Richard Antinucci participated in a Q&A session this week, discussing his IndyCar Series debut with Team 3G at Watkins Glen International. Below are select quotes from his interview.
Q. You've raced at The Glen and recently tested the Team 3G car there. What did you learn from the test?
RICHARD ANTINUCCI: "I was very impressed with the IndyCar; it's been the fastest car I've had a full day to test in and will race in. I had a great day. My fitness isn't exactly like Scott Dixon's might be at this point because I haven't been racing. I've been training and preparing as much as I can without driving the car. As they say, the best training is driving the car. I covered about a race distance, and working with the team we just started immediately picking up where I left off last year professionally and they get to work with someone with experience on a road course. We made immediate inroads and set a decent pace. I'm competitive so I always want to do better, and I left there with ideas and notes that we can pick up where we left off and hopefully gain another big chunk. "
Q. What are your goals for the weekend and your thoughts about The Glen?
RICHARD ANTINUCCI: "It's a great venue for fans. Being on the hills, you can situate yourself in a sweeping corner and get a real idea of the speed. For a driver, it's an amazing place. I believe it's one of the more demanding tracks physically and technically on the calendar and in North America. It's so nice to be going through the winding road and the elevation changes and the high-speed corners, where you really need to trust the car and it tests your mettle. When you work with your team and you make the car good for that track, you get great satisfaction. Last year, I had a great setup with Sam (Schmidt Motorsports) and we finished second and first in the two races. Those results have given me a lot of confidence as a precursor to what I have to do this year. I don't have the same target or goal; I'm going in without a goal or number in my head."
Q. What are your long-term objectives, using this race weekend as a springboard?
RICHARD ANTINUCCI: "(Team co-owner) Greg (Beck) and I got together at the beginning of the year, and we have a similar target. He doesn't want to be at the back (of the field) and he's good enough not to be that guy at the back. I don't just want to make this one-off appearance and have a nice Sunday drive on a beautiful track. There's no way I can impress too much here. I want to make something here where I pave a path for a long career in IndyCars. My intention is to graduate into full-time IndyCar (Series) driver, but not just a driver — a race winner and someone who contends for the championship and thinks every day about how to win races. That's how I've always raced. It's contagious and hopefully this is the final category in racing."