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National Hot Rod Association Media Conference

Drag Racing Topics:  NHRA

National Hot Rod Association Media Conference

Jeg Coughlin
Larry Dixon
Ashley Force Hood
Eddie Krawiec
July 7, 2009

THE MODERATOR: Today we have with us a driver from each of the four NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series categories. I will introduce Top Fuel driver Larry Dixon, and Funny Car driver Ashley Force Hood, but to begin, I would like to introduce the defending champions and current points leader, Eddie Krawiec and Jeg Coughlin.
First, Eddie Krawiec, rider of the Screamin' Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson. Eddie has two wins and three runner-up finishes in the first seven races in Pro Stock Motorcycle to build a 70-point lead with five regular-season races left.
Eddie, what's been the big difference for your team from this year to last year, when, of course, you sort of struggled a little bit in the regular season and entered the playoffs in seventh place, and this season you are obviously looking to enter the playoffs in much better position. What's been the difference from last regular season to this regular season?
EDDIE KRAWIEC: I think the biggest difference on our team part is myself. Rider confidence is the No. 1 thing in any category, whether it be driver confidence going into race day, let alone going into qualifying. You need to treat every single pass down that quarter mile as your final round task. You want to make it the best run possible, and go to the other end and get the best qualifying position to go into race day.
I think coming into mid part of the '08 season was the time I was just starting to get comfortable on the motorcycle, and luckily enough, we had that great Countdown system that it worked for my benefit, I think you know, and gave hope to all those racers and it actually showed that there is a possibility that if you are in a No. 7 spot, you can go out there and win the championship.
So I think the points system, knowing that it works, and to go out there and do that gave me even more confidence coming into this season. So I'd say my biggest thing is the mental confidence.
THE MODERATOR: Jeg Coughlin, driver of the Jegs.com Chevy Cobalt has won four NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing World Series Championships overall, including each of the last two. So far in 2009 he is leading all drivers in wins with five, and in round wins with 33. He is also the first driver to officially clinch his playoff berth.
So with that said, what's the game plan over the final six regular season races?
JEG COUGHLIN: Well, thanks, that was pretty exciting to hear. Our game plan, really, as we head into the Western Swing is similar to what Eddie just said. We are going in and approach these three races as aggressively as we can.
Yes, we do have a few things on our clipboard that we would like to test in Seattle and later down the road in Infineon and Sonoma. Not going to steer too far off-course.
You mentioned this is a grueling three-race stretch, but that's just the beginning for us as we enter the final phase of the regular season and ultimately prepare for the Countdown to 1 effort that starts in Charlotte, we have got a four-race stretch that starts that off.
Really for us, it's a great exercise to keep the team in sync. Obviously we want to go out and challenge for some round wins, and obviously some race wins, ultimately, but we are really treating this as an opportunity to continue to keep that momentum going that we have had in the regular season thus far, and would like nothing more than to leave the U.S. Nationals in the points lead and enter the Countdown to 1 in the No. 1 seed.
Stay tuned; it's going to be exciting racing in all four of the professional classes, but we are very much looking forward to it and that's our approach.
THE MODERATOR: Of course, in year two of the Countdown last year, the 20-point bonus was instituted for the points leader at the end of the regular season. So there is that additional incentive in the regular season to win the points championship for the regular season.

Q. For Eddie, last year you won a championship without winning a race. How much more confidence do you have this year with two wins under your belt already, and you're halfway through the season?
EDDIE KRAWIEC: I'm really confident. I'm looking forward to actually getting out there and getting on my motorcycle and going into race day.
You know, for the way that it turned out last year, I was ecstatic. I wouldn't change a thing. I think that's something that's going to be etched in the history books for a really long time, and honestly, I don't know if it will ever be broken again.
But to go out there and capture some wins, and I've been in five straight final rounds, I just hope this momentum carries, and I can do it on the second half of the season just like I did. I've had a total of the last 12 races entered, I've been in nine finals. So that's pretty good statistics. So 75 percent of that has been final round appearances for me.
I just want to close my final round average a little better and take that from 25 percent and bump that up to maybe 75 percent. I would like to win them all. But it's tough competition out there and I'm just glad to be out here racing with everybody.

Q. So what are you doing basically different this year than you did last year?
EDDIE KRAWIEC: I'm not really doing anything different. I'm just riding the bike with the confidence. You know, Matt Hines has given me an awesome motorcycle. A lot of people out there always compliment their crew chiefs, but if you look at what Matt is doing, he is tuning two bikes, two motorcycles and that adds extra pressure on you come race day.
As long as I think he gives us a good motorcycle and we are confident that we have a great one under us, that it just makes it easier for the driver to do their job.

