NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES
TUMS FAST RELIEF 500
TEAM CHEVY DRIVER PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT
OCTOBER 26, 2012
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S CHEVROLET, met with members of the media and discussed his success at Martinsville, earning points during the Chase, the stress among championship contenders, his teammate Dale Earnhardt, Jr. returning to race after two weeks on the sidelines, and more. Full Transcript:
TALK ABOUT COMING TO MARTINSVILLE
“You drive in here and you still get a sense of a previous era unlike a lot of race tracks. I really enjoy coming here and Darlington. You got to have a view back into what NASCAR was years ago. I still think that environment exists here and it’s fun to come to the track and race. Then from a fan prospective you get a great action packed race. You’re up and close and right near the cars. I enjoy watching cars myself here on the race track. It’s just a fun place and I’m excited to be here.”
HAVE YOU REALLY GOT WITH CHAD (KNAUS, CREW CHIEF) AND RON (MALEC, CAR CHIEF) AND GONE THROUGH EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENED IN KANSAS? ARE YOU STILL KIND OF BLOWN AWAY BY WHAT TOOK PLACE AND THE CAR YOU HAD ONCE THEY WERE FINISHED REPAIRING IT?
“Yeah, after the race we looked around and did some serious bench racing about the car. On Tuesday through our team debrief and walking through the shop and seeing the guys just impressed with what they did.
“Also during the crash we were fortunate that the way in which the rear bumper hit the wall, the tubing in the back of the car the direction it went, one piece of tubing was down which everybody could see dragging, but there was another piece back there that stayed intact and went up and added support for the deck lid, spoiler and all that. That was key. If that piece of tubing fell out or hit in a different way or pushed in a different direction, we wouldn’t have been able to support the decklid like we did.”
WHAT DOES THAT SAY ABOUT YOU GUYS MOVING FORWARD? THERE HAS BEEN A LOT OF COMPARES BETWEEN YOUR TEAM AND THE NO. 2 TEAM IN CERTAIN RACES. DO YOU THINK IT MADE A BIG STATEMENT FOR YOUR GUYS TO BE ABLE TO SHOW THIS IS WHAT WE CAN DO?
“It did and we will have to wait until Homestead to see where that fits into the story. On one light, I look at it and think I made a mistake and gave up points. I really felt like we could have won the race. It was a day that Brad (Keselowski) wasn’t leading and running in the top two or three and we could have closed the points up if not got ahead. I hope it’s a story that we preserved the championship, minimized the damage, and minimized the loss. At the same time, I still regret that I didn’t take advantage of that opportunity.”
BETWEEN YOU, BRAD (KESELOWSKI) AND DENNY (HAMLIN), WHO DO YOU FEEL LIKE THE PRESSURE IS REALLY ON IN THE CHASE?
“It’s on all of us, but the points leader I think has the most pressure. I like being in that position because you are still in control. When you’re leading the points, it’s in your hands but with that control comes pressure especially later in the season and in the Chase too. During different parts of the season it’s an honor to lead the points. That honor is still there right now but that light at the end of the tunnel is becoming much more vivid. There’s a picture there at the end of that tunnel and that pressure starts to set in.”
A COUPLE OF YEARS AGO YOU WERE TALKING ABOUT STRUGGLING AT BRISTOL AND THEN SUDDENLY THINGS KIND OF CLICKED FOR YOU AND YOU STARTED TO FEEL COMFORTABLE THER EAND GET IT. WAS THERE A SIMILAR MOMENT LIKE THAT FOR YOU HERE (MARTINSVILLE)?
“Yeah, I was pretty lost my first few trips here. We tested for both races. Maybe my second time back or sometime early at the time I was disappointed but the leader Tony Stewart caught me and lapped me. Following him just turned the light switch on in my head as what to do around here. I was able to keep pace with him and get a lap back and have a decent finish that day. That really set things in motion for me.”
LAST WEEK WAS AN EXAMPLE OF HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS RESOURCEFULNESS. DO YOU THINK THERE IS A MYSTIQUE AROUND HENDRICK AND ITS ABILITY? IS IT AN ADVANTAGE FOR YOU?
“I really think so but to be honest when you get to the end of the year and the teams that are fighting for the championship are there for a reason. It is a team sport; it’s not just the driver getting the job done in the car. It’s the people preparing the race cars. It’s the pit stops. It’s crisis management which we had last weekend. I would expect that out of the top team and I certainly expect it out of my team. They exceeded expectation with how well the car performed after the wreck, but I would assume other teams are capable of doing that too at this stage of the game.”
IS THERE ANYTHING SPECIAL THAT HENDRICK DOES?
“Within the No. 48 team we’ve been together for a long time and we have all the tools and resources we need to go compete for a championship. Rick (Hendrick) is an amazing man, a great guy to work for, and knows how to lead people. I think the amount of time the No. 48 team has been together, the low turnover rate, and how consistent the personnel has been gives us a big advantage.”
WITH THINGS SO CLOSE IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP RACE, DOES WHAT HAPPENED AT KANSAS LAST WEEK CHANGE YOUR THINKING AT ALL ON WHERE THE EDGE IS AND HOW CLOSE YOU CAN RACE ON THAT EDGE WITHOUT GETTING IN AN ACCIDENT AND CAUSING A BIG DROP IN POINTS?
“I want to learn from my mistakes, but it’s such a fine line we walk and it’s hard to look at yourself in the middle of a race and say alright am I at 100 percent or 101, 99, the line is getting ever smaller. With what we had and going down a lap after leading the race and the caution coming out when it did, my eagerness to get through traffic, the No. 56 bobbled in front of me and I was more eager to jump in the gas and try to get position on him and went through his dirty air, being hard on the throttle shook my car loose.
“There’s just little tiny things that add up and it’s hard in the moment to recognize that. But, that’s something that we’re all faced with and something I’ve done a very nice job with in years past. Everybody makes mistakes and I would rather side on the aggressive side because I know what my competition is. I know the No. 2 car is certainly racing that way and Denny (Hamlin) is as well. You’ve got to stay aggressive. You can’t protect and you can’t conserve at this stage. It’s all about living on that ragged edge.”
MARK MARTIN RECENTLY SAID I’M OLD SCHOOL AND WHEN IT COMES TO DECIDING WHETHER I’M INJURED TOO MUCH TO BE IN A RACE CAR, I WANT THAT DECISION TO BE MINE AND NOT A DOCTOR. HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THAT?
