Skicka en hälsning till Kenny Bräck
03-11-29 Kenny Bräck Race Report Seven weeks and counting
First of all I want to thank all of you fans that sent cards, e-mails, and in other ways contacted me during this period of illness. I've received greetings from all over the world and many from old friends that I have not heard from in years (so I guess all bad things carry something good with them too). I even received an email from space, from the American astronaut onboard "The International Space Station", which I thought was pretty cool.
You cannot imagine what every greeting means to me. It gives me strength to fight back. Unfortunately I will have no chance of answering all of you personally since it's been thousands of them but I hope you will accept this "collective" THANK YOU from me.
Now a short update of the state I am in. It has been a rocky road since the last surgery.
A lot of complications set in a few days after the last spine surgery was complete, some of them uncomfortable and some of them seriously life threatening, like blood cloths in my lungs, extremely low blood count etc.
I've been transported twice to the rehab center, when conditions looked stable, only to have to go back to Methodist Hospitals intensive care.
But it seems that God is on our side and I have a strong body and we've made it through so far.
It's been trying time from a mental standpoint. One day I've felt OK and I have thought "now I am over the hump" only to have a set back. Now I am not counting on a smooth ride anymore, in fact I am always prepared for something else to happen, but I am of course hoping for the best.
I have also stopped taking any drugs. I was on Morphine for a long time but it affected my stomach in a negative way, it kind of "stopped". So I decided to rather live with some pain while healing. Now I only take drugs when I get acute gall bladder attacks or something else.
Anita and me have really learned a lot about the Medicare, body-functions and medicine lately. We have felt it necessary to be very involved in the process and the Internet and other sources of information have been frequently used. I guess you can say we've been the doctors and nurses worst nightmares J. But in the end, its my body.
On the positive side I can tell you that every day I feel I am getting stronger.
I was ecstatic the other day when the leg doctor came in and said "your bones are healing faster than what we expected and you can start walking on your left leg tomorrow"!
Since then I have walked nearly every day.
Of course I am only strong enough to walk with a walker very short distances but you got to start somewhere and every day I am walking a little bit further.
Two days ago I walked with crutches for the first time. That's a lot harder as it requires more balance and it wears me out really fast at the moment. That's what happens when you spend 7 weeks in bed.
More good news is that I will be transported to Columbus Monday Dec 1st. I will not be able to go home straight away as I will need to get some more strength back first but still its will be good. If nothing else sets in, I hope to be home in my own house in a week or two.
It will also be good for Anita, since it's only like 4 weeks left until she is due to give birth to our first child, and both her doctor and hospital is in Columbus. She has been fantastic during this period. It´s nearly like she has been through a worse trial than me!
Now I got to rest a little, then eat and go to therapy!
Talk to you later and again thanks for all the greetings that enlightened my world!
03-11-05 Doctors Please with Brack´s Recent Surgery
IRL IndyCar® Series driver Kenny Brack is in good condition after undergoing successful surgery on his back and right ankle Nov. 4 at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis, said Dr. Henry Bock, director of medical services for the Indy Racing League.
Dr. Terry Trammell oversaw the procedure to further stabilize Brack's back. Brack had back surgery on Oct. 13, which involved a spinal fusion of the L2, L3 and L4 vertebrae.
"Everything went very well, and we were able to further strengthen Kenny's spine," Trammell said. "This shouldn't slow down his rehabilitation process at all."
The surgery on Brack's right ankle, performed by Dr. Kevin Scheid, involved a bone graft to complete reconstruction of the ankle.
It is anticipated that Brack will be transferred to the Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana later this week to continue his rehabilitation.
Brack was injured in an accident on Lap 188 of the Chevy 500 on Oct. 12 at Texas Motor Speedway, the final race of the 2003 IndyCar Series season.
Brack, driver of the No. 15 Pioneer/Miller Lite Honda Dallara for Team Rahal, suffered a fractured right femur, a fractured sternum, a fractured lumbar (L-3) vertebrae and fractures to both ankles. Brack had surgery on Oct. 12 (femur and ankles) and Oct. 13 (vertebrae) at Dallas' Parkland Hospital.
Persons wishing to send a get-well message to Brack can do so at www.teamrahal.com or by sending cards or letters to: Team Rahal, 4601 Lyman Dr., Hilliard, Ohio 43026.
Further updates on Brack's condition will be provided when available.
03-10-29 Brack´s Rehab Going Well In Indy
Team Rahal driver Kenny Brack continues make good progress with his rehabilitation of injuries from the Oct. 12 Texas Motor Speedway IRL IndyCar Series crash, said therapists at the Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana Wednesday.
Dennis Conlon, PT, serves as Brack's physical therapist while Allyssa Wagner, OT, is Kenny's occupational therapist in the well-renowned rehab facility on the west side of Indianapolis.
Brack, the 1998 IRL champion and 1999 Indy 500 winner, puts in several hours of therapy each day including strengthening of his upper body and improving the range of motion for his ankles and legs. He also works on self-care activities in occupational therapy.
Brack, driver of the No. 15 Pioneer/Miller Lite Honda Dallara, suffered a variety of injuries including a fractured right femur, a fractured sternum, a fractured lumbar (L-3) vertebrae and fractures to both ankles. Brack had surgery on Oct. 12 (femur and ankles) and Oct. 13 (vertebrae) at Dallas' Parkland Hospital.
"I'm working pretty hard in therapy right now," said Brack, the Sweden native now living in Upper Arlington, Ohio. "I was on my back for quite sometime so I'm getting back to doing normal activities and working on my strength back. I know it will take some time."
"Kenny was in good physical shape prior to the crash," said Conlon. "He is working hard to get back to that kind of shape. But he knows it will take some time."
After the Oct. 12 crash, Brack spent eight days at Parkland Hospital, two days in Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis before being transferred to RHI last Thursday (Oct. 23).
03-10-22 Brack Transferred To Indy Tuesday
Injured IRL IndyCar Series driver Kenny Brack was transferred to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis Tuesday via medical plane and remains in stable condition.
Brack, the 1998 IRL champion and 1999 Indy 500 winner, is in satisfactory condition and was admitted to Methodist Hospital under the care of Dr. Kevin Scheid, said Dr. Henry Bock, medical director for the Indy Racing League.
Brack, driver of the No. 15 Pioneer/Miller Lite Honda Dallara for Team Rahal, suffered massive injuries in on Sunday (Oct. 12) in Chevy 500 IndyCar Series race at the Texas Motor Speedway. Brack was airlifted to Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas from the track and remained at Parkland before today's transfer.
Brack suffered a variety of injuries including a fractured right femur, a fractured sternum, a fractured lumbar (L-3) vertebrae and fractures to both ankles. Brack had surgery on Oct. 12 (femur and ankles) and Oct. 13 (vertebrae) at Parkland Hospital.
On Monday, Brack was able to write this message to his family, friends and fans:
"I am propped up in my Dallas hospital bed trying to write you a race report. Unfortunately it will be a short one since I do not have the strength or the imagination just yet. Perhaps it does not matter so much because I do not remember anything from the race anyway!
In any case, I felt I needed to write a note to all of you who have sent several thousand prayers via email to my team, the newspapers, me and my wife. I never knew I had that much support but I will tell you that it has certainly helped me to get through this accident the best way possible.
I have not seen the actual accident but I have heard about it. It certainly opens your eyes about higher powers because I am sure that God has everything to do with me still being in this world. If I would have had individual accidents breaking all the bones I broke and healing during this accident, I would not have had much time to be a racecar driver!
I broke 5 major bones and most of them are complicated, back, ankles etc. The Dallas crew of doctors and nurses worked about 15 hours to put it back together. They did a great job and they think I have a good chance to get back to normal. I know it will take time, several months but give me half a chance and I will do it. Now I will rest a little bit but I will see you soon!"
03-10-21 Kenny Bräck Race Report
Thank you Dear friends,
I am propped up in my Dallas hospital bed trying to write you a race report. Unfortunately it will be a short one since I do not have the strength nor the imagination just yet.
Perhaps it does not matter so much because I do not remember anything from the race anyway!
In any case I felt I needed to write a note to all you fans, who have sent several thousand prayers via email to my team, the news papers, me and my wife. I never knew I had that much support but I will tell you that it has certainly helped me to get through this accident the best way possible.
I have not seen the actual accident but I have heard about it. It certainly opens your eyes about higher powers because I am sure that God has everything to do with me still being in this world, and if I would have had individual accidents braking all the bones I broke and healing during this accident I would not have had much time to be a racecar driver.! I broke 5 major bones and most of them are complicated, back, ankles etc.
The Dallas crew of doctors and nurses worked about 15 hours to put it back together. They did a great job and they think I have a good chance to get back to normal. I know it will take time, several months but give me half a chance and I will do it.
Now I will rest a little bit but I will see you soon!
03-10-20 Brack Thanks Everyone For Thoughts, Prayers
Injured driver Kenny Brack said Monday he is very grateful and appreciative to all of the people who have sent cards, letters, e-mails, faxes and calls from across the world and he wants them to know he is getting better each day. The Team Rahal racer continues his recovery process in a private room in Parkland Hospital.
Brack, 37, from Karlstad, Sweden who now lives in Upper Arlington, Ohio, was alert and talking to team owner Bobby Rahal as well as racing legends Mario Andretti and Johnny Rutherford.
"I want to thank everyone for their support for Anita and I the last week," said Brack from his hospital room. "I just didn't know how many friends, fans and racing enthusiasts were out there. It is great to know they are behind me and I'm anxious to see everyone in the near future."
Brack, driver of the No. 15 Pioneer/Miller Lite Honda Dallara for Team Rahal, suffered massive injuries in last Sunday's Chevy 500 IRL IndyCar Series race at the Texas Motor Speedway.
Brack remains in satisfactory condition with a variety of injuries including a fractured right femur, a fractured sternum, a fractured lumbar vertebrae and fractures to both ankles. Brack had surgery on Sunday (femur and ankles) and Monday (vertebrae).
"Johnny (Rutherford) was explaining how tough it was to have a broken sternum when he had a crash many years ago," said Brack. "He was making me laugh and that hurt a lot. So he had to stop telling funny stories. But I was happy to see Johnny and talk to Bobby and Mario on the phone. They really helped my spirits. Now we are talking to the doctors to see when I can be moved to Indianapolis. I am hoping in the next few days."
Today, Brack was discussing his move to Indianapolis with his Dallas-based doctors as well as Dr. Henry Bock, medical director for the Indy Racing League, and Dr. Terry Trammell, a top racing surgeon based in Indy. Brack's move to Indianapolis could happen as soon as Tuesday said Bock.
03-10-20 Brack Talks To His Team Sunday
Kenny Brack continued his recovery process Sunday as the Team Rahal driver remained upbeat and talked to his family, friends and team members from Parkland Hospital.
Brack, 37, who now resides in Upper Arlington, Ohio, was alert and talking to his team owner Bobby Rahal and several of his Team Rahal members today.
Brack, driver of the No. 15 Pioneer/Miller Lite Honda Dallara for Team Rahal, suffered massive injuries in last Sunday's Chevy 500 IRL IndyCar Series race at the Texas Motor Speedway.
Brack remains in satisfactory condition at Parkland Hospital with a variety of injuries including a fractured right femur, a fractured sternum, a fractured lumbar vertebrae and fractures to both ankles. Brack had surgery on Sunday (femur and ankles) and Monday (vertebrae).
"Kenny was very animated today (Sunday) and was talking to friends in Sweden and his Team Rahal members including Bobby (Rahal)," said Anita Brack, Kenny's wife. "He talked to them about many things and is looking forward to going to Indianapolis (for rehab therapy)."
On Monday, Brack will be discussing his possible travel to Indianapolis with his Dallas-based doctors as well as Dr. Henry Bock, medical director for the Indy Racing League, and Dr. Terry Trammell, a top racing surgeon based in Indy.
"It was very nice to talk to Kenny today," said Rahal, who co-owns Brack's team with television's David Letterman. "He is getting better each day and we hope we help he and Anita with move to Indy and his recovery. I know he'll work hard in rehab. Kenny is very determined."
Persons wishing to send a get-well message to Brack can do so at www.rahal.com or by sending cards or letters to: Team Rahal 4601 Lyman Drive, Hilliard, OH 43026
03-10-19 Brack Moves From Intensive Car Saturday
Kenny Brack was smiling wide Saturday morning at Parkland Hospital as he was wheeled from the intensive care unit to a private room.
Brack held his wife Anita´s hand as he looked outside for the first time since last Sunday. He was excited to be in his own hospital room and visiting with friends and family.
Brack, driver of the No. 15 Pioneer/Miller Lite Honda Dallara, suffered massive injuries in last Sunday´s Chevy 500 IRL IndyCar Series race at the Texas Motor Speedway.
Brack is still listed in satisfactory condition at Parkland Hospital with injuries that included a fractured right femur, a fractured sternum and lumbar vertebrae and fractures to both ankles. Brack had surgery on Sunday and Monday nights to repair the damage.
"Kenny was very happy today when he was moved from intensive care," said Anita Brack. "He was able to eat some solid food for the first time and look outside for the first time since the crash. He also was able to talk to his parents for the first time since the crash by phone. That really picked him up."
On Saturday, Brack was visited by former Indy 500 winner Johnny Rutherford, fellow IRL driver Greg Ray and Texas Motor Speedway general manager Eddie Gossage.
"He enjoyed talking to everyone today but he did get tired pretty quickly," said Anita. "He is still asking lots of questions - to the doctors about his injuries and about the race and the crash."
Brack is expected to remain at Parkland Hospital for several more days and will eventually be transferred to Indianapolis to begin rehabilitation for his injuries.
"Kenny is looking towards rehab now," said Anita Brack. "He knows he has a long recovery ahead."
Persons wishing to send a get-well message to Brack can do so at www.rahal.com or by sending cards or letters to: Team Rahal 4601 Lyman Drive, Hilliard, OH 43026
Further updates on Brack´s condition will be provided when available.
03-10-17 Brack´s Condition Upgraded To Satisfactory
Injured driver Kenny Brack´s condition has been upgraded to satisfactory Friday at Parkland Hospital, said Dr. Henry Bock, medical director for the Indy Racing League.
Brack, driver of the No. 15 Pioneer/Miller Lite Honda Dallara, was injured in Sunday´s Chevy 500 IRL IndyCar Series race at the Texas Motor Speedway.
Brack remains in the intensive care unit at Parkland Hospital with injuries that included a fractured right femur, a fractured sternum and lumbar vertebrae and fractures to both ankles. Brack had surgery on Sunday and Monday nights to repair the damage.
"Kenny was funny and telling us jokes today," said Anita Brack, Kenny´s wife. "He was frustrated by many of the tubes in him after the surgeries. But he was back to being the same Kenny and giving the nurses and everyone a bad time. It was big lift for me to see him that way. Of course, he was typical Kenny and asking lots of questions - about the race, his injuries and the medical equipment. But I like that. It shows he is returning to his normal self."
Anita Brack said her husband was even telling jokes to his Team Rahal members.
"He told the team he would have the Texas race report next week for them," said a smiling Anita Brack. "He told them he was a little busy this week to work on it."
Brack is expected to remain at Parkland Hospital for several more days and will eventually be transferred to Indianapolis to begin rehabilitation for his injuries.
"Actually the doctors here have started Kenny working on moving his arms and legs," said Anita Brack. "So the rehab is beginning already. We are continuing to pray for Kenny´s recovery and we hope the racing community and fans can do the same. We thank everyone for their support." he hospital´s help this week."
Persons wishing to send a get-well message to Brack can do so at www.rahal.com or by sending cards or letters to: Team Rahal 4601 Lyman Drive, Hilliard, OH 43026
Further updates on Brack´s condition will be provided when available.
03-10-17 Brack Gets Plenty of Well Wishes
The stream of well wishes for injured driver Kenny Brack has been amazing says his wife Anita Thursday from Parkland Memorial Hospital. Brack remains in serious, but stable condition.
He is currently in the intensive car unit as he recovers from Sunday's violent IRL IndyCar Series crash that left him with various injuries including a fractured right femur, a fractured sternum and lumbar vertebrae and fractures to both ankles. Brack had surgery on Sunday and Monday nights to repair the damage.
"We have received so many letters, cards, e-mail, faxes and calls from so many people," said Anita Brack. "It has made everyone here in Dallas and at Team Rahal feel very good. There have been thousands of e-mails to Kenny's website and Team Rahal's website. We want to thank everyone for their support and kindness. The Lord has been with Kenny and us too. He has improved every day."
