Media Tour Notes and Quotes - Tuesday, Jan. 20
Monday evening, the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Lowe’s Motor Speedway headed to Richard Childress Racing in Welcome, N.C., for dinner.
Richard Childress Racing has expanded to field four NASCAR Sprint Cup teams in 2009 with drivers Kevin Harvick, Jeff Burton, Clint Bowyer and Casey Mears.
The evening started with an announcement from Pennzoil officials about the companies Clean Change Campaign, an initiative designed to raise awareness about the importance of properly disposing of used motor oil. Richard Childress Racing has pledged to do its part by continuing to properly dispose of its used motor oil, and the four Richard Childress Racing Sprint Cup Series drivers all agreed to do their part by being the first to sign the Clean Change pledge.
Kevin Harvick, No. 29 Shell/Pennzoil Chevrolet (ON SIGNING THE PLEDGE): "Caring for the environment is very important and everyone at Richard Childress Racing is proud to support the Clean Change Campaign. We want all race fans to be aware of this issue, and we look forward to working with Pennzoil on this important program.
"In honor of this initiative, Richard, Jeff, Clint, Casey and I are pleased to kick off the Clean Change Campaign by being the first to sign the 2009 pledge. We hope to gather more than 100,000 online pledges this season. When we hit this goal, we plan to auction off the signed pledge signage to help raise money for charity.”
(ON WHAT IT’S LIKE RETURNING TO DAYTONA SINCE HIS 2007 DAYTONA 500 WIN): “Last year was a downer just because our car ran so good all week and then it just ran like crap in the race. As we came home and figured things out, that helped us to ease the pain. We honestly felt as we were going into the race last year that the car could win the race and so that always stinks when you have something and it doesn't turn out like you think it should. For the most part, it's the Daytona 500 and everybody goes there and you have all this built up enthusiasm from the year but over the years you learn to kind of pace yourself and you know that the season is not built off of one week even though there is a lot of hype going into that one race.”
(ON NASCAR WORKING WITH TEAM OWNERS TO SAVE MONEY): “Last week we had a meeting at my shop [KHI], and [NASCAR] has been willing to participate in those types of things, and listen to the owners. I think they have been, mostly in the Truck and Nationwide Series, really been looking for ways to try and save everybody money and try to run a more efficient sport and for the most part I think they have been doing a good job. They stepped up this year and they said we know you're still going to do all of your little nit-picky testing things but you're not going to do it at our race tracks. I think that for the most part they are doing what they can. Sometimes when you try to back things up it winds up costing people more money than it did, so I think they are just trying to be careful about those kinds of things because the bottom line is that this is an economy that is tough. There's going to be some races where you are going to have tough ticket sales, but I think that the main thing is that everyone needs to adjust to the world. We're not adjusting to a downfall in our sport; we're adjusting to a downfall in the world. It's not just NASCAR - it's a lot of things. Everyone is pulling together from a manufacturer standpoint, we've seen them get back on their feet and really start to get things going again. Obviously it's still tough for them. From a team standpoint, I think it's something where every team in the garage, every organization has looked at how they can tighten their belts and how they can make things better and I think in the end you are going to have a lot more efficient companies. A lot of the fat is going to be gone and things in the end are going to be better.
“NASCAR has been a big part of making sure everyone can do it. NASCAR consistently talks to the teams and talks about how they can save money, how they can make us more competitive. And if there's a rule change coming they'll pull the crew chiefs in the garage and see if that would be good for that particular team.”
Jeff Burton, No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet (ON RCR BEING A CHAMPIONSHIP-CALIBER TEAM): “We’re proud of what we’ve done. But it’s also clear that it’s not enough. There is a bit of anxiety that we’ve done well, but it hasn’t been good enough. Is our good enough as good as it can be? We hope it’s not. We worked really hard to be better. We work hard every year to be better. I think for the most part, we have been better each year. It’s so competitive and it’s so hard to put it all together to win championships. There’s a bit of anxiety about how we take that next step. Until we do it, we don’t know that we can. I don’t want to say we’re nervous but we’re anxious about it. It’s time to get it done.”
“I think Richard [Childress] recognized three years ago that there was a hole that had to be filled. Richard is smart enough to know that you don’t fill that hole overnight that it’s going to take time. I think it weighs on Richard when we’re not competitive and it really bothers him. Richard is also realistic. Who would have walked in here three years ago and said, ‘you guys will be making chassis?’ You know, it didn’t look anything like that. Today, a lot of people are assuming that we’re going to be in the Chase. We don’t. We know that’s a lot of work ahead of us. That’s a big difference.
