Carmichael Teleconference Transcription

2006-11-27 14:48
Ricky Carmichael, the all-time winningest motocross racer, previewed the Amp'd Mobile World Supercross GP championship that kicks off this Saturday at Rogers Centre with a media teleconference last week.

(Tony Gardea): So, what I'll do is, just for everyone here, we've got Ricky's press conference tonight, and then Chad Reed is going to do one tomorrow at five o'clock Eastern, 2:00 p.m. Pacific. And this one and that one will be transcripted, and Denny or I will get it to you on the following day.

But now that we've got Ricky, and it sounds like we've got just about everyone on board, I want to get this started.

As most of you probably know, Ricky's 27 years old, and he's entering his 11th season of professional motocross racing. We have ...

(Tony Gardea): That might be a little - OK.

So, we're entering our Amp'd Mobile World Supercross GP season next Saturday, December 2nd, in Toronto. Ricky has 15 AMA championships to his resume, plus one additional 125 Supercross championship and one World Supercross championship that he won in 2005.

Ricky, I'll start with one question ...

(Tony Gardea): Ricky, let's talk about, I guess, last season. You won the AMA Supercross title. You won your tenth consecutive outdoor title. And then you finished the season by captaining the motocross donations team over in England.

How did that work out for you? Or, you know, give us your thoughts on that.

Ricky Carmichael: Yes, you know, last year was a dream come true, I'll tell you. It was - I did a lot better than I expected to do. I had a lot of bumps and bruises along the road.

Obviously, I had a lot of bumps and bruises in the Supercross. And still, to come back and win that title was just simply amazing and a great way to accomplish all my goals, and just very - and was very excited about it.

(Tony Gardea): And my last question - and then, guys, if you could maybe state your names and your affiliation prior to asking Ricky the question. But I'll leave it with this one, and I'm sure we'll get to the four-wheel questions and all, you know, your future stuff as far as what you're doing this year and what not. I'm sure we'll get there.

But you've raced in Canada twice before, twice at Toronto ...

Ricky Carmichael: Yes.

(Tony Gardea): ... winning there two years ago. You won the title in 2005, like I said.

How do you feel the sport's received there? And what's your perception of the fans?

Ricky Carmichael: Well, I think that the fans are very gracious, and I enjoy going there. Actually, that's, you know, the abbreviated schedule that I'm doing. That's why I picked to do both of those races. I enjoy it. I enjoy the cities. I enjoy the venues.

And, you know, obviously, I think Toronto is a little bit bigger showing than Vancouver, obviously. But I think it's growing. You know, I think last year with myself and James (Battle) in Toronto. I'm looking for it to be a great crowd and a great turnout.

But the main thing that I can say is just the growth from the two years that I've gone, it's growing and getting to where it needs to be.

David Izer: David, DMXS Radio. How's it going, Ricky?

Ricky Carmichael: Hey, what's up, my man?

David Izer: Hey, brother.

Hey, you're kind of in unfamiliar territory here going into a partial season Supercross and motorcross. With the injury after Glen Helen, how is your preparation going into this season with preparing for limited season, as well as coming off of an injury, as you were, you know, maybe, as opposed to last year at this same time?

Ricky Carmichael: Yes. Great question, Dave. I'm preparing 100 percent like I'm racing the full series. I think in this sport, you - it's very, very physically demanding. And I don't want to hurt myself at this day and age.

So, I'm preparing like I'm going to race the whole series.

And the injury is good, you know. I still have to baby it here and there as far as stuff at the gym. But actually riding there's no pain, and it's 100 percent riding.

So, everything is going good. And I'm going through my boot camp right now. And training, you have to be fit, so I'm training like I always do.

Jim Kimball: Hey, Ricky, this is Jim Kimball with

Ricky Carmichael: Yes.

Jim Kimball: I have a question about your - you mentioned, and (Tony Gardea) mentioned, your abbreviated season.

Have you decided, then, what Supercross races you'll be doing?

Ricky Carmichael: I have. I have decided which Supercross races I'm doing. As far as making an announcement, that's yet to be determined. So, as soon as I, you know, we come up with the right plan and when we feel the right time is necessary, we'll do that. But I've got a pretty good general idea of which ones I am racing.

