New Hampshire has treated you well over the years. A win in the Truck Series, a win in the K&N Series, a few top-10s in the Xfinity Series, and finishes of eighth and 14th in your first two Cup Series starts there. Is this a chance for the No. 41 team to build some momentum, especially coming off your best finish of the season?
“I think so. When we raced there the first time my rookie year, I had to take some time and figure out how the Cup car raced there. We came out with a top-10 and that definitely showed we were on the right track, so to speak, with our preparation and our setup. I think the NextGen car will do well there and I’m excited to go there after a pretty solid run last weekend at Atlanta. You always hope you’ll come out of every race with good momentum, and this weekend is as good a place as any for us to really show the work that’s being put in and try to keep the momentum going.”
After 19 races in the NextGen car, are you feeling more and more confident that you have it figured out?
“Everybody’s learned that the NextGen car is extremely edgy, especially when we go to one of those high-speed tracks like Atlanta. You’re on the edge of your seat every single lap. It’s close to out of control, and the second you get the car stepped out sideways, you’re hanging on for dear life. It’s a handful, for sure, but it’s made it challenging for the drivers. It’s done well on the road courses, and that makes me feel it should be well-suited to a flat, mile oval like New Hampshire.”
What do you think it will take to enable you and the team to run up front on a more consistent basis?
“It’s just the little things with this brand new car. There’s been a lot of learning this year trying to figure out what these cars really want, setup-wise, to run up front. I think we’re starting to dial that in a little bit more and more, and I think execution from there, if we can do that, we’ll be where we need to be.”