Ford Performance NASCAR: Briscoe, Keselowski and Rhodes Talladega Media Availabilities


CHASE BRISCOE, No. 98 Ford Mustang — DO YOU ANTICIPATE YOU AND AUSTIN WORKING TOGETHER AT TALLADEGA? “Yeah, absolutely. I just had a phone call at 11 o’clock with all the crew chiefs, drivers and even Ford were on it just trying to figure out what’s the best strategy going into it. I feel like every superspeedway race me and Austin have tried to really stick together and it’s hard when there are only two of you because the numbers just don’t work for you, but I feel like every race we’ve gotten a lot better at understanding how each other superspeedway race, and obviously the main goal is to push Austin to hopefully have enough stage points to where he’s clinched, and then from there we can just both race, but still obviously try to help each other out.”

HAVE YOU BEEN ABLE TO STEP BACK AND ENJOY YOUR SEASON OR NOT? “I feel like I’ve tried to keep in perspective every week what this season has been about. Seasons like this don’t happen every year. The last time I had a season like this was in the ARCA Series and it definitely makes you appreciate it more when you’re not going through them, but I think just going over the last couple years and not having the success that I would like to have just makes you appreciate every win and everything we’ve been able to do. It’s been different with Covid, truthfully, even to kind of put into perspective the year we’ve been having, but, at the same time, I feel like a perfect example is getting the Indianapolis ring yesterday. Stuff like that just reminds you of the kind of season that we’ve had and how cool for me it is just to get to drive these race cars week in and week out. I feel like I always try to keep a pretty good perspective of that, and I think a lot of that same reason why you don’t see me get mad and want to go fight people is at the end of the day even if I run 35th, I’m still making a living driving race cars and remember when I dreamed of doing it. It could always be a lot worse, so I feel like I always try to keep that perspective. This year, yeah, I feel like I’ve really enjoyed and not taken for granted the success that we’ve had. I feel like I’ve really tried to appreciate every moment of it and hopefully we’ll have more of that throughout the year.”

American Muscle

IS THERE A DIFFERENCE OF HOW YOU ATTACK A ROVAL VERSUS TRADITIONAL ROAD COURSE? “Yeah, I think so. I think they’ve all drove different. The Roval, Daytona, none of those really run like an actual road course, I don’t feel like, and, for me, what I like about them is the Roval I think is the perfect scenario where you have the infield and you have to be really smooth, finesse — overdriving doesn’t make you go any faster, but then you go on the big track and enter that final chicane and it’s elbow up, who is the bravest guy. You just have those two totally different types of driving styles that go into that one track and that’s just what I like about it is it seems like these Rovals all kind of run that way. At Daytona was the same way — the infield it was so slick, you had to be so smooth and so precise, and then you get on the big track and you do the bus stop and the final chicane is just elbows up, who is the bravest guy driving it down in there. I enjoy that part of it. I feel like a traditional road course you don’t necessarily have that. They just drive different. As weird as that sounds you’d think they’d be the same, but I do feel like they race quite a bit different or at least drive different.”

YOU HAD AN ASSOCIATE SPONSOR COME ON AT THE LAST MINUTE THIS WEEK. THAT MUST BE A GOOD FEELING, RIGHT? “Yeah, absolutely. It was awesome. We had the U.S. Census Bureau come on at literally the last minute — Wednesday — so it was really last-minute to be on, but I think it’s cool for me especially to have that kind of success that we’ve had this year and that people still want to hop on board and are reaching out to do stuff. It was definitely a shot in the arm for our program. Financially, we weren’t expecting to get anymore money the rest of the year from a sponsorship standpoint and to have that kind of sponsorship come on board literally the week of the race is a huge thing for our program, so I think it’s gonna help us all throughout Phoenix and hopefully we can get those guys a good run this weekend.”

WHAT DID YOU KNOW ABOUT THE CENSUS COMING INTO THIS WEEKEND AND WHAT DID YOU HAVE TO LEARN? “I sent mine in a couple months ago, so I was good to go. I always get the letters in the mail, so I at least knew what it was.”

