GM Racing News--Jeff Gordon Practice Quotes
Saturday practice quotes
Lowe's Motor Speedway
#24 DuPont Chevrolet
SO MANY OF THE NEXTEL CUP DRIVERS ARE DRIVING IN TONIGHT'S BUSCH RACE. HOW COME YOU AREN'T AS WELL?
I don't know. I guess you have to ask those guys why they're running. You know, it could be, with the new track conditions. We're seeing a trend of guys running in the Busch Series and obviously they feel like they're getting something out of it to be out there. Either money or experience for Sunday-one of the two. Either way you look at it, it equivalates to money. They do want to better on Sunday, then they run the Busch race. I like focusing on one thing during the weekend. I just feel like it's too much running around and you know, it's just not something I'm interested in. I'm guess I'm old. Those young guys out there.
YOU DON'T NEED ANY MORE MONEY?
It's not about (that). I want to make more on Sunday, no matter what.
WILL YOU DO ANYTHING SPECIAL TO PREPARE FOR SUNDAY NIGHT'S RACE, GIVEN IT IS SO LONG?
Just work a lot on hydration. We've got some folks that help us out on that. Just make sure we have plenty electrolytes in our bodies and fluids and really well hydrated. It's not the physical demand of it. Because you can make really long runs here and not be able to get fluids in you. So, it's starting the race off properly hydrated is for me the most important thing-every weekend. Especially the 600 mile race.
WILL YOU WATCH THE INDY 500 TOMORROW?
Oh yeah. I'm going to start off watching the F1 race (European Grand Prix). I've got that TIVO'd, I'm not going to get up that early in the morning. I'm going to watch that on TIVO, and then I'm going to watch some Indy 500 and get hydrated. I'm going to go to hospitality and do some meet and greets for DuPont and Lowe's and Pepsi and then go run 600 miles.
HAVE YOU KEPT TRACK OF WHAT'S GOING ON IN THE INDY 500?
I tell you, I've been missing it. I just haven't been able to watch the broadcasts. I started watching qualifying when we were at Richmond and then it got rained out. You know, I know about who's on the pole and Danica Patrick and stuff like that, but I haven't kept up with a whole lot of it since then. You know, my guy is Helio (Castroneves). I'm always going to pull for Helio. He's a great guy, great driver and he's won it several times, along with Roger Penske, so we'll be pulling for him.
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON DANICA PATRICK? DOES ALL THE HYPE TAKE AWAY FROM WHAT SHOULD BE THE MOST IMPORTANT RACE ON AMERICAN SOIL?
It does a little bit, but imagine what would happen if she wins that thing. You know, I think it's exciting for motorsports, exciting for the Indy 500 and it's a great story and a great future for women in racing if it works out. She did a great job at the last race prior to this one and you know, I think they got well prepared for this one. We're just going to have to see what happens. Indianapolis-I've never driven an Indy car around there, but from driving a Cup car and talking to guys with Indy cars, it's a tough place to get around. You've got to get a good feel, good balance, long race, lot goes on there. She does a good job and it's the real deal.
CAN YOU IMAGINE ALL THE HOOPLA IF SHE HAD QUALIFIED FOURTH FOR THIS RACE?
Yeah. I mean, it would be huge. The difference, I think, is that qualifying at Indy is sort of like qualifying at Talladega. You know, where the car means a lot. The driver still plays a role but the car means a lot. I think the race is really the proving grounds there, because in the race, you've really got to drive that car. She did a great job at a track where you really have to drive and get the feel prior to this race. So, I think she's going to do good. I'm interested to see how it goes.
RYAN NEWMAN IS THINKING ABOUT STARTING ON THE OUTSIDE, BECAUSE IT HAS BEEN SAID IT MIGHT BE A LITTLE SQUIRRELY GOING INTO TURN 2. HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THAT CHANGE?
Yeah, it's definitely an issue. You know, whichever way it goes it doesn't matter. 600 miles and, you know, I'm not going to worry too much about the first lap, so whether it is on the inside or outside, even if we get shuffled back. It's a long day. I'm not going to get too concerned about that.
IS IT TOUGH GOING INTO TURN 2?
Well, the outside to me is definitely the preferred line. It wouldn't be a bad idea for him to do it, but again I don't know how hard I'm going to fight him for it even if he is on the outside because it is 600 miles.
YOU HAVE AN INTERESTING MIX OF RACE TRACKS COMING UP. DO YOU LOOK FORWARD TO THAT STRETCH?
I do. I think it's nice. When you get on mile and a half race tracks and you start doing well and you get in the rhythm, then you want to keep going to mile and a half race tracks. You don't want the competition to catch up to you. You know, I do like the variety. I do like going to different race tracks. I think it's fun and exciting every weekend. Of course, you know, I love the road courses. We're testing this Tuesday for that. I'm really excited and I always look forward to those races on the schedule. Michigan is one of my favorite race tracks. Dover is as well, plus it's in the backyard of DuPont. It's in their backyard, so I think we've got some good things for us in store, race track-wise and race car-wise.
HOW WAS PRACTICE AND HAPPY HOUR?
Well, we didn't start out great but we made big improvements there toward the end. I felt like we were one of the better cars on older tires.
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