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DL: Yeah you do, and now, Snake never questions a thing I do, nothing, he just (says) - run it like it was your own car and it's the same relationship I had with Connie at the time.

DRO: You've got to have that autonomy about the race car.

DL: Oh yeah. I mean, if you got more than one person making major decisions they'd better be on the same page and if they're not it's just going to create a lot of aggravation. I told Snake, when I came to work here in the fall of 99, I got fired from my first job. I worked for Doug Herbert and he heard that I was coming to work for the Snake in 2000 and he fired me.

DRO: But didn't you tune Larry Dixon to a win that same year?

DL: Yes, the second or third race I was there we won Houston. I told the Snake, I said it's going to take a year to get everything on the same page. It's gonna take a year for us to work together and get the guys used to doing the things the way we want so it's done the same way every time. In 2000 we won a couple of races and ran pretty good, and then we crashed pretty bad in Memphis. That set is back a little bit just from the standpoint that Larry needed time to heal up. We came out last year and we had an excellent year last year. Had the best year that anybody had ever had for points. The only problem is Bernstein had 95 more at the end of the season. What can I say? I was glad to see Kim and Tim do well. I just didn't like it at our expense. I also was very proud of the way the guys ran and stood up and the way Larry stood up to the pressure last year. It was the first time he had ever been in a world championship chase where he was a player. He learned a lot last year.

DRO: He really he grew up last year.

DL: He grew a lot, he did. We put him under pressure. He thought he'd been under pressure before, but he was under some pressure last year.

DRO: Larry Dixon seems more serious now.

DL: Well, that's, I think, a little bit of me is rubbing off on him.

DRO: He credits you with a lot of that, you're a big part of that growth.

DL: He's like a son to me, you know, and when you say I'm serious about this, yeah, you're damn right, I'm serious about it. I love him like a son, I don't want anything to happen to that kid. But going back to your original question, yeah, I am having fun, but it's a different type of fun. It's not a ha-ha fun; it's a satisfaction fun I guess or something like that.

DRO: Is there anything that you think is "ha-ha" funny?

DL: Yeah all kinds of stuff. You know, it's just that when I'm here, I'm doing my job. If you work for the gas company, you're busy writing something and I slap my ass down on your desk and want to laugh and carry on, you've got stuff you need to do, and that's what I got to do. I have to stay focused and I try to keep everybody around me focused. Everybody on this team needs to stay focused. But yeah, I've got street rods and old cars and so forth that I mess around and we go to hot rod cruises and big events, but we have a good time, but there's a lot of stuff in there. I like good restaurants, I like movies and music.

DRO: When you went out first round, does that eat you up inside?

DL: Oh, are you kidding me?

DRO: Do you beat yourself up?

DL: Yeah -

DRO: Like second guess and what could I have done and -

DL: Yeah -

DRO: Do you always find some solution to that?


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