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CART Media Conference

Special Collections Reference Desk

Open Wheel Racing Topics:  CART

CART Media Conference

Andrew Craig
Jimmy Vasser
July 22, 1997

T.E. McHALE: I'd like to say good afternoon to everybody and thanks for bearing with us. We are having trouble connecting with Jimmy Vasser, but in the interim this afternoon, President and Chief Executive Officer of Championship Auto Racing Teams Andrew Craig has agreed to pinch-hit and take a few questions while we are waiting for Jimmy to join us. At this point we are going to open it for general questions for Andrew and hopefully sometime in the next few minutes we will be hearing from Jimmy Vasser. Again, thank you all for your patience. Anyone who wishes to ask Andrew a question can press star 1 on their telephone key pad to signal the operator. We will begin takes those questions now and again thank you for your patience.

Q. Andrew, question about the 1998 schedule. When do you anticipate making that public? We have seen some reports about an addition of a race in the Texas area, and I would just like your general comment on that place?

ANDREW CRAIG: We plan to turn out the schedule after our board meeting which takes place on August the 21st and the schedule will be published within, I would guess, within about 24 hours of that meeting. One of the worse kept secrets of CART these days is indeed the idea of the race in Houston and I mean, for sure, that is going to be on the schedule. So, there is no big prizes there.

Q. Is that an oval or road course?

ANDREW CRAIG: It is going to be a road course in Downtown Houston.

Q. Could you address -- last year when you went to Michigan all the ballyhoo about going head-to-head with Indianapolis, does the Series right now have the kind of singular showcase race you wanted to have? And, if it does have one, is it the U.S. 500 or will it be the Fontana race, how do you see that and is it lacking at the moment?

ANDREW CRAIG: Well, I think that what we would need to do is two things. First of all - and this is a priority. We need to develop in the public's mind the idea that winning the PPG CART World Series is the ultimate prize in open-wheel racing in this country. I have to say that looking back to the past -- and it was never really the case, I think while the Indy 500 was a part of the Series it was always a little unclear in peoples' minds as to what was important, winning the Indy 500, winning the Championship, so forth. We, as an organization, never really developed or have not developed a championship to the level of prestige that it should enjoy. So very, very high list on my list of priorities is to create the mood and atmosphere of the National Championship. Having said that, I think that in addition to that, as with any championship, it is good to have certain highlights if you like, marquis events and certainly I look to Fontana for the future as potentially being one of the marquis events in our Series. It is a national fair -- it is a 500 mile race, comes at the end of the season. It is a very, very important marketplace, so forth. Let me also emphasize that from our point of view all 500 mile races are important. So in a perfect world, we have three of them and we also have a triple crown, so that is also a possibility in the future, if we can find a third one.

Q. When you are looking at resetting the schedule for 1998, one of the things that have come up in the Winston Cup Series is the fact that the teams aren't getting a breather. We are getting ready in the PPG CART World Series to go through a pretty heavy stretch. Will some of the dates be moved to the early part of the season in order to fill some of those gaps? Does the cost on the teams factor into the schedule setting?

ANDREW CRAIG: It is a very good question. Increasingly it is becoming apparent that we are pushing everybody involved in this Series whether it be drivers, teams, mechanics, sponsors, sponsor staff our own staff and our own officials at a very, very fast pace. And, we really have to look quite carefully at this. Our problem is a little different from NASCAR's, that they have a lot more races, of course. But, on the other hand, with us, we travel physically far, far further. Our races are far more far flung both in the U.S.A. and, of course, internationally. Plus, of course, our cars take a lot more time to prepare and to turn around. And certainly, it has become an issue with everybody involved. Actually, the one group I missed out there, of course is the press. We are pushing everybody very hard, I recognize that. So, certainly, when we do publish the schedule, you are going to see that where we can, we have tried to create more gaps and more air, if you like, within the schedule. But, there are many issues that come into play here. We have some races that run on traditional or fixed dates. We have to bear in mind the travel schedules to get from A to B. We can't take people back and forth across the continent every other week. So, it is not a simple matter of saying, okay, let us have a race every other week and just plan it that way. There will still be back-to-back races, but we are trying to reduce the number of back-to-back races where we can.

Q. On behalf of my colleagues and the press, we thank you for thinking of us.

ANDREW CRAIG: I think of nothing else.

