IndyCar - Bump Day Press Conference - Fisher, Hartman, O'Gara
MODERATOR: What's it like? You've been your whole squad has just absolutely been through the spectrum, obviously. You had Josef doing well. You've had Bryan running well. And this whole process. Just take us through it both from your owner's hat and your former driver's hat, really.
SARAH FISHER: Well, I think it would be probably a little less intense and less uneventful if we had a day or two of rain. You know, it sure does it takes a toll on everybody when you're thrashing every single day for seven days straight. So we have an incredible team. And they've bounced back extremely well from yesterday. And it's nice to look forward to a day tomorrow to kind of regroup and refocus on Carb Day.Q: Andy, from the perspective of putting a team together and racing, going through the week, interesting comment about the rain. Sarah mentions the rain in terms of a break. We've heard a lot of conversations about not lack of rain resulting in the track continually to take rubber and to be slippery. Do you think that has anything to do with what we saw happen with the incidence?
ANDY O'GARA: I don't know for sure. But, I mean, we've certainly seen the track take a lot of rubber the last couple days. I haven't been doing this too long, but this is my 11th Indy 500. I can't remember a month of May in which we've had no rain like this. And certainly our setups have changed immensely since we've rolled off the truck. We've tried to keep up with it every day; and for the most part we've done a pretty good job there. I think yesterday's crash and combination thereof, it's just a typical result of trimming a car for qualifying and putting it on the edge and just bit us out of the blue a little bit.
Q: We hear the stories, obviously, from years past. Doesn't make a difference. We can roll back the clock a decade, two decades, 40 years ago, there's always the stories of the thrash, the thrash to try to repair a car to get a car in position, and is that a character-builder?
WINK HARTMAN: Yes, to say the least that's a character builder. I'd like to state that I've got Andy beat. This is my 45th "500." So I don't let him get away with that 11 comment over there. But it's very exciting. We've got two rookies in the show. Bryan had a small mishap, which the "500" will bite you, sooner or later, if you stand around the lady will get you. But we got in the shop. The staff got together, all the crew. We put that car back together in pretty good shape. And the smart thing I did in that situation was to get out of the shop and get out of the way.
Q: Now, Sarah, we've asked Bryan this question, you've sort of been in the same scenario as him in this regard: Earlier today I pointed out, you'll recall Steve Butler, the sprint car driver, years ago, he said, after trying to make Indianapolis: You know, I had to support the entire sprint-midget-Silver Crown community, but I also felt the weight of the world of that same community on my shoulders. Bryan sort of admitted he had a little bit of that going. Nothing quite prepares you, I don't think, for trying to make Indianapolis, would you agree with that?
SARAH FISHER: I think was it 2001 the whole female gender on my shoulders. I was the only one here. No, I can feel exactly what I can tell exactly the kind of pressure that Bryan's under. And he knows he has a fast race car. And he knows the fans know that. But they're going to be behind him 100 percent. I mean, you heard the cheers when he came down pit lane after putting it in the show. And that support is so neat, because that's just the demographic that I think this sport continues to appreciate as we grow that demographic.
Q: Andy, he was mystified still by what happened. He seemed to think the laps mirrored each other; and seriously, I know Bryan very well, and I would think that is like, oh, my gosh, I don't know. Do you have any greater sense of what happened?
ANDY O'GARA: No. I mean, our engineering staff has taken a hard look at the data overnight. And, like I said, when you get in that position, we were honestly gunning for the Fast Nine with him. We thought we had a legitimate shot at it. Turns out, if we would have completed that average, I think we would have just been outside of it. Certainly inside the top 15 there and competing with the likes of teams like Ganassi. For his first time in an open-wheel car, the kid has done a fantastic job all week. And he's represented SFHR to the hilt. And we couldn't be more proud of him. As far as what happened with the race car on that run, it's one of those things, maybe we'll never know. But it doesn't keep us from trying to investigate further and not let it happen again and learn from it. But we were going for it there. We didn't come here just to make the field like we did today. We came here to compete. We come here to win. And Bryan didn't let us down. So I don't know. We'll look further into that and figure out more in the next few days.