Jim Kimball: How about this? Could you maybe just add on about how many of the events you might do?

Ricky Carmichael: Well, I know I have to do - you know, I've got to at least do 15 more races, so I know I'm going to be doing at least eight to 10 more Supercrosses this year and, obviously, a few outdoors. And I want to do the Motocross of Nations in Maryland. So, that's the plan.

Jim Kimball: OK.

(Billy Arsic): Ricky?

Ricky Carmichael: Yes.

(Billy Arsic): This is (Billy Ursic) with "Racer (X)."

Ricky Carmichael: Hey.

(Billy Ursic): Quick question here. How are you going to find a balance of what you're going to do on each day? Like, when are you going to arrive and when are you going to drive a car?

Ricky Carmichael: Actually, I've got some car testing coming up pretty soon, next month. So, looking forward to that.

But my car driving stuff, you know, MB2 has been very, very willing to work with me during the Supercross season, because obviously it takes a little more work and spending more time than outdoor does for me. So, they don't have much, too much stuff going on right now. So, it's been pretty easy to juggle for me.

But, you know, I'm going to ride a lot. I'm that kind of person that takes a lot - I require a lot of riding, and the driving is just for a day here and there. So, that's the easy part.

Bill Center: Ricky, Bill Center with the "San Diego Union Tribune."

Ricky Carmichael: Hey, Bill. How are you, buddy?

Bill Center: Good. Your car team officially changed its name today.

Ricky Carmichael: OK, yes.

Bill Center: OK. So now we've got to go from MB2 to (again) racing.

Ricky Carmichael: All right.

Bill Center: All right.

The other - I want to know, have they told you - do you have, not a schedule so much, but as a stepping stone order of what you're going to be driving this year?

Ricky Carmichael: Yes. I'm going to - Bill, I'm going to start out doing some late model testing and some ARCA testing, and start out, as far as racing, do some late model racing and see how that goes, and then go on to ARCA after that.

I know that we're going to start out in the late models, just a lot easier. And actually, Mark Martin's got some stuff down by Daytona, so it's easy for me to get down there and drive with him and get the coaching that I need.

But they want me to also get into a ARCA car, too, and test that, because it's a bit heavier, and it's more along the lines of what we're going to be, what our goal is to race someday.

So, but late model and ARCA is going to be most of my stuff going on next year.

Bill Center: If I could follow up, are there are any plans, if it goes well, to get into a Busch car at the end of the year? Or is that still a year away?

Ricky Carmichael: I would - you know, I'm very - you know, I always - the glass is always half empty for me. So, I would say it's going to be - all that focus is going to be in '08.

But if I go in there and just light the world on fire and do good, they want to move me up as fast as we can. But also, we don't want to move up too fast. But if they feel that I'm ready, then - if they think I'm ready for a Busch car, then we're going to move up to a Busch car.

Shan Moore: Ricky, it's Shan Moore with "Cycle News."

Ricky Carmichael: Hey, how are you?

Shan Moore: Just fine.

Hey, do you have any motorcycle plans beyond '07?

Ricky Carmichael: Yes. I'm going to be affiliated with Suzuki. I have a - I signed - I'll be with Suzuki through '09, actually, doing some testing, still attending some races, and helping the younger guys out.

So, but as far as actually racing, I'm not sure. I have the option to race some selected events, if I want to. But as far as right now, I have nothing committed after this year to ever race.

(Damien): Hey, Ricky. This is (Damien). How are you doing?

Ricky Carmichael: What's up, (Damien)? How are you?

(Damien): But, hey, I was just talking to Chad the other day. And he said that he thinks because you haven't won this first Anaheim one, that it's probably going to be best to stay out of your way at this race, because you're going to be more hell-bent (than ever) on winning.

Is this one that you're gearing up for more than you have ever before?

Ricky Carmichael: No, it isn't. You know, I just, I think it's good to do the first race of any event.

But I think the guys have a lot of trust in me, and I've never been the kind of guy that's just going to go out and take someone down just for a win. You know, those guys are going for a title, and I don't want to mess anything up. But, man, I'm just - I don't want to put myself in danger, either.

So, I'm just going to do the best, and hopefully it'll work out for me.

