DR: How do you start a car career at the same time you're giving 110 percent to a partial MX career?
RC: I don't know-we'll see. You're right, the clock is ticking, but your guess is as good mine. I guess we'll find out, because there will come a point in time where a sacrifice will have to be made. Hopefully that's when my wisdom will prevail and I'll make the right decision again. I think I'm a racer, and as far as racing goes, I have the determination, will and desire, but I lack a lot of seat time and experience. It's years and years of work in progress. The only thing about that is I'm not claiming anything. I got a great opportunity to do it. If it works out, I'll be super pumped, but if it doesn't, I'll know I had the best chance to do it.DR: You've tested late models. How well did your skills transfer?
RC: They did a bit. It's four wheels instead of two, but the main thing is the feel and having the determination and drive . Driving takes way more concentration. I've only done short tracks-not the big speedways. But it seems like you can get so lackadaisical on a dirt bike, whereas on the oval, the tires are changing, temperature gauges, people are in front of you and guys are yelling in your ear. There is a lot more going on, dude, a lot more.DR: Getting back to SX/MX... How much do you think you took everyone by surprise this year?
RC: Oh, so much. But I think I really surprised everyone last year, because a lot of people just thought Reed and Bubba were just going to take me to the house. It ended up being the other way around.DR: Were people doubting you, including Honda when the deals went down in '04?
RC: Oh, absolutely. But there was one company that didn't, and that was Suzuki.DR: How much did that bum you out?
RC: It didn't bum me out. It just motivated me. I know how this sport is now that I'm older. It's a big, big business, man. If you let that stuff bother you, and a lot of people do, it will eat you up inside.DR: Why do you think there was that doubt?
RC: Probably because I had done so well. They just probably thought I couldn't keep it up, so they just said, "We'll just take our chances and do something else." So Honda took their chances, and they haven't won too many races.DR: Do you think Suzuki was taking a chance?
RC: In my eyes, no-I was taking a chance because I was proven and Suzuki hadn't been proven. So I think I was taking a risk because I knew in my heart that I was going to perform. I was hoping that the team would, and they have. It was a big risk, but watching the bike and listening to it before I signed the contract and seeing how it performed and worked, I definitely had a question mark in my head. But at the same time, in my gut, if I had Roger DeCoster's support, I could get the job done.DR: You hate to lose. I've never met anyone who hated it as much as you.
RC: I hate to lose when I know I have a good chance at winning. If we go to the batting cage and you just tear me up, it's not going to make me mad because I know I'm just not very good at that. But if I know that we're really similar and equal, then I'll be, like, dang! But I've grown up a lot, and that stuff doesn't bother me. The only time I get upset is when I know I have a legitimate shot at something.DR: You were really shy when you were growing up, and you still are-especially around strangers. When you started getting more exposure, was that hard to deal with, being constantly watched?
RC: Oh yeah. I still am shy. I feel like the older I get, the worse I get, because someone in my position, or any top athlete, man, has to watch his back. You hear about kids' parents ripping them off for money, so you never know. It makes you very, very gun-shy. I have a lot of friends, but I only have a couple of people I really hang out with and trust. You have to be smart, and that's why I'm very shy and don't talk to a lot of people, because at the end of the day I know what they want and I always look at them and say, "Are you going to be around when I'm 50 years old?" Most of the time they're not going to be. It's very hard. I'm a hermit, basically, at the races just because people want me for what I've done and who I am, not the person I am. That's why I'm really quiet and just keep to myself. You have to be or else people just take advantage of you.DR: What are your flaws?
RC: I have lots of flaws. I need to be more responsible when it comes to being just a human being and doing things around the house, being a husband. You can't let your wife do it all, and basically, she does. A lot of that is because of my sport, so I look forward to being more responsible. That's a terrible trait that I have; I'm very irresponsible.DR: What's one thing you want to do when you have the time?
RC: Just the smallest things. I would love to do my own lawn and do it right. Lawn care, washing my own cars-I'm just lazy, man. When my day is done, I don't do a thing, not one thing. So l look forward to stuff like that. Learning about taxes, paying the income taxes, I wish I was a little smarter at that. But I'm only 26 years old, so I have plenty of time to learn that mess.DR: How much ice cream do you think you could eat in one sitting?
RC: Oh, dude, you shouldn't have even asked me that question! I'm sure I could eat a Breyers half-gallon. The only reason I haven't done it is so I could say that I haven't done it, but ice cream is a weakness of mine, that's for sure. I don't know-I just love it because I don't get to eat it that much. It wouldn't be special if I ate it all the time.DR: What is the biggest difference between race RC and home RC?
RC: You'd see a totally different person. I'm a very driven person. Riding and training is easy for me. I have plenty of self-motivation. When I go to the race, I get tunnel vision and I'm super focused. But when they see me at home, they'd be able to say, "Man, this guy is normal." People would see a fun person, if you will. But again, at the races we're at work and we get paid a lot of money to provide services for our sponsors, and I take a lot of pride in that, as you know. I love my boat. I have a 40-foot Cabin Cruiser, a Formula, and when I cross over that bridge into Destin, Florida, the racing goes out the window. It's like a weight being lifted off my shoulders. Or when I go hunting. It's so relaxing-my heartbeat is low, the air is clean and my mind is clear.DR: You're not much of rockstar, are you?
RC: To sum it up. I'm just a normal dude. I love football, baseball and being a normal guy. The racing is just what I know. That's why I do it, and I love winning races and just racing, for that matter. I enjoy the perks of being famous to some extent, but that's not why I do this. I do it because I like to race. I don't race to be popular.