PRELUDE TO THE DREAM PRESS CONFERENCE
Tony Stewart, Kyle Busch, Tammy Ross
Tuesday, April 20, 2010, Indianapolis Motor Speedway
MODERATOR: On behalf of Indianapolis Motor Speedway, I want to thank them for allowing us to hold this event and hosting us.
Thank you very much for being here, and first off I would like to introduce our panel: Tony Stewart, two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion, as well as the owner of Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio. In the middle, Tammy Ross, the general manager and vice president of HBO Pay-Per-View Sports; and Kyle Busch, Gillette Young Guns and most recent winner on the NASCAR Nationwide Series down at Texas.
And, of course, the reason why we are here is to give you the details of the 2010 Prelude to the Dream. There's a lot that's the same and a lot that's different.
So first off, Tony Stewart, tell us a little bit about what's going on with this year's Prelude to the Dream, not only with our title sponsor but with a slight tweak to the format.
TONY STEWART: Honored to have Gillette come back and be part of this for the second year in a row. They were great to work with last year and have really helped take this event to the next level, and I appreciate their support, as well as everyone from HBO.
We have thrown a little bit of a twist in this year. We are trying like everybody else to try to find ways to make it even that much more exciting, and we think we came up with a really neat idea this year. We have got four children's charities: We have Riley's Hospital for Children, Cincinnati Children, Levine Children's Hospital in Charlotte and St. Jude's Research Center in Memphis, Tennessee, that are the four beneficiaries of the Prelude this year.
The cool part is what we have done is we have taken the field and basically divided them up into four different teams, so we'll still have a race winner just like we always have. But at the same time, there's a race within a race, and the four team captains are all Gillette Young Guns. It's pretty cool. That way everybody's spot, the top-five finishers on each team, their points will count, and you'll have a race winner and you'll also have a team winner. And the team that wins gets 45 percent of the proceeds, the second-place team gets 25 percent, and the third and fourth place teams get 15 percent.
So it's added a little, a little added incentive. Even if you're racing for eighth or ninth, that spot can be the difference between your team and your respective charity getting a little more money going their direction. Pretty proud of it. Very, very proud of all the drivers and guys like Kyle that donate their time to come up and support what we are doing there, and it's a great cause.
It's a real cheap ticket to be able to buy and sit and have a good time watching your favorite Cup drivers. They are a little bit out of their element and doing something for charity and doing something ... These guys, every year, we get the spots filled quicker and quicker because these guys are so great and support each other as far as the charity side goes. So really honored to have Gillette back with us and HBO and guys like Kyle come back.
MODERATOR: This year's Prelude is the sixth annual event. It is the Gillette Fusion ProGlide Prelude to the Dream. Each team is captained by a Gillette Young Gun, and Kyle Busch, as a Gillette Young Gun, is captain of Team Levine. And Kyle, tell us about being a Gillette Young Gun, but late-model racing is something you've really adapted to and seem to enjoy.
KYLE BUSCH: It's fun for me. I love being able to go to this event every year and putting up a great show for the fans in Eldora and have a great race on the dirt. And like Tony said, it's out of our element; it's something we are not really accustomed to at all.
For me, my first-ever start on a dirt track and a late model, I was in the Prelude to the Dream a couple years ago. I ran second to Carl Edwards, and last year we finished second again to Stewart. So I'm hoping he either has to start in the port-a-john or at the back of the field, something that would at least entice him to get up toward the front.
But, you know, it's been a great event. And Tony has done a very nice job, and doing the charity work that he's done with his foundation. I remember I think was the first year, and then just a couple of years ago, it was for the Army and now this year going with the children's hospital and with the incentive, the four teams and myself being a Gillette Young Gun and having the Gillette ProGlide as the title sponsor to the event, I know what it means to them and how big the event can be and will be, for sure.
MODERATOR: Tammy Ross, HBO Pay-Per-View is back to televise the Gillette ProGlide Prelude to the Dream. Tell us a little bit about this event and also what it means to HBO Pay-Per-View sports.
TAMMY ROSS: This is my second favorite day every year. The first, day of the actual race, because it's tremendous.
HBO has been involved for four years. It's our fourth annual event, and every year we make it bigger and bigger. This year we are putting some interesting marketing angles, bringing the fans into voting which team they are picking. On the PreludetotheDream.org website, you'll be able to do that soon and hopefully be able to make some online charity donations to these wonderful charities.
I'm flattered to be sitting in the middle of these two drivers. I'm actually a little humbled, but the real reason we are here is this gentleman, Tony Stewart, is the reason why we are all looking forward to coming together. His heart and generosity is the reason why we are here, and to bring in the children's hospitals this year is really tremendous, something that everyone believes in. And in tough times, in so many catastrophes in the this world, to bring it back home to kids is so important to all of us. We welcome all of the charities.
