Marco Andretti, Sarah Fisher and Jeff Simmons Test at Chicagoland Speedway

Indy Racing League IndyCar Series drivers Marco Andretti (Andretti Green Racing), Sarah Fisher (Dreyer & Reinbold Racing) and Jeff Simmons (Rahal Letterman Racing) participated in testing at Chicagoland Speedway on Thursday, August 31, in preparation for the Sept. 10th PEAK Antifreeze Indy 300, Presented by Mr. Clean IRL IndyCar Series event. Local media had the opportunity to talk with the drivers between test sessions. Below is a sampling of what the drivers had to say:

Marco Andretti - Andretti Green Racing
At 19 years, 5 months, 14 days, Marco Andretti became the youngest winner of a major open-wheel race after claiming the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma at Infineon Raceway on Sun., Aug. 27. Andretti (who currently ranks seventh in the IRL IndyCar Series point standings with 313) has also clinched the Bombardier Rookie of the Year Award.

"Coming off the win at Infineon Raceway is definitely huge. It's more of a relief for me then anything just because one of my main goals of the season was to get a win before the end of the year, which I knew was possible." Even before my IndyCar win, I've had a lot of success at that track, so I was definitely looking forward to having a go at it in an IndyCar. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but I knew if we were going to have a shot at a win, it was going to be at a shorter oval or a road course."

"I'm definitely happy with the way things are going. The beauty of being a rookie is that you learn more this season then you do your whole career. I'm not saying I'm not going to be learning the last day of my career because that’s what you do in this business, you are always learning."

Sarah Fisher - Dreyer & Reinbold Racing
In 49 career IRL Indy Car Series starts, Sarah Fisher has posted three top-five finishes, seven top-10 finishes and captured one pole. Her most recent race came during the Meijer Indy 300 at Kentucky Speedway on Aug. 13 where she recorded a 12th-place finish.

"I do feel sort of like a rookie again. I've been out of these cars for two years. But it is like riding a bike. The cars are a little different and some of the tools you use are different, but you just have to work at the different tasks and try to perfect them on a daily basis."

On racing stock cars: "The stocks cars demand a lot of control and feedback. But I have always liked different opportunities, so that was fun for me. One guy even called and asked me about racing his boat. I want to be an experienced, well-rounded person and race driver."

Jeff Simmons - Rahal Letterman Racing
IRL IndyCar Series rookie Jeff Simmons (who ranks second in the 2006 Bombardier Rookie of the Year point standings) has recorded five top-10 finishes in 11 starts this season. In three IRL Indy Pro Series races at Chicagoland Speedway, Simmons has scored three top-five finishes, including last year's victory during the Chicagoland 100 on Sept. 11.

"There are some similarities between the IndyCar Series and Indy Pro Series....but obviously in IndyCar there's more speed, there's more grip, these cars are more physical to drive. Your window for mistakes is a lot smaller. Obviously the race is a lot longer and when you add in pit stops and all of those things, there's a lot more to it."

"Everything was kind of done on the fly this year. We just didn't have the opportunity to test very much. I think this is my third test day all year. It's a lot harder to do things during the season, but that was our only option. I think you end up learning more during the races then you do during a lot of the other things like testing."

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