MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES
AAA 400 DRIVE FOR AUTISM
DOVER INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY DRIVER PRESS CONF. TRANSCRIPT
JUNE 2, 2017
JEFFREY EARNHARDT, NO. 33 CIRCLE SPORT/TMG CHEVROLET SS, met with members of the media at Dover International Speedway to discuss a new sponsorship partner, the incident last weekend on-track with Chase Elliott and many other topics. Full Transcript:
TELL US HOW YOU FEEL ABOUT HAVING HULU ON BOARD AS A SPONSOR:
“Well, to be able to partner with such a big company like Hulu is huge for myself or the race team, Circle Sport with TMG, but also to be partnered with the company that is the new generation of television, I think is going to be a big fit for what we are looking for here in NASCAR with the new generation of NASCAR. There are a lot of really cool things that I see in the future coming with the partnership with us and Hulu and excited about everything from here on to come.”
JOE FAULK: “We didn’t just get them yesterday, we have been working on this for quite a while and ever since our association started together. It’s really, Hulu is the kind of company that we are looking for, for our sport. Not just NASCAR, but as car owners and everybody involved they’re a new generation. They are excited to be involved with NASCAR and they are excited to be involved with you guys and we certainly hope y’all treat them kindly and they are the next generation to delivering media to everybody. If you don’t have a Hulu subscription I suggest you get one.”
TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH HULU:
“Yeah, I mean some great things with Hulu they now have live stream television on their Hulu app. I mean you can watch it from your phone, from your living room, pretty much just about anywhere just as long as you have cell phone signal or internet connection. I was joking around with everybody I was like man this is going to be tough, I don’t know how I’m going to get any hunting done when I’m sitting in the stand or in the duck blind watching Hulu. It’s amazing what you are able to do and you are able to keep up with all your shows, movies, like I said, live TV. Shoot you can watch the races from your phone now if you want. So much cool stuff that you are able to do on Hulu that is making it that much more accessible to be able to see all the things that we enjoy to watch.”
TALK ABOUT THE SPONSORSHIP DEAL. HOW IMPORTANT IS IT FOR YOU TO PICK UP A SPONSOR LIKE THIS FOR YOU TEAM? DO YOU THINK THIS COULD HELP THE TEAM’S PERFORMANCE?
“I think we both can probably answer with pretty good answers, but I mean being a small team it’s huge for us. Every dollar goes a long way and there have been races where we haven’t had sponsorship and that is tough on anyone, but it’s even tougher on a small team like us. To be able to have good companies like Hulu come on board is huge and not just being able to have more funding going to the track, but to get us more exposure and branding is a huge plus too. There are a lot of… I mean Joe you can talk more about it, but there are tons of benefits I see to this and bettering our season as it goes on from here.”
JOE FAULK: “Well, as we are well aware, money drives the performance side of the sport and the sport. I have been fortunate enough to be around for quite a while and spent my own money and still spending it. Between myself and Curtis Key, on this deal and I’ve had a lot of support from Richard Childress over the years, helping us out. We are looking forward to having this influx of things to be able to get us to the next level. Nobody knows we need to improve more than I do. But, it has certainly been a struggle this year and we have just had some of the craziest things happen. We are looking forward to it and of course, having Hulu on makes us legitimate in a lot of people’s eyes and I think we will see a lot more support from Chevrolet and everybody else involved.”
EVALUATE YOUR SEASON THIS YEAR. ANY IMPROVEMENTS THE TEAM IS MAKING AND YOU PERSONALLY:
“I think I still have a long way to go and learn as a driver and developing myself. It’s only my second year in the Cup Series and I’ve been talking and working with several people throughout the garage and trying to shorten that learning curve as quick as possible. I’ve learned a lot, but I mean I know there is a ton more to be learned. I mean shoot, I think Jimmie Johnson would probably tell you he learns something every weekend. The learning never stops in this sport. There are always changes, there is always different scenarios that make you act accordingly, but as far as I go, I really think I do have a long way to go. Like I said, I feel like I’m trying to do all I can to shorten that learning curve and make myself a better driver to give Joe Faulk the best results that I can.”
