Jimmie will be here in a few minutes to chat!
Jimmie is here!
Where does this win rank among the other wins of your career?
It's near the top. It's the Daytona 500.
It is well known you like a loose race car. Does the Gen 6 play to that advantage or are you going to have to change your driving style to handle a tighter car?
I think I will have to adjust some as the year goes on. This car has more stability. Some of the tools that we had to make the car the way I liked were taken away from us. I'll have to adjust some.
After winning the Daytona 500, how do you and your team feel about the upcoming season?
It gives the team so much momentum for the season. But it is a restricter plate track. This week, we'll get a good taste at Phoenix to where we stack up.
What does it mean to you to give Rick Hendrick his 7th Daytona 500 victory as an owner?
It means the world to me. He has given me such an opportunity and changed my life in so many ways. I'm happy to perform for him and the company.
How does your mental preparation for a race like Daytona defer from other tracks?
The limitation in the rules takes away a lot of the discussion of the strategies that we have. It's more of a chess game. The mental preparation is different. It's a different animal. You're draft is much different than normal racing. You're trying to remember drafting techniques versus racing techniques.
Do you feel like you performed your best during the race? How do you think that the compitition will improve?
It will improve dramatically. Teams haven't had time to perfect the cars. It will evolve dramatically.
How do you feel about winning Daytona again after not having alot of success over there in the last few years?
The finishes don't resemble the fast cars we've had. I'm glad that's behind us. I'm glad we finished where we should have.
So when will we all get to see the 48 Team Harlem Shake video we're hearing was made last night?
We weren't sure it was going to be released, but there were people still in the media center still watching that we weren't aware of. We were going to view what we shot and determine if we were going to publicize it, but too many people know now, so we'll have to put it out no matter what now!
Does the feeling of winning the Daytona 500 change when you win it more than once? And what was it like to have a race start with a female driver leading the pack?
I've been able to savor it much more than the first time. It's all kind of a blur and before I knew it it was over. I'm trying to soak it in.
How much does experience affect your performance when leading during final few laps last Sunday?
Experience is everything, good and bad ones. I've made plenty of mistakes over the years. I've tried to remember all of it to protect that lead and get to the finish line.
What is the biggest thing that you dislike on the Gen 6 car?
I just like the way it looks and drives, that's two things I like. Both of them are very good for the future of the car. And it's too early to judge the car. That was a plate track. AFter 4-5 races we'll have an idea of where we are. NASCAR will have an open line to finetune the car.
Hi Jimmie, well done on your second Daytona 500 win. It looked like cars stalled in the draft, making passing difficult. Do you prefer today's style of racing to the two-car tandem?
Plate racing in general is challenging, so as a competitor, if you finish and win, you liked it. Everyone else is frustrated with it. At the end of the day, I want the type of racing that has eyeballs watching so I will adjust to whatever is necessary.
Were you expecting one more caution after the final restart?
I did. They were crashing! I was in the lead and I wanted to see the yellow come out. But they made me earn it.
How has having a child affected your preparation?
It's a big change in life style. I feel like it's helped me prioritize things in life. It's been good for me. It's helped me focus more on my job, in a weird way.
How worried did you get when you were told that the 88 and 55 were closing in on the last lap?
I was a little surprised, because it was not where I thought the run would come from. I knew where the 88 was starting. I wasn't overly concerned, because I moved to the bottom. But what I saw during the course of the day, I didn't think he could clear me. I moved to protect it but I wasn't concerned.
What was the best part about the victory celebration last night?!
Just sharing that moment with everybody involved. My family, Mr. Hendrick, my 400th start, all have been with Hendrick and Lowes. Standing there with everyone in Victory Lane.
The last few years you've often used the hang in the back until "go time" at Daytona & Dega; yesterday you stayed up front all race. Will you stick with that in future or will circumstances in the moment decide it?
It's really the rules package. This rules package, you have to race track position. You can't count on a late race charge. That's what dictates. This rules package you can not wait.
Congratulations on winnning the Daytona 500,What did you think of Danica Patrick finishing in the Top-10 in Daytona 500?
She did an amazing job. She is clearly comfortable with plate racing. She did an amazing job.
Do you think Daytona should be later in the season? Every other sport has their best game(s) at the end of the year.
It might be a conversation. But every sport is founded on its history. Daytona has always been the first race and I don't see it moving.
What's the rivalry with Jeff like these days?
It's good. We both are as hungry for wins in the championship. We're out there racing each other as hard as we can. I want to race my teammates for wins.
Congrats on winning the daytona 500, what in your opinion is the 2nd race everyone wants to win the most?
Kobalt Tools 400 in Las Vegas in two weeks. Make my sponsors happy.
Thank everybody for joining the chat and being a fan of the sport. I'm happy to take you all along for the ride.