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DATE News (chronologically)
03/29/08
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Tony George, Brian Barnhart and Terry Angstadt transcript  Yesterday we presented a story with the highlights from this press conference.  Below is the full transcript.

THE MODERATOR: Tony, we'll start with you. If you would, just reflect on the past 30 days. I know you were working hard at this for a lot more than 30 days, but in particular, what you've been through the last 30 days.

Tony George
TONY GEORGE: Yeah, it has been about 30 days. Thank you all for being here. It's been about 30 days since we were here to announce, officially announce, unification. Since that time, it's been, you know, going pretty well, I think. I don't know what more we could possibly do. I know everybody involved with the league has worked very hard to try and help manage the traffic and the logistics involved in trying to get the equipment to the Champ Car teams coming on board. I know the Champ Car teams have had a really big challenge in trying to organize themselves to be here this weekend.

It's been, you know, tough on everybody. But it's going pretty well. I think that by May, things will start to really find the right level, and I think everyone's anxieties will start to leave them and we'll be able to get on with a great Indianapolis 500.

It's going to be challenging and interesting, though, I think in the next few weeks, going from this superspeedway to the streets of St. Petersburg. Then we try to pull off the Motegi, Long Beach weekend, then we'll be pulling it all back together and focusing on the rest of the season.

I'm really appreciative of the effort that everybody's put in, all the teams, both on the IndyCar side, who have pitched in to help ensure that we had some equipment available, to the Champ Car teams, who have been by and large very appreciative of the efforts. And certainly, as I said, the league, who has played traffic cop trying to pull it all together. Couldn't be more proud of the job everyone's done.

THE MODERATOR: Brian, your group has been through quite a bit of testing, a lot more than originally scheduled. If you would, talk a little bit about that. Also we started the week with two Rookie-of-the-Year candidates, now we have nine Rookie-of-the-Year candidates. Touch on that and, if you would, the car count, the numbers we're looking at some of our venues this year.

BRIAN BARNHART: I echo a lot of what Tony said. We have to give a lot of thanks and appreciation to the IndyCar teams that have helped facilitate the equipment transition, and just the Champ Car teams have really been working their tails off at the amount of time. The delivery schedule of the chassis, the preparation work required on them, then to come down and make the additional test. We did two days for the teams that missed the earlier Sebring test. We went back down there last week.

I think we had six new teams join us for that. We're actually going to be able to give the Newman/Haas team a couple more hours next Tuesday after the Homestead race this weekend. So everyone will have gotten an opportunity. The HVM team will join them as well. All nine transitioning teams will have an opportunity to be on -- see brick before we head to St. Pete next weekend.

Of course, we came over here on Monday and Tuesday, we had all nine of the teams that are transitioning get an opportunity to run from 4 to 10 p.m., two days, Monday and Tuesday. They ran 1669 laps, very successful test for the most part. And, again, it was a great opportunity for those teams to get familiar with a huge change and a huge transition for them.

How it arrives at where we're at from a rookie standpoint, we simply looked at what we are. We're still very much an oval-based racing series that centers around the Indianapolis 500. We looked at the backgrounds of the drivers that are joining us. With the exception of Bruno Junqueira and Oriol Servia, who have started somewhere between 20 and 27 oval track races themselves, none of the other seven had started more than five. I believe Justin Wilson had five ovals and I think Will Power and Graham Rahal had one or two. Everything else was a zero. So based on sheer numbers of oval experience, we decided it makes sense, based on what our series is, that we would classify them as rookies.

I think consistent with what they experienced Monday and Tuesday, and what they experienced for an hour and 45 minutes this afternoon, I don't think any of them would dispute their classification. It's not done in any way to demean their performances or their experiences or where they're at; it's simply a fact of what we are and what we're going to do for the 2008 season.

That being said, it was a very good and productive test for two days there and a good session for this morning. We would have liked to be at 26 cars, that's what we're going to be, I think, full-time for the season. Unfortunately, Graham Rahal had an incident on Tuesday evening, I believe it was, which is going to prevent him from participating this weekend. That's disappointing.

It's a bit of reflection of the challenges. We're really challenged from an equipment standpoint. There aren't many spares. But in this case, I think we would have been able to come up with enough spares to get the thing together, but the timing in doing it, we wouldn't have had all the parts. It was a pretty big crash and needed quite a bit of repair work to it. By the time we would have located all the parts, it would have given him about 20 hours to repair the car. The team didn't feel comfortable doing that. They've opted to focus their attention on getting it repaired to run Tuesday evening in Sebring in preparation for St. Pete next weekend.

