LAS VEGAS -- With back-to-back NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races taking place in the western region of the United States, many drivers are staying out west as opposed to criss-crossing the country between last weekend’s California race at Auto Club Speedway and this Sunday’s event at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Ford Racing spoke to some of its drivers to get an idea of how they plan on spending their week leading to this weekend’s race.
GREG BIFFLE – NO. 16 3M FORD FUSION
Q. DO YOU LIKE HAVING CALIFORNIA AND LAS VEGAS BACK-TO-BACK?
A. “I really like it. It’s a great time of the year to be out here and I like coming to the west coast, a lot more than other people do. I’m from this area and I enjoy coming out here and running two races back-to-back. It’s good on our travel schedule to be able and stay out here and not go home.”
Q. WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS?
A. “I’m gonna stay out here and go to the sand dunes [located between Fontana and Las Vegas] and take my off-road car. That’s always a lot of fun, so I’m looking forward to that. Then I’ll go on to Vegas. I love to gamble and I love Vegas, the city, so I’m gonna go in there a day early so it gives us a chance to go to dinner and do some stuff, and then get ready for Las Vegas.”
Q. SO YOU HAD TO HAVE YOUR SAND DUNE CAR TRANSPORTED OUT HERE AT SOME POINT, RIGHT?
“I did. Actually, I came after the tire test in Texas in January and left my stuff here at a Ford dealer in Las Vegas. My guys are coming out on Sunday and will pick the stuff up and then go to the dunes, so they’ll be ready on Sunday night when I get out there.”
KASEY KAHNE – NO. 9 BUDWEISER FORD FUSION
Q. WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS THIS WEEK? ARE YOU STAYING OUT WEST?
A. “I’m gonna go to Vegas for a couple of days and then I’m gonna go up to Washington and hang out with some friends and family, plus I have a couple of appearances up there Thursday and then come back to Vegas for the race.”
Q. DO YOU LIKE HAVING CONSECUTIVE WEST COAST RACES?
A. “It’s alright. I enjoy it. I think Daytona takes a lot out of you because it’s about 12 days and you’re so into Daytona and so into getting started that it wears you down some, but you have California and Las Vegas to recover from that. I’m looking forward to this week and being able to see people and relax and enjoy ourselves.”
Q. WHAT DO YOU PLAN ON DOING WHEN VISITING FAMILY AND FRIENDS IN WASHINGTON?
A. “Dinner and beers. That’s about it.”
PAUL MENARD – NO. 98 MENARDS FORD FUSION
Q. HOW DO YOU LIKE THE WAY THE SCHEDULE STARTS WITH TWO WEST COAST RACES RIGHT AFTER DAYTONA?
A. “I guess I haven’t really thought about it, but it is what it is. They make the schedule and we go there. It’s nice that two weeks in a row we’re on the west coast so we can plan for that and we’re not bouncing back and forth. It’s a long ways from Daytona, obviously, and a long ways from Bristol, which is our next race, but there are a lot of race fans out here and to kind of condense it on our schedule helps us out.”
Q. WHAT IS YOUR PLAN BETWEEN CALIFORNIA AND LAS VEGAS?
A. “I’m gonna stay out here and go skiing in Colorado this week, and then go to Vegas on Thursday. I love skiing and try to do it whenever I can. We’re gonna go to Breckenridge this time. Last year, I went to Utah and we just drove there, but now we’re gonna fly to Denver and then drive to Breckenridge.”
Q. HAVE YOU WATCHED ANY OF THE OLYMPIC SKIING? ARE YOU A FUTURE MEDALIST ON THE SLOPES?
A. “I haven’t watched any of the Olympics. I’ve read about it a little bit, but I can never tell when they’re on. I flipped on the TV the other day and I watched a little bit of curling at lunch time, but that’s been about it because I never knew when the downhill skiing was going on.”