The variety of well-wishers has included Carl Gustaf, the King of Sweden,; Brack's co-owner David Letterman (who gave an emotional speech on Brack on his television show Monday night); IRL CEO Tony George; current Indy 500 winner Gil de Ferran; former Indy 500 champion Buddy Lazier and his wife Kira; NASCAR driver Jerry Nadeau (who raced against Brack in the Barber Saab series in 1993); Brack's former car owner Chip Ganassi and Brack's former Team Rahal teammate Max Papis, who gave Kenny a funny message.
"Hey Kenny, we didn't know you could fly without a pilot's license," said Papis. "We wish you our love and get well soon."
Anita Brack has been strengthened by support of the staff of Parkland Hospital.
"The doctors, nurses and staff at Parkland have been fantastic," said Anita. "They have been incredible to Kenny, myself and our Team Rahal family. I can't say enough about them. I am so thankful that we were able to bring Kenny to Parkland for his injuries. We appreciate all of the hospital's help this week."
Further updates on Brack's conditions will be released in the near future.
03-10-16 Anita Brack Talks To The Media
Team Rahal driver Kenny Brack continues to show improvement Wednesday (Oct. 15) at Parkland Memorial Hospital, said Dr. Henry Bock, director of medical services for the Indy Racing League. Brack, the 1999 Indy 500 champion, remains in serious, but stable condition, Bock said.
Doctors from four departments - Neurosurgeons, Orthopedic surgeons, cardio specialists and the trauma team -- at Parkland Hospital observed and talked to Brack in the Intensive Care Unit Wednesday. All of the doctors and specialists were pleased with Brack's progress as he recovers from Sunday's horrifying crash at the Texas Motor Speedway.
Since the Chevy 500 incident, Brack has had two surgeries for his injuries including a fractured right femur, a fractured sternum and lumbar vertebrae and fractures to both ankles in an accident on lap 188 of the schedule 200-lap event, the final race of the 2003 IRL IndyCar Series season.
On Sunday night, Brack's ankles and right femur were repaired while, on Monday night, his L-3 vertebrae was fused to the L-2 and L-4 in an eight-hour procedure.
Brack's wife, Anita, met with the media Wednesday afternoon and described her feelings on the accident, her husband's injuries, his current condition and the future.
"We are having good news everyday," said Anita Brack. "That's has been very uplifting for myself, Kenny's friends and family and our Team Rahal crew. Sure, it has been tough for us after seeing Kenny in such an amazing crash. Of course, my first thought was to ask if he was still alive. But after a few minutes, I knew he was hurt but felt he could survive. When I was able to talk to him at the track care center, that was a big relief. He was joking with us at the hospital and talked to Michael (Andretti), Bryan (Herta), Dario (Franchitti) and Bobby (Rahal) before going into surgery Sunday night. I was more relieved then.
"I don't know if he will race again. That is up to Kenny. If he wants to race, I will be behind him. I love racing too. My instinct says he will want to race. But we know he has a long recovery period ahead. All of the C.T. scans show everything is good including his head. So I think he will be the same Kenny when he is well again. That's all I want right now."
Further updates on Brack´s condition will be provided when available.
03-10-12 Brack Fast In Texas Warm-Up
It was an unusually quiet Saturday for the IRL IndyCar Series after Friday's qualifications at the Texas Motor Speedway.
But Kenny Brack and his Team Rahal crew made important adjustments to the No. 15 Pioneer/Miller Lite Honda Dallara Indy car in the two practice sessions Saturday in preparing for Sunday's Chevy 500 on the 1.5-mile oval north of Ft. Worth.
Brack was consistently close to the top of the leaderboard in the morning 30-minute practice with a final speed of the 220.983 miles per hour. The Team Rahal engineers worked closely with Brack to improve the handling of the race car with full fuel tanks.
In the second 30-minute session, Brack jumped his best speed to 222.201 m.p.h. for the fourth fastest speed, trailing only Sam Hornish Jr., Helio Castroneves and Tomas Scheckter.
Brack's Honda machine ran well in traffic as well as in front of the pack in the afternoon practice with a better balance in the corner. Brack and the crew seemed confident enterting Sunday's IRL IndyCar Series finale, a 200-lap speedfest that has produced some of the closest finishes in Indy car racing history.
In June, Brack finished just two-tenth of a second behind the winner Al Unser Jr. but still took fourth in another usual spectacular finish.
Brack, the all-time track record holder at 233 m.ph., hopes to improve his finishing record at Texas on Sunday
The Chevy Indy 500, the last race of the 16-race IRL IndyCar Series, will begin Sunday at 2:45 p.m. (CDT) and will be seen live on ESPN-TV.
KENNY BRACK: ""We tried a bunch of things today to get ready for the race. We have worked on the race setup since we started Friday morning. So we continued our development process with the chassis. The Honda engine feels very good. I think we can be in the mix with the point leaders during the race. It's hard to say what the championship contenders will have in their cars. Maybe they will pull out some 'trick' stuff that we haven't seen. But right now I feel comfortable for the race. I know that battle for the championship will be very exciting. I would just like to be in front of all of them at the end that way I won't get caught up in anything that might happen in the last few laps."
03-10-11 Brack Takes 7th In Texas IRL Qualifying
Kenny Brack was only the second driver out on the track to make a qualifying attempt Friday at Texas Motor Speedway but the Team Rahal driver clocked a strong speed of 221.487 miles per hour for the rest of the 22-car field to shoot at on the 1.5-mile oval.
Brack's Pioneer/Miller Lite Honda Dallara qualification run finished up seventh fastest when the final car clicked the timing lights on the warm Autumn evening.
The team had concentrated on Sunday's 200-lap Indy Racing League IndyCar Series finale during Friday's practice runs. Brack was fourth in the June feature on the high-banked Texas facility but will be looking for a high spot when the green flag drops at 2:45 p.m. (CDT) Sunday.
A 79-degree air temperature and an 85 degree track temperature greeted Brack in his run Friday night which was a little warmer than the team had predicted entering Friday's runs.
But Brack wasted little time when he took the green flag at 6:47 p.m. Friday night with a first qualifying run of 221.103 m.p.h. and followed it up with a stronger 221.487.
That speed held for numerous cars until Scott Dixon took the Target car to 222.856 m.p.h. lap that easily vaulted him to the top of the charts. Most of the pit lane talk considered Dixon's speed to win the pole until Team Penske's Gil de Ferran, in his finale race as a driver, stunned the crowd and the pits with a speed of 222.864.
It was a fitting way for De Ferran to end his racing career with a pole position.
Dixon held on to second at 22.2856 followed by his teammate Tomas Scheckter at 221.960, Felipe Giaffone at 221.954, Helio Castroneves at 221.881, Vitor Meira at 221.860 and Brack at 221.487.
Rounding out the Top Ten in Friday's qualifying was Bryan Herta at 221.080, Tony Kanaan at 220.839 and Robbie Buhl at 220.785. Title contender Sam Hornish Jr. ended up 12th.
The Chevy Indy 500, the last race of the 16-race IRL IndyCar Series, will begin Sunday at 2:45 p.m. (CDT) and will be seen live on ESPN-TV.
KENNY BRACK: "We didn't know what to expect since we were the second car out for qualifying. It felt pretty good but there were other guys who we knew would go faster. Starting in the front of the field is really all you want for here at Texas. Everyone drafts so much that you want to be in the lead pack. We worked a lot on our race setup today. You have to be able to run in close quarters during the race. We ran with a lot of fuel during the practice and we wanted to secure a good car for racing conditions. We won't race in this kind of air temperature. So getting things set for Sunday was our goal from the start. Of course, if you could put the car on the front row like we did at California that would be cool. But we'll have to take seventh. I'm sure it will be a wild race on Sunday. The races are always crazy here."
03-09-21 Brack Takes Front Row Start For California Race
Kenny Brack´s left foot is still sore from the 200 mile per hour crash two weeks ago at Chicagoland Speedway but there is nothing wrong with Brack´s right foot.
The popular Swede had a heavy right foot Saturday in qualifications at California Speedway when he took the No. 15 Pioneer/Miller Lite Honda Dallara to the front row for Sunday´s IRL race.
Brack and his Team Rahal crew made excellent preparations for Saturday´s two-lap qualifying run and the 1998 IRL IndyCar Series champion didn´t disappoint with 226.280 m.p.h. clocking for the second fastest speed.
Only Helio Castroneves´ IRL track record of 226.757 m.p.h. speed bettered Brack´s circuit in the near 90 degree heat. Kenny´s second starting position tied his best IRL career qualifying spot along with Orlando in 1998 and St. Louis in 2003.
In the morning practice Saturday, Brack was the seventh fastest at 225.179 but adjustments by the Team Rahal engineering staff gave Kenny an improved mount entering the late morning qualifying session.
Brack was the 15th driver to attempt qualifications in the 22-car lineup and several top guns later in the session including Tony Kanaan, Gil de Ferran, Felipe Giaffone and Tomas Scheckter couldn´t match Brack´s blistering speed.
Team owner Bobby Rahal posed with Brack and his crew for the front row photo following the exciting action. Rahal´s CART team won the last open-wheel race at California Speedway last November with Jimmy Vasser driving the Shell machine to the 500-mile victory.
Following Castroneves and Brack in the starting field Sunday will be Scott Dixon at 226.219, rookie Dan Wheldon at 225.695, Kanaan at 225.198, Vitor Meira at 225.042, Scheckter at 224.517, Giaffone at 224.263, Alex Barron at 224.229 and Sam Hornish Jr. at 224.088.
KENNY BRACK: Team Rahal did a fantastic job preparing the car for qualifying. The Honda power was really there today. They gave us a strong motor. The car pushed (understeer) a little on the first lap and I dialed the car in better (adjusting bars) for the second lap. I knew we had a better speed on the last lap. We got the most out of the car today. It feels good to put the car on the front row but I was hanging it out. You can´t race the car with that setup. Now we have to get it ready for the race. We have to dial in the setups for the 400 miles. Qualifying is one thing but it doesn´t guarantee a win Sunday. I´d be happy to take away some points from the championship contenders with a win. That is what we are running for now, a win. All of these IRL races are so competitive and close at the end. I´m sure there will be plenty of side-by-side racing Sunday. It´s been like that all year and I don´t see it changing here. I just want to be in the hunt at the end for a chance to battle for the win.
03-09-15 Kenny Bräck Race Report
After rain comes sunshine
The last race, in Chicago, was a tough break for Team Rahal. It started good for us and we managed to qualify 4th, about a tenth adrift from pole. We concentrated most of the time on race set up though because as intense as our races are, with lots of wheel to wheel action, that is really important.
In the beginning there were about 4-5 cars that were a little bit better than us but we stayed in contention, improving the car in the first pit stop a little and running back and fourth in the lead pack of about 10 cars and it felt like we had a good shot at a really good result. But after little over half distance the fun was over. We had just turned into turn 3 when the car all of a sudden just went out of control. My first thought was that someone hit us or that I had turned down on someone, because there was a violent jolt and a loud sound, just like when you have contact. At the same time I thought it was strange because I had checked my mirrors and had not seen anyone. But as close as the racing is, well, I guess you just cannot be sure and as a driver you always try to find a logical answer to what happens, even in the heat of the moment. We discovered afterwards however, that there had been no contact, at least not between any cars.
The right rear tire simply exploded from something penetrating the sidewall. Although we are not 100 % sure we think the reason was that something broke off from our car to cause the damage.
In a situation like that, there is nothing you can do to prevent going out of control. You are going as fast as the car has grip to do, which in this case was about 225-230 mph, and if you then all of a sudden remove a good part of that necessary grip, well, its like removing one of the two wings on an air plane while in flight. You are just along for the ride. The only thing you can hope for is to get out of it in one piece. The car spun around and hit the wall with a force that nearly knocked me out.
Shortly after the impact while still sliding backwards, the team asked over the radio if I was ok. That's kind of standard. I remember hitting the wall while with A.J. Foyt's team once. A wheel broke just before turning into a corner and Tommy, the guy on the radio, came on the radio before the car had even hit the wall and asked if I was ok.
A.J. slapped his hand of his radio transmitter button, then "Wham" as the car hit the wall, he said, "Now ask him if he's ok"!
Even if I replied I was ok in last weekend in Chicago, had you seen me that same evening being hauled around in a wheel chair in the airport you'd known that that was not entirely true. The impact banged me up pretty good in my left side, the left foot the worst. Although I was in pain and limped pretty bad right after the incident it was nothing I was prepared to cave in for. I left the track and drove to the airport but I guess the adrenalin supply stopped somewhere between the track and the airport. When we got there I was stuck and could hardly get out of the rental car!
When returning to Columbus that same night we went to the emergency room to check it out but fortunately nothing was broken. After getting a pair of crutches I was on my way.
Luckily there is a really good rehab center in Columbus and after having them work on me every day the last week I can now walk on it again. At the end of the first session they even taught me to put the crutch under the right arm when walking (which was kind of embarrassing)!
Now we are on our way to California for our next race at California Super Speedway in Fontana. We are going out a little early to do some PR activities at Disneyland and then on Wednesday we are going to Honda's headquarters to meet the people at their office who supports us tremendously.
I hope we have some good fortune this weekend. I carry hope because Team Rahal is a good team with a great spirit and after rain comes sunshine. Always.
Since the last report we have also released "Kenny Brack and The Subwoofers" "Live from Nashville" CD. I got to say I am really proud of all the band members because it turned out really good.
My favorite tunes are Me & Bobby McGee, Let There Be Rock, Rocker and of course Sweet Home Alabama where the song's creator, former Lynyrd Skynyrd member Ed King participates. You can listen to some flicks under music on my web page www.kennybrack.com or of course buy the CD for the nimble price of $ 10. Like they say "All good things in life are free". Nearly anyway. All profits go to a good cause, The CARA Charity organization.
Before Chicago I spent some time in Sweden. I've not been there since February. That's the longest period I've been away since I started racing in 1984.
In any case it was very nice. Fall is beautiful there. It was still warm but the air was very crisp and a light that only countries located high up on the globe experiences. I will spend some more time there now since the season is getting less intense towards the end.
My wife Anita spend the whole month of August there and when I saw her after 3 weeks she had taken on the shape of a balloon, only that its not air. She's pregnant, due in late December, but I never thought 3 weeks would make such a difference. It will be a girl. I am looking forward to it, although its hard to understand the grasp of it before it's a fact. A challenging thing this moment is to find a suitable name. My wife hesitates to give her a name that any of my previous girl friends could have been named. Right now we are thinking perhaps "Eric":)
For you who are members of my fan club there's soon time for another web chat. Despite our trying time this year I hope you still enjoy the benefits of the club and that you take some time to log on and talk a little bit. You can find the details on my web page.
Let's hope for a good race this weekend!
Talk to you all soon,
03-09-07 Brack Qualifies 4th At Chicagoland
Kenny Brack and Team Rahal have focused on preparing the best racecar possible all weekend for Sunday´s Delphi Indy 300. Last year´s Chicagoland Speedway IRL IndyCar Series race was the closest and most spectacular Indy car race in series history and Brack and his Pioneer/Miller Lite Honda squad want to be in the middle of the battle when the green flag drops at 1 p.m. (CDT) on the 1.5-mile oval south of Chicago.
The Ohio-based team again concentrated on the developing a comfortable setup with full tanks as they ran Saturday morning prior to qualifications. A five-hour gap from practice to qualifying kept a lot of race engineers guessing on track conditions. An ARCA stock car race and an Infiniti Pro Series feature were run before the IndyCar Series field hit the track for qualifying.
But Brack and his engineers felt confident they had a good car entering the two-lap dash for starting spots in the 200-lap main event for Sunday.
Brack and his bunch didn´t disappoint with a solid fourth place starting position (outside of the second row) with a speed of 222.038 miles per hour. Kenny opened up his run with 221.921 and improved to over 222 mph lap. At that point in qualifying Brack was second only to Tomas Scheckter.
Returning IRL driver Richie Hearn powered the Menard Chevy to a record speed later in the qualifying session with a 231.159 clocking to take the pole postion. Scheckter held on to second at 223.083 followed by Felipe Giaffone at 222.642 and Brack at 222.038.
Rounding out the top five was Scheckter´s Target teammate Scott Dixon at 221.674. The rest of the Top Ten in qualifying were Robbie Buhl at 221.532, Bryan Herta at 221.323, Sam Hornish Jr. at 221.265, Helio Castroneves at 221.091 and Dan Wheldon at 221.053.
The Delphi Indy 300, the 14th round of the 16-race IRL IndyCar Series, will begin Sunday (Sept. 7) at 2 p.m. (EDT) and will be seen live on ABC-TV.
