Texas Early Report

Well, the headlines will scream “Helio looks to go to NASCAR" or some such thing. In a press conference this morning Helio was asked if he’d like to try NASCAR, and he said, “If there is an opportunity, yes." However, this is the same answer that Helio has said for years at places like the preseason tests in Daytona. If you ask any race car driver if they’d like to try another series (okay, except Simona, who gets miffed when I suggest trying USAC sprints and midgets) they’ll say “Hell yes!" And of course, it’s the polite thing to say that “Yeah, I’d like to at least try a NASCAR ride" when you’re at a NASCAR venue. However, nothing to see here – no doubt he’s seen the struggles of Sam, Dario, and Danica over in NASCAR-land.

"IF they fined me and AJ for everything we said and did, we’d been broke!" So commented Mario Andretti with a twinkle in his eyes to the assembled press when asked about the fines given for conduct at Detroit. He obviously didn’t think that IndyCar should have the power to mandate fines and penalties for showing emotions such as bird flipping and glove throwing. Sebastian Savaadra was fined $30,000 for his bird flip at Detroit, but Texas Motor Speedway thinks that either such actions should be stopped or they’ll run out of tickets.

Mario also said that Kurt Busch did well in his IndyCar test, and believes that the top level of drivers in each discipline could do well in another form of racing (something that I’m still not buying, but Mario obviously did well in his day in each form of auto racing). He didn’t exactly agree with AJ’s comments, printed last week, that today’s drivers couldn’t hold the helmets of the drivers of the drivers of AJ and Mario’s era.

And while speaking in measured tones, he didn’t exactly give a ringing endorsement to the entire IRL adventure. He also didn’t express enthusiasm with the idea of aero kits and new track records. However, as a driver, he is excited about the reliability of the current cars, mentioning something about losing a few races when he broke down….

Tim Wohlford, reporting from Texas!!

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