VERIZON INDYCAR SERIES
at the track starts to feel like time away
from kids and family. Outside interests –
business or recreational – start to
consume time and energy that was once
focused entirely upon racing. Alex
Zanardi said that he knew it was time to
switch his focus to handbike racing when
he woke up one morning and his racecar
wasn’t the first thing he thought about.
Gil de Ferran described a similar feeling
prompting his decision to retire.
“I’ve spoken to Rick Mears, Gil de Ferran –
this was back when I first started racing –
and said, ‘Why did you guys decide to stop?
I don’t understand it,’” says Castroneves.
“And they said, ‘You don’t understand it
because it’s not time for you to stop yet.’
“I don’t have any interest in doing
anything else; I love what I do. And I want
to keep going as long as I can. I mean,
I play tennis, but that’s a hobby. I’ve just
started a venture with Roger Penske – a
car dealership. We’ve become partners
this year. But I don’t think I’m in the right
mindset at the moment to be thinking
‘OK, I’m going to start selling cars.’
“I just love racing. I love to go to the
track. I love to drive racecars. I don’t see
myself doing anything else. Maybe when
I start thinking differently, or when I
Kanaan acknowledges that the
compressed format of the current Verizon
IndyCar Series schedule can be a grind,
but says that this actually serves as its
own barometer of his ongoing motivation.
“The day that it starts to feel heavy to
me, I think that will be a sign,” he says.
“Honestly, back-to-back races are tiring,
but I always have a good feeling in the
racecar. I haven’t gotten to the point
where I’m thinking, ‘Oh man, I’ve got to
race this weekend again…’ If that thought
ever crosses my mind, then it’s time to
think about what I want to do.”
Both veterans say that the demands of
racing take a different physical toll now
than it did when they were in their 20s,
“My whole preparation has changed
big-time,” he says. “It takes longer to
recover – I don’t recover as quickly as I
“Having an experienced
guy cuts down a team’s
learning curve during a
race weekend, big time”
did when I was 22, or 25. But that’s just
about getting to know your body. I know
exactly what needs to be done and I know
when I need to take the time to rest.
“And that’s another point – when
you’re young, you waste a lot of energy.
It’s not the amount of work, but during
the day, or during the race weekend, you
don’t stop. You’re nervous, the adrenaline
kicks in, you’re constantly going from the
bus to the truck to the bus, you’re talking
and Tony Kanaan are
both motivated by
Indy 500 win ranks
high for both drivers.