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NASCAR Media Conference

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Stock Car Racing Topics:  NASCAR

NASCAR Media Conference

James Buescher
Ty Dillon
Timothy Peters
November 15, 2012


TY DILLON:  So far it's been pretty good.  We've had a lot of top 10s and top 5s going with that attitude and we just need to get a couple more Ws.

Q.  Is it one race at a time, one lap at a time, one point at a time?
TIMOTHY PETERS:  We kind of look at it as we go into it obviously when we leave the race shop, we want to win, because if you settle for anything less, you're already beaten so there's no need to go.  Obviously when we get there, there's 35 other competitors that have something to say about that.  But Butch and all the guys at Red Horse Racing prepare an awesome Tundra for me, and if we can't get that win then we try to execute on the best position possible.  That's where it's put me the last race here at Homestead with a shot at this championship.

Q.  Again, it's one race at a time, one lap at a point, one point at a time?
JAMES BUESCHER:  You've got to show up at the racetrack expecting to win.  That's why it's racing.  You're there to try to race everybody to the finish line and be the first guy there.  That's our goal, and winning races wins championships if you can keep the consistency when you're not winning.  You know, you race it one race at a time because you put all your focus on winning that race, but if it's not going your way, like they said, you have to figure out a way to make it the best day possible with the cards you're dealt, and that's what wins championships.
Our goal coming to Homestead this weekend is to go out there and win the race.  Last year we sat on the pole and led some laps, and the way the race played out didn't work out for us.  But I know that we were fast here last year, and I expect to be fast again.

Q.  Maybe one more question.  There's either a rumor or something happening about Eldora for the truck race on dirt.  Do you have any opinion on that as far as is it true?  A lot of fans keep asking about it over Twitter.
TY DILLON:  I think it would be great for the sport, and I think it would be a new venue for NASCAR to go down, and it would add a lot more fans and a lot more excitement to NASCAR in general.  Dirt racing is a great way to challenge drivers in a new way.  Hopefully we get to go there and race.  Obviously our family has done a lot of dirt racing and it would really be great for us, but whatever NASCAR plans to do with it, I think it would be great for the sport.

Q.  Let's take it outside of the racing for the weekend; on Friday you guys have a race to do, the race is over on Friday, and the championship goes where it goes.  On Saturday and Sunday, what are you guys planning to do?  Are you going to get together and hang out?  Are you going to watch the races or just go home and start planning for the next year?
TY DILLON:  Well, I think we all have to stay for the banquet on Monday, so we'll probably be somewhere down here in Miami.  I'm not planning on flying back and coming back, so maybe go fishing or go golfing and celebrate what the year has been to us, whether it's a championship‑‑ hopefully that's what it is, a race win and a championship.  Going to enjoy the time down here in Miami, and then my family is flying out to Montana for Thanksgiving and spending a couple months out there to relax.  That's what I'll be doing.
TIMOTHY PETERS:  Just going to be enjoying some time with my family.  Might have an adult beverage or two while we're in South Beach getting ready for Monday night, and hopefully while we're getting ready for Monday night we're preparing our championship speech.  I've got one of my good buddies that lives just northeast of Daytona, Terry Scroggins, who is one of the pro fishermen on the Bass Tour coming down and going to hang out with him a little bit, maybe teach me a few tricks.
JAMES BUESCHER:  You know, we definitely have to stay here until Monday.  The banquet is Monday.  But hopefully be taking a picture with the trophy out on the beach or something.  But depending on any media or anything that I might have to do Saturday, I have family that lives in Melbourne, so I might drive up and visit them.  I'm undecided on that.
But we'll just see what gets thrown at us.  Just hang out and enjoy the weekend.