“I’m not familiar with the new protocol that could potentially be coming or Mark’s comments, but in all sports and just your general medical exams, we all go in and get a physical every year, I’m sure we’re all squinting extra hard to read the eye chart and you leave there thinking I made it, good! That’s just a bad example of what it’s like in the doctor’s office. I feel like in our sports, like others, especially relative to concussions, we need to be sure we’re not putting a driver back in harm’s way. We know that a series of concussions within a short period of time is very dangerous and we need to keep our sport safe. Change is coming. I know if somebody is living through it, it’s probably going to be tough and might be on the slow side of returning to the track. With safety in mind I think it’s important.”
WITH THE WAY THE POINT SYSTEM IS NOW, WOULD YOU FIND IT TO BE REALLY HARD TO BACK OUT WITH TWO OR THREE RACES LEFT IN THE YEAR IF YOU WERE STILL IN THE HUNT FOR THE TITLE?
“Yeah, that’s tough. Knock on wood; I’m so fortunate to not have that in my auto racing career. Now racing dirt bikes, the very first championship I won I blew my knee
apart and had reconstructive knee surgery, missed two weekends but still had the points lead. I figured out that if I started the last two races, I would get a starting point and I would tie my competitor and I would win the tie-breaker due to wins. So at eight years old, I rode around that dirt bike track with my leg in a cast and rode my one lap to tie points so I could get the big trophy at the end of the year. So, it’s just wired in competitors. It’s what you do. It’s crazy and this is what we do.”
YOU AND DENNY HAMLIN HAVE REALLY GOOD RECORDS HERE. EVEN BRAD KESELOWSKI9 HAS HAD A PRETTY SOLID RECORD. WHEN YOU LOOK THESE GUYS YOU’RE RACING FOR THE CHAMPIONSHIP, IS IT MORE PRESSURE, MORE DIFFICULT, AND HARDER TO PREPARE FOR WHEN YOU KNOW THE GUYS THAT YOU’RE COMPETING AGAINST ARE ALSO GOOD AT MARTINSVILLE? OR, DO YOU TRY NOT TO WORRY ABOUT THE COMPETITION’S RECORD AND FOCUS ON YOUR OWN?
“I try to stay focused on my record and my team. But there is a part of my mind that thinks of strengths and weaknesses of the other drivers. In general, I feel like the way everybody is running, you might get a point or two; if you’re fortunate enough to win, you’ll get three (points) on a guy and that’s what we’ve seen. And that’s where my disappointment of last week (Kansas Speedway) comes into play because I feel like I could have gotten a good chunk on the No. 2 (Keselowski) and the No. 11 (Hamlin). But coming here, the way we’re sitting in points, I would hope to get a handful of points on the No. 2 car. And at the same time, Denny, I got a few points on him last week so if I gave up a few it wouldn’t be that big of a deal. And I really think going down the stretch, it’s going to be a game of a few points at a time. That’s just the way my mindset is. Where in years past, there were bigger chunks between the guys. I guess some of it might have just been the point system at the time. You’d be 35 points out and feel pretty good about it; but you’re only now I guess, five cars away from someone (laughs). So that probably plays into it a little bit. But I’m focused on it this week a little bit and if I lose a little to the No. 11, it’s not what I want but I got a few last week; and if I’m able to get some on the No. 2, then we did what we should here.”
ON THE STRESS FOR (CREW CHIEF) CHAD KNAUS AND THAT HE SAID HE JUST LIVES FOR THIS TIME OF YEAR, AND IS SLEEPING LIKE A BABY. HOW DO YOU FEEL THE STRESS AND HOW DO YOU SEE THAT IN CHAD?
“I think that when you have fast race cars and the team is well-rounded and performing on all fronts, it’s easy to sleep. And that’s where we are right now. That’s where Chad is. I’ve been more calm and relaxed in this Chase than I can remember in quite some time. If I look back to last year, and the frustration of putting in all the time and working as hard as we do as team No. 48 and not having the speed and watching guys pull away from you and outrun you, that’s tough. That’s when the frustration sets in. But right now, we’re competitive and we’ve put a lot of stock in that and we feel good about it.”
YOU HAVEN’T MISSED A RACE PROBABLY IN MORE THAN A DECADE, BUT IF YOU WERE TO HAVE SOMETHING THAT TOOK YOU OUT FOR A COUPLE OF WEEKS, WHAT KIND OF A CHALLENGE WOULD THAT BE? IS THERE ANYTHING MORE DIFFICULT ABOUT THIS TRACK IN PARTICULAR IF THAT WERE THE CASE?
“I think this track would be really good for most injuries in coming back. I would assume a road course or Bristol or Darlington would be on the tougher side. At Bristol, the repetition is so much that from a head injury I could imagine it would be tough and hard to keep your head straight there to start with, let alone a head injury. And then the physical demands, if you had a broken bone or something, would be tough. That also speaks to road courses from a physical standpoint. And then the hand/eye coordination of braking points and turning points and all that would be really tough.
“But here, it is a small track and there is a bit of repetition to it, but I think it’s about as good as you get for a track to return to after an injury. I can also speak to the Gresham track (referring to half-mile Gresham Motorsports Park in Jefferson, GA where Dale Earnhardt Jr. ran 123 laps during a test session monitored by Charlotte neurosurgeon Dr. Jerry Petty). I’ve tested there. That’s a fast, fast little race track. So if you come out of Gresham feeling good and don’t hit anything over there, I think you’ll come to Martinsville and things will fall in line pretty quick.”
AT THIS POINT, BOTH BRAD KESELOWSKI AND DENNY HAMLIN BOTH HAVE FIVE WINS. YOU HAVE THREE. DO YOU REALLY FEEL LIKE YOU NEED TO WIN TWO OF THE NEXT FOUR RACES?
“I do. I feel like we’ve been close and I hate that a few have slipped away this year, especially in the Chase. But that stuff is behind me. I’m looking forward. We’re at a great track. I feel like at all four tracks remaining, we’re one of the favorites to win. I feel like you have to win (laughs) and you have to win during the Chase to be the champion. It certainly can be won without, but my mindset right now is win, win, win.”
