Saturday, July 30, 2011

Carl Edwards decision is like the U.S. reaching its debt ceiling?

   Leave it to Greg Biffle to present a real-world analogy to a NASCAR issue.

   On Friday, Biffle was asked how he thought team owner Jack Roush would respond if teammate Carl Edwards announced he was leaving the organization at the end of the year but still had some racing left with the team.

   Biffle's reply: "It’s obvious that it’s coming to a head, kind of like whether we’re gonna approve the debt ceiling or not. At some point he’s gonna have to say that I’m not coming back. He’s not gonna be able to wait until Homestead, we all know that, so Carl is a big boy, he’s a man and he has to make his own decisions.

   "Eventually, he’s gonna have to make a decision and it’ll be best for everybody so, one, we can plan for sponsorships and drivers and teams and people. There are a lot of people’s jobs on the line – if we’re gonna be three teams or four teams – so the sooner the better. I understand contract negotiations take a long time and there is a lot to them, but truly if you know or you’ve made a decision, then it’s time to give everybody enough opportunity to make their decision on the back side of that.”

   Biffle admitted he has been in a similar position in his career with Roush on contract talks but always felt he left everyone know as soon as he reached a decision.

   "It’s tough, but one thing I always did is when I knew what I was doing, then I said, ‘This is what I’m gonna do,' " he said. "You can’t have a deal done or plan to have a deal done and not let everybody know, so that it’s fair for everyone to go make a plan on what’s next.” 

Friday, July 29, 2011

Pastrana NASCAR debut gets scrubbed

   INDIANAPOLIS - The much-hyped “Pastranathon” - Travis Pastrana’s whirlwind weekend of competing in the X Games and making his debut Saturday in the NASCAR Nationwide series - has been put on hiatus. 

   While competing in the best trick event Thursday night in the X Games in Los Angeles, Pastrana fractured his right foot and ankle when his attempt at completing a “720” went awry and he crashed on landing.

   The trick features two backflips on a motorcycle and one spin.

   ESPN, which is broadcasting the X Games, reported Pastrana will require surgery for his injuries.

    Early Friday, the Pastrana Waltrip Racing team withdrew its entry from Saturday night’s Kroger 200 at Lucas Oil Raceway in Clermont, Ind. Pastrana’s next scheduled Nationwide race is Sept. 9 at Richmond, Va.

   In a statement to ESPN early Friday morning after having X-rays at a Los Angeles hospital, Pastrana said, “I am sorry this happened and will be back in action as soon as I can. I look forward to Pastranathon 2012 at X Games 18.”

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Dale Jarrett's take on Dale Jr.

      Former Sprint Cup Series champion and ESPN analyst Dale Jarrett - like most in NASCAR - believed Dale Earnhardt Jr. was on the verge of winning any week. He, too, has been surprised with Earnhardt's struggles over the past five races, which has seen him slip to ninth in points and still without a victory.

   Jarrett was asked on Tuesday's ESPN conference call about where Earnhardt's chances to make the Chase now stand entering Sunday's Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

   "I thought five weeks ago, six weeks ago, that I was seeing Junior and his race team prepared to go to Victory Lane. I really thought that they were making strides and gains each week. Exactly what's happened over the last four or five weeks? You get in a slump as a race team, just like a hitter in baseball or something. It's hard to get out of because you're not exactly sure where to put your finger and try to turn things around," he said.

   "It would be beneficial sport to have the most popular driver be a part of the Chase and get in that mix and challenge for wins. Nobody is going to make that happen, it's that race team that has to do it. It sure would be beneficial. Whether it's Boston and the Yankees playing - it's always a big attraction. We have our biggest star, the person the fans choose as the most popular driver, and that's Dale Jr. Hopefully, they can get that turned around. This is a difficult race track when you're struggling to get things turned around. They are going to have to right their ship very quickly."

Jeff Burton gets new crew chief

   Richard Childress Racing announced on Monday that Luke Lambert has been named interim crew chief for RCR's No. 31 Chevrolet team with driver Jeff Burton in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Lambert replaces veteran crew chief Todd Berrier.

   "Todd has been an important part of RCR's success for many years," said Richard Childress, president and CEO of RCR. "He is still employed and under contract and his role with RCR will be determined in the near future."

