Q. Dan, now that it's been a month since your win at the Indy 500, how much has it already or will it help you secure a seat for the 2012 season?
DAN WHELDON: You know, I've been asked that question a lot just recently, actually, and my simple answer is I was very confident at the end of last year that I would actually get something full time for this year. And that didn't pan out. So I really don't like to speculate on that stuff anymore, because clearly I'm not very good at that.
But, I will say, I think for me to come back for the Indianapolis 500 and have such a successful month and also a very enjoyable month with everybody from Bryan Herta Autosport, it's really made me desperate to get back on the grid, but it's got to be in the right situation. For me, I would love to be able to continue with Bryan and that's what we're all working toward, but we'll just have to wait to see if that pans out in the future.
I certainly don't think it's hurt my chances, but in terms of, "Am I confident that I will secure something for 2012?" I think we'll just to wait and see right now.
Q. If you decide to go and grab a seat for the Las Vegas race, do you think you'd be eligible for this $5 million prize that Randy Bernard has instigated?
DAN WHELDON: That's probably a question for Randy. If they did make me eligible, it would certainly make for a very exciting race. I think it would definitely attract a lot of fans because, realistically, I think there's a chance it could happen. And when there's that kind of realistic chance, I think fans are going to kind of be on the edge of their seats. It's a lot of money. And you know, with the fact that we did so well at Indy and there would be a little bit of test time we would get prior to Vegas, I think it would definitely make for a hell of a show.
So that would be one that you'd have to take up with Randy, but I'd certainly hope so.
Q. Bryan, do you have a definite number of tests scheduled by IndyCar, and is there a list of tracks set up yet?
BRYAN HERTA: Yes. It's an extensive testing program. We're going to be visiting tracks almost on a weekly basis throughout those months of August and September. All different types of circuits, short ovals, speedways, Indianapolis, short street course‑type circuits and road courses.
Specific details of the program are not going to be released, I think, in terms of where and when we're going to be testing, and any of those specific details, when they are released, will come directly from IndyCar.
Q. I'm assuming that the testing will be done with the current V8 engine, because I don't think anybody else has got anything set up yet?
BRYAN HERTA: The testing will be with the next-generation engine. For the start of the test program it will be a Honda unit, because they'll be the first one with an engine completed and ready to do the testing phase. But certainly I think as the test program moves on, other manufacturers will get involved once we get past that August deadline.
Q. Dan, how much benefit do you expect to get out of testing this car for 2012?
DAN WHELDON: Well, it's going to give me, I think, extensive mileage in the car. You know, is that an advantage? Yes, probably. But for me, it's not about getting an advantage over everybody else to be in a car for 2012. I think, as you know, I've done this kind of thing before with Honda, and it's something that I took very seriously.
I think if you know my personality you know how serious I would take it. I want to come out of this test program with everybody saying: "You know what, Dan was extremely disciplined and did a great job. And if ever we do something like this again – and this goes for all the manufacturers involved, we'd love to have him do it."
That's the kind of job that I want to do. And, yeah, I think obviously with the amount of mileage people are expected to do, it's track time in a new car that no one else would have been in. So for sure it's an advantage. But, by the same token, from what I understand, it's going to be pretty much open testing until St. Pete. So that will get swallowed up pretty quickly.
It's about being in a car as well for me. I haven't been in one since Indianapolis, and I'm pretty desperate to get back in one.
Q. How do you feel your new broadcasting career is going?
DAN WHELDON: I don't know. You guys would have to answer that one. You know, in all honesty, again, everything I do, I like to do...I like to do the best job possible.
And like I told [producer] Terry Linger, before the grid walk that we did at the previous race in Iowa, I said: "Guys, I'm a little bit nervous." Actually I was way more nervous than I was at any time during the Indianapolis 500, because you're on live TV and you don't want to make a mistake and bring the program down for everybody else.
The one thing that I've learned that the Versus TV guys put in a lot of effort. So I was concerned about that. But for me, I very much enjoyed it, but by the same token you have to do a lot of preparation so when you are on air you can get your point across quickly and it be accurate.
So it's harder than I perhaps thought. But I've enjoyed it. Sure I definitely want to be in the racecar and I think being at the racetrack makes you even more desperate to be in the racecar. So I think I've made the most of my time, and I've got one race left with them. Hopefully they want me to be back if I don't have anything to be on the grid in the series itself?