Q.  With your battle being as tight as it is and really being the only one that is like that, is that kind of cool to you guys?  Do you feel like the spotlight might be on you a little bit more than it would normally in this case?
TY DILLON:  I don't think it's more than it would be in this case.  I think the spotlight goes on all three series at the end of the season.  Regardless there's a championship to be won, whether you come in with a 10‑point lead or a 100‑point lead, somebody is going to win the championship and it's something to talk about.  It's a huge accomplishment, and it's not only about this one race that decides the championship, it's the whole season.  So you can't let what happens in Homestead come across as deciding the championship.  I mean, everything that you've done since February plays into it, and that's why I think if guys that come in here with 100‑point lead they deserve just as much spotlight, I guess.
TIMOTHY PETERS:  I look at it as it's great for the series coming down, the Truck Series.  Three close championship battles, but a lot of it is placed on the Truck Series because there's three guys within 12 points for the battle.  Our series needs that.  We get great reviews, the buzz is great all year long, and it's cool to kind of be coming into a triple header and we've got a little bit of the spotlight because of how close our championship battle is.  It's a testament to the way the racing is.
It's like I said earlier, from Daytona to Martinsville, there's bumper tag, door slamming, tempers flare, but at the end of the day, the way these guys are in the garage area, you're kind of close‑knit and probably wouldn't be against going to have a cold beer after the race, regardless of whether you was on the receiving end or giving end.
TY DILLON:  I agree with what Timothy is saying.  I think they need to turn the spotlight up a little bit and really recognize what the Truck Series has done.  This is a tight race for three drivers, and nobody else is near as close as the race to the championship as what we are.  12 points, and I think everybody at NASCAR from Wayne Auton in the Truck Series deserves a round of applause.  They put on a great series, nine different winners this year‑‑ 15 different winners this year, nine first‑time winners, 15 different, and I think that everybody needs to recognize that that the Truck Series is really working hard, and the spotlight needs to be brighter so we can get more sponsorship and more TV time and really grow the series even greater.
I've really enjoyed my time this year in the Truck Series, and I'm excited for next year, and I think when you have a tight championship battle, the spotlight goes to the hard work.  And I think this series has put in the hard work and gotten a really tight championship just with everybody working hard and trying to be the best.

Q.  I just wanted to get you guys' reaction on the Twitter thing with Keselowski.  What did you guys think of that, the fact that he was doing it, the fine, everything?
JAMES BUESCHER:  I don't think NASCAR was penalizing him for tweeting.  I think NASCAR doesn't want the phones in the car because of what you could possibly do with a cell phone, onboard computer or what have you.  But they made the rule, and they want to stand behind the rule, so they have to enforce it whether you're sending information to your crew chief or engineer or tweeting.
I think the rule is a rule, and who knows what he was doing.  I know he was tweeting, but you could have been doing other stuff at the same time and just passing it off as tweeting.  I'm not saying that's what Brad was doing, but NASCAR has to stand behind their rule.
TIMOTHY PETERS:  I'm just learning how to tweet.  I've got some great followers, but it would be cool to tweet and get a quarter of a million followers.  But I'm not that savvy yet.
Obviously like James said, there's rules that you have to abide by from NASCAR.  Some tracks I go to I have a hard enough time keeping it in between the walls much less taking pictures and tweeting.  I definitely understand the rule and respect it, and I bet he will now, too.
TY DILLON:  I agree with the NASCAR standpoint on that.  I mean, we've got enough stuff going on in the race car, we don't need to have cell phones in there distracting everybody.  I just think it was a really cool thing for the sport when Brad did tweet from his car in Daytona, and it did a lot for the sport social media wise.  But I think for what it casts over NASCAR having a phone in a race car doesn't really say much for our texting laws and stuff like that in a real car.  So I think it's the right thing for NASCAR to do.  Man, there's so much stuff going on in race cars as it is right now, you don't really need a phone.

