How do you prepare for Sunday?
“As a human being you try and perform at 100 percent the entire time, but when you’re running a marathon you’re not going to be as strong in the last 30 minutes. That’s normal. Fatigue is setting in, your muscles are tired, you’re running out of fluid, and you’re hungry. Racing is the same way, especially in the Coca-Cola 600. We start running out of energy and you’re mind gets tired after four hours of racing. But I look to this race as a marathon and you have to be on top of your game for the last part of this race. So I always try to keep that in my mind when I’m in the car. This isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon.”
What hurts the most after the race?
“It’s a combination of things. Your neck is tired, your lower back is tired, legs are tired and you’re just fatigued. You definitely feel it the next morning after a 600-mile race. You feel like you worked out a lot the day before, and you did inside the car. Two-and-a-half of these 600-mile races and I could be home in Monterrey, Mexico. It’s crazy to think of it that way.”
Is it important to stay in shape?
“Working out is a lifestyle for me. I like to feel well and it helps me in the racecar, but it also helps me mentally. You lose a lot of weight in the racecar, and you have to be strong not only at the start of the race, but also at the end of the race. At the end of the day, you don’t win a race at the beginning when everyone is fresh, you win the race at the end when everyone is tired, and I feel like being in shape gives me that advantage at the end.”