Q. This is for Jeg. You have certainly cashed in on momentum for championships, so you know a little bit about that. Do you believe in momentum; not everybody does, and is it as easy to retrieve as it is to achieve Jeg?
JEG COUGHLIN: I definitely believe in momentum without question. In a lot of instances when the engine group is making more horsepower in the dyno room, that gives them more momentum to make more. Obviously when things are on the up-and-up, it's easier to keep on rolling, and that goes for the same group that's at the racetrack, as well, and also for me, behind the wheel.
You know, with six races in our Countdown, momentum can be everything, as we've seen the last two seasons, the way the Countdowns have unfolded. In all of the classes, momentum can carry you right from the very first race as was as Sony Pedregon -- or last year, I'm sorry, right into the Funny Car World Championship, which was spectacular to watch, as well.
So in our case, it's not easy to get that momentum going, but I think with the way our regular season has been going, we are looking to kind of play on it, and if we can't make a real strong run at a second straight Full Throttle Championship.

Q. Do you feel it unfold or does it just unfold?
JEG COUGHLIN: No, I think you kind of earn it, and as you're earning it, you're feeling it, as well. It's kind of a difficult question, and to sum up in a few words, but yeah, I think you can feel it. But I definitely don't think it's something you pray for or that shows up. It's something that you earn, not only with your team, but from your competitors.

Q. Eddie, last year, you took root during the Countdown and everything came down to winning a championship, again, without a win, but now that you've got a couple wins during the regular season. How much does that change where you are approach for the Countdown, or does it really affect anything at all, other than, say, give you more momentum?
EDDIE KRAWIEC: No, I really don't think it affects my approach. My approach is before I even leave our shop here in Brownsburg, I plan on winning the race. I go to every race with the intention of winning, just like every driver out there. You don't dream of losing in the final, you dream of winning.
That's my approach and that's the way that I go into every single race. My main goal is, for the Countdown, it's a little different this year. See, I'm going into it as of right now, I am the No. 1 guy, and the way I looked at it last year was I was No. 7. I didn't have anything really to lose. I had everything to gain. And when you are the points leader, you have everything to lose, but what you have to gain is you've got to maintain your position.
So the main thing is maintaining going out there and racing smart and being consistent and going rounds. I think as long as the driver does their job, and like I said earlier, that you have good equipment under you, that's where that confidence comes in, and your team morale is on an upbeat. There shouldn't be any changes going on. I mean, what I've been doing now, it's been working for me. It's obviously shown. I've been pretty consistent on going round, so I'm not going to change a thing. I'm just going to go out there and race.

Q. With two months before the down the, this particular phase, this Western Swing, what do you try to do in terms of preparation, knowing that you have to go back out west and close this thing out, what do you do with this particular stretch of races in terms of preparing for the Countdown?
EDDIE KRAWIEC: Well, what we are doing presently right now is we are going through our equipment and making sure we have our stuff 100 percent fresh and ready to go. Our truck basically is going to leave Brownsburg here and it's going to go out to Denver, and we are not out in Seattle there, but we do go to Sonoma.
So what happens is our truck is going to be out on the road for a couple weeks, and we try to leave and we always try to keep our stuff as fresh as possible, so that way, two things. No. 1, failures are at a minimum, and also that way, you always have good equipment on your truck ready to go. I think the main thing is just keeping up on the maintenance and being ready.
THE MODERATOR: One note for Jeg, I wanted to point out, in a class where the starting line is so important, Jeg is 8-0 on the starting line this year, he has not lost a race on the tree, including 5-0 on red light victories and 3-0 in hole shots.
Jeg, I think you've gotten a lot of credit over the years for your performance in bracket racing and particularly on the tree in the Pro Stock category. Can you talk about mind-set when you pull into the beams?
JEG COUGHLIN: Really, I think we've heard a lot about confidence and momentum in this teleconference, and I think a lot of that is on my mind. After I do my burnout and backup and prepare to pull forward for the pre stage before the race.
What's on my mind at that point is I usually have two or three game plans on how I'm going to race my opponent and approach the starting line, because you do have to mix it up from behind the wheel, not only -- not only to try and create a benefit on your behalf, but also to mix it up to keep it fresh for yourself, and I enjoy doing that.
So typically pulling forward at the pre-stage I'll have two or three game plans in mind, and you know, obviously in a pecking order, and I feel like that way I'm always on offense mentally. As I prepare the pre-stage and my opponent has done the same, then you just kind of play the game and let it unfold, hopefully within one of your three game plans, and they typically do because you've got it covered.
I think the confidence that I have is to remain focused with the most discipline; to ground out any distraction at that point, and that's a lot easier said than done. I've been fortunate to be able to -- to be able to drown those distractions out and remain confident, and again it goes with the confidence that your team gives you and the preparation of your vehicle, and your chances of winning that round that you're getting ready to stage for.
So it is a big team effort, and Pro Stock racing -- in all full-throttle drag racing, the races are side-by-side, and any little error can result in a loss, and certainly on a Christmas tree, we don't particularly care to be second off the line or loss on a whole lot but that is the name of the game occasionally and you just have to fire at it and be confident.

