Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing is well known for its family atmosphere, but driver Bryan Clauson turned to a man with a different famous racing family name before starting practice at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway: Bobby Unser.
“Uncle Bobby (Unser) took me out for a couple of pace car rides yesterday and showed me some racing lines at this place that he said he’s never shown anyone else,” Clauson said. “He’s a guy that if you get a chance to learn anything from, you have to soak it all in.”
The advice has paid off.
On the second day of practice for the 2012 Indy 500, Clauson posted the second quickest lap speed (221.173 mph) of the day and showed that Unser, who has three Indianapolis 500 victories, still knows his way around the famous track.
Clauson’s teammate, Josef Newgarden, was right behind in third position on the second day of practice with a speed of 221.158 mph. SFHR’s performance backed up its strong showing on opening day when the team finished first and third.
Speeds may change as the team continues practicing leading up to Pole Day on Saturday, May 19, but one constant to be counted on is that Clauson will not forget the lessons he learned from Unser. And he may be keeping those valuable pieces of information to himself.
“Bobby told me two things. One was what he showed me about the track and the other was not to tell anybody else what he told me,” Clauson joked.
“If you had told me that we were going to come out here the first two days and top the speed charts, I would have told you that you were crazy. It was another great day for us. These SFHR boys build fast Honda race cars. It’s been a lot of fun to step into a great situation for myself, and I’d like to say I was doing an awesome job, but they are making my job a heck of a lot easier with the race cars they put out there. I don’t know what else to say. It’s been a great start to the month, but we have a long way to go, and sometimes speed charts can lie a little bit. But we have a real fast race car. We did some long runs today and I felt like we had a good balance. I’m a rookie, so I don’t know what to expect for the rest of the month, but I’m really confident.”
“Our speed today shows how competitive the team is. Our consistency and speed solidifies the job that they do and how well they go about it. We’re learning a lot more having a second car here, and it’s really elevated the program overall. I feel super comfortable in the car because the team makes me feel comfortable. They’ve done a great job of giving us a good program and making it easy on us.”