Sometimes when you stick a microphone in front of a driver’s face – especially when they’re mad, you have no clue what they may say and a couple of times you’ll hear something that surprises you or gives you a bit of a perspective.
Throughout the NASCAR Xfinity Series season, there were quite a few of these moments. So it seems only fitting we take a glance back through the year at what was said.
“It’s just one of those things where when you do it this way with a family team, you don’t get any respect from the larger organizations that have been there a lot longer. They are all set in their ways a lot of them – born and raised here in North Carolina, family ties into racing, they’ve all been together racing their whole lives. I didn’t get to start out with those relationships like those guys, which brought a few struggles especially when we show at superspeedways and they’re buddying up with their friends on how to push, so it’s definitely been tough to men those relationships and get everybody together. That, and just being a family run organization, not being taken too serious as a competitor. They kind of go, ‘Okay, if Brandon Brown is up here, it’s kind of a fluke,’ and trying to prove to them that we’re not a fluke.So being the outsider, it makes it very tough as because they are set in their own ways, they’re different. I went a much non-traditional route to the get to the Xfinity Series than a lot of these kids as they did go-karts, legends, late models, super late models, K&N, ARCA, (NASCAR Camping World) Truck (Series), Xfinity where I went go-kart, late model, Truck, Xfinity – and I didn’t even run a full Truck season.” – Brandon Brown
“I just like being on-track more. You get more experience. It is a busier schedule, yes, but as a racer, I like to race. I think its helpful for me in progressing as a driver and I think its helpful in the competition side of the race team as well. I can gather knowledge in one race and kind of relay it to the crew chief of the second race. I think its all around good.” – Brett Moffitt
“That’s that balance that you have to weigh in that decision in the middle of that moment. You can draw a picture of it, paint it however you want, but at the end of the day it’s not going to repeat or replicate what you thought it was going to be or how you seen it happening. It’s just being situationally aware of what’s going on and not making that move where it prevents the entire company from being able to celebrate come the next morning. Just weighing that risk versus reward. It’s one thing this first go around, but as the season goes on that does change as well, because everyone’s agendas change, but for right now that is the goal.” – Daniel Hemric
“The legacy my grandfather (Dale Earnhardt) built probably drives me the most, and how hard he worked to build the Earnhardt name and make it what it is today. So to try and carry that legacy on the best I can, I know without a doubt there’s no chance in hell I’ll be able to fill the shoes that he left and I don’t want to; those were his shoes. To go out there and try to carry the Earnhardt name and the legacy on the way he would want it to be carried on is how I’ve tried to live my life and base my career on in working for everything I’ve got. Busting my butt to get to where I am today is all things that I know without a doubt he’d be proud of, and that’s kind of what I look forward to the most every year – make him proud and carry the legacy on.” – Jeffrey Earnhardt
“The biggest thing that I would tell myself and I even tell other people is no matter what, don’t get discouraged. The sport has no Manuel in how to be a Cup driver. There really is no how-to guide so it’s really important to be creative in this sport. That’s what I think I would tell myself back then is be patient, it’s all about timing and get creative. There’s a million ways to make it work and all it takes one of them, one shot, and I probably wouldn’t have guessed five years ago that I would be in this position and I’m very fortunate that I am and looking forward to making the most of each and every opportunity.” – Jesse Little
“Each race has been different in itself. Just really proud of the way we’ve ran the last few months. Proved a lot to a lot of people and to myself through this opportunity so I feel good with where I’m at right now and where at right now. It’s hard to say what the future will tell for me but no matter what happens after this is over with, I personally solidified myself in knowing I’m capable of doing this and now we’ve had some results that proved that. So I’m very thankful for getting to do it. It’s been a great opportunity and been so much so hopefully there’s more to come for me.” – Josh Berry
“My biggest advice for him (Sam Mayer) is there’s a lot of time to prove yourself over these next couple years. At the end of the day, I think that’s the biggest important piece of all of this. Not to get overly excited, go out there, and do the best job you can, and if that’s a 10th-place finish, that’s a 10th-place finish. If you can win the race, then be all means do that. But I think it’s so easy to come into this sport and get caught up in all of the glitz, glamour and pressure of everyone wanting you to succeed at an early age. At some times, that can be a detriment to someone’s career; I’ve seen some drivers that are really talented come and gone because people just expected them to perform right out of the box and that shouldn’t be realistic. I hope he can come out, can learn, and do a great job and be prepared to look at 2022 and use the information he learned this year to go for a championship next year. But again, he’s plenty talented that I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s going for a win at Pocono, but again, be realistic about it. I think you need to crawl before you can walk, and walk before you can run. The most important piece is going to be finishing all the laps.” – Justin Allgaier
“You just have to man up. Leave your emotions at the door. Leave whatever it is at the door, man up, and say what you feel. There’s nothing wrong in explaining your side of the story to that person and telling them your opinion. Maybe it becomes a little more clear in their mind, and vise versa – maybe what they say will make it more clear in my mind. I don’t think it’s a bad thing at all to call someone and tell them – not even on the race track, but maybe a family member, or a girlfriend or boyfriend or a long time friend that you don’t have the best relationship with anymore. There’s nothing wrong with – these are people that you care about, otherwise you wouldn’t think of calling them. So I don’t think there’s anything wrong with calling somebody up and explaining your emotions and where you’re at in the moment.” – Noah Gragson
“Last year was really overwhelming to go to places I’ve never been before without practice and try to go race there and by the time the end of the race rolled around or stage three I was just starting to figure out that racetrack and we were loaded up and headed to the next track next week. This time around I’ve been to these racetracks before and I’m definitely more confident in myself and the equipment and everything which is coming this season, so I’m really looking forward to this season and I feel like it will definitely be better.” – Riley Herbst