Kickin' It With Carl (cont.)
Pop Culture Question Of The Week
SI.com: The Indy 500 will be run next Sunday without a NASCAR driver in the starting lineup attempting the Indy-Coca-Cola 600 double. Do you think they should change the time back around? And could you ever envision yourself running an open-wheel car someday?
CE: It'd be great to have the double back, where you run the Indy 500 and then people come and run the Coca-Cola 600. It looks grueling, to say the least. Maybe one day they'll work it so it's still possible.
SI.com: Did you ever dream of Indy instead of NASCAR as a kid?
CE: I think every driver would love to drive the Indy 500. But I didn't look at Indy Car racing as an option for me. There weren't enough rides out there ... if NASCAR was a one-in-a-million chance, in Indy there would be no chance. There are so many Truck teams and Cup teams and Nationwide teams over here in NASCAR, so many seats to be filled ... and it never appeared to me Indy Car was ever like that.
I'd be happy if I was over there at Indy right now getting ready to run that race, but truly the best racing on the planet's right here. If I had to choose, I'd stay right where I am. I like NASCAR a lot.
Advice Question Of The Week
"Carl, I've been in college a year and it isn't going well. I really want to drop out of school to go racing, but my parents and I have been fighting a lot because they insist I get a college degree first. I don't know if I'll ever use a degree, though -- all I've wanted to do is be a mechanic or a racer and I can't ever imagine doing anything else. If I wait another three years and get through school, my parents will help pay for it, but then I'll be three years further behind because I can't always race full-time when I'm in school. College just leaves me so bored ... what would you do? Should I pursue my dream now? I feel like I can't do them both."
That letter could have come from me in 1998 or 1999. I know exactly how you feel. The reality is, though, unless you have a contract in front of you where somebody says they're going to pay you to drive race cars, you're better off, I believe, to race all you can while still going to college and getting that degree. There's not one NASCAR driver starting a race this weekend other than Ryan Newman who has a college degree, so I think a degree could help you with your career more than you think. And not just as an accomplishment, either -- as a personal pursuit of knowledge.
What I did, personally, is I went to college until Jack Roush hired me to drive his race cars. Until I had a contract ... because I would have been stupid to stay in school and not go race for Jack, but if you don't have enough racing to fill up every day then you might as well go to college and get your degree. So, stay in school.
Muscle Meter: What's Hot And What's Not In Carl's World This Week
Today's Topic: Food
Pumping Iron: I'll tell what I'm liking right now. It's a lemon crisp that my motorhome driver's wife has been making. I'm pretty good on the crisp front right now. I've got a blackberry crisp that Angela (personal assistant) makes for me -- and a lemon crisp. And it's really ... it brightens my day when it walks in and I see it sitting on the counter. They make it with whole wheat flour, oatmeal, real fruit, some Splenda, some brown sugar ... it's as good as it gets.
Losing Steam: Black licorice -- is this a joke?? Who eats this stuff??
YouTube Clip Of The Week
This is my favorite clip on FailBlog (Ken Lee) ... classic site.
SI.com: Take us around a lap at Lowe's.
CE: A lap at Lowe's is fast. You drive into turn 1, and it's kind of a big, long bump you go over to get to the banking. The car slams into the banking ... and then you try to get back to the throttle as quick as you can. It's a little hairy through 1 and 2 because if you're loose, it's really treacherous the whole time. Then, Turn 3 is a lot different than turn 1 because it's a much smoother entry, a real gradual arc and the banking picks up. It's a little more slippery, so you have to be careful. Get on the gas as soon as you can, and when you come off the corner it really narrows up the wall, comes up real quick ... and if you get tight in the middle, you can run right into the fence off the corner. Then, it's just a drag race heading down into Turn 1.
SI.com: With it being the All-Star Race, will you drive any more aggressively than you would in a normal event?
CE: Yeah, you'll be a little more aggressive than you usually are. Just a little bit, though. There's not much room ... if you drive aggressive during a normal race on a scale of 1 to 100, it's the difference between going 99.5 and 99.6.
SI.com: Would you say that other than Darlington, Lowe's is the hardest 1.5-mile track to pass on because of the high speeds there?
CE: Yeah, I'd say this one is one of the toughest mile-and-a-half tracks to pass on. Because the track's so smooth, the Goodyear tire has so much grip there's just not much room for error. So, you've got to be really careful where you stick your nose here.
Carl's Hotspot (Great place to eat or hang out while in town):
The whitewater rafting training facility in town. I went there with Brian Vickers once, and it was crazy.