Monday, May 23

Ford Performance NASCAR: Daytona 500 Media Day Ryan Blaney & Joey Logano

RYAN BLANEY, No. 12 Menards/Peak Blue DEF Ford Mustang HAVE YOU EVER PLAYED GOLF THE SAME DAY THAT YOU QUALIFY FOR THE DAYTONA 500?  “Yeah, I think I played last year.  You’ve only got to make one lap tonight.  That will limber you up for tonight, for the hard work I’ve got to do at 8 o’clock tonight.”

 

ERIK JONES SAID YOU HADN’T REACHED OUT TO HIM.  IS THERE ANYTHING TO RESOLVE?  “No, I haven’t talked to Erik.  I don’t have anything to really talk to him about.  I’m over it.  It’s funny, he thought I was supposed to apologize after I got fenced, but two people are gonna think differently.  I haven’t talked to him, but I’m over it.  It’s in the past and we’ll move on from it.”

 

TOP OF THE SPEED CHART LAST NIGHT.  DOES IT MEAN ANYTHING BECAUSE OF THE SITUATION WITH LACK OF INVENTORY?  “It’s kind of hard to look at speeds in practice.  We just had a big draft in that second practice and put a big lap up there, but I kind of looked at how our car drove in that little pack we had with four cars and how it took a push, how it reacted to get to someone else’s bumper.  Single car speed, I would have liked to been a little bit quicker, but I’ve always kind of put a bigger emphasis on, ‘OK, how does my car handle in the draft?’  Can it take a big push because you’re gonna be getting bounced around out there all day.  I mean, if your car can’t take a push, and it’s unstable, no one is gonna want to push you if they see that, so we’ve always put a big emphasis on driveability of our race cars and I thought I had that last night.  I’ll get a better idea for that in the Duels, but to an extent you don’t want to go out there and wreck your 500 car in the Duels.  It’s a fine line of seeing what you’ve got and what you maybe need to work on, but not putting yourself in a bad spot.  I liked our car last night and we’ll see how it transfers over to tomorrow night.”

 

YOU WON THE LAST RACE AT DAYTONA BUT EXITED THE 500 ON LAP 14.  HOW DO YOU APPROACH THIS WEEK?  “Yeah, definitely very different results between the races here.  It was no fun watching the end of the 500 last year on my couch at home, but coming to these tracks you have to understand that sometimes you don’t control your own destiny and that’s just what it is here, or at Talladega or any other speedway.  The only thing that you can do is control the things that you and your team can control, and try to put yourself in the best spots to try to be there at the end of these things. So, you never know how it’s gonna go.  I never planned on getting wiped out on lap 14, but someone makes a mistake and you find yourself in the middle of someone’s mess and your day is done.  But then in the August race we missed two or three of the big wrecks and put ourselves in a spot to win the race, so you never know how it’s gonna go. You just try to do your best job and your team’s best job of staying in there all day and you hope to find yourself still running at the end of these things and you usually have a pretty good shot to win if you are still running towards the end of these races.”

 

DO YOU HAVE A BACKUP CAR THIS WEEKEND?  “We have a couple for the four of us.  It is a tough thing.  Our inventory is not very big currently – no one’s is.  It’s been difficult to get parts and pieces, honestly, for the teams to kind of put full things together.  We used to come down here with one or two backups for each team just in case things happened and now we’re sitting on a couple for your whole organization, so that’s been difficult.  You have to have that in the back of your head.  From practice last night, ‘OK, how hard do I push my teammate to see what my car will do and what his car will do without possibly wrecking him?’  And the Duels tomorrow night it’s gonna be the same thing.  I feel like guys are gonna be pretty smart on how they race, you would hope so because everyone is kind of sitting in the same boat.  But, at the same time, you have teams that need to get in the 500 too that are gonna be racing pretty hard at the end of the Duels to try to get in, so you just have to be aware and observant, but you don’t ever want to wreck your 500 car, let alone when we don’t have many things to spare.”

 

HOW MANY TIMES HAS ‘AT THE PUMP’ BEEN YELLED AT YOUR THE LAST TWO WEEKS?  “Yeah, more on social media.  Somebody yelled ‘at the pump’ yesterday from the fan walk above the garage, so maybe they saved at the pump.  I hope they did.  I know I am.  Are you?”

