Atlanta II: Raybestos Rookie - Carl Long

Carl Long in the ...

Carl Long in the #59 Check Into Cash Dodge will make his second Winston Cup start of the 2002 season in Sunday'S race. The NAPS 500 will be Long'S second career start at Atlanta Motor Speedway. He started 26th and finished 43rd in the 2001 NAPA 500.

"I want to finish the race, run all the laps and get as much exposure for the sponsor that we have and hopefully be able to carry this on into next year. The biggest thing that I've got to do is finish the race and not create any crashes and not be a crash. That's what I've been working on. I've not tried to run a 'hero lap' in practice. I've been trying to run a lap where I can get in the gas every lap, be consistent and have control of the car. We haven't quite achieved that goal so we're about to throw a monkey wrench in it and hopefully that's what we need when we start the race."

WHAT WOULD BE A GOOD DAY FOR YOU ON SUNDAY?

"A really good day would be to finish the race on the lead lap. That would be a really good day. If I finished a lap down, but I finished, I wouldn't be disappointed. We are really trying hard to show the benefit of NASCAR to the sponsor that we have and what kind of coverage they can get. Tomorrow is my day to be here at the end."

FINISHING THE RACE IS YOUR MAIN GOAL?

"That and not falling out of the seat because you know I haven't raced a lot this year (laughs). I'd hate to have to come in and take a break for a little while and get my breath but I think I'll be okay."

HOW FRUSTRATING HAS THIS SEASON BEEN TO YOU?

"I look back on it and we're trying to run for Raybestos® Rookie of the Year and I knew we were going to run more than seven races and we were looking at maybe 30. I think we've been to a lot of them but this is only the second entry that I've got. How eligible do you stay for next year's rookie of the year award? This is my fourth year attending rookie meetings and I want to graduate one day."

WHAT IS CHECK INTO CASH?

"Check Into Cash is a cash advance system. The people that use it the most are nurses and teachers that get paid once a month. Two weeks into the month something breaks on their car and they can go to Check Into Cash system and get an advance on their check. You write a check and date it three weeks ahead of time and they'll write you a check instantly on the spot. It's a small loan to get you over the hump. It's low risk for them and you can go get it done in 25-30 minutes instead of having to go a bank and try to do something and it seems to be pretty successful. They're based out of Cleveland, Tennessee, right about Chattanooga and from what they've had return wise from the NASCAR family, the people in the stands who are hitting the website, people going off my website; they never expected the return that they were getting. It's about 300 percent more than they were expecting. The one big thing that we are pushing for is there is no outlet for Carl Long merchandise. Most of the people in the stands know who I am but there's nothing out there and some of them would like to pick it up for the collectible. We're pushing to have Check Into Cash collectibles at all of their stores. A lot of their customers are NASCAR fans and maybe that will help our whole team."

-raybestos-

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Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Carl Long