YOU HEAR DRIVERS TALK ALL THE TIME ABOUT THE THING THAT WORRIES THEM DURING THE CHASE IS WHAT HAPPENS WITH OTHER DRIVERS ON THE TRACK THAT IMPACTS THEM. WHEN YOU KNOW THAT KYLE BUSCH AND RYAN NEWMAN WERE TICKED-OFF AT EACH OTHER AFTER LAST WEEK’S RACE AND THERE COULD BE SOME RETRIBUTION HERE AT A SHORT TRACK. IF THEY ARE RACING AROUND EACH OTHER AND YOU GET IN THAT AREA, DOES THAT GO THROUGH YOUR MIND? DO YOU WORRY ABOUT IT? DO YOU STRESS ABOUT TRYING TO GET AROUND THEM?
“Yeah, it does; and there’s far more on the line now for the championship contenders. But, when we come back to short tracks, everybody is aware of what risks exist out there and when we see those guys get around one another to give them some space, and just try to be heads-up and avoid something. But yeah, we pay attention. I feel like sometimes the 1.5-miles are a bit more dangerous when there’s a riff going on and guys are racing real hard. Here, you can hit things within reason and not destroy your race car. But on the faster tracks or Phoenix even, it’s hard to get away from anybody at Phoenix if there are paybacks going on there and the speed is so much higher. If you hit the fence, you’re behind the wall working on something.”
DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 DIET MOUNTAIN DEW/NATIONAL GUARD CHEVROLET AND CREW CHIEF STEVE LETARTE, met with members of the media at Martinsville Speedway and discussed returning to competition this weekend and the process Dale has gone through in healing his concussion. Full transcript:
TALK ABOUT HOW THINGS HAVE BEEN GOING SINCE WE LAST SAW YOU AT CHARLOTTE: “It’s been just a lot of time off. A lot of time on my hands. Just exercising, and doing what the doctors told me to do. Feeling better every day. Just going through the process. You just have got to be patient and let thing happen. I’ve learned a ton, just about what I’ve went through. Feel like I’m a lot smarter. A lot more prepared, and understand the situation a lot better now than I did beforehand. So, that’s really good. It’s been a good experience. It’s something I’d rather not have went through; I learned a lot from it. It’s been good for me. I’m just excited to be back to work. Get back in the car, and get back to normal. Get back to the life that I’m used to.”
STEVE – WE KNOW DALE RAN SOME LAPS EARLIER THIS WEEK AT GRESHAM MOTORSPORTS PARK AND YOU WERE PLEASED WITH HOW IT WENT: “Yes. Part of the sequence of events that the doctor laid out was that Dale and him had things they had to work through. But then from a team standpoint, they expected us to take the car to the race track and just run some laps. We went down to Gresham; it’s a nice little short track that we were able to run. I think we ran 125 laps. I thought the laps were great; the times were great. His (Dale, Jr.) feedback was as good
as it always it. So, that was really encouraging. Excited to have him back here at Martinsville.”
DALE, WHAT SORT OF SUPPORT DID YOU GET FROM OTHER DRIVERS, FROM YOUR FANS DURING THE TIME YOU WERE OUT OF THE CAR? “I was really kind of shutoff from everything. I got some text messages from people that it was nice to know people are thinking about you. Most of the guys that I got contacted by were just wishing I was at the race track. Wishing I was racing with them. That it just didn’t seem normal not to be racing with me. And, I felt the same way. It wasn’t normal for me to be sitting at home. I had great support from the fans, and my family and everybody.”
A LOT OF SPECULATION THAT YOU SHOULD HAVE TAKEN THE REST OF THE YEAR OFF. DID YOU EVER CONSIDER SITTING OUT THE REST OF THE YEAR? “I left the table of options really kind of open. Like the decision to get out of the car in the first place; I wanted the doctors to make that decision instead of me. If I could race, I wanted to be at the race track. It’s what I love to do. If the doctors felt that I was healthy enough to do that, I wanted to be doing it. I’ve really kind of left all that up to them throughout the whole process. And, I’ve been honest and upfront about how I felt every day and when we go through exercises – how those are affecting me. I’ve been pretty honest, and so far they’ve been real pleased with what they’ve seen, and feel like I can get back in the car. That is what I want to do. I felt like I could have raced in Kansas for sure, and probably ran at Charlotte with no problem. I feel foolish…you know…I feel kind of foolish sitting at home feeling okay, and not being in the car. It feels really un-natural. I feel good, and the doctors say it’s okay, I want to be in the car.”
WHAT HAVE THE LAST TWO AND HALF WEEKS BEEN LIKE FOR YOU? HAVE YOU BEEN SCARED? HAVE YOU BEEN FRUSTRATED OR DO YOU KIND OF GO WITH THE FLOW? “Just probably more going with the flow. There have been times when it’s frustrating because you want your brain to clear up, and the fogginess to go away, and all those symptoms to go away. Every concussion is different. They’re kind of like snowflakes. Everyone is different and you react differently to each one. Like I said, I’ve learned a whole lot about it. I feel good knowing what I know now about it; know what I’ve learned about it. It’s just been really frustrating at times. Regan (Smith) did a really good job for the team. I told him that I was worried about the momentum we’d built as a team, and he maintained that. I feel like we didn’t miss a beat and I can get back in the car as if nothing has really been changed. That couldn’t have went better. It was really hard to see your car out there running around turning laps without you in it. That was difficult. I just know we had a really good test up until the tire blew at Kansas, and I was really expecting to go there and run really well; so it was frustrating knowing how good of a car we had, and not being able to enjoy that with the team. But, you just kind of have to be patient and stay in regular contact with the doctors. Once I got to know the guys at Pittsburgh (University of Pittsburgh Medical Center-Center for Sports Medicine Concussion Program -UPMC), I was on the phone with Micky (Dr. Michael Collins) twice a day, just talking about everything that I was doing and everything I was feeling, because I just wanted to do it right. I didn’t want to take any chances, and I wanted to get back in the car as soon as I could. But, I wanted to make sure it was not too quick.”