 

HOW WAS THE COMMERCIAL PITCHED TO YOU AND WHAT MAKES YOU AGREE TO AN IDEA?  “I thought that was a great idea and a great partnership between Advance Auto Parts and Shell and Pennzoil to kind of come up with that.  I mean, you have all these amazing partners that are a part of your organization and why not combine them to have these promotional things and promote not only their brands, but the team as well and yourself and help other people save money.  That was a great idea because I loved the tie-in it had between Advance and Shell, and, honestly, if a sponsor comes to me with an idea on how to have a commercial or a spot or a social media thing on how to promote their company, I’m gonna be all for it because I love that they support me, so I’m gonna support them when I can as well.  I don’t really say no if a partner has an idea on a spot they want, but I always just try to help them out as much because on the back end they help us out so much, and it’s not taking too much time out of my day to go film a little something for their company, but that was a good spot.  That was one of the better ones I did, the Advance and Shell.  That was a pretty funny one and it’s a cool promotion they’re doing.”

 

DO YOU CONSIDER YOURSELF TO BE A RACE FAVORITE WHEN YOU COME TO THE 500?  “I don’t really ever think, and I don’t sit around and be like, ‘Man, I’m a race favorite.’  But, you have confidence in yourself.  It builds confidence when you are successful at speedways.  We won the August race here, so you build confidence and I think I have a decent idea of what to do to try to get to victory lane here, so I don’t know.  I think a lot of people can be favorites.  I mean, a lot of teams and drivers that have great opportunities to win this race, so, like I said, I just think you’ve got to do the things you can to the best of your ability and try to put yourself in a really good spot.  You always see the same people usually up front at the end of these things.  Denny has done a great job and he’s won three of these things and Joey’s a great plate race, Brad, you always kind of see the same guys up at the front at the end of these things, if they make it, and that’s for a reason – it’s because they’re really smart at what they do and they kind of understand it.  I’ve learned a lot from Joey and Brad and I try to apply it and it’s worked out for us a little bit, but it’s nice they say I’m a race favorite, but you’ve just got to make it to the end and anyone can be.”

 

HOW CONFIDENT ARE YOU WITH JONATHAN BEING YOUR CREW CHIEF NOW?  “It’s been going really good.  Jonathan has been part of the Penske group for a long time and I was really excited to see him get a crew chief role with the 21 the summer of last year, and he did a great job.  At that time, I knew Todd was retiring and kind of started figuring who we wanted and luckily it worked out that Jonathan wanted to do it and we get along really well.  He and Todd have kind of the same demeanor and personality and he and I have the same pretty much personality, too.  It’s been nice to get some testing in with Jonathan in the offseason to just kind of learn each other and talk to each other on the radio and see how we both go about things.  That just gives you such a better jump start to the season, but I’m looking forward to working with him.  He’s very smart and well deserving and I’m lucky to have him.”

 

HOW DO YOU FEEL BUBBA HAS HANDLED EVERYTHING THE LAST COUPLE OF YEARS AND DO YOU THINK IT WOULD BE FATIGUING TO BE IN HIS POSITION?  “I think he’s handled it great.  I’ve been very proud of the job that he’s done, whether it’s standing up for himself or standing up for the sport.  When that deal happened a couple of years ago, the stand that he took behind it and not shying away from it, I think he faced it head-on, which was the right thing to do in my opinion.  I look at his schedule and the things he does, I’d be exhausted if I was him.  He’s off doing all these kinds of things that are fun for him, but I would be exhausted.  He does so many things, but it’s really great and it’s grown the sport to a new level.  Yes, it has to be exhausting on him, but I’m proud of the job he has done of not just rolling over on these things and wanting to do them.  He’s embraced them and been wanting to do these things because it not only helps him, but it helps the sport and it helps everyone around it.  It’s been cool to watch that kind of grow.”

 

HOW DOES IT FEEL TO WIN A RACE LIKE ATLANTA WHERE YOU WEREN’T EXPECTED TO?  IS THERE SOME SPECIAL SATISFACTION IN DOING THAT?  “Yeah, it is, especially when I re-watch the race and heard how much everyone was writing us off, like Gordon and Bowyer, so, yeah, it made me feel a lot better to win that race after I re-watched the commentary, but that race is special because Atlanta was such a hard racetrack.  You put in so much work there and 500 miles is a long time around that place and you’re driving your tail off.  In that case, we were second-best car most of the day and we just kept working on it and working on it and getting it a little better and a little better.  We had a long run at the end and we saved our stuff and was able to go up and pass the 5 car.  It does make it better when you continuously work on your car all day and just get a little bit better and able to run the dominant car of the day down on a long green flag run and pass him.  I don’t know about a thief in the night, but I guess you could call it that.  I don’t think we stole one, we just did a good job of working our way up to compete with the best car and we were the best car when it counted.”

