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2007 Plans

September 27, 2007
Columbus Sports Beacon/Sirius Racing Radio
John Sechrest

Interview with Casey Neal

Q: Casey we last spoke about six months ago. Quite a few changes have happened in that time, can you elaborate a little about these changes?
A: Good to talk with you again John. We need to do this in person sometime instead of on the phone. Wow, changes, where do I start.

Q: Tell us about the change from Open Wheel Cars to Stock Cars.
A: Well it became evident that we were not going to be able to get enough money for Champ Car Atlantics to run a full season. Once that decision was agreed upon, we looked back at some offers that had come our way for Stock Cars and we just pursued those.

Q: It was that easy?
A: Yeah, I guess. We called Glenn Allen jr. and ask him could we still take him up on the offer he had made us to test one of his ASA cars, and see what happens. We did that in early summer. Mr. Allen informed us he would like to put a schedule together for the last 5 or 6 races and see how we do.

Q: Obviously that test went pretty well.
A: Yeah, it went pretty good. I was amazed at the amount of side grip the car had. I mean its a pretty big car compared to what I had been racing, I think it weighs 2700 pounds.

Q: Tell us a little about your first race.
A: I was kind of nervous when we got there. I didn't know anyone at all. I hardly knew my crew. But once we got on the track that first morning, all the jitters went away. I have to thank Mr. Allen for giving me such a good car. I mean right out of the trailer we were one of the fastest cars. We got faster all day long and ended up in the top five or so for the day. That does a lot for ones confidence.

Q: Did you enjoy the ASA cars compared to the open wheel cars?
A: Yes, definitely. The competition is strong, we had a real fast car and that makes for an exciting race.

Q: According to everything I have heard, you were the talk of the race. Not very many people have the ability to just show up for an ASA Stock Car Race and make the show much less end up with such a fast car and run up front with the leaders.
A: Well I wouldn't call it running up front. We made it up to 7th place I think and ran there for a while till the tire let go. Let me lead a couple of races and get a win, then you can say I ran up front.

Q: Word from the track says you were a very exciting racer to watch.
A: I don't know. I guess. I got to make a few passes but they were not used to seeing how I go about that.

Q: What do you mean?
A; I used to race ICA karts and they are a different animal than most anything else. They are direct drive and very fast, so you have to race them differently. That has rubbed off on my driving style even in Cars.  I guess it was something to see an ICA kart move in a Stock car race on oval track.
(Casey laughs)  We passed about 10 cars I think, all clean moves I might add.

Q: With all the problems surfacing on the Open Wheel front, if you could pick one difference between Open Wheel and Stock cars what would it be.
A: It would be the fans probably. There are just more of them to start with. The fans seem to be a lot more into the races and the drivers than in like the Star Mazda or Champ Car Atlantics. The fans respect what the drivers have done more, maybe. Its hard to explain. That's the main difference I think. I couldn't believe the autograph session. I didn't think I would be doing anything since no one knew me and I actually asked if I had to go. They said yes it is mandatory, so I went. It was unreal how many fans knew who I was and wanted me to sign something for them. Heck they knew more about me than I do. There were literally hundreds and hundreds of them. It was amazing.

Q: So when is your next ASA Late model race?
A: If I hadn't tore the car up so bad, we would probably be racing this weekend. Now I think it will be in Hickory, NC on Oct 20th.

Q: Stock Cars is what you are going to do next year then I take it.
A: Things move pretty fast in this arena. I hope to be doing this. I would like to make a name for my self in stock cars.

Q: I hear you have some pretty important people trying to help you make this transition to stock cars.
A: Yeah, its just so different than the Open Wheel stuff. People care so much more about Stock Car Racing it seems. Gordon Johncock actually flew in to watch and critique my race. I mean Gordon Johncock, he is a two time winner of the Indy 500, coming to watch me. I'm still in awe about that. I didn't even know he knew who I was. Things like that would never happen in Open Wheel, for me at least.

Q: One of the promoters from ASA told me that NASCAR had their Open Wheel Road Racer in Montoya and ARCA has theirs in McDowell, now ASA has their own Open Wheel Road Racer with you. What do you think of that?
A: I don't know. It's just racing to me, I just love racing and this is what I am going to do for a while I hope.

Q: Anything you would like to add to this conversation?
A: Nah, not really, other than it is always good to hear from you.

Q: One more item. I see Elf Lubricants is on the side of the car. Are they helping you financially in the ASA car?
A: Yeah, well you know we don't have a lot of money. It was Laurent Siret at Elf Lubricants that originally asked if we had ever considered going Stock Car Racing. So yes they are helping and I think they will be on for the long term. www.elfracing.com

As always it is my pleasure to speak with you Casey.

Thank you Casey and Good Luck ...... Thank you John ....


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