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Transcript: Scott Miller, Jerry Caldwell, Steve Swift, Clint Bowyer discuss Bristol dirt races

An Interview with:
Scott Miller, Senior Vice President of Competition & Competition Administration, NASCAR
Jerry Caldwell, Executive Vice President & GM, Bristol Motor Speedway
Steve Swift, Senior Vice President of Operations & Development, Speedway Motorsports
Clint Bowyer, FOX NASCAR Race Analyst

MIKE FORDE: Thank you for joining us this afternoon to talk a little bit about the Bristol Dirt weekend. We have four individuals to talk about this event for us in 2021. Joining us today from NASCAR, senior vice president of competition, Scott Miller, from Bristol Motor Speedway, executive vice president and GM Jerry Caldwell, and the senior vice president of operations and development Steve Swift, and the newest man in the booth from FOX NASCAR, that is Clint Bowyer.

Really excited to talk about the race weekend and answer all your questions about the procedures, how Bristol built the track, the excitement overall for this great weekend.

I’ll kick it off here with a question to each of these four men.

Jerry, Food City Dirt Race is one of the most intriguing changes to the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series schedule. Give us some background on how it all came together.

JERRY CALDWELL: Because Clint Bowyer wanted it, that was it (laughter). Just kidding.

It’s been a process. When you work for Bruton and Marcus, you never know what’s going to come up. Steve can attest to that as well as anyone. It’s what’s fun about our sport and about our business. This really came about from 20 years ago when the conversation — when we really had dirt races here. It has continued after every event we do fan research and it’s continued in that research. We ask the fans, What other things would you like to see at Bristol Motor Speedway? Dirt racing has always been on that list.

Conversations with race fans, drivers. There were drivers that said, Yeah, let’s do that again. Then obviously Marcus and Bruton love trying new things, trying big things in a big way. As this developed, they really embraced it in a big way. Thankful for our partners at NASCAR to pull all this together and really create something that it’s going to be history in the making.

We haven’t seen this in 50 years. I think that is a testament to this tremendous response that we have seen from the race fans.

MIKE FORDE: Steve, to that point that Jerry talked about, the history and the undertaking, how did you go about developing the plan for Bristol’s dirt track? Can you give us a sense for where you are in the project right now?

STEVE SWIFT: Absolutely. Like Gary said, once it was brought to the table, a long time of a conversation, but when it was actually finalized, we worked out the details it was going to happen, a lot of research went into place. Visited a lot of dirt tracks, went to a lot of dirt races to educate ourselves a little bit more on all the nuances behind dirt.

Cup Series has not been on dirt in a long time, so nothing to go watch to see how that reacts, what that does. So a lot of dirt race, a lot of late models, a lot of Sprint car races, local tracks to get a feel for the type of dirt we’d be experiencing here in Bristol without having to haul it from Iowa, and getting some of that good black dirt. We’re dealing with nice, good red dirt that we have in northeast Tennessee.

Once we started that process, lots of research, talking with different tracks across the United States, local guys around here. Then it was starting to put that plan together, how we could make it happen in the best time to build dirt track races in northeast Tennessee, during the middle of winter. Trying to figure out how to make all that happen.

We’ve been fortunate. We’ve had a great contractor, a great team that has been part of this process, that doesn’t know how to quit. We burned the lights whenever we could with the weather that we’ve been given, rain, snow, sleet, I think the whole country has felt that. We definitely felt it in northeast Tennessee. With that we’ve actually had cars on the track. So the process has gone well.

Again, our team of contractors and suppliers has been great to be part of that. We’ve put cars on the track with dirt cars. We actually have cars on the track today, a couple guys out there doing some stuff for us to let us see exactly what’s dirt is doing again. We have some more cars coming in next week. We are getting plenty of practice. The process has gone well.

We’re ahead of schedule of where we thought. We didn’t think we’d have anything ready with the first of March truthfully, with the weather we expected. But, again, our partners have been great to make this happen.

MIKE FORDE: Questions, please.

Scott, what Steve mentioned, going to dirt tracks, the NASCAR competition team made a concerted effort to honor dirt racing. Can you give us a top line overview of how the heats will be set, as well as the starting lineup for the feature?

