The #60 Dish Network car at Milwaukee

Photo By Joe Paolella 

 

HOW IS YOUR INJURED THUMB FOLLOWING YOUR FIRST RACE ON A ROAD COURSE?

 

“They put a T-handle shifter in it, and it worked really well. There was no issue at all.”

 

ON SWITCHING BACK AND FORTH THIS SEASON BETWEEN THE STANDARD CAR AND THE CAR OF TOMORROW.

 

“The car of tomorrow just drives a little bit differently, we don’t have the travel in the front end, so that’s a little different feel. But, on the road course, it really doesn’t feel that much different because you have to have the front end so stiff anyway. Going back and forth between them, I think, is the toughest on the crew, because those are the guys who have to do all the work on different types of cars and manage that.”

 

 

WITH THE CHASE RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER, DOES YOUR MINDSET CHANGE AT ALL?

 

“It’s still just one race at a time. We have to keep as many points as we can, make sure that we get in the chase, and then we can breathe a little easier and know that we’re starting on equal ground with everyone. But for now, each one of these races is extremely important.”

 

YOU WERE IN THE CHASE BEFORE. WERE THERE ANY SURPRISES?

 

“I did learn some stuff the first time, being in the chase, but what we try to do is have the mindset that we’re always in the chase, that we’re always racing for points, we’re trying to do the best we can. That’s what we’re working on.”

 

 

THERE’S ONLY SO MUCH PRACTICE TIME. WHAT DO YOU THINK WHEN YOU SEE WEATHER LIKE THIS?

 

“I just hope we don’t miss too much practice. We need the practice – I need the practice. I don’t know if my team actually does, but I definitely need some laps here at Watkins Glen.”

 

HOW HAS THE THUMB INJURY CHANGED YOU APPROACH TO WORKING OUT?

 

“This thumb thing has made me realize how delicate you are – you can’t mess anything up if you want work out every day and race all the time, and not have anything hold you up. So it has made me work out a little easier and I kind of value that a little more.”

 

MORE AEROBIC-TYPE WORKOUTS?

 

“Yeah, I’ve been doing a lot of aerobic stuff, and it’s probably good for me. My trainer’s always telling me that I need to work more on the aerobic stuff than lifting weights, so this will be a good break.”

 

IS THIS RACE A GOOD OPPORTUNITY TO TRY TO MAKE UP SOME GROUND ON POINTS?

 

“You never know. To me, this is a lot like a restrictor-plate race or something, with the way fuel mileage can pan out. The traps are out there, and you’ve got to be sure you don’t screw your day up by getting in one of those. So, I don’t look at this as a place where we can gain a bunch, I look at this where we have to avoid losing points.”

 

 

WITH WHERE YOU ARE IN THE POINTS STANDINGS, DOES 10 EXTRA POINTS FOR A WIN MEAN MUCH?

 

“I don’t feel comfortable right now, where 280 points or something, we’re not in a safe, danger-free zone right now. I’m just going to take it easy here and maybe two or three races down the road if we’re in the same position we’ll really go for it.”

 

DOES PIT POSITION MEAN ANYTHING HERE? TOWARD THE FRONT THERE IS AN ELEVATION CHANGE.

 

“I don’t know about the pit selection here. The elevation is a little bit of a factor, but our guys are good, and being downhill hurts you trying to stop, but it helps you trying to get going out of the pits, so you never know.”

 

Carl Edwards just misses the car of Jimmie Johnson at the Allstate 400 in July