 

WAS YESTERDAY’S PRACTICE BY DESIGN IN TERMS OF DRAFTING THE WAY YOU GUYS DID?  “Really, our plan was to just go out there with our four cars and go draft, and then we got to see what our cars were capable of.  Can you connect?  Can you push?  What do you have to do to lay back to get to the lead car to push him?  So, I think you have to learn all those things.  You have to understand that stuff in those moments to kind of see what you have to work on or just what your car can do, and it is different from the Gen 6 car.  It might look similar on TV or watching it, but in the draft it feels way different.  The lead car feels a lot different.  It feels like you’re draggier.  It’s harder to block runs.  Your timing is off.  I say that as your timing is gonna be off from the driver and the spotter perspective of when you have to move up to get in a lane and block a lane.  I feel like the runs come faster with this car than the previous car, so you have to make those decisions quicker than you would, and I feel like it’s gonna take drivers and spotters a little bit of time to get used to that.  You have to understand that the rear bumpers of these cars have a lot more curve in them.  They’re not nearly as flat as our other cars.  You see the Gen 6 car take huge shots in the rear bumper to get a lane going.  You’re not gonna be able to do that in this car.  If you do, you’re gonna wreck somebody, so that’s gonna be interesting to see how people approach that on making late blocks and not being able to take a shot in the bumper as hard as before, and these cars are gonna get turned to the right easier.  Learning all that stuff is really important and we’ve learned that in the test and some practices and you’ll learn it in the Duels and the 500, but it is a good bit different and takes everyone a little while to kind of get comfortable and just understand what the limits are.”

 

WHAT DID YOU THINK OF WINNIE HARLOW WEARING YOUR SHIRT TO THE SUPER BOWL?  “A friend of mine sent that to me and that was pretty cool.  I thought she kind of made it her own – crop top, tank top kind of thing.  I don’t think she knows who I am, she just liked the colors of the PPG shirt, so I can’t blame her.  It’s cool colors, but that was neat.  It’s one of those things that you see someone wearing it, whether it’s an athlete or celebrity and they wear your stuff.  It’s like, ‘That’s cool.’  It’s just something you never know.  There was an Alabama basketball player that was wearing my shirt in warm ups the other day.  That’s so cool.  Like you would never think that someone would maybe be a fan of you or just like your shirt and wear your shirt, but it’s still cool to see and makes you feel good because it’s like you would never think that they would care about it, but you turn around and you see them wearing that stuff and it makes you feel good as a driver.”

 

HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THE RACE CAR BEING PRETTY WELL STOCK AND THE FLEXIBILITY IT GIVES YOU?  “I have mixed feelings about that, just as far as the mass production of these parts and pieces that all these teams are required to run.  I say that from a perspective of someone who has seen the amazing work that the engineers that we have at Penske, who build these parts that we used to manufacture ourselves in-house, incredible designs that they come up of lighter pieces, different way it bolts on.  We had a whole department of people doing that, that were incredibly talented men and women, and then we go machine shop it in-house and run it, and that’s gone.  All the talent of those people, that’s a big part that isn’t used anymore.  But on the other side of it, you’ll have smaller teams that don’t have that resource that will be running the same thing that the bigger teams run, and make them closer, but that’s good for the sport.  It’s a weird mixture of emotions that I feel on that side, of talented people not being able to do their jobs anymore like they used to be able to, but at the same time it seems like it helps the sport as far as smaller teams being able to run what the bigger teams run.  It’s just a matter of getting all those parts and pieces from whoever is making them in time.”



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JOEY LOGANO, No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford Mustang THE FORDS WERE PRETTY AGGRESSIVE IN PRACTICE YESTERDAY. WHAT DID YOU LEARN? AND HOW DO THESE CARS REACT DIFFERENTLY WITH THE CURVED BACK BUMPER? “Blaney is 100% right. That was something that we went out there and tried to mess around and see what we can and can’t do and what the balance of the car is like when we get pushed and how we can improve that. The round bumpers is probably the biggest difference with this thing. Obviously, the air around the cars and how you draft is very different but the round bumpers - I don't know why we put round bumpers on a race car but we did. It is like pushing two marbles against each other. You don't know which way it is going to go. It really can upset the cars. My thought is that at the end of this thing when everyone starts pushing each other like normal and nobody lifts and is shoving each other through the next car, those round bumpers are going to send the car to the left or the right pretty big and probably door the next car and cause a big crash. That is going to be in our minds. We are trying to understand that and trying to get our cars to accept a push as best as possible so that we can work on that. Really the whole industry probably can. That will definitely be a lot different and that will change things up as much as a lot of other things will. There are still plenty of other questions we have, whether it is pit stops and strategy or mileage and how the draft works in general without thinking of the pushing part. Lots of questions still.”