T.E. McHALE: If I could step in, I have been notified that Mr. Vasser has joined us. So, we will begin the teleconference we had originally scheduled here. I'd like to take Andrew Craig for taking the time to join us and answer a few questions. At this point, let me introduce Jimmy. Thanks for joining us this afternoon. Jimmy, the driver of the No. 1 Target Reynard Honda enters Sunday's U.S. 500 presented by Toyota at Michigan Speedway as the defending champion having driven to a victory from the pole position last season. It was his fourth victory in the season's first six events propelling him to his first PPG Cup Championship. In the process, Jimmy became the first driver in PPG CART World Series' history to complete every race en route to his title. Jimmy also set the track record at Michigan Speedway with a lap of 234.665 miles per hour set during qualifying for last year's Marlboro 500. Earlier this season Jimmy tied Al Unser, Jr.'s PPG CART World Series' record of 25 consecutive race finishes, a streak which was broken at Portland. He also put together a streak of 15 consecutive points paying finishes which ended at Portland as well. Entering this weekend, he has scored in 25 of his past 28 PPG CART World Series' starts including 9 of 11 this season. Through 11 events, Jimmy season best finishes have been 3rd at both Homestead in Milwaukee. He enters this weekend's U.S. 500 ranked 7th in the PPG Cup standings with 75 points. The U.S. 500 presented by Toyota, round 12, of the PPG CART World Series will be televised live by ABC on Sunday July 27th at 1 P.M. Eastern daylight time. With that and long last, we are going to open it up for questions.

Q. This has been a pretty difficult season for you, I know, especially after last season. What is it going to take coming back to Michigan as defending champion, your last win, what is it going to take for you to feel like you have accomplished what you want to accomplish the rest of the season?

JIMMY VASSER: Well, I think, you know, we are still focused on the big picture and the main goal's winning the Championship. It is not -- we are not out of it by no means. We are about -- we are 30-some points out with six events left to go so we are just going to keep focusing on each race. And, there is no doubt about it, we need to win a couple here real soon. And, so, you know, we are still taking it one race at a time. And, we are certainly still in the points race. To answer your question, what is it going to take, we just need to start unloading off the trailer with the setup that is a -- that is more inside the picture frame, so to say. We have been really off the mark quite aways with the setup and been struggling to get the car back somewhere in the range of a competitive speed. We have been working all weekend, so, I hope to come off the trailer at Michigan set up somewhat close. It is not the same setup as far as I could tell, we tested there a bit, than last year because they took some down-force away, about 600 pounds. And, so are struggling with mechanical grip. That will be something that we are going to be focusing on and working on at Michigan this weekend.

Q. Jimmy, when you guys went to Michigan last year obviously there was a political hoorah that - with Indy and what have you, how big is this race in the current -- what I am getting to, does the Series lack the one showcase race right now that jumps out and grabs people and grabs their attention to the entire Series?

JIMMY VASSER: Well, I think there is a few races on the Series that are premier events. But, you know, I think this year the way that CART has structured the schedule, and so forth, that all the races are pretty much equal in points paying position and also prize money. Last year, you know, U.S. 500, it was on -- run head-to-head with Indianapolis for a much, much bigger prize money than our purse than we are going to have here this weekend at Michigan. So, I don't think you can say it is of the same magnitude that it was last year. Although, I think there is no doubt about it that the U.S. 500 is one of our showcase or premier events. I don't think you can say, in answering your question, that one race stands out as a crown jewel, so to say.

Q. Jimmy, very simply, has the season been frustrating for you?

JIMMY VASSER: Well, you know, I try not to let myself get frustrated. It certainly hasn't gone the way we would like it. We haven't won a motor race. We have been in position to do so on two or three occasions and it just hasn't gone our way. We have had some difficulties here at the past few events. But, you know, we are that -- motor racing is tough that way and we are optimistic. Like I was telling Mike earlier, we are certainly not out of the points. But it is time for us to show some muscle and, you know, win a couple races or be in a position to and score some real high top points paying positions here for the next, you know, at least three races in a row. And, then put us in a position where we can have our own destiny in our hands towards the end of the season and win the Championship. That is still our focus. We still believe we can do it. Target/Chip Ganassi Team certainly is capable of doing that, with Zanardi having some great performances, so we have been focusing on our side of the team. Something is missing on our side of the team, one of the ingredients and we are working real hard to get it back.

Q. When you say something is missing --

JIMMY VASSER: If I knew what it was, I'd tell you. We would fix it.

