Circle Bar Racing Press Conference - Kansas
Circle Bar Racing teammates Rick Crawford, driver of the No. 14 Power Stroke Diesel by International Ford F-150, and Brendan Gaughan, driver of the No. 10 International MAXX Force Diesel Ford F-150, participated in a press conference at Kansas Speedway on Friday afternoon.
BRENDAN GAUGHAN - No. 10 International MAXX Force Diesel Ford F-150
TALK ABOUT YOUR SEASON TO DATE. "The season has been a lot of fun so far. For me, it's been a lot less pressure and a lot less stress. [I'm] not running my own race team and letting Rick handle those things. It's kind of fun watching somebody else have to do the things that I used to have to do and I'm just driving for him. So, it's been enjoyable. This race team is having a lot of fun right now. We've been good just about every race. At Martinsville, which my big joke was that everybody knows how much I love Martinsville Speedway and I've done notoriously so well there. I told everybody that it took me being in a Ford to have a good run. We ran second. Rick let me bring and old truck from my shop for that race because it had the special steering on that I wanted Rick to try out. He liked it. He liked the idea. It worked for us there and then the rest of the season, we've actually, except for Daytona truck, which doesn't count, we've actually run the same truck at California, Atlanta and here. And I'm really starting to like it. We went to Pocono and tested with it. The guys in the fab shop have been doing some unique things to make our trucks better and kind of get it done when you got to get it done. The Circle Bar fab shop, they've got really good kids in there and I'm pretty excited how they've been fixing things up. Then at Charlotte, I'm going to have a brand new MAXX Force Ford that Rick built for me. We're hopefully going to get to test it first, but it's brand new. The body shop is almost done with it. I think most of chassis stuff has been done. For me, it's been fantastic, man. Circle Bar has been building new trucks and building stuff and getting things out the door. For me, my Dad actually is coming to Kansas this weekend, it will be his second race he's come to this year. It's kind of fun, my Dad and I are getting along great. Rick actually got to go to Vegas and hang out with my Dad a few weeks ago and I've been sitting in Charlotte and Pocono testing for him and he got to go home. I'm loving this gig. It's kind of a lot of fun for me. Mr. Mitchell and Lisa Mitchell have been a lot of fun to work with. We just need to be leading the points when we go to Homestead because Mr. Mitchell promised us. If we're leading the points at Homestead, my Dad is going to pick him up and we're gonna get him to come to a race. That's the goal."
RICK CRAWFORD - No. 14 Power Stroke Diesel by International Ford F-150
YOU'VE SAID, 'TRACKS DON'T OWE YOU ANYTHING' BUT IT COULD BE SAFE TO SAY, THE LAW OF AVERAGES SAID THAT YOU SHOULD BE IN VICTORY LANE AT SOME POINT AT KANSAS SPEEDWAY. "I did say that I don't look for race tracks to owe me anything. I used to say that, if I can say that from Alabama. In my racing career, I've been blessed with a lot of things. This happened to Rick Crawford. Running second, you've got to put yourself in a great position to finish second. The day we were leading most of the laps and came down to the white flag lap and something happened, we lost a line on the rear end, it burned up a gear on the very last lap. It's like kicking the truck up in neutral. When something like that happens, it's dejected. It feels like Muhammad Ali hit you in the gut. That's why we're built Ford tough and hope Ford Power Stroke Diesel keeps performing. We're here to win. But if we run up front, that means we came with the attitude of winning. Our race team is good. We have great equipment. I think Brendan can testify to having good equipment. We had to put a defibrillator on one of his trucks just to bring it back to life the other day. We're a good team and we've got some great stuff."
YOU'RE ONE OF THE OLD SCHOOL GUYS "I wish you wouldn't use that word. I'm an All-American cultural icon."
GIVE US YOUR IMPRESSION ON THE YOUNG DRIVERS (18, 19, 20 years old) COMING INTO NASCAR AND HOW YOU SEE THE SPORT CHANGING. "It has changed since 1997. I realize that I wasn't a 17-, 18-, 19-year old rookie in this series, but the rookies have a mix about them. They all have characters. They all proved their selves somewhere just like I did to come into the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, same as this year. If you look at them, they have contracts. They've got contracts at Hendrick, they've got contracts here, they're racing for Toyota, they're doing this, and they're racing for Ford. It's a mix of a bunch of good guys out there. If you weighed it out and you said, ok, I heard of this guy over here on the local track, but they I heard of this guy over here named Landon Cassill that I met yesterday and today he's wearing a National Guard uniform with Dale Jr.'s name and all over it and everything. And I'm like, if you picked this guys out that runs locally and you picked this guy out and look at his uniform, he's bound and determined and committed to racing, that his name is going to surface to the top. Somebody had to catch this 18-, 19-year old's eye, and a few years ago for Rick Hendrick to actually sign him to a contract. So that's what my advice is to local guys racing on Friday and Saturday night. They need to get in this Rick Hendrick's eye. Then they can make it into this sport."
THE POINTS LEADER IS NOT HERE THIS WEEKEND "A lot of less trucks to get wrecked this weekend. We're all happy."