Q. Can you comment on clinching and the psychological blow to the other drivers?
EDDIE KRAWIEC: I'm not sure it would be a psychological blow to them by any stretch, but it just been a straight effort on the whole Jegs and Jegs.com team approach. When we won cloud our 2008 championship run, we sat at a team and tried to figure what is our goals as we approached the 2009 season. It appeared that the Countdown format would not change and it has not for the most part. Our goals at that time were to challenge for some more round wins and race wins period, because I think we won the championship last year with three victories and just a consistent run throughout the entire year, and that's what got it done for us.
But we wanted to capitalize more on that in the regular season and I think that focus and that direction and that discipline is what has gotten our team prepared for the '09 season and this regular season as we have talked about, and to clinch our seeds into for tour the Top-10 going into the Countdown to 1 this early in the season, it is allowing us to, as I mentioned earlier in the teleconference, to maybe test a few things along the way.
We probably won't do a whole lot of testing in Denver because it just such a different environment for us but that will give us the opportunity as we approach Seattle, as we approach Sonoma, as we approach Redding, and also, Brainerd. We probably won't tinker with it a whole lot going into Indy, because, well, it's the U.S. nationals and you're there to focus on winning the U.S. Nationals.
It's almost like the Countdown to 1, the thrill is right before the Countdown to 1, and that's our approach and I think to be seeded already was news to me already going into this race week and it's very flattering and that's what our approach will be going into the remainder of the regular season and our approach to the Countdown to 1.
THE MODERATOR: Thanks to Eddie and Jeg for joining us today. One final note, a statistic, Tony Shumacher last year also clinched at this point heading into the Western Swing, he was the only other driver to do so. Tony had amassed, 1,062 points heading into Denver last year and had clinched his spot, and this year Jeg Coughlin has 1,072 points and has clinched his spot.
I'm going to move along with the nitro categories and the next driver I would like to introduce is Ashley Force Hood. She is the driver of the Castrol GTX Ford Mustang. Ashley has one win in four runner-up finishes to lead the Funny Car points standings for the second time in her career.
You were in this position in spring of '08 before finishing the season in sixth place. What, if anything, did you learn from that experience last year that you think you can use this year now that you're back in first place?
ASHLEY FORCE HOOD: Well, I think last year really showed us that you can really quickly go from here to zero and back again. We had a great spring and went to three finals and won in Atlanta and then went into a huge slump with some first-round losses and not qualifying and that totally set us back from all of the success that we had earlier in the year.
So this year, you know, with every final we have gone to and every race that we have done well at, we have tried to not get too far ahead of ourselves and know that it could change very instantly and just keep working at it and cope trying to go around every weekend and try to be consistent and hopefully at the end of the summer we can still be up high in the points.
THE MODERATOR: Next I'd like to introduce Larry Dixon driver of the Alan Johnson Al-Anabi Racing Dragster. Larry has won three of the last four races and four overall to move into second place in the Top Fuel standings.
Larry, you have experienced the Western Swing as a crew member and you are only one of six NHRA Full Throttle Series drivers to have swept the Western Swing, so you have a wide-ranging perspective of the Western Swing as anyone out there. Tell us from that perspective of a crew member, of a driver, what is it that makes this stretch of races through Denver, Seattle and Sonoma in three weeks so difficult.
LARRY DIXON: It makes me glad I'm not a crew member anymore. Now the miles that the teams have to drive in between all of these races, from starting out at our Brownsburg, Indiana shop, just doing that leg of tour in three weeks is a lot; let alone having to service the equipment and everything and getting ready for next event. It a lot of work on the teams, and the crew chiefs; it's a lot just in the preparation for the event.
The elevation changes, the track surface changes, you start out at Denver where you're a mile-high in elevation and you finish off in Sonoma where you're right at sea level. So it's definitely challenging for the teams and being fortunate enough to have won all three, I just feel lucky to be a part of that deal, and obviously we are going to go out there and try and do it again.
THE MODERATOR: Is there any more stretch of races on the tour that is more of a team effort between driver, crew and crew chief than these three races?
LARRY DIXON: I don't really think so. Just from the standpoint of how many miles you travel in between each race, and how different all of the tracks are. Obviously we are all racing 1,000 foot, and that's about the only thing that is the same. We are starting out with such a nice facility at the Bandimeres, what they have done, and what they have developed with the cooling underneath the racetrack to try and give the racers as much -- give them everything they possibly can, and with the shut down areas and sand traps that they have developed, I'm really looking forward to going to Bandimere this weekend.