“Richard is a smart guy. He knew that wasn’t going to happen overnight. But there is time. You can’t always be building. There comes a time when the rubber meets the road and you have to put championships together, and we haven’t done that yet. So there is no question there is some anxiety about that.”
Casey Mears, No. 07 Jack Daniel’s Chevrolet (ON UNDERSTANDING THE COT): “This is what we have. It really is and that’s not in a bad way. Everybody has the same thing. We’re working hard with it. Everybody is narrowing in. I think at the start of last year and some of what Jeff [Burton] was staying up on stage early is very true. I think you saw a lot of guys running away with races, really finding something and taking off at the beginning of the year, and hitting on things early. I think that towards the end of the season you saw that tighten up a bit. All the teams are starting to learn and understand these cars better. I think that it’s going to be a lot tighter throughout the whole season. This car possesses new challenges, still. Where we’re constantly going to try and get better and evolve it. We’re going to work hard.
“Obviously, with the testing being different now it’s harder to make those big gains early. But it’s definitely getting more fun to drive.
(ON HOW FATHERHOOD HAS CHANGED HIS LIFE): “Just for the better, it really has. It’s funny. When you talk to fathers that have kids and they tell you, ‘it’s going to change your life. We can’t explain it, it’s just going to change your life.’ That’s pretty much what everybody said.
“The moment that little girl came out, it definitely changes your life and your prospective on things. When I saw drivers that had kids, I thought that it probably would slow you down a bit. You don’t want to take the risk or the chance. To me, it’s the opposite. I want her to have the best things in the world. For her to have the best things in the world I have to be successful. So it kind of drives you to work harder and be more focused. You want to provide for the little girl. You want them to be proud of you, so it’s a whole different drive than what I’ve had before.”
(ON IF HE’S SURPRISED THE OPEN WHEEL DRIVERS HAVE STRUGGLED IN NASCAR): “No, not at all. It’s a totally different car, a totally different series. The approach to the race weekend is different. The only thing that is the same between the open wheel car and a stock car is they both have a steering wheel, four tires and an engine. Everything else is different. I know when a lot of these guys came over, I expected to see them struggle. I did when I first came over. I’ve been in the fortunate position where guys have given me time to build up and learn. These guys just aren’t getting the time these days. You’ve got sponsors who are paying a lot of money and they want results now. The times of sticking with a guy for a while just aren’t there anymore.”
Clint Bowyer, No. 33 Cheerios/Hamburger Helper Chevrolet (ON HIS OFF SEASON): “The month of January, I don’t know what happened, but I’ve only been home like 4 days the whole month so it’s been busy.”
(ON TESTING DURING THE OFF SEASON): “We went out to Phoenix and tested out there in the desert. Just working on some superspeedway stuff. We needed to do that, whether we just needed to go set up in a parking lot and go through the motions of a weekend, we needed to do even the things like going out to dinner. Even the things that may not pertain to the competition side of things, but just the camaraderie of the group, and just getting to know each other. I think it was a good thing and I’m looking forward to Daytona.”
(ON HOW MANY GUYS FROM THE NO. 07 MOVED TO THE NO. 33 WITH HIM): “Just one. One guy. So it’s going to take time, I’m not going to lie. I think I’m a realist and it’s going to take a little time to gel and to learn each other. I really feel like that this is a combination that can be really successful. Not that we didn’t have success with the Jack Daniel’s Chevrolet, because we did. It’s all about racing for a championship and I’ve thought about it a lot over the off-season and about being nervous to leave your group of guys. But if you look at Dale Earnhardt, he won championships with quite a few different crew chiefs. I’m a firm believer in that you get out of it what you put in it. We all have to work hard at it and the guys have been so hard in the shop and everything else. I have a lot of confidence in Shane Wilson and he is very organized. Since they announced this deal and picked the crew chief, he’s had a plan.”
Tuesday’s NASCAR Sprint Media Tour schedule started with a breakfast and press conference hosted by Ask.com at the Embassy Suites Hotel and Concord Convention Center.
Ask.com CEO Jim Safka talked about his company’s partnership with NASCAR as the official search engine of NASCAR, and it’s sponsorship of the No. 96 Hall of Fame Racing Ford driven by former NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Bobby Labonte.