THERE'S A CHANCE HE [KYLE BUSCH] MIGHT RUN MOST OF THE SCHEDULE AND MAYBE MISSED A COUPLE MORE RACES. DO YOU THINK HE CAN WIN THE CHAMPIONSHIP BY TAKING A FEW RACES OFF? WHAT WOULD THAT MEAN IF KYLE BUSCH WINS? "Better question is, ask me if I care. I don't care. We'll have a lot less trucks wrecked. If you look at his record in the first four races, he's done a great job wrecking others and not taking himself out, most of the time. Kudos to Matt Crafton at Martinsville. Do I think he'll win the championship not coming all year? No, I don't think he will. I think we have too many good drivers and I think we have too many good race teams. If you look at Rick, he's 80 or 100 points back or something like that."
RICK CRAWFORD "You're keeping up with me pretty good, I'm only 60."
BRENDAN GAUGHAN "60, I was going to say I don't even know where I'm at right now."
RICK CRAWFORD "I just know you look like George Jefferson, you're movin' on up."
BRENDAN GAUGHAN "I appreciate it, I'm movin' up a lot. After Daytona, which, oh yeah, guess who caused that? I think there's too many good race teams that will be here every week. There's too many Rick Crawfords, Todd Bodines, Mike Skinners that will be running up front every week to be able to miss races like that. Do I think he'll probably end up very well in the points? Yeah, he's got a lot of talent and he's got a team that's putting a lot of effort behind him. I think he'll end up being probably in the top 10, depends on how many races he misses. I haven't heard. Do I care? No. I'm gonna go out there and catch him and going to try to put my Ford in the top-10 and I don't care where he's at."
RICK CRAWFORD "Don't write down that I don't care, that's his words, not mine. But he's probably taken himself out of the points picture because there's a lot of good trucks out there and a lot of good drivers as Brendan said that have already given some races away. They're not going to give many more away. They've already started having a bad year. They're too good of teams to have a bad year. They'll be back and they'll be right back up in the points picture. But I care, because I want to win a championship."
BRENDAN GAUGHAN IS IT GOOD FOR THE SERIES THOUGH, IN A WAY TO HAVE A GUY THAT'S RUNNING ALL THREE? "Who cares?"
RICK CRAWFORD "He cares. I know the differences you have with him and that was the truck I was referring to having to put the deliberator on to get it back to life."
BRENDAN GAUGHAN "And it's looking good too, by the way."
RICK CRAWFORD "But on the big picture here, fan or not, Kyle Busch, every dog-gone race from Cup to Truck to Nationwide Series on Saturday, Kyle Busch has been in contention to win that race. Every race this year. Hand it to the man. It fits his style and it fits it right now. He's on top of his game, just like I told him in Martinsville personally. This racing game that we're playing here, this racing business that we're in will give you a high like that sometime and it will snatch it away from you so fast, just appreciate where you've been. Undoubtedly he didn't and Martinsville results, ok. My hat's off to him because he made me an extra 10-grand, because I picked up two spots on the last lap. I'm good with it. That's how I feel about it, but if you've got a good race car driver that's capable of winning races week in and week out, he's a good race car driver. Hand it to him."
BRENDAN GAUGHAN CAN YOU SUMMARIZE WHAT IS DIFFERENT THIS YEAR WITH YOUR TEAM HAVING BRENDAN OR WHAT YOU'VE SEEN BY BEING PART OF THIS TEAM THAT'S DIFFERENT THAT WHAT YOU HAD IN THE PAST. "From my standpoint, it's a teammate thing again, which gives you extra crew chiefs, extra manpower, extra people. From my standpoint, it's been a lot of fun. I got lucky to even have a ride. For the guys that came with me, the Harley Rauchs, the Danny Goads, my crew chief Bryan Berry, we're all really thankful to the Mitchell family and Circle Bar to say, 'hey here's an opportunity' and we're making the best of it. For us, it's a great time; it's a great relationship. Watching the relationship that Bryan has with Cowboy [Kevin Starland], Rick's crew chief and watching the way my guys fit and we've come in. It's a very comfortable thing for me. I almost feel like it's my own team. It's comfortable. Everybody gets along. We go out to lunch. Rick's been kind enough to let me kind of be there just as I was with my team. I take the guys to lunch and everybody enjoys it. We take the fab shop and tell them what a great job they've been doing. Even after Martinsville where I wrecked a truck in one corner but gained all them spots. I felt bad, but it was 10 spots, the guys loved it. They were excited about it. We looked good. From my standpoint, I love having a teammate and love having a team that wants us there, just like my old team was."
RICK CRAWFORD "And the difference. Mr. Mitchell made it quite clear the other day. I was in Las Vegas doing a Ford dealer convention. Our trucks were in Pocono doing a test. Tony Raines was driving the 14 truck, Ford Power Stroke Diesel by International, and Brendan was there with his MAXX Force Diesel by International. Me and Mr. Mitchell was talking and I said, 'should I be there?' He said, 'you have a different scenario this year. You've got a team over there that you don't need to look out after. You've got a team that has leadership, has a good background, they've got good inventory, they're running good, they know what they're doing, the crew chiefs share the same office, the teams are in the same building, the trucks are next to each other and they just have different numbers on them and color.' And we have two great teams now. And so it can run on it's own with a little bit of direction and a little bit of guidance. Just to make the bottom line, the 10 truck wouldn't be in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series this year without Brendan Gaughan and his family, period."