: The trick is to find the right chemistry, the right mix of people who are motivated by the same thing. And that takes some tweaking. It would be rare to find that perfect blend on the first attempt. And your brother Tony has struggled with it too, like almost every other team. So the question you naturally get a lot is: How much do you and Tony share? Do you and Tony operate as a true two-car team? Do you share tune-up, parts and money or is each team independent of the other?

CP: We're each independent of each other.

: Is there anything you share, other than the shop space in Brownsburg?

CP: We share as much as we can. He comes over and we talk . . . Anything I can do to help, because he's my brother, I do it. We've learned through the years . . . a really big team  . . . I'm not going to mention any names . . . they were sponsored by a tobacco company . . . They had all these grandiose ideas: 'Oh, my God, we've got to have a second car. We're going to compete with the other teams if we have a second car' . . . and if you look at their track record, it was basically two losing cars.

My point is while you have two cars under the same roof, at the end of the day they have their own personalities. So you have to figure out what's best for your car and your individual circumstance. Things change. Things are different. That's really the bottom line. It's a credit to these teams – and there are several out there today – who do have their cars run fairly close. That's a credit to the guys working on the cars and to the guys tuning the cars. But it doesn't happen by itself. It happens through guys making key decisions and team owners.

: I think the brother dynamic makes it hard for the fans to get their heads around. You're just as competitive with him as if he were John Force.

CP: We've raced each other a lot, and we've had tough losses on both sides. That's part of it. That's part of the challenge. We're all competitive. As much as we do help each other, I still have to race the guy and vice versa. If it was a common sponsor or something else or we had an owner over the two of us who required us to be completely a team, then that might be a different story. But at the end of the day, I have to be responsible for my car, my team, and my sponsors. So I do all I can, but at the same time I try to focus on my car. And he does the same thing.

: A hot topic recently came from Thoroughbred racing: the frustrated outburst following the Belmont Stakes from the owner of California Chrome. It's like the famous Richard Sherman rant after the NFC Championship game. If somebody speaks his mind and does it with passion, he's branded as a bad sport or a bad guy, yet we always say we want candor and hate cookie-cutter answers. What do you make of that?

CP: Not everybody's going to like what everybody has to say all of the time. There are going to be those who like the candor and those who don’t. That's what makes life interesting. I honestly don’t worry about that. That is the least of my worries. I don’t use foul language. I draw the line there. I don’t throw my helmet. I'll tell you the things that I don’t do that I've seen other people do. I've never, ever thrown my helmet. My helmet is like a part of me, and I spend a lot of money on it. I don’t kick my car. I've seen very famous racers kick their cars. I don’t yell and scream at officials, certainly not in public, like recently – no mention of names. Those are the things I consider crossing the line, and those are the things I don’t do. Beyond that, you tell it like it is. My favorite quote is Tony Stewart's: “If you don’t want to know, don’t ask.” I know Tony Stewart, and I am a lot like Tony Stewart in a lot of ways.                
: We've heard a strong rumor, backed with some facts, that the NHRA management actively is looking for a buyer for the professional side of its program. Knowing that the NHRA tried to do the same with the Eddy Hartenstein investor group and failed, how would you feel if that were to happen? And do you think the professional teams and drag racing in general would be better off if their program were sold?

CP: I am not qualified to answer that in any way, shape, or form. My business is the Snap-on Toyota. I know you guys want more than that, but I will comment on things I'm qualified to, which are my team, my car, my emotions. To me, we have a bright future. There was a race we were at recently where the attendance was very strong and the word 'sellout' was involved [Houston]. For me, as a sports fan who watches baseball and football and NASCAR, I see the same things we have at certain races: there are holes in the stands. So without sounding like a politician here, the whole concept of the challenges of sports in general . . . the NHRA is not immune from that. The sport is no different than any other sport. We have our fan base that gets older and you've got to bring in a new generation, no doubt.

I'm going to take the positive road and say, 'Hey, if the NHRA has a better plan and it involves bringing another group in, hey, I think that's a good thing, not a bad thing.’ But to go further and comment about rumors, hey, I don’t know. I have a hard enough time keeping track of my operation, let alone [comment] about what the NHRA might or might not be doing behind the scenes. I do know this: there was some talk about a big rumor . . . It was that there was big announcement coming down: 'Look out below!' And it was [a routine] sponsorship announcement. The rumor was that the NHRA was going to announce a new owner, a new ownership group. And as we can see, these rumor scenarios generally don’t pan out. Some do.

But it was almost like — remember that rumor that in 2000 the world was going to end? Remember that and all that baloney? Heck, I lived in California, and we've been hearing we're going to have an earthquake and California's going to fall off in the ocean and Phoenix is going to be the West Coast. I've been hearing that my whole life.

We'll wait and see. I don’t believe where there's smoke there's fire. My thought on it overall was if it happens, hey, maybe it’s a good thing.  If it doesn't happen, maybe that's a good thing, too. Who knows? I know it’s cliché, but I live by it: You can only control what you can control. The rest, don’t worry about it.