Jeff Gordon, No. 24 Dupont Chevrolet Monte Carlo: Who would be the Quarterback of the Garage area? "Man, I don't know too many quarterbacks in this garage area. You've got to be fast. You've got to be strong. You've got to have a good head on...
Jeff Gordon, No. 24 Dupont Chevrolet Monte Carlo:
Who would be the Quarterback of the Garage area? "Man, I don't know too many quarterbacks in this garage area. You've got to be fast. You've got to be strong. You've got to have a good head on your shoulders. Do we have any of those guys in the garage area?"
Somebody said you. Do you have a good arm? "No, I'm too little to be a good quarterback. But I'm fast. I'm that wide receiver. Send me out long."
Would you be the go-to guy? "I've got pretty good hands. I feel like I'm pretty solid. You throw it to me and I'm going to catch it.
So what would you be? The wide receiver? "Yeah. If you can be 5'7" and a wide receiver, that would be me."
Driver-wise, on the football field, who would want on your team? "You're going to get me in trouble. I have to race with these guys. Dale Jarrett. I'd want Jarrett on my team. Jarrett would probably make a pretty good quarterback too. That guy's got some experience."
What about Jimmy Spencer? Linebacker? Mean? "Oh, yeah. I'd put him right on the line. Nobody's getting by Jimmy."
What about Elliott Sadler and Little E? They were having a little hand-off drill and messing around over there. "Elliott, yeah. Little E and me - we might both need to be wide receivers."
Who wouldn't you want to come across and meet in the middle? "Well, let's see. Ward Burton. I think Ward could put a pretty good hit on a guy."
Isn't he little? "Sometimes those little guys pack a big punch."
At Homestead next week, do you think you'll be doing a lot of slipping and sliding? "I don't think we're going to slip and slide any more there than we are here this weekend (at Rockingham). It's such a flat racetrack. Aerodynamics play such a role at a place like Homestead. You've got a mile and a half racetrack with a lot of speed down the straight-aways. It has extremely flat corners, but real wide sweeping corners. You're going to see guys sucking their cars down to the ground with shocks and springs and doing some crazy stuff. It's because it's a big fat smooth racetrack, but it's also flat."
As you get closer to clinching the championship, do you pay any attention to the "what if" numbers? "I want to clinch it when it's all over. That's all that matters to me. It doesn't matter when or how or where - just as long as we win it. That's what we're shooting for. We're not trying to clinch it with four to go, or three to go, or two to go. When you start wishing that kind of stuff, that's going to get you in trouble."
But you're not worried about it, are you? "Heck yeah. It's not over yet. I'm always worried about it. We've got a good lead, but nothing to me is a comfortable lead. We've got races that are good for us. Rockingham has been a good track for us. Homestead, we were a lot better last year there. Atlanta is a good track for us and New Hampshire's not a bad track for us either. It's no different than what got us to this point. Ricky Rudd had trouble. Dale Jarrett had trouble. We haven't any trouble. But if we have a whole lot of trouble, before this thing is over, it's anybody's game still."
What are your thoughts on going to New York? What will you do to have a good time? "My way of having fun might be different from other guys ways of having fun. I like to experience New York. It's such a great city. I know that I'd love to go to Ground Zero and play tribute to those guys who are doing phenomenal work there. As far as having fun, there's so much to do there. I hope we're in the position to be champions there, because it will make it a whole lot more fun when you know at the end of the week, you're getting that big check. We go to have a good time. The season is over. You're able to relax. No matter where you end up in the points, you know you did the best job that you could to have the best season you could. You're not thinking about next year yet. You're just thinking about getting away from it all and not having to go to the racetrack and that can be fun enough in itself right now."
On the points system "If it was up to me, I would take about maybe 30th place on back and give them all the same number of points. And then from 30th place forward, have the same type of bracket that you've got or something similar. I think it's ridiculous that you have to go out there and fight as hard just to get one position - like 40th instead of 42nd. I think they should do away with us even going back out there with wrecked racecars, and just even the points. Then, your DNF's aren't against you so much. Basically, in this series, if you don't finish every race, you're not going to win the championship. I think it would be nice for guys to be able to throw out a couple of races. On a 36 or 38-race schedule, you're going to have some trouble. You're going to have problems along the way and that would be nice to throw that out."
On Ricky Rudd and his strong performance that has been plagued with problems "Ricky Rudd has shown a lot of people that he's still got it. He's not only capable of winning races, but of racing for a championship. He's been so close to winning that championship a number of times. And so has that No. 28 car. At the same time, we all work hard and put the best program together that we can. Some have won and some have been close. That's just the nature of the business. What you hate to see, is for the championship to come down to the guy who doesn't have failures instead of just pure performance and running for wins, top fives and top tens. That goes back to the points situation."
-Team Monte Carlo-