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NASCAR Preseason Fan Festival

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Stock Car Racing Topics:  NASCAR

NASCAR Preseason Fan Festival

Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
January 17, 2009


DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA

ANDREW BOOTH: We're joined by Dale Earnhardt, Jr. You have one of these trophies and talk about the Daytona 500 and your 2009 season with the No. 88 Chevrolet.
DALE EARNHARDT, JR.: I'm really excited. I'm looking forward to going into the season. It will get here when it gets here. We've got a few more weeks of off-season left, Super Bowls to watch and whatnot. But just being around the racetrack today has been exciting, truly, to drive in and see the banks and the school cars going around, to sit here with the trophy and see some of the press and some of the other drivers really sort of gets your blood boiling a little bit and gets you excited about coming back and getting going.
I'm looking forward to seeing how -- I feel like the no testing is going to be zero effect on -- I think you won't even recognize a difference in the season or how the weekend goes for Speedweeks. But I'm looking forward to just getting in the car for the first time and that will be in drafting practice for the Shootout soon, and I'm looking forward to getting two or three laps in and getting excited and seeing how good our stuff is, and hopefully it's really, really good and we're very, very happy.

Q. You kind of partly answered that already. I was just going to say, as long as you've been doing this, is it kind of a switch on, switch off things so you come to Speedweeks and just like that you'll be ready to go?
DALE EARNHARDT, JR.: I think so. Especially when you don't have any testing and there's not many opportunities to really get in the car and get behind the wheel and go around the racetrack. That really only takes a couple laps really to get reacclimated with everything going on, the speed and the senses and all the things you're trying to do. But it should just be like an old shoe, you know, your favorite pair of slippers or whatever.
It is an on-off switch for me I feel like, and I'm glad to turn it on, and I'm glad to turn it off. Just whatever I need to be doing, whatever the job is at the time.

Q. Have you re-acclimated with Tony, Jr. yet, seen him at all during the off-season and talked at all about strategy for the coming year?
DALE EARNHARDT, JR.: We talked a little bit, went hunting together in Missouri. We haven't talked about strategy. We really never talk much about strategy until we're actually there at the race weekend. Depending on the racetrack there's a certain way you do things. I've got to go over there next Tuesday, sit in a few seats and sit in a few cars and shoot the breeze a little bit with the guys. We're having a company luncheon that we always have, a quarterly company luncheon. So that's always fun. They always have good fun and everybody gets excited about that.
Yeah, we haven't really spent a whole lot of time talking. Like I said, we went hunting for four or five days together and took our uncles, Robert and Jimmy Gee. But we just talked about everything else, or nothing at all, really.

Q. With the new car you're racing here, do the same kind of strategies work at the end and getting to the front worked with the old car? How is the new car different here to rate in the draft strategy-wise?
DALE EARNHARDT, JR.: This car is a little bit more difficult to move through the pack. This car punches a bigger hole in there when you get two or three cars -- when you get three or four lines of cars lined up together, the center lane, which could have been an option in the past, is not an option now. There's no air on the car and you really just lose the front or the back, one or the other trying to go into the middle and make something happen. It's just really hard to get any grip out of the car. The car has a lot less downforce, especially it has a whole lot worse downforce package in the draft or behind other people, it's a lot worse than the old car. It's just a challenge trying to get it run, trying to make a run happen on somebody and trying to get up alongside of them and get by them.
The great thing about the 500, though, is it starts in the daytime and ends at night, so when the sun goes down the temperature goes down, the grip comes up a little bit, so the racing -- right at the end of the race it's a whole lot better than what you've seen all day long.

Q. I have some oddball questions. Number one, how much do you like Memphis barbecue, and the second part of that is are you aware of their offer to you of a lifetime supply and have you thought at all about taking them up on their offer?
DALE EARNHARDT, JR.: Well, I don't really have that much use for that much barbecue, but the -- who do you work for?

Q. NASCAR Scene.
DALE EARNHARDT, JR.: Just making sure you don't work for Memphis (laughter). I don't know, those kind of deals kind of get under your skin a little bit because obviously I haven't raced there since 1999, and I probably won't be going back there any time soon, and they just use my name to try to sell tickets and try to start some gimmick. They were saying in their press release that they watched a television show called Cribs where I talked about Memphis barbecue and I specifically pulled out the package of barbecue that I liked, and it's called Rendezvous and I mentioned that on the show. So they knew that Rendezvous, if anybody has ever been to Memphis and ate there, they know it's great barbecue ribs, so they know that that was my favorite. But they mentioned their track sponsored barbecue place so they got a plug for no damn reason, and Rendezvous who has been there forever doesn't get a word in.

