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DRO: With Gary Scelzi and Mike Dunn out of the class this year, your odds are better.

KB: Sclezi is a good one to be out. Dixon's bad enough, but you know that team -- Scelzi and Johnson -- is a great team. So that certainly didn't hurt my feelings. I won't lie about that. Scelzi's a good friend, and Alan is, too. But they're tough. It's going to be tough, and it would have been tougher. I hope they have great success over in Funny Car.

DRO: Dixon is much farther ahead of where he was one year ago.

KB: Larry did a great job of driving. Last year, especially from half-season on, he really got with the program.

DRO: You eventually found your stride with Tim Richards last season, but you have the chance to be strong right out of the chute this year.

KB: We're in a more relaxed mode, mentally, instead of wondering, "Can we compete?" or "Can we win?" - which is where we were a week ago. That makes a big difference. That's like a million pounds off of you. With Tim doing his thing, and the team doing well, I just have all the confidence in the world that no matter what we do, how bad it may get for us, he's able to figure it out. He'll get it done.

DRO: What is this year's Top Fuel field going to look like?

KB: On paper it looks maybe a taste weak, you know. But it's not. It won't be. There'll be somebody else pop up. Russell's going to run good. There'll be two or three others that crop up. It'll be four or five cars fighting it out through much of the season, and then it'll go down to a couple of cars. Dixon's car, of course, has to be A-No. 1. But it wouldn't surprise at all me if some of these other guys jump right into the thick of it.

DRO: Andrew Cowin gave you a little trouble at Las Vegas in April.

KB: Yeah, he tried. Heeee triiied. He didn't give me trouble -- what are you talkin' about? Nah, that'll be a good race team over there. I think any of them can be, believe me. I think they're capable. I think there's going to be a surprise or two out there that surprises all of us.

DRO: Names, please?

KB: Well, I don't who that is right now, but I just think there will be. I don't know who all's going to be there. But I just know how this deal is. Somebody else will pop up we didn't even think about.

DRO: It's a big story right now that Ashley Force is breaking into the sport--

KB: That's a big story? Oh yeah, let's make it a big story right now.

DRO: Yes, it's a big story. Have you watched John and how he's handling it?

KB: John's a mess, man. He's nervous as a you-know-what. He's overturned, man.

DRO: You're enjoying that, aren't you?

KB: Well, yeah, I love it!

DRO: Surely you know how he feels, with your son Brandon driving now and poised to take your seat in 2003.

KB: John's a different guy than me. He's pretty hyper and upside-down on everything all the time. I'm hyper and upside-down half the time. So there's a difference.

Kenny's son Brandon will move into the driver's seat next year.


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