It’s going to be hot in Las Vegas, which is no surprise, but how does that change how the track races?
“This will probably be one of the last hot races we have. I enjoy the hot races, it’s not the most comfortable, but the racing is fun when you can slip and slide around. Vegas is one of my favorite tracks and it seems like the hotter it gets, the wider it gets. So maybe the heat will be better for us. I think as a team we’ve learned a lot since the last mile-and-a-half race, which was so long ago, so I’m excited to get back to one and see if we’ve made up ground.”
You’ve had a tendency to improve in your second trip to tracks. Do you expect that to be the case this Sunday?
“I don’t know. Twenty-first was not an ideal finish and I feel like I’m a different driver now. Our cars have gotten better, and I’ve gotten better, but who knows. I think we still have a good amount of work to do to get a win on a mile-and-a-half, but at Michigan we were in the top-five with eight to go. If you get some restarts and can make up ground, anything can happen. I feel like from a speed standpoint we should be in the top-10 or 15 if we can do everything right. But, that’s the key – we have to execute. You have to do everything right in these Cup Series races. I think the big thing for us will be figuring out the balance between drag and downforce. That was our biggest issue in the spring at Vegas. Hopefully we can hit all those variables right and have a good day.”
You’ve only got a handful of races left in your rookie season. Are you looking forward to the offseason, or are you sad to see it end?
“It’s coming quickly. It’s crazy to think we’re almost done. It feels like the Daytona 500 was just last month. This season has been flying by and, in a way, it’s unfortunate but it’s exciting to see what the new car is going to bring. We’re getting back to what NASCAR used to be, in a way, with offseason testing and the preparation. It’ll be cool to experience that and start with a clean slate. This rookie year has been harder and harder to catch up to the veterans without practice. It’ll be kind of an even playing field and interesting to see who can figure out the new car the quickest. The people who do that will have a huge advantage at the start of the season.”