26 cars. Again, I echo Tony's comments. Everybody has worked really hard to help with it. Everybody has a great attitude. The teams and drivers are working well together. Hopefully we'll get off to a good, clean show tomorrow evening after qualifying this evening for the Homestead opener.

THE MODERATOR: Terry, from your standpoint, the commercial division, I know you've been busy. In particular we've enhanced our 'I am Indy' logo. Talk about that and some of the other activities you've been working on.

TERRY ANGSTADT: It has been pretty busy. Just lots of good energy and developments within kind of the commercial activities of what we do. I think everyone in this room recognizes and would agree that sponsorship is pretty critically important at every level, amongst all constituencies. That has been a lot of the focus.

In terms of the branding, we really felt like there was a lot of equity in the 'I am Indy' tag line. It is not our series name. At the same time we like that message. And especially when we're in markets outside of Indianapolis, it's a good connection.

We looked at a lot of different options and alternatives and thought that being very literal and clear and pretty simple and straightforward makes sense in a broad consumer message and thought that one series, all the stars, says a lot. So that's where we are, and like that for now.

In terms of the other mark you see in front of us, we could not be more proud with continuing to grow and evolve the Firestone relationship. When you start to list our key partners, they're always right at the top. They could not be a better partner. And when we approached Firestone and said, 'How can we grow this year, and especially post unification?' This really came to the top of the list.

They enjoy investing in the future development of teams and drivers. And we, again, like the look of the mark. We like expanding Firestone's role. And they just could not be a better partner. We're continuing to look at other ways they can help. And they've offered additional assistance, as you see, and I lost track of the numbers, but call it 40 pages in Sports Illustrated, national promotions, a licensed tire with the Indy 500 brand on it. They're just very far-reaching into our business and we think this is a great extension, and you'll see more directly related to this season.

Again, a lot of other good developments within the commercial division. As you probably saw, the eBay promotion, we've added over 100,000 names to our database. These are people that have opted in and said they would like additional information. For those of you in this business, you know what that can mean in terms of race updates and other ways of connecting in more fans to what we do.

Coca-Cola has been announced. They will be activating in markets regionally, in fact, a couple of activities here. And, again, a couple of other things that we're working hard on that might get announced this weekend or maybe next.

But it's been busy and all very positive.

THE MODERATOR: Thanks, guys. We'll open it up to questions.

Q: Brian and Tony, back in February when all this came together with the car allocations and everything, you said this may have an impact on the Indy-only teams that generally get their cars from some of the existing teams. Where does that stand right now? Could it even possibly prevent some of the Indy-only teams from being able to compete this year?

BRIAN BARNHART: I'll tell you what, I couldn't be more proud of the effort that Dallara has made to increase their production and the cooperation of the existing IndyCar teams. The answer to your question is, as it sits right now, I don't see anyone being unable to participate because of a lack of equipment from the chassis side. We have done a fantastic job of allocating. We have -- the Newman/Haas team has two chassis in their possession, will take possession of their third car in between Homestead and St. Pete. Conquest has two in their possession, get their car in between Homestead and St. Pete. Dale Coyne has three in his possession, and KV Racing has three in their possession. HV Racing has one and will get their second car this weekend, as well.

All of the two-car teams mentioned will get their fourth chassis the last week of April, so around Kansas. So all of the nine transitioning teams will have 18 cars delivered to them by the end of April, and that will be the equipment allocation from them. And, at the same time, Luczo Dragon has been able to acquire a new chassis as they're preparing for a Kansas run with Tomas Scheckter, moving onto Indianapolis, Infineon. They've got equipment, as well. Rubicon Racing with Jim Freudenberg and Sam Schmidt has also acquired a car and is moving forward.

We've been able to accommodate everyone thanks to a lot of incredible hard work and cooperation.

Q: Brian, what you saw today in the hour and 45 minutes, we were just talking to Tony Kanaan, he was saying everybody was being extra careful, giving each other a lot of room. But realistically, how difficult is this transition going to be for these guys from Champ Car, especially the ones who haven't run on ovals before?

BRIAN BARNHART: I think it's a significant challenge. I think it's a very daunting task for them. You know, I think there was a lot of a misnomer out there about overdownforced, underpowered, easy to drive flat on an oval. I think the two days earlier this week, and what you've seen this morning, I don't think any of them would stand by that or say that's the case.

