CART Media Conference
T.E. McHALE: Good afternoon. Welcome to the CART media teleconference. We are pleased that you all could join us today. We would like to extend a special welcome to our trio of guests this afternoon, owner Tony Bettenhausen of Tony Bettenhausen Motorsports Team Alumax, owner/driver Bobby Rahal of Team Rahal and Championship Auto Racing Team President and Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Craig. Gentlemen, welcome, and thanks for taking the time to join us today. Bettenhausen Motorsports was formed in 1986 and has earned more than $5 million in PPG CART World Series prize money since. Driver Stefan Johansson earned the friends of Jim Truman rookie-of-the-year award for the team in 1992 and Bettenhausen Motorsports has another strong candidate for that award this year in 1996 players Toyota Atlantic Champion Patrick Carpentier. Carpentier gave the team its high point of the 1997 season to date, when he qualified an impressive third for the April 27th Bosch Spark Plug Grand Prix present by Toyota at Nazareth, Pennsylvania. He and Dario Franchitti of Hogan Racing LLC, are currently tied for the Rookie-Of-The-Year lead, both with 5 points. Team Rahal was formed following the 1995 season and is headed by 3-time PPG CART World Series Bobby Rahal and entertainer, David Letterman. Rahal, winner of PPG Championships in 1986, 1987 and 1992, teamed with Bryan Herta to form a two-car entry during the team's first season in 1996. And, both were top-10 finishers in the PPG Cup Standings. Rahal finishing 7th and Herta taking 8th. Most recently, Bobby turned in an electrifying drive in Sunday's Hollywood Rio 400 at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil leading 102 of 133 laps before, unfortunately, running out of fuel just over a lap from his first PPG CART World Series victory since Nazareth in 1992. He heads into the May 24 Motorola 300 at the brand new Gateway International Raceway in Madison, Illinois ranked 12th in the PPG Cup Race with 18 points, while teammate Herta stands 11th with 25 points. Andrew Craig came to Championship Auto Racing Teams in January of 1994 as President and Chief Executive Officer. Interest in PPG CART World Series events has blossomed under his stewardship to the point where some 60 million adult Americans profess to have an interest in the sport. CART events are televised to a worldwide audience of nearly 200 countries around the globe and Craig has presided over the Series' expansion into new international markets including Rio de Janeiro last year and Twin Ring Motegi, Japan coming up in 1998. Mr. Craig has a statement before we begin taking questions. So, at this point, I will turn it over to Andrew Craig.
ANDREW CRAIG: Thanks, T., and good afternoon to everybody. It is not so much a statement as a quick look at what we are doing right now. May is a very busy month for us, indeed. We have just come back from Rio de Janeiro of course from what I think everybody regarded as a very successful event. A lot of work has been carried out on the track. Last year, of course, is the first time we went there. And we were looking for some significant improvements. And, I think our promoter, a company called Intag (ph.), really delivered in full. The track surface was significantly improved in the corners. The paddock layout and all the paddock facilities were upgraded and really were of a very high standard. And, of particular importance, we tried an experiment in Rio for the first time where we installed a tire wall system at critical points on the track and I will probably leave Bobby to comment in more detail on that. But, we think -- it was highly successful and certainly in the view of our director of medical affairs, Dr. Steve Olvey, it certainly saved Mauricio Gugelmin from potentially very serious injury. We were extremely pleased, extremely encouraged, by the result of this tire wall system. Next weekend, CART is not racing, but Indy Lights is. On the 18th of May we will debut Indy Lights at Savannah. This is the first time that Indy Lights has raced in this country in the U.S.A. on a stand-alone basis. We do already have a stand-alone race at Trois RiviÃï¿½ÃÂ¨res in Canada, but it is the first time we have done this in the U.S.. We are extremely interested to see how Indy Lights will perform at a stand-alone show. We are racing, as I said, in Savannah on a brand new track on Hutchison Island that has been built specifically for this event. Savannah, of course, is a wonderful town. They have a particularly strong convention and visitor's bureau. They are very good at getting people into the city. And, we are hopeful of a good crowd for our first race in Savannah. And, of course, the first race by Championship Auto Racing Teams in a southern venue for many, many years. In addition to the Indy lights race, there will be a demonstration by the PacWest team of their IndyCar teams and also, of course, the Super Touring Series will run there which, of course, is sanctioned by CART. Then, of course, our last event in May is going to be on Saturday May 24th in St. Louis at Gateway International. And, there is one area where I would like to ask for your help. We sense from some of the things you have seen and heard, that there is some confusion as to exactly when we are racing in St. Louis. As you all know, we are racing on Saturday, and I really would appreciate your help in emphasizing the fact that it is a Saturday race because there does seem to be some confusion in some sectors as to exactly when we are racing. So, once again, of course, it is on Saturday, the 24th of May. I haven't been at the track at St. Louis in the last few weeks, but our chief Stewart has been down there. He is very pleased with the track itself. We are also pleased with the way in which the facility has been developed. The grass is planted. Let us hope it gross quickly. And, it has been a very tight schedule for Chris Pook, our promoter, to get the track finished in time, but everything moves forward well. And, we are in good shape for St. Louis. So it is a busy month for us, an exciting month. I must say that Rio was a good start for us - a good race; exciting race, and with that, I will hand it back to T. E. McHale.
