My 8 year-old daughter Saris is a budding IndyCar fan, and she'll be providing her point of view throughout the season. We're starting today with a simple Q&A about her thoughts on how the 2012 season ended, and what she's expecting in IndyCar this year. From the comfort of the Houghton Family living room, I bring you her keen insight:
Saris, thanks for agreeing to this. The basic idea is to just tell folks what you think about some IndyCar stuff. Sound good?
So what did you think of the way last year's season ended?
Saris: I thought Will Power would win, but Ryan Hunter-Reay did an awesome job.
If you could see one other driver in the Indy 500 this year, who would it be?
Saris: Pippa Mann. I've met her, she's very nice, and I think she's a good driver who should be out there.
In terms of 1-50, how many units of butt does Pippa kick?
Saris: I'm going over your numbers. Let's say more than the number of butts that have ever raced in a car.
Impressive. So, early prediction, who will win this year's Indy 500?
Saris: I'm going with Ryan Hunter-Reay, Will Power, or Alex Tagliani.
Tag is pretty cool, huh?
Saris: Oh yeah!
Is it the accent?
Saris: No. I just like how he drives.
Is there a driver you really want to meet this year?
Saris: Will Power.
It's not because your mother has a driver crush on him, is it?
Saris: I just think he's a good driver, and he comes from Australia, mate. Shut your whiskers!
(That last part was directed at our cranky, growling tomcat. I hope.).
What advice would you give Will Power in order for him to win the championship this year?
Saris: Stay on the track!
Which IndyCar driver name is the most fun to say?
Saris: Takummmma SAT-OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.
If you could pick one driver who didn't win last year who you think will win a race this year, who would it be, and why?
Saris: Really, almost any of the drivers could have a chance of winning. But I will say Tag, because last year he was close, and because I've noticed he tends to stay on the track.
A valuable asset in any driver, to be sure. What do you think of Simona's chances this season?
Saris: I'd call it 50/50 if she wins or not. Oh, and give that Lotus from last year to someone for like $100.
Who has the best looking car?
Saris: Hinch's GoDaddy car looks cool, and I like the silver and dark red on James Jakes' new car. But I want to see more before deciding.
If you could have one sponsor on the side of a car this year, what product would you pick?
Saris: Great Wolf Lodge!
You've done qualifications and practice before, but Milwaukee this year will be your first full race. What part of it are you most looking forward to?
Saris: Quite a few parts. I am looking forward to watching the cars race in person, staying in a hotel, and maybe meeting some drivers.
Who would win in a fight, AJ Foyt or a massive killer robot?
Saris: AJ Foyt. The robot could be some sort of deadly trap, but 1) AJ was an IndyCar driver, 2) you've showed me video of him hitting things with a hammer, and 3) he's AJ Foyt.
Looking forward to seeing Turbo when it comes out?
Saris: Yes. Seriously, who's ever seen a snail try to race in the Indy 500?
You weren't around for Marty Roth. What's the best part about IndyCar for you?
Saris: I love seeing the drivers pass by, and you get to meet all sorts of them, too. All those drivers are very fast, and I don't know how they go that fast. I especially like going to the track (like IMS) with my dad.
Flattery will get you everywhere. Is there something you wish IndyCar would do different, or you'd like to see them add?
Saris: More shade to the seats! We always get sun burnt, because you like sitting in the sun!
I think that's more my fault than theirs, but I'll ask about a tarp. Any words for the readers out there?
Saris: See you at the track!