On Saturday, Brack introduced Pioneer´s "Live From Nashville" Compact Disk by Kenny Brack and the Subwoofers with all proceeds going to CARA Charities. Brack and three other band members, Kelsey Smith, Kathy Prather and Laz Denes, participated in a special press conference.
KENNY BRACK: "That (qualifying) run felt good and that was the fastest we have gone by ourselves all weekend. I´m pretty pumped up for Sunday´s race since we have been working on our race setup most of the time. It´s nice to start up front in the second row but I think you can come from almost anywhere on this track and be in position to win the race here. It will be a side-by-side battle for 200 laps and you want to be in front on that last pit stop. But I feel good going into the race since we concentrated on the race setup. Now we just have to go out and run hard at the front. It won´t easy though. It´s going to be a real shootout Sunday."
03-09-06 Brack clocks third fastest friday at Chicago
Kenny Brack returned from Sweden Wednesday with one thing on his mind - to win an IRL race before the end of the season. And Friday at Chicagoland Speedway, Brack showed his intentions by posting the third fastest speed (222.870 m.p.h.) with his No. 15 Pioneer/Miller Lite Honda Dallara Indy car.
Brack and his Team Rahal crew had tested the previous week at the 1.5-mile oval south Chicago and were ready to hit the track Friday morning in preparation for Sunday's Delphi Indy 300.
Brack jumped to the top of the speed charts in the Friday session with a 220.646 in only his four lap of the day. Kenny quickly pitted the maroon and blue machine and the team filled the 35-gallon fuel tank for race settings. The squad then worked throughout the first 45-minute practice to improve the racecar for the 200-lap contest on Sunday.
In the afternoon, Team Rahal concentrated on both qualifying and racing setups. Kenny leaped to second on the charts at 222.870 in qualifying trip and later ran 25 consecutive laps for additional findings for the race.
At the conclusion of the day, the 1999 Indy 500 winner trailed only Tomas Scheckter at 223.810 and returning IRL driver Richie Hearn, who now drives the Menard Chevy, at 223.511.
Rounding out the top five Friday were Bryan Herta at 222.805 and Scott Dixon at 222.624.
The Delphi Indy 300, the 14th round of the 16-race IRL IndyCar Series, will begin Sunday (Sept. 7) at 2 p.m. (EDT) and will be seen live on ABC-TV.
On Saturday, Brack will hold a press conference at 11:30 a.m. at the Chicagoland Speedway media center to introduce Pioneer's "Live From Nashville" Compact Disk by Kenny Brack and the Subwoofers that was released this week. All proceeds from the CD sales will go to CARA Charities, a major open-wheel racing charity.
On July 19 at Nashville Superspeedway, Brack and the Subwoofers performed a 12-song set before the Saturday night race and were joined by legendary guitarist from the Lynyrd Skynyrd Band, Ed King, as a special guest. The band's performance was recorded live from the Indy Racing Live stage with Pioneer technicians mastering and producing the CD recording.
KENNY BRACK: The car felt pretty good today. We tested here last week and I think we learned a little bit about this place. It is very fast here. This afternoon´s practice was good for our team. We have struggled learning these cars and we are getting more knowledge now. There is more speed left in our car right now. It´s still pushing (understeer) and we need to fix that for Saturday. Overall, I think we have a good start for the weekend. Now we´ll just have improve on it for qualifying. It looks like there will be some wild side-by-side racing on Sunday. I know they had a great race last year. So I would expect the same this year. Maybe even more competitive.
03-08-29 Kenny Bräck Race Report
Scoring points again
At last I get around to write a this report again. It has been a hectic summer period with back-to-back races, testing and other necessary stuff and it has not been much time left for other things. But now things have slowed down to a more manageable situation again and I am sitting on an airplane somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean on my way back to Sweden for a few days before the next race.
Depending on how you view things a lot has happened and a lot has not happened since the last report. We have been plenty busy with racing and testing trying to get the car to go faster. Unfortunately we have retired with mechanical gremlins three races in a row, Michigan, St. Louis and Kentucky so one can say we went from bad to worse but luckily not without a return ticket.
In Nazareth we finally got to the checkered flag again and scored a fifth place finish. Although we were plenty fast in St. Louis in qualifying (started second) and should have finished a little better in Nazareth too had we not had a incident running over a wheel in the first pit stop which dropped us from 6th to 15th, fifth-sixth is pretty much were we are today. Because of our retirements we have dropped to 7th in the standings but my goal is to better that before the end of the season. But we have made one important difference over the summer period. I feel we are fifth-sixth now because of our own speed, not because of luck, like in the beginning of the season. The big teams like Penske, Ganassi and Team Andretti-Green still have the upper hand on us but at least we start to make some headway.
Next race is in Chicago in little over a week. We tested there a couple of days ago. We did not get to run any race simulations since we had a mechanical problem in the afternoon but in general the test went well and the car felt pretty good so hopefully we can challenge for a good result there too.
Apart from actual on track stuff a lot of other things have also happened. Renewal of driver contracts for one. Sam Hornish will replace Gil De Ferran in Team Penske. I cannot say that I am surprised by this move. Team Penske is a first class team and probably one of the few who, in today's tough economic climate, can afford to pay for a top driver like Hornish.
I am a littler surprised and touched over Gil's retirement. Gil and myself have raced together for nearly our whole careers. I especially remember one episode from a race in Spa, Belgium in 1990 or 1991, in a series called Opel Lotus. Most of the top drivers you read about in Formula One and IndyCar's today from that era competed in this series back then so it was fierce competition to say the least.
Gil drove, together with David Coulthard, in Jackie Stewart Racing and I drove for a Swedish team, Tommy Jagerwall Racing. Anyhow, before the first lap was over I had eliminated both of them due to combats on the track. David broke his leg and Gil my nose... Well not really, but at least he looked like he wanted to do so afterwards.
He says he wants to stop racing "while the music is still playing." Well, since I just put the band together and started playing there is no reason to believe it will stop anytime soon!
Speaking of music, next week we are going to release the CD we recorded in Nashville. That has been a very exiting project, one that came as a total surprise when Pioneer phoned me up and asked if we would like to make a record and we were on our way. My first recording!
Thanks to my fantastic band members and great producers I have to say, even looking at it from my usual critical view, it sounds really good. There are a variety of music styles on it. Personally I like "Me & Bobby McGee" and "Rocker" the best but "Sweet home Alabama" performed with original Lynyrd Skynyrd band member Ed King who also wrote it, is also high on the list. You can read about the band and listen to sound bits under "Music" on www.kennybrack.com and if you decide to buy it, all profits go to charity.
Like I mentioned in the beginning, I am on my way to Sweden. I have not been back there since February as the season with testing and racing has been incredible intensive. But now it's starting to slow down a little bit, the races are two weeks and more in between. I will only be able to spend a few days there, which shrunk to even less since we were delayed out of Chicago. But I hope to catch the last few breaths of the fabulous Swedish summer. Nothing compares to that. My wife though has been there the whole month of August.
As you can imagine this has given me an excellent opportunity to dust off my skills from my bachelor days again. Before I got my bearings set perhaps one could trace a little "rusty-ness".
Two friends from my home village, that surprisingly fittingly came to visit me during this period, and myself searched for coffee-sugar for over 1 hour before we gave up and went to the Gentlemen's Club to borrow some. And trying to locate the vacuum cleaner and other vital appliances, it's, well, like being on a treasury hunt in your own house. You never know what you are going to find, and where!
Talk to you soon, Kenny
03-08-24 Kenny Brack 8th in Nazareth qualifying
Kenny Brack and his Team Rahal squad made many changes on their No. 15 Pioneer/Miller Lite Honda Dallara Saturday morning at Nazareth Speedway in preparations for qualifying for the Firestone Indy 225.
The 1998 IRL IndyCar Series had suffered through a tough Friday afternoon practice session with hot, humid weather and track conditions. But Brack and his engineering staff of Don Halliday, Martin Pare and Jim Foley worked on taking the "loose" handling out of his Indy car.
Luckily for everyone at Nazareth Speedway, low humidity and low 80-degree weather greeted the race teams and fans for a spectacular setting on the tight one-mile oval.
Brack's mount was improved in the morning practice with 19.87-second time and seventh overall. When qualifying came at 11:30 a.m., Brack was scheduled to be the last car to take a time trial.
However, several teams decided to go to the back of the qualifying lineup but received only one timed lap as opposed to the regular two laps.
For Kenny, he clocked in at 19.977 seconds at 168.494 miles per hour for seventh at that time. With drivers timing in after Brack's run, the Swede finished eighth in final qualifying and will start on the outside of the fourth row next to last week's winner Sam Hornish Jr.
Brack's time of 19.977 seconds was just four-tenths of a second off the sixth fastest qualifier Gil de Ferran at 19.973 and seventh qualifier Hornish Jr. at 19.974.
The Firestone Indy 225 will begin Sunday (August 24) at 3 p.m. (EDT) and will be seen live on ESPN. Three-time race winner Scott Dixon won his fifth pole position of the 2003 IRL campaign with a time of 19.663 seconds at 171.182 mph followed by Helio Castroneves at 170.849, Tony Kanaan at 170.259, Tomas Scheckter at 170.099 and Bryan Herta at 169.114. Making up the second five were de Ferran, Hornish, Brack, Alex Barron and Roger Yasukawa.
KENNY BRACK: Ya, that was pretty close for the sixth spot (four thousands of a second). We were just on the short end there. Actually considering how the car was yesterday (Friday), our qualifying time wasn't too bad. It was a decent run. We struggled a lot on Friday. Even though the air was hot and humid Friday, the track wasn't much different today. We were able to improve the car but we still aren't flat (on the throttle) in turn two and you need to do that to be fast here. We have to see how the car is for the race. If you have a good racecar, you can pass but it isn't easy. The car can be much different with full tanks here. Last time I was here (2001 with CART) we had a good car in the race (he led the first 125 laps). We went from tenth to second late in the race and I was able to pass guys. I hope we can do it again Sunday."
03-08-23 Hot weather makes slick track for Brack
It was almost unbearable to stand in the pit lane Friday at Nazareth Speedway. Hot and humid weather conditions made for a tough day for the IRL IndyCar Series teams in practice runs for Sunday´s Firestone Indy 225 on the tight one-oval in the Lehigh Valley area of Pennsylvania.
Kenny Brack and his Team Rahal crew were anxious to hit the track Friday morning after a good run on a tight oval at Gateway International Raceway two weeks ago.
Early in the morning session, Brack was one of the fastest with a time 20.6 seconds and the car was showing potential. He reminded in the Top Five for most of the 45-minutes practice before settling for seventh at 20.383 seconds at a speed of 165.130 miles per hour in his No. 15 Pioneer/Miller Lite Honda Dallara.
The 1999 Indy 500 winner worked with his team for race settings in the afternoon practice with heat over 90 degrees and humidity almost 80. The slippery track surface slowed most of the cars in the afternoon session including Brack. The cars were sliding around more than normal Friday afternoon.
The Pioneer/Miller Lite Honda team concentrated on the race settings with full tanks and recorded a best lap of 20.978 seconds. Overall for the day, Brack ended up ninth with another practice set for Saturday morning at qualifying in the afternoon.
The Firestone Indy 225 will begin Sunday (August 24) at 3 p.m. (EDT) and will be seen live on ESPN.
Tomas Scheckter and Scott Dixon, both of the Target Ganassi team, led the day´s activities with 19.812 (169.888 mph) and 19.922 (168.956 mph) in the two practice sessions followed by Gil de Ferran at 168.030 and Helio Castroneves at 167.943. Rounding out the Top Five was Tony Kanaan at 166.709. Making up the second five were Alex Barron, Bryan Herta, Roger Yasukawa, Brack and last week´s winner Sam Hornish Jr.
KENNY BRACK: We thought we were headed in the right direction in the first practice with our chassis setup. But the track seemed very slick in the afternoon runs. We ran on a race setup too and that makes things a little different. We just seemed to have a loose (oversteer) condition and you don´t want to be loose at this place. That makes for a wild ride. Luckily we have another day to work out some of the problems with the car. If this was a two-day event, it would be tough going into qualifying right now. But we have our engineer guys working on balancing the car for Saturday. I think we can improve the car for qualifying and the race.
03-08-17 Fire Stops Brack´s Kentucky Race
After a disappointing qualifying run Saturday, Kenny Brack and the Pioneer/Miller Lite Honda team were looking for improvements that would give Brack a chance to make a significant charge in Sunday's Belterra Casino Indy 300.
Rain halted the Sunday warm-up session after only a few laps and the crew was still in a quandary on how to prepare the No. 15 machine for the 200 laps feature on the 1.5-mile oval south of Cincinnati.
Starting 15th at the drop of the green flag, Brack made a spectacular charge to tenth on the first lap and gained another position on the next lap. Kenny was then battling a pack of some five cars as he made several attempts to slide by Greg Ray for eighth and Al Unser Jr. for seventh.
The Pioneer/Miller Lite car began to develop an understeer (push) in the corners by lap 25 and Brack was forced to run the draft and maintain his position. However, on lap 30, Kenny made an attempt to pass Ray and just got out of the groove. That attempt cost Kenny as he slid wide and out of the throttle. Quickly five drivers swept by the popular Swede and he was forced back to the 14th position.
But Brack fought his way back into the pack and picked up a few more spots to 12th by lap 52. Two laps later, Brack pitted for fuel, four tires and a wing adjustment. Back in the action, Brack closed on the cars in front and moved into the pack with sixth through 13th. Kenny continued in the big pack for the next 40 laps.
Brack tried the high line of the track for a passing maneuver but the car continued to have a "push" in the steering. On lap 113, Brack pitted again and was able to pick up a few positions that moved him to ninth by lap 124.
Meanwhile, leader San Hornish Jr. was making a shambles of the field by lapping all but second and third. Sporting the new Cosworth-built Chevy engine, Hornish looked to be in another league Sunday.
Brack diced with Robbie Buhl and Dan Wheldon for eighth and held his ground until lap 147. That's when the yellow flag appeared for the first time in the race as Brack's car was spraying oil. Kenny pulled around to the pit with the back half of the car in flames. The Team Rahal crew and the IRL safety team were quick to put out the fire but Brack was finished for the day.
Hornish went on to victory in the fastest IRL race in history (197.897 mph) followed by Scott Dixon, Bryan Herta, Unser, Helio Castroneves, Tony Kanaan and Buhl.
KENNY BRACK: "Everything was running all right and they called for a yellow flag. Then I heard 'go low on the track'. I thought someone hit the wall on the outside. I didn't know the yellow was for me. The engine was running fine. I did start to smell something as I came into the pits. I thought it was the brakes because I didn't have any. But I saw a fire out of the back as I was on the pit lane. Wow, I couldn't believe it. So I went to the pits pretty fast and jumped out. I'm okay. Our pit guys and the IRL safety guys were there quick to put out the fire."
03-08-17 Tough qualifying for Brack at Kentucky
Kenny Brack was scratching his head Saturday at Kentucky Speedway in preparations for Sunday's Belterra Casino Indy 300.
The 1999 Indy 500 winner had to equal or better his qualifying performance from the previous week at Gateway International Raceway when he put the No. 15 Pioneer/Miller Lite Honda Dallara on the front row.
Brack will start 15th Sunday after a qualifying speed of 216.227 miles per hour on 1.5-mile Kentucky Speedway oval.
It wasn't what Brack and His team Rahal crew had expected after an impressive run at Gateway and a good testing session at Kentucky Speedway two weeks ago.
Brack was fifth in the morning practice at 217.7 but felt the car wasn't secure in the corners like at the previous test. So the crew made a variety of changes in the chassis settings for the afternoon practice. However, the hot and humid conditions (nearly 90) made track temperatures at 120 degrees and gave Brack a handful on the track.
Team Rahal crew made some additional adjustments entering the qualifying attempts but Brack's machine was only slightly improved. The 1998 IRL champion will start on the inside of the eighth row when the green flag drops at 2 p.m. (EDT) Sunday.
Two-time IRL champion Sam Hornish Jr. won the pole position in the Cosworth-built Chevrolet engine with a speed of 219.614 mph followed by Scott Dixon at 219.358 and Helio Castroneves at 219.300.
The Belterra Casino Indy 300 will be seen live Sunday on ABC-TV at 2 p.m. (EDT).