It is a challenge in a lot of ways out there, and especially with 25 or 26 cars on track. It's going to be a new experience in learning the tendencies of other drivers. The people that have historically been in the IndyCar Series had a comfort level knowing what the driver next to them was going to do because they were very comfortable with that. Now a third of our field is going to -- is completely new at this. 

So the regulars are going to be learning a lot about what they're doing and there's going to be a big question about that because they don't know fully what to expect in terms of the experience as well as what their tendencies are going to be. That was part of my message in the drivers' meeting this morning, was you've got to give extra room.

We tend to preach you can't move the cars around, you got to hold the line, and I think the guys that have been with us for a long time can run each other pretty tight because they know those expectations. But now I've asked everybody to give a little extra room because you should expect for some moving around out of sheer inexperience.

I think it's going to be a challenging task in terms of making the car go fast enough to get competitive with the guys that have been doing this with this equipment and have the experience with it as well as just the driver getting more comfortable and doing it as well. I think it will come. They're very good teams. They're well-engineered. They're good drivers. To see the increase and improvement from Monday evening through this afternoon shows that they're going to adapt to it very well.

Kansas is going to help. I really think the amount of time on track at Indianapolis will do wonders to let them get more competitive for the second half of the season.

Q: Brian, does Graham Rahal get any points for this event?

BRIAN BARNHART: No. Graham would not get points. We have a provision if you practice and qualify but aren't able to start the race, you get half points of last place. Obviously, he hadn't participated. He would have to do it at the race event weekend.

Q: You set car limits for participation at other events.

BRIAN BARNHART: I think we're okay at most races, I think every track on the schedule. You have 33 at Indy, we're at 28 at all the other tracks with the exception of Milwaukee, Iowa and Richmond, I think we're 26. So even at that point, I think if we're 26 full-time, we should be good most everywhere we run. Theoretically we could, yes.

Q: Chassis, Brian. Getting spare parts is not like turning on a tap. How do they ramp up getting the spare parts between now and the end of April?

BRIAN BARNHART: That's clearly one of the challenges. That's where our existing teams have helped immensely. You can't say enough about virtually every team in the paddock had given up at least one car and made them available. And that included all the kits to run the variety of tracks we run - short ovals, superspeedways, road course, street course kits. And, of course, again, I think it's a great reflection on what Dallara has been able to do as our chassis supplier.

We couldn't have picked a more difficult season. Dallara has four major projects going this winter. I won't be able to name them off the top of my head. They're doing an F-3 project. They're doing a Grand-Am project debuting this weekend as well. A couple other series as well. They were flat out. When they got a call in mid February to ramp up and start production, they demonstrated what a great partner they are. They have done a nice job delivering both chassis as well as spare parts.

We're just going to do the best we can with it. It's going to be a challenge, as Tony said, for the next month or two.

Q: Brian, would you explain the weight compensation rule, address Danica's argument against it, and also explain why you didn't go all the way and take on the Champ Car formula?

BRIAN BARNHART: Well, I think it's kind of a touchy subject, to be honest with you. I don't know if I could address Danica's argument. I don't know specifically what hers is, other than probably she doesn't like it because she's one of the lightest drivers out there.

It's been a challenging position, and one that we have felt has not had much of an impact in terms of competition, when we've been an all-oval series. Once the mass is up and moving, it really doesn't make much difference. That's what we're doing when we were oval racing. We have always said once we road race more, it is more critical because of braking and acceleration. Clearly we have done that with the schedule changing from 2005 to where we're at in '07, with the possible addition of a couple other races that have been talked about. We felt it was time to take it into consideration.

But I'll be honest with you. I mean, I'm still not fully convinced it's something that should be done to the extent and extreme that others do them. I still wrestle with, where do you draw the line on it? That's a smaller athlete than others. Does that mean a driver that is smaller can apply the same brake pedal pressure as another driver? So do you try to equal that out? Do they have equal steering effort because they're not as strong in their upper body? Where do you start drawing the line on that? I think it becomes a really touchy situation.

I've used a lot of examples, some of them I don't know all the information on. I know they weigh the jockeys and equalize them in horse racing, but do they weigh the horses? I don't know if they make up for all that weight or not.

Everybody has equal access to all the equipment in golf, but they don't make Tiger tee off from a different set of tees because he hits it different than anybody else. They throw the ball into Shaq, the goal doesn't go up two feet because he's bigger than everybody else.

I think it's a very touchy situation. So that addresses why I didn't go all the way with it. All I really tried to do is reduce the difference between the lightest and the heaviest and try and get it to a point where it is virtually an insignificant difference. Where we're sitting right now, the whole field, driver in car, is within 1%.

