Sarah Fisher forms IRL team
Sarah Fisher, a veteran of 67 IndyCar Series starts, announced the formation of Sarah Fisher Racing. Fisher, who will drive the No. 67 car in honor of her successful USAC midget car, will begin competing in 2008 at the Indianapolis 500.
|Lynn St. James, Sarah Fisher and Janet Guthrie|
Fisher was joined at a press conference at Homestead-Miami Speedway by female racing pioneers Janet Guthrie and Lyn St. James. Guthrie was the first woman to start the Indianapolis 500 in 1978 while St. James earned Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year honors in 1992. The two combined for 10 Indianapolis 500 starts.
SARAH FISHER (Driver/co-owner Sarah Fisher Racing): "We're trying to build outwards from (Indy)," said Fisher, 27, who has 67 IndyCar Series starts and will drive the No. 67 car in honor of her successful USAC midget car. "We have things in place. We're in final negotiations contract-wise with our primary sponsor. Things are looking really good. We would love to run Texas, Chicago and Kentucky. We would love to have some more opportunities, and we're working on those constructively. As a first-year start-up team, we know it's small. We want to build the right way. Our 2009 program actually looks a lot better than our 2008 program. That's real exciting to us and hopefully we can be in a lot more races come that time.
"Going into the off-season this year, I kind of looked at all my options and evaluated sort of where I wanted to go and what my plans were big picture-wise. The best option for me was to start my own team because I think in the long run that's a better plan for us and for me going forward.
"It didn't start just one day in January that we decided we were going to start Sarah Fisher Racing. It's been in the plans and it's been in the works since around August. I didn't just wake up one morning and do it. I consulted a lot of the partners that I have in the league. I have consulted a lot of the partners in marketing that I've worked with and said, 'Do you think this is going to be a good idea? Am I crazy for doing this or is this something that everybody thinks would be a good plan?' I had absolutely no negativity going forward. I was very excited to continue on those plans."
JANET GUTHRIE: "She's the one who in the 21st century broke the records that I set before she was born, qualifying on the pole at Kentucky, finishing second here at Homestead.
"It's hard to believe that 30 years have past since I was in Sarah's shoes, doing what she is doing, grappling with the mind-boggling complexities and details of forming and managing my own team for the Indianapolis 500. Well, times have changed. Technology has changed. The rules of the game have changed. Back then, we didn't have onboard telemetry, spec chassis or spec engines, and differences between the cars were much greater back then than they are now. But drivers haven't changed. It still takes a ferocious desire plus concentration, judgment, emotional detachment, not getting angry or excited behind the wheel of a car, and concentration again and again. Sarah Fisher is a driver, as she has demonstrated beyond any doubt.
LYN ST. JAMES: "We all know the ingredients it takes to be successful in this sport, which of course is talent, experience, it takes the equipment. Everybody talks about the sponsors. Sarah has had some of those opportunities to get all those together, but the other key ingredient we don't talk much about much externally in the sport is team chemistry. It's very hard to identify. It's a tangible that's an intangible. I'm hoping that this is something that will exist. I sense that it will be an added element that should make this a very strong effort. If it takes a while, that's OK. The key is to keep it all together and pull all the elements together as much as you can."