It seems that Kyle (Busch) goes after him for no reason. Dale Jr. is having a tough time, and he's trying to change it. Then Kyle is running his mouth about it. There's no reason he should have even said anything about it. I think the feuds should be on the track: “I kicked your ass today, you're going to kick mine next week.”
Are drivers doing enough to promote the sport? Should they be more outspoken?
It fits some drivers, and doesn't fit others. If I threw my helmet and had a fit, I'd look like a baby. But Kyle does it and it's just Kyle. Everybody knows how he is and how he acts. To me, you have to be yourself. If that's throwing your helmet and yelling at the TV cameras, then do it. But if it's to keep it to yourself, then that's you. Tony Stewart is one guy who has done an awesome job of being himself, and that's why he's got such a great following.
You're a free agent next year? Is your future at Richard Petty Motorsports?
That's a good question. I want to be somewhere we're putting 100 per cent into our cars and engines for 38 straight races. When we get that, we'll be a strong contender. That's all I care about, being competitive every week and not just half the season.
The other 25 or 30 top teams all have new equipment at the start of the year, and we basically blew four months (before a new engine was implemented), and we do it every year. Hendrick doesn't do that, Roush doesn't do that, Gibbs doesn't do that. If we put together a complete season, we'd be an elite team, but the way we do it, we're on the verge of not being an elite team.
by Michael Smith