Q: How will it work?

BRIAN BARNHART: We've divided the drivers into, I think it's four categories, or five. It's five categories, but three of them add weight to their cars. Category A adds the most weight, Category B the next most, Category C the next amount. Category D does not add any. Category E is able to take weight off of their chassis.

So it's hard to give all the numbers on it. Like I said, when it's all said and done, all we've done is reduce the difference between the lightest and the heaviest, reduced the percentage difference between the lightest and heaviest combination out there.

Q: Tony, I don't know if you had a chance to get out there and watch that first practice. How meaningful was it for you to see everyone together on the track for that first practice? How meaningful will it be for you to see this race go green?

TONY GEORGE: Well, I'm really happy for all the fans and really all the teams. I think everyone's wanted to see unification for quite some time. Now that we have it, we just have to really focus on that. 

It was certainly gratifying. I was kind of envious of these guys. They've been down here watching them test this week. In the last month, especially the last two weeks, it seems like it's been two months, you know, waiting for the start of the season. I'm just really -- I couldn't get down here soon enough. I wanted to watch these teams come out and test. I haven't been around to really see any of them yet. I've said hello to a few people, but perhaps tomorrow morning I'll get a chance to visit a little bit.

But my daughter is excited. I'm excited. Everybody's excited in our household to be down here and looking forward to this season.

Q: Brian, how do you work the difference in terminology possibly between the Champ Car drivers and the IndyCar drivers? For example, how far is clear? Clear is a different thing to a guy used to running around an oval. How are you working that out?

BRIAN BARNHART: On the fly, experience is the only way they're doing it. I think it's just important in track team and seat experience. As I said, the 1600-plus laps the other day were mainly run without traffic. They spent most of their time just getting familiar with the track, the car, the environment, trying to get an idea of what to expect.

Every one of them has an understanding of how different it was going to be for the session this morning with all cars on track. You know, even that was a little different because of the temperatures. I was happy we got to run 4 to 10 p.m. with four days' worth of testing. Because the way the schedule lays out, the guys aren't really going to have a lot of time this weekend, none, they're going to qualify this evening from 6:25 to 8. They're not going to have any race time experience other than what they did at the test down there.

I think that's going to be a significant challenge for the transitioning teams tomorrow evening because I think, you know, everybody still this afternoon gave extra room, kept themselves kind of clean. A lot of that's going to go away when you get added downforce tomorrow night with the cooler temperatures. And with the race on the line, things are going to tighten up quite a bit. I think it's going to be one of the challenges that makes it such a daunting task for everybody beginning tomorrow evening.

Q: Terry, the IndyCar Series has got a lot of brand equity out of the 'I am Indy' tagline for the last two years. The Indy Pro Series had some growing equity. Is Firestone going to do a lot of activation to get the Indy Lights name in here? I talked to some team owners yesterday and they were kind of like, 'what happens to the brand equity that we've already built up with Indy Pro?'

TERRY ANGSTADT: I think if you look historically, there is a lot of brand equity in Indy Lights, as well. I think, if anything, it's a bit of a return to that. They will be activating significantly, as they do with the IndyCar Series. So you will see certainly spots in the telecast and in a number of other activities, there's no question in my mind.

We're doing this on the fly, as well, when this just came together last week. We will be distributing patches for uniforms. We've got some decals on some haulers, not on everything. It will be as good as we can do it. There's no doubt in my mind we will quickly kind of reach that level of equity that the Pro Series had.

Q: Terry, along those lines, you mentioned a few things. Since the announcement of unification, has there been a strong reaction from companies, potential sponsors? Have you heard from more people?

TERRY ANGSTADT: No question. In fact, we tend to call them rather than wait for them to call us. But there has been -- I've been absolutely overwhelmed with the reaction. Far better than we thought it would be. And you never really know what to expect. We knew some people would use a convenient excuse in terms of, Gosh, yeah, I'll invest when all of this might be one. We're kind of calling those in. Our sales team, we've really had some aggressive pushes into the market and, again, have been very, very pleased with the reaction.

You will see more of those come together literally over the next few weeks.

Q: Tony, when this whole unification came together, the number of cars expected at that time, is it what you expected or is it more or less than you hoped for?

TONY GEORGE: I don't know. I don't know that I had any expectations. I kind of assumed 14 or so was a very real possibility. I don't know where we would be today if that many had actually come. Where it settled out at – 8, 10 – that seems to be a manageable number to get the season going.

