Are you excited to be racing at New Hampshire this weekend? "It's really good. We started out and did four Nationwide events and felt like I started out a lot better than I had expected. Obviously, every driver expects to win when they get out there. Was doing pretty good and then we took a little break and got some testing in. Really went over what to talk with the team and we really felt like, okay, we've been out there a few times -- every track is different, every track is new. Everything is just a completely different experience. We said, 'Okay, where are we behind and where are we weak?' A lot of it was just communication with trying to get through practice, learn the track and try to set the car up for the event. I feel like we got a pretty good start. This was probably my toughest K&N race last year just because for me, I've always been very aggressive. I like to come in hard -- I over-charge the corner, over- brake and then get on the gas too soon. These corners here in New Hampshire are very long. This is one my biggest challenges and we'll see what happens."
Is it challenging to race both Nationwide and Global Rally Cross in the same weekend? "I think the biggest challenge there is going to be qualifying because I have practice in this car and then directly into qualifying for the GRC (Global Rally Cross) car and then directly into qualifying for the Nationwide car. After a lap, any driver, you pick up what you're in and what the differences are -- just that initial lap trying to find the speed. In qualifying, really you get two laps and you have to have your fastest lap of the weekend. It was challenging in Charlotte -- it's not ideal, but it's good for me to kind of -- I do the best when I'm not really thinking about stuff and just get out there and drive. It kind of puts everything else beside and just lets me drive this week."
How did your appearance in Ken Block's 'Gymkhana Five' video come about? "Ken Block is my boss with DC Shoes -- founder and owner of DC Shoes who I drive for as well. Ken's been a great friend and actually it was pretty funny because when I signed with DC 10 years ago, I was just getting into Rally and he said, 'Look, I'll sign you if you help me get into Rally. I want to do this.' Turns out, the man can drive. Ken, not just as a business guy, he's a great skater, he's a great motocross, he's an awesome snowboarder -- the guy is obviously an amazing car driver. He finished second at the X-Games this year and is just a really, really good person and a marketing genius. He's a great driver. When he asked me if I was able to do it, I said, 'Heck yeah, I would love to come watch.' The Gymkhana videos -- he puts so much into them. It's a full year of planning, a full year of just thinking of what the craziest, the thing the people are going to want to see the most and he challenges himself. He's not afraid to put the car and himself on the line. I think for them to be able to shut down San Francisco -- I was like, 'I have to see this.' He was just launching everything and really, really fun on that shoot. It was the first time I had been on a motorcycle since X-Games last year. I was a little wobbly and he actually ran me over one time, which was pretty funny. That didn't make the cut."
Did you help with the choreography of your portion of the video? "He (Ken Block) always has a running gag -- there's always someone that goes kind of slow -- like he had a Segway in the first Gymkhana video and everything. He goes, 'Look, let's see how you can wheelie.' I was like, 'What if I nose wheelie and you kind of come in?' We choreographed that part kind of -- choreographed is kind of a sissy term, but we'll go with that. It was fun. I didn't have much time. It was actually the day before Darlington -- literally the day before Darlington so I had to fly out directly after that morning. Just really fun watching him drive and watching some of the stuff. He is truly a fearless guy so it was fun."
Were there any sponsor conflicts in shooting the video? "Ken (Block) doesn't really care -- I shouldn't say he doesn't care, he cares a lot. With the sponsor stuff, he just wants to make the best movie. Action sports, people get very judgmental, especially in skate if you're not real, if you don't put the best person in. Red Bull has the 'Red Bull X- Fighters' and a lot of times someone from a different energy drink will win and Red Bull will pay for the other top guys to come over and compete against the Red Bull athletes. They don't do it like they do at a lot of other sports. It has to be real and they do a good job of trying to get the best guys in the best spots."
Source: Toyota Motorsports