Q. Now they will.
DALE EARNHARDT, JR.: Now they will (laughter). Well, if they give me some Rendezvous ribs and up the ante just a little more than just ribs, we might talk about it.
I don't know, it was a little frustrating. I should probably just take it easy because I know they're just trying to do their job. But I would have -- it would have been cool to get a heads up that they were going to do that; hey, man, we're going to use your name in this instead of getting it sprung on you. Vegas did the same thing. What was the deal a couple years ago, Mike? Some ridiculous deal for them to try to get people to buy tickets.
I told everybody to go buy tickets to Talladega. It's a hell of a better race (laughter).
I don't want to sound like a jerk about it because I know that it's tough times right now, and we're -- they're definitely in between a rock and a hard place trying to get people to come out there and watch races, but I was really more upset for the guys at Rendezvous that have been around for years, and everybody knows that's the best place in Memphis, hands down. Everybody can read right through that article.
Who here has been to Memphis? And you guys never ate Rendezvous ribs? All right, then you can attest. They are consistent.

Q. Brad Keselowski was in here just now and he seems like a new guy. He seems like he's so much more confident, and he said it's because he feels ready for the first time for this move. He also said that you really groomed him well, that he is his best racing around you, that he races harder when you're around him, when he looks in the rear-view mirror he sees you race harder against him. He wants to win the championship in the Nationwide series, but he really does seem like a different guy, like he's more letting himself out and more confident. Can you talk to that?
DALE EARNHARDT, JR.: Well, if Brad is anything like me, I guess you get something like a season -- he had a great season last year, and you get something like that under your belt, then you can kind of take an off-season and begin to admire it and appreciate it for what it was. He did a great job for us last year. He's probably thought a lot about where he was prior to that. He's just been at this for a very short period of time. He's just starting to become appreciative, I guess, and understand truly what he's been able to accomplish. He's starting to feel comfortable with the opportunity that he might be able to do this for the rest of his life.
When I first came in and I started -- even after I won that first championship in '98, there was no guarantees, you know, and you damn sure didn't want to be doing anything else, especially after getting a taste of it. He's just starting to really get that confidence and feeling like, yeah, man, I feel like I'm starting to -- all he wants to do is just to do this for the rest of his life, and he's starting to feel like he's getting to be able to start to accomplish that. Obviously being able to have some conversations with Rick will certainly give you a lot of confidence and calm a lot of the nerves. He's obviously got a lot of questions about his future with the Cup Series and what opportunities Rick can provide for him. With Mark coming in, what does that mean for Brad. So he's had a lot of conversations with Rick that are private, and I know really nothing about those, but apparently those give him a lot of assurance, and Brad is feeling really confident right now. He's in a great spot, he's looking forward to next year. He knows what he did last year to try and win the championship and finished third, and I think he feels like he can put together a better season this year and maybe give us a shot to win the championship.

Q. Here's a shot in the dark. Have you ever named any of your race cars?
DALE EARNHARDT, JR.: Yeah, just for fun. We used to name them all the time. I built some street stocks. My granddaddy Robert G. used to name his race cars all the time. I had the Mach 5 and the car I raced at Myrtle Beach and the late models I built from the ground up, we called it Wild Eyed Crazy Mary.

Q. Where did that come from?
DALE EARNHARDT, JR.: That was a Pearl Jam song. It was actually a cover that Pearl Jam did. I had a car we took to a lot of different places like Florence and a few other joints that we called East Coast Drifter and the car that I burned down to the ground at Nashville in late models was called the General Lee because it was built in Richmond, Virginia. We had some Busch cars called Red-Headed Stepchild because the chassis was red. We had a lot of different names for some of our cars.
I mean, you have to name your race car. It has a personality already, so you've got to give it a name. That's only fair. Only fun, too. It's better than some number, you know? Everybody has got numbers stamped all over them.

