WHAT DO YOU GET IN RUNNING OTHER RACING SERIES?
“The difference is between real life situations and simulators is entirely different. The G Forces, the acceleration, the adrenaline of it and all that sort of stuff. So, for me, I have raced Super Late Models before and Micros now more recently with the dirt game and with Brexton in doing what he does. So, it’s just the enjoyable nature of being a race car driver and going out and running in various series and race cars and such. I just enjoy it overall. Does running a Micro give you anything toward running a Cup car? No, not really. But it does give you a sense of competition and getting out there and stacking yourself up against top talent.”
HOW MUCH CONCERN DO YOU HAVE OF WHAT THE 5 CAR LOOKED LIKE AFTER THAT WRECK LAST WEEK WITH THE PASSENGER SIDE DOOR BARS CAVED IN?
“Yeah, I am no scientist, but you see the concern with the severity of the damage on the right side of the 5. And you can only wonder, what if it was the left side? Right? So that is a huge issue, but the bigger matter is what created the damage, you know? And that is the other car didn’t sustain much damage. So, looking at the 41 and seeing some of the stuff on that car, it was a brick getting rammed into a stick of butter. You know? It’s just going to smash it if it’s built too stiff.”
BIG WIN FOR YOUR SPONSOR MCLAREN GRILLS LAST WEEK, WITH THEIR WEBSITE CRASHING. WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THAT FROM YOUR PERSPECTIVE?
“That’s the KFB factor. No, that is what we are all hopeful for, right? You want to drive attention to the sponsors, and have the sponsors get that notoriety and getting people to check out their products and buy their products. Stuff like that. I can’t tell you the last time that I grilled on a charcoal grill, but I did on Saturday night at Talladega with my McLaren Custom Grill with the number eight on it, my signature on the lid, and all that stuff. So, we had some great steak and some hamburgers and stuff like that. So, it was a lot of fun to do that and to have them be a part of our weekend, our winning weekend in Talladega. It’s been 15 years since I was lucky, and you have to have those every once in a while. It was unfortunate that we didn’t get the luck that we needed in Daytona, but it was nice to have it last week.”
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE ENERGY AROUND THE FACILITY WITH THE WAY YOU GUYS HAVE BEEN ABLE TO HIT THE GROUND RIGHT AWAY?
“Yeah, I think moral is high. I think everybody from the Xfinity shop and the Cup shop has done a tremendous job. I think early in the season, Richard (Childress) was in victory lane four weeks in a row or something it seemed. Five weeks maybe. But it was nice to finally get a Cup Series speedway win for me and to have that be a part of RCR and their legacy and history at Talladega – was really cool. I know all the guys are pumped up, and the guys at the shop are excited. That’s two wins on the year so far and we are hoping for more obviously.”
WHAT IS THE DYNAMIC BETWEEN YOU AND AUSTIN (DILLON) AS FAR AS TEMMATES?
“We have obviously been in our team meetings every week and we continue to talk about our stuff and how we can get better. What things can we look for and try to do. I think a lot of that is going to come into play this weekend and next weekend so I am optimistic and hopeful that we will have some really strong runs at Dover and Kansas. I thought Austin did an awesome job with what we had at Martinsville, running 12th there, that was good. I think he was actually better than me at the Bristol dirt race, had a better long run car than I did. I could go on the short run, but not the long run. He got the finish he deserved, and I didn’t do a good enough job to get the finish that we needed out of that one. So, obviously we all have our ups and downs, and I would say that we have struggled at times for sure, you know, Martinsville being the worst. But that doesn’t mean that we don’t go to work and try and figure it out and make it better for both of us.”
REGARDING HOW YOU LOOK AT THE SAFETY OF THE CARS YOU AND YOUR SON GET INTO
“Yeah, you know, safety first, right? That is always my biggest thing is to make sure my seats are right, and they are mounted right and are in the position that I want them in. The seats that we buy for Brexton are safe and secure and good seats. Depending on what vehicle we are in, we will go to the lengths of lightening the seats and go to a point of where we feel comfortable. But like his Junior Sprints stuff, we don’t touch that, and leave that alone as is from the manufacturer. Safety is all our concern, all of our priority, and there have been so many advancements over the years. You are never going to trump natural occurrences, right? It’s just going to happen. I haven’t seen the (Alex) Bowman crash, but grateful that he will be okay. I remember Chase (Elliott) at the Chili Bowl, last year or the year before, he had a violent flip as well. So, he was okay after that. It’s just the nature of running those cars a lot of times. I stick to the Micro game, they are a little bit slower and shorter track. You hope that you end up okay, but there are injuries in that as well too.”
WAS THERE SOME LEVEL OF EXCITEMENT AFTER THE TALLADEGA WIN AFTER YOU GUYS WERE ABLE TO GET IT DONE THERE?
“Yeah, I mean, I think anytime you get a win that is obviously exciting. That is obviously what we all strive to do each and every week. I have been good a lot, and have won a lot of races, not at restrictor plate tracks. I have not had a lot of restrictor plate wins and lucky enough to get those wins. There are guys that are better at that style of racing than maybe me. But I still think it comes down to certain circumstances at the end, and where you are, and how it all works, and how it all happens. That is just the nature of that beast of restrictor plate racing. So, thankful to win, but isn’t a defining factor for our season.”
PRETTY FUNNY POST THIS WEEK BETWEEN YOU AND SAMANTHA. CAN YOU GIVE SOME KIND OF CONTEXT AS TO WHAT YOU WERE UP TO?
“Yeah, you must be talking about Celebrity Game Face. We were on that show with Kevin Hart and his wife and a couple of others, his buddies. So, we were just all playing games and stuff like that. So, just kind of unique, kind of fun. Just thanks to the network for allowing us to be on there and being part of that. That was really cool to have some face time with him. So yeah, check out our social….it was on E, so you got to go watch.”
CHASE PURDY HAS AS MANY TOP TENS THIS YEAR AS HE DID THE LAST TWO YEARS COMBINED WITH HIS OTHER TEAMS. HOW HAVE YOU SEEN HIM DEVELOP OVER THE FIRST THIRD OF THE YEAR?
“Yeah, I have been excited about that. With Chase, and Jack (Wood) and (Nick) Sanchez, they all had a shot to win Atlanta. They were all running up front in the top three, top four. It was really cool, and I was hoping we were going to get into victory lane, but unfortunately circumstances just didn’t work out there at the end on that last lap. Purdy has done a good job. He went to Vegas and was smooth and consistent and ran in the top 10. Texas was a little more of a struggle where he ran 10th to 12th, but finished 10th. Where Sanchez was dominating that race, leading that race. So, there are still some things we can work on to help those guys be better and get better. Top 10s are great, but being up front and contending for wins is what it’s all about and where he wants to be. I know he has been working hard at that. Him and Jimmy Villeneuve, they have built a good working relationship thus far. It’s exciting to see that as well as all the drivers and crew chiefs at our place. It’s going real well.”