“They Said What?” NASCAR XFINITY Series Edition

Sometimes when you stick a microphone in front of a driver’s face, 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 2018 NASCAR XFINITY Series season, I had the opportunity to speak to a bunch of different competitors. During those interviews, there were some quotes that stood out. So it seems only fitting we take a glance back through the year at what was said.


Anything and everything. I know that I’ve wanted to drive a midget talking to Chase BriscoeChristopher Bell, and Kyle Larson, or a sprint car talking to Josh Wise. I feel like that’d be a blast being able to go run there one time. It was neat to see Jimmie (Johnson) do the seat swap with Fernando (Alonso). That was really cool being able to see Jimmie run an F1 car. I always thought being able to run an IndyCar or F1 car would be awesome one day. Hopefully the goal is to make it to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, but I’d love to be able to pull the double one day running the Indy 500 and Coke 600. We just have to make it there first. – John Hunter Nemechek


We’re definitely trying to work on that stuff. We’re seeing how these four or five races go. Kansas and Richmond have been pretty good starts to that, and we’ve got three more left on the schedule to keep impressing people, even Richard and them, to see if we can get more races. – Shane Lee


I’ve always wanted to drive a stock car. I’ve got my teammate Justin Marks, and one of my best friends Andy Lally telling me how awesome it is, and honestly I had so much fun in Mid-Ohio that they were absolutely right. It was just the right thing that came along at the right time, and I am fortunate to have the right people around me. My good friends Steve and Eileen that have supported me. It was just one of those things that came together at the right time. – Katherine Legge

John K Harrelson | NKP

For me, I feel like I’m ready today. As a racecar driver and athlete in general, when you’re competing in your sport and you’re giving 100% every day and everytime you compete, you do your research and homework, you always feel like you’re ready. You feel you have the talent, skill set. If you don’t feel like that, you’re probably in the wrong business. But for me, I’m ready and I feel I have a lot of great people around me in Jack Roush and all the employees at Roush Fenway to help make that decision. Whenever they decide and whenever we figure out sponsors in all that goes with it and they get me in a Cup car, I’ll be ready. Whether that’s today, tomorrow, or two years away, it’s great. – Ryan Reed


I’ve always liked Jason Leftler when I was kid. He was kind of from a similar background that I come from, so I always really liked him. I liked his driving style – he was pretty aggressive; he was always someone I liked to watch. – Cole Custer


Funny story about the Rattler. I was leading that race by a straightaway and a half and only had to go a couple more laps, and I had an oil line failure. My spotter at time, Brandon, was scared to death of snakes. He told me afterwards that he was praying that I wouldn’t win the race because he didn’t want to get near that snake. I’d love to be close to it. – Daniel Hemric


I was a Kyle Busch fan for what seemed like forever, so it was actually my goal to at least run for KBM (Kyle Busch Motorsports) a little bit in the Truck Series. Ironically, I got a few rides with them this year, so that’s pretty cool to be a part of with one of the guys that I’ve always liked growing up. – Brandon Jones


It’s fun to see the support from the Canadian fans. I mean, it was pretty insane especially last week in Daytona. I really felt there was a big part of Canada there. It’s pretty special. For sure, showing the way to the younger guys that want to get into stock cars, it’s good to show them that if you follow your dreams, you work hard, you can get there. You just have to work hard and I think I’ve followed a pretty standard route. I won a Late Model Championship, and I’ve won a Pinty’s Championship, and now I’m here in the XFINITY Series. So I mean, if you work hard and win some races, anything is possible. – Alex Labbe


It was a humbling experience, not just doing the Rolex, but actually getting to do double-duty. It was neat getting a chance to race for the overall win in the prototype, and we finished in the top-six. They actually let me finish the race and get us there at the end. That was an awesome experience to have, in doing double duty, doing the 24 Hours of Daytona, as well as doing the four hour Continental race. Obviously, there were a lot of big names that ran that race, including Fernando Alonso, with Penske and the others coming back to the series. So those are some pretty neat challenges to go through and a fun way to start the year. – Austin Cindric


I’m a brand and content guy, been for years. Whether a Fortune 500 company or not, they’re all looking for branded content. I think there is an opportunity in NASCAR like never before. Give the NASCAR fans to share about. In today’s world of social media that everybody has a television in their hand, they want to know the behind the scenes. They want to know why I should care about this driver. What are we doing to personalize it? Let me know him a little bit more than I can just see on TV, because now I can communicate with my fan base instantaneously through several different mediums.

That’s what the audience is looking for. Give me a reason to care for Brandon Brown. I’m going to give you a reason. We don’t want to be between the news; we want to be in the news sharing the wonderful things about Brandon – integrity, and looks for reasons to be a hero someday to someone. We believe there’s an opportunity to personalize the behind the scenes of every driver.

I see some of those components in engaging people. People like to trade and be involved in something they can engage in. Now, we’re trying to bring that age down of the NASCAR consumer, so let’s do something that shows these younger audiences that they can be part of a car. They can actually have tokens that are featured on the car, to build awareness and excitement and engagement. – CONO’s Founder Tony Loiacono

Russell LaBounty | NKP

I’d have to say California. I love Auto Club Speedway. There’s not much grip, and the seams make it awfully interesting, and there’s so many different line options you have as a driver. I wasn’t able to run there last year, but I was able to in 2016 and it’s just a fun track to race at in my opinion. – Dylan Lupton

Russell LaBounty | NKP

I would say Bristol (Motor Speedway). I remember growing up as a kid, and going to the Bristol race every spring. Now I will be competing in it, so it’s pretty special for me. it’s just a really cool race track – multiple grooves, real racey, and it’s a short track, and that’s kind of where I’ve grown up racing. – Ty Majeski


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By Ashley McCubbin

Currently the Executive Editor for Popular Speed, Ashley McCubbin also runs Short Track Musings, while handling media relations for OSCAAR. Currently living in Bradford, Ontario, she spends her weekend at the local short tracks in the area taking photos.