Q. Thank you.


Q. You have also got the IROC Series this weekend. I was just wondering how difficult is it to juggle two events one weekend or is it sort of a release to have another outlet?

JIMMY VASSER: I am really looking forward to the IROC. It has been a great experience. And, racing with the Earnhardts and the Waltrips and the Martins and so forth and although, you know, it is going to be difficult, I think on Sunday morning, we are going to have a CART warmup, an IROC race and then 500 miles, so, I think it would have been a little better to have the race on Saturday. It gives us a little more complete focus on the U.S. 500. But, I am looking forward to it. It is going to be a full day of racing and it will be great if we can take two victories.

Q. Mark Blundell is having a kind of breakout kind of year very similar to yours last year. Can you comment on what you see in those guys he and Gugelmin that is going so right? It reminds me so much of you and Zanardi last year.

JIMMY VASSER: Well, just there are so many ingredients to go in and making the pie, so to say, but they -- you know, they are geling their team. Their team has worked awfully hard in the off-season or over the last few seasons and doing a lot of research and development and doing a lot of work with their race car. For them to run good consistently, you know, it is pretty much a team sport, absolutely, and, you know, they got good setups coming off the trailer on Friday, and they are competitive all weekend. It is just hard work and some of it is paying off for them. And, you have got to give them credit where credit is due. Both Mark and Mauricio are doing a heck of a job behind the wheel. When they didn't do so well, I don't think you can say it was the driver. All of a sudden some things coming together and the guys are up front. It is the whole package. They have got good setups and everybody is working good together. I am sure that is what is going on, good chemistry.

Q. Do you see Blundell as a real threat on ovals also now?

JIMMY VASSER: I am sure he is capable of running up front. I don't think he has run up the front consistently on ovals. But, you know, he is learning every time he goes out. I think he ran very strong at the U.S. 500 last year in his comeback race, so, he is certainly a threat to win coming back now with the equipment he has and also his level of experience.

Q. You just said that the track was different this year. Well, even so, did you learn anything in last year's race that you can use this year or do you have to start -- is everybody just starting from scratch because it is different?

JIMMY VASSER: Well, the track is not different. Sorry, you must have misunderstood me. The cars are different. They have taken some down-force away from the race cars and it has made the handling different on the track and it does make it more difficult and we had a good baseline setup the last few years going into Michigan. Now we have to make some adjustments to the chassis to help accommodate the lack of down-force. So, that is the some of the things we are going to be battling with this weekend.

Q. Does it need an Indianapolis 500 or Daytona? This Series, you said it is missing, it doesn't have a crown jewel. Is that something it really needs, an Indy 500 or Daytona 500?

JIMMY VASSER: I think only time is going to tell. From a driver's standpoint, I certainly miss the Indianapolis 500 and that is a very sad thing that is going on here. But, I think other racing Series have survived quite nicely without a crown jewel, so to say, Formula I and so forth. And, so, I think only time is going to tell on that.

Q. Could you tell me what success has done to your personal life and also to your career, the good and the bad of it?

JIMMY VASSER: Well, I guess the good for my career and the success obviously puts my career at a better spot and it is a nice feeling to achieve some of the goals you set out to do. I wouldn't say there is a lot of bad, just, you know, just the fact that you become more busy and you have a lot less time to yourself and your family and your friends. And, that makes it difficult. But, if that is what you have to do, or if that is what comes with some success, then I am happy to juggle those balls.

Q. What contributes to unloading with a good starting setup, given the lack of data that you have in this situation, is it a luck thing or back when you were talking about PacWest it sounded as though part of the reason they are unloading as fast as they are is because of what they have done in preparation, research and so forth?

JIMMY VASSER: You can't say it is a luck thing because it is such a complex machine, the IndyCar.

Q. How do you get better at it at your team then?

JIMMY VASSER: Well, you just have to -- you know, you have to have -- your engineer has to be in tune with what he thinks the car is going to need at the racetrack that particular year. Tire companies are changing their tires, so not all the time does your information from previous years work for you. We have been struggling. Me and my engineer, Julian Robertson have been struggling to get the car real good off the trailer for my driving style, so we are continuing delving back into the notes of '95 and '96 to sort of find any clues to some of the things that we are doing here in 1997 that seems -- looking for a red flag or something. You know, we really haven't done a lot of road course testing, my side of the team, the No. 1 one side of the team. We have done some tire testing, but that doesn't help bring your setup along. So, I think a lack of real strong testing program is starting to hurt us. And, we have got to try to rectify those problems and come more prepared for the race weekend.

