Q: If each of you could weigh in on the significance of the official Sunoco sponsorship that was announced.
PENSKE: I think just any new sponsor of national accord is important to the league because they'll spend money promoting it, that's one of the things we talked about what is different and the more major Fortune 500 companies associated with Indy car racing is going to be a great move.
GANASSI: Certainly we have IZOD, we have Sunoco, we need to get that ball rolling in a lot of areas. That's two. OK, who's three and four? Let's keep it going here.
Q: Roger, since Chip's already been playing chess like two years ahead with the DeltaWing car and espousing innovation very strongly for this race in the series, what's your position on the return of true innovation to Indy and the Series? Are you for it? And do you think it's critical to the revitalization of Indy car racing.
PENSKE: I think that change is always good. It's going to shake up the field. One thing we want to do is look at cost. I've followed the DeltaWing project from the beginning; I'm a supporter. I want to see a car built, and we've got to get the funding to build that car, get it on the racetrack, let people see it. There's an interest on four-cylinder versus six-cylinder engines. They want to have potentially a formula where you could have one or the other, which I think is good. There's a lot of interest internationally on four-cylinder engines which will be run in Formula 1 and DTM and rallying, and maybe we have to have a derivative of that over there.
I think this is all good. Under the current process we're taking our time, everybody can be heard – we're just not making a bunch of rules in the back room because at the end of the day, the car owners are the ones who have to pay for it. If we're going to make a change, let's make one that shows the fans we have something different and we have something economically and commercially that's beneficial for the teams. So to me, I'm all in favor of it.
Q: This rivalry in motorsports – F1 has McLaren and Ferrari, and in NASCAR you have various teams, but you guys battle each other in IndyCar, NASCAR, sometimes sports cars... Do you have any memories that stand out like wherever you go it seems to be your biggest rival is the guy sitting next to you?
PENSKE: The only thing I don't like to do is every time he wins, I've got to send him a text congratulations! But we've had good rivalries and we're friends. He's supported us in a number of areas when we needed it and vice versa. I tell you, if he needed a car for some reason at a racetrack, he could have one of mine.
GANASSI: Where were you Saturday? (Laughter)
PENSKE: You were going through the line so fast I couldn't get mine up front to give it to you.
GANASSI: You know, it's certainly something that I know that motivates me and I hope it motivates Roger as well, is to have – you know, is to have competitors out there, and we have a few more down in NASCAR we have to deal with week in and week out. But the good news is, you know, it's nice to – believe me, there are times when we'd just as soon rip each other's heart out, I assure you. But at the end of the day, that's one thing on the track, and when it comes to off the track, we're certainly civil and friends and like to keep it that way.
Q: Roger, you know Indy car racing also from the past when you had different chassis-engine combinations. What do you think is better for the long-term future – stay with this package or welcome other chassis or engine manufacturers?
And question No. 2 for both of you, concerning this race, without any doubt it was mentioned earlier, you are both one of the top teams. But looking just on the starting grid, do you think there's also maybe a big chance a dark horse can win the race?
PENSKE: No. 1, you asked the question about different chassis, I think the fact that the committee is looking toaday at an engine formula that will hopefully attract multiple suppliers, will be good for the sport. We've got to be sure that the specifications on whatever it is are realistic, because we can't get into all fancy metals and things and I think that's got to be important, or we get the cost out of sight on the chassis side.
If there's the ability to have one chassis supplier, I'd like to see multiple. But again, we've got to be sure that the price of these race vehicles are at a level that everybody can afford them. I think that's got to be the ceiling. If someone wants to buy one and subsidize it, fine, but it costs the same whether Chip buys it or I buy it or someone wants to get in the series. So to me, I think this is a watershed time for us. The fact we have so many cars in this field in a time when the economy and the world is where it is, I think shows that there's some strength here.
As far as anybody else in the field, I think we've got Tagliani, you've got young Rahal, certainly Kanaan coming from the back, Danica, there are a number of people out there that can run well. I think we're focusing on each other, but I can tell you something, come race day we might see a much different picture.
Q: Sunday is such a big day, you've got two major races going on. How do the two of you handle race day with the two races? You obviously are here for the first one and then what do you do about the NASCAR race? How do you handle getting there and about when do you normally get there?
GANASSI: Yeah, that's a good question. I say that race teams are like children. You love them equally but some of them need more attention than others from time to time. And you know, I think it's important that you, as an owner, I equally support them. Maybe while my attendance is not –I don't think we're set up in a way, I don't think either of us but I'll let Roger say this, are set up in a way that our attendance is mandatory, but I think the fact that we're there, you know, on a computer, on our Blackberry, by telephone, you know, in a support role, I think that's the most we can do.
They know, I know my guys on both teams know that if it's physically possible for me to be there, that I probably will. At the same time they don't want me there just for the purpose of being there and then maybe be run down if we have an important event coming up this week or an important something happening. You know, if people are there, you obviously want to be there. If our sponsors are there, you know, you want to be in attendance. We have people that like obviously both forms of racing.
I just feel very lucky to have that as a job. It's not a – I would never complain about having to go between two or three races during a weekend. I think I'm very fortunate to be able to do that as a living or a way to earn my living. So I feel very blessed to be able to have that as a problem.
PENSKE: Well, I think that the way both of us are set up, we have a leader of the Indy car group, Mike Hull obviously, Clive Hall on our side and similarly Mike Nelson heads up the NASCAR team and who's your key guy? Steve Hmiel. So we both have people that run those operations. They have the day-to-day responsibility. Tim Cindric has the overall responsibility in our operation. I obviously like taking a spot in the Indy car side where I can actually, you know, run one of the cars with Briscoe, I've done that. So I've got to be at all the Indy car races. Where I can, I try to go to the NASCAR races on the weekends. The good news is that typically most of the work's done and I can come in on a Sunday or Saturday night. I think the other night I was fortunate the way the schedules were that I could get down to Charlotte for the All Star Race which obviously turned out well for us.
I think this weekend the timing is a little bit tighter so, depending on what the results are here, we'll make a decision whether we go there. But they're in good hands.