ML: You know it varies, at the very top, it's very, very tough. The top five or six teams are, you know they're all right there very close and real big teams and the competition's real
close and from there on it goes down and you have the guys that are rolling up with the open trailer, just building cars in their garages but it's really neat to be part of that, cause you see the whole spectrum, so you see those guys that are struggling and you kind of help them out to where they want to be but it's pretty neat but right now the competition's pretty tough at the top.

DRO: If you were the King of Drag Racing, is there anything you would change?

ML: Ummmm (laughs). That's a tough question. Not really, I can't think of anything offhand I'd really want to change. I mean the way it's going right now is pretty cool. Hopefully it just becomes more mainstream, like NASCAR.

DRO: The way that NHRA has brought the sport compact into developing a series strictly for sport compacts, that's certainly encouraging.

ML: Sure, sure. And the plan there is to try to not just use the sport compact as a stepping stone, but as a series, side by side, that can run with the NHRA. . . . You know, bring that up to the same level.

DRO: There's an awful lot of breakage among the cars, in particular front wheel drive cars and when I've seen some of the other races, a lot of the finals are singles. Is that a frustrating part of competition?

ML: The sport has grown tremendously and the speeds, the progression of speeds is just incredible, like, last year our car was running 12.50 at the beginning of the season and at the end we where running 860s so the rate of development is just so rapid that there has to be a parts breakage. But regular NHRA they've been running the same combinations for a long time, and so they know what works and what doesn't. Here everybody's trying new different combinations and so that's just the name of the game for now until everybody you know a standard combination comes out of it.

DRO: Are you having fun?

ML: Oh, nobody has more fun than me right now. I'm living the life, you know? I've always been into Pontiacs, so to be able to drive for Pontiac is like a dream come true and besides that I get to drive a race car for a living and for GM, one of the biggest car companies in the world so I'm just having a blast.


Previous INNERviews
General Motors' Fred Simmonds — 3/7/03
Jimmy Rector
— 2/19/03
Mitch Stott
— 2/19/03
Paul Romine
— 2/7/03


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