Thursday, February 12, 2015

One Question, (Almost) Every Driver

What are you most looking forward to this season?

Ask anybody in NASCAR this question. Whether they are a fan, a driver, or work in the sport you'll get the same answer. RACING. What other answer would you expect? I asked many of the drivers that attended NASCAR Media Day this question and there were some really good answers! (Spoiler alert: They all involve getting back to racing!)

Regan Smith-- "Well, I'm curious to see how many times I mess up Xfinity's name. It's a tongue twister. I've messed it up a lot already! On the racetrack itself, I'm looking forward to getting back out there and racing. I'm looking forward to working with Jason Burdett and seeing him grow as a crew chief. Our relationship was good before he came to work here and it's gotten better since he came to work for JR Motorsports. ...I watch how he interacts with the guys, how the guys interact with him it gets me more excited for the season and getting everything started."

Casey Mears-- "Really the whole season.We're probably as prepared as we ever have been as an organization. We haven't tested so I haven't been in the car since Homestead so just getting back into the car and working with my team again."

Cole Custer-- "Just getting back out on the track. Trying to go out and win some races is the main goal this season. It's a big deal (to race for JR Motorsports). It's a huge honor to race for Dale Jr and I can't be thankful enough to drive for them. We're really going to have a great year this year."

Michael Waltrip-- "Seeing Michael Waltrip Racing return to part of the story. In 2014, (Clint) Bowyer was close to making the Chase but we didn't have the performance to last long. So just to...see Bowyer to get to Victory Lane and to get to drive a car myself. To drive the Aaron's car here puts a big smile on my face. And then to watch (Brian) Vickers return and have a car he can win with."

Brian Scott--"I'm looking forward to the battle for the championship in the Xfinity series. I was really pleased with how the second half of our season went last year. I feel like we dropped the ball early on which took us out of the championship picture. I feel like we've got the pieces in place and we're going to to start out this year a lot better as an organization (Richard Childress Racing)."

Paul Menard--"Just getting back in a routine and going to the racetrack every week. That's we are kind of groomed to do. So just get back in the grind and get started again."

Tyler Reddick-- "Winning a championship. That's our only goal!"

Elliott Sadler-- "Competing week in and week out. I still get my blood pumping on competing and being in the middle of the mix and in the hunt to win a race, win poles, compete at a high level week in and week out."

David Ragan---"I like to take it one race at a time so the Daytona 500 is what I'm looking forward to most right now. After Daytona, you kind of reset your goals. Obviously Atlanta is an important race to me.And how the new rule package affects the cars. I'm a big fan of the sport of NASCAR and I think it is very important for the health of our sport for the competition to stay close and the racing seems to be as good as ever. I can't wait for Atlanta, Vegas, and Pheonix to see how this new rule package handles."

Chris Buescher--"This season is very nerve-wracking for Roush Fenway Racing as a whole. We go back to last year and we realize our performance was not where we intended it to be and we worked extremely hard through the off season - the whole shop has, the drivers have. Having Bubba Wallace Jr come on board has been very new to us and very helpful. This should be a breakthrough year for our whole organization."

Kyle Larson-- "Just getting going and hoping we're still competitive with the rules package. Everybody gets excited for the season to start! Once the season starts, hopefully we can get a couple of wins and be competitive every week."

Matt Crafton-- "Getting back to the racetrack because that's what I love to do. I always love coming to Daytona and going through the tunnel and getting the season started.

Justin Allgier-- "Last year was my rookie season and I was going to a lot of these racetracks for the first time with a Sprint Cup Series car and Cup Series drivers so for me, being 365 days into this I feel way more comfortable coming into the Daytona 500 than I was last year. And I think that that's what I'm most looking forward to - being more comfortable going into races."

Aric Almirola-- "We  want to do a lot of the same things we did last year but there is a certain number of things that we want to do better. We want to run more consistently. We had signs of speed throughout the year last year but we didn't do it consistently week in and week out. We want to do that this year. We want to get back to Victory Lane. We want to make the Chase, but when we get to the Chase we want to be perfect."

Darrell Wallace Jr-- "Winning!! Just like every season but I've got a whole new plate here. There's a lot of things to get adjusted to."

Ben Kennedy-- "I'm really looking forward to working with this group of guys. Everyone we have on our team is really awesome and really diverse. Also being with TRD and being able to use those resources, I'm really looking forward to that. Honestly, I mostly looking forward to just seeing what we can do on the race track."

Greg Biffle--"Winning! We had a tough year last year and performance wise just weren't where I wanted to be and we feel like this year we've learned a lot and we feel like we can be more competitive."

Erik Jones-- "I think I'm looking forward to just getting to run full time. Being part time the past two seasons has been tough in a lot of ways so being in the truck more. Getting to run Xfinity races - that will be fun! I'm looking forward to getting more experience there as well. Just an exciting year all around, getting to run a lot of races and hopefully picking up some wins along the way."

Landon Cassill-- "We have a new engine program with my team so I'm really excited how the performance is with the racecar."

Alex Bowman-- "The thing I look forward to most is just being with a new race team - Tommy Baldwin - and having Bono (Kevin Manion)as a crew chief, having really good racecars and good horsepower. I feel like we can really exceed expectations."

Jeb Burton--"Just to get out there and earn respect. I wnnt to get some good runs and get some good finishes and take BK Racing to the next level."