FF: Quintin Crye interview

Q & A WITH USAC FORD FOCUS MIDGET CAR DRIVER QUINTIN CRYE Full Name? Quintin Levi Crye Do you have a nickname? "Q" Age? 17 Hometown? Gridley, Calif. (northern California) Where do you go to school? I'm currently in my Senior year at ...

Q & A WITH USAC FORD FOCUS MIDGET CAR DRIVER QUINTIN CRYE

Full Name?
Quintin Levi Crye

Do you have a nickname?
"Q"

Age?
17

Hometown?
Gridley, Calif. (northern California)

Where do you go to school?
I'm currently in my Senior year at Gridley High School, and will graduate in June 2006. I plan on starting classes at Butte College in the Fall of 2006.

How many years have you been racing?
10

Birthdate?
June 12, 1988

Height and Weight?
6' 159 lbs.

Where do you live now?
In Gridley, California, which is up north.

Do you have a website?
www.CryeRacing.com

Who are your crewmembers?
My father, Glenn Crye, runs the team. I also have Derek Drock helping me out on the crew.

Who are your primary team sponsors?
Lucas Oil, Hypercoil, Rod End Supply and Gotparts.net. What are your 2006 racing plans?
To race the entire USAC Ford Focus Midget Series schedule in California, on both dirt and pavement.

How did you get started in racing?
My dad bracket raced, so he liked racing and always followed it. I got into dirt bikes and 4-wheelers, and had a friend who had a kart and sold it to us in 1996. I started racing that kart at Cycleland Speedway in Oroville, Calif. after that, then also raced some of the QRC All Star Tour, and at tracks in Stockton, Valejio and Red Bluff.

Do you have brothers and sisters?
I have a half-brother, Ron Martin.

Was racing always an ambition?
Racing is the only thing I think about. I thought about college, too, but I'd rather race. If I did not race, I don't know what I would do.

Where did you grow up?
In Gridley, where I still live now.

What are some of your hobbies outside of racing?
I used to play baseball a lot, but racing took over. I used to play basketball in 8th grade. But I quit other sports for racing.

Why are you a good race car driver?
I drive anything I can get my hands on. I don't need to think about it--I just do it.

Talk about off-track responsibilities?
I handle them as best as I can. I try to adapt to people, and will gladly accommodate anyone wanting to talk to me. I'm always trying to get sponsors when I'm not racing, working at it from home. I'm always trying to e-mail sponsors all of the time to get them interested in my program. At the track, I like to talk to people any time -- I kind of expect it and like it.

How do your mom and dad help you?
My Mom is a great moral support to me. My Dad is my team. He is the backer, works on the car and calls the shots.

Did you learn about professional racing from your dad?
Yeah, he was a racer. Before I was born, he used to bracket race.

Tell me about the importance of relating to fans.
I always want to be there for the fans. I race for the fans and I want them to come to my trailer and be able to give them autographs and talk about the race and other stuff that might be important to them.

What has been your biggest win?
In karts, when I was racing at Cycleland Speedway. In 2003, I won the QRC Perpetual Trophy Race.

Do you like to work on your race car?
Yeah, that's all I do. Even if I did get a big sponsorship deal, I would still like to go to the shop and work on the cars, too.

What is your ultimate racing dream?
To win as many championships and races as I can and climb the ladder in motorsports as high as I can go.

What has been your favorite racing moment?
Any time I cross the finish line and get the checkered flag. More specifically, winning my first championship at Cycleland Speedway in 2002, in an open intermediate kart.

Do you relate well to kids?
I think I do. It's kind of funny, but they seem drawn to me. Like whenever I go to a doctor's office, the kids always play with me.

Have you ever run shifter karts?
No, but the karts I ran in the past were kind of like shifter karts, but they had a bigger motor, roll cages and wings. They looked like a little sprint car.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Racing at Daytona.

Who has been the biggest influence on your racing career?
My father. Outside of that, Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart, because I've seen where they came from, and I appreciate the path they took to get where they are now in NASCAR.

What other types of racing do you follow?
USAC, all of the NASCAR divisions, and the World of Outlaws a little bit.

What has been the scariest moment in racing for you?
When my dad had a conflict with his father and we were just using my winnings to keep racing.

What would you do if you couldn't drive a race car?
I don't know, probably be bored out of my mind. Maybe try to design parts for racing. I do some CAD drawing in school now and I enjoy that.

Are you artistic?
Not really, but I can draw on CAD -- I have a class in that now in high school.

Do you have any pets?
I had a dog, but we had to put him to sleep four months ago. He was a chow named "Tranny."

