Well that was a boring race in Texas, huh? No passing, no strange results, no Thrilla.
Seriously, Scott Dixon was right: the cars are way too equal to allow passing. It made me think of the CART race that never happened back there in 2001: Kenny Brack and me were the only guys that wanted to do it! Some of the guys were squealing about the g-forces, but I tell you, at least there would have been some overtaking. We were running, what, 235, 240? Great times. The fans got a pretty bad deal there, having it canned at the last minute.
Well, since the Texas race, it’s like the excitement waited until this week: Ryan Hunter-Reay going to Foyt, and Danica going to Ganassi. Probably. Possibly. Whatever. It makes sense to me and I think it’s logical from her point of view. She’s doing a good job at Andretti Green; she’s the highest in the points out of her illustrious teammates, she’s finishing consistently top-five or top-six, which is not easy in that series. And if the next step for her is to be in with a regular chance of winning races – and that’s what she claims she wants to do – I think she does have to get to Penske or Ganassi to make that happen. I think AGR, in the hands of Tony Kanaan, can still win occasionally, but for her to get to the winner’s circle, it’s going to take a move to the top two teams.
Our buses were parked next to each other at Indy, so Danica and me chatted a bit, but we didn’t talk about racing at all, so it’s not like I have any inside scoop on what her plans were or are. But by the end of this season, she’ll have done three years at AGR, fulfilled her end of the contract, and she has every right to go to bigger, better opportunities.
I’d consider replacing her at AGR if there was an opportunity. To be totally honest, I’d jump all over it if there was a chance to help the team. I don’t know how many guys could combine running well on-track and also generating the type of media interest that would keep Motorola or whoever they have on that car happy. They could put Franck Montagny in there, but I don’t see how that could raise any enthusiasm or interest for the spectators. I mean, he’s a good driver, but I don’t think sponsors would be tripping over themselves to get their name on his racesuit.
Since I last wrote for you, I’ve been having a pretty relaxing time. Last weekend I had a nice little vacation with Patty and her daught00er up at the lake. I got my boat a little more dialed in. Got Whipple Superchargers on it – they’re one of my personal sponsors – and it’s now got 1075hp, they reckon. So looking at the speedo – which only goes up to 140mph, I reckon it runs more than 160 now. I’ve attached some pictures so hopefully RACER
can load ’em up. The weather was good and we had a nice time.
Since we got back this week, I’ve been working on stuff around the house. I’m not very good at down time – especially since I got the juices flowing again at Indy and Milwaukee – so I can’t sit still for more than 10 minutes these days. There’s been a lot of time spent on little projects too, like the rat rod. I took it down to the dyno, and we’ve got it running pretty sweet. It’s only putting out 245hp, but we’ve boosted torque by about 65lbft. We took power off the top of the rev-range, and pushed it down to the bottom-end so we can spin the wheels and do burnouts and stuff. The power-to-weight ratio is freakin’ awesome: it probably only weighs 1900lbs – it’s nothing but a frame, transmission and engine.
Last night, me and Jimmy Vasser took the Lincoln out, too. It's rolling on 20-inch, 100-spoke wheels now. We went for dinner at the Hard Rock Café and talked about our next races. I’ve got a press conference up in Toronto in a week’s time where we’re going to announce our sponsorship package for the Canadian races.
While I was writing this, I’ve had a few calls – you’ll have seen the news story on RACER.com
– and it looks like we’re 95 percent of the way to sealing a deal to do the Watkins Glen IndyCar race at the start of July, which will be a great warm-up for the Canadian races. Apparently the KV Racing car is quick round there – they tested there earlier this week – so it will be good to get back in the saddle and keep myself sharp on a road course.
So it’s just as well I’ve been keeping up my training; long bike rides, lots of time at the gym. I guess it’ll be karma if I get my first ever race at The Glen. It would be my first time there, so I better get a simulator and learn it. The key to us was getting some seat time before Toronto; I was wondering if we could get a test or something like that, because although I was proud of what we achieved in Edmonton last year, I don’t want to arrive in front of my home fans, getting promoted left, right and center as King Ding-a-Ling, The Thrilla from West Hilla and then qualify mid-pack just because I’m testing while trying to qualify. It’s a hell of a lot harder to pass at Toronto than at Edmonton, so being near the front of the grid is important.
Once everything’s confirmed, I’ll get back to you. But just in case, keep your fingers crossed for me…P.T.* Tracy to race at Watkins Glen?