SCOTT MILLER: I will. When we started figuring out how we were going to do the preliminary races, we obviously took a look at what we had historically done in Eldora with the Truck Series race there, kind of took some elements of that, things that worked. But really what we wanted to do for this event was kind of get back to the roots of dirt track racing, and incorporate some of those elements that are kind of have been ingrained in dirt track racing for a while.

One of the biggest things there is whittling the field down to the main event and setting the starting lineup via heat races, then with the element of passing points that has been a part of dirt track racing for a while, actually creates a lot of excitement and mixes things up.

We just wanted to add some elements and setting the lineup for the feature that were from the roots of dirt track racing. That’s kind of where we landed.

I think it will be fun. I think the random draws for which heat race guys are in, what their starting position is going to be, we’ll probably have around 10-car heat races, depending on what the entry list is. I think that kind of the randomness and the passing points will create an interesting and exciting format for setting the field.

MIKE FORDE: Clint, four races in, but the best part of hearing you on the broadcast is when you get excited. With your dirt background, you have to be excited about this one. Talk about what you’re looking forward to, just the general excitement you’re having for NASCAR’s first dirt race on the Cup side since 1970.

CLINT BOWYER: First of all, the excitement in the booth has always been there. It’s fun and exciting to be able to sell racing, NASCAR racing, right? Cup Series racing. What I’ve worked my whole life to be able to do. Whether I was in that car or in the booth, I was always trying to sell this sport to somebody, find somebody in the infield, Man, let’s have a beer, I want to show you this, check this out. That’s what’s cool about this sport for me as a race fan.

That being said, I’ve been on this old road for a while. Hey, man, I’m ready for something new. That new is here. This whole schedule this year is full of new and exciting things. In my opinion, we’ve longed for it. We’ve needed to do this for a long time. That time is now. It’s here. I couldn’t think of anything other than this dirt racing opportunity at a track like Bristol to be able to have more fun at.

I know that the fans are pumped up. I see it on social media. I am. My dirt late model team traveling across the country, this is the height, this is the talk of short-track racing all across the country. There’s a lot of racing that’s going to happen on this racetrack even before we get there for our NASCAR weekend. I think that’s beneficial to a lot of things.

Setting the stage for dirt racing, certainly preparing this racetrack, I think it’s paramount that we make sure that the track is ready for our heavy vehicles. I love that the approach that the track is taking of making sure that they have that.

I’ve heard of upwards of over 1,300 cars are going to be entered into this race beforehand. That’s a lot of racing, a lot of checking the boxes of things that could potentially pop up that were unexpected. So I love that. That’s a great plan, in my opinion.

Give props to Scott and his team. This qualifying procedure is as true to dirt form, as he said. I like that. Hey, we’re dirt racing, man. It is a little bit different than what we see on any given Sunday.

I like the aspect of the passing points. It’s always been something that when I grew up in racing that was very difficult to do, something that’s kind of all over the place. It’s a good story to be able to tell up in the booth to our fans. Keep an eye on this guy, man. Random draw. I’ve been there. I can bet your butt, you better not go backwards or you’re going to be in big trouble. I’ve also been that guy having that rabbit to chase, being in the back, capitalize on those passing points.

It will be very interesting to see who is able to capitalize on this qualifying procedure and be able to start up front for this prestigious race.

That being said, I said ‘new’. This isn’t new to NASCAR. This is back to where we came from. I think that’s something to stay focused on and remember as well. This isn’t just completely thrown out of nowhere. This is something our past and our history was a part of.

Just did something on Richard Petty last night, how Hendricks Motorsports is about to catch Petty Enterprises. Petty Enterprises won a lot of races on dirt tracks back in the day. They got another opportunity to win again and punch their ticket on a dirt track.

Can’t wait to get there. You can bet your butt I’m going to be there early. I’ll be watching all this racing going on. Eventually there’s a late model race that my teams will be a part of. That being said, I think there’s going to be a lot of unknowns. You can do all this racing, prepare, everything. Dirt racing is full of unknowns, full of chasing the racetrack. You think we chased the racetrack last weekend at Homestead-Miami? Wait till these boys and these teams have to chase this racetrack as it changes. All these unknowns is nothing but a benefit to a fan and I can’t wait to be a part of it.

MIKE FORDE: We’ll now open it up to questions from the media.

Steve, the biggest concern I hear from people so far is that with such a long race, such heavy cars, how are you going to try to keep the track from taking rubber? What’s sort of your plan to keep everything fresh for when the big boys come in?