T.E. McHALE: Thank you, Andrew. Just a quick reminder to you all, we have a lot of people on the call today. So if you keep yourselves to one question and we can get through as many people as possible. We would really appreciate it. We are going to open it up for questions.
Q. Andrew, I would like to ask you if there was any concern at all just counting off the result sheet out of Rio and there were, what, about eight or nine cars, I think, that went out with mechanical problems that didn't finish the race and with the unfortunate incident on the parade lap and stuff. Are you feeling snake bit at all that this time of year when people are watching these races are going to be making some comparisons and stuff that you wish that kind of stuff wasn't happening?
ANDREW CRAIG: For sure. Obviously, we were disappointed by the rate of attrition and most of, all in losing three great competitors before the start of the race itself was extremely unfortunate. It happens from time to time. We will have a situation where -- a race will have a relatively light field at the end. But, obviously, we hope it only happens occasionally.
Q. For all three gentlemen. There has been some talk out of-- that other racetrack, that there maybe an olive branch extended later this week. What exactly would it take? What would they have to do to get you thinking about going back there?
ANDREW CRAIG: Perhaps if I could address that first, then I will leave it to Bobby and Tony to comment. But, obviously, we haven't seen what olive branch, as you characterize it, may well be presented. So, it is kind of hard to comment in any detail at all. What we are doing right now as I think we have made very clear is, we got a busy season ahead of us, busy month this month, and we are very much focused on our Championship. If the speedway come forward with a proposal, of some sort and is constructive then obviously, I am sure our board of directors would want to look at it. Tony or Bobby, would you want to comment further?
TONY BETTENHAUSEN: I echo Andrew's statement. It is very hard, if not impossible, to speculate what they may or may not say. Our team is based in Indianapolis and everybody here is of the opinion, it looks like they might eliminate the 25 and 8 rule, but until we see it happen, it is really hard to say.
BOBBY RAHAL: Yeah, I would agree with Tony, but I think everybody always made it clear that we would love to go back there, that it was a fight we certainly did not want. But, you know, I guess, what, Friday I understand there might be some announcement, so when that comes, we will go from there, I guess.
Q. This is for all three of you. If that olive branch comes, if you do decide to go back to Indianapolis, I guess this goes to Andrew first: What happens to the St. Louis date? That is on May 24th this year. I understand you have a four year contract. Where would Gateway International fit in?
ANDREW CRAIG: Once again, we are speculating right here because there is no agreement. If there is an agreement then, obviously, we would work something out in the future. But, at this stage, it really would be wrong to speculate as to what we do. Suffice it to say, we are committed to St. Louis; we are pleased with the track. We like the marketplace. We intend to race there for many years.
BOBBY RAHAL: I would just say the same, John, you know, until you see what they are going to say, it is a little tough to guess.
TONY BETTENHAUSEN: Pretty much, I mean, we could sit here and speculate all day long. But, I think I would go as far to say this much: I think CART is committed to not only our race tracks, but I think we are committed to our engine manufacturers as well. And, you know -- that is about all I will say. Everybody else can kind of read between the lines. I don't see a wholesale loss of CART teams going back to another event here in Indianapolis unless the cars happen to be fairly similar.
BOBBY RAHAL: I would like to echo's Tony comments and just say that there are a lot of issues that separate us at this moment. So, until you figure -- until you find out what issues they want to address, then you really can't go -- you can't -- it would be wrong for us to speculate, but there are a lot of issues that separate us at this time.