KENNY BRACK: "We had a pretty good test here a few weeks ago but we aren't there now. I had a understeer in most of the corners. This morning the car was a little scary to drive to be honest. I had a couple of (scary) moments but we ran 217.6. Then for the afternoon, we made a number of chassis changes and the car didn't respond like we thought. So we went back a little to the morning setup. Unfortunately, that setup wasn't good in these conditions and we didn't post a very good time. Sure, I'm disappointed after being on the front row last week at Gateway and then having a pretty good test here. We're going to have to back and go through all of our data. We need a much better setup for the race. But it is something that is possible for Sunday
03-08-10 Brack takes second in Gateway qualifying
Kenny Brack matched his best IRL IndyCar Series qualifying performance Saturday at Gateway International Raceway when he took second on the 1.27-mile oval outside of St. Louis. Brack will start second in Sunday's Emerson Indy 250.
Team Rahal's Pioneer/Miller Lite Honda Indy car team made some vital adjustments after the two practice runs Saturday and Brack picked up .25 of a second in his qualifying lap to record a time of 25.600 seconds for a speed of 175.777 miles per hour. Only Helio Castroneves's 175.96 m.p.h. (25.573 seconds) clocking bettered the Swede's circuit.
Brack, looking for his first IRL pole position (he had six poles in CART action), equaled his career IRL best qualifying spot at the 1998 Orlando IRL event. It was also Brack's best 2003 qualifying run after being sixth on five occasions this year.
Brack was the tenth driver to attempt to qualify Saturday and went to the top of the class on his very first flying lap. He bettered Tony Kanaan's 175.67 (25.61 seconds) and held the top spot until Castroneves clicked off this pole lap.
Kanaan's speed gave him the third starting slot followed by last year's Gateway winner Gil de Ferran, point leader Scott Dixon, Kansas winner Bryan Herta, Tomas Scheckter and MIS winner Alex Barron.
Brack, currently fifth in IRL points, is seeking his first win in 2003 and a chance to move up in the standings. The Emerson Indy 250 will be seen live on ABC-TV at 3 p.m. (EDT).
KENNY BRACK: "Team Rahal did a great job making the adjustments for qualifying. We were over 25 hundreds of a second quicker than in practice. Our engineering staff was on top of the track conditions and it worked well. We have struggled with his Indy car all year but our test here at Gateway last week was our best test this year. So we thought we would be pretty competitive. I figured Tony (Kanaan) would be fast so when I was faster than Tony I knew we had a good lap time. You have to match the chassis setup with the current conditions and that worked today. The track didn't get too slick after the IPS race but the track had good grip. That was important. Passing is difficult here so starting on the front row is very good. In this IndyCar Series, there always seems to be places to pass and I'm sure that will happen on Sunday. It looks tight but I think you'll see side-by-side racing during the race.
03-07-29 Kenny Bräck Race Report
The Michigan Blues
It is peculiar; some track just seems to get the better of you. During my career I would have to say that I've had good runs on most tracks but Phoenix International Raceway as well as Michigan Speedway are a totally different story.
I have raced there 5 times. 3 in single-seater cars like CART and IndyCars and two times in IROC. The highlight of all those races was a very hard fought third place in an IROC race in 2001.
The other times the results were quite different. Despite being very fast and leading a lot of laps, in three out of three open wheel races I have yet to make it to the checkered flag. Last Sunday was no exception. Still, I like the track, which is a little odd, but perhaps you have to be a bit odd to drive racing cars in the first place
Michigan Speedway is fast and very challenging to race on as its got several lines you can drive through the corners, which makes for very good racing. Minimized drag and Maximum horsepower is the name of the game here.
For us the weekend started good, as we were second fast in the first practice session.
From there we concentrated mostly on race set up and the team did a good job improving the car quite a lot during Friday afternoon and Saturday morning. For qualifying our car was good and we got the most out of it with a speed of 220.9 mph. This was the fastest lap we set all weekend and it was good enough for and 8th place on the grid.
This result itself may not be anything to write home to mama about, but for us it was an indication that we have made some good progress with our car set up.
For the first time this year, we were the fastest of all the Honda/Dallara cars.
In the race we made a good start and got up to third place within a lap. However when we got up to speed we could not stay there since we did not have the speed the fastest cars had at that point in the race.
We settled in around 6th place together with Little Al and Scott Sharp.
In our first pit stop I got a major surprise when the car all of a sudden stepped sideways when I tried to slow down into the pit box. I managed to gather it up but at the time I was surprised that it happened, since the pit lane has quite a lot of grip at Michigan and we had not had any problems like that previously.
At the first yellow flag the bits started to fall into place why it happened because once again I had my hands full to slow the car down since I had no brakes.
After pumping the pedal a few times I got some braking power and managed to slow down. Luckily, to drive fast you don't need a lot of brakes in oval racing!
After having made another pit stop we went back to racing only for the next surprise to come along. When turning into turn 1 a mechanical failure happened on the right front and the car all of a sudden took off straight out towards the wall. I tried everything I knew to save it but I had no steering, nor could I slow it down much, so it was like having a "fill in role" in someone else's movie. The impact was hard and once again it was over at Michigan Speedway. I got lucky and got off with a few bruises and a sore neck.
The odds in racing are of course that you will have incidents during a season of hard racing and this represents the first non finish of the year for us so our record is still good, but its always tough when it happens.
Despite the result we still managed to stay in fifth place in the championship and although the distance to the leader increased somewhat. This is in no way out of reach if we can eliminate further hiccups and make the car better. That's our challenges right now and we must focus on making the best of it because it would not be good if it were to get worse J.
This weekend we have off from racing but we are spending our time until the next race testing. Tomorrow we run at St. Louis and Monday we are at Kentucky Speedway again. We have found some good improvements in the car set up in recent races and we have a good test program lined out so hopefully we are able to further improve it.
Apart from racing, on Friday we are in the studio in Indianapolis laying down the last touch ups on our record that's scheduled to be released in the middle of August.
Talk to you soon, Kenny
03-07-26 Kenny Brack takes 8th in MIS qualifying
Team Rahal´s Pioneer/Miller Lite Honda Indy car team made a couple of decisions when the squad left its Hilliard, Ohio race shop on Thursday for the Michigan International Speedway.
One decision was to concentrate on the 400-mile race on Sunday. Make the car fast and comfortable for driver Kenny Brack. The second decision to not be too concerned about their qualifying time on Saturday. And the team stuck to their game plan on Friday and Saturday.
Brack´s second fastest overall lap (222.9 m.p.h.) on Friday was a bit of surprise but it was predicable running in a draft in practice. In single-car runs like qualifying, speeds go down.
Thus was the story for Brack and his Pioneer/Miller Lite Honda Dallara car in Saturday´s two-lap qualifying run when he recorded speeds of 220.942 and 220.843 to place eighth on the grid for Sunday´s Firestone Indy 400. Brack wasn´t comfortable with his car on Friday and the team made a variety of adjustments to improve the handling and drivability. By Saturday morning, Brack seemed pleased with his racecar and he looked forward to Sunday´s 400-mile competition. What happens in qualifying for Brack will come from the car´s race settings.
With two-thirds of the field already qualified when he left the pits for his run, Kenny clicked off the fifth fastest speed at the time at 220.942 behind Tomas Scheckter (222.458), Scott Dixon (222.425), Helio Castroneves (221.953) and Alex Barron (221.387), all with fresh Toyota qualifying-prepared powerplants.
Later in qualifications, Sam Hornish, in the new Chevy at 221.837, Al Unser Jr. in a Toyota at 221.435 and Honda´s Greg Ray at 221.344 bettered Brack´s speed. Brack will start eighth.
But with 400 miles scheduled for Sunday´s main event, Brack and his team were satisfied with their grid position. The MIS race is traditionally a spectacular "drafting" duel that can have cars three and four abreast and anyone can come from the back and lead.
Brack, currently fifth in IRL points, is seeking his first win in 2003 and a chance to move up in the standings. The Firestone Indy 400 will be seen live on ABC-TV at 3 p.m. (EDT).
KENNY BRACK: "We might have been a little better, maybe in the 221 range. But we didn´t really work on qualifying. We have spent the majority of our practice time on race setup. So the car and the Honda engine ran well. The wind was a little bit of a factor but not too much. We have stuck to our race plan for the first two days. In the race, it´s not totally about horsepower. You need to have the proper drag and handling too. Of course, drafting is always important here and reliability for the 400 miles. It should be a very interesting and exciting race. I want to see the checkered flag this time. My last two trips here at MIS have ended too early (with crashes).
03-07-25 Kenny Brack second at mis friday
Kenny Brack looked a more familiar with his surroundings as he sat in the Michigan International Speedway media center Friday as one of the Top Three drivers in Friday's practice runs for Sunday's Firestone Indy 400.
Brack, the 1998 IRL champion, clocked the second fastest speed on the two-mile oval in the Michigan Irish Hills at 222.983 miles per hour in the morning practice as his Pioneer/Miller Lite team prepared for the 400-mile event on Sunday. Defending IRL champion Sam Hornish Jr. topped the speed charts with the new Cosworth-prepared Chevrolet engine at 223.618 m.p.h.
Brack ran 39 laps in the morning practice and clicked off his best speed on the 13th circuit to notch the top Honda time of the day. In the afternoon practice, Brack and his Team Rahal operation worked on race setup as he posted the seventh best speed (221.086) of the 90-minute session.
Despite the fast speed in the morning, Brack wasn't happy with his car's drivability and the team's engineering staff made several adjustments including gear changes.
With drafting a key in the race, Brack and his squad concentrated on running the Honda Dallara in traffic in the afternoon. He was able to run three separate lanes on the track and showed considerable strength on the high line in traffic.
Trailing Hornish and Brack in practice speeds was three-time winner Scott Dixon at 222.493 followed by Bryan Herta at 222.177, Tomas Scheckter ay 221.873, Alex Barron at 221.736, Helio Castroneves at 221.593 and Dan Wheldon at 221.284.
Qualifying will take place at 11 a.m. (EDT) Saturday with the Firestone Indy 400 set for 3 p.m. (EDT) Sunday with ABC-TV televising it live. Brack is currently fifth in IRL points.
Kenny Brack: "It's nice to be back in the top three again but it is only practice. The draft gives you some added speed. Actually, I didn't really like my car this morning. We worked on race setup in the afternoon and the car felt pretty good later in the session. We still have to get a good race setup for 400 miles. Qualifying on the pole would be nice but here at MIS it's all about the race. A good car in drafting is very important. The Cosworth engine's performance today doesn't really surprise me. I drove a Cosworth for Team Rahal for two years and I know those (Cosworth) guys can produce horsepower. We were always a factor on the big tracks back in 2000 and 2001 and Jimmy (Vasser) won at Fontana last year with a Cosworth. So Sam will be competitive no doubt about that. We just need to get our car better because the Honda has the power too."
(Brack has led the only two MIS races he has competed in 2000 and 2001 but was knocked out the action both times. In 2001, he was racing with his Team Rahal teammate Max Papis for the lead with 20 laps remaining when they collided in turn four.)
03-07-23 Kenny Bräck Race Report
And the rock continues
Nashville was truly an experience, from a lot of perspectives.
Since its only 6 hours drive from Columbus we decided to drive there. In Kentucky my wife Anita took over the driving duties and as it was pretty warm in the car I took my pants off, folded the front seat down and fell asleep. I was sleeping deep when I had a pretty dramatic wake up when she got stopped for speeding.
Desperately I tried to get my jeans back on but drowsy from sleep I fumbled and did not get the job done. Furthermore the cop, for some unknown reason, decided to walk up to the passenger side where he knocked on the window. I opened it up with my jeans not much further up than my thighs. To say the least he had a pretty surprised look on his face and I decided it was no use to try to explain anything. I am sure he thought we were up to something else than we actually were, and perhaps he found it amusing for after telling us the traffic rules in the state of Kentucky he let us go with a warning.
I guess sometimes it can be of advantage to get caught with the pants down...
We made it to Nashville town without further excitement.
The Nashville 1.3 mile long Superspeedway provided some pretty exciting racing. The circuit is very slippery on the top side and looking at previous years racing it had not been that much side by side racing. It was quite slippery there now too, but despite this there was quite a lot of side by side racing so the race was pretty exciting from a spectator standpoint.
Since the tracks surface is made out of concrete the track is quite different.
Amongst things it provides more grip but is also rougher. Of course a racecar is never comfortable but when running on a track like this you have to spend a little more time tuning the shocks and springs to keep your teeth from falling out.
From our perspective the weekend was both up and down for us. We had a few issues dealing with a new track once again but I think we did fair, finally managing to qualify 9th as the third best Honda car.
In the beginning of the race we also had some grip problems but the biggest issue came when we failed to put on the left front wheel properly in one of the pit stops. We came out in 6th place but had to pit again to put another wheel on and that dropped us to 17th. The car however was quite good from middle of the race and on and together with a good pit strategy we managed to fight our way back up to finally finish 6th after passing Thomas Scheckter on the grass when hitting traffic with only a few laps to go.
The result kept us in the championship hunt and we also managed to close the gap a little to the leaders, still sitting in 5th place in the championship.
We now are past the midway season and have 7 races to go and we realize we have a lot of work in front of us to get more competitive.
We are doing everything we can to understand the car and this kind of racing better, having increased our testing program over the next couple of weeks.
This means my scheduled trip back to Sweden in the end of the month had to be postponed, something I gladly do for a chance of better on track performance.
Let's hope the testing pays off and we can give the others a run for their money in the upcoming races.
Next stop is Michigan Superspeedway. That's a track I've run very competitively on in the past with Team Rahal, leading both CART races in 2000 and 2001. Unfortunately we have yet to take the car to the finish line due to on track incidents but I am hoping it will be "third time lucky" for us.
This race will also be exciting from another standpoint. GM is launching its new engine with Sam Hornish Jr. In one way it is unfortunate since Hornish is already a strong competitor and most probably will be even stronger now. But the most interesting thing about it is that GM has employed Ford-owned Cosworth Engineering to build their new engine. Talk about conflict of interests!
Apart from racing it was my first time to the Country & Westerns Capital of the world. Through my music interest I had the opportunity to see it first hand. First we had band rehearsal on Thursday night at a studio down town and it was top notch to say the least. Then we did our rock show at the track on Saturday, which was very well attended. We had the pleasure to be joined by Ed King who's a legendary guitar player that was part of the Lynyrd Skynyrd band in the Seventies and who also wrote the famous song "Sweet Home Alabama".
It was a true experience to perform with him and you will be able to hear it on our CD that will be released as a benefit for charity in the middle of August. Do I have to mention I also took the opportunity to check out some of his riffs too...
On Sunday, after the race, we went to the NAMM show, which is on of the biggest music trade shows in USA. There I met up with Gibson who is coming on board as a sponsor for the band. That's exiting as they make some of the best rock and roll guitars and they will also help Pioneer promote the band in various places.
Now I am back in Columbus where my wife and I had a visit today by what must be Sweden's two biggest racing fans, Uno and Marianne. To give you an idea how much they are into the sport, Uno has a web page with over 10.000 racing pictures and has been going to races since before I was even born. They will also be our guests in Michigan over the weekend.
I hope they bring some good "Mojo" with them from my home country.
Talk to you soon,
03-07-19 Brack comes back for ninth at Nashville
Kenny Brack wasn´t happy with his Pioneer/Miller Lite Honda Indy car when he stepped out of the car after practice on the 1.3-mile Nashville Superspeedway oval Friday.
Just looking at Kenny´s face one could tell he wasn´t a happy camper. At fact, the ESPN video crew following Brack all weekend for an upcoming 30-minute special on the Swedish driver knew it was best to give Brack some distance as he talked to his Team Rahal crew.
But Brack´s fortunes changed after his briefing with his engineering team and he was one of the fastest drivers in qualifying for Saturday night´s Firestone Indy 200 Indy car race.
Brack, the 1998 IRL champion, recorded the ninth fastest speed Friday with a clocking of 22. 959 seconds for a speed of 203.838 miles per hour. Kenny was one of ten drivers who bettered last year´s track record set by Billy Boat.
In the practice session, Brack was 12th at 22.87 seconds while some of his rivals including Scott Dixon at 22.641 seconds were considerably quicker than the 1999 Indy 500 winner.
But Brack and his engineering squad led by Don Halliday and Martin Pare worked hard between practice and qualifying to improve the Honda-powred machine. Despite wind gusts close to 30 m.p.h., Brack ran nearly identical laps of 22.959 and 22.965 seconds to better IRL point leader Tony Kanaan on the fifth row.
Target Racing´s Dixon scored the pole position with a speed of 206.211 m.p.h. followed by Helio Castroneves at 205.339, Tora Takagi at 205.051, Indy 500 winner Gil de Ferran at 205.010 and Tomas Scheckter at 204.482. Sixth was last year´s Nashville winner Alex Barron, subbing for the injured Felipe Giaffone, followed by a group of Honda drivers, Bryan Herta, Dan Wheldon, Brack, Kanaan, Roger Yasukawa and Greg Ray.