Q. How do you size up your first year with Hendrick? Did it fall short of expectations? I guess I'll ask the obligatory question about the Ganassi-Earnhardt merger thing.
DALE EARNHARDT, JR.: I don't know what obligatory means, but I'll try to do my best. As far as last year, I mean, I was real happy how we started the season. The first half of the year was great. We were second in points, we ran great right out of the box. We were actually one of the better teams in our stable for the first couple, two, three months. Then the last half of the season was a steady stream of disappointments, especially in the Chase. I was very disappointed with how we ran, but the whole team was. I was not disappointed in any one individual or anything, we just -- we just didn't get it done. We damn sure didn't get it done.
You know, that was frustrating not to be able to compete like we did at the start of the year, because we always work hard, and I always try to drive really hard, because I can't -- if there's one guy out there that would be easy to take a pop shot at for not being focused and not driving hard, it's me. So I've got to go out there and drive hard every lap.
You know, as far as the merger, I'm pretty happy, I think, for them. You can't get a word out of Martin. He's like talking to a rock. I see him on the internet all the time, try to talk to him, just get -- I have no idea what's going on over there. The only thing I know about what's going on over there is what you guys are printing, and I don't know whether to believe half of that because you just don't know. Hell, y'all might not be getting the truth.
I don't know what they're doing, but I hope that it's good. Merging has always been pretty decent for everybody that I've seen it happen to. Chip has some real strong views, and he's a tough, tough, tough competitor. He's got a reputation, and I think that will be good for them because he's certainly visible at the racetrack, and that's good as an owner for them, and Teresa didn't really like coming to the track and didn't want to be around the racetrack. So now they've got one of the owners that will be at the racetrack. A driver has questions and he needs to talk to an owner sometimes on a Friday night or a Saturday, so that will be good.
I'm excited for Max and his future. I guess he's moving on, and he's got -- he's got some great opportunities to work with the Diversity Program. He is a really good guy in my opinion, and he may be pulling the wool over my eyes, but I like him. I hope that he's involved in the sport for quite some time because he's got a pretty good head on his shoulders.
I don't know, I mean, it's just so tough to stay alive right now in this sport, in this economy, for anybody, so tough, so challenging, and it's not over. We're not out of the woods yet. It's going to be a hard year for these teams. Even these teams that think they have sponsorships and have what they need, it's going to be very challenging to get through the season, much less put together a program for next year.

Q. As a team owner you've been involved with driver development programs for the last few years. Can you tell me what qualities that you see in a driver besides one that wins races obviously, what qualities you look for in a driver? And second question, and I apologize because this is three months ahead, but why is Taladega Superspeedway such a magical place for the Earnhardt family?
DALE EARNHARDT, JR.: Well, when you're looking for drivers -- I used to think I had an eye for talent, but now I don't think so anymore. I think that you have to just -- I mean, there's no real such thing as having a true eye for talent. I mean, there's a lot of guys that -- like I can put Mark McFarland and Brad and Shane Huffman in cars, and they can all go fast. What you need to do is -- they can all run quick, you know, but they've got to be able to take the next step, and that's be able to finish races running that fast, be able to finish races consistently running that good and running that quick.
You know, I didn't really see that in Brad. I saw the first half of it -- I saw the second half of it. I saw him finishing races and taking care of stuff and being smart with his equipment. He'd take his car that was not very good and run probably better than he should. Apparently maybe that's the guy you need to give a shot to, because I give him a shot and he's run great and he's not tore up my stuff. I've had other guys that were fast, knew we were fast, put them in a car because they were fast and they wrecked a lot, and I couldn't convince them that that was going to get them fired. Just couldn't convince them. They'd go out there and back it into a wall the next week, and I'd go, I just told you that that is not going to work. Let's stop doing that. Two weeks down the road we're in the fence again, and it's like, how do you -- I don't know what else to do.
So I can only do what I know how to do, and that's look down the road to find somebody that has that pre-programmed in their mind. Some guys do start off -- Jeff Gordon wrecked a lot of race cars his rookie year in the Busch Series, but he changed. But that's rare. I can't sit here and go, yeah, I've got my eye on three or four guys watching them come up through the late model ranks, I'm going to see which one is going to work out. Because if I tried to pick one out of the three right now, I'd probably be wrong every time. You just have to hope you're lucky like I was with Brad. I was real fortunate with Brad and it just worked out. It happened to work out. I had good equipment, I was looking for a driver, and he just happened to be in the right place at the right time in his career.
It's just a chance deal in my opinion. I used to think, yeah, you can look around and pick guys, and man, I can make a driver out of him no problem, and he's fast and if he'll listen to me, I'm sure he will, but that does not work. You just kind of have to be lucky. And circumstances. Like rod Osterlund and my dad getting together. Who would have thought in 1979 that that he was going to win a rookie title and a championship in 1980. Everybody else would have put their money on Cale and Jr. because they had won three in a row. Daddy was a big surprise when he came down here. It was just circumstances and chances and opportunities.
Talladega being special, I don't know, it's always been fun for me, always liked going there when I was a little kid, loved going to that racetrack, and daddy always run good there. When he ran good at racetracks, I was paying more attention to the race than goofing off. Obviously I'm not a great road course racer because daddy wasn't waxing too many road courses, so I was probably goofing off in the garage somewhere during those races. He always run good there, so you always paid attention and watched and had fun watching those races. They had a great little garage area where we had our drivers' meeting. That was a fun place to hang out. I had a lot of great memories from going there when I was too young to drive.
And believe it or not, I'd never raced anywhere at Myrtle Beach, and it was 1994. I had only run 20 late model races, I drove a street stock car, a legend car and then 20 late model races. My daddy called me at the dealership and he said, we're testing the V8 for the Busch Series and we want you to come down here and drive it. He said, don't tell nobody, just come, be at the plane at this hour. So I told the guys at work I was changing over to the other shift, I said, I ain't coming back until tomorrow, don't ask. I went to Talladega and got in a car and drove around Talladega. That was the greatest thing in the world at that time, and I couldn't tell a soul. It sucked (laughter). That was amazing.
I don't know, I just love the place. It's got a lot of history. Obviously with the Alabama Gang and everything that happened there with that, they made it a great racetrack and a popular racetrack, the Red Farmers and Bobby and all them guys. We came in and won some races and made it a pretty exciting place, too.