And certainly the time that Kyle and all of the other drivers give to this event is tremendous. It's our favorite event every year, and we look forward to it.
Obviously the dates, June 9, Wednesday, 7 p.m. live on Pay-Per-View, we will do an immediate replay for those that have different work schedules. We will have a very long time block that night, so no excuses for people not getting it.
Also this year as a special treat: It is the fourth year; we do have Preludes One, Two and Three we will make available On Demand on cable and satellite and in the three weeks leading up to it. So check your On Demand schedule so fans can go on and watch and get their appetite whet for racing night.
Again thanks to everyone. We will be in 72 million homes, maybe 73 this year. Everybody can get it, and we are looking forward to a great night, so thank you.
MODERATOR: Just a reminder, the Gillette Fusion ProGlide Gillette Prelude to the Dream June 9 at Eldora, obviously these two guys and a lot of the other guys who will be participating in the Prelude to be back here at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the July 24 Brickyard 400. So a great time for you to come get some quotes for not only the Prelude but for July 24 at Eldora.
Q: What Mike just said, time is probably the one thing you don't have enough of for all of the hours in the day and the obligations; why do you keep giving up your time when obviously there are other things you could be doing to help out those people and kids that are less fortunate, especially?
TONY STEWART: It's an easy decision for us. You know, first, we always are looking for an excuse to go race somewhere, anyway. This is coming from a guy that races three days a week, anyway.
You know, none of us got to this level on our own. I mean, somewhere along the line, somebody helped, whether it was somebody helping with gas money to get to a race or somebody letting you sleep on a couch when you couldn't afford a hotel room or whatever. It's nice. I know that whenever I got to the Cup level, it was nice to finally be in a situation where I could kind of give back and not forget what was given to me along the way.
So it's nice to be in a situation where we can do something positive, and it's a positive thing all the way around. Obviously, the charities that benefit from it are the reason we do it. We as drivers get to go out and have fun and not have to worry about points and all the other dramas that we worry about every weekend and the fans get to see us do something different, which is an added bonus that I think the fans really enjoy is seeing us do something a little different.
So you know, I think it's something that we did that the response was so positive, it made sense all the way around no matter what angle you looked at it from.
KYLE BUSCH: Great job. Stewart hit it all. To reiterate for a second, the biggest part about it is it's fun for us, the drivers. Tony has done a great job of that of making it fun and not making it a chore to do this event. We want to go out and put on a great show for the fans who want to come out and see us out of our element doing what we love to do most, which is racing, getting behind the wheel, something different, and just having the opportunity to go out there and have some fun on some dirt.
So for me, you know, to give some time to Tony and do this event is nothing new for me. We have the Kyle Busch Foundation, as well, which we help out young children, as well, too, that are in what we call residential homes or living situations that are not of their own doing.
So it is very unfortunate for them, and I work a lot doing some stuff and visiting some homes all around the country. We have eight homes that we work with, and so to see those kids and to help them out and kind of lighten their spirits a little bit is all fun and great to see them smile and have a good day.
So to now do this as far as children's hospitals and everything, it's exciting for me to bring it back to the kids again, because that's where I hit home.
Q: Kyle, you talked about having fun, but the way you are, last night, you won last night, the first race. Are you out there to win, too? And same with Tony.
KYLE BUSCH: I'm just out there to beat Tony Stewart. (Laughter) My first year, goal was accomplished, and last year I missed out a little bit.
Yeah, we want to win. I think it's just kind of a little extra incentive for bragging rights. Something neat to go to the next race, which is going to be Michigan this year, and push your chest out and be like, 'Yeah, I beat you guys on the dirt.' So, you know, it's always fun to have that angle when you get back to the circle-track stuff with NASCAR.
TONY STEWART: Yeah, there's no doubt, it's almost become a bounty on me, I think, to a certain degree there.
Yeah, there's no way you go there and not want to win. I mean, for me, obviously, it's a special track that I was very intimidated by the first time I went there, and now years later, I run the facility. It's pretty cool that there's nobody there that just shows up to ride around, I promise you. There's guys that go practice and test and take days off to go get ready to run the Prelude, which is pretty cool. And everybody takes it pretty serious.
MODERATOR: It's a beautiful day outside. The one added element of this is the winner of the Indianapolis 500 will receive an invite to the Prelude to the Dream, and we certainly hope that person takes it up, whether it be a he or a she; they will be racing at the Prelude. Thank you, everyone.