STEVE SWIFT: That goes back to what Clint was talking about, having all those races prior to the NASCAR weekend. We’ll get to learn a lot about how the track is going to react, what it’s going to do, which helps us build that game plan even better going into that weekend.

Currently we have a traditional plan where you work the track and NASCAR has given us time to work prior to the races. Once the races start, there’s not a lot of time or things to do. We feel like we can put enough moisture in the track, time of year, time of day plays into that. The week before, like what Clint was alluding to, gives us a lot of knowledge how to work that weekend, and we have time to work it before we get there.

Curious, Steve, is it local dirt that you brought in? What’s the composite of the dirt? Who did you go through to figure out what kind of composition you wanted for the dirt?

STEVE SWIFT: In the dirt world, there’s a gentleman out in California by the nickname of Dr. Dirt. We definitely took a lot of samples. We tested probably 18 different sites of dirt across the local area, naturally trying to find the dirt that was local. One, from a logistics standpoint to try to get it here, and two, knowing there’s a lot of dirt tracks around this area with 150 miles that are great dirt tracks, utilizing that native, red Tennessee clay.

With that the gentleman out in California analyzed the dirt for us, all the intricates you probably don’t want to know, there’s a lot of science behind dirt, gave us the best three samples. Those are the samples we ended up using for the racetrack.

We utilized the old dirt from 2000, 2001 to build the base. We had to do a lot of filling in the turns to get it away from 30 degrees, to get the track where we could use a motor grader to place it, keep equipment up on the track, because dirt doesn’t allow or like 30-degree embankments. With that we used the old dirt as a base and the good dirt as a surface.

Scott, talk about the philosophy of trying to use passing points? Are you concerned about confusing fans? Can you give any more insight into how pit stops will work at the stage breaks?

SCOTT MILLER: Sure. I think that the passing points, it’s not very complex, right? It’s just really a difference in your starting position and your finishing position, kind of added to your heat race finish.

I don’t think it’s confusing. I also think that a lot of people that will be interested, and hopefully we can get a lot of the dirt track fans and contingent watching the event, they will be completely familiar with those procedures.

I’m not really worried about any confusion there. I think everybody will get it. It’s really pretty simple I think to put into practice.

As far as the pit stops go, you will be seeing essentially what you saw at Eldora. We kind of toyed around with the idea of could we or couldn’t we have pit stops like we normally see every week. Honestly, with dirt cars on a dirty concrete pit road, having pit crews trying to run out there and do all of that, I just don’t think that would have been in our best interest, especially the first time around.

I mean, we can look at how the facility looks and what pit road looks like after we do it once, but we decided that there was really no way that we could have live pit stops as we know them every weekend.

There will be a time set, much like Eldora, when the cars get in their pit boxes to do their work. They will be allowed to do all of the normal things at kind of a leisurely pace, then when that time expires and we get everybody rolling again, we will resume the lineup that was frozen at the end of the stage. If any cars very elected not to pit, they will still be on the racetrack and will start ahead of the cars that did elect to pit. That’s how we will set the restart order after the stage breaks.

Clint, can you talk about the various I guess fact that some drivers are dirt track drivers and could excel at this without trying as hard as some of those that maybe never did it? Certainly it will be interesting to cover. As you look at all of this, what are your thoughts about that?

CLINT BOWYER: My initial thought as soon as I heard you say that, I was remembering back to Sharon Speedway, Blaney’s track, the Blaney’s Speedway up there, way back when, Kevin Harvick and I went up there and ran dirt modifieds. He had never ran a modified before. He not only spanked me, he won the race. I saw it with my own eyes, I witnessed it. It blew me away.

I watched Jimmie Johnson at the Prelude get in my dirt late model and won that race before I did, the year prior to me. I think that’s the best way to answer, can anybody win this race?

Look at the truck race. When that first came to the table, teams went out there thinking, All right, we got to completely get away from any kind of NASCAR mentality that we know with these vehicles. We got to take sway bars off, do this, do that. Honestly, the team with just the standard old approach that he takes any given weekend won that race, the first race out. Again, something that I remember.

This isn’t so farfetched and completely out of your normal realm that you just have to throw everything out the window. Expectations is going to be difficult because I came from racing dirt cars since I was a little boy. I don’t know what to expect. This is a bad, fast racetrack when you’re talking about short tracks. Did take banking out. Make no mistake about it, this is the action track. It is the action track, baby. I think it’s going to be probably more action than it’s seen in a long time.

