What are your expectations for Bristol dirt with the new NextGen car?
“I don’t know if it’ll honestly be that much different than the old car. It looked like they had a good test with the NextGen car with Stewart Friesen, and I think they changed the track a little bit to make it more racey, but overall it looked like it was pretty similar. I think we’ll just have to see when we get there.”
How different do you think it’ll be racing at night this year instead of the daytime?
“I think it’ll definitely make the racing better, make visibility better. Last year, you couldn’t even see a foot in front of you, at times, just because of all the dust and the sun and the glare and everything. So, from a driver’s standpoint, it’ll definitely help a lot and it’ll also hopefully help the racing by keeping more moisture in the track.”
Have you done anything special to prepare for this weekend’s race?
“I went out and tested a Dirt Late Model, and obviously it’s not going to be extremely similar. But just getting in the dirt and getting a feel for it again and kind of seeing how the track changes and everything, it’s good to get your feet wet again and get a jumpstart for the weekend.”
What do you think will be the key to running well on the dirt this weekend?
“I think it’s going to be important to get through your heat race good and kind of start your race off good because, if you start behind, it can definitely kind of throw you for a loop, and then you’re kind of fighting and maybe you do something that you don’t want to and you get yourself in a bad position. I think the heat race is important, and then it’s going to be a lot about attrition. I think just staying clean is going to be one of the biggest things, and not making mistakes and just being there at the end, because there are going to be a lot of guys who do make mistakes and it’s going to be a matter of limited mistakes. Last year, it was a lot to take in, being our first time on dirt there. And this weekend, we wipe the slate clean going back with the NextGen car.”
Who do you expect will do well this weekend?
“I think it’s going to be the guys who have raced a lot of dirt before, obviously guys like Kyle Larson and Ricky Stenhouse and Chase (Briscoe) – those guys are going to be good just because they’ve raced a lot of dirt before and at a high level. There are going to be some guys who are pavement racers who are going to get up there and race, but I think we’re going to try to make sure we cross the T’s and dot the I’s and hopefully not make any huge mistakes, and try to get as much speed out of our Jacob Construction Mustang as possible.”