DID YOU KNOW JASON LEFFLER AT ALL?
“Yeah, I did know Jason. I didn’t know Jason really well, but I definitely knew him on a ‘hello, how are you doing’ basis for sure. He was a really nice guy and saw him a lot in the Nationwide garage. Obviously it was really, I’ve been saying it for the last couple of days, it’s just really shocking stuff. It’s a lot of reality when someone that you know passes away racing cars. Really sad for obviously his son and his family. He will be missed that is for sure.”
HAPPY TO BE HERE?
“I don’t know. I think that each weekend has been different. Sometimes they go better than I expect and sometimes worse. I feel like in the last few weeks we have been a little bit better on speed and we just haven’t had results to show for it. I’m not really sure where we are at right now. I feel like we spent most of the practice session before qualifying here is try to get the splitter off the ground. Unfortunately we didn’t make a lot of handling changes. Hopefully we can get it to a good place for qualifying. Traffic is going to play a big role I’m sure here as it has at every other track we have gone to the faster the more difficult traffic is in these cars.”
IN LIGHT OF JASON’S DEATH DO YOU THINK MORE SAFETY PRECAUTIONS NEED TO BE MADE AT SOME OF THESE TRACKS?
“I have never raced on dirt. I have never raced midgets or sprint cars or anything like that. I can’t speak for what they do on the safety side of things. I know from my experience in all the divisions I have ever been in is that safety is really important and there is always work being done to make things safer. It is a reality check when something bad happens. At the end of the day too we all know as drivers and competitors in the sport that it is dangerous and that we are driving as fast as we can for a living. Unfortunately it is a dangerous sport.”
HOW HAS THIS TRACK CHANGED SINCE LAST YEAR? A LOT OF PEOPLE TALK ABOUT HOW IT HAS LIGHTENED UP IN COLOR WHAT DOES THAT TRANSLATE TO?
“Usually it lightens up in color and it loses some grip. I think that they were talking about that last weekend for Pocono and for sure when we got there for the test the week before Tony (Stewart) and Ryan (Newman) were surprised how much lighter it was. I don’t know if maybe in these colder areas that we are going they get snow and get much colder weather if they are aging quicker. I would imagine that is probably the case. Little bit less grip and we will be relying I’m sure on the Nationwide cars to rubber in a wider lane.”
WHAT IS YOUR STRENGTH ON THIS TRACK? WHAT IS THE CHALLENGE OF DRIVING ON THIS TRACK?
“I think it’s a momentum track and I feel like I come from a background of carrying a lot of momentum and using a lot of throttle. Being smooth and hopefully that is something that can help me here. At the end of the day it has to handle well. It has to feel good. It has to be a fast car. Here at this Cup level it’s very competitive and being a little off is being a lot off. I think that my strength is carrying momentum is something I’m used to doing.”
YOU ARE FOUR TIMES THE OTHER CELEBRITIES WHEN IT COMES TO SOCIAL MEDIA GETTING YOUR SPONSORSHIP OUT. TALK ABOUT THAT:
“It’s a little surprising, but at the end of the day I have always tried to be very authentic with my answers whether I’m standing here or what I talk about on social media, which for me is just Twitter. I have been very adamant to make it my own and do it myself. Also, at the same time my sponsor Tissot was the one who said that they would help sponsor my Twitter page and launch it. I was kind of one of the first ones that was getting the sponsors involved from a social media aspect on Twitter at least to my knowledge then. But, I’m doing it myself so I think that is all I can say about doing a good job for my sponsors is that I make sure that they know that I have to make it my own.
I SAW YOU WERE HANGING OUT IN YOUR PAJAMAS ALL DAY THE OTHER DAY ON TWITTER:
“I was, I made it until about 6:30 that night. It’s that kind of stuff that I do it myself and I let my sponsors know that is a platform that I have to be able to do it on my own. We can’t make it where people don’t want to follow me because it’s all advertisement. I talk about what I’m doing and if I’m at a GoDaddy photo shoot then I will talk about it and take a picture. That is how I do social media. It’s a big honor I guess to have my social media because I mean sponsors these days it’s crazy how important social media is for them and how it’s a huge selling point it’s what the kids are doing these days.”
LAST YEAR AT ROAD AMERICA YOU RAN PRETTY WELL ON THE ROAD COURSE. HEADED TO SONOMA HOW CONFIDENT ARE YOU THAT YOU WILL BE ABLE TO DO WELL?
“Every step up you take it another level of difficult and by all means in the Cup series there are a lot of good road course drivers. It’s going to be challenging. I don’t think it’s going to be one of those things where I’m going to go qualify in the first two rows and lead the race the whole time or at least I shouldn’t expect to be able to just do that right away. It’s still took a little bit for Tony Eury, Jr. and I to get a set-up that worked for me good on the road courses. My first trip to Montreal was very different than my second trip. It’s going to take a little bit of time, but it is a little bit of a comfort zone for me. I feel like I know what I’m doing and I feel comfortable. I talked to Ricky (Stenhouse, Jr.) about that and he was talking about how he just doesn’t feel like very unfamiliar out there and like he’s not sure where he is supposed to be at and what he is supposed to do. That is someone who has done pretty well at them. Stock car drivers just don’t get a lot of time on road courses and I’ve spent my whole career for the most part doing it. It’s nice to go to a place where I feel comfortable I suppose.”