It’s going to be interesting to watch these races, as I talked about, to see what happens. I know the track will learn from every time cars are on the racetrack, as you do with any dirt track. Again, man, look at the difference, a dirt race with weather, with all these different things, the qualifying procedures, everything that’s going to happen. You’re going to have so much things thrown at you, you’re not going to know where to stay focused on.

By the way, when I watch a race at Bristol, I’m up there in the grandstands watching, I don’t know what end to focus on anyway. It’s action packed all the way around, and always been that way.

I think this is going to be something that is completely new. Your standard, traditional NASCAR guy that doesn’t want to see any cars other than Darlington, go back to Rockingham, he’s going to have to broaden his horizons a little bit and enjoy this. I think it’s going to be pretty impactful with our sport, a lot of fun to do something new, try something.

Scott, did NASCAR give any consultation or were they involved in the process of track construction going on at Bristol?

SCOTT MILLER: Well, we have a really, really good working relationship with Steve Swift and his team at SMI. We did I think every week since work has started, our representative that kind of does that sort of logistics, Jerry Kaproth, I think has been up there with Steve, kind of monitoring the project from our perspective.

So, yeah, we’ve been on top of it. Swift and his team have been extremely cooperative throughout the whole process. So, yes, sir.

Scott, was part of the right timing in trying this associated with the fact that it’s the last year of the current car? Based on Eldora, you’re probably going to tear up a lot of the chassis. How feasible is doing this moving forward with the NextGen if this goes as entertaining as we hope it does?

SCOTT MILLER: I think that’s going to be the big question, right? If we have an event that is as fantastic as we all are hoping that it will be, which we all believe that it will be, then we will figure out a way to make it continue on.

If we have problems, we would certainly have to look at it for what the future of it is. But I think it’s pretty safe to say that if we have an overwhelmingly successful event, we will figure out a way to carry on with it.

Scott, what technical changes or changes will you allow the teams to make to the cars to make them more dirt-friendly?

SCOTT MILLER: So we drew from the experience that some of the top truck teams had as far as preparing their trucks for dirt. Mike Beam from GMS was extremely helpful in kind of sharing with us and the Cup teams all of the little things that might have gone unnoticed, just mounting crush panels in the car better, having stronger battery mounts, having stronger battery hold-downs, all the little things that had been problematic as the truck teams had learned how to deal with the dirt.

He was extremely helpful in sharing with everybody. Over and above those things that we’ve kind of learned in the Truck Series needed to be adapted, strengthened, protected, shielded to keep mud from building up, those sort of things, those are really the only changes in the rules. Just kind of special dirt rules. But from a technical standpoint, not much different other than strengthening, shielding, screening, all the different things that you would do for a dirt car.

Steve or Jerry, when all is said and done after NASCAR’s race weekend, how quickly will the dirt be removed and what is the process like there?

JERRY CALDWELL: We have a few events to come. We’ll be running a couple World of Outlaws events in April. I’ll let Steve touch on timing. But we’ve got some history with this. We’ve did it 20 years ago. It will be a process. Steve, touch on details there.

STEVE SWIFT: Yeah. Getting the dirt out itself, the hard clay on the track itself, will be fairly quick. That won’t take long. That’s nothing more than picking it up, putting it in the back of a dump truck, hauling it out of the infield. It will be all the dust and particles and clods that get thrown up into the bottom of the grandstands and the lights and those pieces and parts that will be a little bit longer process. We figure about a month to really get the facility cleaned up to be ready for September, for the night race, just so the fans aren’t sitting in places that may have some red dust left over from the races that we’re running.

Just getting the dirt out itself is actually a quick process. It’s all the little ancillary pieces that take a little longer.

JERRY CALDWELL: Last time we pressure washed this place four times from top to bottom. We’ve got some pressure washers lined up ready to go (smiling).

Scott, you used the phrase ‘overwhelmingly successful’ when it comes to if this sticks around, the feedback. How do you pressure that? Is it fan reaction? Is it driver reaction? Tickets? Ratings? How will NASCAR determine whether or not this is an overwhelmingly successful weekend?

SCOTT MILLER: So I think you touched on all of the aspects that we look at really. I mean, it has to come off good from a TV perspective and attendance perspective, fan feedback perspective, a ratings perspective. It’s just all of those things. Overwhelmingly successful might not be the right criteria, it’s just a word that I chose. But we have metrics that we measure success, and you hit on a lot of them right there.

