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TNT TV notes from Infineon
Petty on how drivers feel about conserving fuel during a race: “I don’t want to hear anything about race mileage, I just want to drive the car as hard as I can especially at a place like this, but it is an issue at a place like this. Starting to save from the very beginning (of the race), it’s a little bit of an advantage. I know that sounds stupid, but it changes your pit cycle if the race track goes green and that’s the way these guys have it figured. But fuel mileage? It’s all his (the crew chief’s) problem. Once I stick my butt in the seat it’s all about shifting gears and turning that wheel.”

Petty on trying to balance a family with NASCAR: “I think it’s really tough and I admire what Larry (McReynolds) does with his family because this guy is on the road all the time. But growing up with Adam and Austin and Montgomery Lee, trying to cut time in for baseball, basketball, football and dance class, there is a lot of stuff these guys on pit road as drivers and car owners and mechanics, that they miss that everyone sitting at home watching us gets to experience. It’s a price to pay and it’s a heavy price and it’s a big price, but at the same time it’s something we all love.”

McReynolds on working in NASCAR, which means significant time away from his family: “It is tough and I would trade nothing for the career I’ve chosen to make my living in; 18 years as a crew chief and now working on 10 years as a broadcaster. But it’s very tough. One of the neatest moments that I’ve experienced was at 4:30 this morning and looked in a compartment in my suitcase that they knew I wouldn’t look in until I packed my stuff up and there was a card from my wife Linda and my daughters Brooke and Kendall and from (my son) Brandon and a picture of the three of them. It melts your heart that we can’t be together on Father’s Day.”

No. 18 Kyle Busch joined Fein, McReynolds and Petty on the TNT set.

Busch on whether his off track behavior is premeditated as indicated by his crew chief Steve Addington: “(Addington) also said it’s easier to get me to win races than his daughter to clean her room. It’s fun, it’s not premeditated, it just happens in spurts. It’s off the cuff and it’s reality TV.”

Busch on focusing on the races he loses rather than the races he wins: “I look at all the losses more than I do all the wins. We lose a lot more than we should have given up, that’s the most frustrating part. We’ve had I don’t know how many second place finishes we’ve had this year, but we’ve had quite a bit of races where we should have won and haven’t been able to do.” 

Busch on being a NASCAR driver: “It’s a blast, I love racing, that’s what I always wanted to do. I have my most fun on the racetrack behind the wheel of the car and, of course, being able to win. Yeah, it’s frustrating on days when you’re going backwards, and it makes it hard on yourself and you make it hard on the team and it’s not that fun for everybody. In the end, when you get to go to all these different places every single weekend and race racecars for a living, it doesn’t get much better.”

Busch on being interested in all types of racing:  “I’m at that age where it would be fun to go drive anything I can, and just get some experience and feel everything out. I would love to drive a Formula One, test it out. I can’t go race those cars, I’ve got a long term deal with Gibbs, so that won’t happen, but just to get my feet wet in it, to drive it and see what it’s like. I always wanted to drive the off road series with the four-wheel drive trucks, I think that would be cool, too.”

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Countdown to Green

Bill Weber (host) and Wally Dallenbach (analyst)

Former Oakland Raiders quarterback Ken Stabler joined TNT’s NASCAR coverage where he did a ride-along with road course warrior No. 08 Boris Said.

Stabler on how racing and football are similar: “I’ve always compared football to racing. I heard coaches tell me things like you can’t win the game in the first quarter and I would think that would apply to racing. You can’t win the thing on the first or second lap.”

Said: “Except you can lose it on the first lap.”

TNT’s Lindsay Czarniak interviewed No. 24 Jeff Gordon prior to the race.

Gordon on how his back feels and the road course race at Infineon Raceway: “It hasn’t been bad since I’ve been here, I thought it would be a lot worse. This is more of a finesse racetrack course, you can’t use the breaks as hard as you’d like to, so, so far so good. Once you get out there in the race you never know what the conditions are going to be, but we’re going to get out there and give it everything we’ve got with the DuPont Chevrolet.  We’ve been off more than we’d like to be compared to our speed in the past, but I think we’ve got something for them in the long run.” 

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NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Racing: Toyota/Save Mart 350 from Infineon Raceway

Announcers: Bill Weber (play-by-play), Wally Dallenbach (analyst) and Kyle Petty (analyst); Larry McReynolds (analyst) contributes from the in-field at the TNT Offtrack Robotic Car (TORC)

Pit reporters: Lindsay Czarniak, Ralph Sheheen, Marty Snider and Matt Yocum

Dallenbach on a comment from No. 42 Juan Pablo Montoya’s crew chief Brian Pattie that they are going to race conservatively to gain points in the standings: “I’m not buying that. I’m buying it from the crew chief, but I’m not buying it from the driver that he’s points racing today, there is no way you are going to convince me of that.”

Petty on No. 39 Ryan Newman revving his engine on pit road to try to get it ready to drive: “It’s like sitting at a stop light and starting from a stop light in your street car in the second or third gear. That’s how hard it is for these guys to get these things going, and they don’t have time to get them chugging because that’s even harder on the drive train.” 

Dallenbach on drivers wearing out their cars from looking in the rear view mirrors on road courses: “You can use your equipment out worse by mirror driving. Once you get in the lead you start running worse when you start looking in that mirror and locking tires up.”

Petty on the drivers needing to use their mirrors more than they do on an oval track: “These guys don’t use spotters here like they do on the ovals. On the ovals you hear the spotters, inside, outside, guys looking here, peeking there. (The drivers) don’t use spotters here that way, they actually drive the cars and have to use the mirrors themselves so you’ve thrown something else into the mix. So they are good with it because they are professional drivers and they are the best in the business, but they just aren’t used to it.”

Dallenbach on the intricate shifting and braking the drivers do in their cars: “It’s all pedal work, it’s just dancing. It’s all about timing and rhythm, it’s not something you pick up right away, it takes a lot of practice and a lot of work to figure it out. But once you do it it’s a lot of fun.”

Petty on No. 24 Jeff Gordon’s pit stop which was slower than usual due to a possible lug nut issue: “When you look at (a pit stop) and it looks slow it’s slow. You don’t see that very much from that (No. 24) team. That team rarely makes mistakes.”

Petty on No. 7 Robby Gordon’s reaction after gambling against taking a pit stop and losing out when the race went to caution: “It’s hard to believe you can be strapped in and have that much body language, that says it all. (Robby Gordon) is shaking his head, putting it in his lap, his hands are hanging onto the net.”

McReynolds on why he would not want to lose a race using the strategy of No. 7 Robby Gordon: “I’d rather lose a race because I didn’t have enough fuel to make it to a green-white-checkered flag than to lose the race this way.”

TNT’s Ralph Sheheen interviewed Toyota/Save Mart 350 winner No. 9 Kasey Kahne.

Kahne on his first road course victory: “It feels great. I can’t believe it to tell you the truth, I learned how to race on dirt so to come out and win on a road course is great.”

Richard Petty, after he congratulated Richard Petty Motorsports driver Kahne on his win, on how he feels: “I feel just as good as he does, it’s great.”

Kahne on racing against No. 14 Tony Stewart in the final laps of the race: “(No. 14 Tony) Stewart is as good as they get out here. I got to start beside him four or five times, cautions kept coming out and we were able to hold him off. He gave me plenty of room so I didn’t get rubber on my tires, which is normal Stewart. The guy is awesome to race with, one of my favorite race car drivers. It’s unbelievable to win a road course race. Happy Father’s Day Dad!”

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