Rookie Andy Houston on food, fast cars and bad drivers
Updated: Friday February 09, 2001 4:01 PM
Andy Houston, a Winston Cup rookie from Hickory, N.C., finished third in the Craftsman Truck Series point standings in 2000. The 30-year-old driver of the No. 96 McDonald's Ford will try to qualify this week for his first Daytona 500.
1. You're wearing the big gold "M" there on your chest. What do you order when you find yourself in a McDonald's?
Quarter Pounder with cheese, fries -- supersize -- and a Coke. I like the McRibs, too, but a lot of times you can only find those locally. I kind of stick to the Quarter Pounder with cheese. Maybe no onions. But that and fries. Supersize. You gotta get them supersize.
2. Do you have a regular pre-race meal you try to eat every time you go out on the track?
I haven't noticed any one thing. I stay away from snow cones. I got sick one night on a snow cone on a short track somewhere. So no snow cones. Usually something light. A Power Bar, something like that.
3. What were you thinking with the snow cone?
It was a grape snow cone. I remember. In Summerville, S.C. Must've been '96 or so. It was really hot. Pure sugar.
4. When was the last time you drove 500 miles when you weren't chasing a checkered flag?
500 miles? Man, I don't know. A couple years ago when we were racing trucks up at the I-70 speedway up in Odessa , Mo. We drove up and back. Surely that has to be 500 miles. It felt like it. That was a long way.
5. What's an option on your street car that you can't do without?
Air conditioning, definitely. You have to have the AC. I've kind of become accustomed to seat warmers, too. Seat warmers are a good deal.
6. What's the fastest you've been caught going in a street car?
I don't know if I need to tell that one or not. It wasn't that bad. It was 81 in a 55, I believe. It was my very first speeding ticket. I was 16 years old. I remember it like yesterday. It cost me a lot of grief from my family, and a pretty high insurance bill.
7. How about the fastest you've been in a street car and not been caught?
Gawd, do I need to answer these? And not be caught? Probably 130.
8. Wow. Where was that?
That was in Hickory. Highway 70 in Hickory. A long straight. Nobody on the road. Late at night.
9. What's something that another driver does out on the street that just drives you up the wall?
Ride slow in the left-hand lane. Terrible. Terrible. It's like more and more people are doing that. It's a terrible problem. They just get over there and poke down the road.
10. What do you do about it?
Usually I turn over in the right-hand lane, pass them and kind of motion to them in the mirror that they need to get over. Most of the time it still don't work. They don't pay any attention.