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NASCAR Media Conference

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Stock Car Racing Topics:  NASCAR

NASCAR Media Conference

Hugo Oliveras
Antonio Perez
February 28, 2013

Q. You've been here before with Nationwide. What is it like to be back at this track?
HUGO OLIVERAS: Obviously it's different expectations when I came here with the Nationwide Series. It's a different expectation this time around. I'm coming here to win. It's a very important race, the beginning of the season.
I'm hoping to have a good race season.

Q. This is your first time here at Phoenix International Raceway. What do you think of the track?
ANTONIO PEREZ: I'm very impressed with the track. This is not the type of facility that you normally see in Mexico.
I'm very happy with everything that NASCAR Toyota Series has done to bring us here, to bring the series here to race in the United States and have us here racing along with Nationwide and Sprint Cup in the same weekend.
It's a great experience for me. I'm very much looking forward to the race.

Q. Hugo, how many laps have you completed here?
HUGO OLIVERAS: Obviously the last time I was here was Nationwide. It was a much different configuration, different than what it is now.

Q. What were the most difficult parts of the track?
HUGO OLIVERAS: Obviously it's a very difficult track to understand. You have turn one and two, which are a bit more difficult, much different than turn three and four.
It's a much different configuration than last time I was here.

Q. Antonio, in this race there will not be any pit stops after 50 laps, then a sprint to the finish for the last 25.
ANTONIO PEREZ: I have not ever been on this track. The only time I've been on this track was once yesterday, and I was walking.
I can't speak to the changes I have to make during the pit stops but I'm looking forward to the experience.

Q. What expectations do you have for this race and the show you'll put on for the fans?
ANTONIO PEREZ: It's much different expectations than what we're normally used to, especially with Nationwide here.
I think everyone has done a very good job, everybody that made it possible for us to get here. For all the drivers that have an opportunity to be here, we're going to put on a good show for the fans.
There's a lot of things expected from us, but the drivers from the NASCAR Toyota Series are capable and we'll live up to those expectations.
HUGO OLIVERAS: The drivers here are good ambassadors for the sport, for the NASCAR Toyota Series. I'd like to thank the members of the NASCAR Toyota Series, everyone who has worked hard to make this race possible.
It's very important. I think members and people who are here looking at Nationwide and Sprint Cup, even the drivers, they're going to see how clean we can drive, the kind of driving we put on the track, and overall the level that NASCAR Toyota Series is at.

Q. What kind of pressure do you feel? What are your expectations for the race tomorrow?
ANTONIO PEREZ: This is the beginning of the championship. While it's an important race, we're all focused on race number 15, which is the end.
It's not so much that we are nervous, we're very excited, very motivated to be at this track. But the important thing is that we want to win the championship. Even though we're going to race hard, we want to get as many points as we can tomorrow and look towards race number 15 in the championship.
HUGO OLIVERAS: It's very much the same. It's not really pressure, we're anxious to get back in the car, behind the wheel, on the track.
I think this is a great facility, a great opportunity. Just really want to get the race started and we're very anxious for this race weekend.

Q. Do you feel this is a very good opportunity to show the fans, to get more fans on this side of the border and the effect of last week's accident.
ANTONIO PEREZ: Obviously I think it's very important to get the fans and everybody, the Latinos, Hispanics here involved.
People here for the NASCAR Toyota Series are also very involved. They think it's a great opportunity. There are many mechanics, drivers who have not had the opportunity to come to the United States, to leave the country, and have had the opportunity thanks to this race.
In order to get further in NASCAR, there's opportunities for other drivers in the future to get to the upper levels of NASCAR.
In terms of safety, I think NASCAR puts safety first. Obviously what happened at the crash last weekend was unfortunate, very bad luck, but I feel that NASCAR always puts safety first.
I notice it's brought something to light that they're enforcing some things, but I know that the safety of the fans and drivers is very important for NASCAR.
HUGO OLIVERAS: Very much the same. I feel that NASCAR puts safety first.
Obviously the accident that happened last week was a very rare accident. I do not feel any nervousness or pressure. I feel that I'm very safe.
I hope that all the fans involved in the accident are safe and they get better.

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