WITH ALL THAT YOU HAVE LEARNED THE LAST SEVERAL WEEKS, WILL YOUR APPROACH GOING FORWARD CHANGE WHEN IT COMES TO ISSUES LIKE THIS AS FAR AS YOU LOOK AT ANOTHER INCIDENT IN THE FUTURE? “Yes, absolutely. It changes the way I feel about it to where if I know I’ve suffered another concussion, or if I have symptoms after an accident, I’m definitely going to be a lot more responsible about it. I can understand people’s opinions that they would try to push through it, or they would ignore it to stay in the car because I did the same thing in the past. Some concussions are kind of light, and the symptoms are real light. If you don’t have another incident, you feel like you can get through it. Some concussions are really bad, and I don’t care how tough you think you are, and your mind is not working the way it is supposed to, it scares the shit out of you. You are not going to think about race cars. You aren’t going to think about trophies. You are not going to think about your job. You’re going to be thinking about what do I got to do to get my brain working the way it was before. That’s going to jump right to the top of the priority list, I promise you. I definitely take it more seriously now after everything I’ve learned. I’m glad I did what I did. I hate the attention that it got, and hate kind of being in front of you guys talking about it. But, I’m glad it did what I did. I’m glad I took the time off and made the choices that I made. They were hard to make, but I had to do it. I had to do it. I didn’t have a choice. I knew something wasn’t right. You can’t ignore concussions. It’s really dangerous doing that. You read about it in the papers, and I was going through it. I was living it. So, I had to make a choice, and I feel like I made the right one.”
HOW DO YOU APPROACH THIS WEEKEND? DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU CAN GET IN THE CAR AND BE THE OLD DALE? OR DO YOU KIND OF HAVE TO EASE INTO THE FIRST PART AND KIND OF GET YOUR BALANCE? “I feel like I’ve been out of the car for a year. It doesn’t feel like a couple of weeks. But, I think we can go right to it. I felt good at the test. I like this race track, and I feel like we can run good here, and I want to do a good job over the next four weeks. I want to run hard, and I want us to go into every weekend trying to do what we’ve been doing all year long.”
YOU MENTIONED BEING SHUT OFF FROM EVERYTHING, JUST WONDERING IF YOU COULD TALK ABOUT THE LAST TWO WEEKS WHAT YOU WERE LIMITED TO AS FAR AS TELEVISION, AS FAR AS CONTACT WITH THE TEAM. WHAT DID YOU DO DURING THE LAST TWO WEEKS?
“The first 48 hours they told me not to do anything so I just kind of didn’t do anything. I slept a lot. No TV, just basically just standing walking around the house doing nothing. It was really weird. So I went back to the doctor and I told him that I couldn’t do that anymore that I need to watch TV or play video games or something. I needed some kind of entertainment. I went to Pittsburgh and they put me on a physical and mental exercise program that I did every day. That really made the biggest difference it was really crazy because I went to Pittsburgh a mess. I was just really mentally a mess. The doctors up there we talked for the whole day and went through these exercises and did a lot of stuff and in 12 hours I felt really good. I felt completely different, I couldn’t believe it. It’s been pretty normal the last 15 days or so have felt a lot better and everything about my life is back to normal except for the driving part. I just haven’t been able to do my job so I’m glad to be doing this.”
YOU KNOW BRAD KESELOWSKI, HE DROVE FOR YOU, HOW IS HE GOING TO HOLD UP IN THIS SITUATION? A LOT OF PEOPLE SAY HE MIGHT CRACK UNDER THE PRESSURE:
“I don’t think he’s going to crack. I think he’s going to be hard to beat. I think he will be a tough competitor all the way through. Brad has been waiting on this opportunity all his life so I don’t expect him to crack under the pressure. I think he will be tough.”
YOU SAID YOU WENT TO PITTSBURGH FEELING LIKE A MESS AND I KNOW THAT THE TEAM RELEASE SAID YOU HADN’T HAD ANY HEADACHE SYMPTOMS FOR A COUPLE OF WEEKS, BUT WERE THERE MOMENTS HERE LIKE UP UNTIL YOU GOT IN THE CAR AT GRESHAM AND UP UNTIL YOU ACTUALLY GOT CLEARE
D TUESDAY WERE THERE MOMENTS YOU THOUGHT MAYBE YOU WOULDN’T MAKE IT BACK, MAYBE THIS ISN’T GOING TO WORK OUT?
“The part of the two concussions, I’m trying not to get long winded, but the two concussions were completely different as far as where my brain was injured. As far as I can understand what the doctors have told me. The first one at Kansas was your typical concussion where the frontal lobe and the headaches and the fogginess that you typically feel. The one that I had at Talladega was a vestibular is what they call it. It’s more in the back or the base of the brain where the brain and your spine sort of connect. It sort of mixed up a lot of anxiety and emotional stuff so they symptoms were more like anxiety driven. If I would get into sort of a busy situation I would just get a lot of anxiety. I was already that way anyways I’ve never really been much on being around crowds and a lot of people. So the two concussions were completely different. I was dealing with different symptoms. When I went up there to Pittsburgh I was just really frustrated, when I say I was a mess, I was just really frustrated and having a lot of anxiety about, man how long is this last, is this ever going to be right again. I had no answers, didn’t know anything. These guys up there are the professionals and I just asked them everything I wanted to know. Then we went through all these drills and exercises, they ran me ragged. It was a fun day. By the end of the day I felt like I understood what I was dealing with, understood what the process was and I felt a whole lot better. If I ever got any doubts I would just call Mick up and we would talk about it for an hour. Really that was the best therapy for me just kind of understanding what was going on. The typical symptoms of being foggy and having headaches those were really prevalent in the first concussion, not so much in this one.”
IN RACING YOU CAN TAKE SOME FEARSOME HITS, BUT WHEN YOU COMPARE IT TO SAY FOOTBALL OR HOCKEY A PERSON MIGHT TAKE FIVE FEARSOME HITS IN ONE GAME. I JUST WONDERED WHAT YOU HAD LEARNED OR IF YOU HAD THOUGHT ABOUT THAT AND THE FACT THAT YOU DO HAVE RECOVERY TIME? DOES THAT MAKE IT A LITTLE BIT LESS TROUBLE YOU MIGHT GET IN THIS SPORT THAN IN OTHERS?
