TOMMY BALDWIN Jr. (Team Director No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge) "I appreciate you guys giving me some time yesterday to get everything done I needed to get done. It's been awfully hard for the family. We don't have a big family, but my dad took...
TOMMY BALDWIN Jr. (Team Director No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge)
"I appreciate you guys giving me some time yesterday to get everything done I needed to get done. It's been awfully hard for the family. We don't have a big family, but my dad took real good care of us growing up. It's going to be rough not seeing him around. He's been my mentor for a lot of years, and he taught me everything I know or I wouldn't be here. I think we took care of everything we needed to take care of for him yesterday. He'd be pretty mad if I didn't stay here and complete what I need to do here today. We'll go on and take care of him tomorrow night when we get back to Long Island. I appreciate everybody's support and all the fans and all the people that's called me and all my friends that have called me and all the flowers have been over pouring into the funeral home. I told them just to send them down to the Victory Junction Gang and get a little flowers over there. It's been overwhelming. He's had a lot of friends throughout the country. I know he just raced in NASCAR modifieds, but a lot of people knew of him. He's greatly going to be missed. He was my best friends on top of being my dad. We spent a lot of time together. It really stinks that he's gone."
HAS THE TEAM BONDED TOGETHER? "The support has been great. Ray has been great. I can't say enough about my teammates. Besides having comfort with my wife, this is my second home here. This is where my friends are, and my son has been with me all weekend. We've been hanging out and having a good time and reflecting on all the good times and all the times we had from short track racing to just this past week talking on the phone with him and breaking each other's chops. Again, thanks for the respect yesterday and allowing me to get everything done. We'll move forward from this, and this will never be forgotten in our world. He made a great presence being here. He lived to 57, but in my world he led a couple of lives already. He died doing what he wanted to do. He really didn't care about anything else but racing. He ate, slept and drank it. He died doing what he wanted to do. People die doing all types of things and being sick and stuff. He died happy. He's up there with his colleagues on back, Richie Evans, and they're having fun up there. We'll just move forward from this. Hopefully we'll get a good finish tomorrow and move on and take care of him on Monday."
WAS IT AN AUTOMATIC DECISION TO STAY HERE AND GET THE JOB DONE? "From the work ethic he taught me, that's the main reason I've gotten where I've gotten. He'd be pretty disappointed if I went home right now. There's nothing to do. His body won't be getting back until tomorrow to Long Island. All the arrangement are done already. We'll just take care of him after we do our job tomorrow. He's standing up there watching, and he's going to push for us. Hopefully we can get a win for him and then go take care of him and everything that needs to get done and see my mom and my sister up in Long Island. They're taking care of a couple of things now that need to be done, but the overwhelming support from all the friends and fans across the country has been unbelievable, and I just thank everybody."
HOW BIG WOULD A WIN BE HERE SUNDAY? "Obviously we're trying to accomplish a lot of things for the team. My dad has been one of our biggest supports through thick and thin here. From all the conversations I've had with him, he's first worried about what he's got to do with his modified and his next step was what we were doing on the Cup car. It'll be big. It'll be good to get one for him and for what we're trying to do points wise and everything else. Obviously our main concern and our thoughts are with my dad. It really probably hasn't hit me yet. I'm just trying to maintain right now and trying to just do what I need to do. We'll probably have a couple of bad days after tomorrow."
HAS THERE BEEN A LOT OF SUPPORT IN THE GARAGE? "Support has been great. People have called and come up to me. The phone didn't stop ringing until 10:30 or 11 o'clock, even from the people that were here. A lot of racecar drivers and team members have called. It's been awesome."
A LOT OF PEOPLE KNEW YOUR FATHER "Yeah, I think Ray said it best. He was just racing in the NASCAR modifieds, but he really was a superstar in a lot of people's minds in this garage, and that's pretty touching. He touched a lot of people in here, a lot of main people that have touched the NASCAR world think a lot of him, and that means a lot to me. He did his job. He was an onery man, but he was onery because he cared so much. He cared about all his customers' vehicles at the repair shop. He wanted no problems there, and he cared about his racecar and his race team. He was a pretty hard dude to work with. He taught so many. I bet 30-35 people in this NASCAR garage have touched his racecars over the years, worked on it. That says a lot. He's taught a lot of people in this garage, and he's taught a lot of people about life. He's taught a lot of people about repairing cars back home. We'll go back home and work on his business and try to keep that going. We'll put a good plan together for that and try to keep his legacy alive."
ANYTHING YOU'D LIKE TO ASK OF THE FANS? "We appreciate all the support. In lieu of all the donations and flowers, if they could just put it in my father's memory and send it to the Victory Junction Gang and let those kids enjoy their lives. My dad enjoyed his life thoroughly. Those kids, going to that camp through the week and having a blast, maybe my dad with this tragedy can touch some more hearts."
JEREMY MAYFIELD (No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge)
"We're happy, especially knowing we're not going to play it conservative and lay low. We're in the top 10 and we're happy about that, but we want more this weekend. We've got this hotrod going. We ran good off the truck, and we ran good in practice today. I think we're going to be in good shape. We've just got to be ourselves tomorrow. We've got to make sure we do everything we did today and get the car like it was today. We've just got to do what we've been doing and not beat ourselves and get another good finish."