WITH NASCAR ADDING MORE ROAD COURSES AND EMPHASIZING SHORT TRACKS WHAT WOULD YOUR ADVICE TO YOUNGER DRIVERS IF THE SPORT CONTINUES DOWN THAT ROAD? “It’s tough. I think from an early age at least, for me growing up in Indiana, there wasn’t any hot bed of road courses around me. We had dirt tracks everywhere, which, truthfully, I always say it after almost every single road course race, it reminds me a lot of sprint car racing. I feel like you see dirt guys always be pretty successful in the road course stuff just because I think it does correlate a lot as far as just the mentality of trying to keep your tires hooked up, you’re jumping curbs and getting after it and you have to really be up on the wheel. I think it’s hard for me at least with my experience growing up I can’t say, ‘Hey, this is what I would go do to get ready for a road course race.’ I think the biggest thing that helped me was when Ford sent me to run those IMSA races. The cars drive totally different, not anything comparable, but just getting laps on a road course and even going to run a go-kart track, just getting that mentality of how to run a road course. You go right down the road to Go Pro Motorplex and you can figure out things that work and don’t work on that road course, and normally you can apply that kind of stuff to the other road courses. It seems like it’s always that same mentality of where is that fine line of making up time getting into the corner, but also not hurting your time out of the corner. I think you can learn that anywhere at any road course, whether that’s a rental go-kart track or anything, so from an experience standpoint I think it’s hard to say, ‘Hey, go do this. This is gonna make you 100 percent better’ because it’s different for everybody. For me, I felt like sprint cars really helped, but I also feel like rental go-karts helped and probably not everybody else is gonna have that same mentality. I like the fact that we’re gonna have some more road courses. I think it’s just a different type of driving style, but at the end of the day if you’re a good race car driver, you’re gonna be able to run good on a road course after you get some experience. I’m excited to watch the road course racing more and more. I think it’s really exciting for our fans and it’s just something different. Obviously, it’s not gonna turn into a full-time road course series, but to have that parity of having the Cup Series guys, obviously, we don’t know where the XFINITY and Trucks are gonna go, but, to me, the Cup Series drivers are the best drivers in the world, so you want to see them challenge every discipline and now with the new schedule we get to see that. We get to see them now at a dirt track. We get to see them on a road course, short track, intermediate, superspeedway. We get to see them now challenge every single discipline and I like the road course stuff. I think it creates a lot of drama and creates a lot of really good storylines.”

AS A DIRT GUY YOUR THOUGHTS ABOUT A BRISTOL DIRT RACE? “I’m super excited. Anytime you can have a dirt race I feel like that’s just gonna help me. Eldora was always one that I had circled that I felt like I could go and win, so, for me, anytime you can add any type of dirt race to any schedule in a pavement series, I feel like I’m gonna have a little bit of an advantage, so I’m super excited. I’ll never forget the first time I walked into Bristol my first thought was, ‘I cannot believe the World of Outlaws ran here,’ and just how big and fast it is for those guys, but just the banking. I’m definitely curious to see how it works. I think Eldora, truthfully, is probably the perfect racetrack for non-purposely built dirt cars to go run just from the banking standpoint, how it rakes in the dirt — everything is just really good for that — but Eldora would probably have a hard time hosting a Cup race from a logistical side of things — seating obviously. You couldn’t put that many people in it, so from that standpoint I think Bristol is a phenomenal place to do it, and from a racetrack standpoint I think there is gonna be some challenges just from a banking side of things. I’m not sure how it’s gonna race with our cars with that much banking, but I think another good possibility maybe down the road to look into this I think Loudon would be a perfect racetrack to go dirt racing. It’s got a little bit of bank. It would be just like the miles that the ARCA cars run, and I just think it would be a really cool event. You could have the big block modifieds come and run a big race or whatever, so I think down the road if Bristol is a good success that Loudon would be a really good one to add that to, but I’m excited to add dirt racing. I think the fans are gonna be excited and I’m excited to see how it turns out.”

AFTER THIS WEEK THE XFINITY SERIES WILL BE BACK ON ITS ORIGINAL SCHEDULE. HOW WILL THAT FEEL? “Truthfully, I haven’t even thought about it. Now it just feels normal the schedule we’ve been running. I want to say we started back in the second week of May and I haven’t had an off weekend since. The one off weekend the XFINITY Series had I went and ran an IMSA race, so, for me, I’ve kind of been in the flow for a while now of just racing every weekend and I don’t even know where we’re going half the time the next week, especially now with how messed up it’s been. I feel like we’ve been on the same schedule just like normal for a while now, so it’ll be nice that we caught up finally. I think it’s cool that we were able to do that. Obviously, Talladega was a pretty big loop thrown into our schedule, but fortunately for us since we won last week we don’t have to worry about it in the playoffs, so I’m excited for that and obviously going to the Roval with the same mentality.”

