Panther Pack Team Q&A;


Have a question about the difference between the IndyCar and the Pro Series ride? Curious about what the Panther drivers do away from the track? We select some of the questions that have been submitted and share the answers to those questions on the site. If you have a question of your own, you can submit your QUESTIONS here.

Displaying questions 11-20 (of 667 total):

Q. Maybe this has been announced and I missed it. Is JR Hildebrand returning to Panther in 2012? What about the National Guard?
A. (11-4-2011) Yes and yes. They'll both be back on the No. 4 car next season and we couldn't be happier about that.

Q. Here is a question for you guys ... if you could sign any available driver to the team for 2012, who would it be and why? Wilson? Briscoe? Hinchcliffe? Conway?Tough one?
A. (11-3-2011) That might be one I should avoid answering, as there are a lot of good options out there currently. But why not: As we've said, we'd love to have Justin. Briscoe is returning to Penske. Hinch would be a nice addition we would consider. I know we tested Conway at the end of 2008 and our engineers loved him (still do). And there are others you didn't mention who are in consideration. Time will tell.

Q. How actively are you working on adding another car for next year at Panther? I would guess that with a new car it's probably more important than ever to expand?
A. (11-3-2011) Yes, it's a priority. Like I said in a question earlier, the key is finding the right program so it helps all facets of the organization.

Q. I thought what your PR man Mike Kitchel said at Dan Wheldon's Memorial was just about perfect. We argue about all this IndyCar crap when maybe just being more like him would help. I just wanted to send that along, as I know the loss has been tough for team Panther just like the rest of us.
A. (11-3-2011) Thanks for the kind words. It's been a tough deal, for sure.

Q. I know you probably can't answer this, but is Justin Wilson on your shortlist for a second car in 2012? I saw on SPEED that several teams are after him, but not Panther? Seriously?
A. (11-3-2011) Yes, Justin Wilson in on our short list for 2012. We'd love to have him at Panther.

Q. Are you like the rest of us and happy as h*ll to see Danica Patrick out of IndyCar and down south in NASCAR? I've had about enough of her and say Good Riddance!!
A. (11-3-2011) No, we don't feel that way. We appreciate Danica's contributions to the IndyCar Series and hope to see her back in an open-wheel car someday.

Q. I know many teams open their doors in the off-season and sell scrap/trashed parts. I've also heard Panther has been generous in providing fans with keychains of carbon parts after a particular race. Any plans on opening your doors to selling leftover or unusable parts from the 2011 season? Would be great to see some of the sale proceeds go to charity, or the Wheldon Memorial fund.
A. (11-3-2011) We hadn't made any decisions on that, but certainly appreciate your suggestions. They will be considered. Thanks again.

Q. How much control does the driver have, on the setup, or is it just what the engineers tell him to race with? Would he try to go as fast as possible, or put a set up on that is a little slower, but more managable to drive?
A. (11-3-2011) Good question. It's a collaborative effort at all times between driver and engineer. The short answer is you always want the car to be fast as possible, but at the same time, you're weighing millions of factors into setup decisions. Sometimes you will compensate a little speed for better handling, but ultimately your goal is to make the car as fast as possible.

Q. Is running 2 cars for the 2012 season a priority at Panther?
A. (11-3-2011) Yes, it's a priority of ours. But you have to keep in mind that it has to be the right program that fits our team and what we already have with the National Guard team. There are some options, and hopefully we'll be able to to put together a deal to run multiple entries in 2012.

Q. Have you guys decided on an 2012 engine? Are you going back to Chevrolet? Staying with Honda, and align with Ganassi and the other Honda teams? or switching to the Lotus?
A. (9-9-2011) We're very close to making a decision and it will be announced shortly thereafter. The decision, at this time, has not been made yet.