Houston Press Conference: 125: Hepler: Last corner "It was weird. The last lap there, I really caught him -- actually, the last half of the race, I was catching him good -- and I got him there with a few corners to go, and I knew it was going...
Houston Press Conference:
"It was weird. The last lap there, I really caught him -- actually, the last half of the race, I was catching him good -- and I got him there with a few corners to go, and I knew it was going to be tough. Two corners to go, I was like, 'Man, I don't know where I should go there,' so I kind of went to the middle, and then I thought I blocked it pretty good for the last corner, but he still came in on me and got me. At least it started up pretty quick."
How'd you catch him
"I'm not real sure. I was just looking at the laptimes, and it showed that I did have the fastest lap, and that was the second lap, so I didn't get any faster at the end of the race. I think I just stayed consistent with my laptimes, and I think the other guys were fading. I'm glad that I stayed strong and was able to put in a good ride."
"A lot of people didn't know if I was 100 percent, but I won't come back until I'm 100 percent, because I want to win all of the time. I just feel good. A lot of people also think I'm just waiting for the outdoors, but I still wanted to win tonight and I wanted to win in Vegas, too. So I'm not just waiting for the outdoors, although I am looking forward to that."
"Sure, there was a way I could cover it, but it was just hard because the corner before the mechanics' area, whenever I went through that corner, I wasn't sure where he was at. So it kind of caught me off guard, where he was going to be in that last corner. I should've just tucked a little closer to the bales and went clear to the berm on the outside, but I didn't do that, and I lost."
"The way I look at it, even though I didn't win, I believe I should've won because I had the fastest laps at the end. I think it gives me a lot more confidence because I think these guys are going to get tired in the outdoors. That's what I'm really happy about, and hopefully I can do it again and I'll be there again for Vegas."
East vs. West
"I think west coast will be, because I want to win."
See Broc down?
"No, I didn't. I started slowing down because I had arm-pump, and my mechanic started screaming and I saw him. I got around him right at the last moment before he started his bike."
"I just rode real tight and got arm-pump like the fourth lap. Once you get arm-pump, you can't really stop it, so it slowed me down quite a bit."
More pressure after winning? "Over the break we had, I had a bad get-off and I messed my neck and my back up. I'm just trying to recover from that. That's where I'm getting the arm-pump from."
East vs. West
"West coast. I don't know, I think Davi's really fast back there if he can get a start, but I think we're all pretty consistent on the west coast."
"I haven't gotten a good start all year, and I got the holeshot, so I was pretty excited about that. I rode a good part of the race strong, and towards the end I fell apart. I was struggling all year at the end of the race. Mentally, I need to work on that. I've finished second too many times this year, and going into that last turn on the last lap, I was desperate. I did whatever it took. I was frustrated, at that point."
"I don't think I was thinking too much on the last lap. It was all heart. I've finished second too many times, and my crew works really hard at Honda, and to finish second doesn't mean anything to them, and to win is awesome. That's all I wanted to do."
"I just start thinking, and the 250 guys are really strong, mentally. I hit some lappers and I started thinking, and it escalated. I'm getting better at it, which is a good thing. At the beginning of the year, I was horrible. But a win is a win, and I'm just happy to be up here."
"When we both get on the track, it's a little different. Off the track, it's a different story. You can be the nicest guy in the world, then you put on a helmet, and it's a different story. Everybody's like that. I've seen Broc make aggressive passes, and that's racing. We all love it, and we all have hearts, and that's what it came down to. We both rode our hearts out tonight. He rode a great race tonight towards the end, and it was unfortunate what happened. I definitely didn't mean to put him down, but I was riding more with my heart than my head."
Pressure to win
"Yeah, last weekend in Seattle, I was close. I choked at the end. I choked at the end of a few races. I only felt pressure from myself. I wanted to win. That's what it came down to at the end."
East vs. West
"I wrote a whole thing for Transworld on this, and I'm definitely going to go with the west coast and I'm going to make some enemies on the east coast, because Terry said I'm a nice guy, and nice guys aren't fun to read. So I decided I was going to talk some crap, but I meant it with a good heart. Hansen is very fast, and Millsaps is the fastest, and Grant has tons of experience. But there's two guys who aren't up here -- Nathan Ramsey and Ivan Tedesco, with us three, I think we're going to be a hard group to beat."