(Damien): Is that going to be maybe your last Anaheim race? Are you going to maybe come back and do one of the other ones? Or is that pretty much going to do it for you?

Ricky Carmichael: Yes, that'll be the last Anaheim race for me. Then I'll be at the next race in Phoenix, actually. But that will be probably the last Anaheim.

(Damien): For good? No more coming back?

Ricky Carmichael: Yes, I mean, yes, not this year. Not this year.

(Damien): OK. All right.

Dennis Stapleton: Hey, Ricky. This is Dennis Stapleton from "Motocross Action."

Ricky Carmichael: What up?

Dennis Stapleton: Got a question for you. Will you ever race, though, 125 outdoors again to get the most wins back from James Stewart?

Ricky Carmichael: No. No, man. You know, records were made to be broken, and obviously, he broke mine. And I don't think anything could come out of that but bad for me.

So, no 125 stuff for me that I know of right now, and not planning on doing anything.

Would I like to? Yes. I mean, I love riding those bikes. But, yes, I'm just so - I'm real busy with other stuff.

Dennis Stapleton: Awesome. Thank you.

Ricky Carmichael: Yes.

Bill Center: Ricky, Bill Center again here in San Diego. I've got to ask you the question about the San Diego Supercross. I know it's also the Daytona weekend.

Will you miss San Diego?

Ricky Carmichael: I'm not sure yet about that. We're kind of juggling some stuff. I know that they'll probably want me down in Daytona. But that one I haven't committed to yet, just because of that reason.

But San Diego, that race is special for me, because that was the first time I ever won a 250 Supercross. So, I do, you know, I do like that place, so we'll have to see. I'm up in the air on that one.

Jim Kimball: Ricky, this is Jim Kimball with AMA Motocross again.

I don't know if you can answer this question. What may be the biggest difference from racing a motorcycle to driving a race car? What's maybe the biggest difference? And are they similar at all?

Ricky Carmichael: You know, I think just what you bring to the table. You know, we're all racers, and I love to race. So, obviously, on the car side, that's what I bring, and I just have that racing mentality.

But what I find, you know, I've always driven the shorter track stuff. And the amount of concentration you have to have is way more in a car than it is on a motorcycle.

For me, you know, a motorcycle, it's like walking for me, riding a motorcycle. So, when I get in a car it takes way more concentration, and I'm just like tunnel vision. There's so many things happening and going on.

Shan Moore: Ricky, Shan Moore again. You serve kind of a different role with the Motocross of Nations this year. Talk a little bit about your feelings of having to watch that race and seeing the American riders and how that was for you.

Ricky Carmichael: You know, it was fun. I was just sick to my stomach when I couldn't race, when I knew I wasn't going to race that race, and made the decision not to. It was an awful feeling.

And it's something - you know, it was cool taking the role that I did, but I wasn't ready for that role yet. But, you know what, things happen. And it was fun.

I think that I had - gave some good advice. And if I was able to help just a little bit, then I guess it was good for me to be there.

Shan Moore: And kind of a follow-up, does that - is this year's event at Budds Creek, is that on your list to ride?

Ricky Carmichael: Oh, yes. Well, the Motocross of Nations, for sure.

Shan Moore: Yes, that's what I meant.

Ricky Carmichael: Yes, that's the plan. Yes. I love that event. I'm a huge supporter of it and looking - you know, I can't wait for that race.

David Izer: R.C., this is David with DMXS again. You've - as much - excuse me - success as you've had in Motocross, you've always been underestimated, whether it's Pastrana or McGrath or Stewart - whoever's coming up. Even last year with the Motocross season when Stewart got on a 450, everybody wrote you off.

Can you kind of compare that to maybe being the underdog in the NASCAR scene and the car scene, and how the press has maybe given you a little bit more of a hard time than somebody else, and how you translate that from your Motocross career and overcoming all that, you know, being underestimated your entire career?

Ricky Carmichael: Yes, well, I don't really think that they've even underestimated me in the car racing stuff, just because - they've actually been very gracious. I'm telling you, you guys wouldn't believe how gracious people have been to me. I don't know if it's because they haven't raced yet, or what.

