Not to harp on Annette Summer, but if you asked Warren Johnson what he thought of her and he thought about it, he'd tell you the same thing. You can't compare us to her. Unfortunately, she doesn't want to hear that, but that's just the way it is. One thing about me, I'm going to tell you how it is and you'll have your chance to answer me, but I'm not going to talk about anyone behind their back.
DRO: How about another Tony? Tony Gentile.
PM: Now there's a guy who we helped a lot and he's on his own, learning, and he puts his own motors together. I do machine work for him, but he's right at it. He's working on the clutch, he's driving the car, he's bringing the car to the racetrack, he puts his own engine together, so he's the kind of guy I like and that I respect. Tony's a good racer who's come a long way.
DRO: Marc Dantoni?
PM: Marc is probably one of the best young guys that I've ever
DRO: What about Steve Grebeck? I know you were close to him and it must have been a shock to lose him to a racing accident early this year.
PM: Yeah, it was. He was another one who was part of our little family, just like Marc. Steve had a lot of chassis input with us, but more that that he was close to us all. He learned from us, but we learned a lot from him, too. He's somebody we miss all the time, but we have to go on; he would've wanted us to go on. He was another one in the category who could do it all. He was a real racer.
DRO: What other drivers should people watch out for on the NMCA/NSCA/PRO scene?
PM: Well, you've got Justin Kalwei, who's just 19 and in a six-second
But there's a lot of guys out there working hard, doing it all. At our shop we try to give everybody the same power that we have and we'll help them if we can, but we like them to take over their own deal at some point.
DRO: Just a week before Steve's accident, you also started 2002 with a serious crash that destroyed your car at the NMCA/NSCA season opener. How did that affect you as a driver?
PM: That deal was a mechanical failure. I had crashed the same car a year or so earlier at Rockingham and that time I got out of the car and said, "That was strictly Pat's fault. Pat did that." I got frustrated, I stayed in it longer that I should have -- thank God it was only a fender-bender that time, I didn't go that far with it -- but you can get frustrated and that's bad. When a car isn't working and you're trying to get down the racetrack and you can't, it can happen, so you've got to really think.
But what happened to me at Palm Beach really made me step back because it was a mechanical failure and there was absolutely nothing I could do to control it. In the video you can see in slow motion that I broke a front-end component, the front end came down, air got in the car, blew the back window out, and there was nothing I could do. The car had been straight as an arrow and was making a good run. You're going to have people saying I stayed in it too long, but if I did, I'd be the first one to tell you. But it was a mechanical failure, so now you look at it differently. I'm just lucky. It's just a luck deal that I'm still here and Steve isn't.
DRO: What can you tell us about your partner Don Reem?
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