Q. Bobby and Tony; more so you, Bobby, how much do you, two weeks from now, how much -- will you still miss not being at Indy? Is that pain still there as deep as it has been or --
BOBBY RAHAL: To be honest with you, you know, I have got a race in St. Louis that I want to win and particularly after last weekend, I want to make it stick this time. So, really, I don't mean to -- no denigration here or anything else, but my thoughts are really on St. Louis. There is no question that, as we have said all along, when you went to some place for 15 or 16 years, it is odd not to be there. But, we have got a tough race to win, an extremely tough race to win on that Saturday. And, I got to tell you, it takes all my time thinking about it to be able to -- to mount a competitive effort. I think you saw the qualifying grid in Rio, I mean, it got so ridiculous -- it was so ridiculous, in fact, that Bryan and I qualified at the same exact time. And, forgetting the fact that, I think, from 3rd to 8th was less than a tenth of a second. So, I got to tell you, as much as I can be wistful and nostalgic, I have got to really focus on-the-job at hand.
Q. I have a question for Tony and Bobby. Gateway is a brand new track. No testing has been done down there. No tire testing. Comment on what that means for you in getting ready for the race.
TONY BETTENHAUSEN: Well, I think that will be a whale of a show. You know, there is lots of incidents I can think of right now that when teams go into a circuit without any testing, everybody is pretty even. And, I think the tire companies will both bring out a quality product down there. I think all the teams, you know, -- they have a pretty good idea, through the simulation programs that we are able to run, what the circuit is going to be all about. Wednesday will be a real plus because we get to practice 2, 45 minute groups on Wednesday down there. And I just think, you know, it should be a great race. Everybody is going in with the same amount of knowledge. And, you know, I think it will be as competitive as all of our other races have been this year.
BOBBY RAHAL: I would like to add: We have done this before. We have gone to events that were first-time events and whether it was Detroit in 1992 or New Hampshire, you know, it is an extra challenge for the teams. But, you know, I think historically everybody really gets with the program pretty quickly. Certainly the next year, when everybody comes back, there is just that much more information to go by. But, I don't think that is going to have any affect on the overall show because I think the race will be extremely competitive. The teams will react and respond to the information they are getting and they will go -- they all go racing on Saturday.
Q. This tire wall that was introduced in Brazil any way you can see that being modified to be used, for instance, at Texas Motor Speedway where we have had this great controversy about the dual banking and the need for a temporary wall there. Is there any chance that this could a solution?
ANDREW CRAIG: I really can't comment on Texas Motor Speedway because that is not a race that is on our schedule. But, I would say - and I will invite Bobby to comment at the end of this - we were very, very pleased with how this wall works. There is no question it saved, as I said early on, Mauricio Gugelmin from a very serious accident. But, in addition to that, during qualifying and during practice, we had a number of incidents where cars came into contact with the wall. And, this was also in a very, very quick turnaround, the cars weren't very, very damaged, and we could clean up the track very quickly and go back on the track racing again, so to speak. So, we are very encouraged. I guess our attitude is this: That nowhere is it written down that the walls have to be made of concrete and if we can find a better way of doing this that is safe; that doesn't have any knock-on effect, so to speak, which could hamper the competition, then we are going to look at it. And, certainly in this first experiment, it was very, very successful.
BOBBY RAHAL: I would like to say first and foremost, I mean, let us face it, ovals are dangerous and they are expensive. When you hit the wall it -- you know, your crash budget gets depleted very rapidly. So, any time you can soften both from a risk standpoint of the human being and obviously minimize the cost involved with an incident, all the better. This tire wall, I thought, was fantastic. It is limited, though, I think in the uses or in the places that it can be used. Where I think it is particularly useful is where you can potentially hit the wall head on, or dead backwards, or if something broke on the car, which usually means where you are on the entry to a corner -- I don't think it necessarily will work on a glancing blow which you would see from, say, the -- from two-thirds of the way out of a corner 'til all the way out. If you noticed at Rio , we did not have -- it was still possible to hit the wall. But, that would always be at the exit of the corner where the deflection and the angles and everything else don't pose as much of a threat. What this wall was, and particular reaction to, was incidents like last year that Mark Blundell had in Rio where something broke on the car and he literally went straight into the wall at a very high rate of speed; fortunately, for him, without much injury. But I mean, that was -- I think he beat the odds there, frankly. And, as Andrew was saying, I think Gugelmin -- I saw the, tape there is no question that this tire wall protected him from potentially some pretty severe injuries. As Andrew said also during practice there were a number of incidents that maybe the rear wing got broken on the car, but had that wall not been there, it would have been maybe a right rear corner or left rear corner, maybe even a gearbox, and, as I say, when you back in or go front end in on an oval, that is an expensive fix, irrespective of what happens to the poor guy sitting in it.