The 200-lap IRL event - the Firestone Indy 200 - begins at 7 p.m. (CDT) Saturday and will be seen live on ESPN2-TV. Brack is currently fifth in IRL points.
KENNY BRACK (No. 15 Pioneer/Miller Lite Honda Dallara): "We were pretty much flat out in qualifying. The wind was a little bit of a factor. We were on the wrong end of the 22.9s there. I think there are five guys in the 22.9s. That is pretty close. Just a few hundreds of a second and you can lose four to five positions that quick. This is a very competitive season. We just have to figure it out how to get more out of the car right now. There are so many factors on the cars to adjust. We are working and working on trying to get that right setup. We´re not there yet. Hey, I saw that Gibson guitar that goes to the winner. That´s nice. There are a lot of guys who would like that trophy. I have a Gibson so I´d like to win it so I can play it."
Brack and his band - Pioneer presents Kenny Brack and the Subwoofers - will perform Saturday afternoon (3 p.m.) at the IRL Stage behind the main grandstand.
03-07-12 Kenny Bräck Race Report
Gifts from above
Some talk about bad luck when they are not winning but its also possible viewing it for a different perspective. In the last two events we've been blessed with good luck, although this has not meant winning for us. In Richmond we picked up a puncture and would have had to do an unscheduled pit stop and lost many positions, had it not been for the fact that the skies opened up and the race ended under yellow.
The last race in Kansas City proved to be another lucky race for us. After being the slowest car on track for most of the race we used a very smart pit strategy and to help us further we got the car to run decent enough in the last stint not to lose track position. But had anybody said to me that we were going to get 5th when we tried to hold on in the beginning of the race, I probably would have escorted him or her to the loony-house. That result was truly a gift from above . So my point is we have been very lucky lately. Now I only hope our luck does not run out until we get a hold on what we need to do to get real competitive on track!
What's positive is that we are still in 5th position in the championship but itās no secret we have been struggling to find speed at quite a few of the tracks weāve been to. This full throttle, no difficulty racingä as many used to refer to when talking about IndyCar has proven to be quite the opposite for us. It is exactly the opposite, extremely difficult and so far proven to be one of the most difficult things weāve ever done. The difference between hero and zero is for the most part a few hundreds of a second away since it is so many cars that are competitive.
A few hundreds of a second is nothing in the real world we are all living in, but step inside the racetrack and I guarantee you, it takes on a whole different meaning! Frustrating might be an understatement.
However one thing that is good about Team Rahal is that we are all doing what we need to do, keeping our mind in the game, focusing on the challenges and pushing forward as a team to solve them.
I am convinced that we will get to the bottom of the secret how to be competitive even in this series, I only hope it will be sooner rather than later (!) because we still have a chance to win the championship
I am sure you wonder why it is so hard and what it depends on. Well, so do we, otherwise we would have fixed it. Part of the reason is that we as a group are completely new to the formula. We do not have any personnel that have been doing IndyCar in the past in our team. This in turn means that we have no previous track or car set up data from any of the tracks we go to. We collect this as we test and race.
Another reason is that we are a one-car team and compared to a multi car team we have no way of collecting the data needed as fast. In a two or three car team they need to do one run with their cars whereas we need two or three runs to get the same data.
I am not going to use this as excuses though, because I consider our team one of the most capable still, which the championship standings back up, only four cars are in front of us and all are from multi car teams.
We've done the obvious things right and have maximized our results and nobody, including ourselves, have yet seen our best stuff.
Next race is Nashville the 19th of July and we just finished a full day of testing there.
The Nashville track is a 1.3 mile track with speeds over 200 mph (320 kmh) and is made out of concrete. Concrete surface means itās a little bit rougher than an asphalt track but with the positive effect that grip level stays pretty much consistent, no matter temperature. The race will start at 8 p.m. Eastern time, which means itās a night race.
As the track is only 6 hours away by car I drove there. After we got done testing at 9 p.m. I drove back to Columbus and I went through one of the worst thunderstorms Iāve seen. For about 4 hours straight there was lightning so severe that it looked like something out of a horror movie. The whole landscape lit up in the middle of the night. It was like being in the middle of a stroboscope light show, like they have in discos when you only see part of the peoples movement because of fast pulsing light. Thatās how the windscreen wipers when they went back and forth on the windscreen looked like.
I had more aquaplaning than Iāve had in a long time!
Yesterday, I went to Indy for band rehearsal. We are putting a couple of new songs to our repertoire for our next show in Nashville. This show will be the basis of our recording, which in August will be released on a CD for charity. I am very exited about this as it will be my first recording. We also are going to have the first celebrity musician of the year sit in with us on a couple of songs.
Itās Ed King, formerly guitarist for rock and roll icons Lynerd Skynerd . Ed is also famous for writing the song Sweet Home Alabama which I am sure many of you have heard. I am very much looking forward to this too.
But most of all I hope we will be competitive on the Nashville Superspeedway!
Now I am off to a weekend off, the first in a long time. I will spend it doing some yard work since the thunderstorms ripped off several branches of our trees. The biggest one landed in the swimming pool.
Itās such a hassle when you have to use a chain saw to be able to make your exercise laps:)
Talk to you soon,
03-07-06 Brack to start 12th in sunday's Kansas Indy 300
Kenny Brack had to fight much more than the tough 22-car field at Kansas Speedway Saturday in qualifications for the third annual Kansas Indy 300.
With a heat index of 106 and a track temperature of over 130 degrees, brutal conditions have been the norm for two days on the IRL IndyCar Series and Brack and his Pioneer/Miller Lite Honda team have been battling the elements.
On Saturday, after sixth in the morning practice, Brack entered two-lap qualifying with a promising Dallara machine but the heat and humidity threw Team Rahal a nasty curve when qualifying opened. Brack lost two-tenths of a second from the practice to qualifying and left the popular Swede with a 12th starting position in Sunday's 300-mile feature on the 1.5-mile high- banked oval.
Kenny clicked a best lap of 25.434 seconds for a speed of 215.145 miles per hour Saturday in the No. 15 machine, less than a tenth of the fourth starter Gil de Ferran. In fact, from de Ferran to 14th qualifier Roger Yasukawa was separated by just a tenth of a second.
Brack, the 1999 Indy 500 champion, will start next to his rock band buddy Bryan Herta, who recorded a speed of 215.154 m.p.h.
In the early practice session, Brack was sixth at a 25.272-second run (216.517), just a tenth off of the fastest driver Tomas Scheckter at 217.817.
But with the heat up, Scott Dixon won his second straight pole position for the Target team at a 218.085 m.p.h. reading with his teammate Scheckter next to him at 217.892. Third went to Tora Takagi at 217.538 followed by de Ferran at 215.855, Felipe Giaffone at 215.697, Helio Castroneves at 215.631 and Al Unser Jr. at 215.619.
The 300-mile IRL event is scheduled for 12 noon (CDT) and will be seen live on ABC-TV.
KENNY BRACK (No. 15 Pioneer/Miller Lite Honda Dallara): I think we had too much drag in the car today. Maybe the heat was a factor today. The car felt pretty good but I'm not sure it is freed up enough. I've never raced here before but I it will be similar to the 1.5-mile tracks. The racing will be exciting with the drafting. You won't see side-by-side racing like at Texas. But it will be good and there should be quite a bit of passing. Drafting will play a role in the races but we need to have a good car too. You can't rely on hanging on with the other guys. What heat! É..it's good for you if you are on a diet. I should lose some weight on Sunday."
03-06-15 Bräck fights off flu, starts eighth sunday
Rain was the winner again Saturday at Pikes Peak International Raceway when heavy thunder, lightning and a steady downpour pelted the one-mile oval Saturday to wash out qualifications for Sunday's Honda Indy 225.
Team Rahal's Kenny Bräck, currently fourth in IRL IndyCar Series points after a fourth place finish last Saturday night in Texas, suffered through a tough week with flu conditions including a 104 degree fever on Wednesday. By Thursday, Bräck's temperature was 101 and down to 99 on Friday. He flew to Colorado on Friday and rested most of the day.
On Saturday, the Swedish driver of the No. 15 Pioneer/Miller Lite Honda Dallara Indy car was able to run 50 laps in the morning practice on Saturday and 58 laps in the afternoon practice before the schedule qualifying runs. But tremendous thunderstorms cancelled Saturday's qualifying and autograph session. Sunday's grid will lineup according to practice speeds.
In the two practices, Bräck was eighth in each with a morning best of 20.467 seconds (175.893 m.p.h.) and an afternoon time of 20.190 seconds (178.025). Bräck will start eighth in Sunday's 225-lap contest that begins at 2 p.m. (MDT) and airs live on ABC-TV.
Point leader Tony Kanaan will start on the pole with his afternoon practice time of 19.974 sec. (180.232) with Helio Castroneves second and Felipe Giaffone third. Last year's race winner Gil de Ferran will be fourth on the grid followed by Tora Takagi, Scott Dixon, Dario Franchitti and Bräck. Kenny's eighth spot marks his sixth straight Top 8 qualifying position. Kanaan is the only other driver to match that feat this year. Bräck previously had started sixth in the last four IRL races.
KENNY Bräck (No. 15 Pioneer/Miller Lite Honda Dallara):I'm feeling a lot better than I did on Wednesday. I was flat on my back with a 104 (degree) fever then. I must have really got something bad with the flu. I have been feeling better with each day. I probably still have a little fever, maybe 99. But it didn't affect me in the car today. With practice and qualifying runs, I wasn't tired at all. Maybe the race will have some affect on me with the long distance. But I'll be feeling better on Sunday. The track is very similar from when I raced here in 1999. But the cars are much different. With the field being so tight and competitive, I think passing will be difficult. The race will have a lot of strategy and fuel economy runs.
Most of the cars in front of us and behind us have tested here. We didn't test here. Rolling off the truck can sometimes by more luck than skill. And we weren't horrible off the truck today. Taking everything into account, we aren't too bad. We didn't know what to expect here but our team was pretty close on the setups. We were off on gearing a little and that hurt our times this morning. We ran full tanks this morning and the car felt good. Overall, vI feel that we'll have a good race car and that is most important.
03-06-10 Kenny Bräck Race Report Texas rocks!
Texas motor speedway once again provided excellent entertainment for the approximately 92.000 spectators Saturday night.For us in Team Rahal it was the first race at a high banked track since we were here the last time. That time we sat on the pole but the race was cancelled since drivers got dizzy from the high g-forces. This time it was quite different - we did not sit on the pole and we actually raced!
It was also my first night race since we lost the IRL championship at this very track in 1999. I love night races, it's a very special feeling very different from a day race. It's like comparing going to a party in the daytime and in the nighttime.
It was a very tough race trying to hang with the lead pack while racing side by side most of the night. We were positioned in fourth place at the second to last restart, when I hit the rev limiter during a gear change. That's all it took and it killed the momentum for a split second and 4 cars got by in a flash. Luckily we managed to get those positions back again.
I would have loved to say that we could have won, well perhaps we could have if things would have gone our way a little bit, but the truth is we did not seem to have the last ounce of speed that we needed. Despite this we finished in fourth place, approximately half a second behind winner Unser Jr. Second was Kanaan and third Tagaki. Considering it was our first time, without any testing, on a high-banked track I am happy with the result. The crew played a big part in this result as they performed perfect pit stops all night long and gained us 3 positions in one of the stops. It also helped us one position in the championship so now we are sitting 4th behind Kanaan, Unser Jr and Castroneves.
The race was quite incident free, only Schecter, Sharp, Giaffone and Foyt IV hit the wall. The only one I witnessed was Sharp and Giaffone. Giaffone thought him and Sharp were going into the corner two wide, when his teammate Tagaki made it three wide.
Since Giaffone was on the outside he came down a little, not knowing there was a third car involved, Tagaki had to choose between lifting off or take his car below the white line on the inside straight leading into turn 3 and try to pull his pass off. He tried the latter. As they approached the corner at 220 mph ( 350 kmh) there was no room left, and with half his car off the track/banking the crash was unavoidable.
It looked like a video game in front of me but somehow we managed to steer clear of the mess and luckily no one got seriously injured. But I am sure Mo Nunn, who's the team owner of both Tagaki and Giaffone's cars, had a few words to communicate to his drivers afterwards
Although we gained a couple of positions these are the situations every driver dreads. All of us knows the risks and have accepted to take them, but I can assure you that the minutes before a race nobody's unaffected because you simply just don't know what the race has in store for you.
Sometimes you make a mistake, sometimes something mechanical happens but when we are running wheel to wheel it makes it even worse since you are also exposed to other drivers opportunistic moves. All of which can have disastrous results. But then you get in the car and it's business as usual.
Since Indy we have entered into a very busy part of the season. We have just completed the first of 10 races in 12 weeks, plus we are doing testing in between, all over USA. The championship will be decided for the most part in this period. Of course this schedule is tough on everybody.
The focus for us right now is to try to keep the momentum going and hopefully continue without any mishaps. As we have seen it the races so far it is tough task because the competition is so close that you got to be on the ragged edge all the time, and then naturally, things do happen from time to time. Knock on wood, so far we've been fortunate, but over the years I have learned that that only means we are getting closer and closer to our turn. Nevertheless I hope we manage to keep our momentum going, that we manage to continue to improve our performance and that we can win some races. If we manage this I think we have a good shot at the championship.
On the leisure side of things, we also did another gig in Texas with Kenny Bräck & the Subwoofers. It was quite a few fans there and we had a lot of fun as usual. In honor of Texas we played Janis Joplin Me Bobby McGee, Stevie Ray Vaughan The House is Rockin and Tush ZZ top.
The fans liked it and now the next gig is an opening act for 3 Doors Down in Richmond, Virginia, in the end of the June. But until then we have another race in Pikes Peak and a few tests to conduct.
Pikes Peak is another track we have not tested on but I am familiar with it since I raced there in 98 and 99, and I managed to win the 98 race. The track is flat and wide but it's a 1mile oval so it will as usual be very tight.
Talk to you soon
03-06-07 Bräck rocks on and off the track
Kenny Bräck was rockin' on and off the track Friday at Texas Motor Speedway. The Swedish driver of the No. 15 Pioneer/Miller Lite Honda Dallara Indy car posted fast times Friday in the two practices as he prepared for Saturday's Bombardier 500 IRL IndyCar Series event on the lightning quick 1.5-mile high-banked oval.
Bräck, who'll start sixth Saturday night in the 22-driver field, clocked speeds of 217.478 miles per hour and 218.586 m.p.h. in the two afternoon practice sessions. Bräck and his Team Rahal crew worked on full-tank runs in both practices which saw him second fastest in the first session and eighth best in the second run.
Bräck, who holds the all-time Texas track record of 233.4 set in 2001, concentrated on traffic runs and looking for areas to pass during the practice laps as the Saturday night's 200-lap feature marks his first race at Texas Motor Speedway since 1999. Bräck's best finish at Texas was third in 1998. Saturday night's Bombardier 500 is scheduled for 7 p.m. (CDT) and will be telecasted live on ESPN.
Tomas Scheckter and Scott Dixon will start on the front row Saturday night followed by Tora Takagi, Tony Kanaan, Felipe Giaffone and Bräck. On Friday night just outside the track, Bräck and his Subwoofers band rocked some 3,000 enthusiastic race fans who were preparing to watch the NASCAR Craftsman Truck race. On the Pioneer stage, Bräck and his seven-person rock cover band plays songs from the Rolling Stones, Clash, Janis Joplin, ZZ Top and Chuck Berry along with others. The band played for 45 minutes and was covered by three different local area television stations.
Kenny Bräck and the Subwoofers' next gig is schedule for Richmond at the end of June as they open for the popular rock group, Three Doors Down.
KENNY Bräck (No. 15 Pioneer/Miller Lite Honda Dallara): The track got hotter this afternoon in the later session. But we learned a lot about the car going into Saturday night's race. It's been awhile since I raced here (1999) but I still remember a few tricks about this place. This field is so tough with top drivers, cars and teams that we'll have to have everything working well in the race. We need a fast car, good pit stops, good strategy and of course a little luck. I have could close to win here before but never first at the checkered flag. I'd like to do that Saturday. The race has always been good here at Texas and I expect the same this time. It will be tough to beat the last few races here but the competition level has improved. So you will see some pretty spectacular racing again. It was really fun to play for the fans before the truck race tonight. The racing fans were great.
03-06-06 Bräck starts sixth again in Texas qualifying
Kenny Bräck is very consistent on the 2003 IRL IndyCar Series. The popular driver of the No. 15 Pioneer/Miller Lite Honda Dallara Indy car recorded his fourth straight sixth starting position for the year when he took his maroon, blue and silver machine to a 216.676 mile per hour lap Thursday night at the Texas Motor Speedway.
