One of the biggest reasons for me to work with becomeanex.org is because I have friends and family who smoke and I've seen how difficult it is for them to stop. And I mean, I would do anything to get them to quit smoking cuz I know that they'd be healthier and happier because of it. That's why this is really important to me personally.
I grew up in Columbia, Missouri. It's not a racing town really. It's kind of a stick and ball town. You know, the MU Tigers. And I watched racing because my dad has a cousin named Kenny Schrader who is a really great race car driver, and we'd watch his races on TV and that's how I first learned of NASCAR and everything.
I'll never forget it. We were in Macomb, Illinois. It's this little quarter-mile or fifth-mile dirt track, and they have an intermission between the qualifying races and the main events. And so Dad walked over to the guy that lets the cars on and off the track and said, "Hey, do you think it'd be all right if my son ran a couple of laps?" And he said, "How old's your son?" He said, like, 14 or something. He said, "No, he can't go out there unless he's 16."
And then he said the greatest words ever. He said, "But with that helmet on, it's kind of hard to tell who's in that car." So I was like, "Yes, I'm going to get to do it." And that was cool, so that guy kind of started my career right there by letting me go run a couple laps.
I wish we could find somebody. But the greatest thing is to be driving down the highway and see somebody with a 99 or Carl Edwards sticker and just roll up next to them and [honks horn] and they look at you like, "What!" Then they go, "Oh my God!" Then you take off. That's fun.
I like being around the people that I knew growing up, the people that had helped me so much through this struggle to get to where I was. That's why I live back here in Columbia now, and I fly to the races or fly to meetings I need to go to. Cuz I feel like it really keeps me grounded. The airplane that I fly around from race to race is probably the most valuable tool that I have.