What would it mean to win at New Hampshire? "It would be awesome. We've been close before, but it's been a few years. We've been off a little bit here the last four or five trips here. Today was no exception, so far. So, we've got a little bit of work to do, but I always look forward to coming up here. Some of my earliest racing memories were up here watching my dad race. Of course, winning my first pole and my first Busch North race up here, and then winning in the Nationwide Series a few years ago. This has always been a special place for me. It's a place I always look forward to. So, hopefully we'll be able to get our car dialed in a little bit better this time around and have a good weekend."
Is it possible to go 10 Chase races without any problems? "I don't know. I've only been in one of them. It's not like I have a lot of experience, but, by watching them, I think they've all been quite a bit different. It just depends on what everybody else does. At the end of the day, all you have to do is be better than the guys you're racing. If the guy in second has an average finish with ninth, then you need an average finish of eighth. If you were to sit here and say somebody's going to have a perfect 10 races -- we just don't know right now. I think the chances of not having 10 perfect ones and winning the championship are probably slim. These guys are good. These teams are very consistent -- the guys that are up front are the guys you're going to have to beat for the championship. You just got to do what you can do every week and hope at the end of the year you are where you want to be."
What does it mean for Michael Waltrip Racing to have two cars in the Chase? "It's huge for us to have two cars in the Chase, obviously. This is my third year at Michael Waltrip Racing (MWR) and it's been a huge goal of ours since I've come there to try to get a car in the Chase, and to have two in there is a huge deal for us. It's been a long time in the making. It's been a lot of hard work by everybody. It starts at the top with our owners and their commitment to building a winning race team. So, I'm just fortunate to be able to drive for a great team and am very proud of what we've accomplished. It's a huge deal for us. I think for some teams maybe it's not quite as big of a deal. There are guys that are expected to be in there every single year. And, you have a team like ours that wasn't expected to be in there at the beginning of the season and to be in there today -- it's a huge accomplishment for us. It's definitely a big deal. But, I think we still have a legitimate chance at doing some great things and hopefully having a shot at this thing when we get down to the last three races."
How much has Michael Waltrip invested -- emotionally and financially -- in Michael Waltrip Racing? "You can ask Michael (Waltrip) and he'll tell you. He sunk everything he had into this and if Rob Kauffman (MWR co- owner) didn't come around he would have lost everything he ever had. It's been fun to see Michael's excitement about making the Chase and the direction of the team -- being competitive each week. That's all I think he ever wanted. Michael loves racing. This is his life. This is all he knows. This is what he wants to keep doing. For us to have some success and kind of see his chances that he took -- starting his own team, starting to pay off. It is very cool. It's very cool to be a part of that. I know he's proud of all of us. We're so proud to get him in that position. I do wish that we could probably try to make him a little bit more money, but we're doing the best we can. He's been a great owner. He's been so much fun to be around, especially this year. He's been a lot of fun. It's been cool to see the smile on his face each week at the race track."
How difficult is a 47 point deficit in the Chase at this point in time? "It's huge. But, you know again, I think that you don't know how big 47 points is until we get to the end of the season. We could all go to Talladega and he could be the only one who finishes out of the top 12 (drivers in the Chase). So, I think that it's way too early to look into points. Again, we're 20-something (points) out and we could easily be in the lead in three or four weeks. It just depends on how well we do and how well everybody else does. So, it's obviously a huge deal. But, I think it's probably not a bad position to be in. The pressure's off. They can just go out and race. They can still be dangerous. Everybody has one bad race and that was there only one and they'll be even at the end of the season."
Source: Toyota Motorsports