Q. With your four wins, are you ahead of any pace that you might have hoped for when the season started with you hooking up with Alan?
LARRY DIXON: I don't know, I don't really look that way. You try and just go into every event and try and do well, and obviously going into Pomona, we laid a big egg and didn't even qualify for it.
You know, just going to the next event and qualifying was a celebration, but getting four wins out of the first 12 races we have run so far, and everybody is in a little different position, me just being in a different team, Jason McCulloch , he's a crew chief now, all of the guys on the team; Alan Johnson back being a team owner again. It's a lot.
Looking back, every racer will look back on all of the races you didn't win and you know that you give some away, but to still be able to go the first half of the season and win four out of the 12, I think it speaks a lot of what our team has done just to start out from nothing to get to where we are right now.

Q. Ashley, do you believe that the limited testing has hurt your dad and Robert's performance so far? They have been doing some during the race testing to get ready for the Countdown.
ASHLEY FORCE HOOD: I think it's added to everyone's struggle and frustration that every lap, even not full run, half-track passes, launches everything helps in testing not just for the team but for the drivers just to gain more experience and track time.
But you know, that's part of the game, and you know, you go along with the rules and everybody is in the same boat. So it is frustrating though because they always love to have that option of having to have testing and they have always really utilized it.
It's definitely a big difference this year, but thankfully I think they are kind of getting the hang of things and starting out and are starting definitely upward on the tough time that they have been having so far this year.

Q. Have you become accustomed to actually being home on Mondays instead of testing?
ASHLEY FORCE HOOD: There's pluses and minuses. We like to have a that extra time to get home but on the flipside we love to have that testing come race week and you need that extra right there behind you.
But funny, listening to talking about being at home and listening to Larry Dixon's answer earlier about the Western Swing and the struggle for the guys to be on the road that much, and I'm actually packing up right now in our RV right now to go to the Western Swing and I might just turn around, because I'm thinking, oh, no, I don't know what I'm getting myself now.
But the time you do have at home, I think most racers, especially right in the mid of the season, it's almost a waste of time, you would rather be at the track and stay in the groove of things rather than you get home and it's a change of pace. I think for the rest of the summer, we'll be on the road and taking it as an adventure.
THE MODERATOR: You asked about where Larry was this season relative to past seasons with his wins. His two winningest seasons for Larry were his championship seasons of 2002 and 2003, Larry won nine races in 2002 and eight in 2003, and of course, we are at the exact halfway point of the season and he has four wins this year.

Q. When is the last time you drove for an unsponsored team, and I want to get your thoughts on the Sheikh, and obviously the fact that he's brought a lot of money into the series and done some good things.
LARRY DIXON: Well, first of all, we are very sponsored. We are sponsored by an entire country. But Sheikh Khalid, he's very excited about how the two cars have won, with Del he won earlier this year at St. Louis and Bristol. And it's just trying to get both cars up to championship caliber, which is what I believe he and Alan Johnson both want. And so it's been very exciting and I feel very fortunate and flattered at the same time to be a part of this group.

Q. Your job is hardly a tame 9:00 to 5:00 routine. What about your job do you think is toughest in general for all drag racers, and what about your job is toughest for you?
LARRY DIXON: For me, I love the fact that it's not a 9:00 to 5:00 job. The last 9:00 to 5:00 job I had was working at Jack in the Box, and you spent the time watching the clock waiting so you could just go out and play.
Now, just being part of -- and you go race on the weekends just for fun, and now to be a part of 20-plus years now, I've been out there racing, you know, whether it's crewing or driving, that is our jobs. And every day is different.
You can never just set the alarm clock at a certain number, because it might be -- you might be qualifying, you might be racing, you might be going to do appearances, you might just go into the shop. I mean, every day is different and I think that part of it makes it fun, because you never -- I almost know what I'm going to do every single day for the rest of the year, but every day is definitely not 9:00 to 5:00, but for me, that's the best part of. It.