What is your normal fitness routine for racing?
Lately I've been working out every day in school. Other than that, I just bought a mountain bike and will be working out on that a lot.

Are you careful about what you eat?
Not really, but I haven't drank any caffeine in almost a year.

What are your favorite foods?
Chicken bacon ranch sandwiches from Subway.

What are your favorite foods to cook?
Sometimes steaks, and maybe some nachos.

What are your favorite TV shows?
Monster Garage and Orange County Choppers.

What is your favorite type of music?
Rock. I really like the band Trapped.

What is your favorite color?
Red.

What is your family heritage?
Mostly Indian and some German.

What types of vehicles have you raced?
Karts and the USAC Ford Focus Midget car.

What is your favorite track to race on and why?
Ventura Raceway, because it's a cool little banked track, and it's exciting to race there.

What kind of personal vehicle do you drive?
A Dodge Dakota RT.

Where's your favorite vacation spot and why?
I've never been on a vacation. We did camp a bit. It's nice to sit by the lake or go boating.

Do you have any other business interests?
I work with my dad a bit in his business, when he needs it -- I usually run errands for him.

When is second OK?
When it's the last race of the season and I don't need to get any further up in the championship.

What is your favorite season and why?
Summer -- because it's time to go out and have fun on the lake and the racing season has just started.

What is a typical non-racing day like for you?
I go to school. Then after school, I'll stop by my dad's business and help him out if he needs it. I'll probably go home after that, then get stuff ready on the race car, do homework, then go to bed.

Have you ever thought about moving to Charlotte or Indy to further your racing career?
I've thought about Indy -- maybe that's in my future.

What can you not do without?
Of course, racing.

Are you mechanical?
Yes, I like to work on all sorts of mechanical things.

Did your karting experience help you with what you are doing now?
Yes, because the karts were like scaled-down midget cars, with a quicker response.

How do you describe your driving style?
Smooth and patient.

In most professions when you get to be good, you get raises and a better office and things like that. In racing when you get to be good, you get labeled as a role model. Are you comfortable with that?
Yes, I feel like it would be great to be a role model. I have been looking up to people my whole life and it would be great to be able to give other people support, and help them succeed in their dreams.

What are your best qualities?
Getting stuff done on time, thinking things through and trying to get them done right.

What are some of your worst qualities?
Spelling.

What is your philosophy on life?
Life's a garden, dig it!

What makes you happy?
Racing and being with my family.

Tell me something no one knows about you?
How superstitious I am with the color green and the number 13.

What bugs you about other people?
When they are uptight about little things.

What have you learned from your Ford Focus experience?
A suspension car is a lot more forgiving than a car without suspension, and the bigger car (Focus) is more fun to drive.

How do you typically celebrate a race win or a good day on the track?
I get a big hug from my dad, we talk about it and try to soak it up.

If you suddenly won a million dollars, what would you do with it?
Invest it in my racing career real quick, and then the rest in my dad's business to help it grow and expand.

What's the biggest misunderstanding about you?
That I like to joke around. I think people take me too seriously with some of the jokes I say.

How important is it for you to be popular with the fans?
Very important. I want to be there for the fans, when they need me and when I need them.

Are you into "extreme sports" at all?
I wakeboard in the summer at the lake. I got a snowboard this year, but I haven't gone lately so I don't get hurt for racing, and I just picked up mountain biking.

Have you ever had any big accidents?
In 2004 at Cycleland Speedway, I was running an outlaw kart without a wing for just the first time. I was leading my heat, then I spun out. I had to fix the car and go to the B main, then worked my way up to third again, only to be taken out. I once again worked my way back to third again. I got in the A main and had to start dead last out of 17 cars, then worked my way to fifth and with 15 laps to go, another car put me into the wall. I actually hit the green light, went out of track and flipped badly. I wasn't hurt -- maybe I had some whiplash, but I didn't have any broken bones, no concussion. It cracked my helmet, though. I got out the car and walked back to the trailer.

Do you have any superstitions?
The color green and the number 13.

Do you have any pre-race rituals?
No, not really. I used to wear the same socks in karting, but now wear fireproof stuff all of the time.

Why do you think you are a marketable driver?
Because I'll do whatever it takes to promote a company. I'd pretty much be a walking advertisement for them and try to get them more business.

Why should a NASCAR or IndyCar team owner hire you?
Because I will do whatever it takes to get the job done. My total focus is on winning races and championships. Period.

NEXT RACE FOR QUINTIN CRYE:
March 18 -- Ventura Raceway (opening race of 2006 USAC California Ford Focus season)

-jv

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Series USAC
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Tony Stewart