Well, I think last year during the month of May, even though we didn't have the funding up front that we needed to really put on track a thorough car, everything that we did was as prepped as we possibly could with what we have. But when you're able to run a race before the Indy 500, you're able to get all the pit stop qualms and the on-track, day-of mental challenges that you deal with, you're able to sort that out ahead of time and sort of get into a rhythm before you reach that big race.
So this is going to give all of our guys, myself, my engineer, a chance to sort of figure things out, get in a roll, be in that rhythm leading into the month of May.
And I would take it, too, this month there's a couple less practice days that first week even leading into qualifying. I would guess it's even more important to kind of get the car shook down and everything gelling together heading into that first weekend of qualifying.
Absolutely. I think practice has changed quite a bit overall in the series this year. Looking at the Kansas schedule, there's only, I think, an hour and a half for us. We have an additional half hour or so, being that we're not in the ten, which is to our advantage, and then you qualify. And then there's a warm-up, which never used to be in place; well, maybe like five years ago. So the practice format has changed all around, including Indy, and there's much more limited track time.
You have to roll off the track prepared, and you have to be as ready as you can be. Staying at the shop until 10:30, 11:00 o'clock last night getting some set-up stuff done, and just making sure we're as prepared as we possibly can be to take advantage of that full amount of time.
Going to the ownership side of things a little bit, you're a year plus into the ownership side. What are some of the biggest things that you've learned over the past year?
Time management. I think a lot of people think I just sit around all day and do nothing, but my schedule is completely full. And it's just a balance of what is the most important thing that you have to get done that day and then taking that hour, hour and a half to work out and keep yourself in shape because that will mentally prepare you for all the rest of the stuff. Whether it's business stuff that you have to handle or a personal appearance that a driver would normally do, I do all those things. Yesterday it was helping get the bus ready and making sure that everybody in the shop has something to eat that day. We're short-staffed, so everybody has to be all hands on deck right now, and that includes me.
Last year was very emotional for you and your team at Indy, a lot of ups and downs throughout the month. What are your expectations for the month of May this year?
We're as prepared as we ever have been today. As we said, and as I look down from the balcony at my car, it looks one piece, if you know what I mean. It's just a very nicely prepared car. Everything on it is -- we know 100 percent about and are just completely prepared for. We've done our homework in the offseason, I believe, as much as we can, and looking forward to Indy. I think we're going to have a good result, and I would be pretty upset if we were outside of the ten. I fully expect us to do that well even as a small team that doesn't compete full-time.
For several years obviously you've had a struggle to recruit the sponsors and get a full-time ride, and obviously this year not quite a full-time ride but a number of races. What keeps you going through all that? What keeps you pressing on to continue to build your team?
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