Q. I was wondering your co-owner Dave Letterman being an Indiana native how does he feel about the split between CART and IRL?
BOBBY RAHAL: I think he made it pretty clear publicly last year, his feelings, you know. And, I can't speak for him and wouldn't want to. But, I do know he is going to be in
St. Louis. So, I guess I'd let that do the talking.
Q. Mr. George said last week that he had been contacted indirectly about that CART might be interested in a race at Indy. Could you address that?
ANDREW CRAIG: Yes, I believe that at some stage the idea of Championship Auto Racing Teams leasing the track may have been raised in casual conversation. I am not here to speak for the speedway, but I can't imagine that that would be something that they would want to do. I think Tony has made that pretty clear. I think that is the beginning of the end of the matter.
Q. Could you elaborate a little bit more on the idea of CART leasing the track, the Indianapolis track for another race?
ANDREW CRAIG: I really can't because that is probably about the beginning of the end of it, quite frankly. Just an idea that was knocking around. I don't even know how it was communicated to the speedway, quite frankly. But, I think it was done in good faith and in good spirit, but it is obviously not something which would be pursued -- which will be pursued.
Q. Andrew, I read about a message that CART sent to Toyota expressing some concern. I wonder if you could tell us what the concerns were that you expressed, how Toyota responded to them and whether Max Papis's finish at Rio has mitigated these at all?
ANDREW CRAIG: With any new engine manufacturer, it always takes a while for the program to become fully competitive. And, there is lots of evidence in that in many branches of the sport. We have certainly kept a close watch on the Toyota program. They are, of course, an immensely welcomed and respected competitor within our engine manufacturer ranks. And, yes, indeed, there has been some correspondence between myself and Toyota. And, the correspondence took the form of looking for which in way we could help them to speed the process of the engine development. Certainly this letter has been characterized elsewhere as being sort of a negative letter suggesting that perhaps Toyota shouldn't be in our Series. Actually, nothing could be further from the truth. My purpose in contacting, are very good friends at Toyota because they are an extremely friend of the Series and support us in many, many ways we would just say look, is there anyway we can help you, perhaps, with relaxation of our testing rules or whatever and so forth, to help, you know, get the program up and running maybe a little faster than it is right now. The letter was received extremely positively within Toyota and we are indeed looking at some areas where we might be able to help them. There is nothing unusual about this. This kind of correspondence and discussion takes place with many organizations in our Series and indeed, with drivers from time to time. So, it is not an unusual procedure. For whatever reason, this appears to have gotten a little bit more publicity than I would normally expect. What we would regard as sort of a confidential matter between ourselves and Toyota to be.
Q. Can you tell me if you heard anything from Jacques Villeneuve about him coming back to CART?
ANDREW CRAIG: Only what I read in the press, but Jacque is a fine competitor and welcomed at any time.
Q. Was there anything specific that you requested? Did you give them any deadlines, request any specific action on their part and what will be CART's next step?
ANDREW CRAIG: No, not at all. It wasn't the sort of letter where we are putting deadlines on Toyota. As I say, they are very welcomed and a much valued part of our Series. It was a letter in which I put forward, you know, any ways that we can help you to move your program forward perhaps at a slightly faster right. There are no deadlines attached to it, but we are obviously in regular discussion with them and if there are ways we can help, we will help.
Q. Can you also comment on the Chief steward situation? Will Wally be acting as chief steward, let us say, for the end of the season and where does Dennis Swan (ph.) fit in the CART structure?
ANDREW CRAIG: Dennis, I am very pleased to say is now back at work. I think everybody knows Dennis had some health problems in Australia. He is now back at work and actually I haven't seen him yet. I did see him just before I went to Rio. We will be looking at the whole situation with Dennis and Wally and I think you will find that we will make an announcement very shortly.
Q. After what happened at the U.S. 500 last year which is a very embarrassing start, obviously I am sure you would agree, how much of a talking to it are you going to give everybody before the start at Gateway?
ANDREW CRAIG: Is that for me or Bobby? What do you say, Bobby?
BOBBY RAHAL: I think Wally has done a good job of keeping everybody pretty much in line as of late. So, I am sure Wally will forget where and when; just the fact that any race, you should be able to start without an incident.
