Driver Spotlight: Ozz Negri
Driver, No. 60 Michael Shank Racing w/Curb Agajanian Ford EcoBoost Riley DP
What does it take to win the Rolex 24 at Daytona?
“It takes a lot of commitment from everybody on the team. It’s got to be only one objective, so everybody has to work towards that objective without being selfish. There’s a lot of give and take in that kind of race. You’re sharing the car with drivers that don’t drive the car all year, so they need more time in the car and you’ve got to let them have that and that’s all good. There’s a lot of give and take on set up also. With us, we have a very close driving style but some guys can drive something that the others can’t so we get to a set-up where everybody commits a little bit. We are all looking at data together, we are all looking at video together, we make fun of each other and when we win we celebrate together which is the best part.
How’s the new Ford EcoBoost engine?
“I can tell you it has tremendous potential. I’ve never felt that we had such a potential in our hands like this. It’s like a baby that was just born. It’s crawling and pretty soon it will be walking and running very fast. There are a lot of very good people involved and I’m pretty sure they will figure it out.”
How has it been working with Ganassi as a Ford teammate?
“It’s been great so far. There’s a lot of information exchanged which makes the learning curve a lot steeper. The cooperation has been great. It’s much better than having only one car out there learning about the engine. With three cars, you learn three times as fast.”
How’s the recovery for the broken leg going?
“I decided that this time that I would keep it quiet and stay here in the US for the holidays. I didn’t go back to Brazil. This year I really focused on, ‘I’m good and I’m healthy,’ I will have this special time with my family. When I came in the track at the Roar it felt good to be good. As far as recovery, I think I’m about 90 percent there. I’m still doing some physical therapy. At the beginning of the week I was able to run an 8K which was great. Until then I would run 4K then I’d have to stop because my foot would start hurting but it’s getting better and better. I’m able to do more and more, not mountain biking though (he says with a laugh).”
Tell us a little about your hobbies off-track.
“I always think there’s someone out there trying to work a little harder than me. And I don’t like that, I’m very competitive. I try to do as much as I can to prepare physically for that type of endurance racing. My goal this year is to do a few triathlon’s and maybe do an Iron Man if my foot will let me. Mountain biking is only in my dreams…and I’m not kidding. I’m really missing it. I’ve been road biking quite a lot and swimming, just doing whatever I can to get as fit as I can and prepare for the race.”