But there hasn't been no underestimating there. And the only things that - it's just been with open arms from everyone coming there and say, hey, we're so glad that you're coming over.

And it's a great feeling to be involved in a sport that is so big as NASCAR. And everybody knows everybody and everyone treats everyone the same. There's no entourages getting in the way. They jealous, obviously, isn't too bad, right now, at least.

I'm sure if I was doing good it would be bad, but ...

David Izer: Right.

Ricky Carmichael: But it's just awesome, you know. Those guys are so laid back.

There's a lot more people talking in that industry, that's for sure. The respect level is a lot higher, too.

David Izer: OK.

Dennis Stapleton: Hey, Ricky, it's Dennis Stapleton from "Motocross Action" again.

Ricky Carmichael: Yes.

Dennis Stapleton: What are your parents going to do now? I know your mom's been a big help with your motocross and your dad's worked on your practice bikes throughout the year. Are (they) going to be able to help you in your car racing the same way?

Ricky Carmichael: I don't think so. You know, I'm ready to see them kind of retire. And I would love to see my mom help a younger kid coming up, maybe, you know, a guy that's riding the A class at Loretta Lynn's. And I would like to see her kind of grow with someone like that.

And my dad maintained my property and stuff like that. That's a full-time job there.

So, I think maybe between my mom and my trainer, Eldon Baker, helping out, maybe that'll keep her busy for a while.

(Damien): Ricky, this is (Damien) again. Hey, what is it about that Anaheim One race that is just (proving to be so) difficult for ((inaudible))?

Ricky Carmichael: I don't know, man. I have no idea. It's always got the best of me.

I think the best chance I ever had was that year in the mud. I mean, I had the dang thing won and messed up. You know, I just never seem like I - I never seem comfortable at that race for some reason.

But, you know, I'm not racing Anaheim One just because I've never won it. I like that race and I love going to do the press conference there at the Diamond Club center. You know, it's a great press conference. It's the real deal.

And I look - I just like it. I like everything about it. It's just always gotten the best of me.

That's why I never can understand, like I always win the second race, but never can win the first one.

Shan Moore: Ricky, Shan Moore again. You've had some time to reflect on this last season. And, of course, everybody knows the Supercross season was one of the closest ever.

You have to feel good about how things turned out, especially since that was your last year of full time.

Ricky Carmichael: Yes. It, you know, it was unbelievable. That was my goal. And that's why it was so easy to stay motivated, because I knew in my heart, I knew before Canada started, that this could possibly be my last season, you know, last year.

And it wasn't intended to be that close, that's for sure. And everyone always forgets about, you know, I spotted those guys 25 points. And it wasn't because of my doing. It was an unfortunate problem we had with a shock spring.

And it's just - it's amazing how people don't ever - you know, don't ever remember that. But if it wasn't for that, I probably would have bagged both, but I got the important ones, and that was the AMA title.

And it just - it was - what an awesome way to go out. I showed up to Vegas. I needed to beat Reed. And I'd been hearing since 2000 - been hearing since 2004 that he was better than me. And I just beat him heads-up.

David Izer: Ricky, David Izer again. To follow-up on that question about - we've discussed, you know - it's so hard to quit when you're on top, because you're still the man to beat. And winning both championships last year, you still are the man to beat.

Is there a little bit of sweet satisfaction that you did go out on top? And I guess you've now closed the door on competing in a full season, even if you are in the points lead.

This is ideal for you going out, and the championship career that you've had.

Ricky Carmichael: Yes. That was the whole deal.

You know, the problem, I think - you know, it's tough as an athlete or as a coach, or whatever. It kind of - it's a double-edged sword.

When you win you're like, damn, I think I can go another year. If you're beat, then you think, well, maybe I could do it next year.

David Izer: Right.

Ricky Carmichael: And so, that's why I'm done competing for a title. I know I've had my time, and I feel that the only thing now I can do is tarnish what I've done. And I want to go out and race for the love of the sport and race because I love to do it.

And I think it's time for me now to enjoy what I've been able to do, and have fun.

Bill Center: Ricky, Bill Center down here in San Diego again.

Ricky Carmichael: Yes.

