GM Racing press conference Indianapolis Motor Speedway Note: Checkers Restaurants today announced that it is accelerating its presence in the sport by signing on as the primary sponsor for five NNCS races with the ...
GM Racing press conference
Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Note: Checkers Restaurants today announced that it is accelerating its presence in the sport by signing on as the primary sponsor for five NNCS races with the #10 car.
REGARDING NEW SPONSOR ANNOUNCEMENT WITH CHECKERS/RALLY'S
RIGGS: I'm glad you guys are on board. I have to say the NASCAR triple cheeseburger is my favorite. I don't know if anyone knows this but we almost lost the sponsorship a few moments ago. Took these guys for a ride around the racetrack and I think we made some guys pretty nervous. Some guys were pretty cool. Just glad these guys could come on board. It's a great team with MB2 and the history of what we've been able to do and how we're growing pretty rapidly. Slowly but surely building this team to where we need to be. With the help of Checkers and Rally coming on board this year, I think that we'll definitely prove and be able to show what kind of team we can be and how competitive we can be with their help. I hope we can make everyone eat some more cheeseburgers from Checkers. Like I said, glad they were able to come on board for us. I think it will be a great opportunity for us and them both.
DOES THIS MEAN SPONSORSHIP WILL BE JUST FOR THIS YEAR OR EXTENDED INTO NEXT YEAR?
FRYE: We sure hope so. Certainly it's up to them. We have some activity going on with the sponsorship. We're very grateful that Checkers has come on board. Keith? Rich? We're very excited to have them on until the end of the year. Obviously this is their first weekend and as Keith said they have some very high profile events. We're all for proving what we can do and this will be a good weekend to get it started.
CAN YOU ADDRESS WHERE YOU STAND WITH YOUR CONTRACT WITH SCOTT RIGGS?
FRYE: The sponsorship piece is the piece that has to happen first. Or, not first, but it's still up in the air. We have ever intention, as we have said, to keep the program where it is. Pending the outcome of that, we plan on having everything the same as it is now.
RIGGS: Same thing. We're trying to make sure that we attract the right kind of sponsors and we think the association with Checkers and Rally is definitely a step in the right direction for people that we want to associate with our team next year.
WHAT ARE THE DYNAMICS OF THE RELATIONSHIP?
FRYE: At the beginning of this year we had the rights to sell, I believe it was six races and they've given us the rights to sell other races between now and the end of the year. Valvoline's been great. Part of that was to help us entice, hopefully, some sort of sponsorship for next year. So, that's part of the piece and they've been very helpful and we appreciate what they've done to help us with that.
DO YOU HAVE A DEADLINE TO DECIDE ABOUT WHERE YOU WILL BE NEXT YEAR?
RIGGS: No deadline. I've been pretty fortunate in the situation with the team in that everyone's been pretty relaxed. Staying focused on trying to win races every week. I know a couple of years ago when I was trying to figure out what direction I was going to go, with a Cup team, that's was what attracted me to this team-that Jay Frye always shot me straight, told me exactly what he thought. He didn't come to me trying to paint a beautiful picture that everything's perfect. He told me what they were faced with, what kind of growth they were going through, which direction they wanted to go and that's the same way they treat me now. We're working toward the future and trying to win each race. Right now, the whole focus for the past two weeks has been trying to finish up a brand new car that we thinks the best that we've ever brought out of the shop, so we're just trying to win races. Right now that's what we're focused on and it keeps me calm and it keeps me a lot more focused and keeps everyone on the team focused.
ARE WE GETTING INTO AN ERA WHERE SPONSORS ARE GOING TO COME IN AND PICK AND CHOOSE. I KNOW YOU WANT TO HAVE CONTINUITY, BUT ISN'T THAT MORE THE CASE NOW?
FRYE: It's become more prevalent in the sport, now, obviously. A lot of teams are doing it. We started it-or didn't start it-but a couple years ago we had a program similar to this on the Army car. With Army and Centrix and Centrix is on the #10, also. Yeah, what we try to is put a couple of good partners together who kind of feed off of each other and do business-to-business type stuff and it adds value to both. Part of the Checkers/Rally thing is that next year they're going to run a huge promotion with the Army team. It's good for the Army, that's they'll be on a couple of million bags and that's something that's very exciting to us and to the Army. So, you try to put together programs that are good for us and good for everybody.
SCOTT, TALK ABOUT WHAT IT'S LIKE TO RACE AT INDIANAPOLIS
RIGGS: Well, everyone has a couple of months off during the offseason-if you call it offseason-to work hard and diligently to try to get your car and your Daytona pieces slick and smooth as possible. Try to have your best bullet out there to race Daytona. When you come to Indy, now, all the rest of the races besides Daytona and Talladega, you're worried about make the most downforce you can. Make a car that travels the most you possibly can on the front end, geometry-wise. Everything. So when you come here, you put your best car forward. You work hard on getting your car to be fast on the straightaway, and aerodynamics and chassis, as far as geometry to see how far you get the cars to travel. The attitude where you want them. You work all year off season to get your pieces as smooth as possible for Daytona. You work on taking your best downforce car to come here. I definitely think this is a place that everybody comes and shows their best piece to win. You definitely wouldn't take your Indy car to Bristol or Martinsville in a couple weeks, for sure. As far as the history of the track, last year was difficult for me. One, I was trying to figure out this track I had never been to before. Plus, it was so much prestige and history that it created a little more nerves inside the race car. You feel like you're driving through two walls of fans with bleachers on both sides. Definitely something new and different that I had never been through as a driver. Coming back this year, I'm a lot more relaxed. I know what to expect and I know the race track. We had a chance to come here and test. I feel good about it. Still a big event but I feel good about it having one race under my belt from last year for sure.