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November 18, 2015

Cole Pearn

THE MODERATOR: We are now joined by Cole Pearn, crew chief of the No. 78 Furniture Row Visser Precision Chevrolet. Cole, you guys are having unprecedented success for a single‑car team. Talk about your team's accomplishments thus far and the opportunity you have here to cap it off with the organization's first‑ever NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship this weekend in Miami.
COLE PEARN: Yeah, it's been a pretty successful year obviously to this point, and we're definitely pleased with the progress we've made. But again, you know, we're down with one race to go, to race against three other guys, and we're just ready to make the most of it and hopefully come out with a championship.

Q. Did the weather in Denver at all make you guys either rush to get hauler loaded and get out of Denver or impact you guys in any way?
COLE PEARN: Yeah, we had planned to really leave Monday night, but just with the workload, I don't think the truck got loaded until about an hour or 2:00 on Tuesday and we kind of had a little bit of time because we had I‑70 and I‑25 both shut down out of Denver. It definitely made it a little tighter, tighter timeline for the truck drivers getting out, and they've been plugging away, though. They're making good progress now. I think they're running about 40 miles an hour on ice for pretty much most of Kansas, but I think they're starting to make good headway now.

Q. How much later did they leave than planned?
COLE PEARN: I'd say they left about 12 hours later, and then they probably ‑‑ I think they had to backtrack about two hours in Colorado, so it's definitely, I'd say, using up all of the buffer system that we normally put in place on these deals.

Q. I just wanted to check, do you know how many warnings you have in the system and are you close to having to worry about anything as far as pre‑qualifying tech goes on Friday?
COLE PEARN: Nope, we've only had one all year, so I think from that standpoint we've done a good job that way.

Q. This is your first experience in something like this; I assume you're trying to keep it business as usual, but is that tough to do with all the attention being paid?
COLE PEARN: Yeah, definitely it is business as usual, but it's not. Obviously there's a lot more riding on the line, so you're way more focused, if that is possible, but you're definitely making sure you're not leaving anything on the table and trying to make the most of it.
I think whatever happens, as long as you do that, then you'll be able to sleep at night to some degree.

Q. Cole, south Florida, obviously weather could be an issue. There's the potential for rain this weekend. How do you guys or how did you do it at Phoenix? How will you do it this weekend in monitoring weather? Obviously you're keeping abreast of it as much as you can, but there's other things that you've got to factor in. How do you guys‑‑ is there somebody assigned to looking at radar or is there somebody on the team assigned to looking at multiple sites or pilots or things like that? How do you factor together your weather plan and that information gets fed to you so you can make the best decision possible at that time?
COLE PEARN: Yeah, pretty much between myself and three other engineers, we really monitor different forecasts, different radars to try and stay up on it. I think everybody got thrown for a little bit of a loop this past weekend in Phoenix, but obviously south Florida weather is very humid and easy to have pop‑up showers at any point. I think when we tested there a couple months ago, we pretty much, I think over a whole day, only got about four hours of running in just because of the sporadic weather conditions during the day. I think we definitely have to be prepared for that, but again, everyone is in the same boat, so I think you just prepare the best you can and deal with whatever comes.

Q. Obviously a lot of people talk about what a championship would mean for Martin with all the things that he has gone through throughout his career, even in the last couple years, but this is your first opportunity as a crew chief to win this championship. What does this mean for you? How are you keeping calm or how are you trying to enjoy it and just what you feel is at stake this weekend just for you?
COLE PEARN: Yeah, definitely the pressure of this format with the elimination rounds the way it is, it doesn't let you get too far ahead of yourself for sure. But I think our shop foreman this week told me last time he had been in this position was 1992, and that really puts it in perspective, that you never know when the next time you're going to get back to this position. When it's your first year, maybe you think you'll get back to it more often. But as you've seen, especially with this format, anything can happen to take you out. Definitely just trying to enjoy the moment and stay focused and just make the most of it.

Q. With the things that Martin has going on and his concern for Sherry, you would think that this would not be a good year. What do you think it's been that's made it so that he's able to focus on the racetrack and you two have this relationship in a first‑year situation and having had the success, despite all the worries that he's had, because it's kind of turning out the opposite of what you might think it would?
COLE PEARN: Well, I think that's sometimes what happens when things kind of turn against you in life and you kind of hit the bottom a little bit. You definitely look around and you find the positives, and at the end of the day you still have to get up every day. I think that perspective of having to get up every day and make the most of it has definitely been the change you've seen in him, or even if we do have a bad day or whatever, he keeps the big picture in mind and keeps everybody positive most of the time, and that's been a huge pleasure to have around and really been a positive thing for our team.
I think on the relationship between me and him, it's just easy. We're very focused people but we're very relaxed in the same sense, and having to work together with somebody like that just makes it really simple.
THE MODERATOR: Cole, thank you again for joining us today, and we wish you the best of luck on Sunday in Miami.
COLE PEARN: Thanks very much for having me.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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