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DRO: Will it be set up, though, like Force's operation?

SC: It's like this: When one of those guys stumbles and stubs their toe, you watch (Austin) Coil go over there and straighten 'em right out. I ain't sayin' that's the way Beard's going to run it. That's for Beard to say. I'm pretty sure he's going to be the head man in charge. What I understand, he has some key guys who've been with him a long time that are real knowledgeable.

DRO: Did you make any suggestions about who they should bring in?

SC: I made no suggestions. That's not my department. I'm going to concentrate on trying to drive my best, take care of the fans and keep my sponsors happy. That'll be a fulltime job, if I can keep those three things going in my department. If they need some help in that department and I can help, I will.

DRO: It takes a major effort to make one car do what Whit's did this past season. Are you worried that with Beard dividing his attention, neither of you will have the focus you need from him to win races?

SC: I don't see where it hurt Force.

DRO: Do you like the idea of being just a driver, without the added responsibility?

SC: At the first of the year, when I came here with Wes, all I done was drove. I owned the rig and the equipment and stuff. It was my team, and I was the team owner. Over there (at Schumacher's operation), I won't own anything. All I'll do is bring my helmet. The relationship I have with Lee Beard will be the same as I had with Wes Cerny at the beginning of the year. To be honest with you, it's 10 times easier on me. I don't have to worry about how much air pressure's in the tires, where the clutch is coming in at. Going over there, Lee Beard's my crew chief. He's the boss. Whatever he says is what I'm supposed to do.

DRO: Can you do that?

SC: I'm going to have to bite my tongue, maybe. I'm going to have to keep my mouth shut. That's not that hard. I have sponsors. They're really the boss. If they request something or want it, you do it. If you argue with them, then you don't have them. That's just the way it is.

DRO: Can they handle you?

SC: They're going to have to adjust to Scotty a little bit -- sure they will. Hopefully they will. I'm surely going to have to adjust to those guys. If we went into this thing thinking it was self-centered on either side, it would never make it. So we had a little bit of a talk about that.

DRO: Why did you agree to this set-up?

SC: The only reason I took the car back over is because I was on the verge of losing my sponsor and the car wasn't doing anything. We only had three or four races left, so . . . I figured I might as well go ahead and sink my ship myself. The car showed some progress, but at the same time, this deal with Schumacher came along. I ain't so sure if I still had Wes that that would've happened, so it looks like maybe I made the right call. Putting these two teams together, with the financial backing we have, is the only chance I feel I have in drag racing for me to get to a championship.

DRO: Who approached whom?

SC: This stuff was brought to my table. I agreed to do it.

DRO: Any serious misgivings?



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