: Did you see any hot rods when you were in China?

SB: Actually, you see some different kinds of cars. I’m not even sure I know what kinds the cars were. But I went to one little racetrack, and it was kind of a road course type of track, but these Chinese people were tearing it up. You could tell: after they’d go around it they’d get out and be smiling, just like we used to be the first time we went down a dragstrip. It’s got to those people; it’s in their heart. So as they move along and discover different kinds of racing, I think it’s going to be a good market for us.

: NHRA took drag racing to Japan a couple of decades ago; should we try taking it to China?

SB: Well you know, I actually mentioned it to some of the NHRA people. Several years ago I visited the new F1 track in Shanghai, and it was right before it was commissioned. I’m standing up in this big tower area, looking out over the track. It’s a magnificent facility. And I’m with the Minister of Racing or something of China, big-wheel guy. I said, “You know, if I didn’t know better, I’d swear that was a dragstrip.” And he said, “I don’t know what the hell it is. It’s just something the architect said to go ahead and put in.” So I went down to look, and here’s a racetrack that’s totally done, wired, ready to plug in the Christmas tree and timers and go racing. And he didn’t even have any idea what it was.

My suggestion to NHRA was to take a couple of fuel cars over there and all you’d have to do is go around to different parts of the town and start the things. There are so many people over there that it wouldn’t take anything to put a hundred thousand people in the stands.

: Would it make sense then, instead of fighting with the offshore deal, why don’t we turn them into customers?

SB: I think that’s what we’re going to have to do. And the way you protect yourself on the IP (Intellectual Property) side of things is just to move faster than they can copy you. It doesn’t make any difference whether it’s this country or over there; the days of making a product and expecting it to have a thirty-year life are gone. You’ve got to keep reinventing yourself all the time, and if you keep doing that, most of the time the people copying stuff will be copying stuff you used to have and it’s easy to stay ahead.

: Do you have a racecar or a hot rod that you drive around now?

SB: No. I mean, we’ve got some company cars that we take around, but me personally? No. I guess the company cars are mine anyway, and I use those to get my fix of going out and playing, but as far as personal in the garage, no.

: Do you ever just want to go out on a Wednesday night to Millington (Tenn.) and make a couple of laps?

SB: Oh, you think about it, but I’m almost afraid I’d enjoy it, so it’s probably better off not doing it.