Bräck, who holds the all-time track record of 233.4 set in 2001 in Team Rahal's Champ car, didn't have much time to prepare for night qualifications after heavy rain storms cancelled most of Thursday's practice sessions. Bräck was able to run 40 minutes prior to his two-lap qualifying runs and was ninth in the earlier practice.
The likable Swede returned to the Texas Motor Speedway for the first time since the cancelled CART event in April, 2001. Bräck's best previous finish at Texas was third in 1998, the year he captured the IRL championship.
Bräck returns to Texas for a shot at his first IRL victory since the 1999 Indy 500 when 22 cars line up for Saturday night's Bombardier 500 set for 7 p.m. (CDT) on the 1.5-mile oval near of Ft. Worth. Bräck currently ranks fifth in the IRL IndyCar Series point standings.
The Target pair of Tomas Scheckter and Scott Dixon holds down the front row for Saturday race followed by fellow Pioneer driver Tora Takagi, Tony Kanaan, Felipe Giaffone and Bräck. Rounding out the Top Ten in qualifying was Al Unser Jr., Indy 500 winner Gil de Ferran, Helio Castroneves and Roger Yasukawa.
Practice continues with two rounds on Friday afternoon to prepare for Saturday's 500-kilometer (312 miles) event. Kenny Bräck and the Subwoofers band return to action on Friday at the Pioneer Stage outside the Speedway as part of the Texas Block Party. Bräck and his sevent-person band will perform for 45 minutes prior to Friday night's NASCAR truck race.
KENNY Bräck (No. 15 Pioneer/Miller Lite Honda Dallara): "There was a lot of sitting around and waiting today. That is tough on the drivers and the crew. And I'm sure for the fans too. We thought we would be out sooner but, right when the trucks were practicing, the rain hit again. So we didn't get on the track until after 7 p.m. Then we qualified just 30 minutes later. There wasn't much time to change things on the car. So overall I was pleased with the setup. We know we have some changes to make. But starting sixth isn't bad. We are kind of stuck on that number right now. But here at Texas, you can start at the back and get to the front quickly is the race car is good. On the first qualifying lap, the car pushed (understeered) too much and I went about a lane higher on the track than I was supposed to. But the second lap wasn't too bad. The car felt pretty good overall. But now it's time for the race and we want to be in good shape for all 200 laps.
03-05-29 Kenny Bräck Race Report
May - exciting as always
Once again the month of May is over. I am a little heartbroken as I had my hopes up for a good result as we executed our program well and without any big problems all month. The team worked really well and the best thing I think, is that we are having fun together while we're doing it.
Otherwise this stretch can be quite a challenge. We qualified well at an average speed at 229.5 mph, which was good enough for 6th place and outside second row. Beforehand I felt we were good for perhaps a little bit better but the conditions during Qualifying Day were very special to say the least. Gust winds of up to 40 mph and you can imagine what that does to the car. I would describe Qualifying at Indy as the most mentally challenging task you can do in motor racing during normal weather conditions. When you turn into turn 1 on that first flying lap at about 240 mph with cold tires and not really knowing whether the car will stick to the road surface and knowing you have to keep the throttle flat or your whole run will be destroyed, is like opening the door to a public rest room. You never know what you will find.
The wind did not make it any easier and the car was blowing about back and forth on the track but somehow we managed to keep it between the walls during the 4 lap run. A lot of cars pulled out of qualifying line to try to wait for the weather to calm down a bit but we did not want to gamble as rain was in the air so we ran our run. One that did just that was Helio Castroneves and later in the day he put in a 4-lap average at nearly 232 mph, which I was absolutely stunned at. Nobody had run such a speed on their own. Anyway my hat's off to them. For us it was a good feeling after about 7 days of running to stick it in the show in a good position because at Indy anything can happen and you are not sure to be in the race until you actually have a starting position.
The week after Jimmy Vasser joined us and we worked together on the race set up. It was nice to have a team-mate, as you can go forward with set up changes so much faster. One car can do a sweep on lets say shock settings while the other work on springs. Of course it only works if both drivers are experienced and Jimmy certainly is .He qualified on bump day and got stuck in the ninth row. His speed was good for a little further up the grid had he qualified the same day as us but the rules at Indy are a little special. Anyway qualifying is not all together that important in this type of racing.
We were fastest on Carb Day, which is the last test before the race and we felt we had a very good race set up but in the race it took us only 17 laps to find out we were not going to win.
The start went well, although Castroneves took off about 900 feet to early, which spread the field out unnecessarily, and we moved up to 5th position on the first lap. Then moved up to 3rd during the first yellow and we ran there until we decided to pit. As soon as I turned into the pit box the engine died. It did not want to run in idle speed and with no idle speed it is very difficult to control the engine revs and with a high 1st gear you got to have pretty low revs when selecting the gear. Now of course the revs were much too high and in the second stop the gear broke. Thereafter we started in second gear but also this gear broke after a while and we had to change the gearbox. Normally we would not have continued running as we were several laps down but the rules gives points to the first 20 cars so we kept running, in hope to pick up a few positions. In the end we finished 16th and hopefully those points will buy us something in the end of the year. I do not know if we would have had the speed to win but at the halfway point we set the fastest lap of the race, which was good enough for 4th fastest overall so the car definitely was running good. But as always the race is not always won by the swift but the one who keeps running. So too this time, but the Penske cars were very fast so I suspect you had to be both swift and be able to keep on running.
Jimmy retired from the race with a blown gear box too.
Certainly it was very disappointing for the whole team to finish in such a way after otherwise such a successful month. What makes it worse I think is all the time you spend there working. Normally you spend 3 days at the racetrack and if you have a problem, well you get on with it and go to the next race. But at Indy you spend so much time and there's so much anticipation and afterwards you feel absolutely drained. I guess that's why it feels extra hard not to get a good result.
For me though I feel good about our team, it's a dedicated bunch with a loot of fighting spirit so I am sure we'll come back strong.
Apart of the racing there was a lot of other things that was a lot of fun during the month. I met Billy Gibbons from ZZ Top. Turned out he is a real car nut so we spent some time in the garage going over some technical stuff and since we did not run the next day we were invited to their concert that same evening. It was a lot of fun, I have only been to one other concert in my life and that was Rod Stewart in Stockholm 1989 where they had to carry two women out on stretchers after they fainted when he opened his shirt up.
I did not se any fainted women this time but nevertheless the show was very good and back stage I got a few guitar tips afterwards which I will work on for the future.
Turns out they are going to Sunne, Sweden in July. That's only about 45 miles from where I grew up. I told him Sunne should fit well into their tour, which is called Beerdrinkers & Hellraisers, as there are plenty of those there!
My band Kenny Bräck and the Subwoofers also played a concert, on Carb Day on the infield of the Indianapolis track. It was a lot of fun. The guys in the band are really fantastic to play with. It can be hard work to have a band but this just rolls on its own.
We opened up for another group called Cracker. We had an audience of about 10.000 which was more than the main act had and that's a lot of people too, so we were kind of nervous at first.
I mean that's a whole lot of rotten tomatoes should the crowd not like what they hear.
Luckily I think they did and the field almost turned into a new snake pits (where all the mischief went on before the speedway decided to clean it up a few years ago) for a while. Next concert we will play will be at the next race in 1,5 weeks in Texas.
After Indy I have been home in Columbus but only for 1 day and now I am in Cincinnati airport waiting for a delayed airplane to go to Richmond, Virginia for a test tomorrow. I am not completely recharged after Indy yet but luckily we have this coming weekend off so I will for sure be doing a lot of nothing.
Tuesday next week we are off to Texas. We are staining some of the floors of our house and we have to leave a little bit earlier so we are going to go to Houston to visit A.J. Foyt since we are close to there anyway. It's always fun to see what he's up to.
Then we go up to Forth worth on Wednesday where we race Saturday night. That will be some of the closest racing you'll ever see in car racing. The track is a 1.5-mile track with 24 degrees of banking and speeds close to 225 mph. There will be two and three cars abreast in the corners all night long. It's breathtaking, and not only for the spectators I can assure you.
I like the night races, they have a special feeling to them and hopefully we will have a good result there and keep our championship points going. We are in 5th position right now and it's really close!
Talk to you soon,
03-05-23 Kenny Bräck fastest on Carb Day
Kenny Bräck topped the speed charts on Miller Lite Carb Day the final day of practice for Sunday´s Indianapolis 500, with a fast lap of 228.707 mph. Bräck piloted the Miller Lite/Pioneer car to the top spot by posting a lap speed nearly a mile and hour faster than the next quickest car which was driven by Robby Gordon.
"I think we have a pretty good race car," said Bräck who will start sixth in Sunday´s race. "While we feel good today you have to keep in mind that over the next three days a lot of things can change. The key to being successful here is being ready to adjust your car to the changing conditions. In the race you need a little luck throughout the day plus good pit stops, a good strategy and a strong car. I think we will have all of those things on Sunday. We have been able to run in traffic and the car feels great with the full tanks. We have done all we can do to get ready for the race, now we just have to wait for the green flag."
Bräck the 1999 Indianapolis 500 winner ran just 17 laps and his teammate Argent Mortgage Company driver Jimmy Vasser logged just 20 laps as the team finalized their race set-up for Sunday´s 87th running of the Indianapolis 500.
Vasser posted the 15th quickest time of the day with a fast lap of 225.277 mph. Vasser will be making his second consecutive Indy 500 start for Team Rahal. Vasser will start 27th on Sunday after having missed the opening week of qualifying to run the Champ Car World Series race in Germany.
"This is the best car I think have ever had going into the Indy 500," said Vasser who won the fastest 500-mile race in history last November at Fontana (197.995 mph). "The comfort level and the competitiveness and the package with the Honda engine has been fantastic. We had a solid week working with Kenny making the race set-up good for both cars. I think our cars are as strong as anybody´s out there. Certainly it would be better if I didn´t have to start 27th but I feel like we have a car that can get to the front and once we get there we can stay there. A lot can change over the next three days but Team Rahal has proven itself on the big tracks in the past and I feel really good about Sunday.
Not only was it a busy day on track for Team Rahal but the Miller Lite/Pioneer pit crew advanced to the second round of the Pit Stop Competition before falling to the defending pit crew champions from Team Penske.
To finish off the busy Miller Lite Carb Day Kenny Bräck´s band ´Kenny Bräck and the Subwoofers´ played before an estimated crowd of 10,000 as the opening act for the Pioneer concert series.
03-05-21 Bräck, Vasser ready for 87th Indy 500
Veterans Kenny Bräck and Jimmy Vasser are poised to be contenders in this Sunday´s Indianapolis 500. The Rahal/Letterman Racing pair has been through the month-long drill that is the "Greatest Spectacle In Racing" on numerous occasions and both left the track last Sunday with smiles on their faces.
The drivers were pleased with the race setups on their Miller Lite/Pioneer Honda Dallara (Bräck) and Argent Mortgage Honda Dallara (Vasser) machines.
While Bräck starts sixth and Vasser 27th in Sunday´s 500-mile classic, both have to be considered challengers after last week´s full tank runs that saw both reach 228 miles per hour speeds.
"We spent a lot of time on the race setups," said Bräck, the 1999 Indy 500 winner. "I´m pleased with our car in its race trim. We ran in a lot of different track and weather conditions. We tried a bunch of different suspension and aerodynamic settings. And we got the car right where we think it will be good on Sunday."
Vasser was excited about the team´s development on the Dallara/Honda/Firestone package while he competed in the Champ Car races in England and Germany in the opening weeks of May.
"I have to give Kenny and the Rahal/Letterman crew a lot of credit for the work they did in the earlier part of the month," said Vasser, the Las Vegas veteran who won the fastest 500-mile race in history (197.975 m.p.h.) last November in California for Team Rahal. "When I came in Wednesday we went right to work on the race setup and the car was fast with full tanks. I´m a little disappointed in our qualifying run. We had a car set up that we felt could do close to 230 but the conditions were really bad - slippery track, heavy and humid air. So we ran 226.8 and we took it. We are more concerned about the race anyway. I´m pleased with my racecar.
Bräck and Vasser have been regular contenders at Indy 500 since the mid-1990s when Kenny led the 1998 race before have his car run out of fuel and later winning in 1999. And Jimmy has placed fourth twice (1994 and 2001) and led twice at Indy. But the hollowed ground at 16th and Georgetown in Speedway, Ind., is every open-wheel racer´s Super Bowl and the Rahal/Letterman team has worked extensively this week on the No. 15 Miller Lite/Pioneer Honda for Bräck and No. 19 Argent Mortgage Honda for Vasser.
"It has been a good experience for our team to have two veteran drivers like Kenny and Jimmy for the 500," said team co-owner Bobby Rahal, the 1986 Indy 500 champion. "The two guys have never been teammates before but they understand the preparation and the commitment that this race takes. And, obviously, they both want their names and faces on the Borg-Warner Trophy."
Rahal also knows the prestige a win at Indianapolis can bring to a driver.
"I had won many big races when I came to Indy," said Rahal. "Daytona, Sebring, Michigan, Laguna but nothing is bigger than Indy. You are always called an Indy 500 champion as long as you are alive. I know Kenny feels the same way. And I know Jimmy has won many 500-mile races in his career but Indy separates them from anything else.
Bräck, Vasser and Rahal all believe the Rahal/Letterman squad has all of the ingredients to win this Sunday.
"I really think we have the ability to win this race with the Honda engine, Dallara chassis, a good engineering staff and a great pit crew," said Bräck, who currently ranks fourth in the IRL IndyCar Series points. "I believe Jimmy has the same ability with his team too. I give Bobby, Dave (Letterman), Scott Roembke (Team´s COO) and the whole team credit for putting together a strong effort for this year´s race. We have tested everything we can in race trim and we have a confident team. I wouldn´t be surprised to see Jimmy and myself up at the front at the end of the race. But the competition is so tough this year with the types of teams here. There are good drivers, crews and teams overall. The competition level has jumped so much in this series from the time I was here before. I think it´s the most competitive open-wheel series in the world right now.
Vasser has a good feeling about Sunday too. The Honda power, I think, is superior to the other stuff I´ve seen in race trim on the track," said Vasser. " I´m energized and encouraged for the Argent car on Race Day. I know we´re starting back a bit, but it´s 500 miles. I´ve been back there before. I´ve been down a lap in a 500-mile race and end up winning. Team Rahal has great pit stop capabilities, winning a lot of pit crew competitions over the years. I´m confident that sooner or later on Race Day, probably later than sooner, but sooner or later we´re going to end up finding ourselves near or at the front. And if we deserve to stay there, which I think we do, I think we have a good race car, then we´re going to be able to fight for the win. All you can do is put yourself in a position for that.
And odds are that Bräck and Vasser will be in position with 25 laps to go on Sunday.
TEAM RAHAL NOTES Bräck´s new band - Pioneer presents Kenny Bräck and the Subwoofers - will be part of the Miller Lite Carb Day when the seven-person band plays on the Coca Cola Stage (behind the Speedway´s Pagoda) at 3:30 p.m. The rock cover band will open the concert activities for the rock group, Cracker.
03-05-18 Bräck meets ZZ Top star, rain wins at Indy
After Friday's sunny skies, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway weather went 180 degrees Saturday as rain showers kept Kenny Bräck and Jimmy Vasser from reaching the track for practice.
Bräck, who'll start sixth on May 25 in the Indy 500, and Vasser, who'll attempt to qualify Sunday for his eighth 500-mile race Sunday, were dressed and ready for action Saturday but continued rain halted all of the Indy car practice. In addition, rain put a stop to the Infiniti Pro Series race after 12 laps Saturday.
The biggest excitement in the Rahal/Letterman garage on Saturday was the appearance of ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons, one of Bräck's guitar heroes, who met Bräck, Vasser and many of the race team members. Gibbons, whose band played Saturday night in Indy, is a big race fan and was the honorary starter for the Infiniti race. Gibbons also was an honorary crewmember for Bobby Rahal back in 1994 at Vancouver.
Bräck, driver of the No. 15 Miller Lite/Pioneer Honda Dallara, will make a few laps on Sunday before heading back to his home in Columbus. Bräck will be back for Miller Lite Carb Day Thursday (May 22) where he'll participate in all three track activities practice, pit stop competition and the concert with his band Kenny Bräck and the Subwoofers.
Vasser, the Las Vegas veteran driver, will take the No. 19 Argent Mortgage Honda Dallara (weather permitting) through the four-lap qualifying laps Sunday as he hopes to be the fastest of the final day qualifiers. Vasser will then prepare for Thursday's Carb Day practice, the final day of on-track action before the May 25 classic.