But we would have really been hard-pressed I think to come up and even do a reasonable job. So I guess to that extent, I wish everybody that wanted to be here could be here. Derrick Walker comes to mind. Certainly wish the economy around this sport was booming from the very announcement so that guys like Gerry Forsythe would find a sponsor and be here.

I guess it would have been an interesting challenge to have, to try and come up with more equipment. And we possibly could have. I think, you know, I've still got a car available. We could tighten our belt and try to get by running two. I do know that, you know, beyond May, if anybody wants to acquire more equipment, Dallara can still build four (chassis) a month beginning in May.

I mean, we'll slowly catch up.  But it's getting there.

You know, this 8 or 10 has been a good number to get transitioned, though.

Q: Tony, when you look back at this weekend, compared to other significant events in open-wheel racing in this country, how do you think you'll view it?

TONY GEORGE: I don't know. I really have no idea. It's certainly significant for our time. But that's really the only frame of reference I can put it in, I guess. It's our current reality.

I know it will be more popular and a happier time in many people's memories than, you know, 1994 or 1996, I guess. But beyond that, those two reference points, I don't know.

Q: Do you think this will be a particularly memorable weekend when you look back?

TONY GEORGE: I don't know. We'll see. I might have a better perspective on that Saturday night or Sunday morning.

I hope it's memorable and historic.

Q: Tony, how close is this IRL to the IRL of your long-term vision when you began in '96? How close do you come to accomplishing the goals that you wanted to get accomplished back then?

TONY GEORGE: Well, I mean, it's certainly not far off. When we sort of developed the idea for the Indy Racing League, what we wanted to be, we wanted it to be a diverse series, much like CART was at the time. We wanted some road courses; we wanted some temporary circuits. But we wanted to ensure that ovals remained a part of it.

At that time, you know, there was a movement away from ovals for a variety of reasons. One, there weren't a lot of good ones. And I think a couple of things, the growth of NASCAR and the opportunities that came along as a result of a couple billion dollars being spent in investment on permanent oval facilities, we certainly wanted to be a part of that.

But we did always expect to have road and street races as part of our schedule. It's just that we never were presented opportunities to do that. Chris Pook was part of our formation meetings. He was at least suggesting that Long Beach was in the mix for consideration. But, you know, that's all part of the history. Again, I think because we came out with an all-oval schedule, and that's kind of where we found ourselves for several years, I think the perception became that that's what we intended to be, and that was never really the case.

You know, I like it. I think it's likely we'll see more of a balance than we have today. I don't know what it might be. Recently as this week, it's suggested it might be six, six, and six. But I don't know what that might be. We could have 18 races. We could have 20, 22 races. We could see some more ovals developed. We could see some ovals fall off the schedule. We could, you know, see new opportunities.

I think what this gives us is the opportunity to really look at the very best prospects for building a unified open-wheel series going forward.

Q: Did you expect to see more American drivers?

TONY GEORGE: We always kept about half the field in IndyCar. I don't know. I mean, we can sit back and go through media guides, if you want. We can see how many American drivers we've had throughout the last 10, 12 years in the IndyCar Series. It's always been at least about half.

You know, I don't know. I think we need to try. Regardless of their background and their orientation coming up, whether it's through karting or quarter midgets or whatever, I think we want to encourage young American drivers to become involved in our form of motorsport, open-wheel racing.

You know, not everyone aspires to grow up and race stock cars. I just think we have to encourage them and continue to provide opportunity for them. But certainly nothing could be more appropriate than to have international drivers in what is an international series. Indianapolis 500 has always been an international event and has always had international drivers compete in it.

I don't think we want to do anything more than provide opportunity for those that want to participate in this form of sport.

Q: The weekend of the 19th and 20th is going to be quite challenging. I understand about 12 or 15 of you are going to do your own double. Talk a little bit about what your roles will be at the Long Beach race, if it's just going to be observer or how that is going to work, the logistics of that, the key people that may be part of these two races in a day, day and a half.

TONY GEORGE: Spectator.

BRIAN BARNHART: My role actually will be observer, as well. Just going from -- from the operations and competition side, I think several of us are going down just to get a head start on Long Beach for 2009. You know, my logistics and operation people will be going, in terms of paddock space, hospitality, circuit, that type of stuff.

