After a disappointing 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut, Victor Gonzalez Jr. will return to NASCAR’s biggest stage this Sunday at Watkins Glen International for Tommy Baldwin Racing. I once again got in contact with Victor to talk about Watkins Glen, his unique role in NASCAR, and what we can expect out of him going forward.
How confident are you after a rough Sonoma race, and how do the two tracks compare and contrast from a driver’s point of view?
“I am very confident going into Watkins Glen, where I have raced before, and where I finished 16th last year in the Nationwide Series race. I would not say it is an easier track than Sonoma, but it is one I know better, and that gives me confidence that I can perform well for Tommy Baldwin Racing this weekend. I am blessed to have their support and a great crew chief in Joe Lax helping me every step of the way.”
With Watkins Glen often having less incidents than Sonoma, can we expect Tommy Baldwin Racing’s strategy to be more or less aggressive than at Sonoma?
“I am going to drive as aggressively as I can, but also with the goal in mind to finish the race in the best position possible.”
Where does driving a NASCAR Sprint Cup car on a road course rank as far as most difficult things of your career?
“Driving in a Cup race is the ultimate challenge. You are driving against the best drivers in the world, with the best equipment and the best crews. Is it the most difficult task in my career? While it is a challenge, I would say that being on the track with great drivers who know what they are doing is better than some races I have done internationally where the competition is not nearly as good, but those types of drivers can cause more problems at times.”
What is being done (if anything) by NASCAR and ESPN to promote this race to Hispanics in New York, especially those who arrived from the Caribbean?
“Tommy Baldwin Racing has been great about getting the word out about me, and my historic race at Sonoma was covered by USA Today, Fox Sports, ESPN and hundreds of newspapers, bloggers, radio and television outlets nationally and internationally. I got to do an autograph session with thousands of fans alongside Greg Biffle and Brad Keselowski. The media was great, the fans were awesome, and the NASCAR people were incredible to work with. I continue to reach out to the Hispanic fans, and I hope to have a big group cheering for me in New York this weekend.”
Going forward, what does Victor’s NASCAR future look like. Will we see him back at an oval any time soon as well?
“Next year, you will definitely see me back on the NASCAR circuit, and I would love to race an oval or two next year. I have some things in the works, and when they come through, you hopefully be seeing a lot of Victor Gonzalez Jr. next year.”
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