   Berrier has been an RCR employee since 1994. This will be Lambert's first stint as a Cup crew chief. The 28-year-old has been with RCR since September 2005. He was named a team engineer for the No. 31 program in 2008. He is a 2005 graduate of N.C. State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Brickyard ticket sales bad?

   There have been rumors that ticket sales for next week's Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway were again off-pace from last season, but an internal NASCAR memo obtained by and The Observer seems to confirm the problem.

   In the memo, which was distributed by email on Friday, team public relations representatives were thanked ahead of time for their drivers' participation in a Sprint Cup Series autograph session at the track.

   The memo said, "ticket sales are significantly behind from previous years" at IMS. Since sales have been dramatically down since the 2008 tire problems at the track, another significant decline would appear ominous. 

   The memo goes on to say, the track believed there would be a large walk-up crowd for the July 31 race and hoped the autograph session would be well received by race fans.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Manion statement on NASCAR penalties in Modified series

   On Wednesday, NASCAR disqualified the No. 7NY team owned by Sprint Cup Series crew chief Kevin "Bono" Manion, which won last weekend's Whelen Modified Series race at New Hampshire with driver Ryan Newman.

   The team's crew chief and Manion were both suspended from competition in any NASCAR regional touring series until Dec. 31. Newman and Manion's entry in the race was disqualified.

   Wednesday night a statement was released by Manion, who serves as crew chief for Cup driver Jamie McMurray:

   “I had no intention to ruin my or my team’s reputations or put a black eye on the NWMT in any way, shape or manner,” explained Manion. “It was never anyone’s intent to cheat. We have won numerous races with the No. 7NY and Ryan and have been through and passed inspection for each of them. Unfortunately, the penalties were a result of circumstances beyond our control. Everyone on our team has won NWMT races in the past and never did anything of this magnitude while racing full-time in the series.

   “With that being said, though we don’t like or agree with the severity of the penalty, we accept the penalty that NASCAR has given out to us. We will still give back to the modified series as it gave us so many years of experience in order for us to do what we do today. We will try to win more races and bring more fans from the Cup fan base to crossover to the NWMT.”

Monday, July 18, 2011

Allmendinger gets new crew chief

   Richard Petty Motorsports officials announced on Monday that Greg Erwin is the new crew chief for its No. 43 Sprint Cup Series team and driver AJ Allmendinger. Erwin replaces Mike Shiplett.

   “Mike and I have been together for a long time, so from a personal standpoint this is difficult for me,” said Allmendinger. "We’ve worked really well together and I think our personalities really complemented each other.

   "Mike and I both came into this year really committed to working on our weaker areas. I know we both tried our best to be better and communicate better - I couldn’t have asked for either of us to try any harder. Sometimes though, you need to take a step back and have a new perspective or new set of eyes look at things to move to the next level."

   Prior to joining Richard Petty Motorsports, Erwin served as crew chief position with the No. 16 team at Roush Fenway Racing and driver Greg Biffle. Erwin joined that team in May 2007 and during his tenure at RFR, led Biffle to five victories, 36 top-five and 66 top-10 finishes. Erwin’s team made the Chase for the Cup three times.
   “When one door closes, another one opens and this is great example of that,” said Erwin. “I couldn’t be happier to have found a new home at Richard Petty Motorsports. To work with Richard Petty and lead the iconic No. 43 team is a great opportunity for me. AJ Allmendinger has shown that he has a great deal of talent and I’m excited to have the chance to get the No. 43 team back to Victory Lane.”

Saturday, July 16, 2011

One-on-one with Joey Logano

    Joey Logano talked candidly this weekend about the two years since his career-first Sprint Cup Series race win at New Hampshire in his rookie season.
   You can read the full story here.
   In addition to the story, Logano and I covered a vast array of topics in our discussion, including his take on how difficult the transition has been to Cup, why he decided on racing as a career, where he would most like to win and who he thinks is NASCAR’s best driver.

