|How will you and the team approach this weekend at Talladega?
“I think you approach it the same way no matter where you are in the points. I’ve been in front and been a part of a wreck and I’ve been riding in the back and been taken out, too. There’s really no place that’s safe. With this race being the second race of the round, you have to try and run up front and hope that you don’t have some bad luck and just bring home a solid finish. We’ll do the best we can this weekend with our M&M’S Camry and see where the points fall for us afterward, then focus on what we need to do at Kansas.”
Which is your best remaining track?
“I don’t really look at one, necessarily. I kind of look at all of them. I look at all of them as being really good tracks for us that we can contend at. If I look at the most worrisome track for me, it’s Talladega this weekend. The rest of them, I feel like we’re pretty good. They are all places we are capable of running well at, even though we’ve seen Martinsville have some crazy finishes recently, but it’s a place I like and run well at. If we can have a decent finish this weekend, I feel like Kansas next weekend has been really good for us, recently.”
Is a win at a premium in the playoffs?
“I think wins are always important and I think the biggest thing now is that each round kind of has its own wild-card race if you look at it. You’ve got the Charlotte roval in the first round, Talladega this weekend in the second round, and then Martinsville kind of turned into a crazy race in the third round. It’s all just going to be about trying to maintain and have a good day. If you can get top-five finishes, great, that’s going to propel us through with the amount of points we have and the point cushion we have, but wins are the ultimate. If you can get those, then you’re automatically in and that’s what we all strive for.”
Do you try and duplicate what worked at Talladega before?
“Yeah, I think so. I mean, there are obviously times when you feel like you want to push hard and go get a win or go get a better finish than where you’re currently running. But, you know you’ve just got to do what you can in order to let these races kind of fall into place, and sometimes it’s just worth taking the finish that’s coming to you and moving on and going to the next one. It doesn’t always help to push too hard, either, at times. There’s a balance there, for sure. It can also help to just sit back, relax and finish where you can, so we’ll see how it plays out for us.”
What is the key to pulling off a victory at Talladega?
“The key there is to somehow stay out of trouble. At Talladega, you pretty much stay around the bottom since there is a lot of grip there, and you can pretty much run wide open every single lap. Everyone can run up on top of each other. When you get single-file at the bottom, sometimes it’s hard to get a lane on the outside with enough good cars to get something going. It can be frustrating at times because of that. It also seems to still put on a good race each time we go there. If you can be a contender and stay in line on the bottom, you can make it a pretty easy and safe race. Normally, guys are not content doing that, so that’s when it starts to get crazy.”