“I guess you could say that. I don’t have any statistical facts or anything, but I was surprised to hear how much more often the guys in the NFL have issues than we do. We were talking about how many concussions I thought I’d had in a year and it was somewhere between four… or how many I had in my career and it was somewhere between four and six. They were saying that most of the guys in the NFL have that many a season. I just can’t imagine. That would be a scary situation to be in. The symptoms alone are frustrating trying to just go through your everyday life. I would compare it to like a computer that has too many processes running in the back ground that slows it down and it just doesn’t work as fast. Programs don’t start up as quick and things sort of hang up in the middle. That is kind of what it’s like. The G-forces are way different for the different sports and everything sort of happens differently in the event itself as far as a race car versus a guy having a helmet to helmet hit. The even itself is quite different in the way the brain handles the traumas different. I felt like that our sport I do have an opportunity to get back in the car probably sooner than you would on the football field because on the football field you are going to go out there and you are going to run into somebody head on the first opportunity you get. You better make sure you have your melon in good shape if you are going to do that.”
DOES IT MAKE YOU FEEL AT ALL LIKE YOUR CAREER COULD BE FLEETING AT THIS POINT WITH LAYERING? DO YOU WORRY THAT ONE MORE BAD ONE AND YOU WOULD HAVE TO STOP?
“I guess I don’t really think about that too much. The one thing that I can tell you is that I’m definitely going to be honest with myself and honest with the doctors. I’m going to do whatever they tell me to do. I want to be able to live a full life and not have any issues down the road, but I feel pretty fortunate to have recovered from this concussion rather quickly. I feel lucky that I made the choices that I did to give myself that opportunity. I think that had I tried to push through this second one I would have really put myself in a lot of danger. I think we can just hope that I don’t have any more big hits for a while and race another five, 10 years and have some fun.”
WHAT WAS THE SINGLE THING YOU MISSED MOST ABOUT BEING IN THE CAR?
“The team, just working with the team, working with the guys, we’ve got a pretty good relationship and I really enjoy working with them and being at the track. Just going through practice, making a change, it working and everybody getting excited about that just that small improvement that we made. It’s hard to put your finger on one detail, but when you are sitting there watching the race go on I miss hearing Steve (Letarte) and T.J. (Majors) voices and just being in the car and going through the process. Begin out there and competing watching all my peers compete and just wishing I was in the mix being out there doing it. Just being around the guys, every one of my guys we’ve gotten a great relationship built over the last couple of years. It’s fun to race with them, it’s fun to go to work with them.”
GROWING UP DID YOU SEE YOUR DAD HAVING THE SAME SYMPTOMS AS YOU HAD AFTER HE TOOK HE TOOK SOME HARD HITS?
“No, it’s really hard to tell when somebody has a concussion unless they speak up and say something. Concussions are pretty easy to hide. I’ve never known anyone that had one or been around anybody that had a concussion and wasn’t being honest about it.”
ON WEARING A NEW HELMET THIS WEEKEND:
“I am going to wear a new helmet this week. I know that is going to draw a lot of attention it might not. It’s a Stilo helmet and I had worn one before. I like the helmet back then a couple of years ago when I decided to wear it back then, but there was a particular part about the helmet that I didn’t like that they weren’t able to make an adjustment for at the time so I went away from the helmet. I’m going back to it. This was all sort of in the process prior to all this concussion stuff. I didn’t want anybody to really put two and two together thinking that I’m changing away from my Impact helmets because of the concussions. That is not the case at all. I have just wanted to try to the Stilo helmet since they made some modifications to it. It’s definitely not a final decision I’m just checking it out because I liked it before. It’s a nice helmet, but I’ve enjoyed my Impacts too but I’m going to try this one out and see how it works. I’ve enjoyed working with Impact and I do like their helmets and I just didn’t want anybody to get the wrong idea there.”
TONY STEWART, NO. 14 OFFICE DEPOT/MOBIL 1 CHEVROLET, met with members of the media at Martinsville Speedway and discussed practice, racing at Martinsville and other topics. Full transcript:
HOW DID PRACTICE GO? “I think we gained on it. At the beginning of the session we struggled a little bit, but I think the longer the session went, the better we got.”
IS THERE A SECRET TO RACING HERE AT MARTINSVILLE? “I don’t know there is a secret to it. At least, if there is, I haven’t found it yet. It’s just one that you have to get in a rhythm here. Getting in a rhythm is a really big deal at this race track.”
MORE SO THAN BRISTOL OR ANOTHER SHORT TRACK? “Yes, I think so, I definitely think
WERE YOU SURPRISED THAT MATT BORLAND WANTED TO GET BACK TO BEING A CREW CHIEF? “No. He’s pretty much a company guy. He wants to do whatever is best for the company. That’s what Ryan wanted, so that’s what we made happen.”
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT A TIME WHEN YOU DROVE A RACE CAR WHEN YOU WERE REALLY BEAT UP? “If you can go down through this garage and can find one driver that hasn’t raced while they were hurt, I’d be surprised. Everybody has done it. This isn’t something new. I can recall thousands of them. There is a lot of times that it’s happened. It’s part of what we do.”
TALK ABOUT WHAT IT MEANS TO YOU TO HAVE YOUR USAC AND WOO GUYS DOING SO WELL THIS SEASON. “I’m proud of Bobby East We fell a little short on the car owners side, but Bobby won the (2012 USAC) Silver Crown (Series) Championship. I think all Donny (Schatz) has to do is just qualify on Thursday for the (World of Outlaws) Finals at Charlotte and he wins the championship. We still have a (USAC) sprint car championship we are trying to win too. I’m really proud of our guys there. They have all fought really hard this year, just like everybody does. That’s one thing about all of our teams; there aren’t any of them that quit. Levi (Jones) had to end his year a little early because of a neck injury that he had to have surgery on. Steve’s (Kinser) been fighting through. Everybody has done a great job. I’m really proud of our guys.”
IS THE RACE HERE AT MARTINSVILLE AS LONG AS IT SEEMS? “It’s a long race here for sure. Especially if your car isn’t right, it seems like it takes forever. It is one that being a little bit off can cause a bad day just because of where you end up in the pack. This is a place, especially on starts and restarts, guys drive like idiots trying to get to the bottom, and it creates a lot of havoc. Guys are going to constantly do stupid stuff on restarts, and it’s going to cause problems because of that.”
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 PEPSI MAX CHEVROLET, met with members of the media at Martinsville Speedway and discussed the first practice session, changing track conditions and other topics. Full Transcript:
HOW DID PRACTICE GO FOR YOU GUYS?
“That practice went really well. You will always know track conditions are a little bit different here on Friday than they are even on Saturday and especially on Sunday. So I think we took that into account. I felt like we had some really good notes and baseline to start with from the last race where we ran so well. We were able to actually kind of use today as more of a test session than anything else. I thought it went really well.”