Bill Center: How much work do you plan to be doing with Mark Martin coaching student-wise? And what does it tell you about going to NASCAR and having somebody of this level say, I'll work with the guy?

Ricky Carmichael: Yes, it was amazing, you know, to - actually, he's been on me saying, hey, you need to get down here, you need to drive. And basically, he's - I'd say a day and he's like, all right. I'm going to put it on my schedule and we'll do it.

And to have a guy like that help me is amazing. You don't see that much in moto, and I wish it would be like that. I wish people would let their guard down every now and then, because we all are created equal, you know. We put our pants on the same way.

And yes, it's amazing that each guy helps. I mean, there's top guys out there that help the other guy, that, you know, could potentially end up beating them the next day or the next weekend, or that day. And they help them. It's crazy.

Jim Kimball: Ricky, this is Jim Kimball with AMA Motocross again.

You doing the abbreviated season, and many might think it's obvious that, you know, it's maybe James Stewart's title to lose.

With that said - and I guess many might think it could be Chad's - do you see any other guys coming into the picture, say, somebody like Grant Langston, who's moving up, or ((inaudible)) driving?

Ricky Carmichael: Yes, I think Ivan Tedesco is going to be the heartbreaker this year.

I've really focused on trying to get the bike good, and good enough for him to contend for the win and beyond that podium every single weekend. And I think we've got it very close.

Roger's been working very hard. We all have. And I think we've got him feeling very comfortable. And I really believe that he can do it. He's very motivated, you know. He wants to make it a break-through year for him, like he did that first year that he did at Splitfire.

Jim Peltz: Ricky, this is Jim Peltz of the "L.A. Times."

Ricky Carmichael: What's happening?

Jim Peltz: That last question sort of was what I wanted to ask, too, which is about the future of this sport, Supercross and Motocross going forward, without you.

I'm wondering, too, given your popularity and how often you've won, and so forth, I mean, how do you sort of see the popularity of Supercross and Motocross going forward?

I mean, do you think there are still enough attraction and enough big names, and whatnot, to keep filling places like Angels Stadium and where you're going this weekend, even without you?

Ricky Carmichael: You know, I mean, that's a great - that's a great compliment that you gave me there.

I feel that, you know, with James and him being the first African-American, you know, I think it's a great story. And I think he has what it takes to take it to the next level. But I also know he has a lot of opportunities.

And I just don't want - you know, I don't - I just want - I want the racing to be good. And I think that we need to make a track to make the racing better, at least to where if a guy, a mid-pack guy can get a start, he can lead for 10 laps.

I think that, with that, I think then the sport will keep growing and growing and growing.

I hope it becomes as big as NASCAR someday. It's provided a great life for me, and it's what I love. So, obviously, I want to see it do the best.

But I think it'll keep going. I mean, everyone thought that when Jeremy retired that it would die, and it's kept going. So, with me not racing, I think it'll still keep growing.

(Danny Breau): Ricky, (Danny Breau), Racer X Canada.

Ricky Carmichael: Hey.

(Danny Breau): You mentioned that you're going to race possibly 10 to 11 Supercrosses this year. Obviously, with your consistency and ability and competitive nature, you'll be (issuing) for a podium, at least at every round.

Ricky Carmichael: Oh, yes.

(Danny Breau): If you're winning in Canada (and they won), could you see yourself maybe sticking around?

Ricky Carmichael: No. I've made my commitment and I've made my decision. And when you make a decision you've got to stick with it. What I've said is what's going to happen.

I want to race for the fun of it and do the races that I enjoy to do. And I want to try to also fulfill a dream, and that's to be a competitive stock car driver.

(Danny Breau): OK. Just a second. So, what then will kind of be your motivation to come in there and challenge or even ((inaudible)) for the winner?

Ricky Carmichael: Well, I think, you know, obviously I'm riding now and feel better than I ever have with the way the bike is working. So, my motivation is to go in there and win.

I'd still be riding just as much as I ever have, so there's no reason that I shouldn't be a contender to win the events that I do race.

Bill Center: Ricky, Bill Center again.

You went down an interesting path here a little while ago, talking about the people you've met in NASCAR, the reception, everything else.

Do you think Supercross and the competitors could borrow a page, or should take a page from NASCAR and get along a little better as a group and work towards a common cause?