KENNY Bräck (No. 15 Miller Lite/Pioneer Honda Dallara) "We didn't get to do anything today but meeting Billy Gibbons was a great thrill. I have been a fan of his music for a long time and my band plays a ZZ Top song too, Tush. He is into cars and follows racing quite bit. He is from Houston too. I lived there when I raced for A.J. (Foyt) so we talked about Texas a little too. I'm going to see ZZ Top tonight and get back stage. That's very cool. He was even talking music and guitars with me and I was talking racing with him. It was great. I'm excited to see Billy play tonight.
JIMMY VASSER (No. 19 Argent Mortgage Honda Dallara) "It was a little frustrating not getting out today. We wanted to get a little bit of qualifying setups ready for Sunday. But I think we can do that on Sunday morning. I think we have a good race car right now. And the qualifying setup should be pretty fast too. To be honest, I'm more concerned with the race trim than qualifying trim. Starting in the back of the field is more about getting through the field and I think I have a car to do that. Hey, Billy Gibbons was really cool. I had a Tres Hombres record from ZZ Top when I was young. Billy is into hot rods too, like me.
03-05-17 Bräck,Vasser fast in the heat at Indy
Sunny skies and increased track temperatures proved to be a good omen for Rahal/Letterman Racing drivers Kenny Bräck and Jimmy Vasser Friday in practice runs at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The two pilots worked hard on getting comfortable in their race setups with full tank runs in both the morning and afternoon practices for the 87th running of the Indy 500.
Bräck and Vasser again drafted together at various points of the day to learn more about their machines in the hotter temperatures that nearly reached 80 degrees.
Vasser posted the third fastest time of all of the drivers with a speed of 228.275 miles per hour as the Argent team began preparations for Sunday's qualifications for the No. 19 Argent Mortgage Honda Dallara. However, Vasser's day was spent developing the race settings that we plans to use on May 25 in the 500-mile race.
Bräck, who'll start sixth in the race, took the No. 15T Miller Lite/Pioneer Honda Dallara through its paces with a best of 227.296 m.p.h. Bräck's Miller Lite/Pioneer contingent changed a Honda engine in the afternoon and Kenny was able to get out late in the day for additional race preparations.
Rookie Scott Dixon was the fastest Friday at 229.966 followed by Tora Takagi at 228.657, Vasser at 228.275 and pole winner Helio Castroneves at 228.210.
Vasser will attempt to be the top qualifier on the second day of time trials Sunday as the 33-car field is expected to be filled for the greatest spectacle in racing.
Team co-owner Bobby Rahal returned to the Speedway Friday to oversee his operation and was pleased with the progress. Rahal also was interviewed CNBC for an upcoming story (on May 25) on the economics of racing and the auto industry.
Bräck and his Subwoofers band, presented by Pioneer, performed at HH Gregg Friday night in north Indianapolis before a big and supportive crowd.
KENNY Bräck (No. 15 Miller Lite/Pioneer Honda Dallara) We had a good morning session. We made some good gains with our race setups. I think Jimmy (Vasser) was happy with his car too. We aren't exactly where we want to be right yet. But we are pretty close. We still have some time to work with it on Saturday. We did lose a little time this afternoon with an engine change. But overall it was a good day for us.
JIMMY VASSER (No. 19 Argent Mortgage Honda Dallara) "We made some very good gains today. The race car feels very good. We were 227 in race trim. Kenny and his crew have done a very good job getting the car ready for me. Now we'll go and get ready for qualfiying on Sunday. I'm pretty pumped up right now. This team is very good.
03-05-16 Bräck gets race ready at Indy
Kenny Bräck and Jimmy Vasser teamed up Thursday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in taking their cars through rigorous race runs (190 laps) and tricky track conditions in practice for the 87th running of the Indy 500.
The two Rahal/Letterman Racing drivers hooked up at the opening of practice and worked exclusively on preparing their machines for the May 25 500-mile classic.
Bräck, who'll start sixth in the race, ran 84 laps Thursday with a best speed of 226.287 miles per hour in the No. 15T Miller Lite/Pioneer Honda Dallara. Vasser, in only his second day at Indy, took the No. 19 Argent Mortgage Honda Dallara to 106 laps with top speed of 226.027.
Vasser, the Las Vegas resident who is still fighting some jetlag from his European Champ Car races, will qualify for his eighth Indy 500 on Sunday in the final day of qualifications. Vasser will attempt to be the top qualifier on the second day of time trials Sunday as the 33-car field is expected to be filled for "the greatest spectacle in racing."
Bräck, who'll be in all three activities on Miller Lite Carb Day next Thursday (practice, pit stop competition and the concert), proved to be one of the fastest drivers in the late portion of Thursday's practice as the team developed the suspension settings with fuel tanks runs.
Friday's action at Indy will be highlighted with new driver/team combinations looking to make the field this Sunday in qualifying. Vasser's car will have a new engine prepared by Honda for his upcoming qualifications on Friday and Bräck's mount will have a fresh transmission.
In off track news, Bräck will have one of his musician heroes - ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons - at the track Saturday. Bräck will give Gibbons a garage tour before the Texan throws the green flag for the Freedom 100 Infiniti race Saturday. Bräck will attend the ZZ Top concert Saturday night.
JIMMY VASSER: "We ran a little better today. Kenny and I are having sim problems with our car but we are working in a good direction. The track conditions really changed today from Wednesday. We are working on our plan with the race setups. We're chipping away at things and that is good. We haven't put a qualifying setup on the Argent car yet. I think we'll work on that on Friday. I'm still getting used to the time change from Europe. I woke up really early again today but I was able to get back to sleep and that helped me. I should be okay by Saturday."
KENNY Bräck: "We were able to run a good number of laps today (84). I think Jimmy and I are making headway in the race setups. The track was really different today and made for some difficult conditions. But our staff did a good job concentrating on the direction of the car. We still have some issues to work on with the car. But I think it's a positive step to have Jimmy and I working in the same way. I'll continue to work on the race and Jimmy will have to look a qualifying setup on Friday a little.
03-05-14 Bräck's new band The Subwoofers debuts in Indy
Kenny Bräck, driver of the No. 15 Miller Lite/Pioneer Dallara/Honda/Firestone open wheel race car and winner of the 1999 Indianapolis 500, will bring fans a different kind of entertainment with the launch of his new band, Kenny Bräck and the Subwoofers.
The seven-person Indy-based cover band plays a wide variety of classic rock and blues tunes from The Rolling Stones and ZZ Top to Clash and CCR. The group will appear at a variety of racing events beginning in its hometown of Indianapolis and will occasionally be joined by guest appearances from well-known rockers.
Kenny Bräck and the Subwoofers debuted in Indianapolis last night in the special media event before a large crowd at Ike & Jonesy's Bar.
Bräck, who'll start sixth in the 87th running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 25, and his band's opening performance will come following a full day of action on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 22 in Miller Lite Carb Day. Bräck's group will open for the band CRACKER at 3:30 p.m.
Kenny has a love of music that is only rivaled by his passion for the racetrack.
- Everyone has been really supportive of my efforts to create this band, said Bräck.
- Pioneer came forward to sponsor us and Team Rahal has also been a great support. I know that my number one priority is to win on the track. But I'm hoping to win some music fans along the way with Kenny Bräck and the Subwoofers. Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc. has a 25-year history with motorsports and an even longer history manufacturing audio and video equipment for home and in-car use.
- We're excited to be Kenny's sponsor both on and off the track, said Ed Sachs, senior vice president of the Mobile Entertainment Division of Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc. He shows the same commitment to his music that he does on the race track and we know he'll be successful in both arenas. We're looking forward to seeing Kenny on stage a lot this year with his band, and at the race track accepting trophies.
Joining Bräck (lead guitar) in the seven-person rock cover group will be local favorites Gene Deer (vocals and guitar), Kelsey Smith (vocals), Charlie Bushor (drums) and Dave Wyatt (bass) along with racing publicists Kathy Prather of Access Motorsports (vocals) and Laz Denes of Mo Nunn Racing (vocals and guitars).
With Pioneer Electronics as the presenting sponsor for Kenny Bräck and the Subwoofers, the band also is expected to make performances in Texas, Richmond, Nashville and Chicagoland on this year's IRL IndyCar Series.
More information about the band can be found at www.pioneerracing.com or www.kennyBräck.com.
03-05-10 Weather washes out qualifying at Indy
The weather forecasters were right on Saturday when they predicted heavy rain for the Indianapolis area. After some lightning fast speeds in the with morning warm-up, the wild weather that had disrupted the Midwest for the past week hit the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with brutal force as teams and fans ran for cover in the late morning.
Tornado warnings and heavy downpours washed out Saturday's attempts for the pole position in the 87th running of the Indianapolis 500. All qualifications were postponed until Sunday with practice set for 10 a.m. and then qualifying begins at 12 noon.
Kenny Bräck and his Miller Lite/Pioneer Honda team was able to fine tune their qualifying setup on Saturday morning and posted a fast speed of 231.262 miles per hour. That speed was the sixth fastest in the morning practice runs.
Later in the practice session, veteran Billy Boat spun in turn four and crashed into the pit wall on the front straightaway. While the incident looked spectacular, Boat wasn't seriously injured and was released from Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis in the afternoon.
Rookie Scott Dixon recorded the fastest speed of the week with a blistering 233.236 run in the morning warmup followed by Robby Gordon at 232.959, rookie Dan Wheldon at 231.955, Tony Kanaan at 231.951, Gil de Ferran at 231.288 and Bräck at 231.262.
KENNY Bräck: "Our car felt pretty good this morning but some of the other guys seem to better than us. I'm not sure we can run for the pole but I think we might have a chance for the front row. It really all depends on the weather and track conditions. Things change so fast here with the weather that you could have a cloud come over the track and cool the racing surface for just a few minutes. That can help you. We'll just have to wait and see. But overall I'm pretty pleased with our setup.
TEAM RAHAL NOTES: Miller Brewing Company's Miller Lite brand was announced as the official beer sponsor for the Indy 500 on May 25 and the Brickyard 400 on Aug. 3. Miller Lite will also sponsor Carb Day on May 22 at the speedway, the final practice day before the Indy 500. On Carb Day, Bräck's new band, Kenny Bräck and the Subwoofers, will open the concert stage at 3:30 p.m. followed by the rock group, Cracker..Bräck's new Pioneer-sponsored band will make its national debut next Tuesday in Indianapolis at the famed Ike and Jonesey's Bar and will be seen live on three Indy television stations as well as ESPN's RPM Tonight . Miller Lite Top Fuel dragster driver Larry Dixon, the current NHRA national champion, visited the IMS Saturday and talked to Bräck, team owner Bobby Rahal and the Miller Lite/Pioneer team during the rain. Dixon, who won his third race of the year last week in Atlanta, will compete next week in Englishtown, N.J
03-05-10 Bräck fights hot, humid temperatures at Indy
After cooler weather during the week at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the track temperatures rose dramatically Friday in the final day of practice in preparations for Saturday's run for the Indy 500 pole position.
Kenny Bräck and his Miller Lite/Pioneer Honda team went out earlier on Friday with the plan to improve their qualifying setup from Thursday. The hot, humid conditions played havoc with many of the team but Tony Kanaan (230.1) and Bräck (229.2) were easily the fastest in the 12 noon times.
Bräck, whose best speed for the week was 231.039 miles per hour, then led his squad back to the garage area for a few more tweaks on the aerodynamics and suspension on the No. 15 car.
At 1:30 p.m. , Bräck looked for more speed and clocked a 229.559 m.p.h. right in the heat of the day. Kenny's speed was the fastest of the afternoon runs for nearly two hours.
Happy with the primary car in those track conditions, Bräck and his team worked on the backup car for equal settings in case the qualifying draw favored the backup machine on Saturday. With the air improving and less humid conditions, several drivers ran in the 230 range including the two Target drivers, Scott Dixon and Tomas Scheckter.
Bräck fought some understeer in the backup and the No. 15T just didn't feel as good as the primary car despite a lap of 228.7. Temperatures (in the mid 80s) were the highest of the week on Friday and 80s are predicted for Saturday's qualifying. More importantly, heavy thunderstorms are predicted all day on Saturday. That means the run for the pole could be postponed until Sunday when the temperatures are predicted in the mid 60s.
For Friday, Bräck finished 10th in his primary car at 229.559 (which didn't run after 1:30 p.m.) and 13th in his backup at 228.777. Fastest for the day was Robby Gordon in the Andretti Green car at 231.362 followed by Scott Sharp at 230.829, Dixon at 230.714, Dan Wheldon at 230.669, Helio Castroneves at 230.552 and Scheckter at 230.540.
Practice is scheduled for 9 a.m. on Saturday with qualifying set for 11 a.m. weather permitting. In the qualifying draw on Friday evening, team owner Bobby Rahal drew the ninth position for Bräck's primary car.
KENNY Bräck: We ran a pretty competitive speed (229.5) for the heat of the day this afternoon. Then we rolled out the backup for some testing of suspension parts and, for some reason, it just didn't work as well as the primary car. We are going back to the primary car for qualifying and we feel pretty good about our car for qualifying. The weather doesn't look very good for Saturday and we'll have to watch the radar closely to see if we can qualify or not. We have an earlier number in the draw so I'm hoping the weather is good. This kind of qualifying will be fun for the fans but a pain for the drivers and crews because the speeds are so close and a lot will depend on the weather.
03-05-09 Bräck works on qualiyfing, race on thursday at Indy
Cool weather and threatening skies blanketed the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Thursday as Kenny Bräck and his Miller Lite/Pioneer Honda crew continued their pursuit of Saturday's pole position for the 87th Indy 500.
Bräck, who was fastest on Wednesday at 231.039 miles per hour, worked with his primary car to post the seventh fastest of the day at 230.807 m.p.h. while running full tank laps in the No. 15T backup car.
Bräck, who played with his new rock band - Kenny Bräck and the Subwoofers - Wednesday in preparation for next Tuesday's national media debut, looked for more speed as the day went on and talked strategy with co-owner Bobby Rahal, the 1986 Indy 500 winner who made his first appearance at Indy this week.
Bräck was second fastest early in the day and the team decided to work on other suspension settings as well race setups. Bräck put in 22 laps on the backup car before returning to his primary machine late in the day. Overall, Kenny made 34 laps in the primary car and 22 in the backup.
The track closed earlier than expected Thursday when heavy rain and tornado warnings hit the Speedway in the late afternoon. Weather could also pose trouble on Friday and Saturday as hotter conditions (mid 80s) are expected and thunderstorms in the forecast.
The Friday before Pole Day is usually a wild day with team throwing qualifying setups on their cars and going for broke. On Thursday, A.J. Foyt IV hit the wall but uninjured and returned to the track in a backup car owned by his grandfather, the four-time Indy 500 winner.
Honda's rookie Dan Wheldon returned to the top of the speed charts Thursday with the best speed of the week at 232.202 followed by Pioneer's Tora Takagi at 232.007, defending Indy 500 champion Helio Castroneves at 231.595, his Penske teammate Gil de Ferran at 231.567 , Tony Kanaan at 231.061, Scott Dixon at 230.970 and Bräck at 230.807.
KENNY Bräck: "It was good to have Bobby (Rahal, Team Rahal co-owner) here today after coming from Europe last week. Being a former champion at Indy, he knows a lot of things about going through a whole month of May. He understands the mental part of this entire race and that is very important. Yesterday we had a very good and we were close today with our speed. Unfortunately some of the other guys picked a mile per hour on us. We need to work to improve our car for qualifying on Saturday. I think the Honda guys have done a fantastic job of getting the engine ready for Indy. It isn't really a surprise because they have done well in just about everything they have raced. But being with the company like Honda is a big boost for us.
03-05-08 Bräck fastest at Indy wednesday
Kenny Bräck took the No. 15 Miller Lite/Pioneer Honda Dallara to the top of the speed charts Wednesday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with a clocking of 231.039 miles per hour.
Bräck, who earlier tested teammate Jimmy Vasser's Argent Honda for 34 laps at a top speed of 226.7, took only four laps with his new suspension setup on his blue, maroon and silver car to move to the No. 1 position at 2:30 p.m.
After finishing eighth Monday and sixth Tuesday, Bräck and his engineering staff decided to take more downforce out of the car and trim out the aerodynamics. The new setup worked.
He later worked on additional setups before parking the No. 15 at 5 p.m., an hour before the track closed for the day. Off and on rain showers in the afternoon halted some of the track action but all attempts at Bräck's fast speed came up short for the rest of the field.