Hall of Fame Racing owner Tom Garfinkel discussed the team’s partnership with Yates Racing and the signing of Bobby Labonte to drive the No. 96 Ask.com Ford.
Tom Garfinkel (ON HALL OF FAME RACING’S STRUGGLES): “Well I think the buck stops with me. Our performance, our results last year weren’t what we expected. Jeff [Moorad] and I knew when we came into this sport that it was going to take time. We had no illusions that we were going to come in right away and take the sport by storm on the race track. Certainly the results were more disappointing than we had expected. But we think now we have a model that will help us improve our competitive position in the sport and continue to grow over time.
“We had an engineering department and [Joe Gibbs Racing] had an engineering department. We didn’t really share information. Equipment changed on their end and we were trying to figure it out as we went along, as opposed to being part of the development process. There were a lot of things there that you could see. Qualifying at Daytona and Talladega, for example, we were .600 sec. off the Gibbs’ cars. As you know at those racetracks it’s largely car and horsepower. We enjoyed our relationship with Gibbs but I think that we inherited a model that was built three or four years ago when the sport was a lot different, economically, technically and a lot of different ways. Again, we knew it would take time we think now we put ourselves in a position to be more competitive.”
(ON IF THE TECHNICAL ALLIANCE IS WHY THEY ALIGNED WITH YATES): “It was part of it. I think there is going to be more seamless integration in how we work together and the things that we do. In a lot of ways Max [Jones] is going to be running the team. I’m perfectly comfortable with that and thrilled with it. I’d rather not fly back and decide who the right rear tire changer is going to be and allow Max to use his expertise to do those things.
“With Bobby behind the wheel, with Roush/Yates engines, with being integrated into Yates in a more seamless way we think it will help us be more competitive.“
(ON WHEN HE FIRST STARTED TALKING TO BOBBY LABONTE) “To be honest, this situation with Bobby came through pretty quickly. Really Max Jones deserves the credit for getting Bobby on board. I was busy getting all the sponsor stuff lined up and Max really deserves the credit. We had a couple of other options and Bobby became available at the last minute and Max moved on it quickly.”
Bobby Labonte, No. 96 Ask.com Ford (ON HIS NEW HOME AT YATES): “This was an opportunity that was secure and competitive. I knew that would be the place I needed to be.”
(WHAT CHANGED TO MAKE YOU CHOOSE YATES OVER OTHER TEAMS?) “I’m not sure. I think it would make for a sitcom, TV show, horror movie and drama all in one. It was kind of wild. Maybe over some period of time I could tell you, but not right now. The things I learned out of this whole deal after talking to Chip [Ganassi] is that I respect him way more. What a neat guy. It was fun to get to know him better. But at the same time, this is second to none. This is the greatest opportunity I could have.
“I know [Yates’] goals are to win. Win poles, win races, top 12s, and make the Chase. I think all of it is desirable and all of it is attainable. We just have to go out there and prove it. It’s there you just have to make it all happen.
(WERE YOU AWARE OF THE PETTY MERGER WITH GEM BEFORE IT WAS ANNOUNCED?) “I knew that they were going to do that, but it was when I was getting ready to get my exit papers. That could have been something that happened with me. I signed a four-year contract with [Petty]. It was heavy baggage for them. It was best to part ways and go on. It was better for me to reset my buttons and start over. The baggage that I had wasn’t what they needed.”
Following the Ask.com breakfast, media members moved to another portion of the Concord Convention Center where Nationwide had assembled several of its series drivers to unveil its new marketing efforts for the 2009 season.
Nationwide announced a new partnership with Dale Earnhardt Jr. and JR Motorsports for its national marketing campaign, including two national television commercials, radio commercials and personal appearances featuring Earnhardt Jr. and Nationwide Series driver Brad Keselowski.
Nationwide also announced ‘Driver Pick ‘Em,’ a weekly interactive fantasy game on ESPN.com and the ‘Nationwide Insurance Dash 4 Cash,’ a bonus program for Nationwide Series drivers at four stand-alone series races.