Q. You are the No. 1 guy in this league and just the way you express that, your side of the team hasn't maybe done maybe as so much as the other side. Does this support the rumors that you might be moving on to another team next year?

JIMMY VASSER: No. These issues don't have anything to do with each other. Right now I am in line to drive for Target/Chip Ganassi next year and that is all I can say.

Q. Different drivers to win races, this year that total has been equaled and there are still six races left. Do you see this year being more competitive than last year?

JIMMY VASSER: Well, yeah, I mean it certainly isn't less competitive, that is for sure. I think it is a bit more competitive. It is amazing, every year it seems to get more and more competitive. I think it shows the state of CART IndyCar Racing, it is very, very strong and it is -- even seems more difficult and more competitive this year since we are not running as well as we did last year. But, I am confident we are going to make some big gains here shortly and leap up in the points.

Q. I was wondering, Jim, if you could just reflect a little bit on last year's unusual nature of the U.S. 500 from your personal standpoint, you kind have had an emotional roller coaster, I guess, you are up and down and you are back up all of a sudden, could you reflect on that a little bit?

JIMMY VASSER: It was quite a day for me and my whole team. Obviously with the fact that we weren't at Indianapolis for the first time in quite sometime and everybody was out in Michigan and there was all the political ramifications of the race and for the obvious, for the botch start when I got hit in the rear from Fernandez caused a huge, huge wreck, you know, at that point I was very disappointed thinking perhaps my day was over and then it dawned on me that we can get our backup cars and thankfully it was ready to go at the level of preparation that it was. But, we fought with it all race long. It was, at times, very frustrating, the car wasn't working well. From a team standpoint to have Zanardi blow a motor and put him out of the race when both cars were looking real good was another big downer for the team. Then for the obvious, you know, the victory at the end was -- it was just a very -- it was a great win for us after a long, long, long day. And, you know it was a great feeling to be able to go back to the trailer and celebrate and have a beer with the boys. And, you know, that was the last time I won a race too, so, it feels like it has been more than a year. It feels like it has been ten years. It is time to win again.

Q. I got to pick up on when you were talking about not getting the amount of testing time, is that a concern that you have expressed to Chip?

JIMMY VASSER: It is not -- the team does what it can and with the time that it has in the testing schedule. I have race concerns about, you know, the state of, you know, our setup when we arrive and how I think it affects our effort. Our upper management knows our situation as far as testing goes and, you know, I think they have tried to do everything that they can to do within their power to get us out on the racetrack. But, the schedule now is very tight and the season obviously -- budgets have already been set at the beginning of the season so a lot of these testing dates, they can't get juggled around too much. And, so I think we have done pretty much all -- we do a lot of tire testing. It doesn't enable our team to do setup testing as much as we would like. And, you know, I think it is definitely hurting our effort at this point.

Q. So is this the kind of thing where you sit down and you say, okay, next year -- we learned this year; next year it's got to be different?

JIMMY VASSER: Yeah, next year, and also trying to just, at least, squeeze in -- you know, we really only have one street circuit left in Vancouver and we already looked at the calendar to try to find a place where we can test and time that we can squeeze a test in. And, it is very, very difficult. I mean, we are going to be -- we are racing in Michigan this weekend. I have to go to Japan next week for opening ceremonies for the Motegi Circuit with some demonstration laps, come straight back, go to Mid-Ohio race, go straight up to Elcart Lake Race at that point in time. The team needs a break to turn the cars around and you only have a couple of weeks to get it done and then you have to go back to Vancouver. Nothing is going to fit in. There is not a whole lot that can be done. And, certainly, when you are looking at a calendar for the next season, you have got to -- we are going to take these things into consideration and I just -- I need to be out there testing a little more than I have been on road course situations for the team. They seem to use me a little more on the oval applications. But, I think it is certainly hurting me and my driving style, you know, lack of road course testing.

