THIS IS A TRACK YOU HAVE A LOT OF EXPERIENCE AT IN VARIOUS FORMS OF RACING. HOW MUCH OF THAT EXPERIENCE DO YOU BRING OVER TO THIS WEEKEND’S RACE?
“Every car you drive on tracks that you have been on feels different; other than being familiar with how to get to the track and how to get to my bus at the track that is really about it. I almost felt like coming from IndyCar the tracks that I drove an indy car on it was almost more confusing to drive a stock car because the line is different. You find different bumps out there. Sometimes it’s nice to come with a clean slate. It’s fine. I came here at the end of the year last year and raced the Cup race. I have some notes and some things to remember. This is the first race Tony Gibson and I worked together. We’ve got something to start with this weekend because we were here last year.”
WAS IT HARD NOT TO BE OVERLY EXCITED ABOUT LAST WEEK?
“I don’t know if I necessarily get overly excited about much. I was probably overly excited that I won playing golf last night, but that is because I didn’t expect to. Driving a race car I’m supposed to go fast and I’m supposed to have good results. It was a satisfying moment, but I think it’s a reminder that is what we work hard for and that even after Daytona and qualifying on the pole and running basically in the top three most of the day knowing that was one that we didn’t come away from too high either. We just know that we are going to have those days and we know that we are going to have days like (Las) Vegas where it’s just a very trying day. That’s what we work hard for. I think that is more of what we felt.”
CAN YOU COMPARE THE 1.5-MILE TRACK OF LAS VEGAS AND THIS TRACK? ANY COMPARISONS ANY DIFFERENCES THAT YOU HAVE NOTICED?
“Every track is a little bit unique, but mile and a half’s are mile and a half’s. Usually you can take set ups and move them across the board through a lot of them, generally, at least a platform direction from one track to the next. Even Fontana we are using the stuff we learned there too. Again, every track is a little bit unique. Also, the tires change from track to track. We don’t always get the same manufacturing processing compound. Everything is a little bit unique.”
HAVE YOU TALKED TO (BRIAN) VICKERS AT ALL SINCE LAST WEEK?
“No, but I talked to Kevin Harvick.”
WHAT DID HE (KEVIN HARVICK) SAY?
“I said thanks because it looked like he was giving me a hand there with someone that was a little upset. He was a little upset with him (Brain Vickers) too I think there were a lot of people upset with (Brain) Vickers after Martinsville. I don’t know. I haven’t raced with him very much so I’m getting on with my day. You saw what happened and like I was told by a couple of people I just got hit and I did. At least I only lost one spot.”
WHAT DOES A RACE LIKE LAST WEEK DO FOR YOU CONFIDENCE WISE, GROWTH WISE IN THE SPORT?
“I think it’s a nice reminder sometimes that I can drive a race car. Sometimes you get a little down on yourself and it’s those days that help bring it back. Like I was just saying it’s a nice reminder of what we work hard for and why we need to have a good attitude. Being at Martinsville for the first time, we all expected to have a tough weekend and nobody really new exactly what to expect. I think that it’s a good reminder that when you do kind of go in a little open minded and with a good attitude and knowing that if you just keep trying and take what comes and stay positive that good things can happen. I feel like it was just a nice reminder.”
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THIS YEAR AND LAST YEAR? LAST YEAR YOU ONLY RAN A HANDFUL OF CUP RACES, THIS YEAR YOU HAVE THE SAME GROUP OF PEOPLE THAT YOU WORK WITH WEEK IN AND WEEK OUT:
“I mean it just ends up feeling more comfortable. More comfortable with the car, more comfortable with everything that has to do with the Cup Series. I am adjusting to more work though. There is a lot more going on. You basically have over a month worth of extra work just because you are at the track one day. Then there is lots of testing, but for me as a rookie drive in the Cup Series that is a great thing. Definitely keeping me a lot more busy, but we’ve got all the 10 crew we have a really good relationship. We have a lot of fun and I’m really happy to be working with this group.”
IS THE BELT BUCKLE YOU ARE WEARING FROM (RICKY) STENHOUSE?
DO YOU KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT WHO MADE IT OR HOW IT CAME TOGETHER BECAUSE IT’S BEAUTIFUL:
“Thanks. This started at the beginning of last year when I said that… he (Ricky Stenhouse) wanted some Twitter followers. So I was like ‘well if I help you with that can I have a belt buckle?’ So that started at Daytona and so anyway he had it made. I got it just before the second Texas race last year. I wore it last year at the end of the year. It was very nice. I know these things they are handmade. They are not cheap and it’s really cool to have. It says ‘fastest girl in town’. That was a nice gift. He didn’t actually need to live up to that bet, but it was nice that he did.”
DO YOU HAVE THE MATCHING COWBOY BOOTS?
“I will be honest. This is what y’all show up for these answers. I put on the cowboy boots this morning because I got a new pair and the jeans are too short first off and you just can’t wear boots if the jeans are too short. They look really good, but man I kind of feel like I’m dressing up for the track. Being someone who likes to dress up you think that would be okay, but I felt weird walking through the garage with boots instead of tennis shoes. I’m going to wear them tomorrow though. Race day they are going to be my game day shoes. I’ve got to find some longer jeans and I’m going to wear them. I will be a little taller, but I will look the part.”