Q. With so many drivers out of work and quality seats across the board in the three series shrinking, to your mind what can a guy do to help himself to get a job in this market?
DALE EARNHARDT, JR.: Shoot, man. Well, you know, it's sort of -- every job that anybody -- I don't know if I can say that fully. But there's a lot percentage of people who have jobs in this sport because of people they knew and connections and friends. There's a small percentage of guys that worked for nothing for a little while to try to prove their worth. That was real common over at my dad's place in the '90s was you'd come work for free for three months, and if we thought you were any good we'd keep you and start paying.
I mean, just like everything else, man, over the last several years we sort of all were living oblivious to the perils of what we were to face and what we're facing now. We sort of quit cutting corners and costs and just stopped paying attention to the little things, trying to save a buck here and there, and it's sort of biting a bunch of people in the butt now.
You know, we just have to -- I think it's important for us all to get back to some of the simpler ways of doing things, and people are going to have to work for free in some cases to prove their worth. I'm using that more metaphorically than anything because it's going to be -- there's so much more supply when it comes to individuals than there is demand now, and it's tough. It's a very, very unfortunate time, and I'm speaking mainly around Mooresville and in that area where so many people have lost their jobs. It's very difficult and very challenging, and the mood is such, and you just drive around and see all of these development properties that have screeched to a halt and they're just sitting there and not moving and not developing. But it's unfortunate. I don't know what's going to happen. I'm as interested as everybody in this room to see where we're going to be about a year and a half from now. I'm on top of that stuff. I mean, I read and study and try to understand the best I can about what's happening and what -- really how many different things can happen to us in the future and what happens to our sport or how is our sport affected, and should it get worse how would it be affected. I try to have a good idea.
I'm in this. I have a lot of business connections in this sport and things that I'm doing as an owner and whatnot, that it would be smart for me to be aware. I don't know how to get somebody a job, though. It's almost impossible right now.

