Interstate Batteries Racing

Dave Rogers, Crew Chief of the No. 18
Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry
for Joe Gibbs Racing

What do you think about the upcoming New Hampshire race?

Dave Rogers, Crew Chief of the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry. Copyright 2012 Autostock Images.

As a native New Englander, New Hampshire has always been a homecoming race for you and a track where you won in the Nationwide Series in 2008. What does New Hampshire Motor Speedway mean to you?

“There are a lot of memories there. I love going back to the Northeast, but I also like to go back there and race. It’s very exciting for my entire family. My boys are old enough to where they can fly up on the JGR plane with me and hang out with my family and friends from up there, so it’s just a really neat experience all around when we get to race at New Hampshire and I’m hoping we can get our Interstate Batteries Toyota to victory lane to make things even better.”

When was your first trip to New Hampshire? Was it as a fan?

“I was there for the inaugural Nationwide Series race (in 1990). The first four years that the Nationwide Series raced at New Hampshire, we were there. I was also there for the inaugural Cup Series race at the track. The one race I remember like it was yesterday was when Joe Nemechek and Dale Earnhardt Sr., raced door-to-door for the last few laps and put on a great show for the fans. I don’t remember exactly what year that was (1992) but it was a long time ago.”

You won the 2008 Nationwide Series race at New Hampshire as a crew chief for Tony Stewart. What did that mean to you to go to victory lane that day?

“We went to inaugural Nationwide Series race there and we sat in the stands as fans and had a great time as a family. Then you go to 2008 and you go there as a crewmember and my father was there and you get to go to victory lane and share that experience with him. That was special. I think it was the first time my Dad had ever been to victory lane for a NASCAR race. It was really exciting and very emotional. We got that win with Tony Stewart, who is a good friend of mine. Tony made it really special for me. He gave me the firesuit after the race and congratulated my whole family, so it meant quite a bit to me and to my entire family.”

When was your first trip to New Hampshire working on a NASCAR team?

“The 1999 Cup Series race with the 20 car was my first race back to Loudon as part of a team. It was Tony’s (Stewart) first Cup race there, as well. That was the first time I worked on a car as part of a team at Loudon.”
Was there anyone back home in Marshfield, Vt., who helped you become who you are today?

“I’ve been blessed enough to be surrounded by great people my whole life. I look up to my dad more than anybody. He wasn’t really big into racing, but I see a lot of his personality in me. He taught me to never quit or give up, to never be satisfied with second. That motivates me. He’ll be at the race with us again this weekend and that will be a lot of fun. I had some great teachers at Twinfield High School (in Plainfield, Vt.) – some great people who just really taught me and my classmates about what the books say, but also how to be a respectful person. I had some really great leadership from up that way and, hopefully, they’ll be watching.”