Iracingone On One:/I Sarah Fisher
October 11, 2000 | 12:00 A.M. EST
RacingOne: You’re just 19 and finishing your rookie season on the IRL Circuit. What have you learned?
Sarah Fisher: IRL is much harder than I thought it was going to be. It’s a very competitive series with a lot of teams doing well. There is heavy competition in every race. But I guess the one thing I learned more than anything else is patience. (Racing) midgets taught me some about being patient, particularly when it comes time to pass. But the Indy cars have really demonstrated that to me. You have 200 laps to figure things out. You don’t have to hurry, because if you do you might mess things up. You let the race come to you. There are times when you have a mental edge to get the job done and that’s how you make passes happen. Racing sprint cars took a lot of aggression, you just throw it into the spot, any spot that is open. It’s very exciting to see two Indy cars going for the same spot because when they do touch, you’re kind of a out of luck. I’ve been in a couple of those situations and I’ve learned from each and every one of them.
RacingOne: Have the other drives accepted you?
Sarah Fisher: It’s just like in any other series. At first they were a little leery. And I’d do the same thing to a new driver. You have to feel a new driver out. For instance, when a new driver comes to the Indy circuit next year I’ll give them some time and won’t run side by side with them for awhile. The other drivers had that same attitude with me this year. I expected it and they were very fair. Now they run side by side with me. They trust my driving.
RacingOne: Did you feel any additional pressure to perform well and break new ground because you’re a woman?
Sarah Fisher: No, I think where I’m at right now I just want to win races. I’ve always wanted to win races. That’s my main objective. I’m not here for the women power issue. I just want to race. I enjoy racing a lot.
RacingOne: You’re studying engineering at Butler University in Indiana. How are you balancing your life as a student with your professional life as a driver?
Sarah Fisher: I didn’t start out as a full time student. I’m only taking eight credit hours. I wanted to be successful in school and now that I’m in racing I see how much time it takes to participate on IRL circuit I’m glad I didn’t take more classes. I now know the limits on my time to race and be in school at the same time.
RacingOne: How do you prepare for a race?
Sarah Fisher: I prepare in the same manner for every race. It doesn’t matter if you’re a male, a female or a monkey as long as you prepare in the same manner. I approach for race weekend the same as any other driver does. I go over strategy, I work out three times a week with a trainer, I do weight lifting alone, and every other day I do cardiovascular exercises.
RacingOne: Are there physical demands on your body when you’re behind the wheel?
Sarah Fisher: Well, it’s physical at times. When you’re going around the track at 200, 215, up to 220 it can be physical. You have to be able to compete physically, and a lot of that has to do with stamina, which is something I really work on.
RacingOne: Before the Belterra 300 last month at the Kentucky Speedway you said you wanted to finish in the top 10. You ended up running third, your best finish yet. How did that feel?
Sarah Fisher: It was awesome. It was good for us and for the (Walker Racing) team. It gave everybody here on the team a real boost and we think we can do the same (Oct. 15) in Texas at the Texas Motor Speedway.
RacingOne: What are thoughts heading into the final race of the season in Texas?
Sarah Fisher: My first IRL race was at Texas so I know quite a bit about the track. I know a lot of where the bumps are and I’m really looking forward to going there. I feel I have a real good starting point to work from.