   Q: What was it like when you first arrived in the Cup series?
   Logano: I had a rude awakening as soon as I jumped into one of these things for the first time. I was like, ‘Oh wow, this is a little harder than I thought it was going to be.’ I think that was a big deal then. It goes to show how good these guys are. They have the natural talent out there – the guys that work real hard with that natural talent are the guys that run really well. Had to figure out what you need to work on – that’s one big thing and a struggle. There’s always something different you can’t work on every week that’s different. It’s what we do every week and it’s part of it. It’s part of the normal deal now. Before we would go to the race track and work 18 hours and there is a lot more to it, you focus a lot more during the week and you don’t really get a break from it anymore. You race these guys that are that good.
   Q: Why did you decide racing was what you wanted to do in your life?
   Logano: Because I sucked at everything else. That was one of the main reasons. I enjoyed it and it was a lot of fun for me. I tried baseball when I was little. I didn’t give it a great effort, but I didn’t enjoy it because I wasn’t good at it. Racing for me was something that came to me naturally, pretty quick when I was little. You go to the quarter midget track or whatever and I won all the races and I loved it. You find something that you win at, you’re going to love it. That’s the way I look at it. I’m so competitive that if it’s something I’m not good at then I’m not going to like it. When I start to get better at things, I enjoy it a lot more. That’s kind of where I stand with this sport.
    Q: If you were promised a fast car and the best circumstances to win, where would you like to win?
   Logano: I think Indy or Daytona for sure. I think those are pretty equal. I think those in my eyes are the two biggest that we run. I think either of them are equally as cool to win. I know after winning in Daytona in the Nationwide car, how cool that was and I thought that was the coolest thing that’s ever happened to me. I was pretty pumped up so I can imagine what it would be like in the 500.
   Q: Who do you think the best driver in NASCAR is or was?
   Logano: That's hard to say, there’s a lot of good ones. Especially since these guys are the best. You think about back in the day and there are a lot of guys that were just amazing. David Pearson and stuff like that and they were just great or Richard Petty winning 200 races. That is unbelievable. It’s hard to pick one. These guys are great and I wasn’t alive back then so I didn’t get to watch them race. All I watch is the highlight videos of them making these bad ass moves. It’s hard to pick one guy, but I would say it’s between those guys. You just look at stats and numbers and you can figure out who was good, but those guys stick out the most.
   Q: If you could run every Cup race on one track, which would it be?
   Logano: Charlotte. I love it, I think it’s cool and I think it has a lot of speed. It puts on good races. I think that would be fun.
   Q: What will you be doing five years from now?
   Logano: Five years from now I will be 26. Still won’t be that old. Hopefully, I’m still sitting here talking to Jim Utter. I’ve never looked down the road further than a week. I get home every Sunday and then Monday morning I look at my schedule and see what I’m doing this week. That’s how my life goes. I’ve never looked that far out and set huge goals for myself. Five years down the road – it’s more like what is my goal for this weekend. What am I going to do this weekend. It’s hard for me to set a goal for a year. Forget five years ahead. It’s something personally that I don’t know how to do. I think it would be big because I don’t know how to set a goal that far away. I can tell you one thing, five years ago I didn’t think I would be sitting here. You never know what life is going to bring you.
   Q: Who is the ‘next Joey Logano?”
   Logano: I think Ricky (Stenhouse Jr.) is doing a good job and I think he has big things coming up and he already has. I would say he is the next big one. I don’t follow Late Model racing as much as I used to. A lot of my friends are good. I think Coleman Pressley, Corey Lajoie and those guys are really good. It’s just hard for them to get a break. It’s hard to break in right now. I watched them run those East cars. Corey to me is really, really good. He shows it every time he gets in that car. He works on his own stuff. He’s an old school racer. It’s so hard to get a sponsor these days and when Kyle Busch can’t get a sponsor for a Nationwide race or I can’t in a Nationwide race, how is someone going to come in here that hasn’t raced one of these cars before and expect to get a sponsor? How is that even possible? I explained that to them that it is hard. Keep trying, but what are you supposed to do?

Monday, July 11, 2011

Kentucky offers apology, tickets

    Kentucky Speedway, which is owned and operated by Speedway Motorsports, Inc., today issued the following statement regarding the fan experience at Saturday's “Quaker State 400.”

   "To those fans that were not able to attend the Quaker State 400, we offer our sincerest apologies," said Mark Simendinger, general manager, Kentucky Speedway. "We'd also like to apologize to all of our fans who endured challenging conditions during our event weekend. As we said earlier, we're committed to working with NASCAR, state and local officials and traffic experts to address Saturday's traffic issues to ensure that we never have this type of experience again."

