Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Hanging with the big Dawgs

Whale that was very COOL! As an Indy Car “Cub Reporter,” nee Blog Vurd Botcherer, I got to listen to my very first live Indy Car Teleconference ever via the telephone today courtesy of Mr. Arni of the IRL. With three of Andretti Green Racing’s big guns: Michael Andretti, Tony Kanaan and Marco Andretti fielding questions from various press members.

Of course it probably helps if you dial the right FLIPPIN’ telephone number, eh? As I was furiously trying to figure this out and ended up missing the first seven plus minutes...

But suddenly there was the Boss “Mikey’s” voice booming into my ear... And I got to hear the majority of the teleconference... As I found it most comical to hear some of the usual questions, like from a Canadian press member: Asking Michael how the Danica to F1 rumours would affect the team this season? To which Michael said; well I think every year we have some sort of distraction going on... I don’t think it’ll be an issue, as we know Danica pretty well and I don’t expect it to be a problem.

Then from the same press member from Up North Eh? Michael, what do you think about the new F1 wins formula? To which Michael said Huh? Of which would have only been better if he’d said eh? But even after having the question posed multiple times Michael still didn’t know what he was asking. So Tony Kanaan broke in and explained the new policy just created for this year’s Formula 1 Championship by explaining that whoever gets the most wins – wins the title. Michael paused and said he didn’t think he necessarily agreed with that as it should be whoever is the most consistent over the season... But I would have probably won a lot more Championships if we’d had that...

Marco Andretti, how does driving in the A1GP help your Oval racing? Marco, any driving is good driving... (As in seat time is always valuable). And what do you think about having J.R. Hildebrand as your teammate down the road... To which Marco seemingly said the obligatory answer of I’m sure he’d be a good fit, blah-blah-blah.

The only questions I heard posed to Tony Kanaan were about this year’s competition to which Tony said; I know we say it every year, but I think the competition will be even tougher this year... You’ve still got 22-23 cars and a lot of veteran drivers and good teams, so it’ll be tough... Of course hopefully we (AGR) can get ahead early before everyone else is up to speed, but we’ve also made changes within the team, so we’ll see...

To which came the funniest response to krack IndyStar reporter Kurt Cavin’s question. Michael how did you get dragged into being Danica’s fulltime radio person and will it be tough for you?

Michael: Peer Pressure! Even though I said I’d never cave into peer pressure, as after all its one more job. And it’s tough, as I was watching all four cars at the Homestead test and said OH SHIT! I’m supposed to be watching Danica... But I think I’ll be able to help her out this year and it’s a good move over all for our team... Even though it’s one more job!

Michael commented how he thought that 2010 would actually be the worst year of the current economic crisis... As in you’ve got multiple sponsorships coming up for renewal... (Like Motorola, which may balk at another 3yr $21 million deal!) But winning will ultimately help take care of that and I hope we can win some more races this year...

Michael also commented how he was very impressed with AFS Racing/Andretti Green Racing new Firestone Indy Lights recruit J.R. Hildebrand, saying how he’s already been doing the Rookie sessions in A1GP this year and he thinks he’s definitely a contender for FIL Champion this year.

Michael; with four full time Indy Cars, a FIL program and promotion of two separate events do you have any spare time and if so what do you do with it? To which Mikey said; as a promotion company you’re always looking around to see if some new opportunity arises and if it’s financially rewarding...

To which I immediately wanted to blurt out: Like oh I don’t know... Hey how ‘bout Andretti Green Promotions tackling returning Portland to the Indy Car Series, eh? Yeah I know we get versus here, but Canada may have three races in the future? And the closest the series comes to the Pacific Northwest is California...
And that concludes this Teleconference, of which a digital recording will be available one hour after... You may now disconnect from this teleconference as the line went blank...

Kudos Arni!

AGR Teleconference Transcript

No comments:

Post a Comment