Q. So if I may ask a follow-up with that, oval track at Michigan, coming at the perfect time for Jimmy Vasser?

JIMMY VASSER: Well, yeah, it is time. There is no doubt about it. The perfect time, I hope that is true. But, it is the next race and we are, you know, we need -- we are not out of the points, by no means, so we need to have a great finish here at Michigan, and have a good run. But, I am a bit concerned about the state of our setup coming off the trailer. We did -- I did some tire testing at Michigan. It wasn't testing to really help, you know, our handling. It was just tire testing and I could tell that we were lacking in some mechanical grip. So, the team knows that and we are going to try to take some steps to fix that and hopefully we will be on the mark when we come off the trailer.

Q. Last year four wins, four poles, finishing all those races, running all those laps, such a great year. Was it too high a standard to meet this year to -- were the expectations this year maybe too high?

JIMMY VASSER: No, absolutely not. We are capable of doing that at any time. We have been in a position to win some races this year. It just hasn't gone our way. We have struggled a bit in qualifications, but I think we have worked hard through the weekend and got our car working better for the races. So, you know, absolutely not. We are capable of doing those same things. It just hasn't gone our way. So we are working hard and, I think you are going to see the Target/Chip Ganassi in the winners's circle couple of times this year and we are going to get back up there in that point battle. We have been pretty much in the top-5 in the points all season long. We are sitting 7th now, not far out of a top-5 spot and, you know, the top-5 is very close to the lead. So we are certainly in a position to win this Championship again and that is our focus we have just got our head down right now working hard.

Q. Do you think you are driving better than you did maybe did you last year and just not have gotten out of it?

JIMMY VASSER: I am driving every bit as good. We are struggling with our setup. Things are going to go our way. We just keep throwing enough stuff on the wall, something is going to stick. We are going to have a good run again, I am very optimistic for this weekend. I think we have got a good shot of winning.

Q. As Defending Series Champion, you obviously get a lot more pressure when you go to a race, you got -- probably more media wanting to talk to you, you have to do things like teleconferences a lot more. Does that make it tougher to focus on what you are doing when you are at the racetrack and is that something that can contribute to, you know, what makes it so tough to repeat because obviously it doesn't happen too often?

JIMMY VASSER: Well, you know, I don't know. I suppose you can make a case for that. It is a tough job along those lines. If you are winning or you win a Championship, it obviously becomes a little bit more intense along those lines. But I don't think that that, you know, is getting -- interferes or getting in the way with our performance. Everybody is professional out there and everybody is used to the schedules that we keep - not only with testing, you know, in different race tracks changing over, but doing the kind of media things that you need to do on behalf of our sponsors and your team, and so-- but when you get in the car and you put down the shield, it is still very peaceful and the job at hand is always the most important and everything else -- you seem to forget about everything else while you are out there in the car. So, to answer your question, I am not real sure. I don't think so. But I am not real sure that -- you probably do have a point. It is probably important to probably shield yourself from some of that, if you can just to make sure that you do have all your focus and all your energies pointed in the right direction.

Q. Jimmy, I just want to clarify the team has done road course testing, but not you; Alex has done that?

JIMMY VASSER: Alex has done predominantly most of the road course testing which is still very beneficial to the team. Alex is a great test driver and he does a good job. My only concerns as of recent are that I think that my baseline setup -- we have gotten away from a good baseline setup that we have had mostly in '95 and '96 and my only suggestion to the team was that perhaps, you know, the fact that Alex has been doing a bit more of that than I have, maybe it suits his driving style more than it does mine. And, you know, I am only trying to give suggestions and find answers for the reasons why we come to the racetrack on Friday with a car that the handling is just not really acceptable, you know, for me, if we are going to try to win this Championship.

Q. So your driving style and Alex's are very different?

JIMMY VASSER: Well, not a ton. Sometimes we can drive the same setup, but recently we haven't been able to. I put Alex's setup -- we were struggling at Cleveland, I put his setup on my race car because he was running so well, and within a matter of laps I grained the right real tire just terribly. It ruined the tire, so, obviously, something in that setup didn't compute for my liking or for, you know -- we are not really sure why it did that. So, you know, again the only reason I say those things is I am trying to find answers and raise questions and help us, you know, find a solution for some of the difficulties that we have been having.

Q. In 1996 how did you divide up the testing?

JIMMY VASSER: I think we did similar things, but probably a bit more road course testing for me. I did a lot of the oval testing in '96 as well. Although, we didn't have the same problems that we have now. So, you know, maybe we did similar type of testing schedule last year that we did this year. But, last year we weren't really hurting so bad. We would come with a good setup and unload it pretty good on Friday most of the time. So --

Q. Do you feel that you have adequate testing but it is just not divided up as well as you'd like or do you feel that you need more overall testing?