YOU TALK ABOUT TRACK CONDITIONS. SUNDAY LOOKS LIKE IT COULD BE OVERCAST LIKE TODAY, BUT MUCH COLDER. HOW MUCH DOES IT BEING OVERCAST TODAY GIVE YOU AN IDEA OF WHAT YOU WILL FACE ON SUNDAY?
“The difference is that it doesn’t matter if the weather is changing a whole lot or consistent and the same. The track just changes when you get 43 cars out there putting rubber down. The groove changes and a lot of things change. We know what the weather is predicted to be on Sunday and on Saturday night we will take those things into consideration on what we think they may or may not do with the balance of the car.”
THE WAY THINGS ENDED HERE IN THE SPRING WOULD YOU CHANGE ANYTHING NOW HAVING GONE THROUGH IT THE WAY IT WAS?
“Oh yeah, if you know everybody behind you is coming in then you come in too, but you don’t know that. If you come in somebody is going to stay out. Obviously, when you have 100 plus laps on your tires we were sitting ducks. We were in a position to kind of force those guys to knock us out of the way and they did. It cost them, well at least (Clint) Bowyer as well. The best way would have been to come in and probably at least got two tires. I don’t know in that position that is the worst position to be in because they are going to do the exact opposite of what you do. You are kind of in a pretty deep hole right there. You hate to give up that track position because you feel like somebody is probably going to win the race by staying out, but looking back on it; it’s pretty easy to say we probably should have come in.”
OF THE TOP THREE PEOPLE THAT ARE IN THE CHASE WHO DO YOU THINK HAS THE MOST PRESSURE ON THEM?
“Well this weekend I would say it’s Brad Keselowski and that is because this is not his best track. It’s a track that he is up against two guys that are very good here. So that puts a little bit more pressure on him. He’s leading the points and been doing a great job. I think this will be a real test for Brad. I feel like he handles pressure well. Leaving here I think he is in pretty good shape so this is a big test of how they survive this weekend.”
IS IT THEM YOU PUT YOUR MONEY ON OR ARE YOU GOING TO PUT IT ON YOUR TEAMMATE?
“It’s hard to go against the No. 48 they are pretty stout. They know how to step up. I’m not putting my money on anybody, but I think that they are going to be very difficult to beat. When they are in contention they rarely ever give it up.”
YOU SEE ALL THE TIME WHERE DRIVERS SAY THE THING THAT WORRIES THEM ARE THE DRIVERS THAT AREN’T IN THE CHASE, TO GET CAUGHT UP IN THEIR WRECKS AND THAT KIND OF THING. WHAT HAPPENED WITH THE NO. 10 CAR (DURING THE SPRING RACE) KIND OF SCREWED YOU GUYS. IN A SITUATION LIKE WHAT HAPPENED WITH KYLE (BUSCH) AND RYAN (NEWMAN) LAST WEEK WITH GUYS THREATENING REVENGE AND ALL THAT, IF YOU ARE AROUND THOSE GUYS ON THE TRACK ARE YOU AWARE OF THAT? DO YOU WORRY ABOUT THAT?
“First of all I’m not one of those drivers that ever say those things that you are talking about. What happened with the No. 10 car was a totally different situation and would have been uncalled for, for any moment in the season. I think that when I’m out there in the Chase and I’m racing for a championship I try to recognize the situation that I’m in and I hope that my competitors recognize the same situation. This is a perfect example here at Martinsville. You’ve got a championship battle on the line, three guys up front that could be up here battling for the win. You could have somebody who is further back in points very hungry for a win and has a really good car that day that is going to be really aggressive. If you are in the points battle do you race that guy and say well he should know that I’m racing for a championship so give me a little more leeway or should he you go wait a minute I’m racing for a championship this guy is being really aggressive maybe I just need to get out of his way. I think that is what makes it so unique and challenging and exciting the format that we have because those different mind sets are happening all the time. As long guys are out there on the race track then they deserve the respect to try to go win the race and get their position. Even guys that are a lap down, they are racing for a position as well. They are not just moving out of your way. Those are the challenges that come your way trying to win a championship that are not just an easy matter to deal with and understand.”
CAN YOU RECALL TIMES WHERE YOU HAD TO PLAY HURT SOMETIMES MAYBE YOU QUESTIONED WHETHER YOU SHOULD HAVE GONE OUT BUT YOU HAD TO BECAUSE IT WAS YOUR JOB?
“Yeah, when I had that bad wreck at (Las) Vegas several years ago I was hurting. I had to test that week. I could have very easily sat that test out and probably should have. I had a lot of minor internal injuries. I don’t know I probably didn’t need to be out there. I don’t know if I had a head injury or not, but the only other times I had some bruised ribs from the Texas wreck. Luckily I had a weekend off the next week because I remember going on vacati
on and not being able to do much on vacation. Thinking there is no way I could have driven a race car this weekend. Then the next race was Bristol and I was hurting, but had I taken another hit I would have been in really bad shape, but I made it through the race okay. Again it wasn’t a head injury I think it was a little bit different. You know people play and compete hurt all the time in sports, but when you are dealing with a head injury it’s a lot different.”
KASEY KAHNE, NO. 5 FARMERS INSURANCE CHEVROLET, met with members of the media at Martinsville Speedway and discussed the first practice session, being a championship contender and other topics. Full Transcript:
TELL US HOW THE CAR WAS AND HOW IT WAS IN PRACTICE OUT THERE TODAY:
“We just tried some things so we would have a lot of practice tomorrow so we just tried some stuff compared to where we raced in the spring to see if we could make any gains for tomorrow. And in qualifying we were off and weren’t quite as fast as we would have liked to have been. But it feels pretty close and the engine feels good and it’s the same car we raced and I think we ran pretty well when we were here in the spring so I think we will get it going good for tomorrow.”
YOU ARE 30 POINTS BACK FROM THE CHAMPIONSHIP, HOW DO YOU RATE YOUR CHANCES?
“I still think we are in it, and still think we have a shot. We are still running strong and have made up a couple points the last couple weeks, not many, but we have made up a little bit. So, anything can happen at Martinsville and hopefully we can put together a good race Sunday and gain a few more points and just keep doing that till the end and I don’t know if that will be enough because the guys we are racing against are pretty darn good. So it’s going to be tough to beat them but we are going to try.”