WHAT IMPROVEMENTS SHOULD NASCAR MAKE FOR THE BRISTOL DIRT RACE FROM A RULE OR CAR STANDPOINT? “That’s a tough question because for one I don’t know what the Cup Series is gonna look like from the standpoint of the trucks, there are a lot of people that go buy a truck for that one race a year that are dirt guys and show up and you have to legitimately send people home, where in the Cup Series I don’t understand the charter stuff enough to know if that’s even a possibility. There could be 50 Cup cars show up for this one race because I do think the possibility presents itself, I think you’re seeing a lot of guys that have dreamed of running a Cup race come and going and buying an older car and if that’s even possible converting it over and trying to run that race, so from that standpoint I don’t know if they’re gonna have heat races and all that stuff. The tire, I don’t have a problem with the Eldora tire. I didn’t think it was bad. It could have wore maybe a little bit more, but at the same time the biggest component, to me, to make Bristol a great race is you have to have good dirt and you have to have good track prep. We don’t want to do this one race and be really dusty. I don’t think that does any justice to anybody. The K&N race at Vegas a couple of years ago was kind of in that situation, where it’s dusty and kind of one lane and it just doesn’t do justice to dirt racing I don’t think. It almost gives it a bad look. The common fan that’s never watched a dirt race they think that it is dusty, you can’t see anything, and that’s not the case. If the track is prepped well, it puts on incredible racing and that’s the biggest component of all of this is you have to have a really well-prepared racetrack and the dirt is obviously a key ingredient to that, so I’m curious to see what they do for dirt. I think the tricky thing is when you talk about the track prep side of things you can’t have a really tacky racetrack with a lot of grip and moisture because we have windshields and you can’t see obviously once too much dirt gets on there, so it’s a really fine line of how do you make the racetrack good where it doesn’t affect our cars from overheating and all these things where you can’t see. That’s one thing that I think Tony has done a fantastic job on at Eldora is really making the racing good and not dusty, but also making it where we can see and do all these things. If I was Bristol and even NASCAR, I think it would be really wise to get Tony involved because he obviously knows both worlds and what it takes to make it do good.”

ONLY EIGHT RACES WILL HAVE TRADITIONAL PRACTICE. WOULD THAT IMPACT YOUR DECISION ON GOING CUP RACING NEXT YEAR? “No, not really. I feel like regardless if you move up you have to adapt quickly and figure it out. I would assume that even the XFINITY side is gonna have even less practice than the Cup Series, so I think that’s gonna be the new normal, which it’s gonna be hard for any rookie down the road, but I feel like the rookies this year have done a really good job of managing that no practice and truthfully I don’t know if no practice isn’t an advantage to a rookie because, obviously just getting track time and getting to know how the car runs is a help, but outside of that I think where you see guys really getting beat is when these veterans can practice their car and get it exactly how they know they need it, where a rookie you don’t know what you need. So, I think that’s one advantage is these veterans aren’t gonna be able to do that anymore. They’re gonna just have to figure it out and go and obviously it’s gonna be hard for whoever goes up for lap one of the race be your first lap in that type of car at that racetrack and all those things, but all these guys are such good race car drivers that they normally figure it out within 15-20 laps anyways, so I don’t think it’s a bad thing having no practice. If anything, I think it might be an advantage because I think Kyle Busch even said it, it’s been harder for him to run good with no practice because he can’t get the car how he wants it, so I’m not against the no practice thing. I think it honestly, in my eyes, helps my situation if I get to move up because then you just have to figure it out and know everybody is on the same playing field. Nobody’s car drives perfect and puts it back in the driver’s hands, so I’m not against it. I actually kind of like it.”

BRAD KESELOWSKI, No. 2 Discount Tire Ford Mustang — WITH A ROAD COURSE EMPHASIS HOW MUCH DOES THAT CHANGE THE DEMANDS OF A DRIVER AND WHAT MAKES A GOOD DRIVER? “Obviously, a lot more emphasis on the road courses with the new 2021 schedule, a little less emphasis on short tracks, so it’s just maybe a little bit more diverse in some ways, less diverse in other ways. It’s certainly different. I think when you get to the championship rounds though, and correct me if I’m wrong, but there’s not a big change in the championship playoffs. It’s the same 10 tracks and those are really the 10 most important. I try to focus on those first and then worry about the others later, and since they’re not changing I won’t say it’s the biggest change in the world, but it certainly is different getting there, and I think it’ll mix it up pretty good.”

