One more thing: last week my teammate Hideki [Mutoh] and me went to Toronto to promote the race there this year. Obviously they didn’t have the streets closed there for the track, but from what I’ve seen, I think it’s a place where we can be decent. After the way we went on race day at Long Beach [see previous column], I’m really looking forward to the rest of the street races this year. We found a significant change between qualifying and the race that brought my car alive, and which I think will work pretty much all the street courses.
Obviously Dad was super-strong at Toronto – I can’t believe he got seven wins at one track! – so there’s a lot to live up to, especially as Andretti Green Toronto owns the race, but I hope I can carry on a tradition. The Canadians are awesome open-wheel racing fans, too, we all know that and with Budweiser’s involvement, this is going to be a big event, I’m sure. I’m not paid extra to say that, you know? I genuinely believe it!
Right, I need to go focus. The Indy 500 isn’t a race; it’s the race. I’ll be competing against a whole bunch of people who feel the exact same way, but hey, bring it on. We’re ready.