SEVERAL DRIVERS HAVE TALKED ABOUT RACING HURT. HAS THERE BEEN ANYTIME YOU CAN REMEMBER WHEN YOU GOT REALLY BEAT UP AND JUST KIND OF BIT DOWN ON IT?
“I think over the years I have had lots of sore days where you go race and you are pretty sore. I would say back to Sprint Cars to where I would have been hurt the most and felt the worst getting into the car and it’s a struggle getting in and getting buckled in, but you get on the racetrack and you don’t even feel it. So I had days like that, but it’s the way that things are these days with the seats and the walls, helmets, HANS Device, and all the things we have; I haven’t had near as many in my last 5 years as I have for my last 10 or 15.”
HAVE YOU EVER RACED WHEN YOU SHOULDN’T HAVE?
“I don’t think I ever have. I have been pretty fortunate to get beat up but not to get too beat up to race. So I feel like I have been in a good spot and I have haven’t raced when I shouldn’t have. I feel like when I’ve raced – I should be out there.”
IS THE IMPORTANCE OF QUALIFYING MAGNIFIED HERE BECAUSE YOU DON’T WANT TO BE IN THE BACK?
“Yeah, it helps a lot. I was only in about half of the first race here and we started first and had the best pit stall and that is how I gained three or four spots every pit stop. Just because you just maintain. You can have a long stop, and you can do some extra things and you can still maintain where you are at. So that one stall is really good and for the rest of them there is probably not a huge advantage but for that first stall, it’s by far the best stall here.”
DO YOU PAY ATTENTION TO WHERE OTHER GUYS ARE DURING THE RACE OR DO YOU FOCUS ON WHAT YOU GUYS ARE DOING?
“Yeah, I have been pretty focused on just what we have been doing lately and you know who you are racing with and if it’s somewhat the same guys each week but I saw Jimmie (Johnson) spin last week….well, I didn’t see him spin, I saw his car was damaged. I saw Kyle Busch do that, and throughout I saw a few guys wreck or something but I didn’t actually keep track of where the guys were that I am racing for the points are. Until I saw (Greg) Biffle hit the wall and I knew that wasn’t good for his day as far as our points were going you know, since we were pretty close in points….myself and Greg. I don’t know, I think it’s just hard enough to win and get up front than to worry about where guys are that you are racing for 4th or 5th, or 1st or 2nd in points. You just have to focus on your race and whatever you get out of that and then you will find out after it’s over.”
HOW DOES IT FEEL TO SERIOUSLY BE IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP HUNT FOR THE FIRST TIME WITH FOUR RACES TO GO?
“It feels good, but I wish I was closer. You know, I wish we hadn’t given up some of the points that we have but we have also had a pretty decent Chase and we have some really good tracks to go so I like being in that top-5 and kind of in that mix. You know, we are on the outside but we definitely still have a shot.”
ARE YOU FEELING ANY PRESSURE? WHAT HAS IT BEEN LIKE FOR YOU?
“Oh no, I don’t feel any pressure. I am going to run 5th, 6th, 4th…not a lot of pressure to that. I would like to have a lot of pressure and be battling with Jimmie and Brad but as of right now we are just out there racing as hard as we can.”
IS THERE SOME PROGRESS BEING MADE BY OTHER DRIVERS HERE AT MARTINSVILLE ON JIMMIE JOHNSON?
“I would imagine that everybody is working on beating those guys. I know I have and Jeff (Gordon) has always been really good here. And it was Jeff or Jimmie’s race the first race and it wasn’t even close. Those two were, by far, better than the rest of the field and they got wiped out so it was one of them that would have won the first race here for sure and other guy’s got lucky with their results because of that. But I would say that they are still the favorite. Jeff, Jimmie, and Denny; they just always run good here.”
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S CHEVROLET – POLE WINNER
IS THIS THE PLACE YOU FEEL LIKE YOU HAVE TO SCORE THOSE POINTS?
“You know, on paper it kind of looks that way. But you just never know. When the playoffs hit, it doesn’t matter what sport it is, crazy things happen. And with that being said, yeah, we come here thinking that we should be able to get some points on the 2 (Brad Keselowski), but you never know. It’s going to be a long race. We’ve helped ourselves out dramatically today by qualifying on the pole, we’ve got the safest pit stall, and starting with track position is very important. So, stats show one thing, but you’ve still got to go run the race and I feel really good about my Lowe’s Chevrolet and I think we’ll be in strong, championship-form leaving here.”
JEFF BURTON, NO. 31 ODYSSEY BATTERY / ENERSYS CHEVROLET – QUALIFIED FOURTH
ON HIS LAP
“We were tighter than we wanted to be. But in practice we struggled; on one run we were tight and the next one we were too loose and we actually went a little quicker when we were tight. So we actually tightened it up more than I wanted to. That isn’t going to be a pole or anything, but it’s better than we were in practice. Making a gain is real important and that was about a tenth-and-a-half gain from practice. So that was a good pick-up.”
TONY STEWART, NO. 14 OFFICE DEPOT/MOBIL 1 CHEVROLET – QUALIFIED SIXTH
HOW WAS YOUR QUALIFYING RUN?
“We’ll have to see. I think it’s supposed to get cooler the rest of the weekend. But we had a decent practice. I think we made gains right at the end of our race runs before we switched over to qualifying. So we’ll see. I think we’ll definitely get a lot of use out of the two practices tomorrow.”
ON HOW IMPORTANT QUALIFYING IS HERE:
“It really is. We’ll just take what we’ve got, which is somewhat decent. Hopefully we can stay ahead of the melee.”
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 PEPSI MAX CHEVROLET – QUALIFIED 11TH< br>ON HIS QUALIFYING RUN:
“It was pretty disappointing. We were really good in practice and it was just a little bit too free there.”
KASEY KAHNE, NO. 5 HENDRICKCARS.COM CHEVROLET – QUALIFIED 15TH
ON HIS QUALIFYING RUN:
“It was pretty good actually. The car was pretty good I was just a little bit tight, just didn’t turn the center of the corner quite as strong as I would have liked. The car still felt really good.”
RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 QUICKEN LOANS CHEVROLET – QUALIFIED 17TH
YOUR FIRST WEEK BACK WITH MATT BORLAND AS YOUR CREW CHIEF HOW HAS YOUR WEEKEND BEEN THUS FAR AND HOW WAS YOUR QUALIFYING LAP?
“The Quicken Loans Chevrolet, our first change we got off on the race car and we played catch up all the way through qualifying. We’ve got a better race car than we showed today and we will prove that tomorrow and Sunday.”
AJ ALLMENDINGER, NO. 51 PHOENIX CONSTRUCTION CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 26th
ON HIS QUALIFYING RUN:
“We struggled today a little bit. The whole day has been kind of messed up. We have really been struggling with some brake trouble. The guys are working hard. I think in race trim, it’s not as bad as the outright speed in qualifying trim. We’ll just keep working hard. We’ve got two practices tomorrow. I started 29th here in the first race here and finished second so we will be alright and good to go.”
MATT BORLAND, CREW CHIEF, NO. 39 QUICKEN LOANS CHEVROLET, met with members of the media at Martinsville Speedway and discussed his reunion as crew chief with driver Ryan Newman, the progress of the 2013 car and other topics. Full Transcript:
WHAT DOES IT FEEL LIKE TO BE BACK AT THE TRACK?
“It’s nice. It’s good to be back with Ryan (Newman) and we’ve got a great group of people at Stewart-Haas. Everybody has just jumped on board and hopefully make a good run at these last four and get things rolling for next year.”
HAVE YOU AND RYAN (NEWMAN) STARTED OFF LIKE RIGHT WHERE YOU LEFT OFF ON THE SAME PAGE?
“We are getting there. It’s going to take a little while. He’s obviously been doing this every weekend for the last 15 years and I’ve been not doing it for the last six or so. It’s getting me back on the same page, but things are going pretty good.”
WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO WANT TO COME BACK AS A CREW CHIEF?
“It’s just a situation with our company it made sense right now. We needed to get a good strong team under Danica (Patrick) for next year with her coming on board full time. Tony Gibson and that No. 39 team have done an awesome job the last four years so it’s a good solid group to work with her and make that program solid.”
WHAT’S IT LIKE BEING BACK?
“It’s nice it’s good to see everybody. It’s good to be back in kind of a familiar job setting.”
HOW HAVE YOU CHANGED AND HOW HAS RYAN (NEWMAN) CHANGED?
“I’m not sure yet we will find out when things get really bad (laughs).”
TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR JOB AND HOW YOUR DAY HAS CHANGED NOW TRANSITIONING FROM WHAT YOU WERE DOING:
“The biggest thing is just being at the track more and being a lot more hands on with the set-up side. The last four years I’ve been spending a lot more time working on parts for the car, working on more R&D (research and development) type stuff whereas now it’s more about tuning the car whatever we’ve got making the most of it on that day.”
WHAT DOES THIS TEAM NEED TO STAND UP AND GET BACK TO WHERE IT WAS A YEAR OR SO AGO?
“I think the biggest thing we have just been lacking a little bit of speed. Obviously, other teams have caught up they have done some things to get faster. We are just that little step off each week that I think we are just still searching for.”
FUEL MILEAGE RACES HAVE BEEN A KEY FOREVER IT SEEMS LIKE, BUT WHAT HAS CHANGED OVER THE LAST FEW YEARS THAT IT SEEMS LIKE WE ARE FACING THIS SCENARIO WEEK TO WEEK FROM A CREW CHIEF’S PERSPECTIVE?
“I think the biggest thing I think is it’s always been there it’s just now every teams taking advantage of it whereas I think before you had 10 percent of the teams were really looking at it. Now you’ve got 80-90 percent of the teams really looking at it.”
THE 2013 CAR COMING IN NEXT YEAR AND IT BEING ALL NEW DO YOU FEEL LIKE THIS PUTS YOU BACK ON A MORE LEVEL PLAYING FIELD WITH EVERYBODY ELSE NOW?
“Yeah maybe; I think it’s still going to be the teams that are the strongest in being able to figure out things quickly. Definitely, everybody is going to go back kind of to ground zero and then it’s just going to be a race to see who can find that package that works.”
WHAT MADE YOU AND RYAN (NEWMAN) SO SUCCESSFUL BEFORE?
“I think just attitude probably and work ethic. Everything was about racing, everything was about winning and everything was about that particular moment in time being the best you can be. I think having everybody on that team that was in that mindset the program was able to run very strongly. I think that was the big piece.”
CAN YOU RECAPTURE THAT YOU THINK?
“You never know. Obviously that is the goal. We are going to do everything we can to get back to that, but a lot of the teams that is what they are after so it’s a challenge.”
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT FOR YOU GUYS, YOU WERE THE BEST MAN IN RYAN’S WEDDING, THAT RELATIONSHIP THAT YOU HAVE WHY IS THAT IMPORTANT? DOES THAT ESTABLISH A GOOD WORKING RELATIONSHIP AS WELL?
“I think the biggest reason is in (the) Cup (Series) you don’t have data acquisitions on the car. You’ve got to be able to trust what that driver is saying. You’ve got to be able to know that what that driver is saying is right. So you’ve got to spend a lot of time talking about what is going on with the car, what he’s feeling. Sometimes you might not get that answer in the first 30 seconds of a conversation. It might be four hours down the road and you’re talking and you’re like ‘wait a minute you just said something here, I remember you said something over here that matches that.’ If that relationship is not good you don’t have those two, three, four hour conversations you end up with those 30 second conversations. So then when you are making decisions you don’t really have all the information that you need.”
YOU WERE TALKING ABOUT THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE 2013 CAR WHERE ARE YOU GUYS AT WITH THAT? WITH YOU MOVING OVER HERE NOW, I KNOW YOU WERE BEHIND THAT HOW IS THAT GOING TO IMPACT THE 2013 PROGRAM?
“We have got a couple of cars built. We just tested Phoenix last week. We are testing Charlotte with Ryan (Newman) in a week and a half. So the program is going along pretty good. Obviously, it’s a tough situation for all of the teams, everybody is trying to get sheet metal, trying to get cars built, trying to go testing at the same time. That part is tough. Hopefully, in this roll maybe I can help with getting us to packages faster that we can do well with. Like I said it’s going to be a race between all these teams trying to figure out how to make that car fast and if you can get to that answer three to four weeks before everyone else that three to four weeks you could get race wins and poles and all those good things.”