R.J. used to talk about the jealousies in the sport, too. And he always used to think that it was a detriment to what they were trying to accomplish overall. Do you share that?

Ricky Carmichael: Oh, no, there is no doubt about it. If there's one thing that I don't like about going to the races is the jealousy, the envy, and just everyone. You know, there's too many people that just - you know, they - that just - you feel so unwelcome. And that can be bad, you know.

It's not fun for a lot of people. And you can't just go talk and have a good time. I think the better image you have, it's better for sponsors. You know, I think that the slicker we dress, the cleaner we look, the better we're going to appeal to the mainstream.

But that's just my personal opinion. But that's the one thing I know that, you know, all the guys - not all the guys, but a lot of guys - in NASCAR get along and they work together, because they all want their sport to keep growing.

Where everybody in Supercross wants the sport to grow, but they don't want to do what it takes to make it grow.

Dennis Stapleton: Hey, Ricky, Dennis Stapleton here again.

Now that you have a contract with Suzuki till '09, you said, will you have your Suzuki motorcycle in your NASCAR pitch or anything on display?

Ricky Carmichael: There are some fun things we're working on. And, you know, obviously, I'm sure, again, (crew) wouldn't mind having it there.

But, you know, the pits in a NASCAR, if you've even been to one, it's a lot different than - a lot different than motorcycle race pits, actually. There's really not - there's not any room. If anywhere, it'd probably be outside of the stadium by a tee-shirt hauler, or something that like, if we ever got to that level and we needed to do it.

(Damien): Hey, Ricky, this is (Damien).

Were you at all maybe surprised at how many people in NASCAR might have known about what you did and the motorcycle side? Did you kind of think that maybe your sport kind of goes unnoticed by four-wheel guys?

Ricky Carmichael: You know, I was surprised. There's a lot of guys that really keep up with moto and watch us. And they know what's going on, my man.

I mean, they, you know - we're on speed, and those guys sitting around at the qualifying when there ain't much going on, they're in their coaches watching speed. So, it's hard to avoid us.

So, they're up to snuff with all the racing and stuff. It's awesome, (Damien). It's so cool to go and you have something in common with and you have something to talk about.

Jim Peltz: Ricky, Jim Peltz again.

On the flip side of that question, it would seem that when you go to NASCAR, you would have the potential to bring a whole, big moto audience, and mostly under the age of, say, 25 or 30, that might give NASCAR a look for the first time.

Have you considered that?

Ricky Carmichael: Yes, I think - well, I think it's - I think I have a great opportunity to bring some moto fans to NASCAR, and I have a good opportunity to maybe bring some NASCAR fans to moto. That would be a great - that would be a great accomplishment to do that, because we need some more fans on the moto side, so that would be sweet.

I think it's a great story, you know, too. So, hopefully that'll be something fun for the fans, and I look forward to maybe someday fulfilling that dream of mine.

David Izer: Ricky, Dave, DMXS. Racing Daytona for the first time, are you ever going to have the idea of cutting down on that (infield) for some reason?

Ricky Carmichael: I probably would, my man, trust me. Last year when I went to Daytona Supercross, I kind of knew what was going on, and that I was going to hopefully be signing a deal. And I couldn't keep my eyes off the race, the NASCAR track. It was kind of - (in the office).

As much as I love Daytona Supercross, I was just kind of intrigued by being down there by the tri-oval more than anything. Trust me. And I would love to do (an old burnout) down in the middle of the Daytona there.

If I make - if I make it to there, my man, I've done something. So, that's fun, though.

David Izer: All right.

Dennis Stapleton: Hey, Ricky, Dennis Stapleton again.

Do you feel that Rick Johnson and Jeff Ward doing their car stuff had helped you get your in out of the motorcycle racer?

Ricky Carmichael: I mean, obviously, I don't know if it helped me really, but whether it was good or bad, it definitely - you know, it's more like, oh, they tried it, or they did this, or they did that, you know. Maybe a help in a little way, but I think with as much exposure as Supercross has gotten and Motocross has gotten in the last couple of years, and what I've accomplished, I think that's helped more than anything, really.