HOW MANY RACES IS THIS FOR AND FOR JEFFREY DO YOU KIND OF FEEL LIKE THIS IS YOUR TIME THAT YOU NEED TO SHOW SOMETHING AS PEOPLE ARE LOOKING FOR AN EARNHARDT TO ROOT FOR NEXT YEAR?
JOE FAULK: “Yeah, this deal is for 19 races, which is what we had left over. We already had some of the other races sold, five of them to be exact. So, Hulu is 19 and they will be an associate sponsor on the car for the other races. It’s a long-term deal and we certainly know that people get, everybody in the garage will be calling them up tomorrow telling them they can give them a better deal, but hopefully, they like me and Jeffrey good enough to stick with us. We are hoping for a lot of different things here other than just the Hulu name on the car. We are working on a partnership with them on some media and other things.”
“I mean obviously, with (Dale Earnhardt) Junior leaving that is a big shock to this sport. He has quite the fan base, but I feel like there is always pressure to perform. Probably a little bit more now, but one of the main goals that I want to achieve in my career is to continue the legacy that my grandfather built. You know that means a lot to me. I know how much that man meant to the sport and the fans and stuff. If I can continue that legacy at some level. I mean I would like to say that I’m going to go deliver it at its best, but those were big shoes that he made and I don’t think I could ever get close to even considering filling those, but if I could just do a big portion of keeping that Earnhardt legacy alive, I would be pretty happy.”
TALK ABOUT THE CHALLENGES OF HAVING THE EARNHARDT NAME. DO YOU THINK ANY OF THE FAN BASE FROM DALE EARNHARDT, JR. WILL GRAVITATE TOWARDS YOU?
“I think it’s a double edge sword honestly. I mean, the Earnhardt name definitely helps with recognition and getting exposure and catching the eye of partners that we want to bring in, but it also is a lot of pressure. Dale, Jr., like I said has done so much, my grandfather has done so much, they have laid down some pretty tough tracks to follow, but like I said, I’m going to keep doing my thing. I know I’ve got a lot to learn. I’ve got a lot of development to go in myself and we got a long way to build our race program. We are aware of that and I know it’s not going to happen overnight. Hell, my grandpa didn’t become a champion overnight, he busted his butt to get there and become who he became. That is kind of what I feel like I’m doing and I like it that way. It makes you appreciate the opportunities a lot more and respect the opportunities that get like with Joe (Faulk) putting me in the car this year.”
DO YOU THINK A COMPANY LIKE HULU BEING A MEDIA COMPANY WILL HELP IN GETTING YOUR STORY OUT THERE?
“Yeah, I mean, I have no doubt that Hulu is probably going to benefit me more than I can benefit them. I mean they are a large company and like you said, on the media side, they are pretty massive. I feel like, them being the next generation of TV and that being what this sport is targeting, that next generation, getting the younger crowd more into NASCAR, I think it’s a really great fit. I see huge benefits on everyone’s part coming out of this partnership and I can’t wait to get it started. I’m tickled to death just sitting here in a Hulu uniform about to be driving a Hulu car. I’m very thankful for the opportunity and I’m excited to see what is to come.”
CHASE ELLIOTT WAS JUST IN HERE AND SAID THAT YOU REACHED OUT TO HIM ON SUNDAY AFTER THE RACE. CAN YOU EXPLAIN WHY YOU FELT THE NEED TO DO THAT?
“Yeah, I mean it sucks when you ruin someone’s day that early. Trust me, it sucked for us. I mean I hated our day got shortened, but to take out some front running guys like that is never something that you want to do. I mean, accidents happen it’s racing. They are going to happen at some point or another it’s just part of the sport and it sucks. I just felt like I at least owed them the apology. I texted him and Brad (Keselowski) both and just said, I was sorry for shortening their day, but it’s not what we want to see as drivers. We don’t want to see each other… we are not out here trying to take each other out and ruin each other’s day. When we do, the least you can do is give them the curtsey of a text and apologize. I feel like it’s going to go a long way with those guys and maybe they will return the favor in the future if something was to ever happen where we were racing hard. They will respect you a little more.”