Volume X, Issue 6, Page 26

: If you had to design the perfect nitro motor today, how different would it be from what you’re currently running?

AJ: Well, it would be a lot different. What we use now was never designed to do what we do now, the basic design of the parts, they’re just too small, and that’s why it’s so hard to keep the thing in one piece, run after run.

: Who is the best driver who’s ever driven for you?

AJ: My brother.

: Is there a number two?

AJ: Not a close number two.

: When you were sponsored by Winston, was RJR very involved in what you did, other then as a sponsor?

AJ: That was a great sponsorship, and I had a really great relationship with RJ Reynolds. In marketing, all the people there are wonderful to work with, and I had a great relationship. We socialized together, we raced together, they helped us any time we needed help. They were a great sponsor.

: Was there any sponsor you worked with subsequently who was anywhere near that level of understanding how to market in motorsports?

AJ: Well, I haven’t had that many sponsors, but I’ve worked with the people at US Army, and they’re very responsive to our needs. They do a great job. Obviously, Don Schumacher would answer that question better. As far as my relationship with everyone over there, it’s been good.

: Is there anything in drag racing that you haven’t accomplished that you would still like to accomplish?

AJ: No. If I was gone, if this was my last day, I wouldn’t feel like I got cheated.

: If you retired, what would you do?

AJ: Well, if I retired from the actual sport of drag racing, in other words, if I’m not a crew chief, then I would probably just build parts. Design parts and build parts. But obviously, at that point there won’t be as much pressure or demand for me to get it done. But just erasing a portion of it and designing parts and building parts is just as much fun as playing golf. That's basically my hobby, so my job is my hobby, and my hobby is my job. Not too many people are lucky enough to have that kind of combination.

: How would you like to be remembered in this sport?

AJ: As certainly somebody who played by the rules, ‘cause I always do. There’s probably nothing that irritates me more then people who brand someone who’s successful a cheater. I work with a higher purpose. As you walk through the shop, you’ll see that this whole thing is built around drag racing, and that’s what I do when I get up in the morning. I go to work and I’m drag racing. And what do I do on the weekends... Drag racing. And the only thing I do in between is take care of my family and occasionally play a round of golf. The rest of it is racing. If you do anything that much, if you’ve got any kind of brains at all, you should get pretty good at it.  

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