Q. Speaking for Auto Magazine in Frankfurt, Germany, Andrew Craig, you have gone to Rio. You have gone to Japan. When will you come to Europe?
ANDREW CRAIG: It is a good question. And appropriate. We certainly do want to race in Europe. We think it is an important part of the development of our Series and if I can just digress for one second, the reason these races are important overseas is because they bring extra value to sponsors. And, in a sport that is 95 percent financed by sponsors, value is a critical issue. Cost, of course, is an important aspect in racing. But, in the end, providing the value exceeds the costs, we will have sponsors. If it ever goes the other way, well, obviously we won't. In these days of globalization of business and more and more brands becoming world brands, by nature. If you look at Bobby's team, he has got Shell which is probably -- actually, it is the best known trademark in the world. And he has got Miller, which is forging an international business for itself throughout the world. So, the international side is important. We will only race in a very few select places overseas. The rest of our internationalization will be through television. Certainly, Latin America was important for us. Japan is extremely important to us, indeed, because it is such a strong racing market and such a strong corporate market. And, obviously a race in Europe will be the logical extension. And within Europe, quite clearly, our preferred option would be to race in Germany. I like the idea and I think the teams like the idea of linking the three automotive power houses of the world, America, Japan and Germany together. I think there is a nice fit there. Obviously, the critical consideration for us is exactly where and when. And to answer the when, it is going to take us a couple of years before we can absorb a European race into the schedule. So don't look for anything before 2000 or 2001, around that area, and then obviously we have to make sure we have a partner who is ready to go and we have a racetrack that is suitable to race on. We will only race on ovals with the exception of Australia which is a grandfathered arrangement. We will only race on ovals outside of the U.S.A. And, there are a couple of good reasons for that. One relates to our relationship with the FIA, our international governing body. But, I think just as importantly and probably more importantly to us, we don't want to go overseas and look like another race Series. What we want to do is we want to take a very attractive form of racing, which is uniquely American, and bring that to a public that has never seen it before. And, I am sure that when we go to Japan, for example, the key feature which will attract fans to our race is the idea they can go to Twin Ring Motegi and see something they have never seen in their lives before and see something which is uniquely American because there are -- the values of Americanness (sic) is still very popular in most parts of the world today. I am sure will be for many, many years to come. So, when we go to an overseas race, we do want to bring something which is different and new for the fans. So, certainly, a race in Germany is high on our list of priorities. If we don't get one in Germany, certainly going to be somewhere in Europe. And, we hope to do that in the not too distant future.
Q. Main reason for my question is an American audience, our publication addresses the U.S. military community here in Europe. And you know the average GI would cross a field of broken beer bottles to see one of these CART races. That is the main reason I ask, not so much for the Europeans, but the GIs here who want to see these races.
ANDREW CRAIG: We would love to bring a race to them and I am sure all the beer bottles probably wouldn't be broken either.
BOBBY RAHAL: I'd like to say something along that line. When I raced in Europe in Formula II and Formula III, I always loved going to Germany because of Armed Forces Radio Network and everything else, it was like going home. And, so I can imagine that it will be very popular for both sides, for us and for them if we were able to go over there.
Q. I am getting back to this talk of Indianapolis because obviously it is me and traditionally that is always the talk in this month. For somebody like Tony Bettenhausen whose father raced there and Tony, you have raced at that track. And, you live in Indianapolis. You have your base there. I know you don't like to deal in sort of rumors and speculation, what might -- what might happen, but with them going a different route and just in terms of the configuration of the cars and you know, the CART people going at another route, I mean, is it even possible? Some people have talked about having a Super Bowl type meeting where you can take, you know, the NFL or AFL or IRL and CART and race together. But, is that possible? Because it is almost like in that scenario, it is almost like having a race with different rules like having a 4 down rule versus 3 down rule in football. Is that possible or have you gone to the point now even though people are speculating there might somebody some accommodation made, it is just going to be inconceivable that you could do that? So this is actually for Tony and Bobby.
