Drag Racing Online: The Magazine

Volume VIII, Issue 12, Page

So, based upon what you just said, we can assume the program at David Powers will be similar to the program at John Force? In other words Lee Beard is going to call the tuning shots for both cars? 

WB: Right. Lee is in charge of the technical side of David Powers Racing.

Looking towards the future. You're in what your mid-40s. What are your long-term goals after you are through driving? 

WB: That’s early 40s, thank you. My short-term goals have morphed into my long-term goal, which is to win an NHRA World Championship. I've already accomplished a lot of the goals that I set for myself in the beginning of my career and that was to win races and to put myself in a position where world class crew chiefs would want me to drive their car.  So, what's left for me is to win a championship and I really want to do that. There are a lot of great guys in the sport that have never won a championship, a lot of the very best drivers like Billy Meyer, Mike Dunn, and Ed McCulloch. In terms of raw driving, those guys are the best at driving from A to B and didn’t win a championship.

Those guys just came along in the wrong decade.

WB: Those guys I mentioned are some of the greatest drivers ever and it would be an honor to be on any list with them, but I’d rather it wasn’t on a list of drivers that didn’t win a championship. I really want to win a championship. 

Will you have any regrets have that you didn't win an NHRA championship in a Funny Car? 

WB: No, I won't have any regrets because as long as you give it a hundred percent you can’t have regrets. Our team lost the championship in '03, but as the driver I feel I lost it for

us twice. At the end of the 2003 season I looked back and saw at least two races where I felt as a driver I had let my team down. I blame myself. That's how I look at it. As a driver, you need to be a robot, be a machine, and you need to be that way so when you don't win it's not because the driver didn’t do his job. That's my goal, to be the best driver I can be. I do not want to be the reason my team loses. When you work for Don Schumacher, that's what you learn because if you're a driver and you cause the team to lose, it's not pleasant. You don’t want to be in that position very often.

You're one of the few guys competing out there today there, other than Force, Densham, Bernstein and a few other full-time racers that are or have been a car owner, team owner, and a driver. Do you see yourself eventually being a team owner again?

WB: Yeah, I could. It depends. I don't see myself driving as a team owner, but when I stop driving that’s certainly an option -- but that day’s a long way off.

Let's just say that you're a team owner. Who would you hire today?  Excluding Whit Bazemore.

WB: Well, I wouldn't want to hire Whit Bazemore because he's too expensive. You get what you pay for. Today though, I would want to hire Mike Dunn and not just because he's one of my best friends, but because he's one of the best-ever drivers. He's really, really good. I’d also make a try at hiring Robert Hight. I really like the way he drives, handles himself and goes about his business.

OK, Whit, it’s time for the traditional DRO InnerView last questions. Jimmy Hendrix or Jimmy Buffett?

WB: No doubt, no question, Hendrix all the way. I’ve been listening to Led Zeppelin lately but Hendrix is really good too. I’m really into ‘60s blues/rock.

Boxers or briefs?

WB: Depends -- never briefs, sometimes boxers.

Depends? Surely that isn’t what he meant. Never briefs, sometimes boxers? Hmmmm, wonder what he means by those answers.

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