DRO: It seemed
so odd that you would finish third that year,
as well as you ran all year.
Hey, third is not bad. My second car [with Jim
Epler driving] finished fifth. Outside John
Force, I think Jerry Toliver is the only owner/driver
ever to have two cars in the top five in the
same year in Funny Car -- ever. It was a wonderful
year. I learned a lot. I think I really matured
as a driver and learned how to fight the fight.
You can talk and talk, but you have to learn
how to fight the fight. When you asked earlier,
how are you going to get there? I'm seasoned;
my guys are seasoned. We've all won races. Knowing
how to win is important.
DRO: Do you
lose or gain by sitting out? Sometimes sitting
out can teach you something.
think you gain appreciation. I certainly have
gained a lot of appreciation. When I sat there,
there were times when I wondered, "Will I ever
get back out there?" There's a chance that I
won't get back out there. I'm not getting any
younger. I'm not a 20-year-old kid out there
with 30 years in front of me to drive a racecar.
Fortunately for us, older guys can drive NHRA
cars. But yeah, that bothered me. I worried
about it. I thought there's a chance I won't
land a sponsor.
DRO: What did
you tell yourself?
not done. I went out there and I started a job,
and I'm the kind who likes to finish what I
start. I'd love to drive for the next three
to five years or so until I decide to get out
of a racecar -- then own a car and put some
kid in it. I was off for a
and seven months. The time off really allowed
me to appreciate. And I made some promises to
DRO: Such as?
I ever got back, I would do some things differently,
and I would certainly appreciate the moments.
I just want to get in every day as much as I
can get in. I want to live this thing, and I
don't want to leave anything unturned. I can't
wait to get back into the winners circle. And
I'm hell-bent on getting there. When we do,
that's going to be the crowning glory. I'll
finally be able to say we've arrived again.
I've finally been able to accomplish something
that I've missed so dearly. That's going to
be a good day.
DRO: Will it
like Pomona. That's my track.