Q. What's the most difficult part of the job for you, do you think?
ASHLEY FORCE HOOD: I'm in my third season in the Funny Car category, and I can really see that there's been a change each year in the challenges. Of course, the first year was just the car; it was all about the car and getting it on the racetrack and not hitting anything on my way, and that was really all my concerns were wrapped around that.
But as I growed and learned a little bit more about how to drive these cars, it has taken a turn and this year, the challenge had a has been a part of it is just the pressure of it and the mental aspect of things. You think we race these 8,000-horsepower machines, that it's a very physical sport, but at the same time it's equally, if not more mental I think, and that's been really interesting for me.
I've been reading a lot of books on other athletes and just to see their take of things, because it's not something I ever remembered thinking about as a kid watching my father. I always thought, just get in and you race your car and whoever is quickest, wins but now I see that there is a whole other side of things and fortunately the team that I have, they are very into motivation and being positive about things and taking the best out of even a not-so-great race and they can see the good in it and it really helps me to not feel that pressure and not get mental about it, in that I do have that support and that we do work as a team that way.
I think that's been for me, this season, and I think of course for all drivers, just balancing everything; the travel and it's all exciting, fun things, doing media, working with the fans, your sponsors, driving the car, but there is a bit of learning to balance that, and you know, I've watched a lot of other racers and seen -- Larry is a perfect example, that he's able to be out there and have his family out there and have his kids and he's able to find that balance.
Every time I see him he seems happy and confident and good to be out there and I never see him having a mental breakdown and running around like crazy and it shows that he's able to find that balance and I'm still work on that, but luckily I do have the support of people around me. And no matter he how crazy I am, my father is always more crazy, so it makes rest of us look calm.

Q. Can you compare your growth looking back at Seattle, the run you had against Kenny Bernstein in the second round in Seattle, and compare that, what was going through your mind up to last week in Norwalk when you got on the track against Ron?
ASHLEY FORCE HOOD: It's all about experience. And I've had so many people tell me that, including my father, that they can teach all, at best as he can; I've had some of the best people around to learn from, but yet it's never going to measure up to your own experiences, and that was the perfect example in Seattle.
I don't know how many times I've mentioned it since then. It was actually a good thing for me. Obviously you never want to be in a wreck, you never want to hurt your race car or obviously yourself. But I learned more from that one run than a hundred good runs, because I was able to take that experience, and the next time I was in a situation similar to that, react off, you know, knowing what happened in the past and knowing how far I could push the car and knowing where I was on the track and what was going on.
And obviously I still have a long way to go, but I know that each -- each different experience I'm in, like it kind of gets built up in the back of your mind because you're not thinking these runs through. When you're in that car, it's happening so quickly, your body is just reacting.
So the more you have in the back of your mind to know how to react, the better you'll be off. It's so obvious to look at that now and see, and I tell my sisters as they are moving up the ranks, I tell them: I can talk to you, and our dad can talk to you all you want until we are blue in the face, but it will be your other experiences in your race car that will make you a better driver.
Not that I want any more wrecks obviously, never again, but that is a part of what do we do, and if you can take something from that it becomes a positive experience and down the road you'll look back and be thankful for.

