Daytona 500: GM Media Day - Craven

February 5, 2004: Highlights of Driver Q&A Sessions with the Media at Daytona International Speedway. RICKY CRAVEN , NO. 32 TIDE CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO: ON THE CHASE FOR THE CHAMPIONSHIP "We're all going into the season knowing what the rules...

February 5, 2004: Highlights of Driver Q&A Sessions with the Media at Daytona International Speedway.

RICKY CRAVEN , NO. 32 TIDE CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO:

ON THE CHASE FOR THE CHAMPIONSHIP "We're all going into the season knowing what the rules are so how can you complain about it? It's not like they're saying halfway through the year they're considering changing the format. We all know what the rules are. I think it's awesome, I really do. Having 10 teams with a change to win the title is going to produce some great finishes and very exciting finale to the season. Over the course of three or four years, people will accept it as the norm. Another aspect of it is that if you have a few mechanical problems or don't get off to a good start at the beginning of the year, you're not penalized. All you need to do is make the playoffs like you do any other sport."

Ricky Craven.
Photo by Eric Gilbert.
GOING INTO THE SEASON AS A ONE-CAR TEAM, DO YOU FEEL LIKE AN UNDERDOG? "There clearly are favorites and underdogs. If we build a role of underdog, I'm okay with that. I don't think that it comes with any stigma of not being legitimate or capable of winning races. I think we've proven otherwise. But the fact is I'm 37 years old. I'd like for this race team and company to grow and mature to the point that it's a bigger corporation where I have a teammate and somebody that I can share time with and benefit from. Hopefully the teammate could benefit from racing with us. But that's down the road. That didn't happen last year. The expectations were pretty high. After winning Darlington there was a lot of interest in Cal Wells and the Tide team. As the season wore on, it just never materialized. So we're a single car team."

ON THE SHOP FIRE "We're working to get the trophies replaced and the helmets replaced and even some of the pictures. But it is such a slow process. What we've had the most success doing actually is contacting the race tracks and they've been awesome helping us to research and remake things if possible. We're actually well down the road in trying to recover all that. It is a much slower process than I'd ever imagined."

WHAT DOES IT FEEL LIKE WHEN THE CAR COMES OFF THE GROUND OR STARTS TO FLIP OR CRASH AT A TRACK LIKE DAYTONA? "If you do something long enough, you're going to experience everything. It just comes with the business. From my perspective, I just don't think a lot about it so it's hard to explain. But I think it's more of a reaction. If you find yourself in that situation, the impact is normally over before you can react or even understand it. The exception to that is when I wrecked in Talladega. I remember this clearly. I flipped over and I hit the wall. I think I went over the top of Mark Martin. I hit hard and I thought, wow, that hurt. But at least it's over. When I was in the air it seemed to last an eternity and go on forever. The other one was Texas. As bad as Texas was, it was probably the better of the two. If you hit hard enough you're knocked unconscious and don't remember anything. So it's not something you volunteer for. It's not something you want to revisit. But it's an element of the sport."

-gm racing-

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Ricky Craven , Eric Gilbert , Mark Martin