I’m not at Kansas Speedway this weekend. If you’re reading this, you might not be there, either.
Fortunately, the manufacturers send out transcripts of the news conferences and can help us see what we all missed.
Here’s the best of Friday’s news conferences, courtesy of Toyota, Ford and Chevrolet transcripts:
— Daniel Suarez said he’s still in touch with Carl Edwards. “I’m still talking to Carl, actually,” he said. “Not super often, (not) every day, but very often. He still calls me once in awhile.”
— Clint Bowyer predicted his victory party — whenever win comes — will be much cooler than any celebration former party animal Dale Earnhardt Jr. will have these days. “What is he gonna have, a bike-riding party?” Bowyer said, referring to Earnhardt’s new workout routing. “What has happened to this guy? I so hope that you write that and he reads that.”
— Martin Truex Jr. said it’s doubtful he — or anyone — can match his record-breaking performance in the Coca-Cola 600, when he led .”I don’t think anybody can do that again,” he said. “Look how long it took. It’s pretty amazing to think about what we did, really. All the years that NASCAR has been around and the great drivers and the stories, and to do that in this day and age was incredible. Going to be tough to top that one for sure.”
— Dale Earnhardt Jr. acknowledged it’s been difficult to see late cautions — the validity of which have been questionable at times — take away potential wins from his JR Motorsports cars at Richmond and Talladega. “Especially the last couple of weeks, it’s been real difficult,” he said. “I’m telling you, I ain’t been so sick to my stomach after races as an owner as I have these last two, with the way the cautions have feel for us. And you get angry and you are just as angry as you can (be) before about an hour and then you kind of calm down, try to talk yourself out of it.”
— Ricky Stenhouse Jr. said he wants his team to keep pushing ahead as if it hadn’t won at Talladega and locked itself into the playoffs. “I told the guys I wanted to make it on points,” he said. “Let’s be consistent, let’s make sure we are running well and not slacking off. I want to act like we don’t have the win and still try to make it in on points.”
— Jamie McMurray said young teammate Kyle Larson has opened his eyes a bit to a different way of driving. “I grew up working on cars and always trying to make the car better and drive better and try to make the chassis handle better,” McMurray said. “And Kyle grew up in a totally different era where you just drive the car. And if the car’s not good, you move your line around. I feel like he’s somewhat opened my eyes in that we’re not always going to get the car perfect. And if the car’s not perfect, then maybe search around and see if maybe you can figure something out.”