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Brian Vickers, Michael Waltrip Racing - Q&A

It's easy for him to say that, and someone has to pay for it and someone has to do that and that's Rob Kauffman. That man has done more to keep people employed, to people us moving forward. He comes from a business that if you are just from the trading floor, if you're just a split second behind the trader in front of you, you lose millions of dollars.

So he doesn't like losing and he doesn't like people who hesitate. So when he comes around, he asks us all the time, what do you need to be better; what do we need to fix issue A, B, C.

So I'm happy - I'm probably happiest for those guys, because Michael's got his whole life in this and Rob's got a lot of passion for it. So it's cool. Michael always tells us, you'd better wake up every morning like you're behind. I know Rodney and those guys will do that Monday morning, we're going to the next race. He feels like we're behind and we have to do more and we have to work harder.

Our organization is still, even though we are 260, 275 employees, it still feels very much family-owned and still feels like a small team who knows everybody's family and business, and when we celebrate, we celebrate with wives, husbands, children; and so it's a really cool atmosphere and to hang more banners off the rafters is the coolest thing in the world.

Q:
For the middle third of the race, basically you were stuck around 27th, 23rd, 24th, all of a sudden between laps 210 and 225, you go to fifth; what was the key quality that jumped you 20 places?

Rodney Childers:
The big thing was being off-sequence to the leaders. We kept working on the car all day and got it better and better, and we got to the point there, I think we were 23rd or something like that. We had about a ten- or 11-lap stretch that we were a tenth or two-tenths of a lap faster than the leader when we got clean air. I think #78 was leading at the time, and I told him, you're really good right here, whatever you're doing and all that stuff.

But the biggest key was just being off-sequence. I knew if we could ever get there that we would be in good shape. I told him at one point, it was like we just need something to go right; that we had a lot of things that went wrong in the beginning. A lap down the first time around, and I didn't feel comfortable with doing the wave around. I thought it was going to be green and we run 20 laps and a caution comes out and we have to fight for the lucky dog again.

But it all worked out, and we were fortunate at the end to do what we needed to do. We had a fast car, like Ty said. When you have Kyle Busch and Tony Stewart and people like that, it's a big deal. We were fortunate enough to do that and feels really good.

Ty Norris:
Michael is so mad, we spent three days together with Pete, one of our sponsors, we had a great event at Heartland Speedway.

So Thursday, he's like, all right let's go to Loudon. He goes: Wait, I looked at the itinerary, it says London; I have to go to London; I'm only off by one letter. So he went to the Goodwood Festival with Rob Kaufmann; so that decision, I'm sure he's having a glorious time there.

But he's probably really upset about missing this because of what all these guys, especially what #55 means to him personally and what Aaron's means to him personally.

Q:



Related Pictures

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Brian Vickers, driver of the #55 Aaron`s Dream Machine Toyota, takes the chequered flag as he crosses the finish line to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 14, 2013 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brian Vickers, driver of the #55 Aaron`s Dream Machine Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 14, 2013 in Loudon, New Hampshire.  (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
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Martin Truex, Jr, driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet SS, stops in his pit on his way to a fifth place finish, Sunday, May 24, 2015, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)
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Danica Patrick, driver of the #10 GoDaddy Chevrolet, stands on the grid prior to qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 21, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina.CPL Steven R. Koch, US Army, is honored on the car as part of the 600 Miles of Remembrance program. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)
Daniel Suarez, driver of the #18 ARRIS Toyota, takes the green flag to start the NASCAR XFinity Series 3M 250 at Iowa Speedway on May 17, 2015 in Newton, Iowa.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Jonathan Moore/Getty Images)
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