JIMMY VASSER: I think more overall testing is always better for any race team, not just our own. But you always learn when you go out and the more you can test and the more research and development the team has, it seems, you know, the better your chances are going to be that you are going to find an edge over the other teams.

Q. Andre Ribeiro's 3rd place last week at Toronto really underlined the importance of having the right chassis, the right engine, the right tires, all of that combination, besides having all the great chemistry within the crew. Can you speak to that, No. 1, having all the right equipment and then speak to the guessing game of what to do for next year decision-wise, do we keep the same tire company, et cetera, because the guessing game, I would suspect, starts about right now?

JIMMY VASSER: Yeah, you are absolutely right. It is very apparent with somebody like Andre's performance difference from one weekend to the next with just changing, you know, an ingredient in the race car. You certainly can't stay, oh, now Andre -- he decided he wants to drive fast - as I am sure he has been driving is heart out all season long. So, you can see the importance of having a good setup right there. And, you are absolutely right, trying to sprinkle the right ingredients over the top are very important with tires and engines and chassis. So, obviously, a drive doesn't make those decisions. Team managers and engineers and owners make those decisions. Drive has some input, there is no doubt. But, ultimately those decisions are made by the upper management and the team ownership, and they take various reasons into consideration. So, right now is the time, I think, for team owners to start, like you say, start thinking for next year.

Q. Is it frustrating at all - let us take Andre, for instance, some less educated people might think, well, gosh, he hasn't been driving hard all year, he hasn't been driving his heart out and I am sure you have experienced that in your career where you are driving your heart out, but it just ain't working because either equipment or whatever; is that frustrating that the public would still have a view that you are not driving correctly?

JIMMY VASSER: No, not really. Because I know that the public doesn't have all the information that they need to have to make a real -- to make a good decision on what they believe. So, all they can go on is what they see on the racetrack and it is always easier to point the finger at the driver of the race car rather than to try to find the intricate details or problems that might lie within. So, that doesn't frustrate me and I don't really blame the race fan. They really don't have all the information.

Q. It is tough being a driver, you either get all the glory or all the blame?

JIMMY VASSER: Yeah, that is part of the territory.

Q. How well do you feel, your coming up through the ranks in competitive Formula Ford Series helped you?

JIMMY VASSER: Thanks, Lynn. I think that was probably the best training ground that I had in the lower Formula training that I did have. I mean, Formula Ford is traditionally the breeding ground for Formula car drivers and I ran into a very competitive region, San Francisco region of the SCCA of which they had a wonderful pro Series, sometimes 50 cars, and the very first pro Series race I ever won was in front of the IndyCar race - we had an interesting slot, we raced just before the IndyCars. It was like 11 o'clock in the morning on Sunday at Laguna Seca in 1984, and I still covet that as one of my more satisfying victories.

Q. Real quickly, a difference between a tire test and chassis test?

JIMMY VASSER: Tire test you show up and you are working for the tire company and they will have many, many different types of tires built differently in construction and in compound. And, what they like you to do is just to go out and run a few laps and find a balance with the setup that you have and so basically balance where the car is just drivable, it is not doing one horrible thing or the other meaning understeer or oversteer, then you get right into a tire test. They will run a tire that they call a control and that is a baseline set of tires. And, then they come and bolt tires on all day long. And, they want you to -- it is very important for you to keep the car exactly the same so you can get a clear read on the tires, the differences that you feel will just be the tires and their different characteristics and levels of grip. So, you don't -- you are asked just to leave the car alone. You don't have any time to try new -- to try new pieces, new setups, and try to develop, you know, answers to your problems. That is the basic difference.

Q. What is the percentage on your team - is -- have you done like 80% tire testing and 20% --

JIMMY VASSER: I think that is probably a pretty close -- pretty accurate percentage. I think it is probably 75 to 80% of our testing has been tire testing and, you know, although, we do look to help out the tire companies, I think it definitely takes away from our team testing.

T.E. McHALE: Thank you. With that I think we will wrap it up for today. I want to thank Jimmy Vasser for joining us this afternoon. We want to wish you the best of luck in Sunday's U.S. 500 presented by Toyota at Michigan Speedway. We want to thank you all for your patience today and we will talk to you next week.

JIMMY VASSER: Thank you very much.

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