Q: Richmond is a track you ran in 1997 in Winston Cup and qualified very well, how does it stack up to Robby Gordon's style of driving? A: Richmond, like Bristol and Martinsville, is a very different track than I'm used to because it's short.
Q: Richmond is a track you ran in 1997 in Winston Cup and qualified very well, how does it stack up to Robby Gordon's style of driving?
A: Richmond, like Bristol and Martinsville, is a very different track than I'm used to because it's short. But I did seem to adapt better to Richmond in '97 than the others. We qualified 4th there and were fast all weekend until we blew a motor in the race. With this race, it's important to get through the first three-quarters unscathed, then go racing those last 100 laps or so. I guess that holds true for most races now, the difference at Richmond is that you need to be on your toes because you don't want to give up a lap. There isn't much room to breathe, if you're not charging you're going to be left behind.
Q: What's the racing like at Richmond as opposed to Fontana?
A: It's night and day - literally. Ha. Ha. My driving style has to change to make it through these long, short track races. Like I said in the last question, I need to be more patient knowing it's a long, long race, yet I need to be digging constantly. These races are tough, a lot tougher than I think people realize. Not only are you having to constantly stand on the gas, there is no time to relax at all. There's very little, if any, straightaway. I'm constantly turning and constantly in traffic.
Q: Last time we asked you to give a grade on your team you gave it a C+ before Texas. What's the grade now?
A: I guess we're still a C+, but there's note that says "improving." We've got a handle on what it takes now to succeed in terms of preparation and intensity. All that's left now is execution and taking notes. I believe now with Richard (Buck) here that we'll be dramatically improving week in and week out. It's exciting. We had a little bit of a down time getting through the short tracks, but now we're all fired up.
Q: For Team Gordon to win a race this season, what would it take, realistically?
A: It's going to take a road course and great pit stops. Actually, we keep saying that's our best chance and it probably is, but we've been tough at the SuperSpeedways. It's so competitive, basically you need all the stars to align within the team. Look, there are 10 winners in 10 races, it's not like any one guy or team has a handle on this series completely. I like that!
Q: What kind of effect has Richard Buck had on your race team in the early going?
A: He helps a lot, especially for me. Now I can concentrate on the driving side 100% and know the team is being run smoothly. The guys respect him and he's beyond organized. The first meeting he had with the team, I walked away saying, "Wow, this guy is good." He's going to be a huge asset, it's no wonder Penske won all those Indy 500's and Championships.
Q: Is it true that your crew members will be wearing turtle-shell helmets in the pits this weekend like those in the new Flintstones movie?
A: We've been joking about that ever since they put the decals on this car. A few of the guys would be good fill-ins for both Fred and Barney. Actually, the way I see it Jerry Baxter would make a good Barney and Richard a good Fred. Someone even suggested we have the crew wear black-spotted, orange togas and sandals on race day. You know how that stuff goes, everyone chimes in with something and it gets pretty funny.
A: The itch is getting bigger as Indy gets closer. There's interest on both sides. It's hard to leave last year's finish on the table and not take another crack at it. John and I have talked quite a bit lately. What's nice is that if I decide to do it all I have to do is show up with my helmet and "get it on."