This is a piece I took out of an interview between Kenny Wallace and SBNATION.COM.SBN
: Everybody likes to make a quick escape from the track and beat the traffic after the race. Any memorable experiences doing that?KWallace
: Yep, and it was that race you asked me about earlier – at Loudon, New Hampshire. Schrader had fallen out of the race, and I flew with him all the time. So I knew the deal.
Dale Earnhardt started all that, you know. Back in those days, there were so many more airplanes because everybody had an airplane. At least now, some drivers fly with their teams – like Martin Truex, he flies with his team. But if you didn't get to the airport, you'd line up on the runway with 30 planes in line, all going pbrrrrrr (imitates propeller sound).SBN
: So you think there are actually fewer planes now than there used to be?KWallace
: Before, it was a fad; it was a status symbol. You had to have a plane, you had to have a gold Rolex watch back in the late '90s.
I admire Martin Truex. He makes $6 million, $8 million bucks a year, but his father, Mr. Truex, has got him grounded. He built a nice shop, but he doesn't have his own airplane. And a lot of other guys could probably afford bigger airplanes.
You've got a handful of characters like my friend Denny Hamlin. Love him to death, but he overboards it. He's crazy. We laugh at him all the time. I love him, but he should have a sign that says, 'Look at my fuckin' airplane!'
Then I get on Jimmie Johnson all the time. I've seen him get off his airplane before by himself! He deserves it, of course, but it's an airplane that 10 people could probably get up and walk around in. He landed in Richmond and I laughed at him. I said, 'You mean to tell me that you didn't ask me to fly with you?' It was hilarious.
I think there are less private airplanes now, partly because the teams have stepped up. See, back then, the teams didn't have airplanes. Now all the teams have them, so a lot of these drivers would just be wasting $2 million or $3 million bucks a year by not using the team planes. Just wasting it.
DENNY'S JET : http://twitpic.com/53eh37/full