YOU’VE HAD TWO WINS HERE AND ARE 11TH IN POINTS, HOW ARE YOU FEELING ABOUT THE WEEKEND AND HOPEFULLY GET ANOTHER WIN HERE?
“Yeah, Michigan has been real good or real bad. So, if you go by the law of averages I hope this time around is pretty good. We’ve had some speed in practice; we just haven’t translated that into the race conditions. This time around we hope we can parallel what we did at Pocono a couple weeks ago, which was to improve and find more comfort in the car.”
WITH THE NO. 42 BEING OPEN FOR SURE NOW DOES THAT CHANGE AS FAR AS THE PEOPLE THAT YOU’RE TALKING TO ABOUT NEXT YEAR? SHOULD WE COUNT YOU AS A CANDIDATE FOR THAT RIDE?
“It hasn’t changed anything, I’m good friends with Felix Sabates and I know Chip real well and the whole gang, Max Jones, Steve Lauletta. They came up with that decision not based off any of the talks that I’ve had with them but it is a potential opportunity that’s for sure.”
ARE YOU ANY CLOSER? HAVE YOU MADE PROGRESS WITH WHAT YOU ARE GOING TO DO NEXT YEAR OR HAVE YOU PUT ALL THAT ON THE BACKBURNER WHILE TRYING TO MAKE THE CHASE?
“Well, the focus is making the chase and we have four weeks to go and we’re in great position. It’s been neat to feel the energy from the team. We spent a week in Colorado meeting with Denver media and they’ve adopted us as like a fifth sports entity for that town. It’s been really neat. They talk Broncos. They talk Rockies. And now they’re talking us. So, it’s cool to have talks with Furniture Row about what we can do in 2014 and beyond. The Ganassi thing came up and other phone calls have happened. Nothing’s going to change. We’re just still really focused on the Chase and what we can do in these next four weeks together.”
ANY THOUGHTS ON THE TRACKS IN THE FOUR WEEKS BEFORE THE CHASE START?
“The next four weeks as far as the tracks, I’m really looking forward to Bristol of course. I’ve won it three times at Atlanta. Richmond we did really well there in the spring. So, I look at this one as the toughest out of the next four weeks. This week here at Michigan. If we get through this, then I think we’ve got a really good shot at things.”
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THROWING THE FIRST PITCH AT THE COLORADO ROCKIES THE OTHER DAY? YOU NAILED IT:
“It was fun. It was the first time I went into the stretch position for throwing out the first pitch. I checked the runner over there on first to liven it up a little bit. It was cool. The Rockies have whoever throws out the first pitch do an autograph session afterwards. So a lot of the fans were lined up. A lot of them said, “Good pitch.” And one guy that looked like a full on baseball guy says, ‘You know I’m going to have to call a walk on you. You looked at first base too long. You delayed on your throw.’ I thought that was hilarious to joke around with some of the fans about the first pitch. Yeah, it was a good throw. It was a strike.”
WE GO TO BRISTOL NEXT WEEK, HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT GOING THERE AND THE CHALLENGES WE GET AROUND THAT TRACK?
“You know it’s exciting to go to that track. Just as a fan and as a spectator. The team owners get excited, the drivers do. I love that place. It couldn’t come at a better time on the schedule for us.”
ELEVEN OF YOUR TOP-10’S HAVE COME AT THE NEXT FOUR TRACKS, DOES THAT GIVE YOU A LOT OF CONFIDENCE AND A BOOST GOING INTO THE LAST STRETCH RIGHT BEFORE THE CHASE?
“Yes and no. It’s all about what you’ve done lately and I haven’t been to Victory Lane in a long while. It’s good to have good tracks coming up. A) For consistency and B) For trying to break through and get a win. You always want your strong tracks to be when you need them.”