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KB: I was the same way when I was a kid. I was a gofer for the Anderson Brothers, wiping tires. I couldn't wait to jump in the car, just to drive it back from the far end. I mean, I was in the thing before they could hardly stop it and the driver got out. And if he wasn't that way, he probably wouldn't be a driver. You've got to really want to do it.

DRO: How can you stay excited when you retire? You don't strike me as a yesterday kind of guy.

KB: I'm not. And I won't be. We still have a lot of work to do with Brandon in the business side of things. Our first concern is to make sure we get him everything we can (for him) to be a good driver. Once we get him to be a good driver and we feel good that way, then we'll keep submerging more into the business side. He's gotten a taste of the business, but he doesn't know it all. That's something I kind of look forward to, teaching him the business side of it. He knows a good portion of it. He knows the philosophy behind it; he knows what's right and wrong. But he doesn't know every detail that we do. So we have to teach him how to do that, along with making sure we give him all the time and info he needs to be the driver that he should be or can be or wants to be. There's a lot of work to do, believe me. The next couple of years after this one, I'll be plenty busy out here, besides paying bills.

DRO: What effect will the new POWERade series sponsorship have? Do you expect it to increase the awareness/exposure to the NHRA?

KB: It has the potential to. It is a company that can advertise. It can promote. It can talk about its products to the general public. Winston would have been as good to us, too, if they could have. So (POWERade has) that advantage. I don't think it's going to happen overnight. But I was in a movie theatre the other night, and this wonderful three- or four-minute picture show came on, kind of like an extreme sports thing. And it was POWERade, of all things. And I was like, "Holy cow! That's cool! I can see our car up there right now -- in movie theatres all over the country." Think about that -- just think about it! We never had that before.

DRO: What was Budweiser's reaction to the new sponsorship?

KB: Budweiser's first response was "Good program, good deal, big company. This will help you go to that next level."

DRO: Does it bug you that you might have been a little ahead of your time? You're getting out at a time when the NHRA's popularity is climbing higher than ever.

KB: I don't know if it bugs me, but it's a thought. I thought, "Man, this could be pretty good in two or three years." But I've said that for a year. I said when the TV deal got good, it would take two or three years. We're only into one. Now we've got the series thing going. With those two things the sport will go to a higher level. And I'll say, "Hm. I could have been there." It opened a new philosophy (for) companies (toward) drag racing almost instantly. It will only grow.


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