Associate Vice President of Strategic Sponsorships for Nationwide John Aman (ON NATIONWIDE’S INVOLVEMENT IN NASCAR): “I think the main thing with this series is that you have a fan base that is passionate about it. You look at who is paying attention to this series. It’s the ones who pay closer attention to racing than any of the other series. That gave us a more concrete sight of people that we could take messages to. Part of this is a laboratory, to see whether we could take a segment of the population and really draw in our marketing messages to them and move them to purchase our product. General advertising is trying to speak to the entire consumer base. This is very targeted and gives us a chance to test the idea that target marketing works.”
Mike Bliss, No. 1 Miccosukee Resorts and Gaming Chevrolet (WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR HEADING INTO 2009?): “Going into this year all of us are looking to win a championship. We didn’t win a race last year. A couple of them got away from us. Our big focus is winning a championship. Last year we had some things we improved on. This year, without testing, we also built a lot of good cars. We’re better off this year than we were last year. A lot of teams are because of not testing. We’re just looking at trying to win a championship and some races.”
(DO YOU THINK NOT TESTING HAS LEVELED THE PLAYING FIELD?): “I don’t think so. I would love to be testing right now because there are things we need to be testing. It would be nice to be in Vegas testing this year.”
(DOES THE ECONOMY PUT MORE PRESSURE ON YOU GUYS RIGHT NOW?): “You know it’s funny. There probably isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t feel guilty about having a ride. But then I think if I didn’t have a ride, what would I be doing? There’s nothing out there. I feel really bad but the economy is not on racing it’s on everything. I feel guilty thinking that way. We live in our own world here in racing. “
Jason Leffler, No. 38 Great Clips Toyota (DO YOU WONDER WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN TO THIS SERIES IN THIS ECONOMY?): “I think in this sport you’re only as good as your last race. As a driver you’re always wondering where you future lies. The series is not going to go away, none of these series are. They may shrink. The size of the teams may shrink. When I first got into the Nationwide Series, which was about nine years ago, we did it on a lot less money than we do now. There is no reason we can’t go back there. For us at Braun Racing everything is pretty normal. We have a great sponsor in Great Clips and another great sponsor in Dollar General. We didn’t let anybody go. We always operated very streamlined and efficient and it shows up in a time like this.”
(EVERYONE’S FOCUS IS IN CUTTING THE SIZE, WHAT DOES A TEAM OWNER HAVE TO LOOK AT IN MAKING DECISIONS?): “I think you look at everything. I think you look at a lot of things like travel and how we travel, things like that first. You don’t want to give up any performance of the car. That’s the reason we do this. We do this to run well on Saturdays. You have to look at some of the finer things that we’ve come accustomed to in the last few years.
Michael Annett, No. 15 Pilot Travel Centers/Hype Energy Drink Toyota (ON HIS PLANS IN THE NATIONWIDE SERIES): “I decided that this is what I wanted to do for a career. I moved out of Iowa and signed with Bill Davis Racing. I planned on finishing up there in the No. 22 car. You could tell something was up, looking at the 2009 season. Trying to decipher if we would go Truck racing or fulltime Nationwide racing. We made the plan to go Nationwide racing and got closer and closer to the deadline and saw that the funding wasn’t there. So we started looking elsewhere and Germain Racing seemed like a perfect fit. They’re coming off of one of the best seasons they’ve ever had in the Nationwide Series. Everybody is there from that team, the same crew chief, the same engineer and everything. We’re really exited about it. Everything at Bill Davis is just a sign of the times.”
Steven Wallace, 5-Hour Energy Chevrolet (ON THE NATIONWIDE SWITCH TO THE COT): “The problem, in my opinion, is when we go to switch the cars, what are you going to do with all the Nationwide cars? The ARCA cars are 110-inch wheel base cars and all the East Series guys bought all the Cup cars. So you’re going to have all the old Nationwide cars just sitting there. It’s really going to affect them. I think they should wait until the economy gets better.”
(ON THE NATIONWIDE INCENTIVE): “I think the incentive is cool and everything. I know one thing: I’d race for $5,000. I really don’t care about the money part of it. I’m real excited about it. I think it’s real thoughtful of Nationwide to help out. I really don’t think it’s going to make that big of a difference when you’re out there racing.”
Media members then hit the road and headed to the new SPEED studios in Charlotte. The network’s new facility includes three studios and will be home for shows such as The SPEED Report and Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain.
Rick Miner, SPEED Senior VP Production and Network Operations (ON THE NEW FACILITY): “We're really proud of the facility. We're looking into a tapeless environment. We hope to be able to exchange files with NASCAR Media Group, so when we're at the track and Media Group is at the track and somebody needs something, it's just a matter of sending a file.”
