Interview Of The Week – Race Car Driver CJ Faison
As part of our television coverage at Dover two weeks ago, we planned to have Seaford’s CJ Faison provide analysis. Faison has competed at Dover in the Xfinity and Truck series. We were not able to speak with Faison as planned on Friday May 13. Earlier that week he the week he signed a deal to drive the #07 truck in that day’s race. We were able to catch-up with Faison after his busy week.
Pencek: What were your impressions of driving in the Truck race?
Faison: Basically in a nut shell, we needed a stronger motor. We knew going into the race we were going to be down on horsepower. When they cancelled qualifying I knew it was going to be a long race for us starting 31st position. Honestly I didn’t think that we would get to race on Friday due to all of the rain but NASCAR and Dover did a great job watching the weather and scheduling the race accordingly. They must have been watching WBOC 16 weather!
Pencek: I will be sure to pass that along to our weather team. How challenging is racing at Dover?
Faison: Dover is by far the most challenging race track I’ve personally raced on. There is so much that can go wrong and so much that has to be right in order to win a race there. 2011, 2012, and 2013 I had the race won but something out of my control happened that prevented me from winning those 3 races, all issues being mechanical. They call it “The Monster” for a reason, because it’ll eat you up and spit you out. Drivers either love it or hate the track, I love it.
Pencek: How does the rest of the NASCAR season look for you in terms of future opportunities to drive?
Faison: I’ve always said the unknown in life is the best and that’s exactly what the rest of the season looks like for me. I had no intentions at all of racing any form of NASCAR this year, but a phone call Monday morning the week of the race changed that for me. Bobby Dotter called me and asked me to just keep his truck in the points standings for him. I did my job, left the track and started working on my USAC SpeedSTR dirt car which I race weekly. Obviously sponsorship is a big deciding factor in NASCAR, if you don’t have the sponsors then you don’t have the ride. It’s very very rare that a team owner will call up and ask you to drive like I did this week.
Pencek: With the different vehicles you raced that weekend is it a big adjustment going from one machine to another?
Faison: The biggest adjustment for me was going from a 1400lbs dirt track race car Wednesday night and the next morning jumping into a 3200 lbs NASCAR Truck with 4 times the amount of horsepower. Another adjustment for me was just the scheduling of my week, racing at a dirt track is easy and straight forward. NASCAR has an insane schedule for their race weekends, which makes me appreciate the laid back atmosphere of dirt track racing.
Pencek: How did you get into racing?
Faison: I started racing at the age of 4 because my father raced Big Block Modifieds up north, as soon as I could walk I was always around race cars. It has consumed my entire life and it’s a part of who I am. After my first race I guess you could say my career started to take off. I have spent every weekend of the summer times traveling to races across the country. It would be scary to know how many miles I have traveled in my life due to racing but I loved every minute of it.