Sarah Fisher is a nine-time Indianapolis 500 Mile Race starter and Verizon IndyCar Series team co-owner, but foremost she's a wife and mother. On the Opening Day for the 98th Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway -- also Mother's Day -- she was the honorary starter.
“This is really special, not only because I am a mom and expecting (in mid-June) and I have my daughter (Zoey) with me, but my mom (Reba Fisher) is here as well. She got to wave the green flag in 2004," Fisher said. "So it makes sense for all of us to be out here on Mother’s Day and Opening Day. I’m in trouble; she (Zoey) likes cars. It is really neat.”
Fisher, the youngest female to compete in the 500 Mile Race, has struck a balance between running a business and parenthood.
“I have a lot of patience, and more importantly, I have a wonderful husband. Andy (O’Gara), does a great job off-track and behind the scenes," she said. "I have a great family that supports me. My mom and dad (Dave) were very special in my career. I’m real lucky that I have really great parents. Some kids don’t have that experience; I’m really lucky that I have such great parents. They were very influential and very supportive the whole time.”
Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing has entries in the "500" for full-season driver Josef Newgarden and Alex Tagliani, the 2011 Indy 500 pole sitter.
Grand Prix of Indianapolis creates buzz
The Grand Prix of Indianapolis on May 10 marked the first time that the Verizon IndyCar Series has competed on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, which underwent a $5 million reconfiguration that created more passing zones, an improved surface and better racing.
A pre-race highlight was Team Penske drivers Helio Castroneves, Juan Pablo Montoya and Will Power harmonizing on "Livin' On a Prayer" by Bon Jovi during an appearance on the Chevrolet stage in the infield.
"After over eight months of hard work and dedication of the entire Indianapolis Motor Speedway staff, we are thrilled with the reception of the Grand Prix of Indianapolis by the fans and drivers alike," Indianapolis Motor Speedway President J. Douglas Boles said. "Our goal was to create a new buzz and excitement at the beginning of May as we build anticipation for the 98th Running of the Indianapolis 500, and we believe that (the) race accomplished that goal."
Franchitti gets laps in new car
Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti was on the racetrack in the Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 that he'll drive to pace the field to the green flag May 25.
“My seat in the Target car was very comfortable. I spent several years perfecting it, but this pace car is a nice car and has a nice seat in it," he said.
Sage Karam, driving the No. 22 Dreyer & Reinbold Kingdom Racing car, completed the Rookie Orientation Program. ... For the second consecutive year and the fourth in the past five years, three-time 500 Mile Race winner Helio Castroneves was the first on the racetrack. ... Target Chip Ganassi Racing will debut the silver cars of Scott Dixon (No. 9) and Tony Kanaan (No. 10) May 12 at the Speedway.