Earlier this month, it was announced that soft-wall technology would be available at the New Hampshire International Speedway starting in September. What are your feelings? "I absolutely commend the Bahre family for addressing this issue. They...
Earlier this month, it was announced that soft-wall technology would be available at the New Hampshire International Speedway starting in September. What are your feelings?
"I absolutely commend the Bahre family for addressing this issue. They always have and continue to be competitor friendly. Soft-wall technology is a safety measure that we have been quite vocal about and as a driver, I am happy to see it implemented at this speedway. Something needed to be done and it's good to see the track put a possible solution into place. Safety continues and will always be at the forefront of our sport. I applaud NASCAR and the tracks for their on-going efforts to improve safety. I hope that more track operators follow the example being set by the Bahre family."
There were problems last year with the track's surface in the corners. The track chose to repave as a solution. What are your expectations?
"I have been a real advocate for progressive banking at NHIS. The Bahre's do everything they can to solve issues that the competitors and fans have with the speedway. I have not been up to the track to see what has been done. However, I have heard comments from drivers who tested there and to be honest, I am not expecting a change from last year. I hope I am wrong. I really think the track should look into what Homestead-Miami Speedway is doing because I think putting in progressive banking would solve the problem. That's my opinion."
What general comments do you have about NHIS?
"It is one of the toughest tracks we visit and probably why I love to race at this place. It is flat and consists of long, sweeping corners. Those characteristics can make for very little passing. Passing is a challenge and to run well requires both car and driver. For me, I have to be at the top of my game for all 300 laps. If I slip up and lose track position, it's so hard to get it back. It really takes an entire team effort so if you win or run well, your team has really accomplished something."