TONY BETTENHAUSEN: Well, I think from our situation, our team, Tony Bettenhausen Motorsports, it would be very difficult, you know, I don't know exactly what the announcement is going to be, but I -- I am fairly certain they are not going to deviate from the course they have taken with their cars and their engines. So from my point of view, a team my size would have to run one Series or the other. And, whether they lift the qualifying limitations or the reserve starting spots or not, really wouldn't have a bearing on my operation. I think I could say that without two or three million dollars influx in sponsorship to my team, I couldn't buy a different type of car and different type of engines and go there and compete even if they lifted the qualifying rules. Now, I am speaking for myself. I am not necessarily speaking for, you know, Roger Penske or Bob or anybody else. But, from my point of view, it would be very difficult for me to come up with two different types of cars and compete in two different Series. So, you know, it is unfortunate, as Bob said earlier, I said, you know, I think we miss Indianapolis to a certain degree, but -- I miss the late great Indianapolis 500. I don't miss what is going on there right now.
BOBBY RAHAL: I think there is a big difference between this situation and what happened in the '60s with the AFL and NFL. At that point they were still playing the same game. They were just -- they just had different leagues. This is not the same game. The cars are totally dissimilar. The engines are totally dissimilar. I mean, there is really nothing in common whatsoever, so, it just wouldn't be possible, I don't think. And I would just like to echo Tony's opinion there because there is no such thing as inexpensive racing. Competition breeds cost and it is just like NASCAR. NASCAR used to probably be half of what it cost today, but the competition gets greater and there is more money and next thing you know, racing cost more. So we could not, if we were to run an IRL program, we would not run it any differently than what we are doing right now. And we obviously can't afford to do both, as I am sure most teams couldn't afford to do both. So, I am quite happy with our Series. I think it is tougher than ever, even though I didn't win on Sunday, I derived a great deal of satisfaction from outrunning all those young guys for most of the race. And, you know, I think it is unfortunate what has happened. But, as I said earlier, there is a lot of issues and a lot of differences on the table that go way beyond this whole idea of this 25 and 8 rule.
Q. There was talk earlier about going to Germany, or Japan next year with a new track facility in Savannah which is supposed to be state of the art, very superb, it might almost get to the point where you have got so many dates and your own events become such high profile event themselves, you might even leave Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the dust somewhere where it just hasn't kept up with the expansion of your circuit and venues that you have. We are talking now in terms of maybe few years from now. But it might become - I am not saying it wouldn't become an unimportant race course, but it may not have the status of what it has had before.
BOBBY RAHAL: Well, I think from just our standpoint, I mean, next year we have got 19 races. That is a let of racing. And, you know, and if Savannah or if there was another event, a German race or something, or God knows where, if there is another event period, now we are talking 20 races. That is a ton of racing. And, frankly, what I would rather see - and I think what made -- what has made open wheel CART racing so popular is the fact that we have had races like Vancouver and Toronto and Long Beach, and these races exist on their own right, you know, because they are great events in those areas. And, I think that is what has grown the Series is that we can point to 17 or 18 very strong venues and go to your sponsor and say, you are going to get your money's worth out of these venues. So, you know, we are getting to the point, no question, Mike, where we can't do anymore races. And, we don't want to be in NASCAR, I think, with 32, because if you talk to those guys, they all wished they raced as often as we did. So, it is -- you know, I think we need to make our individual events like Vancouver and all the races I have mentioned, just make them stronger and stronger and stronger every year, and that is going to grow the Series - there is no question about it.
T.E. McHALE: We will take one more question from the floor. Our time is getting short here. Maybe one more question for our guests this afternoon and then we will let them go.
Q. Andrew, how flexible is CART's schedule for the month of May next year? You have been changing the May schedule obviously for the last two years now.
ANDREW CRAIG: We are in the process of working on 1998's schedule right now. And, actually, scheduling is probably one of the hardest things each year because you have got to interweave television availabilities transportation back and forth and obviously the race in Japan, that is a big consideration because that is a big trip. I, frankly, don't really want to get into discussing what may or may not happen in the month of May because it is all so speculative. But, if I can put it this way: I have to plan on the basis that we are going racing in 19 venues next year and that is the whole essence of what I am doing right now is trying to organize a schedule of 19 races. Until such time as that, changes and I stress, that is all highly speculative, then I am going to continue planning on scheduling 19 races.
T.E. McHALE: With that, I think we will let our guests go. We want to thank Tony Bettenhausen, Bobby Rahal, Andrew Craig for joining us this afternoon. Thank you all for joining us as well. A reminder that next week at 1 P.M. next Tuesday, 1:00 P.M. eastern time, our guests will be Al Unser, Jr. and Rick Mears. We hope you all will join us then. Thanks and good afternoon.
|Connect with The Crittenden Automotive Library|