You had a nice two-week break, but now we’re back with just four races to go in the regular season. How are you feeling about making your first Cup Series start at Watkins Glen?
“It’s only been two weeks but it feels like forever, so I’m looking forward to getting back to racing. This year, our best results have come on the road courses and now we’ve got two back-to-back, but Watkins Glen is probably lower on the list of my favorite road courses. I’ve only raced there once, so I don’t have a ton of experience there and, like every other track, having no practice will make it that much more challenging because it is a track where the car is maybe a little more important than the driver’s road-course racing ability. I’m going to run the ARCA race on Friday to get some more time on track, learn the turns and try to figure some things out.”
Some call Watkins Glen an aggressive road course. Would you agree?
“Yeah, in some ways. Watkins Glen is so different than some of the other tracks we go to. It’s not a very technical track, but it is very high-speed, so the car is more important. At other road courses, you can kind of beat the car up a little and it’ll still be OK, but you need that aero at The Glen. There really isn’t a slow corner like we have at some other tracks, so you have to have a car that is fast and that you can be aggressive with. It’ll be hard to make up ground on some guys if you get behind. There’s not as much wheel spin there, so you won’t be able to go in and play chicken with one of the other guys, but there are some areas where you can make up a spot if you’ve got the car that can handle it.”
Right now, you’re in a position where you have to win to make the playoffs so, for the next four races, do you roll all the dice to have a shot?
“I would think so, but I’ll leave that to Johnny (Klausmeier, crew chief) since he’s calling the shots. I think the next four races probably are all wild-card races and anything can happen. There’s so much strategy at the road courses and that’s where we’ve been the strongest, so it could happen. Michigan is the 550 (horsepower) package, so whoever can figure that out will be the best, and we all know at Daytona anything can happen. We’ll do whatever we can to try to get a win, but I think these next four races will be pretty exciting for everyone watching.”