Q: You have spent more than 35 successful years in the world of racing. What keeps you so passionate about the sport?
“Plain and simple, I still have a passion for racing and a desire to win. To be able to associate with great sponsors and fans that are just as passionate about the sport as I am makes my job that much more rewarding.”
Q: As an active owner of a vineyard and winery, what have you personally found to be the secret to a great wine?
“The secret to good wine begins in the vineyard and having good grapes and grapevines. The next critical step is what the winemaker does in the blending process. But it all starts with the grape.”
Q: How would you describe wine to someone who’s never had it and how would you get them to try it?
“Wine is a food. A good wine complements your palate when you’re eating different things and makes what you eat that much better. A first-time wine drinker needs to start with something smooth and soft like a Chardonnay. Then it’s just a matter of moving into bolder wines like a Cabernet."
Q: Conservation and preserving the earth for future generations is very important to you. What tips, big or small, can you give others to help them get involved and do their part?
“People can help by making a commitment to change at least one thing in their everyday life. Everything from conserving water, using energy efficient light bulbs or recycling is a step in the right direction. Right now we are working with one of our sponsors, Pennzoil, to encourage do-it-yourself oil changers to make a pledge to help maintain a clean environment by properly cleaning up and recycling their used oil as part of the Pennzoil Clean Change Campaign. Go to www.cleanchange.org to get involved.”
Q: You have traveled the world. What is the one place you would tell someone not to miss?
“Going to Mongolia last year was one of the most rewarding trips I’ve taken. I found the ancient culture and the nomadic way of life that still exists there very interesting. I did go hunting while I was there but, even if I hadn’t, the many things I got to experience while I was there were amazing.”
Q: What was the first car you ever owned?
“I think it was a 1950 Oldsmobile coupe. It had a hot rod package in it. Let’s just say it had some ‘history’ to it. On the track, I started out with a 1937 Plymouth I bought for $20!”
Q: What do you do off the track to take care of your personal cars and keep them running at their best?
“Using quality products and regularly servicing your vehicle are the top things a person can do to keep their car performing at its best. At RCR, we are fortunate to work with sponsors like Shell that are committed to developing products that prevent and clean up engine gunk left by lower quality gasolines. For example, the new Shell Nitrogen Enriched Gasolines contain a patented cleaning system that helps protect and clean critical engine parts in both conventional and modern engines, which helps consumers get the most out of every drop. Check out www.shell.com/us to learn more about all of the Shell products and its racing program.”
Q: If the day ever were to come that you decided to step away from racing, what other activities or interests could you see yourself pursuing?
“I’d travel around the world. I’ve been fortunate over the years to have gone to some amazing places but there are many more I’d like to see. I might also go out to my place in Montana and be a full-time cattle rancher.”