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Carmichael, Frye teleconference, part 1

MB2 Motorsports Teleconference Guests: Ricky Carmichael Jay Frye, MB2's CEO & GM RYAN JULISON: Thanks, everybody, for being with us today. Exciting day, exciting announcement for MB2 Motorsports and Ricky Carmichael. I'm Ryan Julison, senior...

MB2 Motorsports Teleconference

Guests:
Ricky Carmichael
Jay Frye, MB2's CEO & GM

RYAN JULISON: Thanks, everybody, for being with us today. Exciting day, exciting announcement for MB2 Motorsports and Ricky Carmichael. I'm Ryan Julison, senior vice president of corporate communications for Ginn Resorts. On behalf of Bobby Ginn, I'd like to welcome you all here.

Today's announcement is a landmark for MB2 and Bobby Ginn. We have Jay Frye, the general manager and chief executive officer of MB2 Motorsports with us, along with Ricky Carmichael. Just want to announce that we have signed Ricky Carmichael to a deal that Jay will tell you more about. We're thrilled with this. We couldn't be happier.

Right now I'd like to ask Jay Frye, what does this mean to MB2 Motorsports and what is the plan for Ricky?

JAY FRYE: Obviously it's a very exciting time for MB2 with our announcement last week and this weekend with Ricky. Ricky is in our opinion the Michael Jordan of motocross, one of the most determined riders ever, he's a winner. He's going to be a huge, huge part of MB2's future going forward. We're very excited about our process from our current Nextel Cup drivers going forward into next year to the development program we're developing that will bear fruit over the next couple years.

It's a great day. Again, we're real excited about last weekend's announcement. We were really wanting to tell people last weekend what we were doing, but we had to wait till this weekend to talk about Ricky. Big day for MB2.

RYAN JULISON: Ricky, I know this has been dream of yours for a long time. What does this mean to see it finally come to fruition?

RICKY CARMICHAEL: It's amazing. I'll tell you, like you guys say, it is a dream for me. It's definitely very challenging. It's something that I'm just ecstatic about to link up also with MB2. I think it's going to be a great team and then obviously hearing the news last week that you guys let out, it's amazing. It's going to be great. Like I said, man, I can't say enough. It's just been a dream of mine. I'm very, very ecstatic about it.

RYAN JULISON: You have a big weekend, Ricky, coming up. Tell everybody what's going on.

RICKY CARMICHAEL: We're racing this weekend in Las Vegas. We got basically -- you know, it's not a race that's in a series. It's a little one-off race that Live Nation promotes. It's in the MGM Garden Arena. It's a two-night event is what it is. Little bit smaller than a normal Supercross, if you will, like the Supercrosses in the big stadiums.

It's 100 grand to win. We're looking forward to it. It's a good chance for us to have fun, not as much pressure, and to also test the new motorcycles. All of us will be riding our '07 models that we'll be racing next year. It's a good, good chance to see how they perform in a race situation.

Of course, it's Vegas, so it's always fun and always something that's happening. It's going to be fun. You know, I'm looking forward to it. Obviously, as some of you guys know, I hurt my shoulder. It's not a hundred percent, but I'm excited to race and looking forward to it.

Q: Ricky, what is the plan for you? Where are you going to get started? What series are you going to get started in? How does it fit in with your limited schedule in Supercross, Motocross?

RICKY CARMICHAEL: Right now we're going to do some late-model stuff, whether it be up in Charlotte area or down south in Florida, you know, like New Smyrna and Lakeland and stuff like that. Actually, Jay would be a great person to ask that question. He's the guy. I just do what I'm told.

I believe that's what is going to happen. All depending on my progress in the late model stuff is what dictates how far I can advance forward, when we make the next step.

Q: How many races are you going to do in motorcycles next year?

RICKY CARMICHAEL: Well, I know I'm going to do at least 16, at least half the series, half the Supercross series, maybe three-quarters of the Supercross series or half of the outdoor series. I have to do 16 races. That's my plan.

Q: How many teams did you go to or have talks with before you ended up settling with MB2?

RICKY CARMICHAEL: I talked with Gibbs quite a bit. Nothing really materialized at Evernham a year or so ago. Yeah, you know, just landed a deal with MB2. You know, I'm really excited. Really, really excited. I think they're giving me the personal service that I need at this beginning stage of a dream of mine.

Q: Jay, what is the plan for Ricky? Where do you see him starting?

JAY FRYE: Well, again, one of the things we don't want to do is we don't want to rush him through this process. And with his motorcycle schedule next year, that kind of helps this process. We'll take it very slow next year, do some late model programs, test him in an ARCA car, maybe from that point enter an ARCA race. At the end of the year, if things are going real well, go to a truck test, truck race type of thing.

Again, if we don't accomplish all those things I just talked about, that doesn't mean that things are wrong. It just means we haven't been able to test him as much as we want to before we put him in an actual event.

One of the things that we got going that's kind of neat with the announcement we made last week with Mark, Mark has a lot of equipment in Florida that he's been using with his son Matt. So we'll be using Mark and Matt some, too, at times next year where Ricky has a Tuesday off, Mark has some time off, they can go to New Smyrna or Lakeland, wherever, and make laps all day. He'll be getting tutored, again, from one of the best ever.

