GM Racing Friday interview Dover International Speedway Jeff Gordon -- ...
GM Racing Friday interview
Dover International Speedway Jeff Gordon -- #24 DuPont Chevrolet
RE: PENALTIES THAT WERE GIVEN OUT BY NASCAR THIS WEEK
I'll be honest. I was pretty far away from a lot of that stuff. I don't even know if I paid a lot of attention to the penalties this week. I knew that some penalties would be coming down; I asked a few questions and I felt like there should have been some severe ones and there were. It's kind of gone along with the standard these days: points, money. You know, I think that, and I feel like when a lot of these situations happen, NASCAR would probably like to sit somebody at home for a weekend. But, you've got to think of sponsors, too. That plays a big role and what they are getting out of the sport and whether they want to continue to invest in the sport. When you're making those calls, you've got to think of everything. You can't just think of what that driver did or what that crew chief did. You've got to think of the big picture as well.
RE: CONTROVERSY. EVERYONE IS TALKING ABOUT IT, SO ARE THINGS LIKE THIS POSSIBLY A GOOD THING FOR THE SPORT?
Oh, there's no doubt. Everywhere I have been this week, everyone is talking about that race. And I think that controversy draws a lot more attention, typically. I think that you're probably going to see a spike in viewership this weekend just based on what happened last weekend. But I don't think anybody should go out with the intent to try to create that type of publicity around a negative. I think that NASCAR will intervene if that is a pattern. I think that when they look at it, they think that at least there is a positive that came out of this mess we had. It could have been it was just negatives everywhere you look.
WHAT WOULD A FAIR PENALTY BE IN A SITUATION LIKE LAST WEEKEND?
You know, again it's all in the intent of what happened on the race track. If you intentionally try to harm or endanger somebody and you couldn't control you emotions, then I think that you might have to sit a week at home. Seeing crew chiefs have to sit at home and maybe they just have to put a different driver in the car that weekend to take care of the sponsors. I think we all have to be liable for our actions. I think it depends on the pattern. If you see a pattern, then yeah, you have to continue to step up the severity of the penalty. But I thought that the penalties that were handed out were pretty fair. They were steep and I'm sure it got their attention.
Yeah, I think that we did have a good car and it seemed like we were going to have a good car. It's just such a long race and things change before the race is over. We're in that experimental stage right now where we want to come here with a baseline that we feel comfortable about and just start playing with it from there. So, we're doing things a little bit different from what we typically do. We're here to build on next year, try to put something solid together for this year and hope that we either can learn something to help our teammates or our teammates learn something that can help us.
DO YOU FEEL YOU ARE MORE RELAXED THIS WEEKEND GIVEN THAT YOU ARE NOT IN THE CHASE FOR THE CHAMPIONSHIP?
Yes and no. I feel like there's always pressure to go out there and perform. And we just, I guess, put a lot of pressure on ourselves because we do feel we are capable of winning and we should be more competitive than we have been lately. But I definitely see it being a lot more relaxed than if we were in the Chase and if we were battling for a championship.