JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT/PEPSI MAX IMPALA SS met with members of the media at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and discussed practice at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the spoiler coming to the race cars and other topics. WHAT ARE YOUR EXPECTATIONS FOR THE...
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT/PEPSI MAX IMPALA SS met with members of the media at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and discussed practice at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the spoiler coming to the race cars and other topics.
WHAT ARE YOUR EXPECTATIONS FOR THE RACE FOLLOWING PRACTICE?: "Everything feels good. Track feels good, tires feel really good -- we have a little bit of a different tire so you're always anxious to see what that's like. So far really happy with the DuPont/Pepsi Max Chevrolet and look forward to the weekend."
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT HOW YOUR SPORTS WRITERS DRIVER OF THE YEAR AWARD GOT ONTO THE SHOW PAWN STARS?: "I honestly still have no idea. We're trying to do some investigating on it right now. When I first heard about it, I didn't think it was real. I'm still trying to find out. I'll go to the shop and buy it back. I don't really know. We don't give away trophies. It's news to me. Don't be too upset, I'm a little upset too and just trying to figure it out. When I learn more about it, I'll let you know."
WERE YOU DOING RACE RUNS OR QUALIFYING RUNS IN PRACTICE?: "We started off doing race runs, I think some of our teammates were doing qualifying runs. Jimmie (Johnson) might have been doing some race runs. We ended with qualifying runs so we're pretty happy with the way the car is right now. We looked at how we did things last year, we were coming to the track in qualifying trim and weren't seeing the benefits of being in qualifying trim the entire time so we sort of switch it up. I'm just talking about the 24 team. That is how we're approaching it this year and it didn't work last week, but right now I'm real happy and I'm hoping it works for us this weekend."
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF ALL THE NEW BABIES ARRIVING IN THE GARAGE AREA?: "I'm not really sure. I do think you get influence, you see somebody have a child and you see as the child grows and how it impacts their lives and mostly in a positive way. Most parents don't share all the gory details of how hard it is because they want other people to be in the same shoes. I don't know, it just depends on where people are in their lives, their marriage and everything. I don't think anything else like that was an influence like that on me. I just met a wonderful woman, we both wanted to have children and that's how it happened for us. We kind of always felt like we wanted to have two and after we had Ella and she started to grow up we realized that two is great for her as well. I think it's just more of a coincidence that its happening as much as it is right now, but its pretty cool, I'm excited about it."
DO YOU THINK IT COULD BE TIME FOR NASCAR TO ALLOW CONDOM SPONSORS?: "Do they not allow it? They allow Viagra so I'm guessing they would allow more than that. If it gets a little more out of control, we might have to do something. Start passing some out."
HOW DOES THE SPOILER CHANGE THAT IS COMING AFFECT YOUR SEASON?: "I certainly wouldn't say you're starting from scratch. It is going to change things and none of us really know how significant they're going to change things until we go to do the couple tests that are going to be coming up. Our team has been doing a lot of work with our computer simulation and wind tunnel and trying to understand just how its going to affect the balance of the car. At first sight, it looked to be pretty drastic and I think even to NASCAR's eyes with what they saw. I don't even know if they've determined what spoiler and size we're going to have yet. I know everything is still an open option after the test. I know that they changed a little bit to get to where they are because it was a big shift of front down force when they first put it on there. I still think the strong teams are going to still be strong. I think that with the Chase you don't have to start off the season with the best and fastest cars and the best team. It's really about how you grow as the season goes on. But you can't just sit back either. You have to make the Chase and its so competitive these days, its not easy just to make the Chase. I think that everybody is working just as hard as they possibly can to put the finishes together, to put the wins together and I think everybody is also working as hard as they can to look at how things are going to change when the spoiler comes around. Right now I don't want to comment too much because I feel like its going to affect everybody kind of the same so I don't really think its going to have this big affect on whose running good and change that. I think you're going to see the same teams that are strong continue to be strong. But I think what the 48 (Jimmie Johnson) has done in the past and they seem to be the benchmark to go off of, is they haven't had the greatest starts in every one of their championship seasons, but when you get to the summer and you start getting towards September, those guys are on top of their game. They are very solidly in the Chase with bonus points and momentum. Then when the Chase starts, they're just on fire. That's the benchmark that you have to go off of and that's what we're trying to do this year. We're not panicking where we're at right now and we're excited about how we're running and how our team's performing and we'll assess the spoiler when it comes."
DO YOU FEEL PRESSURE TO GET MORE POINTS BEFORE THE SPOILER ARRIVES?: "I really think that right now we're really being more aggressive because I think for the first five races we're going to be real aggressive to try to get the wins to try to get those bonus points and try things out that are kind of unknowns to us. That's where we're going to take more risk and hope that pays off for us further down the road. If we go another week with a bad finish then we might have to revaluate that and start getting a little more conservative and trying to make sure we get to the checkered flag and we get in there with a solid top-10. You do have to sort of look at the season and break it into segments now that the Chase is here. It's just totally different and you really have to have longevity and you have to be really solid when it counts. You don't have to have all the bonus points, but they sure are nice. You don't want to go into the Chase at a deficit, but at the same time you have to make sure you're in the Chase. It's a tough balance, it's not easy and we don't have a real set game plan, but right now we feel like these first five races we're going to take more risk then we are going to be conservative."
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT YOUR INTEREST IN DEVELOPING RACE TRACKS?: "I'm excited about it. The one thing that I was a little disappointed in is that in the story it talks a little bit too much about me retiring. I think the basis of the story was that I'm not going to be retiring anytime soon and then here are some things that are happening and exciting in my life that are setup for that day when I am retiring. One of the things that has come along is this track up in Canada and they asked me to be a part of it. I looked at the group that was doing it and I thought that was an opportunity for me to be involved and get my input and I was excited about that. I've had fun with it. At this time, I still don't have the proper time that it takes to really get into the details as much as I would like to. When that day comes and I'm no longer a full time driver, then I hope there's some opportunities like that to do some more of it because I've had a lot of fun with it. It's something I'm passionate about -- not just racing, but the race tracks themselves and when you've made as many laps around a track as I have over the years, you know a lot about the different tracks. The bumps, the banking and the transitions on and off pit road -- from that wall all the way through this side of it, not saying the media center, I don't know a whole lot about that, but I know a lot about getting in and out of the garage area. I wanted to give some of that back so it's been a fun thing for me. I look forward to doing some more of it down the road."
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON KIM KARDASHIAN BEING THE GRAND MARSHAL FOR THE RACE?: "I saw a car out there, she has a perfume or something on somebody's car so obviously that's what's bringing her here. I was in L.A. last week and we were racing there and Hollywood is a crazy place, it really is. I love to visit there because it's like a Disneyland for the entertainment industry. People get notoriety and fame for a lot of different reasons and I'm not going to knock any of them for how they go about it or what they do. All the power to them, whatever is working for them."
-source: gm racing