How much will NASCAR talk to the drivers? How much feedback will you gather? Will there be conversations afterwards to really get a feel for where they’re at after experiencing this?

SCOTT MILLER: Sure. I mean, that’s an ongoing process. I mean, we consult with the drivers on a lot of topics on a weekly basis. That communication line is open not only for this event but for all events.

I think an example of that that you’ve recently seen was during the Clash at Daytona, we had the problem back in the back chicane with the mud, several of the drivers gave us feedback and worked with us on a solution. That was strictly from them. They got involved in the process and helped us with it. It was much, much better for the actual road course race than it was for the Clash.

That’s just an example of collaboration that we have with a lot of the drivers. They’re always in the loop.

I’ve seen cars out there on the track. Is the track ready to go? Is it finished? What still needs to be done?

STEVE SWIFT: Fortunately, we always strive for perfection. To say it’s perfect right now, no, it’s not. It’s raceable. It’s racy. We’ve had cars on the track to test the things that we’ve got, to hit the soft spots, if we had any soft spots. Clint can cover a lot of these things. To show us any weaknesses we may have in the track surface.

We still have a lot of work to do to get ready for NASCAR weekend. We have to finalize the actual grades to make sure it’s as smooth as we can possibly make it in dirt, make sure we have enough moisture in the track.

Unfortunately we’ve had snow. We’ve had rain, lots of it. It hasn’t given us a huge opportunity to prep the track. If we had to race tomorrow, yes, we could race tomorrow. It’s not to the perfection that we expect of ourselves, but we could race tomorrow, yes.

Clint, with seeing NASCAR try a dirt race at Bristol, we’ve also seen two tracks close to your home and your heart in Lakeside Speedway in Kansas and Central Missouri Speedway, rejoin the NASCAR weekly series this year. What do you feel like is the importance of all this positive momentum as far as dirt and NASCAR coming together? How do you feel about two tracks close to home for you rejoining the NASCAR family?

CLINT BOWYER: At the end of the day dirt racing, it makes up a big part of short-track racing. Short-track racing is how any driver makes it to the Cup level. NASCAR doesn’t exist without short tracks all across the country.

Let me back up. Furthermore, I would not be here without the NASCAR weekly racing series. That’s what put me on the map, racing at tracks like Lakeside, like I-70, but more importantly racing under that NASCAR banner. It afforded me so many different things to get me to this level, things as simple as knowing that I’m racing at a safe racetrack with insurances and things like that, to bigger picture things that gave me the operating capital to make it to this level and have opportunities, as I went through the steppingstones of NASCAR.

That is paramount to the overall performance of our sport of NASCAR.

Then I guess the other part of that is just what this dirt track means. I think it speaks volumes, as dirt racing is getting bigger and bigger across the country, I think it’s only fitting that NASCAR and the Cup Series takes a look at it. Again, in my opinion, the Truck Series went over in a big way. When it came to the table and it was new and it was fresh, there wasn’t a NASCAR fan in existence that wasn’t glued to the television, including me. I wasn’t just glued to the television. I said, Screw this, I got up, went to the racetrack and watched it.

I loved what I saw. It was something that I always really wanted to be a part of and run that truck race, and never got a chance to. But I always enjoyed the racing aspect of it. I always enjoyed knowing there’s some hot shoes there and a lot of people that I may have had my eye on as being the favorite wasn’t necessarily the case. It seemed like every single race there was always a surprise.

Furthermore, there was always somebody that could come up maybe through a dirt racing background and really pounce on a competition to make a name for themselves.

This is hopefully again, what did he call this, his word that she didn’t like, I like the fact that Scott and his team is shooting for the moon on this. Why not? Hopefully it goes over in a big way.

But at the end of the day this is them answering the call to our fans and trying something new. For me, that is all a fan and myself could ever ask for.

Scott, Mr. Miller, a couple of the drivers have signed up for the dirt race the week before. I know that’s not a concern. There’s at least a couple drivers going out on their own and taking to some dirt, doing some testing. Is that a concern at all? Are you like that’s fine, encouraging that?

