RyaN aND DaRIo
“In my opinion, to run this series
is not a one-man job. It’s a team
effort. They need to build a team.”
be, “How are we going to get to the finish
line first?” That’s hard enough, I think.
2007 and ’09 essentially brought you
back-to-back IndyCar titles because of
your NASCAR interlude. Does Ryan have
the chance to get consecutive titles?
DARIO Unfortunately, yes! No doubt. A
lot will depend on his team – there’s been
a little upheaval at Andretti Autosport –
and also on developments by Chevrolet
and Honda, too. Who, over the winter, has
made the best moves? And in any form of
racing, you need the rub of the green, you
need a little bit of luck to win a race or
championship. But it’s definitely possible.
RYAN If we are better than we were last
year, then yes, there’s a chance and that’s
58 SPRING 2013
our goal. But repeating a championship is
the hardest thing to do in sports because
you have to be even better than you were
the year before. It’s a massive hill to climb,
but I’m definitely up for it. That’s why we’re
here – competition. We love racing, and
winning is the goal, but I don’t like getting
ahead of myself. I like to think about doing
the job that’s right in front of me.
Part of that job this year will be dealing
with doubleheader events. Do they
appeal to you? Will they appeal to fans?
DARIO Physically, it’s going to be very
difficult for the drivers.
RYAN Especially at Toronto. There, your
joints hurt after the race – not your
muscles, but your entire body hurts.
DARIO Precisely. And that was something
I talked about with [IndyCar’s ex-CEO] Randy
Bernard as early as Mid-Ohio last year. If
they were two shorter races, then it might
make sense, but two full-length races?
RYAN And how many fans do you think it
actually gains? I’m worried that it might
True all-rounder. Dario’s
31 Indy car wins could
not be divided more
evenly: he has 16
victories on ovals, 15
on road/street courses.
just be 150 more people for the weekend.
DARIO That’s the question. If the fans say,
“Man, this is awesome,” then OK, I’m all
for it. But if there’s ambivalence, then what’s
the point of putting ourselves through it?
RYAN We have to reinvent ourselves
from time to time and keep moving
forward, but I don’t see a doubleheader
as the answer. My whole life, race day –
the big show – has always been Sunday.
With doubleheaders, I’m worried fans will
say, “Which day shall we go to the race?”
I walk around the paddock here at
Daytona and I can’t tell you how many
drivers have come up to me and said how
exciting IndyCar is to watch, how good the
on-track product is. They say, “Man, we
were on the edge of our seats the entire
time.” So we’ve got one of the most complex
things to nail down nailed down. I just don’t
understand why we continue to poke at it.
DARIO As drivers, our whole lives are
about picking away at things. We do it
with the car and the series. They’re trying
stuff, but it’s maybe not the right solution.