   “I would like to apologize on behalf of Speedway Motorsports to the fans who had tickets, yet due to logistical issues, were not able to attend the inaugural Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky Speedway," said Marcus Smith, president and chief operating officer of Speedway Motorsports, Inc. "For those fans with tickets who were unable to attend Saturday night's event, we will honor their ticket at any remaining 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at a Speedway Motorsports facility or the 2012 Sprint Cup race at Kentucky Speedway. 

   "Our company has always been about enhancing the fan experience with first-class amenities and putting fans first. I feel terrible for the fans that had a bad experience at Kentucky Speedway and we are asking that they give us a chance to make it up to them. We are very thankful for the overwhelming fan support we had for this inaugural event. We learned some valuable lessons this past weekend and will do everything in our power to make sure we don't have these issues again."

   The ticket exchange is good for the following events at Speedway Motorsports facilities while supplies last at each respective venue:
July 17 - New Hampshire Motor Speedway
   Aug. 27 - Bristol Motor Speedway
Sept. 4 - Atlanta Motor Speedway
Sept. 25 - New Hampshire Motor Speedway
Oct. 15 - Charlotte Motor Speedway
Nov. 6 - Texas Motor Speedway
2012 - Kentucky Speedway

In addition to the ticket exchange, Kentucky Speedway will issue these fans an equal quantity of tickets to either its Oct. 1 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series 225-mile race or Oct. 2 IZOD IndyCar Series 300-mile event. 

   For information on ticket exchange and redemption, fans should only contact the Kentucky Speedway ticket office at 859-578-2300 or by email at


Sunday, July 10, 2011

Brian France on Kentucky debacle

   "While NASCAR was thrilled by the incredible response to our inaugural NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race in Kentucky, we also are extremely disappointed by the traffic problems and inconveniences endured by fans who wanted to be part of our races at Kentucky Speedway. NASCAR will be in close communications with Kentucky Speedway and Speedway Motorsports Inc. to see that they work to resolve the issues. This situation cannot happen again.”

   NASCAR Chairman Brian France

One fan's Kentucky traffic tale

   We live in LaGrange Ky, just off exit 22 on I-71. On Saturday afternoon, my wife and another couple left our home in two vehicles just after 2:00pm for the 33 mile drive to the track. Our friends were particularly excited to be attending the race because their tickets had been a Father's Day gift from their son who is currently serving in Afghanistan. At mile marker 39 (about 2:20 p.m.), a full 16 miles from our exit, traffic came to a complete stop. For the next 5 hours and 45 minutes we alternated between a (mostly) dead stop and a snails pace. To the credit of those in the cars around us, tempers were held in check and during those moments when we would all exit our cars and mill about on the interstate the mood was not so much anger but a mixture of disbelief, disappointment and resignation. 
   Despite the prevailing attitude of those around us, the hours spent mired in traffic were not without some tense moments. At various times we were passed by no less than six ambulances en route to the local hospital who were navigating a berm blocked every few hundred yards with overheating and/or out of gas vehicles. It should be noted that during this time on the interstate we were unable to find a radio station which broadcast traffic information and the only law enforcement presence we observed was a single patrol car parked in the median, the officer enjoying snacks and bottled water in the comfort of his vehicle.
   At 8 p.m., 15 minutes after the green flag, we had finally reached our exit (#55) but found ourselves (still) mired in traffic and at a dead stop two miles from the speedway. At this point rumors began to circulate from car to car that the parking lots were completely full and that they were about to start turning people away. It was impossible to verify these rumors as (again) we could find no local station broadcasting traffic information and the only law enforcement presence consisted of two Highway Patrol vehicles parked at the off ramp (the officers inside the vehicles and apparently occupied with something other than traffic) and another Highway Patrolman, who we observed posing for snapshots with fans who had abandoned their vehicles and elected to walk the two-plus miles to the speedway. At this point my wife and I came to the conclusion that given the utter chaos surrounding us and with little hope of actually seeing any of the race that we would cut our losses and return home. With a wave to our friends who had elected to press on, we made a U-turn in the highway and gave up on the idea of attending the race.
   On our return trip south (this now roughly 8:30 p.m.) we observed traffic still backed up and more or less at a complete stop for a full 13 miles. At one of the exits we elected to make a stop for a restroom break.  I had an opportunity to chat with some of the many people who were milling about the parking lot. In addition to the disappointed race fans I also spoke with an elderly woman, traveling alone, who had spent six hours stuck in traffic on her way from Cincinnati to Louisville. She told me she believed her car had ran out of gas as she pulled into the pumps. Then there were the six people traveling (initially traveling in two vehicles) to a family members wedding in Ohio. One of the cars had overheated while idling in traffic and was abandoned on the berm. After sitting through another two hours of traffic they realized they could not make the wedding and had turned around in the median and were heading home.
   This morning we called our friends who had elected to press on when we decided to turn around. It was a brief conversation as they were still asleep after arriving home at 4:30 a.m. this morning. The gist of our conversation was that after navigating another mile long gauntlet of confusion and incompetence, they finally found a place to abandon their vehicle and walked the last mile to the track, arriving at about 9:45 p.m. Apparently they were among the last people in the traffic jam to gain entry into the speedway as not far behind them the Highway Patrol had closed access and had began turning traffic around.