So, yes. I don't know really how much that had an effect. And, you know, I think if I do good, I really believe I can open a lot of doors for Motocross to come in, for other Motocross riders to have a chance at NASCAR.

Or, if I don't do good, I think I could really hurt it. So, you know, if I was some of the moto racers today, I would, as I am, I would be wanting me to do good, because it's just opening paths for them guys to have something to do when they're retired from racing.

(Damien): Hey, Ricky, this is (Damien). How does it feel for the first time in, gosh, since you were probably six years old, or whatever, being at this time of year not stressing about what's going to happen and what championships you're going to win on a motorcycle next year?

Ricky Carmichael: Ah, man! You have no idea, (Damien), how nice it is just - I'm not kidding you. I think the training has been easier than it ever has. And it's been - it's just nice to do my training and know that I don't have to go through the whole season.

And when I get to the race I can take a step back and do - you know, I can say, hey, I can do this jump today, or I can try this bike setup, because I don't need to be here at week eight, you know.

So, it's nice to not have it hanging over my head.

Dennis Stapleton: Hey, Ricky, Dennis Stapleton again.

Do you feel that you have a good advantage, because how your physical training is for car racing? Or do those guys train really hard?

Ricky Carmichael: Oh, you know, I definitely - I know they stepped it up in their training of it. They obviously, I think a little bit of it gives me an advantage. It definitely can't hurt me, that's for sure.

Jay Moore: Hey, Ricky, Jay Moore from Racer X Canada.

Just to get back on the car racing side of things. Last I've heard, Ginn racing has yet to purchase the rights (at a) number four.

Ricky Carmichael: Yes.

Jay Moore: Just wondering how big of a role or how important it is for you to run that big number four on the race car?

Ricky Carmichael: Well, I think it would be important just from the marketing standpoint, as far as it - you know, obviously, when I'm out there racing, it don't matter what number I got on the side of my car, but that's what we're hoping for.

But the team that already owns number four, they have a lot of value behind it. They've won the Daytona 500 with that number. So, the chances of it happening are slim. But we'll see. We'll have to get Mr. Ginn to keep on pushing it.

Jay Moore: So you're going to tell me, after all those championships and all the races with the number four, you mean, it doesn't have any sentimental value to you to run that number?

Ricky Carmichael: Oh, absolutely it does. But, you know, it's something that I have no control of, my man.

I mean, I would love to. And there's so much stuff, you know, like I said, marketing that I have behind it already. But I can only do so much. The teams own the numbers, and if they don't want to give it up, then, you know, that's something I have to deal with.

Jay Moore: Very true. Thanks, Ricky.

(Tony Gardea): All right, gentlemen, any last questions?

Ricky Carmichael: Thanks, guys. I appreciate all you guys have done for me. And (Damien), Bill and all you guys, I hope to see you at the press conference at Anaheim. It should be a good one.

Bill Center: Well, we hope to see you in Daytona in about a year or two years.

Ricky Carmichael: Well, ((inaudible)). Hey, trust me. I want to see myself there, too. But we're going to have fun trying. Let's just leave it at that.

Bill Center: Can I - do you know - one last question - do you know where your late model (seats), you know, will begin?

Ricky Carmichael: Yes. It's either going to be up at Hickory, North Carolina.

Bill Center: Right.

Ricky Carmichael: Or it's going to be down in (Newsome, or in the area). I would have to guess it's going to be one of those two.

Bill Center: So, either up near the heart of NASCAR at a track where a lot of guys have started, or close to where Mark Martin has his operation.

Ricky Carmichael: Absolutely. Absolutely.

Bill Center: Right.

Ricky Carmichael: Aw, it's all good. Anything for you guys.

Bill Center: Hey, listen, Ricky. I hope you make it, because, doggone, I think you can do it. And you've got the skill, and I think it'd be great for both sports.

Ricky Carmichael: It would be, man. And hey, I really appreciate that encouragement. It means a lot to me.

Male: They're going to soon learn on four wheels what we know on two wheels, is you never bet against R.C.

Ricky Carmichael: Well, thanks, guys.

(Tony Gardea): That's great, guys. Thanks, Ricky.

Ricky Carmichael: Say, I appreciate it. All right.

Source: Live Nation

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