Q. You've obviously had a chance to meet a lot of interesting people throughout your career, actors, singers, athletes, presidents. Who is one person you've come across that you were really surprised to find out was a NASCAR or a racing fan?
DALE EARNHARDT, JR.: Oh, man. Well, that's tough to say. I really appreciated LeAnn Rimes for being so kind to me. I met her a couple times, most recently in Michigan, and her husband was a big fan, and she, too, is a big fan, and they're just really really -- she was always just really pleasant.
I didn't know it at the time, but to be able to speak to the president over the telephone after winning the Daytona 500. I was so naïve at the time and just in a zone because of the win, and I look back on that and can't even recall the conversation. But I'm proud of that.
I know for a fact that he was aware of who I was and what I did and possibly a fan, but Dirks Bentley is a big fan. That was kind of cool. We've become pretty good friends. I got a phone call from Dwight Yokum a year ago. We've talked on the phone a couple times since. He's a fan.
In 2000 I sent Dave Grohl from the Foo Fighters a guitar, and he got the guitar two days before my dad was killed, so he played the guitar -- after he found out about the whole story, he played it on a couple shows the next several months, and then he called me, left me a couple messages, and I was too scared to call him back. I regret that one.
I mean, I met a lot of different people. But it surprises you, I guess, to -- more so to meet the people that don't know much about the sport and then run into them down the road after they've experienced it. You bring a lot of guys like McConaughey and people like that who have never been around this and then they experience it and you see them six months down the road, and they've become a fan. That's what's really great. That's what I like about it. Everybody we show this to typically falls in love with it.

Q. I have two questions for you. You've already won the Daytona 500, and you had one year under your belt with the Car of Tomorrow, so you know what you need in the way of driving it and Tony knows what it needs in the way of setting it up. What do you think it's going to take to win the Daytona this year with this car in the second season?
DALE EARNHARDT, JR.: Well, I don't know. I've got to be fast, I know that. That was pretty apparent. When the 18 and the 11 and those guys were leading last year, man, you couldn't even get to them. You've got to handle good. They were handling good and had some good power. We've just got to get our car to handle a little bit better. I think I've wrecked out of the last two Daytona 500s or maybe I finished ninth or something last year, but I've not finished well, done well near the end of the races, made the wrong choices, picking the wrong line and finishing bad or crashing out. You've just got to make the right choices near the end of the Daytona 500. The night falls and the grip comes, the track gets a lot more grip, and the two-wide racing becomes more common. If you're not in the front of one of them lines, you're kind of stuck where you are. So you've got to make sure you're near the front of that thing just about all day.
You've got to think in the back of your mind, every battle for every position is a potential battle for the win. If you think for one minute that I'll just let this guy go because it's so early in the race, that could have been the pass that lost you the race. Especially, like I said, because it gets cooler and you get the grip in, it's harder to pass.
What was the other question?

Q. You're in the Bud Shootout this year, and how do you like NASCAR's expanding into 28 entries this year.
DALE EARNHARDT, JR.: I wish you wouldn't have asked me because I didn't want to talk about it. I don't like the new format. You had a race for guys who won poles, you had a race for guys who won races in the middle of the season, and now neither one of those are hardly recognizable. I mean, if NASCAR -- I haven't asked NASCAR why they changed it, so I don't feel like I can rightfully say much without giving them the opportunity to defend themselves for their reasons. But apparently there were some reasons they changed it, and it's obviously better for the manufacturers with this new format for the Shootout. But it's less about why the race was started in the first place.
It just sucks because I'm such a historian of the sport, and I just like all the history and I like all the cool things about the history, and I like looking back on the guys who were in this race in the '80s and '90s and why they were in it and how they got in it and who missed it the next year and made it the next year. I don't know, just sort of -- things change. Maybe there's nothing wrong with this new format. Maybe I just hate change. But I don't like it. I like the old format.