 

WITH SPORTS GAMBLING BECOMING SO PREVALENT, THE VEGAS ODDS ON YOU GUYS ARE AT THE FOREFRONT WITH FANS. YOU ARE A 12 TO 1 FAVORITE TO WIN THIS RACE. DOES THAT PLAY INTO ANYTHING WHEN YOU ARE INTERACTING WITH YOUR FANS AND WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THESE NEW PARTNERSHIPS THAT WERE ONCE TABOO? “I can’t honestly say I have been submersed into it on knowing all the things about it. I did the thing for our industry and know that I don't touch any of it. That is the one thing I do know. I do believe whether it is fantasy sports or sports betting, it is good for sports. It puts some skin in the game and makes you want to watch for a different reason. You look at football, there are a lot of people who watch football games that don't even cheer for that team but they have that player lined up that day and it gives them something that tunes them into it. Where our sport has the ability to do the same thing and give someone a vested interest into what is going on out on the track. I think it is great and super healthy for our sport to have those avenues to try to accomplish those goals. That is a good step for us. I think there are so many good steps that are happening right now in our sport and so much momentum in our sport right now. It is great. Look what we did last week. We proved we can race in the city. We can race in a stadium. I never thought we could do that but it is great. We can go to the fans. That is a huge win. Having 70% new fans at the racetrack last week and having a sellout here for the 500, we have so much momentum behind us and so many great things going on in our sport right now coming out of COVID here and everything we have done is really starting to really show up and starting to reap those rewards.”

 

WILL THE CLASH CREATE MOMENTUM FOR FONTANA AND THAT MARKET? AND HOW DO YOU THINK THIS CAR WILL REACT TO A TRACK THAT IS WORN OUT AND BUMPY? “I would definitely think that the Clash had to have generated some kind of hype in the LA market. There were a lot of new fans there and you might have had some that were already planning to go to Fontana that didn’t go to LA but maybe some new fans loved the Coliseum so much that they feel they have to go see another one of these things and it is right up the road. I gotta think it is gonna help. I don't see any way it can hurt. It should be good. I look at the Fontana market and the camping is what always stands out to me when we race there. Everyone is on bikes and it is very family-oriented out there. It is really cool. I think that is probably a different crowd than what was at LA but I think that all kind of plays together which will be great. How the Next Gen cars will be there, I don't know. We won’t know until we get there and we will have 15-minutes to figure it out. We don't really have any time. There is no time, by the way. We will have to kind of figure it out as we are racing out there. Where the track goes, top or bottom, it still should be pretty open to moving around the race track. I don't see that part changing. Having the independent rear suspension may absorb some of the bumps a little smoother and those types of things that we have seen so far.”

 

CONSIDERING THE INVENTORY ISSUES AND WHERE YOU FINISH IN THE DUEL RACES DOESN'T MEAN A WHOLE LOT, DO YOU EXPECT GUYS TO SHOW THEIR FULL HAND OR WILL THAT NOT COME UNTIL SUNDAY? “I can’t speak for the whole field on what they are thinking but I don't see myself racing any different in the Duel than I will in the 500. I am planning to go race. I think as soon as you get scared of crashing and those type of things you are never going to win. So, I am going to go race and if we crash, so be it, we will figure it out. I feel like going out there to race to win and try to get those points. There are still points out there to try to get. It is one step at a time. The Duels are typically a little more tame and it is usually not that crazy. But there have been crashes in them before and I think with the new car there could -- like we said with the round bumper it could cause more crashes. At the same time you may have some drivers and teams that are telling them to chill out because we don't have a whole bunch of inventory. I don't really know exactly how the Duels are going to look. All I can control is what I am going to do.”

