ASHLEY ASKS…… Cole Pearn

From the short tracks of Canada to a NASCAR champion, Cole Pearn has proven that hard work pays off as he led Martin Truex Jr. to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Championship last year.

Recently, Pearn took some time to answer some questions for POPULAR SPEED.

POPULAR SPEED: What are your thoughts on the championship?

COLE PEARN: It’s been a whirlwind, for sure. You try and soak it in at points, but it’s just been wild, crazy thing that happened. Just trying to enjoy it at the same time.

PS: Seeing all the support from the Canadian fans while doing some appearances up here, what does it mean to you?

CP: That part has been amazing. You get locked into what you’re doing and you don’t really see that side of it. Then you come to an event like this and get those well wishes, congratulations, and it’s been amazing. It kind of sets you back.

PS: How did the stage racing change strategy up?

CP: It changed it a lot. It’s been a lot more to think about on our side of things, and it makes it more entertaining in a way for us in the race. I think it improved the racing a lot. I think it made it more interesting at it goes. For us, it’s been a big change.

PS: Coming up through the Ontario short track ranks, what was that like for you?

CP: It’s a great racing scene. I think it’s as good as anywhere. For me, honestly, as far as a learning ground, it was great. You could screw up and make mistakes, and have an opportunity to learn and get better and have an understanding of things. Really, for me, that was where I cut my teeth. That was where I kind of grew up in a way. I still hold a lot of that with me every day. It’s a big part of who I am.

PS: Now looking ahead to 2018, what are your thoughts?

CP: That’s the unfortunate part about racing is you got to dig back in and get back after it. I think we got a good group that way. We partied in Vegas for a week, and then we just got back to it. You never know how any season is going to go but I really focused and good about 2018.

PS: The mandatory roster, and having one less person on pit road. Has that changed much for you guys at your end?

CP: Not so much on the roster side. We ran pretty lean as it was; I think a lot of other people ran a lot fatter and it’ll reel them back in. For us, it didn’t change anything so much. Definitely the over the wall, taking away a guy, is a massive change. They’re really hard at work at the chorography of that and just trying to figure out the best way to manage it, but it’s a big change.

PS: How is it going to be for you guys going back to a single car next year?

CP: I think it will be good for us. The second car was a great experience and got us better at a lot of things. But really, though, we’re meant to be a single car team in a lot of ways. For us, that’s really our identity. We’ve been a single car team for a long time, and going back to that feels like we’re going home. It definitely a comfortable spot to be in.

PS: What track are you most looking forward to getting to?

CP: That’s a good question, I don’t know. Definitely not Daytona; I’ll be ready when that’s over, and I guess ready to get to Atlanta. That would be the most honest answer.



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