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Driver Tidbits…. June 17, 2008

Posted by claireblang in Drivers, Fun Stuff.
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Good Morning! There were some interesting comments from the drivers recently that I’m not sure that you caught and wanted to share them with you:

Tidbits from drivers driving for free – to what they eat – to cooling in the car:

Claire B
XM Satellite Radio

PS I’m leaving for Milwaukee tomorrow morning to cover the Milwaukee Mile and the race at Infineon. Stay tuned.
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MARK MARTIN ON DRIVING FOR FREE:

Q: THERE ARE A LOT OF GUYS WHO SAY THEY WOULD DRIVE FOR FREE, WOULD YOU DO IT? “I Mark Martin: did last year for the Wood Brothers. Don’t think he (Kyle Busch) is the only guy that ever did it for free. I just never bragged about it. You might be the first person I told about it. I bragged on Kyle, I am not going to get up here and make everybody sick from bragging on Kyle. I paid him a compliment, a very very good compliment and I give plenty. But that is a significant thing that he drives, from what I understand, for the trophy. That is what I did with JTG/Wood brothers last year. So he isn’t the only guy that has ever done that, there are many more. But it is still is significant. But he is also 23 years old. If you are in between, it may be more important that you are making a living than it is when you are like me or when you are first starting.”

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JIMMIE JOHNSON ON WHAT HE EATS BEFORE AND DURING (YES DURING) THE RACE:

Q: WHAT DO YOU DO, DIET-WISE OR MENTALLY TO DEAL WITH THE HEAT?
Johnson: “You’ve got to stay hydrated. You’ve got to prepare a couple days in advance. A big part of it is drinking enough fluid during the race. It sounds crazy but you’re not hungry or thirsty when you’re out there. You’re focused on other things. So Gatorade has a really cool in-car system that has been very helpful for us….. I drank five liters of Gatorade during the race at Pocono and I was out of Gatorade on the last pit stop. I was just sitting there the whole time forcing yourself to drink. Also eating during the event it helpful so you keep your energy up.”

CAN YOU EAT DURING THE RACE?
Johnson: “We try to. They make me eat stuff during pit stops. As they’re changing the right side tires they’ll set some food in there and I have a little pouch on the side of the door I can put it if I can’t get to it, or if I can get it into my mouth before they’re around jacking the left side of the car, I’ll try to eat it. It’s power bars and stuff like that.”

DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL DIET LIKE PASTA A COUPLE OF DAYS BEFORE THE RACE?
Johnson: “I don’t see a lot of people focused so much on the diet side. Diet is a big part of it and carbs are in everything. Hydration and making sure you get the right fluids in you during the course of the race is important.”

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Denny Hamlin On The Fans In His Car and Changes To Make It Cooler

Q: Did you change anything about your car for this weekend to make it cooler?
Hamlin: “That’s one thing that I did address just now with my team. We need to do better with our fans inside the race car. Even on the Nationwide Series we have three or four driver fans that we have operating at all times blowing on the driver. Those races are half the distance and we don’t have any over on the Cup side. That’s something as a team that we need to work on. I don’t know whether they’re not in there for performance reasons or what have you. We used to have it and we don’t have it now. I think we kind of got a little bit complacent there and in the future I’m sure we’re going to have plenty of ventilation.”

What do you think it will take to change the cooling systems?
Hamlin: “I think it’s going to take a compromise of both. I think it’s going to take 75 percent on the teams to get better at it and I think it’s going to take 25 percent of NASCAR helping us with — hey, can we get away with running a hose here and there. Maybe it’s not totally within the rules but it’s really going to help driver comfort and driver cooling. I think as long as NASCAR is open to being lenient to things like that it’s going to be better for everyone.”

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