By Bob Pockrass
FOX Sports activities NASCAR Author
NEW YORK — Who’s Marcus Ericsson?
That could be a query many have requested over the previous two days, since Ericsson received the 2022 Indianapolis 500. Avid race followers know the 31-year-old Swede from his racing exploits the previous 9 years, as he drove for struggling Formulation 1 groups for 5 years earlier than coming to the USA to drive IndyCar in 2019.
He received two races final 12 months at Chip Ganassi Racing however entered the Indianapolis 500 possible ranked fifth among the many Ganassi drivers most followers would’ve picked to be ingesting the milk in victory lane, although he was beginning fifth on the grid.
That’s not a knock. Scott Dixon was on the pole, Alex Palou is the defending collection champion, and Tony Kanaan and Jimmie Johnson are fan favorites with intensive racing résumés.
Ericsson, whose racing profession has been funded by Swedish businessmen ever since he was profitable races as a teen in his house nation, tends to not do something flashy — except you depend how he acquired airborne at Nashville final 12 months and rallied to win the race.
Ericsson sat down with FOX Sports activities whereas in New York — his day began with an look on the Empire State Constructing and was set to finish with a visit to Yankee Stadium — to debate his win and reply the query: Who’s Marcus Ericsson?
Q: With out the biographical racing data, who’s Marcus Ericsson?
A: Only a regular child from Sweden to begin with.
Q: What does “a standard child from Sweden” imply?
A: From a standard household, a standard background. My dad is a home painter. My mother is an accountant. I’m very grateful that my dad had the curiosity to assist me begin with go-karts. We had been driving round Sweden, at all times loading up the go-kart in his portray van. He would take out his portray stuff, put within the go-kart and go racing.
I come from a humble background and [am] residing the American dream now. Me, as an individual, I’m a tough employee and a thinker. I attempt to suppose forward and work onerous and at all times suppose the best way to turn into higher. I don’t need anyone to say I didn’t work onerous sufficient. I at all times wish to be the man who works the toughest to be the perfect I could be.
Additionally, I’m a staff participant. It was a real staff effort. It wasn’t that I received the five hundred. We received the five hundred. That’s one thing I put plenty of satisfaction in.
Q: Would you might have been a painter in case your racing dream hadn’t panned out?
A: My dad tells me I’m a horrible painter. I bear in mind as a child, I went a couple of instances in the summertime and labored with him, and he stated I wasn’t excellent at it. … I’ve two brothers, and certainly one of my brothers works with my dad. Possibly I might have been a kind of. Possibly not.
Q: Have you ever talked to Jimmie Johnson, who not solely crashed however did so whilst you had a cushty lead, so as an alternative of cruising to the win, as soon as the race resumed, you needed to fend off the sector for the ultimate two laps?
A: It was humorous. I spoke to Jimmie afterward. And he wasn’t conscious that I used to be about to win the race when he crashed. He acquired to the care heart, [and] he noticed on the time screens that I used to be main. And he requested somebody, “So Marcus is main the race?” And so they had been like, “Yeah, he’s main.” And he was like, “Was it tight? Was it actually shut?” And so they’re like, “No, it was a three-second hole. He was controlling it.”
And he stated when he heard that, he simply acquired a panic assault virtually, and he did not know what to do as a result of he was freaking out. And I instructed Jimmie, “If I did not win that race, I might by no means communicate to you ever once more.”
Q: Which may’ve made you the one one that will not communicate to Jimmie. And he is in all probability good sufficient to know why you’ll try this.
A: Simply joking. Nobody crashes on goal. Jimmie is the nicest man ever and an unimaginable teammate. I’m actually, actually completely satisfied to not solely name him a teammate but additionally a pal. It will possibly occur to anybody. It was simply irritating [that] it occurred at that time.
Q: NASCAR proprietor Justin Marks has began a 3rd NASCAR Cup Collection automobile (dubbed “Mission 91”) for choose races for a driver who can push his model internationally. Now that you’ve got received the Indy 500, does that make you a candidate?
A: I might like to do it. That will be superb to get the possibility to strive that and do a race. That will be tremendous cool. Ever since I got here to America, I attempted to embrace America racing. I really like IndyCar. NASCAR is large right here. That will be tremendous cool and undoubtedly could be one thing I’d be eager about. I’d need to clear it with Chip first.
Q: Do you might have any plans to return to Sweden to have a good time this win?
A: We’ve been speaking a little bit bit round that. We undoubtedly will do one thing. I’ve an enormous following in Sweden. … I did get a message from the King of Sweden congratulating me, and that was very cool.
Bob Pockrass has spent many years masking motorsports, together with the previous 30 Daytona 500s. He joined FOX Sports activities in 2019 following stints at ESPN, Sporting Information, NASCAR Scene journal and The (Daytona Seaside) Information-Journal. Observe him on Twitter and Instagram @bobpockrass. On the lookout for extra NASCAR content material? Join the FOX Sports activities NASCAR Publication with Bob Pockrass!
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