DOES THE PATH FOR A DEVELOPMENT DRIVER CHANGE NOW? “Yeah, I think I would put more emphasis on road course racing if I was a development driver right now, for sure.”

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE 2021 SCHEDULE? “I think what excites me the most is it used to be every year we’d announce the new schedule and it was like, ‘We’ve moved a race by one week,’ but all the races were the same. It was like, ‘Well, that’s not really much to announce.’ This is the first schedule announcement we’ve had since I’ve been a Cup driver that has had significant changes. I think that’s refreshing. I think the schedule needs to be bold. It needs to be changed. It needs to be dynamic every year, and I think I’m excited about that. There’s not really one thing that stands out to me that I went, ‘Eh,’ about. There’s nothing cringeworthy to me in the new schedule. There are a few things that excite me more than others, no doubt, but I think all in all it’s very good for the sport.”

HOW DO YOU LOOK AT TALLADEGA WITH WHERE YOU ARE IN THE STANDINGS? “It’s been up and down for me. The last few races have probably been down. Last fall I thought we were gonna win the race. With two or three to go we were making the pass for the lead and the next thing I know we’re all wrecked. I was kind of like, ‘Man.’ It’s a love-hate affair with that track, for sure, and hopefully we’ll love it. I feel like we’re due for a good finish there. I’ve ran up front the last few races and the finish had eluded us, so I’m pumped and ready to go.”

TEAM PENSKE HAS CONSISTENTLY WON AT TALLADEGA OF LATE. HOW DO YOU ADAPT TO THE EBBS AND FLOWS AND WHY HAS TEAM PENSKE DONE SO WELL? “We have a great driver lineup right now. I tell you, if I was a team owner right now and I had to pick the best driver lineup in Cup, and I know this is somewhat tooting my own horn, but it’s as much tooting the horn of Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney and Matt DiBenedetto, but I think we have the strongest driver lineup in Cup right now. I really do. I know that’s probably arguable and it’s completely subjective, but that’s way to our favor at tracks like the plate tracks and we’re gonna continue to try and leverage it.”

HOW DO YOU KNOW WHEN TO BE PATIENT AND WHEN TO BE MORE AGGRESSIVE AT A PLACE LIKE TALLADEGA? “You build a feel for it over time. It’s not an exact science. There have been times where I’ve kicked myself and said, ‘Oh my God, I got in a wreck and I could see it coming. Brad, you should have known better.’ There have been times where I’ve back down and said, ‘Oh, they’re gonna wreck,’ and they don’t wreck. It’s an inexact science, but generally speaking you have a pretty good clue over the years of people running places they shouldn’t be running and things of that nature, and it builds up like a mother’s sense about their children. It’s the same thing.”

MICHIGAN LOSES ONE WEEKEND IN THE 2021 SCHEDULE. HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THAT? “So, did it lose a race or are we having a doubleheader? I read that wrong . I thought they had a doubleheader. I must have been thinking about this year. I didn’t know that part. That’s a track I enjoy going to. I’ll miss the weekend. I’m sure it will come back to a doubleheader soon.”

HOW DO YOU ATTACK A ROVAL STYLE LAYOUT COMPARED TO A STANDARD ROAD COURSE? “I think there are different types of road courses just like there are different types of oval tracks. The Roval type of track is much harder on equipment, has a really big speed delta, high-speed, low speeds, it can be quite a handful, and so managing your car is much more difficult than like a Sears Point. The high speeds are as fast as a Sears Point in Sonoma, or the low speeds are as fast as though tracks, but the high speeds are more like your Watkins Glen type of racetrack. It’s just a really big challenge to run a Roval. It’s very hard on you physically because you hit the curbs very, very hard and it bounces your body around quite a bit, but it’s pretty cool to say you’ve done it.”