   Thank you for listening. I hope your next trip to Kentucky is without incident and that you won't be writing post race stories about massive traffic jams.
   Steve Pearson
   LaGrange, KY

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Statement from Kentucky Speedway on traffic problems on Saturday night

July 9, 2011

Statement from Kentucky Speedway General Manager Mark Simendinger regarding traffic for the “Quaker State 400”

We’ve had an overwhelming response to our inaugural NASCAR Sprint Cup Series “Quaker State 400.” We know we had challenges related to traffic. We’re already planning improvements and looking forward to a much better situation for next year’s event.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Johnson faces off with Junior Nation

   In the hours following last Saturday night's Sprint Cup race at Daytona International Speedway, Jimmie Johnson got deluged with comments on his Twitter account from Dale Earnhardt Jr. fans angry Johnson left Earnhardt alone on the track on the final laps while he pit for fuel.

   Earnhardt and Johnson had worked together in a two-car drafting tandem virtually the entire race but Johnson's crew chief, Chad Knaus, elected to have Johnson pit for fuel on a late caution for fear Johnson wouldn't last if the race went to multiple green-white-checkered restarts.

   Earnhardt fans perceived a slight and several criticized Johnson after the race. He seemed to get irritated with a few while attempting to respond to some of the comments.

   On Friday, Johnson was asked if he was surprised by the reaction of fans.

   “In some respects, but as time went on and the more I checked in on Twitter, I saw a lot of support from his fans. In the beginning there was plenty of creative messages on there for me. As time went on and I was really impressed and appreciate the support from Junior Nation and then also my fan base defending me and it still at the end of the day, every fan is entitled to their own opinion," Johnson said.

   "There are different things that exist inside the garage area and a different reality than people see. It’s been fun. It was my first real experience to how active social media can be following a race.”

Monday, July 4, 2011

Martin not interested in team ownership

   NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Mark Martin joined Dave Despain Sunday night on "Wind Tunnel" and during the course of his appearance said he is not interested in becoming a NASCAR team owner once he concludes his career with Hendrick Motorsports.

   Despain: Do you want to be an owner in NASCAR?
   Martin: “No, Dave, I don’t. I am very interested and would love to commit to Jay Frye (Red Bull Racing vice president and general manager) and that organization to help Jay move forward and rebuild that organization in all forms. There‘s a lot of things I want to do in the sport still, including driving race cars, and outside of driving race cars. But as an equity owner, I can’t see it happening anywhere. I’m not interested in doing that.”

   Despain: So, what are you interested in doing outside race cars?
   Martin: “I just think that I’ve got something to offer to a race team. I love racing and I love NASCAR. I’ve done it ever since I was 15 years old. I thought in 2005 that I wanted to go home and sit on the couch for the rest of my life. That’s not the case … it seemed like a good idea at the time and I tried that. But I know what I want to do. I want to be a part of the sport that I love so much and all the people. Driving race cars is cool. My time is somewhat limited in that area and there are other things I can do to help race teams. I can bring something to the table. I’m interested in getting an opportunity to do that. I’m really excited about 2012 and opening a new chapter in my life. 

   "I’ve had the time of my life being part of Hendrick Motorsports. I’ve won eight or nine poles and five races, all big bonuses to what I’d expected when I was sitting looking at things in 2008. I’ve had the time of my life but it’s time to open the next chapter and I’m really excited about it. I couldn’t be more excited about what comes next and I’m not sure what that is. But it’s going to be fun and I’m looking forward to it."

