Do you think the superspeedway program has improved from 2017?
“I’m confident our speedway program will show much better speed this season. Last year, we were still trying to figure out what parts and pieces we still needed to fix. Now, we’re just fine tuning and have been able to fluff and buff our Haas Automation Ford Mustang for Daytona. We have had much more time to prepare and Biagi-DenBeste has had so much success in the last few years at the superspeedways. They will be a great addition to our team. Between their race notes and Roush Yates Engines power under the hood, we are in good shape.”
How different is this January compared to January 2017?
“It’s crazy looking around at our shop knowing that just a year ago there was nothing but a broom. Now we’re a fully functioning XFINITY team that knows we can and will compete for a championship. We’re already in a much better spot than we were last year. We have prepared all offseason for this moment and I can’t wait to get behind the wheel.”
Do you think the competition will be easier or more difficult this season?
“There are a lot of guys who are going to be good out there. Even though Byron is out, we still have some tough competition. We really just have to focus on ourselves and compete against ourselves. We have to keep improving every week and I think, if we do that, we’ll win quite a few races and compete for a championship.”
What is racing around Daytona like?
“It’s a complete adrenaline rush. You’re on the edge of your seat every single lap because you never know when someone is going to slip up. When you’re tight in the pack, you have to stay focused every second because one little mistake can take out 20 cars. It’s a fun race, though, because it’s different from what we do every single week. You really just have to stay out of trouble and be there in the end to take home the trophy.”
You were able to spend time road-course racing last month in the IMSA Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge at Daytona. Did that better prepare you for the season?
“It was an incredible experience. It helped knock the rust off a little before the season with more road-course experience. It was a really cool opportunity that Ford presented to us to help us get to know each other a little better. I think it was a great race to help us get prepared for the season. It’s always cool when you get to race in something different from what you’re used to.”