Transcripts: Richard Childress and Randall Burnett Media Conference – World Wide Rechnology Raceway

THE MODERATOR: We are now joined by our race-winning team owner, Richard Childress, team owner of Richard Childress Racing.

RICHARD CHILDRESS: It’s great to be back in the winner’s circle and come here and see all the great media folks that come here and help our sport be what it is today.

Q. You said over the radio after Kyle took the checkered flag, there’s no one I’d rather have in that position than you. What has he meant to the organization?

RICHARD CHILDRESS: Well, he’s helped us all around. Number one, he’s winning races, showing we can win races. He’s helped Austin a whole lot. Austin has had some really good runs. He had drove up to about 10th until the 2 car wrecked him in there on purpose, sort of a payback.

But you know, Kyle has been really — he’s such a pleasure to work with. Everybody says, man, how y’all going to get along. Same question they asked me about you and Dale won’t last six months. We lasted 20 years. I want to keep Kyle there, and hopefully we can end his career when he gets ready to.

Q. Was there any concern with your organization with brake rotors when it started to creep in there with a few of the cars? I think we had four broken rotors today?

RICHARD CHILDRESS: You’re talking about breaking rotors?

Q. Yeah, the brake rotors were breaking and there were four broken rotors today. Was there any concern among the RCR cars?

RICHARD CHILDRESS: Yeah, I was really concerned on the 3 because he’s really hard on the brakes. Kyle didn’t seem to use it that much, and Austin quit using his a whole lot there at the end. These long straightaways, they have so much time to cool off, and then you get them so hot in the corner — here comes Randall Burnett, the winning crew chief, from local boy from right here in Missouri, St. Louis.

I hope that answered your question.

Q. Mr. Childress, three wins in the first 15 races of the season. From your perspective when was the last time it felt like RCR was this dangerous, to be a winner on such a regular basis?

RICHARD CHILDRESS: You know, we won a lot with Harvick, won a lot with Earnhardt. Our plans is to win a lot with Kyle, and not only be a contender for that championship. If we make the Final Four, we’ll have a shot at winning it for sure.

Q. Richard, I know it’s been a short time, but was that the best race you’ve seen Kyle drive for you?

RICHARD CHILDRESS: You know, anytime he gets in the car, I think he drives a really great race. Anytime we can give him a car capable of winning, he’s going to win with it. I think he just did a great job today.

Those last three or four or however many it was restarts, I felt they were pretty tough, but I knew he would be able to do his job.

Q. For Randall, following up on the brake rotors, did you have any concerns, and is it just something that — red flags and not a lot of data on this track, makes that more challenging?

RANDALL BURNETT: I think people probably came back — I think teams last year came here a little more conservative last year not knowing, and I think we all took data from that and went home and looked. We get options on heavy-duty rotors or light-duty rotors, so we can choose that, and we can obviously choose how much cooling we run to them.

Like Richard said, it’s kind of a tough place because the straightaways are so long and you’re off the brakes for such a long time, and then you apply them really hard at the end of the straightaway, so the cycles of getting really cool down the straightaways and then really spiking up the heat, it takes a toll on the rotors.

We were fortunate enough with the 8 car, we were kind of in the top 5 most all day long, and when you get back further a little bit in the pack, too, and have to work your rotors harder, using brakes, racing people a lot harder, those things happen.

I’m sure everybody will take a look at that and try to understand what happened with those cars.

Q. Richard, 12 years ago this was the day when you and Kyle got into the physical altercation. Talk about how you’ve seen him grow and mature, kind of evolve in the sport, and now racing for you and putting you as probably one of the top teams to be the threat for the championship this year.

RICHARD CHILDRESS: Yeah, we put that totally behind us. We talked about it. That was one of the first things we talked about. That’s history. We’ve both grown a lot. I know I’ve grown up. I’ve grown older, but I’ve grown up, too. There’s an old song out there, I’m still growing up but I’m getting older.

Q. Randall, winning in your home track here in St. Louis, you being a St. Louisan, do you have any initial memories of being here at Gateway and all the tremendous improvements Gateway has made?

RANDALL BURNETT: Yeah, I was here, I was still in St. Louis, living here when this place — it used to be a road course here and part of the dragstrip was a road course, and I actually raced karts on that track a handful of times, and then they built this place, and I’d come watch INDYCARs when they would come, any events they would come here. So we always came over for that when I was a kid.

I was fortunate enough to run some shifter karts here on this track through the road course on the infield and then part of the big track.

It means a lot to me to come home. I moved away from here when I was about 20 years old and moved to Charlotte to do what I’m doing, to go race, and I did some driving down there and grew up racing go-karts here with my mom and my dad, off Telegraph Road at Woodman Raceway Park, the St. Louis Karting Association my father and some of them built down there for us to have a place to even go race.

To come home and win here, it means a lot. It’s a pretty big deal for me.

Q. Randall, can you look at just the first 14, 15 races and have an idea or a sense what the potential is for that team?

RANDALL BURNETT: I think we’ve got a lot of potential. I think we’ve got a lot to clean up, too, and we talk about it repeatedly. We’ve had some really fast cars and taken ourselves out of races with some mistakes and things like that, me and Kyle, and our whole group have talked about it, and we know we’ve all got to clean it up on our end, especially if we’re going to compete for the championship.

We are fast with this intermediate package. We’ve struggled really bad on the short tracks, haven’t got the feel for him of what he needs in a car on a short track yet, so that’s one of our biggest hindrances right now I would say as a team to be where we really want to be.

But really proud of this 8 bunch. They dig in hard. Great group of guys, great group of racers, and Kyle has fit right in with them. He’s done a great job of adapting over here and lent plenty of insight on his side to how to make things better, as well, so we’re all working together towards that.

RICHARD CHILDRESS: I want to say one other thing. Chevy has really supported us a lot, and I don’t think we could do what we do today without all the support — all the manufacturers support the teams, but I feel like Chevrolet gets behind us stronger than anybody else, all the three key partners.