   Despain: How interested are you in having driving be at least a component of what package you put together? Is it important to you to still be in the seat at some level next year or are you comfortable with the idea that you might not be doing that?
   Martin: “Dave, I’m comfortable with the idea but all anybody in the garage wants to talk to me about is driving their stuff. So, for me to be involved in racing, it’s more likely that it will be in the driving part than anything else. I’m cool with it. On a good day, I still can hold my own out there on the race track but it’s not that important to me. What’s important to me is being a part of the sport and being a part of something that’s successful. Winning races is really, really awesome and I’d like to drive something that I can win races in, but also a great challenge is helping a race team who is not on that level try to creep toward that level also is a great challenge for me and something that I would look forward to, too. There are all kind of different things out there. 
   "This is going to be a crazy silly season. We’re going to be faced with the toughest year economically, I think, in 2012 that we’ve ever been faced with and I think there are going to be a lot of challenges. I think the silly season really is going to go down to the last part of the year. It may be November, December before I know exactly what it is that I’m doing and I’m fine with that because, like I said before, I do this because I love it and not because I need a job.”

Friday, July 1, 2011

Scott Speed obtains lien on Red Bull property in North Carolina

    Former Red Bull Racing driver Scott Speed has obtained an order of attachment against his former employer, placing a lien on the organization’s real property in North Carolina until Speed’s lawsuit against the team is resolved.

    The order was served Tuesday of this week and such orders can be issued only in very limited circumstances in North Carolina.

    The order covers the Red Bull shop itself in Mooresville, N.C., and the property on which it sits, which was purchased for approximately $3.3 million.  

   After he was fired as one of the team’s drivers in the Sprint Cup Series, Speed sued Red Bull in December for breach of contract and sought damages of at least $6.5 million. In March, a N.C. judge denied Red Bull’s request to dismiss the suit.

   A discovery motion in Speed’s case is scheduled to be heard 10 a.m. on July 11 in Iredell County Superior Court in Statesville, N.C.

   William Bray, Speed’s attorney in the case, said his client sought the order because of Red Bull’s recent announcement that it was looking to end its ownership role in NASCAR at the end of the 2011 season.

   “It certainly appears to us looking at the many options Red Bull has discussed that one of them may well entail the sale of its assets,” Bray said. "We’re simply trying to ensure Scott is able to collect should his lawsuit prevail.”
   Red Bull can attempt to contest the order, but as of Friday had not done so.
   Through a spokesperson, the team said it would not comment on any pending litigation.
   Speed spent seven years with the Red Bull organization, driving for the team in Formula One in 2006 and 2007 and in the Automobile Racing Club of America and NASCAR Trucks series in 2008 as he prepared for a full-time move to the Cup series.

   Speed finished 35th in the Cup standings in 2009 and 30th last season. In 76 series starts, he had one top-five and three top-10 finishes.

Dale Jr. would rather look out for No. 1

   It's no secret Dale Earnhardt Jr. is no fan of the new two-car drafting tandems that currently dominate the racing at Daytona and Talladega. He has said many times that he preferred racing in the large pack of cars to having to depend on another driver for much of the race in hopes both get a good outcome.

   On Friday at Daytona International Speedway, Earnhardt expanded a little on his reasoning, basically indicating that the two-car drafts goes against what he believes is the bottom line in racing - looking out for No. 1.

   I’d rather have control of my own destiny and be able to go out there and race and just do my own work and worry about my own self. It’s really weird and kinda wrong on some levels to race that way and to think like you think. You take care of somebody and you feel this obligation to take care of them and then worry about having them take care of you and how that makes them feel," he said.

   "Been growing up all these years racin’ for number one-lookin’ out for number one. Doing my job. This is what I need to do. I need to do this to get up through the pack. This is how my car drives and now you are doing it so different. Your thought process and everything you think about during the race is nothing near that. It is just different and weird. It won’t be like that forever I assume and hopefully I am alive and still racin’ when it goes back to the way it was because I just really enjoy lookin’ out for number one, man.

   "If you had a car that drive up through there and you were smart about drafting and knew what you were doing, you could make some cool things happen and that was pretty fun.”