DID YOU WATCH THE 2000 WINSTON 500, WHICH WAS DALE EARNHARDT’S FINAL WIN IN THE CUP SERIES? WHAT HAS BEEN THE LASTING LEGACY OF THAT WIN? “I can’t remember where I was that day to articulate it. I don’t think I saw it live, but I’m sure I saw it on replay right after, but there’s always an Earnhardt legacy that’s connected to Talladega. It’s always been there and probably always will be there. Between Dale Jr and his dad they won, I think, 16 races there in the Cup Series, which is pretty phenomenal. That’s a hell of a mark to leave at any racetrack, and so they’ve made a lot of moves and set a lot of precedents on how to get the job done there that I’ve tried to learn over the years. That race is one that I’ll certainly always think about how to apply it.”

WHAT ABOUT THE LOSS OF KENTUCKY AND CHICAGOLAND? “It’s not the fun part of life, but the reality is there are winners and losers in anything. The two go hand-in-hand, and I think Chicago, Kentucky and even Michigan might have lost out on this one, but I’m sure they’ll win sometime down the road and it’ll work its way out, so for those race fans that are maybe upset about it, I would say be patient and we’ll be back.”

WHAT IMPROVEMENTS SHOULD NASCAR MAKE FOR THE BRISTOL DIRT RACE? “I can’t sit here and tell you at the moment that I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about NASCAR should do for the Bristol dirt race. Honestly, at this point in the season with the playoffs looming that’s been way more where my focus is, to be honest, and even when it does come next season we’ll probably be more focused on the playoffs than that one race. So, I think we should just enjoy the novelty of it, let it be fun, and hopefully the details will work out. If they don’t, at least it’s not a playoff race.”

WHAT IDEAS DO YOU HAVE TO MAKE THE 28 RACES SCHEDULED TO BE ONE-DAY SHOWS NEXT YEAR EVENTS, OR SHOULD THAT BE RECONSIDERED? “I haven’t stared at the schedule. I’m gonna be honest with you. I glanced through it real quick, back to being focused on this year and not letting those other things get too deep in my mind. I don’t know how many of them are doubleheaders. I guess I just assumed that quite a bit of them were. Do you know how many doubleheaders there are?”

POCONO IS THE ONLY DOUBLEHEADER. “So then basically there will be about a half-dozen races or more where we’re there for two days. You’ll have those and we’ll obviously try to make the most of those events. As for the single-day shows, I mean there have been such huge efficiencies and costing, and I think we’ve found ways to make it work with respect to having the XFINITY race all day and the Truck race all day. It’s actually worked a lot better than I would have predicted it would have, but in totality I do think race weekends are generally more of an event than most sports are and I’ve been happy to be a part of that with things I’ve done with Miller Lite and events at the racetrack during a race week. I suspect that we’ll still do some of those once the virus and all that is clear, but until that’s happened it seems so far off that it hasn’t been worth putting a lot of thought into.”

IS IT WEIRD TO LOOK AT TALLADEGA AS A PLACE FOR TEAM PENSKE TO TURN THINGS AROUND AS A GROUP? “Yeah, it is a bit strange. We haven’t been where we want to be on the mile-and-a-halves. There’s no doubt about that. The mile-and-a-halves and road courses have been a weak spot for us. The superspeedways and the short tracks have been a strong spot for us. Thankfully, we have the superspeedway this weekend and a couple short tracks coming up in the next round, so we need to kind of maximize our strengths and minimize our weaknesses and this weekend is certainly looking like a strength for us. We have high expectations.”

BEN RHODES, No. 99 Tenda Products Ford F-150 — HOW NERVOUS ARE YOU TO GO TO TALLADEGA THIS WEEKEND? “I’m excited. I wouldn’t say nervous. I guess I would say anxious, maybe, just to get there and get the race going. I’ve been thinking about the Las Vegas race all week and the problems we had and the mistakes that were made and where we’re at in points, but even if we were six points up or 10 points up if we came out of Vegas and we had 16 points more than what we do now, we’d still be in trouble and still be on the bubble. Anything can happen at Talladega. I’ve been talking to my spotter and my crew chief and everybody about it and we’re really just going there on the offensive now. We’re six points under. My crew chief and all the guys are cheery about it. They’re excited that we’re going to be on the offensive. They feel better about that. Me as a driver it’s kind of it is what it is. I’m gonna go hard either way. I’m just excited because this year they made a lot of improvements to our speedway trucks and I feel the stuff that was learned last year with Johnny Sauter and Matt Crafton taking two trucks that performed very well, we took that at Daytona and performed really well for us. We led a bunch of laps and we’ve been building on that program, so I hope we’re gonna have a really fast Streamline Ford F-150 and be able to get the lead and stay there and lead well and not have to battle in the middle of the pack all day.”