Q.  James, it's looking pretty tight between you three guys.  How is the pressure feeling right now?  How do you feel ahead of this final race of the year?
JAMES BUESCHER:  It is tight, and it's the tightest battle in NASCAR.  It's between all three of us.  As far as pressure, it's another race, and this isn't the only race that decides our championship.  So we're in a better position than the other two for sure, with an 11‑point lead coming into the last race, if you asked for more, you'd be greedy.
I feel good about our chances, and I think this is a good racetrack for us.  We haven't been on track yet, but I think we'll have a really fast Great Clips Chevy.  It was fast last year here.  I'm not really feeling the pressure.  Whatever is going to happen is going to happen, and we can only control our team and hope to have some luck on our side and not have anything crazy happen, anything out of the ordinary.  As long as we go out there and perform like we know how to, it'll work itself out.
I think we have a good shot at it for sure.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMES BUESCHER:  You know, you have to be conservatively aggressive I guess is a good way to put it.  And we kind of do that regularly.  We get aggressive when we know we need to, and we're conservative when we know we need to be.  We do what we can to put ourselves in positions to win races, and that's the best way to earn the most points.  Winning the race would guarantee us that we're going to win the championship, so that's what we're going to go out there and try to do.  I have all the faith in my team to be able to do it, and we've just got to execute the day, have a good practice, have a good qualifying effort.  For us that's been top 10 this year.  If we can qualify in the top 10, then that's a decent starting spot for us.
I would like to finally get us a pole this year.  We haven't done that yet.  But the four wins definitely makes it okay not to complain about getting a pole.
We've just got to execute our pit stops and execute the entire race and try to stay up front and keep our track position, and the rest will play itself out.

Q.  I wanted to have your impression about your teammates, your Brazilian teammates, both Nelson and Miguel.
JAMES BUESCHER:  Yeah, definitely.  They've been great teammates.  They each bring something different to the table, and Nelson has been able to win some races this year, and that's good that we have multiple teams at Turner Motorsports.  The 4 team, the 30 and the 31 have all won races in the Truck Series, and we've had multiple teams on the Nationwide side, the 30 and 31 have won races this year.  That says a lot about our team, and it's not just one team that excels and the one ones just try to keep up.  All of our teams at Turner Motorsports have equal equipment and definitely equal shot at winning when we show up at the racetrack, and it's just all about how you use your equipment to the best of your ability between driver, crew chief, the pit crews, everybody has to do their part to win the races.  It's been a great year for us for sure.

Q.  Anything you've been able to learn from either of those two teammates?
JAMES BUESCHER:  I think I need to start speaking Portuguese.  I joke with the two of them all the time, they'll be talking about their trucks in Portuguese, and I'm like, hey, I'm here, too.  You guys know English, I don't know Portuguese, you've got to speak my language.  We joke and have a good time like that.  But they both bring different things to the table.
Miguel is really calm and always in a good mood and always optimistic.  Nelson somehow finds a way to make his truck go faster than anybody's.  We have similar setups, and he'll run a completely different racing line, and it works for him probably because of his background in F1.  He approaches the racetracks differently than the rest of us do.
That just comes from the background that he grew up racing in.  It all equals itself out.  Just seems like he can find more speed in his truck, but then in the long run we equal out and typically have the same speed.  He definitely has a way of finding the one‑lap speed for sure.

Q.  Points battle, tightest in the Camping World Truck Series.  What can you do to get out there and win this thing?
JAMES BUESCHER:  I think we just go be ourselves, do our‑‑ run our race, be our team.  We're in position to win it because we're leading, so it's not like we have to play catch‑up or anything.  But if we go into defense we'll probably fall apart.  So we need to stay on offense like we've been all year and just execute the race like any other race.
The good thing for us this is another mile‑and‑a‑half racetrack, and we're running a truck this weekend that's won for races for us this year.  That definitely adds to the confidence level.  My team is ready to go, and we've won four races this year, and it's been a great season for us, championship or no championship.  So to go out there and win the championship would make it that much better.

