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DRO: Didn't you have those same protective feelings when Brandon got in a top alcohol dragster?

KB: I never did with him. I really didn't. I always had confidence. It never concerned me, probably because I owned cars and had drivers in other forms of racing. So I kind of knew what that feeling was. John's going through this for the first time. You know, God bless him. And I love him, because he's a good friend. But he doesn't want to have anything happen to his daughter. Guys are OK. I don't want anything to happen to Brandon -- don't misunderstand me. Obviously you know that. But it's different -- it's a girl, man. That's a different animal. I think that's bothered John a lot. I really do.

DRO: The relationship between fathers and sons is different than that between a father and daughter?

KB: I think if it was a boy, it might not be as critical. I think a girl creates a different flag. I think one flag goes up with a boy-kid, and two flags go up with a girl. Know what I'm saying? And that's what I feel with John. I think he's just worried to death that he's going to hurt his little girl. And that's heavy. That's heavy stuff there.

DRO: Did you see how reacted at the Phoenix test session when Ashley hit some cones?

KB: (Chuckles) . . . . Ah, I know . . . The main thing there is what I told John when he came and talked to me last year and wondered how we did it with Brandon. I just said, "The main thing is you've got to make sure this is what she wants to do, that you're not pushing it on her. That's the key. It's like with Brandon. I didn't push it. I never said a word. He's the one that came up with it.

DRO: When Joe Amato stepped out of the car, he put Darrell Russell in. Don Prudhomme has three drivers. They're all bright and capable, but they're not kin.

KB: I think there's a big difference. The difference is with Brandon going in the car it'll keep my attention more, not that I would let it falter in any way. If it's just Joe Blow off the street you're putting in the car, yeah, you want him to do good. But it's not your kid. You still want to win. You still want to help him. But there is a big difference. I felt that on the NASCAR side and the Indy-car teams we had. I love those guys, all of them who drove for me. But they're not my son.

DRO: What does Brandon's presence enable you to do?

KB: With Brandon it's different. I can tell him things that you probably can't tell other drivers. I could probably say, "You screwed up. Why'd you do that?" When there's a driver you hire to go in there, you've got to be a little more careful with that. You can't just jump up and say what you think sometimes. That creates bad blood, and all of a sudden you've got a bad relationship and there you are, stuck. I won't have a bad relationship with my son. There won't be a relationship, if there's a bad relationship. It's my way or the highway. It's real simple. (Laughs)

DRO: You've already missed so much before with your son.

KB: That's another thing. I didn't grow up with Brandon. You know that. And I didn't come into his life really strong until he was 17 or 18 years old. So this is kind of fun. It's a dad talking to his son versus an owner talking with his driver. There's a different position there. I can tell Brandon things I would never think about telling a driver, probably. I could probably ream his butt pretty good, and what's he going to do?

DRO: You've prepared him for that.

KB: We want him to be ready. You've got to be right in this game. Why have we been out here 23 years with Budweiser? We must be doing something right. You can't lose any of that. Whether it's him or me or the team, you've got to keep doing those things. All those things that made this thing go on for 20-something years.

DRO: You built this team by doing things the professional way. But you understand Brandon's eagerness to drive.


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