: What's your musical taste -- Prez Prado, Led Zeppelin, War, or Willie Nelson?

CP: Led Zeppelin, of course! Oh – and by the way – I would have the occasional streaker. Drag racing, at the height of its entertainment, was a spectacle. And I would have some Saturday night races. I would throw that in. I would have some Saturday night shows – under the lights, baby! To heck with wanting to be home early for dinner. I'd have late-night throwback, baby – throwback!

: That would be fun. Some entertainment would be a welcome addition. It probably would sell more tickets, and some people might come for the music and discover drag racing.

CP: Exactly. Exactly. There you go.

: You are one of the few drivers in history to win both the World Series of Drag Racing and the U.S. Nationals. Which victory was your favorite and why?

CP: The only thing that made the U.S. Nationals bigger and better was it paid more. So tell Burk to get up off the cash. I'll give his race a plug: The World Series is a cool race. {The DRO AA/FC Challenge runs at Cordova Dragway Park’s World Series of Drag Racing the week before the U.S. Nationals.] I was racing the “Chi-Town Hustler” in the final, and we won. I was equally excited, but the paycheck made the U.S. Nationals slightly higher in the fun meter.

: You like one-off races, like the Night Under Fire at Norwalk.

CP: I do. I absolutely do. I know it’s taxing on the team and crew. That's the time of the year when they put these races back-to-back-to-back. I wish I had another crew I could bring in but unfortunately I can't do that. Other than the travel – it gets hard on my guys – I really do enjoy it. I have this motto, and it goes something like this: When I retire from racing or driving or both, I'm going to make sure I get my fill out of the way. I race a lot. I have a nostalgia car. [Recently] I was racing Ron Capps side by side [in the Goodguys All-American Nationals Friday Nite Drags at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis]. Ron's like me, or I'm like him. He's one guy, I can tell, who enjoys racing, and he's out there racing when we could be having a cold one at home. I guess at the end of the rainbow when I do hang it up, I will have said, 'I got my fill.'       

: Joe Amato and Eddie Hill and Kenny Bernstein are examples of people who can walk away from it and feel OK with that decision.

CP: Everyone's different. I look at it like I have other things I want to do. And I don’t know what that is. But there's a time and a place. I don’t see it anytime soon. I have my daughter, so I make sure I stay healthy and take care of myself as I get older. I look forward to the day I could do something else. I do look forward to the day that somebody else climbs in the car. When that time come, I'm going to be OK with it.

: The key element is you would be making that decision and not letting someone make it for you.

CP: When you race at a high level – and I'm fortunate that I can race at a high level – I don’t know how much better I would be if I was just one or the other [tuner or driver only]. I don’t know that. It was many moons ago when I only did one. That would be interesting for me if I could really challenge myself to be better if I could just do one or the other. If I could just do tuning . . .That would be the element of motivation at that next phase of my life.

: It worked for Ace McCulloch. A lot of fans might be too young to remember that he had a pretty outstanding driving career.

CP: Right. Exactly. So I guess when I move on from driving, that's going to be my next challenge. I just hope the sport will be enough that I can get a nice big, fat check for all my trouble.

: I like the way you think. It's good to be a dreamer, right?

CP: You'd be surprised. Oh yeah – some of these guys make themselves a nice bit of change.

: Would you ever be John Force's crew chief?

CP: I would consider being anybody's crew chief as long as the check didn’t bounce.

: (Laughs)

CP: Hahaha! As long as that check is good, I'm good.