Quotes from Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing on Unification

Details on the unification of open wheel racing in the United States were announced today at Homestead-Miami Speedway, site of the 2008 IndyCar Series season-opener on Saturday, March 29. Following are quotes from the co-owners and drivers of Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing on the unification and their participation in the 2008 IndyCar Series.

Paul Newman, co-owner of Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing:
“When I heard about the reunification, I felt like I had died and gone to heaven. I am very happy that we are going back to the high side."

Carl Haas, co-owner of Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing:
"We have been loyal supporters of Champ Car but one unified open-wheel series is best for our sport. Competing in our first full IndyCar season will be one of the biggest challenges our team has faced because of the limited time frame to prepare for the season and get acclimated to the new equipment and race tracks. We have only competed in two IndyCar Series events at the Indianapolis 500 so we face a steep learning curve. It will be a difficult season but we have many talented and dedicated employees who will work hard to keep our team competitive."

Justin Wilson, driver of the No. 02 McDonald’s entry for Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing:
“I am very excited about the reunification of open wheel racing and the opportunity this gives everyone for the future. Not just for ourselves, but also for the young drivers coming up. My brother was thinking of coming over to race in the United States but the uncertainty made him continue to pursue a career in Europe. This gives open wheel racing an opportunity to prosper again as one entity. We are certainly not in the same situation, competition-wise, starting the IndyCar Series season as we would have been in Champ Car but Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing are proven winners and we will all work hard to be as competitive as possible this season. Now that we are back to one series and we’re racing on ovals and a lot of tracks I don’t know there are going to be a lot of changes but ultimately if we can work our way through the short term, it is good for open wheel racing. There is opportunity for a great future."

Graham Rahal, driver of the No. 06 entry for Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing:
“I think everyone is glad it is now one series. It puts a lot of the questions of stability behind us. It will take a while for the true impact to be apparent but already we are seeing a lot more interest. You’re seeing open wheel racing on the news more than ever and it’s positive. The drivers that are truly the best are going to stick around now and the ones that aren’t so good are going to have to work harder to keep their jobs. I was impressed by the amount of resources the Indy Racing League has from a business standpoint and I’m sure they will all be put to good use to maximize this great opportunity."

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