in the No. 5 car.
"Andrew gave our team its first podium finish in the Firestone Indy Lights Series last year, and we wish him the best," Andersen said.
The 2008 IndyCar Series season continues with the Rexall Edmonton Indy July 26 at Edmonton City Centre Airport. The race will be telecast live in High Definition at 5 p.m. (EDT) by ESPN. The race will air live on the IMS Radio Network. A Spanish-language telecast of the race will be carried by ESPNDeportes. The IMS Radio Network broadcast also is carried on XM Satellite Radio and indycar.com. The 2008 Firestone Indy Lights season continues with the Kentucky 100 on Aug. 9. The race will air at 2 p.m. Aug. 14 on ESPN2. The Mid-Ohio 100 doubleheader airs at 2 p.m. (EDT) July 24 on ESPN2.