Do the small changes to the rules, or the new points system, impact how you strategize throughout the season?
That stuff doesn't really change anything from our standpoint. The point system was more geared toward making it easier for the people at home. How we strategize for a race or how we prepare to try to get into the Chase, none of that has really changed.
What changes would you like to see in the Chase format?
Lately we've seen more mile-and-a-half tracks come into play. They've begun to dominate the sport. I'd like to see more diversity in the Chase races. I think it's necessary to have a restrictor plate track in there, because of the entertainment value those tracks hold. There's so much that can happen, if you come out of there in the top 10, you feel like you won. I wish Bristol was in the Chase, and I wouldn't mind a road course.
You've been a father for five years now. How much has parenthood changed you as a race car driver?
I don't think it changed me on the track. It definitely changed me, like it does everyone else, away from the track. It changed my preparation for a race, and how I manage my time. But it doesn't change my focus when I get in the car. I haven't found anything that changes that. You get in there and it's all about winning the race.
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Texas Motor Speedway schedule of events
9 a.m.: Gate 6 opens
10 a.m.: All gates open; No Limits Carnival opens
12:20 p.m.: Pre-race show featuring Eli Young Band
2 p.m.: Sprint Cup AAA Texas 500 (TV: ESPN, Cox 29)