Mike Rockenfeller Post-Race Thoughts: [NBC Interview]
“First and foremost, I have to thank Sunseeker and the whole team, LEGACY M.C., for the opportunity. I think I didn't do a great job on my end, we didn't have the best car, that's for sure, but we made small progress and learned a lot for next week. The big mistake was clearly my speeding in pit lane which shouldn't have happened. Leaving the pits I basically saw the lines and realized I should have gone at the other lines so that wasn't very good. So that was bad, and we got a drive through which cost us a lot of time. I think our pace was okay, but at the end I can only say sorry if I was holding up the No. 9 there a little bit. I tried not to, I know they were not very happy so I'm sorry for that. I will look into that. I did what the team asked me to do; go by the No. 47 to be the lucky dog if there was a yellow, which I did, and as soon as I did that, I let Chase go. I mean, I saw him in my mirror close, but again, I need to learn that, and that's the least thing I wanted to do was to hold him up from trying to win the race. Especially with my connection with Hendrick and the past we had. I can only say sorry, but in my opinion, I had good pace and it's not like I was holding him up. If he had been closer, I would have moved like I did for Michael.”
So, it sounds like some perspective for next week as you have another race in the car scheduled. You know how to race around the championship contenders a little bit more. How about the aggressive nature about racing in NASCAR, the fender-to-fender, a lot of knocking around out there?
"Well, you know, I knew that. Today, we didn't have many cautions, right? So I was focusing on my driving on the car; what it's doing, what we can improve, and what we need to work on. Didn't have many restarts to play and to learn, so probably more next week, but yeah, there is a lot of stuff that I have to work on with the team."
Lastly, I know these cars are very different, but you did run at Le Mans with the Hendrick folks, did that set you up a little bit better for what you did here today?
"Yeah, for sure, to work with Hendrick and be a part of that program was amazing. And definitely, it did help. It was a lot of work, right. But it was great to work with one of the best teams in the world. So for sure, it was great, and the plan was to take something out of it for myself as well as get better as a driver. And yeah, I hope I got better from that. I think today was not bad if you look at the pure race pace we had, so we need to work harder for next week."