Again, we just want to do this right. We want to take our time. Ricky is obviously very young still. We just want to make sure we're doing this systematically and doing the right thing every step of the way.

Q: Ricky, you're so accustomed to winning. What learning curves do you expect to hurdle as you go for your first win in stock cars?

RICKY CARMICHAEL: You know, car racing is totally different than Motocross obviously. The car has so much to do with it. But I think one thing that I do have and that I've learned is I have a lot of patience. I think that could be something good, a good character, a good trait that I could bring over. Even though I am used to winning, I have a lot of patience. I just have to basically let it come to me. Do my best and just let it come to me.

It will be tough, but I know -- I feel that I can do that.

Q: Do you feel you have a lot of the traits of a winner - you obviously are a champion - the champions in stock car racing?

RICKY CARMICHAEL: Well, I think I have a lot of determination. Obviously I respect what those guys do so much. I mean, they're the best at what they do. You know, it would be like them coming to Motocross and racing.

It's going to be tough, you know. The only thing I can say is I'm just thankful for my opportunity that I have with MB2 Motorsports. I want to make the best of it.

Q: Jay, what makes you think that Ricky can make this transition?

JAY FRYE: Well, like Ricky was saying, Ricky is a very determined rider. One of the things that we've discovered or knew about Ricky starting this process off was his work ethic. I mean, he's a champion. He has nothing to prove, but yet he's out there every day practicing, he's out there every day trying to get better, he's out there every day testing. What he did yesterday is not good enough for what he's going to do today. So that work ethic, just his natural ability that he has, his winning attitude. I mean, he definitely has the ability to do this.

Again, we just have to go through the process and do it right.

One of the things, too, about our sport which, as you know, is very hard, is getting acceptance from the other drivers in the sport. Well, our NASCAR drivers will completely embrace Ricky and do whatever they can to help him because they respect him so much because of his success in motocross. He'll come into our garage area with a huge amount of credibility and a huge amount of respect from all of the NASCAR drivers, which is certainly something that will help him going forward.

Q: Ricky, how long did you live in the Clearwater area before you moved up to the panhandle? Did you go to high school in this area? Do you come back here?

RICKY CARMICHAEL: You know what, I only lived down there till I was 12 years old, then I moved up to Tallahassee. The riding was so good up there. That's pretty much why we moved up there.

I do come down there a couple times a year. My grandfather lives in Largo. I come down there and see him. That's where my father was born and raised. So I make it down there.

Q: What is your grandfather's name?

RICKY CARMICHAEL: Hugh Carmichael.

Q: Jay, can you tell us a little bit about how this came about. Did Ricky approach you? Did you seek him out? What happened?

JAY FRYE: Well, it was odd. One of Ricky's -- the people that Ricky deals with and Bobby Ginn are friends. Again, we heard rumblings about Ricky for the last year or so. We heard he was going to do some different things.

Between those two, a meeting was arranged. We all got together. I'm just speaking for myself, Bobby and our group. At the end of the meeting, this felt like one of the most right things we'd ever done or wanted to do. At that point it was just putting it together. Once we all decided to put it together, it happened very quickly.

Q: And in that process you had obviously other drivers that you could have sought out, people who actually are in the Busch or Cup Series, but you decided to go with Ricky. Why was that?

JAY FRYE: Absolutely. Again, everything he does. When I said at the opening the Michael Jordan of Motocross, we believe that. Obviously his record speaks for itself. There are racers who are winners and Ricky is a winner. Again, it's going to be a tough transition into stock cars, into NASCAR. But if there's anybody that can do it, he can do it. We think he can do it. We think he's going to be great.

Again, we want to make sure we do the process right. We're going to take our time. We're going to do it right. This could be a two, three, four, five year plan. Whatever it takes. But the ability is there, the attitude is there, the determination is there. And that's half the battle.

Q: Ricky, why this deal? You've had other opportunities. Why did you select MB2 to make the move with? The Mark Martin thing, were you aware of that before you agreed to this deal?

RICKY CARMICHAEL: No, I wasn't aware of the Mark Martin deal. I don't think anybody at MB2 was at the time. When I heard that news, that was just icing on the cake for me.

Yeah, you know, how I came to strike a deal with MB2, it just felt natural to me. I had met with some other teams, just dealing with them, dealing with MB2, it just felt, like I said, natural. I just went with where my heart felt. I really feel they're putting a lot of time and effort into me, into my program, into teaching me, into learning me things. That's what I need. They seem like they had the best program for that. It made my decision pretty easy to pick them.

Q: As you go along and you look at driving late models, ARCA, so forth, there's also some talk you might get into a truck. What is your feeling about doing that specifically with perhaps Mark Martin as a tutor?

RICKY CARMICHAEL: Oh, I mean, it would be simply amazing to have Mark Martin as a tutor. I like his work ethic. The guy, every time you hear him after an interview, he's like, Man, we got to do whatever we got to do to win.

You know, I got a great opportunity. If I can do it in late model, do it in an ARCA, do it in truck, I'm just going to make the best of every opportunity I've been given, hopefully be able to fulfill my dream.

Continued in part 2

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About this article
Series AMA , ARCA , NASCAR Truck
Drivers Ricky Carmichael , Mark Martin