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<< Sports >>

IRL AUTO RACING SERIES

MICHIGAN INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY

Sunday, July 30, 2006 on ABC

13th Annual MIS Media Go-Kart Challenge

PRE-RACE INTERVIEW WITH MARCO ANDRETTI

PHOTO BY MIKE ISMAIR / AMERICAJR.com

AmericaJR.com's Jason Rzucidlo interviews IndyCar driver Marco Andretti, driver of the No. 26 NYSE Honda for Andretti Green Racing.

by Jason Rzucidlo
americajr@americajr.com

Andretti. The family name is legendary in the world of motor sports. Marco is the grandson of Mario Andretti and the son of Michael Andretti. This is his first season in the IRL IndyCar series. He finished 2nd in the this year's Indianapolis 500.

Marco Andretti finished just under a second away from being the winner of the 2006 Indianapolis 500. He as mad after the race ended. Marco explains, "I think it's just me as a competitor and the way I finished second. Maybe if I would have charged from 5th in the closing laps and lost by a straightaway it would be different. Leading on the last lap of the Indy 500 hurts."

When asked if is dad or grandfather said anything to him after the race, Marco replies, "He just basically gave me a hug. They know what it's like to sorta be heartbroken. They said good job because I went for it."

What is it like being a rookie in the IndyCar series? Last year, Marco was racing in the IndyPro series and he made it to the series with the veterans in only one year's time. Marco answers, "It's huge and I appreciate it. I'm still gonna continue to do what I love to do every week. I think what Indy did for me, you said it, is sorta open everybody else's eyes rather than mine. If you look at my pre-race interview, I said the NYSE car can win this race. I just don't say things."

We asked how do race car drivers handle the roller coaster or emotions. One minute you can be leading a race, then someone else gets in front of you and takes your victory away from you. Marco was leading the last lap of the Indy 500 but he finished in a close second place. Marco explains, "Drivers are used to that kind of roller coast. Nothin' like that. It was an emotional deal. I wish I coulda had a sevenhundreth of a second quicker but. The only thing positive about that is I'm also very young and I'm gonna have a lot more shots at it. It takes so much to put yourself in a position to win that race."

Marco adds, "Maybe I'll never win it. You don't know. Everybody that I talk to is like 'Next year is yours.' Well, I don't know. I don't know what I woulda changed this year. A lot needs to go right."

When asked what inspired him to get involved in auto racing, Marco answered, "Well, obviously, I think my family legacy." He started racing cars at the age of nine. I asked him how he made the leap from IndyPro series to IndyCar series in such a quick amount of time. Marco replied, "I just think it was: We had a successful few goes in IndyPro and we opened my team owners eyes and they wanted me."

 

PHOTO BY MIKE ISMAIR / AMERICAJR.com

Jason Rzucidlo participates in a group interview alongside WITL's Banana Don with IndyCar driver Marco Andretti.

 

PRE-RACE INTERVIEW WITH KOSUKE MATSUURA

PHOTO BY MIKE ISMAIR / AMERICAJR.com

AmericaJR.com's Jason Rzucidlo interviews IndyCar driver Kosuke Matsuura, driver of the No. 55 Panasonic Honda for Super Aguri Fernandez Racing.

by Jason Rzucidlo
americajr@americajr.com

BROOKLYN, MI. Kosuke Matsuura was born in Aichi, Japan and currently lives in Indianapolis. He was one of Japan's youngest race car drivers. He has and his brother Yusuke are both heavily involved in auto racing. Kosuke has raced in Japan, Europe and in the U.S.

Kosuke is currently 13th in IRL IndyCar points standings. I asked him how his season has been going for him so far. Matsuura answered, "My season so far: some races good, some races bad. Compared to the last two years, our car is handling pretty good. I think quite a good season so far."

When asked about Michigan International Speedway as a race track, Kosuke Matsuura said, "I like Michigan very much. In 2004 qualifying, I finished second. I like this kind of oval track as well. Everything, I like pretty much."

A lot of media attention has been focused on the proposed merger between IRL and Champ Car series. The goal is to create one large open-wheel racing series in America. When asked if he supports the merger or not, Kosuke Matsuura said, "Well, hopefully, it will come together. In America, you don't need the two big championships. If it comes together, I think it would be a good championship."

When asked, "How do you think it would change the future of open-wheel racing?" Kosuke Matsuura replied, "Well, I don't know. Hopefully, IRL and Champ Car come together. A big championship. I think for the sponsorship, for the driver, everything, I think is better."

Kosuke Matsuura will race in this Sunday's Firestone Indy 400 race at Michigan International Speedway. Look for him to be one of the big future stars in the IRL racing league.

 


PHOTO BY MIKE ISMAIR / AMERICAJR.com

Our pre-race interview with IndyCar driver Kosuke Matsuura during the 13th Annual MIS Media Go-Kart Challenge at Victory Lane Speedway.

 

Click here for our Pre-Race Interviews with IndyCar stars Jeff Bucknum and Buddy Rice. Click here to return to page one.

LIVE INTERVIEWS

only on AmericaJR.com

Exclusive Interview with IndyCar driver Buddy Rice at Victory Lane Speedway near MIS (7/28/06) MP3

Exclusive Interview with IndyCar driver Kosuke Matsuura at Victory Lane Speedway near MIS (7/28/06) MP3

Exclusive Interview with IndyCar driver Marco Andretti at Victory Lane Speedway near MIS (7/28/06) MP3

Exclusive Interview with IndyCar driver Jeff Bucknum at Victory Lane Speedway near MIS (7/28/06) MP3

Return to our 2006 IRL FIRESTONE INDY 400 Index.

  Click for Brooklyn, Michigan Forecast

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