During the visit, Jim Beam officials announced they will be the presenting sponsor for the entertainment that accompanies the annual NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, and they will have Montgomery Gentry, a top country duet from Kentucky performing a 60-minute concert before the race on May 16. Marcus Smith, president and general manager of Lowe’s Motor Speedway, was presented with a guitar autographed by the duo to be auctioned off to benefit Speedway Children's Charities.
Marcus Smith (ON ACCEPTING THE GUITAR AND MONTGOMERY GENTRY): “We'll auction this off at the annual black tie gala, the day before the Coca-Cola 600. I'm sure it will raise a lot of money. We'll invite the guys to come over and play it at the ball. That's fantastic, we'll raise a lot of money for the kids.”
“Of course you can never go wrong helping a child in need and that's what we're all about at Speedway Children's Charities. We're really excited to have Montgomery Gentry come to the 25th NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and to have the All-Star Race happen at Charlotte Motor Speedway for 25 years and the support from Sprint for this fantastic event. We've really got the best back-to-back weekends in Charlotte.”
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series owners Kevin and DeLana Harvick unveiled their team’s No. 33 Longhorn Moist Snuff Chevrolet driven by Ron Hornaday and the No. 4 Monster Energy Drink Chevrolet driven by former motocross racer Ricky Carmichael.
Team co-owner Kevin Harvick (ON KHI’S NEW PARTNERS): “During the 2009 season, KHI is going to be bringing in some new partners. Obviously in this time it is exciting to be bringing in new partners that are excited about the Truck Series and our company. Good partners are important to our sport, to our companies and to everyone involved and we are really looking forward to these new relationships.”
Following the announcement, Truck Series competitors Ron Hornaday, Colin Braun and Ricky Carmichael participated in a question-and-answer session with the media.
Ron Hornaday, No. 33 Longhorn Moist Snuff Chevrolet (ON THE COMPETITION LEVEL IN THE TRUCK SERIES IN 2009): “To come down to me and Johnny Benson racing that close and Mike Skinner the year before, Jack Sprague all the other years. It’s just exciting and I’m very fortunate to have a new sponsor come aboard with Kevin and DeLana. It really makes the Truck Series a lot of fun.”
Colin Braun, No. 6 Con-way Freight Ford (ON IF HE WILL BE A BETTER DRIVER THIS YEAR): “Yeah, I certainly feel like I’m going to be a lot better driver. At least I hope I am. When you race against guys like Ron [Hornaday], Mike Skinner, Johnny Benson and those guys you learn so much from them. I think one of the cool things about the Camping World Truck Series is the camaraderie in the garage area. You can go up to Ron and Johnny and ask them questions.”
(ON HOW HIS CUP TEAMMATES HELP HIM): “Carl Edwards, Greg Biffle, Matt Kenseth, Jamie MacMurray and David Ragan, all those guys have been a huge help to me in 2008. Just having a sounding board is fantastic with those guys. They’ve been a huge help. Carl has actually come to a few races and co-spotted with my spotter Bobby Hudson, added some advice and really tried to help me out. Having the advice of those guys is just awesome.”
(ON WHAT CARL EDWARDS TELLS HIM): “As far as when he’s been at the race track on race weekends with me, a lot of things about how to get by slower traffic. Just kind of the whole mindset of the race, being smart early on and being aggressive as the race gets more toward the end. Just the way he kind of approaches the race in terms of the big picture.”
Ricky Carmichael, No. 4 Monster Energy Drink Chevrolet (ON THE SIMILARITIES BETWEEN MOTOCROSS AND NASCAR FANS): “I’ve been really surprised at the crossover that it’s been. It’s been a fun adjustment for me seeing all the support from the fans on that side.”
(ON THE ADJUSTMENT FROM TWO WHEELS TO FOUR): “I think the biggest adjustment for me is just lack of seat time and just trying to get as much seat time as possible. That’s been the biggest adjustment for me. As far a going out and saving the race car and being there at the end I give a lot of credit to racing motocross to that aspect of it because I know that you can’t win the race on the first lap and you have to let things come to you. We just have to have realistic goals. I know a lot of people are going to be critical of me, but at the same time they have to realize that I’m still learning and I’m new at this.”
After the SPEED studios visit, members of the media returned to the Concord Convention Center for the Lowe’s Motor Speedway event announcing plans for the 50th running of the Coca-Cola 600 on May 24.