SCOTT MILLER: We revised the testing policy this week. To be clear, one thing that they aren’t doing is they aren’t taking a Cup car anywhere to do any dirt track testing or any testing of any kind. It’s pretty hard for us to keep them out of another type of vehicle. We have what we call stockcar equivalent defined in the rule book. No equipment that has anything to do with sort of a NASCAR stockcar can be tested anywhere.

Other than that, I’m really glad that some of the guys, I know like Joey and Brad and some of them have been out doing some different things. I think even racing places, some dirt modifieds and things. It’s really cool to see those guys want to be prepared, to run competitively at this race.

I think really when you look at a lot of it, some of those guys like Joey, I don’t think he ever raced dirt coming up. I think he was completely a pavement guy. Guys at that level certainly don’t want to show up somewhere and be embarrassed. To see them going out and preparing themselves to be competitive at this race I think shows their commitment and also is going to be really good for the event. I think the more prepared everybody is, probably the better show we’re going to put on.

We’re good with that.

Clint, a lot of cars went on the track at the same time in the main event. Your thoughts on that?

CLINT BOWYER: I’m going to have to get an energy drink before the show starts. Going to be a lot of talking, a lot of selling, right?

There’s just going to be so many story lines. That’s what I always love about a dirt race. When I go watch my team run all over the country, there’s always a guy that missed in qualifying, started up front and went backwards. There’s so much movement in a dirt race, the setup has so much to do with it, keeping up with that racetrack. No different than what you have been accustomed to seeing any given Sunday. It’s just so much more amplified all the way around.

I’m telling you, just because a Kyle Larson, Christopher Bell, one of those guys you would think with this massive dirt background is going to be the favorite, don’t you think those engineers and crew chiefs aren’t going to have something to do with this? It’s going to be a team aspect. You’re not ever going to take away from that at this level.

Scott just touched on the commitment to the teams. Everybody’s doing their homework on this. Drivers are included, crew chiefs, engineers. This is going to be a highly competitive race, I guarantee it.

I think there will be plenty of action. There is going to be some carnage, some sparks, beating and banging. But show me a dirt race that’s never had that. Show me a good dirt race that’s never had that.

I’m talking about the amount of traffic on the track itself. It’s not going to be the normal overtaking, passing, getting by lap traffic.

CLINT BOWYER: Oh, yeah. I think it’s going to be definitely that. It’s Bristol. It’s going to be that, probably again, just like I said, it’s amplified 10 times more. You’re going to have — the biggest thing I hope we have here, again, these races coming up, they are crucial to this, is multi-groove racing in a track like Bristol. Dirt racing you have you have to be up there and be down on the bottom in the brown, you got to be able to slide job across the middle. I want to be able to see all those things. Doing our homework, making sure we check all the boxes, are as prepared as much as possible, are going to go to that.

When we had those truck races, it wasn’t always around the outside. As that track progressed, the last couple years, it’s kind of been that way, but I don’t think it’s just because of the truck racing. When I watched the late model races, Sprint cars, anything else, it’s kind of been that way. Again, goes back to the racetrack, the surface and preparation of that.

Is this a learning experience for everybody? Absolutely. But I don’t think this is a concern to just say this is going to be problematic in traffic or anything else. It’s going to be traffic galore, but it’s Bristol. Tell me any Bristol race you’ve ever watched where lap traffic and traffic in general wasn’t a thing.

Scott, is this an impound race or not? Can you describe the decision on whether it is or it isn’t.

SCOTT MILLER: No, it’s not. As you saw with the schedule, we will have practice on Friday and then we will inspect the cars and do the heat races, give them back to the teams, inspect them again before the race on Sunday.

We know there’s going to be some probably damage in the heat races. I appreciate everybody, especially Jerry and his staff allowing us to kind of get to the format that we landed on. One of the huge benefits of having the heat races for the Cup cars on Saturday with the truck show is the fact that if somebody does damage their car beyond repair on Saturday, there’s a chance that they’ll get a backup car out and be ready for the main event.

If we had the heat races on the same day, there would be a high likelihood there wouldn’t be enough time to make that happen. That was one of the considerations, a very big one, in making the format and the weekend schedule as it is.

MIKE FORDE: We do have to wrap right now. Thanks so much for everyone and their time, Jerry, Steve, Clint and Scott. Thank you for all these great answers, the excitement around this weekend. Can’t wait. It’s going to be a great one. Have a great rest of the week. If you’re in Vegas, we’ll see you out there.

— NASCAR —