IndyCar » 10 April 2009
Q&A: Dan Wheldon ( Panther Racing).
The ones that I haven't won, there's some of them on the schedule that you just want to win. I enjoy Richmond. I've won there, and that's a great place to win. I love Milwaukee - I haven't won at Milwaukee, and I think anybody that wins around there has really shown that they can drive a short oval. But I'd have to say Iowa, too, because they have great trophies. So there's a lot of different ones. I can't give you a good answer on that question because I really like a lot of them.
What's your favourite moment from racing at Sonoma?
My favourite moment from racing at Sonoma? Probably the race last year. I didn't qualify particularly well, and it was one of those things in a lot of these road course races it's very difficult to pass, and it's incredibly difficult at Sonoma to overtake. So what you would normally do is you'd go into what we call a fuel-saving mode and you try and save as much fuel as you possibly can to open up your window. I didn't have to do that this year. We literally just ran the whole race flat-out, and the people at Target Chip Ganassi Racing, on the #10 side, called a great race.
But having the ability to just run a race flat out the whole time is very rewarding, and I enjoy that side of it. Saving fuel is something that you have to do and you have to be very good at, but where I could just go flat-out the whole race was enjoyable and satisfying, and we ended up with a top-five finish there, so that was good.
Five Quick Questions:
Now that you're a new dad, two questions – who designed the nursery, and are you getting up in the middle of the night to help with the baby?
I would have to put a lot of that down to my wife, but she did get mad at me at one point. It was her project and the wall is two colours – it sounds terrible, but it actually looks good. It's brown and yellow. And then we have a border. Susie had them paint that yellow, and I disagreed with that, so I had them switch it to white. You learn in marriage that there are some things that you can push for and some things you can't, and that was one thing I knew I could sneak in. We've now changed that to white, but the majority of the nursery was chosen by my wife.
I do sometimes get up in the middle of the night. Susie's really good actually when there's a race close or a test close. Leading into that, I won't get up. She'll let me sleep through. But, when there's the chance that I can get up and help I like to. Obviously I like interacting with my son as much as possible. With the schedule the way it is, you have to make the most of your days when you're at home. Certainly with Panther Racing and National Guard I've been travelling more than I ever have. I definitely utilize my time at home. It's brutal sometimes. I like to sleep. It's difficult, but I'm getting used to it.
American football or soccer?
I've got to say American football. I'm a big fan. I really am. I guess people would say I've become an American. I love soccer too, don't get me wrong. Often when I'm back in England I'll watch it a lot on TV, but for the most part I'm an American football fan.
Best memory from racing?
Winning the Indianapolis 500. I've had a lot of great memories, but certainly winning the Indianapolis 500 is my most treasured, and having done it once I'm very hungry to do it again. The feeling that winning that race gives you is unbelievable, so my goal is to win that race again.
Worst memory from racing?
Indianapolis 500 in 2006. I dominated the race and picked up a flat tyre right at the end, so that's 100 per cent my worst memory.
Probably the Lance Armstrong book It's Not About the Bike - I'm a big fan of it.
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