Seth and Sutton Sharp
March 26, 2019
Keep It 35: What does a day in the life of Kevin Lepage consist of in 2019?
Kevin Lepage: I own Matrix Lawn and Landscaping. I bought this company 13 years ago when I was still racing, knowing that someday I wouldn’t be driving anymore.
Keep It 35: You made one Busch Series start in 1986 and then your next one came in 1994. Was there a reason for the gap or you just didn’t have the opportunities?
Kevin Lepage: That race in 1986 was at Oxford, Maine. It was during the ACT/NASCAR split which you could choose to race under either ACT or NASCAR. I decided to race under ACT rules until I moved south in 1994.
Keep It 35: What do you remember about your first Busch Series win? Was that your most memorable moment in racing?
Kevin Lepage: My first win was at Homestead and we had the car to beat all race. We beat Mark Martin, Bobby Labonte and Joe Nemechek for the win. That win caught so many Winston Cup car owners eyes and for the next several months my phone continued to ring.
Keep It 35: What was it like driving for a five car Winston Cup Series team? Do you think having so many teams helped or hurt each other?
Kevin Lepage: Driving for Jack Roush was a good and bad experience. I was told before signing that it was an open book company. That meant that I could look at any teams setup at any given time. We finished 10th at Bristol in my second race for the team and that all changed. We ended up on our own. At times it was a challenge, but it made us stronger. There were some tracks like Darlington and other 1.5 mile tracks that my teammates wanted help but we would give them little information.
Keep It 35: Did you have a “Wow, I really made it!” moment?
Kevin Lepage: My “wow” moment was when I signed my first contract with Roush Racing.
Keep It 35: What was your favorite track to race at?
Kevin Lepage: All of the tracks are honestly my favorites because of the fans. I ran good at most and struggled at a few but to me it is the fans that make the tracks.
Keep It 35: Was there a ride offer that you received during your career that you look back on today and think “Man, I wonder what would have happened if I took that?”?
Kevin Lepage: The one ride I waited 12 hours to make a decision on was the No. 1 Pennzoil car after Steve Park got hurt at Atlanta. Dale Earnhardt called me for a meeting at his new shop and offered me the ride. There is more to this story but I wished I would have said yes that afternoon.
Keep It 35: Is there one race that sticks out to you as one that got away?
Kevin Lepage: The Texas Winston Cup race. My car was fast and I led many laps. There was a late restart and I jumped to the outside of a slow car. I got into speedy dry and lost the back end of my car and wrecked.
Keep It 35: Who were some of your best friends in the garage? Who do you feel helped your career out the most?
Kevin Lepage: Dale Earnhardt was a good friend of mine. Mark Martin helped me out a lot. Bill Elliott too.
Keep It 35: Was there one driver that you felt always raced you very clean? Was there one that you felt always raced you dirty?
Kevin Lepage: Back when I raced, we raced everyone the way you wanted to be raced. You respected each other.
Keep It 35: Do you still follow NASCAR today? If so, what are your thoughts?
Kevin Lepage: My last race was at Homestead in 2014. I don’t follow it like I used to. I am not a fan of all the changes from the cars to the race.
Keep It 35: Is there anything that you’d love to tell all of your fans out there?
Kevin Lepage: My fans were the best. I still get comments and asked for autographs. I have no regrets and it was an awesome time.