Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Fast Five with Kyle O'Gara

Kyle O'Gara is a terrific individual and a hell of a driver. I have said this many times on Twitter, so when he got his first Firestone Indy Lights test last week, I was elated for Kyle, but I wasn't surprised one bit. The guy can drive the wheels off the car. He recorded several wins last year in USAC driving for RW Motorsports and Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing (for those who don't know, Kyle's brother, Andy, is Sarah Fisher's husband). Listed below are hints at some big things coming for this 17 year driver, so get used to hearing his name because he is going to be legend before you know it! It is my privilege to give you my interview with driver Kyle O'Gara:

1) You had a very successful 2012 USAC campaign which included a couple of wins. Now I'm not asking how it feels to be awesome, but how did it feel to be doing well consistently in a very competitive series like USAC? 

KO: As you said, I had a very successful 2012 season in USAC with SFHR Development and RW Motorsports. I think bringing home back-to-back wins finally opened up a lot of peoples' eyes that we can succeed, even in crucial situations. I was definitely most proud of my come from behind win this year when we started 21st. Being consistent was a strong suit of ours towards the end of the season. We started off the season in roller coaster type fashion. But bringing home a few A Main victories and running competitively at the national level was for sure the highlights of the year.

Kyle Winning! Photo from his Twitter @KyleOgara

2) Last week, you completed a Firestone Indy Lights test at Kentucky Speedway in a joint effort by Fan Force United and Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing. How did this come about and how did the test go?

KO: My brother Andy and I went to IMS for the Road to Indy test and sat down with a few different teams about possible partnerships next year. One of those teams included Fan Force United to talk about the possibilities of testing a Lights car. Fan Force United's owner, Tyce Carlson, has been a family friend for many years and called us both over to the garage to talk and it went from there. I got the call the following Thursday after school from Andy saying that the test was scheduled for the next Thursday at Kentucky Speedway. I was anxious. It was probably the longet week of my life. The test itself went without flaw. I took a few laps in the rental car with Josef before the first session and got the line down. Within 10 laps in the Lights car, I was flat. I turned a lap at just under 189mph with a lot of downforce still on the car. Rain shortened our day after completing about 83 laps.


3) So now you have everyone wondering what your plans are for 2013. Will you be in Firestone Indy Lights? Another Mazda Road to Indy Series? USAC? A mix of all three? Or are plans still in the developmental stage? 

KO: Right now, our plans for 2013 have yet to be released. But I will tell you that we plan to work all forms of the Mazda Road to Indy ladder. This would include USAC midgets at the national level, Indy Lights on most ovals, and a possible full season of USF2000.


Kyle testing the Indy Lights car. Photo: Indycar.com

4) What does it mean to have people like Sarah Fisher and Josef Newgarden there to help you along your journey to the top of the racing ladder?

KO: I'm not sure that I could ever put into words what Sarah and Josef mean to me. It is a pleasure of having the opportunity to work with them. Sarah has been in about every situation you could ever think of, so she can always put herself into your shoes. I just got to work with Josef for the first time this past week and he was an extreme help. I'm not really sure where my racing career would be without SFHR, Andy and Sarah, my mom and dad, Josef, and everyone else. It is a true blessing that I get to work with these people everyday.


 5) Staple question of the Fast Five series is have you ever done anything obscure, like sneezing, coughing, etc. while driving a race car?

KO: I'd say the most strange thing I have ever done while in a racecar was probably when I fell asleep under a red flag in a USAC race this past summer and was woken up getting pushed down the back stretch by a truck to fire the engine up. It was little more than a wake-up call! Haha

Thanks for the interview Kyle! Feel free to tweet at Kyle any questions or comments, he's one of the friendliest drivers on there!

-Matthew Hickey

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