HOW IMPORTANT IS RUNNING WITH THE LEAD PACK ALL RACE LONG AT TALLADEGA? “That’s really the race is the stage points for us. We’re approaching it as two separate races. The first two stages are their own race and after that, at that point, the last stage is its own separate race because we’ll know what we have to do for points. The first two everything is up in the air. I’m hoping we can close the gap in both of them, and I just want to be at least even for the last stage, and then by the last stage it’s anybody’s race and we’re gonna do whatever we have to do to make it to the next round. We’re breaking it up. We’re trying to compartmentalize the race and make it easier for us to kind of focus on the task at hand.”

OF THE SMALLER TEAMS IN THE FIELD WHO DO YOU THINK COULD HAVE THE BEST SHOT AT SPOILING THE PARTY? “I wouldn’t say it’s a small team, really, I think Niece right now could have a really good chance of spoiling the party. They’ve got fast speedway trucks and they’ve got good drivers in their trucks, so I think they could spoil the party, but I don’t really consider them a small team anymore with all the trucks that they field. I just feel like they’re a new team that has been performing well and they did really well last season, so I would say Niece is probably the one that comes to mind.”

THOUGHTS ON KENTUCKY NOT BEING ON THE 2021 CUP SCHEDULE? “Yeah, it was certainly one of the bigger surprises of 2020 and we’ve dealt with everything this year. A big disappointment. I’m not really happy about it mainly for my friends family and the people that come out to watch the race from this region. I’ve got a lot of feedback from people that I’m close to and even fans that I’ve come to know that are from my hometown for quite some time, and they’re all bummed about it. I told them, I said, ‘I don’t know what the future holds. I don’t know what Kentucky Speedway is gonna look like two years from now, but I hope in two years we’re back racing there again.’ Maybe it’s just a one year break. My personal opinion is that I’d rather run everywhere just once, rather than go to a Texas, where we go two separate races, or Las Vegas, two separate races. I think if we’re gonna race at a track twice, it needs to be like a doubleheader — kind of like how we did Kansas this year. That made it so easy and simple. You race one race, you fix the same truck back up and you race another the next day. That’s something that I think could be the next evolution, and maybe with that we can put some more races on the schedule and not have a race in Las Vegas in the spring and then come back for the fall, where that might open up something in the schedule for going back to Kentucky. I’m just bummed that we’re leaving, honestly.”

CAN YOU BREAK DOWN THE NEXT FEW RACES AFTER TALLADEGA? “Those are some of our best tracks. Every time we go to Texas I feel good about it. Every time we go to Kansas I feel great about it. Martinsville, we’ve had good speed, but it’s just so hard to keep yourself clean there. The last race, the fall race last year, we got in trouble and we were running third — came in for a pit stop to try to get ourselves ahead on strategy, and we ended up getting in some wrecks in the back. Martinsville is hit or miss, especially with how late it’s gonna be run now. I think it’ll be a little bit different racetrack, but I feel so good about the next round. If we don’t make it, I’m gonna be really, really bummed because I know we can make it to the final four. We just have to get through Talladega and these next tracks are like money for us.”

WHAT’S IT LIKE BEING YOU NOW TO BE WHERE YOU’RE AT AND RACING AT TALLADEGA? “You make great points of everything that I strive to have. I strive to have that attitude and that perspective because I do realize that as race car drivers we’re very fortunate to be able to do what we do, and say that we do that for a living. It’s been a dream of mine since I was a little kid and here I am doing it, but once you’re in that position you become consumed with the duties and the goals that you have in mind and where you’d want to be in your career, so that’s something I still am trying to get better at. I don’t know if you ever do, though, because as you get older and you get more experienced your goals are evolving and you’re hungry and you’re trying to get the next win and the championship, but that’s the perspective that I like to have. I like to step back and say, ‘Hey, we’re fortunate to be here. We need to have fun and enjoy it,’ and I find that when we’re having fun and enjoying the races we typically do our best. I can tell you that the ones where I start driving angry or I might start getting bamboozled in the head from all the craziness happening — motor issues or getting knocked sideways by somebody on the track — I try to have a little bit better approach and that’s something I’ve been working on here lately. I’ve gotten into a rut here lately where if something happens I’m just wanting to drive harder or drive angry and I can find myself getting into bad positions. That’s a great perspective to have. I’m still working on it to be honest.”

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