Honda's Dan Wheldon was the first driver this month to better 231 m.p.h. on Tuesday with a speed of 231.108. Bräck is the only other driver to best 231 this month.
Trailing Kenny in the Wednesday speeds were Scott Sharp at 230.110, Gil de Ferran at 229.884, Greg Ray at 229.539, Tony Kanaan at 229.455, Tora Takagi at 229.347 and Scott Dixon at 229.131.
Bräck, who is practicing Wednesday night with his new rock band, will be set for Thursday's practice at 11 a.m. as the Miller Lite/Pioneer crew continues its preparations for Saturday's run for the pole position. The 87th Indy 500 is set for Sunday, May 25.
KENNY Bräck: It feels good to be the fastest today. It proves that we are doing things well right now. But there is a long time until Saturday's qualifying. I think speeds will increase a little bit for Saturday. But really the important thing is to be ready for Sunday, May 25. It is really all about the race for us. We'll keep are fingers crossed that we will be first that day. The competition is so tight here in the IndyCar Series this year that the race will be extremely tough as will qualifying for the pole. The competition with sponsors, engine manufacturers and chassis builder is so tight that I know this is the most competitive open-wheel series in the world. There are some 15 drivers that win on any day. You can't say that for many other series in the world. I know our engineers have been working very hard to get a good, strong car for the race. Qualifying is important but nothing is as important as the race. That's why we are here.
SCOTT ROEMBKE: We are very proud of how our engineering staff and our crew has worked this week. We came to the Speedway to a game plan to develop the car for Kenny and we have been right on schedule each day. We have been working closely with Honda and Dallara to pick up more speed. And today was proof that our plan to working out very well. We'll continue our strategy.
03-05-07 Bräck looks for qualifying speed at Indy
Kenny Bräck wheeled the No. 15 Miller Lite/Pioneer Honda Dallara over the 230 mile per hour mark Tuesday in ideal track conditions as Team Rahal continues to search for speed for a shot at Saturday's pole position in the 87th Indianapolis 500.
With an overcast sky and very little wind, the cooler track made for some lightning fast clockings in the morning practice runs and Bräck was right at the top by 12 noon.
The popular Swede clicked off a speed 230.228 mph that was second only to another Honda driver, rookie Dan Wheldon, who blistered a speed of 231.108, in the first hour of practice.
With rain a possibility on Wednesday and Thursday, Team Rahal worked on both of Bräck's Honda machines in order to develop the proper suspension settings in both qualifying and race trim. Bräck also worked to stay out of the draft from other cars to help determine a qualifying run. In the draft of other cars, speeds have increased two to three miles per hour.
Bräck also had planned to make some runs on his new teammate Jimmy Vasser's Argent Mortgage Honda but electrical problems postponed the Argent machine's laps until Wednesday. On Tuesday morning, Team Rahal announced Argent Mortgage as the primary sponsor on the No. 19 Rahal/Letterman Honda Dallara for Vasser, who will attempt to qualify on May 18.
At the end of the day, Bräck secured the sixth fastest time at 230.228 and ran consistently in the 228s by himself.
Wheldon's speed 231.108 -- from the morning set the pace Tuesday followed by Gil de Ferran at 230.873, Tomas Scheckter at 230.823, Scott Dixon at 230.476, Michael Andrett ( late in the day) at 230.418 and Bräck at 230.288.
Bräck and his Miller Lite/Pioneer will be back on track on Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. if the predicted thunderstorms do not hit the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
KENNY Bräck: "It was a pretty productive day for us. Obviously, the conditions were ideal this morning and you got a lot of 230 (m.p.h.) laps (six). The car felt good this morning and then we tried a lot of different things. We have worked on a variety of things for both qualifying and race setups. With the weather being unpredictable, you have to get as much track time as possible. I think our speed is pretty good right now but with all of the tows from the other cars, it's very misleading. Now I think we'll start working on little things that can give us more speed. We still have to be ready if any rain comes later this week. But I'm feeling pretty good about the direction the team is going with my car. But, you know, it's a long month and lot of things can happen. We tried to get Jimmy's car (Vasser in the No. 19 Argent Honda Dallara) out this afternoon but we had a little mechanical problem. So we'll have to work with car in the next couple of days."
03-05-06 Bräck works hard at Indy monday, 8th fastest
Miller Lite/Pioneer Honda Posts Speeds of Over 227 MPH A solid day of testing gave Kenny Bräck a smile at the end of Monday's practice runs in preparation for Saturday's qualifications for the 87th running of the Indianapolis 500. Bräck and his Miller Lite/Pioneer Honda crew suffered through a difficult day on Sunday as rain halted most of the action.
But on Monday the popular Swede was able to test both his primary and backup machines in nearly ideal track conditions and the Team Rahal bunch was pleased with the progress.
With nearly two inches of rain on Sunday afternoon and evening, the racing surface at the most famous racing facility in the world was soaked and action didn't get underway Monday until 12:30 p.m. Bräck quickly jumped to the top of the speed charts in his No. 15T backup car at over 226 miles per hour in the early runs. The Miller Lite/Pioneer contingent then returned to the garage area to concentrate on the primary No. 15.
Bräck and his Team Rahal engineering staff worked diligently through the afternoon to improve the suspension settings and by the end of the day Bräck recorded the eighth fastest time at 227.38 m.p.h. He also clocked the 10th fastest in his backup car at 226.96. Bräck was the only driver to have two cars in the Top Ten on Monday. Bräck was able to record 26 laps in the primary car and 18 in the reserve.
Pioneer's Tora Takagi was the fastest on Monday at 229.01 m.p.h. in his Mo Nunn Racing Toyota. Sunday's quickest driver, Scott Sharp, second at 228.76 followed by Scott Dixon at 228.42, Gil de Ferran at 228.31 and rookie Dan Wheldon at 228.23.
Practice continues Tuesday for Bräck with the team developing more chassis setups.
KENNY Bräck: "I think we got a lot accomplished today. We ran both the primary and backup cars and we really worked on the chassis setup. We didn't get in as much time on Sunday as we wanted so today was very critical for us. Our engineers - Don Halliday, Martin Pare and Tim Reiter - have been working very hard to prepare a car for qualifying and then one for the race. But our guys have been very good on details and, if the weather is still good all week, I think we will continue to improve. In addition, I think they would like me to run a few laps in Jimmy's (Vasser) car on Tuesday. We hope the weather stays like it was today."
03-05-05 Rain stops Bräck's 1st Indy practice runs
Predicted rain storms hit the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Sunday right when Kenny Bräck and his Miller Lite/Pioneer Indy car team had made some positive changes on the No. 15 car in the opening day of practice.
Earlier in the day Bräck participated in the annual Champion's Opening Lap that christens the month-long activities set for the 87th running of the Indianapolis 500. Bräck cruised the famed 2.5-mile oval with other past winners Helio Castroneves, Al Unser Jr., Arie Luyendyk and Buddy Lazier to open the festivities that included 29 cars on track.
Practice got underway at 1:15 p.m. Sunday after the opening ceremonies. In his first ten laps, Bräck posted an average speed over 225 miles per hour in the cool conditions with a threatening sky. After improving to 225.706 m.p.h., Bräck and his Team Rahal crew wheeled their machine back to the garage for a variety of suspension changes. Engineers Don Halliday and Martin Pare worked with Bräck on new settings.
However, by 3 p.m., the skies turned very dark and rain surrounded the speedway. By 3:30 p.m., the racing surface was soaked and the Indy Racing League officials decided to cancel the remainder of the day's on-track activities.
Bräck was only able to recorded times on 17 laps before the rain. With the team waiting to test its changes on the Bräck machine, the crew had to wheel the car back to the garage area and prepare for Monday's practices.
Bräck clocked the 12th fastest time Sunday at 225.706 m.p.h. Scott Sharp was the fastest Sunday ay 228.764 followed by Castroneves at 228.088, Tora Takagi at 227.884, Dan Wheldon at 227.716 and Michael Andretti at 227.461.
KENNY Bräck (No. 15 Miller Lite /Pioneer Honda Dallara)
"We didn't get in as many laps as we would have liked due to the weather. We ran a few laps and the car didn't feel real good. So we spent a lot of time in the afternoon in the garage changing things. And then right when we went back out to the pits, the rain came down and the practice was done for the day. We wanted to run both cars since we knew the weather might be bad for the next few days. We just didn't get the chance. It felt good to come back to the Speedway for the month. It's always exciting to return for this race. I'm anxious to get our program going for the rest of the week."
03-04-13 Kenny Bräck Race Report
Second in Japan
Sometimes a second place feels like a win and sometimes it feels well, like second place. This weekend's second place feels like second place.
Of course I am being a bit greedy because second place really is a very good result. But the thing is that I feel we should have won the Japanese G.P at Twin Ring Motegi had it not been for a puncture in the first part of the race.
After leading initially we were in third position when about 1/3 into our second fuel stint the tire pressure alarm came on. This catches your attention I can assure you as everybody knows what happens is you get a puncture at the wrong time at 220 mph when driving next to a concrete wall. I kind of noticed and ignored it, reset it and kept my foot on the throttle and was hoping it was a bogus reading. But a lap later the alarm went off again and this time I reported over the radio back to the team that I thought we had a puncture. At the same instance the car started hitting the ground and that confirmed it was not a faulty sensor, it was in fact very much right!
Luckily it was the left front tire that was going down and not any of the outside tires, the bad thing was we had to make a pit stop to change tires, which was going to mess up our race strategy.
Anyway we fixed the tires and leveled off a lap down in 15th place. We kept running as hard as we could. We made up a lot of time in turns 3 and 4 on most cars but lost it all on the straights as we had to have the fuel turned way down. With about 25 laps to go we had finally saved enough so that we were able to turn the fuel up. We passed a bunch of cars immediately then a series of yellow flags came out. Unfortunately some drivers thought it was a demolition derby out there and we simply ran out of laps in the end as the race ended under yellow. In my opinion all we needed was another restart and a couple of laps of green as to win the race. But it was not to be. For us it would have been a great honor to win Hondas first Motegi victory and a good follow up to our victory here in 2001. But we will try again next year.
Scott Sharp drove a good race to win and Felipe Giaffone finished third.
As you can imagine I feel good about the weekend, as we have made huge strides forward in understanding the car. I am not saying we know everything yet, far from it, but we have proved that we can make the car fast and we have a defined plan on how to improve even further. The guys in the team also did a very good job and we had awesome pit stops. I know that it has taken us a couple of races but from now on I am confident we will be competitive most places.
It also looks good from a championship point of view. We are in 4th place, 17 points behind Sharp who leads. The winner gets 50 points in the IndyCar series so you do the math. Its really close.
Tomorrow the Japan trip is over for this time and apart from racing it's also been a fantastic time here. The fans have been so fun and supportive it feels sad to leave.
I've met the Super Fan Taiko who carries the Swedish flag and all kinds of Bräck apparel (that even I did not know even existed), I've met the sweet girl that has learned Swedish just to be able to carry a conversation during this particular weekend (I hope she will have some more use for it as it must be very hard for a Japanese to learn this language) and I've seem Emi who follows every race, and on top of it I have a suitcase full of presents I've been given, with everything from Kimonos to CD's, cookies and teddy bears in it. As you can imagine, to race in Japan is very special.
The next race will also be very special. That's the Indy 500, which we are going to start testing for in one week's time. We will have plenty of time to test during May but we want to get some previous data to look at before we come back and start preparing for the actual race beginning of May.
Before coming to Japan, Anita and I stopped in Hawaii for a week's vacation. We've been there once before, in
Maui, so this time we went to Honolulu and Waikiki Beach. It was very nice (although I would recommend Maui for anyone who's over 20 years of age). We were so tired after having been flat out since September -02 with changing teams, moving, testing and racing that apart from working out every day we slept, ate and read books most of the time. It was nice weather and now I feel like a brand new Energizer battery again!
Now I am going to bed as I am getting up at 04.30 to catch a car to Narita Airport tomorrow.
All the best,
03-04-12 Bräck To Start 6th In Sunday's Indy Japan 300
Predicted rain storms hit the Twin Ring Motegi 1.5-mile oval Saturday afternoon washing out the qualification runs for Sunday's Bridgestone Indy Japan 300 event, the third race on the 16-event IRL IndyCar Series.
Due to the cancellation, the IndyCar Series officials announced that the 24-car starting lineup would be made up by practice speeds on Friday and Saturday morning.
Kenny Bräck, the 2001 Motegi winner, posted the sixth fastest speed of the weekend with a time of 26.61 seconds and 205.571 miles per hour. Thus, Bräck will start the No. 15 Pioneer/Miller Honda Dallara on the outside of row three (sixth overall) when the green flag drops at 12:30 p.m. Sunday (Japan time - 11:30 p.m. Saturday, EDT) for the 200-lap contest. Earlier in the week, rains were also predicted for Sunday, but the weather is planned to be partly cloudy and in the mid-60s (F) for race time.
Bräck actually attempted to qualify on Saturday afternoon and posted a speed of 203.990 m.p.h. in very windy conditions. But only six drivers recorded times before the heavy rains stopped all activities on track. The large Japanese spectator turnout was delighted after the cancellation of qualifying by attending a one-hour autograph session with all of the Indy car drivers. And Bräck's fans were out in force on Saturday.
Scott Dixon (206.9) , who was quickest on Friday, will start on the pole followed by Tony Kanaan (206.7), Tora Takagi (206.7), Tomas Scheckter (206.3), rookie Dan Wheldon (206.0), who is subbing for an injured Dario Franchitti, and Bräck (205.5). Rounding out the Top Ten starting spots will be Scott Sharp (205.3), Al Unser Jr. (205.1), Felipe Giaffone (204.8) and Michael Andretti (204.8). Bräck was also fast on full tanks runs Saturday.
KENNY Bräck: The track conditions changed this afternoon with the wind. We were slower on our qualifying attempt maybe a tenth or so from the morning practice. But the car was secure and we were pretty close to flat (on the throttle). The car has felt good all weekend and I'm feeling good about the race. I think this will be a very competitive race for the fans. The IndyCar Series is so tough right now and we'll have to be on our game for all 200 laps. Obviously, I won here (in 2001) and the fans are great. They even gave me some gifts this weekend. I didn't expect it. They are so much fun to talk to also. They are knowledgeable about our racing and they collect all types of racing stuff. My super fan (Taiku Hattori) is here too. She paints her face in Swedish colors (blue and yellow) and always waves the Sweden national flag. That is pretty cool.
03-04-11 Bräck Posted 3rd Fastest Friday In Japan
Team Rahal's Kenny Bräck returned to his Japanese form Friday in the opening practice rounds of the inaugural Japan Indy 300 for the IRL IndyCar Series.
The popular Swedish driver, who greeted hundreds of his fans Friday, improved from the morning practice speed of 203.7 miles per hour to 205.5 m.p.h. to record the third fastest time of the day on the 1.5-mile Twin Ring Motegi oval north of Tokyo.
Bräck, who drove the Team Rahal machine to victory in the 2001 Motegi CART event, opened morning practice with his Pioneer/Miller Honda Dallara with consistent Top 10 runs but had to settle for seventh after a late yellow flag kept him from using a new set of Firestone tires with five minute remaining the one-hour session.
But Bräck returned in the afternoon to jump to the top of the speed charts at 205.5 before Scott Dixon (206.9) and Tony Kanaan (206.4) bet
tered Kenny's speed in the latter portions of the practice. In the last 30 minutes, the Team Rahal crew and Bräck concentrated on full tank runs as the squad ran 50 laps overall. Bräck was mobbed by a legion of fans after the practice and media interviews.
Qualifying for Sunday's 300-mile race is set for 1 p.m. (Japan time, 12 a.m. - EDT) on Saturday with the Sunday's race schedule to begin at 12:30 p.m. The IRL IndyCar Series opener will be televised on ABC-TV on tape delay for Sunday (April 13).
KENNY Bräck: The track didn't change that much today. The track temperature was pretty much the same all day long. So there was no advantage in either session other than the second practice had more rubber on the track. It is easy to everyone to come to grips with the track. I don't think the guys that race here before really have that big of an advantage. You just have to have a good car to go fast. The car will make the difference in the end. There will be a lot tighter racing on Sunday than you are used to seeing here at Motegi.
These cars are capable of going side-by-side through turns one and two and racing closer together overall. But I'm not sure how easy it will to pass in the race. The cars don't suck up in the draft like the CART cars but you can race a lot closer all over the track. You will see more passing but it won't be easy. I think the chassis and the engines are very close. You can see that by the first two races two different engines and two different chassis have won already. I don t think one is that much better than the other. This series is so competitive.