Marcus Smith, president and general manager of Lowe’s Motor Speedway, announced that fans will decide the greatest racing moment in the speedway’s history by logging on to www.coke600.com to vote for their favorite Lowe’s Motor Speedway memory. Online voting will begin on Monday, Jan. 26.
He also touched on fans making memories at the 1.5-mile superspeedway and all of the people that go into putting an event on at the speedway.
Marcus Smith: “When people come to Lowe’s Motor Speedway, they’re escaping from their every day life. You go to work, you go home and pay the bills. Then you mow the grass. When fans come to the speedway they make memories that last a lifetime. It’s not just about the weekend. It’s not just about the race. It’s about these memories that last a lifetime. They build friendships and families.
“Along the way we’re putting thousands of people to work. We’ve got thousands upon thousands of people that come out and help us at every one of our events. We help booster clubs and churches and all sorts of nonprofits groups. We help pay their bills and put food on their tables. It’s a real privilege and an honor that we’re able to spend so much time with our fans and the people that help us with these events.”
Bruton Smith, founder, chairman and CEO of Speedway Motorsports, Inc. (ON THE GREATEST MOMENT AT LOWE’S MOTOR SPEEDWAY)“When you’re trying to find the greatest moment here at Lowe’s Motor Speedway it is difficult. They’ve been asking me to define what was the greatest moment here, the greatest spectacle in racing. I’m not sure we’ve come up with one because there was so many. I’ve thought and thought and you’ve seen some of them here, but there’s so many others that spark my memory of some of the great things that happened.
“I think the greatest moment was actually getting the speedway open. That might have been the most trying of all events. I remember Curtis Turner. I used Curtis Turner because he had a great name in racing. He was featured one time on the front cover of Sports Illustrated. So I used Curtis’ name in promoting to try and get the speedway built.
“The reason we ran on June 19th is because we were three weeks late. In March of 1960, on Wednesday it snowed. Well, we moved the snow so we could move the mud so we could move the dirt. It snowed again on Wednesday of the next week. So we went through the process of moving the snow again. Then the next Wednesday it snowed again. That was three weeks that was lost in the construction period and so I had to delay the start of our first race until June 19th.
“Things were a little more difficult then. Particularly money. Money was a challenge. Nobody would talk to you about a loan. It was a trying time. But the speedway opened and all this other stuff is history and I’d like to think it was worth it.”
Lauren Steele, vice president, Corporate Affairs, Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated, announced that in honor of the 50th running of the Coca-Cola 600, a one-of-a-kind golden can featuring the 50th Coca-Cola 600 logo and a congratulatory message will be the key to winning for fans in 10 states throughout the Southeast. The lucky fan who finds the golden can – which will be randomly inserted into one of approximately six million specially marked 12-packs of Coca-Cola classic – will win the official Coca-Cola 600 Toyota Camry Hybrid pace car.
Bill Nystrom, senior manager of sports marketing for NASCAR at Coca-Cola North America, revealed that Coca-Cola will honor all of the past winners of the 600-mile race during pre-race ceremonies for the Coca-Cola 600 on May 24. As part of that celebration, NASCAR legend and three-time Coca-Cola 600 winner Bobby Allison will serve as Grand Marshal for the race and take a ceremonial victory lap around Lowe’s Motor Speedway in the actual Coca-Cola-sponsored 1969 Mercury Cyclone he drove to victory in the 1971 event.
Bobby Allison (WHAT DID IT TAKE TO GET THIS CAR INTO VICTORY LANE FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 1971?): “I had a really great time at Charlotte. We got here to Charlotte and the car was just perfect for me all day. It was one of those times that everybody who drives a car dreams about. My wife Judy is with me all the time. The kids were there. Davey was just a little bitty guy, but he was there. My parents were here. We were able to win that race. This was Lowe’s Motor Speedway!”
(ON THE CHALLENGES OF WINNING THE COKE 600): “It really is [challenging]. Everybody works so hard to try and get that because it’s one of the really special races all season. Racing is that way. Sometimes the driver doesn’t do exactly all he should do. Other times somebody drops a little oil or water in front of you. Other times somebody else spins and runs into you. Those things happen.”
NEWS AND QUOTES FROM TUESDAY NIGHT’S FUNCTION WILL BE INCLUDED IN WEDNESDAY’S NOTES.