HPD Blog

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

RSR at the Brickyard

My name is Corey Fergus. I race the #198 Honda Civic Si for RSR Motorsports in Grand-Am’s Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge with co-driver Chris Puskar.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway was home to our seventh race of the season. Just being fortunate enough to race at Indy is an accomplishment. Winning at Indy is something every driver dreams of, no matter what series you are apart of. It’s so special because of its history.

I even have some history at the track. Since I was a young kid, I have attended the Indianapolis 500. Our family has had tickets to the race for about 50 years. We still sit in the same section. Not to mention, my great grandfather crewed for Eddie Rickenbacker at the Indianapolis 500.

So it was especially meaningful when I found out I was being given the opportunity to be the finishing driver for this race. For our team, this meant the driver lineups were going to change a bit. I switched cars, to the #198, and co-drivers, now driving with Chris instead of Owen. Our team owner Randy drove with Owen in the #197.

This new role is something I’ve been looking forward to. Because I want to make racing a career, finishing was something I had to step into at some point. Being the finishing driver means you’re the closer. It’s up to you to win the race. Generally this also means that you drive for a longer stint as well. Being used to the starting driver role, where it’s your job to bring the car back in one piece and in a good position for your finishing driver, I had to change my mindset a little. You still obviously want to make smart decisions in the race car, but as the finishing driver you can afford to take more risks and be more aggressive. You have to if you want to win.

At Indy, you get very little track time because we race the same weekend as the Brickyard 400. Last year our whole event took place in one day! This year we at least got two days on track but everything was still rushed. So for practice we knew we had to get the car dialed in quickly. When qualifying came around, Chris did a great job and put us in 6th, the highest qualifying Honda. In the race he had us up to 2nd before we pit for our driver change. Unfortunately in the race we developed some car issues, which made it difficult to fight for position. But we were still hanging in there. Then a Mazda that was a lap down hit us and caused the bumper to drag, forcing us to make an unscheduled pit stop under green, ruining our chances at a good finish. In the last few laps we gained five positions but still finished 14th.
I wish things would have turned out differently for our car but it was still a good learning experience for me. I really enjoyed being in the finishing role and I’m ready to step up to the challenge again at Road America, my favorite track, August 10th in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.

See you at the track!

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