Q.  People have been talking how the Camping World Truck Series is now back to being a feeder series, a development series where young talents such as yourself can cut their teeth, maybe every now and again run against a Cup star.  Looking back to the rules change they made a couple years ago requiring people to define which championship they're going to run in, do you think that that was a good thing, and we're seeing the fruit of it right now?
JAMES BUESCHER:  I think you're seeing the fruit of that in the Nationwide Series more than the Truck Series.  I'd say that the Cup drivers still come and run about‑‑ this year seems like it's been a little bit less because Kyle hasn't run near the number of races that he normally runs in the Truck Series.  But the way the schedules line up, it's impossible for a Cup guy‑‑ I wouldn't say impossible for a Cup guy to come win the championship and run every Cup race, but the way the points work out, the Truck Series hasn't had a history of a Cup regular winning the championship and the Nationwide Series has.
So I would say that that's affected the Nationwide Series more.  As far as the young drivers coming up and the Truck Series getting back to what it used to be as far as a feeder series, I think it's been a feeder series, but just the younger drivers are figuring out a way to win more races.  This year nine first‑time winners says there's a lot of first‑time younger drivers winning races now, and the younger drivers are finding a way, like myself, to put themselves in a good ride, to have a good team surrounding them and surround yourself with good people and you'll be successful.
For whatever reason the drivers that have been to the Cup Series and came back down to the Truck Series, they've had sub‑par years, Todd Bodine and Ron Hornaday.  I would say they would tell you that they've had a horrible year, and it's not typical that you see them do that, but they were both with new teams this year, and it seems like the young drivers just have better opportunities now than they have in the past.

Q.  Let's assume that you can take the championship.  What are you looking to do in the future?  What are your plans in that once you achieve a championship it does kind of change your whole résumé and the way people look at you?
JAMES BUESCHER:  My plans from when I started racing, a couple years after I started racing, was to make it to the Cup Series and to be able to compete for championships at the Cup level.  That plan hasn't changed.  I still want to make it there.  I still don't know how it's going to happen.  Winning a championship would definitely help the résumé, but I don't even know what I'm doing next season.  I know I'm driving something, I just don't know what, and I have to figure out the options and see how everything plays out.
I wouldn't say that that is reliant on winning a championship.  We just have to go out there and focus on finishing this year before we worry about next year.

Q.  Talk specifically about this track.  It's aged now, and the races seem to be getting better and better.  How do you attack this Homestead Miami Speedway?
JAMES BUESCHER:  The truck race is a night race, and tracks gain grip at night.  The racetrack is getting slicker and slicker, but this place creates good racing.  It has multiple grooves, you can run the top, you can run the middle, you can make the bottom work.  But we approach it like any other racetrack, and that's go out there and practice and find the balance in your truck and find the best balance you can to have the most speed.
That's what we have to do just like any other week, and I think it's a good track for us.

Q.  Nowadays we see more Hispanic drivers becoming part of the NASCAR races.  Do you think this is good for the sport?
JAMES BUESCHER:  I think anybody being interested in the races is good for the sport.  The fact that the sport is becoming more diverse as far as the fans go and having a broader fan base is definitely a good thing.  That means more fans.  And the fans is what makes the wheels go round in NASCAR.
If it weren't for the fans, we wouldn't have a reason to be here every week, and I think the Truck Series has put on a great show for the fans this year, and I don't expect tomorrow night to be any different.

Q.  And a message to all the Hispanic fans that are every day more and more for NASCAR, what would you say to them?
JAMES BUESCHER:  Thanks for watching NASCAR.  I think NASCAR is a great sport to watch.  It's the best racing in the world, and now that we are becoming‑‑ getting a broader audience, I think everybody else in the world is seeing that.  You have guys that come from F1 to NASCAR and they struggle.  I mean, they see how hard it is.  It's cool to see that.  It's a good feeling to know that we are that level of race car drivers, and it's not the easiest thing in the world.  But it's definitely a lot of fun.

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