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NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Gatorade Duel 2

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Stock Car Racing Topics:  Gatorade Duel

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Gatorade Duel 2

Scott Speed
February 11, 2010


KERRY THARP: Mike, thank you very much. Congratulations on getting into Sunday's Daytona 500.
Next up also transferring into the Daytona 500 is Scott Speed, driver of the No. 82 Red Bull Toyota.
Scott, tell us how you managed to get in there.
SCOTT SPEED: Fortunate for us we were able to qualify on speed. The race for us was more like the race was for everyone else who didn't have to get into the race. But nonetheless, we were able to get in the race. An added bonus, another fellow Toyota driver, Mr. Waltrip, can run. I think he's the guy that needs to be in that show.

Q. Three former Formula One drivers in the field now for Sunday. Talk about that.
SCOTT SPEED: Yeah, well, it's clear that the sport in general is growing. We're getting interest from sort of different forms of motorsports other than just the normal sort of rankings, normal ladder steps you would take to get into NASCAR, which is cool.
It obviously shows the health of the sport. I think the more people that come into it, the more diversity we get, the more competitive it's going to get. I think it's good for everyone.

Q. Can you talk about how this run gives you a boost for Sunday? Does it give you any extra confidence going into the race?
SCOTT SPEED: Well, honestly, actually I think we expected to run a little bit better than we did. We didn't quite hit what we thought we were going to for the setup. So we're going to have to go back and figure out how to get a little bit more front grip into our car so we're not as tight. If we can get a balance similar to what we had last year here and what we had earlier this week, I think we're going to be competitive.
You know, after a year under my belt of driving, certainly coming back to this place, I have so much more confidence and so much of a better feel for the car, what's going on around mere, for sure it's making a big difference already.
So hopefully we can make some good decisions before Sunday and we'll be able to run competitive.

Q. We just talked to Michael Waltrip. He said he needed to seek you out and give you a big hug. Wanted to make sure you're okay with that.
SCOTT SPEED: Absolutely. Michael, he's a big teddy bear, that guy. Anyways, we're friends. I'm glad I was able to get him in that race. I think the big man back there deserves to be in it.

Q. Because of your qualifying speed, you knew you were in good shape. With the whole Michael thing looming, were you ever conscious out there, I got to get by this guy, it will help Michael, did that ever enter your mind?
SCOTT SPEED: Uhm, I don't know. I mean, not in particular, honestly. But I knew that if we were gonna make it in the show, they would put him in. That's a plus. The whole time we're thinking about how to make the car better, continue going forward through the field.
So I think in any case, it's an added bonus that another Toyota driver is in the race.

Q. Can you talk about coming back to Daytona for the 500, what kind of things are you more confident in this year as a driver?
SCOTT SPEED: I don't know. I guess the easiest way to explain it, instead of concentrating and focusing on what I'm doing physically in the car, I can concentrate a lot more of my attention on what's going on around me. That affects your car, how your car feels out there. I think just being comfortable, having done it, a lot of things start becoming automatic. When that happens, you're able to pay attention to other things that are also important.
It's all part of the learning experience.
KERRY THARP: Scott, congratulations, good luck on Sunday.
SCOTT SPEED: Thank you.

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