|Rubens Barrichello and Tony Kanaan were both happy with their qualifying efforts|
Rubens Barrichello experienced a range of emotions this past week at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He summed it all up in a concise statement:
"This place is something else," he said Saturday.
The former Formula One star came to the Izod IndyCar Series this year with an eye on competing in the Indianapolis 500. He earned that chance on pole day with a four-lap average of 224.264 mph and will start next weekend's race from the No. 10 position.
In between came a series of experiences that satisfied, frustrated, confused and rewarded him.
The oval track's four corners that seemed so straightforward when he watched fellow Brazilian Emerson Fittipaldi win the 1993 500 were anything but when he first climbed into the No. 8 KV Racing Technology Chevrolet.
Barrichello isn't ready to proclaim himself an expert, but he's getting a handle on Turn 1, which he said is the one "where the heartbeat goes a little higher."
Saturday, it was Turn 4 that got his attention. That's what Indy does.
Barrichello said few in Europe know that because they aren't as emotionally invested as he has been in watching countrymen like Nelson Piquet, Raul Boesel, Tony Kanaan, Helio Castroneves and Felipe Giaffone race here over the years.
The transformation of F-1 big-timer to regular IndyCar Joe has been fun to watch. Barrichello and Kanaan have spent almost every waking moment here together, and Barrichello learned things from Dario Franchitti and others, something that would never have happened in his former life.
Barrichello even tried to use a Hoosier passion — the sport of basketball — to describe how IMS looks easy from afar.
"Like when they miss a basketball shoot," he said. "I could have done that."
That's when he implored the international community to come give this sport and this track a try.
"Get to know this and enjoy it," he said. "It's more difficult than it looks." Indy Star