For how many years were you an Indy 500 wife? The wife of a professional driver?
Nancy Roe-Pimm: My husband competed in the Indy 500 from 1984 through 1988. He became a professional race car driver in 1982. He retired from racing after 1988.
What part of racing did you consider the most exciting?
Nancy Roe-Pimm: I liked working in the pits and being part of the team. I sat in the pit stand, timed all the cars and kept track of the laps.
What part of the Indy 500 and other races was the most dangerous?
Nancy Roe-Pimm I guess every race was very dangerous, but when you lived the life you didn’t even think of the danger until the yellow flag dropped. Then I would search out my husband, and once I found him safe and sound, I would get back to business.
Did most drivers have some idea they wanted to be race car drivers as kids? Is there something they all seemed to have in common when they were young?
Nancy Roe-Pimm: Most of the race car drivers that I interviewed did have a love for some sort of motor vehicle as kids. They all seem to be highly competitive.
When did girls start to drive in the big league races along with guys?
Nancy Roe-Pimm: Janet Guthrie broke into Indy in 1977. Lyn St. James raced at Indy in the 90’s. Lyn is now retired from racing, but she dedicates her life to finding female talent across the country and mentoring them to help them to break into the “big Leagues of auto racing. It’s called the Lyn St. James Foundation. They have mock interviews, teach markeing strategies, and discuss racing lines and techniques.
How fast is the average race speed?
Nancy Roe-Pimm: They are now trying to slow the cars down. Last year, Champ cars were going so fast in Texas. The drivers were blacking out after practice and qualifying sessions. The G forces were getting too great because the speeds were so fast. The race was cancelled and they have made changes to the cars to slow them down. Going over 240 m.p.h. seemed to be too fast for closed courses. The average speed of the Indy 500 varies due to how many cautions there are in a particular race.
Did you ever drive an Indy 500 car? If so, did you like it? If not, why not?
Nancy Roe-Pimm: I never drove an Indy 500 car, but I did drive a Super Vee car. They are considered one step below an Indy car. I had trouble getting out of the pits because the clutch was very tricky. I drive a car with a clutch at home, but this was different. I liked driving the car around the Mid Ohio road course, but I was on the track by myself on a private practice day. I know I wouldn’t want to go wheel to wheel in one of those things, but I would love to go against the clock to see how fast I could go.
Why will kids love this book you’ve written about the Indy 500?
Nancy Roe-Pimm: The book is full of fun-facts and personal interviews. Drivers such as Indy 500 winners Buddy Rice, Bobby Rahal, Mario Andretti and Rick Mears share some great thoughts and stories. The reason its called The Inside Track is because the reader gets to go inside the minds of the drivers, and even inside of a race car as it’s crashing into the wall! The reader gets a behind the scenes tour of the Indy 500, from the pits to the race, and from the early days to the present day. Fasten your seat belts and enjoy the ride.