 

HOW DO YOU THINK THE SPORT CAN CAPITALIZE ON THE MOMENTUM AND CONTINUE TO MOVE FORWARD? “Obviously there have been a lot of changes, great changes, and I think that is due to a lot of different things. You guys can imagine where that all comes from. I think the way the teams are working with NASCAR and the owners and their group and the driver alliance group can help a lot with some of the stuff moving forward as well. I think change is probably the biggest thing. If you sit still, you get passed. It is like that on the race track and in life. If you get comfortable because it worked in the past, someone is figuring out how to get better. On top of that, society is just changing and everything is moving along and technology changes and if you don't try to keep up with it you get old and slow. We can’t let that happen. We have to keep moving forward and finding the next thing. I think we have done that over the last few years. Honestly, since COVID started. We were the first sport back. That was a huge risk but a huge reward. It world well and we changed a lot of things because of it. We didn’t know we could race without practice. We didn’t know we can race with less people. We didn’t know all these things we can do and now we take what we learned there and now we add the people back, finally, which is my favorite part. Having a sold out grandstands and we try different things. We have this whole new car that lord knows what that will bring for us with what we can do with that and having an open mind there. I think honestly that NASCAR has done a great job at recognizing weaknesses and doing something about it. The whole industry has really jumped on board with that. Like I said earlier, now we are finally reaping the rewards of a lot of the work that happened behind the doors during COVID and now you see it all coming back and doing good. Like you said, one of the biggest things is going to new venues. We saw what Road America was, what Nashville was, whas COTA was, what the Coliseum was. There was so much hype around the unknown and bringing the race to the race fans. We are going to them now and that is pretty special. We have to keep doing that.”

 

HOW DO YOU COUNTERBALANCE THE NEW CAR WITH THE FACT THAT IT MAY HINDER YOU BECAUSE PENSKE RACING WAS SEEMINGLY ALWAYS ABLE TO COME UP WITH A WAY TO MAKE A BETTER PART OF THE CARS? “That is a great question. Yeah, it definitely is different. There are probably pros and cons to that. The question I would ask back was did any of that make the racing better? Did it make the product on the race track better? Probably not. The average race fan probably doesn't care that much about how we build the race car, they just want to watch a good race. That is the kind of race fan I am. I just want to see cars running side by side and racing. I don't care how you get there. Don't tell me how you built the clock, just tell me the time. That is what this kind of is. As much as all of the parts are the same now and you can buy the same parts as Roger Penske does, that part feels a little different because it isn’t just the fact it is Roger Penske it is the fact he has been in the sport 50 years and someone can come in as a new team and compete against somebody like that. But the people and the infrastructure is something that will set us apart. People win races, not parts. The way you put these cars together there is still a lot of adjustment in it. I even look at the Clash last week. We were 26th on the board in practice and we made adjustments and became the fastest car. There is a lot to how you put these things together still that will make an adjustment. There is still a lot of garage racing or whatever you want to call it. Behind closed doors racing as you develop these cars. There is no doubt that the field will be closer than it was in the past.”

 

ARE YOUR WIFE AND NEW BABY TRAVELING WITH YOU THIS WEEK? “No, they stayed back. I took little man with me, Hudson, he is my big man now. He came along with me to try to help momma out. It has been an adjustment for us. We are doing good. Going from two to three is a change but I felt like going from one to two was a big change. We are trying to get our heads wrapped around it. It hasn’t even been a week yet so give us a chance. Everything went great. It was a pretty special 36 hours when you think about winning the Clash and then coming home and going to the hospital Monday night and then Tuesday morning we have our first little girl. It is a pretty special few hours. An exhausting few hours but pretty special and fun. I thought everything was going to go wrong. I thought I was going to go to LA and she would have the baby Sunday morning and I would miss that or if I tried to go home I would miss the race and the baby. All those things were going through my mind but everything went perfectly as planned. God has a way so it was pretty special.”

 

AS NOW THE SENIOR ON TRACK MEMBER OF TEAM PENSKE, DO YOU FEEL LIKE THAT HAS ADDED AN EXTRA WEIGHT TO YOUR SHOULDERS? “I don't know that it has added any extra weight but it has helped me prioritize time in different ways. I have this whole motto this year to do less better. It is just something that came to my mind. Try to do less things but do better at the things you do and try to prioritize my time better. Part of that is being a better leader at Team Penske and taking that ball and running with it. That is a piece of it. Blaney has stepped up a lot already too. Nothing against our two other teammates in Austin and Harrison but they are rookies and are new to it and we have to help get them going so that we can really share information back and forth, not just one way. That takes time. It took time for me as a rookie to get my head wrapped around things and it took time for Blaney. It takes time for everyone to understand how things work and why we want to do certain things a certain way. I think they both have a great talent and are willing to put the work in. Austin works really hard. He was in the garage last night until 10 o’clock. He is willing to put the time in. Harrison is an amazing listener and his ears are open. Jeff has done a good job with him for sure. I always say you have to be patient with rookies. It isn’t fair to have huge expectations. I have been through it. It is not fair. It takes too long. I think we can really help them along with their progression quicker and ultimately make Team Penske stronger and eventually be able to learn from them. That is what I want. I want a teammate that will push me and I can learn from and they will get there for sure.”

