The No. 14 team has struggled on the mile-and-a-half tracks this year, but last year you had a great performance in the Coca-Cola 600. With it being the longest race of the season, does that give the team time to make adjustments needed while still having a chance in the end?
“I’m trying to stay optimistic. The mile-and-a-half tracks have definitely been kind of a weak link for us, but I do feel like the last few weeks we have found some things that could help. And truthfully, last year we kind of struggled up until the Coca-Cola 600 and then we were good there. So, I’m trying to stay optimistic. I think it will be an uphill battle, but we can go there and hopefully compete. It’s a long enough race where anything can happen. So, hopefully, we can go there and have another run where we’re contending for the win.”
If you had the chance to run the 2022 Coca-Cola 600 again, would you do anything differently?
“I’d do some things differently. You know, I had (Kyle) Larson cleared with four or five laps to go and I didn’t take the spot. I probably could’ve been more aggressive there and maybe would’ve ended up winning the race.”
So, are you seeking redemption?
“Maybe a little bit. I definitely feel like it hurts a little more when you get that close and don’t pull it off. So, yeah, I think I’ll be looking for it.”
Every year we celebrate 600 Miles of Remembrance at the Coca-Cola 600 and you get to carry the name of a military hero on your car. How does it feel to see the added red, white and blue, and that name on the windshield as you go to climb in the car?
“Yeah, it’s always a really special event. A lot of the Gold Star families come out and it just gives you a little bit more motivation to perform well. I’ve always enjoyed getting to meet the families and hear more about the sacrifice that their family member made, get to know a little bit more about what they were like, and just get to know that person who’s name is riding along. It’s just always a really special day and something that I’ve always enjoyed being able to do.”