KNOXVILLE, Iowa — The day of the Knoxville Nationals is a fun day.
A lot of guys stay in their motorhomes or their hotel all day and here it is 2:15 and we’re out here on the midway with the fans mingling and enjoying this atmosphere.
This is what I’ve done for the Nationals every single year. It keeps my mind off of it. I don’t want to sit around all day long and think about it. I want to be with the fans, they represent who I am. I want people to be able to say that I am assessable and they saw me here or there and they were able to get my autograph. For me that sells more shirts, it gets more people involved and it makes more future sprint car racing fans.
If fans come here and they don’t have a favorite driver, maybe the will cheer for us just because I was out here walking around during the afternoon and signing autographs.
I feel more confident than I ever have coming into this race, which is because our car is so good and I don’t feel like I have to do something stupid to win this race. We came here eight or 10 nights this season to prepare for this and now we just need some luck and some hard driving.
The day is pretty full with appearances and other things like that up until about 6:15, which is pretty close to race time. Around that time, I will go to the infield and I’ll change clothes and once I change clothes, that is my day job. That’s the only difference between me and the fans, they go to the grandstands and I go to the pits.
I feel like if you sit around all day, you start over analyzing things and it’s all going to change anyway as the track changes and the conditions change. You really need to just go with the flow and adapt to whatever comes your way.
I don’t have a special race day routine when it comes to diet. I had Mr. C’s this morning and I’ll have Casey’s pizza tonight. The biggest thing that I need to do is hydrate myself, especially when I’m out in the sun a lot like today.
I am really enjoying this. There is pressure to win, but if we don’t win it is not the end of the world. We want to win it, but the sun will come up in Marion County tomorrow whether we win or not and we have to race at McCool Junction on Tuesday night either way.
We’ll do our best and, hopefully, that will be good enough to win the Knoxville Nationals.