Tony Cotman will be the race director for the Champ Car finale at Long Beach. That means he will not be joining us in Motegi. He will be in race control with me here this weekend and St. Pete, but he will do Long Beach. So we'll go back to John Lewis and myself doing race control at Motegi. Tony Cotman will be the race director at Long Beach. Those of us on the operational side are mainly going down just to get familiar with the facility, get a little heads up and observe the finale as well.

TERRY ANGSTADT: I'll be going to both as well. We actually will have not only some event management people out there helping, as Brian mentioned, but some salespeople out there, really trying to make some introductions and get the lay of the land and do a very good job, not only in assisting a great Champ Car finale, but also how we do a really good job next year.

Q: Tony will you consider for next season having a new title name for the series, just something fresh? Also, looking down the road, what are all the things you hope to have in place by the start of next year?

TONY GEORGE: I think in part, a good opportunity to come up with a new name in conjunction with something we're working on for next year, and that will be title sponsor. If you're suggesting doing away with "IndyCar ," I don't see that. We happen to think that most people feel that it's probably the best description of our types of cars and what the series represents. So I think "IndyCar" will remain part of it.

A lot of people like the old PPG IndyCar World Series moniker. But I think a lot of that will depend on when we attract the right title partner, you know, we'll want to solicit their input and thought as well. I don't know.

Q: Brian, going back to the weight thing. Are you going to weigh the drivers at every race? Any news on additional races this year?

BRIAN BARNHART: On the weight thing, no. We weighed them at the beginning of the year. That's what we're going to leave locked in for the entire season. So it will be a one-time weight. That's what we'll go through the entire schedule of events with.

Terry is probably better addressed on the additional races. I think it's known that there's been a lot of interest on our behalf at Edmonton for a July or August date, right in that range. I think Australia has been mentioned as well. Terry can probably give you an update on that better than I can.

TERRY ANGSTADT: We are -- now we will be able to move forward. I guess within 10 days technically, we'll be able to execute sanction agreements with both Edmonton and Surfers Paradise. Really taking much more of a clean-sheet approach for '09. We've already had a couple of groups in talking about '09, and are very optimistic that we will have a very entertaining and possibly more international schedule. We just haven't made those decisions yet.

BRIAN BARNHART: It's also important to keep in mind, both of those would be pending FIA approval, as well.

Q: Tony, what is the situation of the Mexico City race? A lot of rumor is that it's possible to have a race in the next year. Have the people of Mexico contacted you for interest?

TONY GEORGE: You know, I don't know that any of us have been contacted directly. I know there's been some activity and possibly some meetings in the not-too-distant future to go down and investigate some opportunities.

As I said earlier, 2009 really represents the opportunity for us to really look at where the series' best opportunities for growth are. And if there's interest from cities or venues in Mexico that warrant our consideration, we'd be happy to do that.

But at this point I'm really not aware of anything specific underway.

Q: Brian, any drivers who will be racing in Japan that have expressed an interest in racing Sunday on Long Beach? Do you have any drivers maybe without a ride right now who would be possibly entered in Long Beach?

BRIAN BARNHART: I think the latter is probably the more likely. And I think that's one we would be most interested in. I can't address it specifically. It is a Champ Car event, what they're doing.

I would love to see guys like, you know, Tomas Scheckter, who has run with us before, is going to run a select number of events, with Luczo Dragon, could be available. Other drivers along those lines. You have Alex Lloyd who has a commitment with Ganassi Racing, but is not able to run more than a handful of races this year. It would be a great opportunity for him. I would love to see that, but I don't know how much of that can happen.

You have some other guys like Rafael Matos, who was the Atlantic champion last year, moved into the Indy Lights Series this year, would obviously be available. I think those would be great opportunities for those guys to get that chance. Don't know if they will or not.

We will not be allowing any drivers to do the double. They wouldn't get back till Sunday morning to begin with and will have missed all the activities on Friday and Saturday. With it being a shared points race between the two, you couldn't have somebody get a double-up weekend.

Q: (Questions regarding points.)

TERRY ANGSTADT: We are working with Surfers on a solution, and it will have either an international overlay where we are considering a couple of options right now that we would take the points from Motegi, Long Beach, Indianapolis, Edmonton and Surfers, have an international overlay and a nice cash bonus and a significant trophy and do something very appropriate for that end of our season.

Or it may, and kind of least favorite of the two, but still being discussed, it could possibly be the first points towards '09. The international reference was not necessarily Europe at this stage of our development. As Tony mentioned, we're open to ideas, but that was more in reference to probably more of a North American strategy, maybe a Mexico, maybe another event in Canada, along those lines.

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