IndyCar Series rookie Stanton Barrett is poised to make his Indianapolis 500 debut with fellow newcomers Team 3G, but brings with him experience of almost 200 starts in NASCAR, split between the Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series.
Stanton, let's talk about the transition to the IndyCar Series so far. Tell us about how things have been going and what are some of the biggest adjustments you've had to make?
Things are a little bit trying. We're just having to work extremely hard to get to the track each week. The economy hasn't been that great. Some of our sponsors that we had signed up last year and potentials kind of fell by the wayside. Supporters we have have been very supportive, but it's been difficult to get to the track. We haven't got to test this year, except for Homestead. You know, all things considered, I'm pretty happy with what we're doing. It would be nice to have a second car to help us with data and just get more information a little bit more quickly so we can get closer to the curve.
I'm pleased with everybody's performance. We're a new team with regards to running full-time, some of these tracks, this new style of cars is new to both Owen [Snyder III] and Greg [Beck], people on the race team as far as a lot of information. We're growing and building together. We have long-term goals and we're keeping that in perspective. I'm a flat-out rookie when it comes to open-wheel racing. I'm learning a lot, also being cautious about how we approach it so we can maintain a positive learning experience and growth and achieving our goals to get through the year.
Last weekend at Kansas was the first oval race of the season. You stayed out there 181 of the 200 laps. Did you come away feeling pretty good about the experience at Kansas?
For the most part. You know, there's a lot of things we just need a little bit more depth and information. I think we could have got our car really strong. We had a little bit of problem with the telemetry in qualifying. It affected the ability to back up our time in practice or improve it, which is not a big deal. We had a little bit better car than that. We made our way through passed some cars in the beginning, until the first caution. We made a tyre change. I don't know what happened, but it went to junk. We had to come in and change it again. From that point we ran okay. I wasn't real happy with it completely, but at times there were moments where we had some promise. Like I said, it's a learning experience. A lot of these tracks we haven't been to as far as from a team standpoint. It's difficult. We made maybe not some mistakes, but not the right corrections from a gearing standpoint with how windy it was. I think it affected some of our speed and our gearing.
You know, all in all, we made progress. It's something that we can take and learn from going into Indy and other ovals. I was really enjoying the road courses. At Long Beach we got up to pace in the race. Looking forward to coming back to there to run the road courses and street courses more than the ovals, to be honest with you.
You've had the chance to come to Indianapolis as a spectator several times. What does it mean to you now to get the opportunity to compete in the Indianapolis 500?
It would be unbelievable. It's something I always wanted to do, to be able to be in the Indy 500. Right now we have a lot to do. Like I said, we're a small team, limited funding. We're working on some really good sponsors to help make that endeavour a little more possible and easy in the month of May. So looking forward to see if that comes to fruition.