May 31, 2017

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) Vermont's stock car racing governor said Wednesday he was undeterred by a minor crash he suffered during his first race of the season at the Thunder Road speedway over the holiday weekend and hopes to get back on the track soon, once his car is repaired.

Republican Gov. Phil Scott was in second place as the Memorial Day Classic at the Barre track was nearing its end Sunday when his car had a problem with its right-front tire, causing him to spin out into the middle of the racetrack. He completed 96 of the 100 laps and finished 19th out of 29 drivers.

Chuckling at the end of his weekly news conference about state affairs, Scott said such crashes were routine and he's endured many during his decades as a driver. He called it ''a normal day.''

When asked if he was going too fast, he replied, ''I was in second so I wasn't going fast enough.''

For years before entering politics as a state senator and more recently as lieutenant governor before becoming governor in January, Scott was known for his stock car racing. He's now believed to be the country's only chief executive who's also a stock car driver.

Scott, who's 58 years old, said that even as governor he hopes to compete in a handful of races during the current stock car racing season.

When he was asked what his security detail felt about his racing, he said, ''I think they were entertained.''

After Scott's weekly news conference, which was mostly filled with details of state government, his chief of staff, Jason Gibbs, said his phone started lighting up on Sunday after the racing mishap. But Gibbs said he's not worried about the governor's racing.

''I'm more concerned about him riding his bike,'' Gibbs said of the governor, who's also known to pedal around Vermont.

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