DRO: And then
you didn't have time to find another sponsor?
excused us in October 2001. We just went through
9/11, and it was at the end of 2001, not enough
time to put a program together. When you start
these programs with these corporations, usually
it's a 5-6-month negotiating process. By October,
there was nobody -- we really had nowhere to
go. Then 2002 was really kind of a tough year.
XFL took a lot of money from them.
was half-owner of that enterprise, and published
reports said they took a $70 million bath on
was a lot of money -- could've run my program
for a long time.
DRO: You had
to hate sitting out.
Prudhomme sat out a year or two.
DRO: So that
goes to show that sitting out is not necessarily
a reflection of the quality of the driver.
unfortunate that those things happen. We had
a quality program, but your program is only
as good as your sponsors and as good as the
support you get from your sponsors. We had a
great season in 2000, and we're hoping to get
back to that.
DRO: Now don't
tell me, "We need to go rounds," but . . . How
are you going to do that?
already done it.
like a cake I've got right now in the oven baking.
OK? I've assembled a great team. I've assembled
some great minds. That's where it's at. Everybody
here has the same parts. Everybody can go buy
Alan Johnson's cylinder heads. Everybody can
go buy somebody's blower or somebody's chassis.
Those are all available. But utilizing those
parts and knowing how to work them is obviously
the key. So it's personnel -- it's all about
people. Keith Adams is our crew chief. Keith
was Alan's right-hand guy since '95, very instrumental
in all the development of his parts. And he
was right there with the Toyotas, as well. So
it was a natural transition for Keith to step
into the crew chief position. He was with Dale
a long time, so he has been with the best in
the business. I think you're going to see Keith
shine. We've got a good program, just good people.
With that and a little luck, we might get there.
DRO: It does
take some luck.
it takes luck.
the deal with Jim Head?
excited for Jim. Jim is a gritty veteran. He
has been around here since 1980. He was in Funny
Car [until 1989]. I think there were some safety
issues with the dragsters that he wasn't real
comfortable with. I think that was part of his
decision-making process. I wouldn't drive a
dragster. No desire whatsoever. They scare me.
I don't like the way those arch up and break
in half. That's a ride I don't want to be on.
Funny Cars have those big shock absorbers on
both sides -- tires.