I HAVE TO KICK IT OFF LIGHTHEARTED AND ASK YOU ABOUT SRX AND JOEY LOGANO JUMPING ON THE RADIO DURING THE BROADCAST. WHAT WENT THROUGH YOUR HEAD THE MOMENT YOU HEARD HIS VOICE?
“What the hell (laughs).. that was probably the first thing. But after that, I don’t even remember what he asked me – but we were kind of in a little cat-and-mouse game, I guess that’s what he brought up with Brad (Keselowski) and just kind of trying to figure out how hard to push and what to do at that point in the race knowing there were still a couple cautions coming. You just kind of try to take care of your stuff and pace yourself. And then that’s right when Helio was on the bout to go to the front and take the lead. He nudged me and got by me, so thankfully Joey (Logano) was on my radio, so it was his fault that I lost the spot. But we were able to make it back up later. I wish he would have come back on the radio later when I was on some of those restarts. He could have spotted for me, that would have been good.”
HE ACTUALLY SAID ON THE BROADCAST WITH TWO-TO-GO - HE THOUGHT ABOUT JUMPING BACK ON YOUR RADIO, BUT FIGURED THAT WAS A BAD TIME TO DO IT. ARE YOU GOING TO INVITE HIM BACK TO BE A SPOTTER ANYTIME SOON?
“Yeah, it was fine – I mean it doesn’t matter if it’s him, or Kevin or Connor, whoever else they have up in the booth there with SRX. It’s always just kind of lighthearted, so it’s fun. It’s kind of neat that they do that. There’s no money on the line, there’s no points on the line.. none of that stuff, so obviously it’s not quite as serious as our Sunday job.”
HEADING DOWN THE LAST TWO RACES AND SURVEYING THE LANDSCAPE, WHAT DO YOU THINK THE FUTURE OF WHAT SRX IS DOING WILL LOOK LIKE? WHAT WOULD YOU CHANGE, WHAT DO YOU REALLY LIKE, STUFF LIKE THAT?
“Honestly, I feel like they’ve got a pretty good program on what they’re doing. I know it’s really tough on the guys and the girls who work behind the scenes and do all the stuff with preparing the cars, working on the cars. Fortunately Berlin was a decent race – about the only work they really have to do is clean out the burnout rubber from my car this week. There’s 12 cars, you could probably do 16, at least. It would be cool to see more cars. It think that it’s OK when you have some calamity and some crashes and stuff like that, as long as everybody is keeping safe. (David) Stremme had a throttle stick in one of the test cars the other day and he wailed the wall and he was okay. (Tony) Kanan destroyed the fence too at Stafford. So, the cars do have some good safety aspects to them, which is nice. We are at short tracks, so its not going 180 miles an hour, you know? We are going 100 to 120 maybe. Its just cool that they have all the short tracks that they go to and there are a lot of great short tracks across the country that would be really fun to watch those cars go around at. You know, Richmond might actually be too big of a racetrack to go to for those cars. You could put on a race there but I believe it would be too big of a speedway. The short track, half mile and under are a really good place for them.”
REGARDING WHAT TO DO TO THE NEXT GEN CAR TO OPEN IT UP AND CREATE A LITTLE BIT OF A SPEED DESPARITY
“I don’t know. The biggest thing for me that I feel like is a hindrance to the car in traffic and all that kind of stuff is the under body. They wanted a flat sheet across the bottom so it’s the same for everybody that they don’t have to police, but honestly, I think that is our biggest detriment with this car. We all talk about over body, under body, aero and this and that for years. Tens of years. And we all thought the under body aero was the way to go, but honestly, we have gone backwards. It’s worse in traffic. So, I feel like that stems from that and to get rid of that and just have over body and what all we do there. The cars are all the same and you buy them from the same supplier and everything else, so they are homologated basically. They have a scanning device that scans the floors, so why don’t we just scan the bottom of the cars without a pan. And all the rough surfaces and everything else under the bottom of the car. But that is kind of my thing, and I don’t know if that makes any more discrepancy between the field on speed. I think that is just a traffic thing in my opinion.”
YOU GUYS MOVED BREXTON UP A DIVISON. WAS IT TIME TO CHALLENGE HIM?
“So, the Midwest Swing, that is what we call it, and that is what we are on. When we go to some of these places, as competitive as Millbridge is….Millbridge is cadet class is basically their beginner box class, anywhere else. So, last year we ran the beginner box class and we won at Wisconsin, and we should have won at Iowa, but we go put on burn with two to go. So, I figured this year, you know, if he wants to kind of step up and move up to the older kids’ class and run with the older kids. Because that is more so his grouping of talent with the other kids in the Midwest. I don’t know if they just don’t race as much or what, but the competition at Millbridge is the highest anywhere. If you can win at Millbridge, you can win anywhere. I have had multiple dads tell me that and it’s true. So, I feel like the best kids in the country are there, so when we go out of town, we will bump up a class.”
HOW IMPORTANT IS IT TO GET THROUGH TURNS ONE AT INDY AND TURN ONE AT WATKINS GLEN SO YOU DON’T SCREW UP YOUR WHOLE LAP?
“Yeah, talking about cars being close and similar and hard to pass and all that…..that’s your time to make up time on the restarts. Right then and there. Once you get through the first three or four corners, its over. So, that is why you see so many aggressive moves, dive bombs, and all that stuff on restarts, is to make up. If you can get two spots right now, then that is two spots that you are better than you were. So, for Indy, I bet I missed it in the drivers meeting here at 10 O’clock this morning, I was still sleeping, so trying to catch up from a long week, but where the restart zone is and stuff like that to try to get us a little bit singled out. I felt like the restarts at Chicago were perfect. I thought that was a really good idea. We had an acceleration zone right before a corner and then we were single file so it all kind of kept us a little bit away from each other and it was good, clean racing. Once you could make up time on a guy and out brake a guy, you did that. It wasn’t just four wide down a straightaway funneling into a one lane corner.”
REGARDING THE TRUCK SERIES AND THE NEW TV PACKAGE HELPING THE SERIES
“No, I voiced my opinion on what I feel. But I don’t foresee it changing, so we will just see what happens down the road and what new TV deal there is and what that means. But I honestly don’t think it’s going to be a significant enough change to make a difference and we will see what we can do with our team going forward. We have my part time races, my five races next year and we have the rest of the truck still open for next year and figure out what we are going to do from that respect. But Purdy will be back, and Sanchez will be back, so we are pretty good with where we are at.”