Q. You're both at fairly different places in your career. What would one piece of advice each of you would have for someone who is maybe in the Lucas Oil Series or something like that who is looking to break into the top ranks, what would one piece of advice you would give to a young driver be?
LARRY DIXON: I think that whatever it is in your life, if you want to drive cars or tune cars or whatever, don't let anybody tell you no or you can't do it. You don't accept that as an answer. You've just got to go out there and do whatever you can to do what you want in life. Like I said, whether it's driving or tuning or whatever, it's just you know, just have that hundred percent desire and let that drive you.
You know, in 1993, I'm up in Ennis, Montana working on an Alcohol car not getting paid any money just so I can drive the car at Douglas, Wyoming on weekends. At the time you're asking yourself, like what the heck am I doing here. But at the same time, it's because this is what you want to do with your life, and you've just got to keep your eye on that target way down there and just don't let anybody tell you no.
ASHLEY FORCE HOOD: You mentioned someone asking from the position of being in sports, I think the sportsman categories, they are great to race in. I know I have raced in super comp through my college years and I raced in a hill dragster in three years before moving to Funny Car and I can't tell you how helpful that was to me. Yes, they are very different cars than the Mustang Funny Car that I'm in today. But all of those years of experience and just learning the basics in those cars was huge for me. I mean, it was building blocks, and I didn't know at the time.
There were times where I would get frustrated and I wanted to move up quicker or I wanted to be in a different car or you know, I wanted something different. But now looking back, I'm so glad that I took that journey and learned that way. I could have, I guess, jumped up quicker if I chose to and if my dad wanted me to. But thankfully we are both on the same page and knew that that time in those cars would be helpful when I did move up, and now watching my sisters, they are running heels (ph) dragsters, there's no need to rush.
And a million fans ask them every a day when are you moving to the Funny Car; that was the No. 1 question I got asked when I was in my dragster and I tell them: Don't let anybody rush you. They go 260 miles an hour and are not slow by any means and gives you experience and you will be that much better of a racer when you do move up and know that you are going to lessen that learning curve.
And I had quite a learning curve in Funny Car but it would have been a lot worse if I had not had those five years in the other categories. So I think it's a great place to be, and the people I got to meet and just a fun part in my life to take part of that and on top of it prepared me for the spot I'm in today.

Q. Larry you're one of only a handful of drivers to have clinched the Western Swing, looking back at that, might have been 2002, do you consider that one of the great accomplishments of your career other than championships and 47 victories, just to clinch the swing?
LARRY DIXON: It's definitely an accomplishment, probably like winning the Boston Marathon or something. It's just something that's very hard to do there again because of the varying conditions and you know, doing that with Dick LaHaie, tuning our car at the time, that was his first, you know, sweep of the swing, as well.
So I mean, it was a lot of fun. They just posted the seven teams that have done it in the past on NHRA.com and their little moment in the sun for those deals and it was fun to just go back and look at that.
You know, the team I'm hooked up with now, most of those guys were part of Shumacher's 2008 swing. It was good times and you just, you know, it's there and it's out in front of you and that's what we are all going to try and do, you know, starting this week.

Q. You get into this part of the season, particularly with the way things have gone in Funny Car, do you really experience any kind of lull, or do you focus all the way through; do you pretty much look at every segment the same way?
ASHLEY FORCE HOOD: I don't believe that we look at in any differently. I know we are excited to come to the Western Swing. You know, it's summertime and there's going to be a lot of kids at the races. The teams are excited to come over the to the West Coast, and for me, it's kind of my home track, going to Sonoma, going to these events that I used to go to as a kid because we were out for the summer from school.
So on a personal level, it's an exciting time of year for me. We that much more want to do well in front of our West Coast people and a lot of our sponsors from this side of the country, a lot of our family and friends that will come out to these events, so there's kind of that excitement in the air and knowing that right around the corner, you know, the Countdown is going to begin, Indy is coming up.
It's kind of an exciting time of the year but definitely a time you don't want to lose focus and you don't want to let yourself get behind. Every round counts, because at the end of the year, people have lost championships by a round or two.
So we are trying to stay focused on that and not let ourselves get in any kind of a lull and going into this Western Swing and hopefully do really well at it. I know my team is pumped and they want to sweep the Western Swing that Larry and inch has been talking about on this, and that's just amazing, seeing other drivers do that. When you get on a roll and have that magic with your team, that's when you do and my team is definitely pumped heading out this weekend and hopefully we'll do well.

Q. What are your feelings about the Ford engine in terms of durability, power, things like that?
ASHLEY FORCE HOOD: You're actually going to ask me a technical question? Oh, no, Guido, my PR guy who is listening I'm sure is hitting his head on the table.
I'm a Ford girl. I've only ever driven Fords. I still have my F150 truck from when I was 15, 16 years old. I very much belief in Ford and every everything they put in their products.
And we've spent a lot of time at their headquarters earlier this summer in Michigan and talked to a lot of people and they explained to us the parts of the normal cars and everything can transfer and help us in what we do on the racetrack, because it's so much about safety and performance and all those kinds of things.
I can't give you a very good technical answer about the motor. I know our team is very happy and excited to race for Ford and hope to show them off this year in the Western Swing.

Q. I was asking more about some of the little quirks, just little differences between what you used to race.
ASHLEY FORCE HOOD: That that would be something you would want to talk to Guido about. I could come up with some kind of answer, but it would be way off and I would have to listen to my team in two days when I get there, sorry.
THE MODERATOR: Thanks everyone for joining us on today's call.

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