SCR: What would you consider a successful 2004 season? Have you and the team set goals as far as wins, poles and the final point position at the end of the year?
WIMMER: I think we all have our own goals. We've sat down and kind of talked about what we'd like to accomplish. Obviously our goals changed after the Daytona 500 when we left there sitting third in the point standings and we thought we'd be in a position to finish in the Top-10 at the end of the year. I don't think that goal has changed even though we've dropped off a little bit. I still think we can finish in the Top-10 and have a shot at the championship at the end of the year. To do that, we've got to win races and run up front on a consistent basis. I know we can win one race, but I think we can win a lot more. We started off with a lot of goals, but it seems like those goals change on a weekly basis.
SCR: You are one of a great crop of rookies who came into Nextel Cup racing this season, along with Kasey Kahne, Brendan Gaughan, Johnny Sauter, Brian Vickers and Scott Riggs. How hard do you think it's going to be to claim this year's Rookie-of-the-Year title against such a talented group of young drivers?
WIMMER: It's going to be extremely hard. This is probably the best rookie crop that has ever come into the Nextel Cup Series. Kasey Kahne has been very impressive, but there is still a lot of racing left to go. I think you're going to see a lot from this team. Scott Riggs, Brendan Gaughan and Brian Vickers are all great drivers and I think you're going to see a lot out of the rookies this season. The guy that wins this year's rookie battle is really going to be deserving of it.
SCR: One of the biggest stories concerning Scott Wimmer took place in January before the season stared when you were charged with drunk driving. Did you think that you'd thrown your future in racing, and all that you've worked for, out the window?
WIMMER: Yes, I definitely did. After it happen I just crawled into my house for a couple of days and didn't want to talk to anybody or do anything. It was very disappointing to me because I've worked very hard to get to where I'm at now. I could have thrown all that hard work away in one night. It's just something that you go through with age. It was one of those lessons the Lord wanted me to learn the hard way. A lot of times when you listen to somebody getting caught on television you really don't get impacted by it. When it happens to you it really affects not only you but also your family. I'm glad Bill Davis and Caterpillar gave me a second chance. Both of them work very hard to put cars out on the track for me and I could have thrown everything away for them too. I've had a lot of support from fans and friends, my race team and everybody. We're going to keep pushing through this and it's going to be a long road. It's something that's not going to go away and by no means do I want it to go away. This is going to be a huge learning experience for me and I'm going to try to do good things with it and keep other people from making the same mistake I did.
SCR: In the days that followed, how concerned were you of the possible implications from not only your sponsors, but also your team, NASCAR, the media and race fans?
WIMMER: I was real concerned. Once I figured out that it wasn't going to do any good to dwell on it and hope it would go away, I felt like I had to start talking to my team about it, as well as NASCAR, my sponsors and a lot of my fans. The majority of people were very supportive and that made me feel really good about something that can bring about a lot of very negative circumstances. People were really supportive of my race team and me for giving me a second chance. It seems like these days, people are a lot less willing to give people a second chance. So I've been fortunate to have a second chance. Bill Davis Racing, NASCAR and Caterpillar know I made a mistake, but I'm going to make it right and learn from it and never make the same mistake again.
SCR: That must have really proven to you that one mistake can throw away a lifetime of work and commitment with one bad move?
WIMMER: Most definitely. One of the problems is you never learn that lesson until something like this happens to you. I think it's going to make me a better person and I want to help a lot of other people who are faced with this problem. It's not only people who have had this offense against them before, but the people that haven't who think they've thrown everything away and are down on themselves. I think I can give those people a little bit of encouragement that things don't automatically go bad for the rest of their life. There are a lot of bad things in life that you go through and it means a lot for those people to help you get through those times.
SCR: On the other hand, there have been some groups like Mothers Against Drunk Drivers and driver Kyle Petty who thought you should have been suspended from the sport. How do you address those critics?
WIMMER: Everybody is entitled to their own opinion. I don't know because I try not to get into other people's business. I haven't heard about a lot of the things from an organization like Mothers Against Drunk Driving and what they've been saying. But I've always been under the assumption that this was an organization that was trying to help people prevent things like this from happening. I just really didn't know they were out to ruin or hurt people's lives. I guess my views and their views are a little bit different. I'm going to go out and try to prevent this instead of making people's lives end over it.