Q. Brad Keselowski who drives for you in the Nationwide series is going to be entered in seven Cup events this season. How can you help him prepare for his Cup debut and do you think he's ready to race with some of the top names in the sport.
DALE EARNHARDT, JR.: Well, I don't know, man. Brad is pretty smart. Brad has been -- the cool thing about Brad is I don't have to tutor him hardly at all because he grew up around racing, so he knows everything. He always tells me what's new and what I need to be doing. He's really, really passionate about seatbelts, the latest and greatest, helmets. He's got me wearing this impact helmet which I really like, but he's trying to get me to wear these new seatbelts, and I'm just a little stubborn.
Seriously, he comes from a racing family and he knows a lot about racing. He grew up in the sport, and he knows the trials and tribulations, and he knows the things that I would tutor him on or want to tutor him on would be keeping your head on straight, staying away from the bad crowd, trying not to get caught up in controversy early and trying to be yourself, show me and show the public who you really are, be a good guy, be a respectful guy early. That's really the first impression, you know? But he already probably knows most of that. I think if I see him say something out of line that he shouldn't have said that's going to haunt him, I'll try to remind him because he doesn't want to make that mistake. He won't admit it -- and I'd tell this to Brad even if you weren't in the room -- when we wrecked our cars at Vegas that was a tough time for us. Mark won the race, I was excited. Brad lost the race, which he might have been able to win if he could have held them guys. Do y'all remember that Busch race? So it was hard for Brad to sort of get over what happened there and Mark wrecking him. Everybody knows who Mark Martin is, and he doesn't go around wrecking guys, but Brad doesn't know that. So it just took Brad a little while to get over that. Those type of situations I can help Brad with once he finds himself in them, but I don't think I can do anything to help him prepare because he's pretty much well ready to go.
Do I think he's ready to race everybody? Sure. He's going to race them harder than he should, but he's so used to doing that in the Busch Series because he's trying to get a job. Once he gets in the Cup Series maybe he'll take better care -- he'll have to take better care of his equipment because he's going to have to run an additional 200 miles. Who knows, he might be a hell of a deal in a Cup car. I hope so. I mean, I take some credit for it.

Q. Aric Almirola was in here yesterday and he said he's got no guarantees after Daytona and that the 8 car is in question for the rest of the season. Would that disappoint you if the 8 wasn't in NASCAR, and do you still have an emotional connection to that car?
DALE EARNHARDT, JR.: Well, yeah, I do have an emotional connection to it. I hope that it's able to run all year. You know, I think probably more so for Aric because he's had to sort of put off this season, this full season, that he's been so excited about having for a couple years now, and he's not had that opportunity. I hope that he gets the chance to run this year and run all year, and I hope he's with a good group of guys that will do a good job. Obviously he had a good group last year with Tony and them guys, but they moved on. You know, it's just unfortunate. So much has changed in the last six months in this sport, in the last 18 months a bunch has changed, and I just hope we can get all settled down somehow and start having a little bit of order around here and start rebuilding, everybody getting some stability financially to where we can have more expectations than we have questions.

Q. You must have gotten a lot of advice growing up in racing, maybe too much advice. What advice that you got seemed to work the best for you throughout the years?
DALE EARNHARDT, JR.: Man, I don't know. It's hard to answer. That's a tough answer right there. I didn't have a lot of it -- when somebody says what kind of advice did you get, the only thing that ever springs to mind, and it's such a cliché, but it's really serious, is stay away from drugs. For some reason -- I was pretty -- I had a pretty decent head on my shoulders, and I was actually scared to death of that stuff when I was 13. If somebody would have showed me -- I had never seen what weed looked like or what cocaine looked like, and if somebody would have showed me I probably would have run in the other direction. For some reason my daddy was real adamant, and he mentioned it almost on a daily basis or a weekly basis at least about staying away from it, stay away from people who were doing it. I think he was worried because he was out of town racing. He just didn't know what me and Kelly were doing on the weekends. But he talked about it a lot, talked about it all the time. I had no idea how close it was to me. I had no idea -- I assumed that that was miles and miles away.
When you're a teenager, you have no idea that it could be in the house next door. It could be in the classroom across the hall. You have no idea, and you wouldn't ever assume it at that age. You just assume everything is great and everybody is right and everybody is true, you know what I mean?
But he talked about it and talked about it and talked about it. And as I got older and understood really how dangerously close that is to everyone, and myself included at a young age, I guess I realized his urgency and his paranoia a little bit about it.
I've had some -- I've known some friends to have some trouble with it and struggle with several years of their life, getting mixed up in certain drugs, but you see it -- you don't have to have friends. You see it every day amongst a lot of people, and fortunately or unfortunately we hear about it on the radio or the television a lot. I didn't know how difficult or how vulnerable of a situation I was in until I got older and realized how close it was.
I'm glad that he said what he said and I'm glad he reminded me about it all the time, because even as -- I was scared to death of it, and I probably didn't need anybody telling me how dangerous it was, but maybe -- some kids are all too confident in that situation and would make that mistake.
You know, we never talked -- when somebody asks me that question nothing ever pops in my head about somebody told me to do this at this race or somebody told me to handle the media this way or somebody gave me some advice about -- nothing race-related. The first thing that pops in my head is that for some reason because that's just such a dangerous deal.
ANDREW BOOTH: Dale, that wraps it up. Thank you very much.



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