 

YOU, KURT BUSCH AND DENNY HAMLIN WERE PARTICULARLY RACEY DURING THE TEST IN JANUARY. WHAT DID YOU LEARN? ARE YOU CONFIDENT THAT IT IS TRANSLATING TO WHAT YOU ARE SEEING THIS WEEK? “I think so. We didn’t really draft a whole bunch yesterday. That was the biggest pack and most aggressive racing we have seen with the Next Gen car on a superspeedway, Daytona particularly. I assume a lot of that stuff will transfer over into the Duel but that was us trying to figure out what we can do with this thing. A lot of the moves we used to pull off it was like, ‘Nope, that ain’t it!’ You have to adjust and try something different. We were having fun out there. There were a few close calls especially during the test on the first day of the test. But that is just - that is what happens when you put racers in what we thought was a race that paid nothing at all. You put more than one car on the race track and it becomes a race and we started going at it. I kinda thought it was funny. There were moments in my mind I was saying, ‘What are we doing? Why are we doing this?’ but you can’t get yourself to stop. You want to win it. I won that one by the way.”

 

FEW PEOPLE HAVE EVER WON THE DAYTONA 500 AND EVEN FEWER HAVE WON IT MULTIPLE TIMES. WHAT WOULD IT BE LIKE FOR YOU TO WIN IT AGAIN? “It would mean a lot. I don't really know how to answer that. It is the Daytona 500. It is everything. You come down here and it is a sold-out grandstand and everyone is here. So many key decision-makers are here. You want to be the one hoisting the Harley J Earl and when you don't it hurts. It hurts a lot. It feels special to win it for sure. Being so close the last few years and ending up in a ball of fire at the end of it hurts. Hopefully, we can get past that point and be in victory lane again this time. Like you said, we are fast, we have been close. We have been making the right moves and doing the right things, it just hasn’t quite worked out yet.”

 

HOW MANY TIMES HAS ‘AT THE PUMP’ BEEN YELLED AT YOU THE LAST TWO WEEKS? “Quite a bit. That is a great partnership with Shell Fuel Rewards and they do a lot of great things and we have done a lot of great partnership whether it is with Advance Auto or Planet Fitness. It is a huge piece to our business to get the B2B relationships and getting businesses to work with others. That is a big piece for race teams that we do. Nobody does it better than Roger Penske because of his businesses outside of it. Everyone can really work together. YOu think about the amount of trucks that Penske Truck Leasing has and the hundred other companies that guy has got. Everyone can work together really well and Fuel Rewards fits right into that and everyone kind of fits there. It is a great partnership and pretty cool to see it. I went to Advance the other day and my picture was everywhere. It was kind of funny. Think about walking into a store and your picture is there and then the person working behind the desk is looking at you trying to put it all together. It was funny.”

 

HOW HAS THE DYNAMIC BETWEEN THE COMPANIES THAT SPONSOR YOU AND WHERE AND WHEN THEY WANT TO UTILIZE YOU AWAY FROM THE RACE TRACK IN THEIR MARKETING AND COMMERCIALS CHANGED OVER YOUR TIME IN THE SERIES? “The industry has changed a lot from when I first started and was with Home Depot and we did national spots. There were a lot of them. I think a lot of businesses have realized since then that social media has become a thing. Social media wasn’t anything when I started. There wasn’t Twitter or Instagram or TikTok or keep going, there are a million of them. There wasn’t those platforms to advertise on. Now, it has changed the landscape of media too for you guys and how people consume what we are talking about here today. So it is definitely been an adjustment. Part of that is why we started Clutch Studios in Charlotte. We saw the opportunity here to do different types of shoots. I would say I probably do more shoots now than I used to, they are just different scale and different things we are doing with them. It has definitely changed. There are not as many national spots but there are far more videos for social media that people want to grow their following, whether it is a driver or team or the sponsors trying to get their initiatives out. It has changed a lot in that way. To the point of keeping up with the times or you will get slow and old, you have to keep finding the next thing and social media changed the game for everybody.”

 

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