Question: Talk about coming to Kentucky Speedway for the Cup Series.
Answer: "This is what our sport needs, new events, not necessarily new facilities, but a new facility for us to race on. Kentucky Speedway has been a great facility over the years. I was fortunate enough to come here in 2001 and win the inaugural Nationwide race here so it is a place we have been to and made a bunch of laps testing. It is a fun track. The enthusiasm from the fans and the people and the sponsors is great. "
Q: With this being the first Cup race here, what challenges does that present as a team?
A: "For us, you still don't know. The thing you are never going to know until the race starts is how the race is going to play out. We have our notebooks from Nationwide stuff and Truck stuff and think we have a good idea of where the race track will go once it gets really dark. It's obviously a very temperature sensitive track and you have to keep that in the back of your mind while you are in the middle of the afternoon here."
Q: When you were first here 10 years ago, did you think this venue was Cup-worthy then?
A: "It was definitely Cup-worthy then. Just obviously there are a lot of things that have to play out in this particular sport to make dates work and things are planned so many years in advance. When you do have a new facility I think everybody wants to see if it's able to keep bringing the fans in ... The longevity of that particular facility has to be proven to get to this level of a race. It's great to see here."
Q: Are there any characteristics of this track that make it different than other 1.5-mile tracks?
A: "A lot of bumps, that's not a bad thing. Character is good in a racetrack. It's been ground in a lot of places. The corners are shaped different. There's really no comparison to a Chicago or Kansas or anything like that just because of the shapes of the corners. It's definitely got it's own characteristics."
Q: How do you go about handling the bumps?
A: "The majority of the bumps are down the front straightaway. There are some bumps in the corners but the front straightaway has the majority of them. You've got to keep the front splitter on the nose off the ground otherwise the car will start hitting the ground and not be able to turn like it needs to be."