Kasey Kahne knows what it's like to have a bad ride and what it's like to have a good ride.
So he was asked this week, after his victory in the Coca-Cola 600 over the weekend, which is tougher:
Riding in that bad ride and not knowing where you'll land the next year?
Or riding in a good ride and not being able to produce results?
"That's kind of tough," he said.
Indeed, it's a tough question for any race car driver. Equipment matters. Fast cars, provided every week, give you a better chance to win. Slow cars won't win, no matter how well you drive.
But drivers don't get allowances for slow cars.
So when Kahne spent 2010 and part of 2011 driving for the dying Red Bull Racing team and averaging about an 18th-place finish - and having been bumped from Richard Petty Motorsports in '09 - he was doing his risumi no favors.
At least he had another ride lined up.
Hendrick Motorsports signed Kahne in 2010 to replace Mark Martin in 2012.
That's a good ride. The No. 5 Chevrolet produced two poles in the first six weeks this season.
But Kahne couldn't bring the car home. He was 29th, 34th, 19th, 37th, 14th and 38th.
Again, doing his risumi no favors.
So what was tougher? Riding in a bad ride with an uncertain future, or not producing in a good ride?
"When you're a little unsure what's going to happen with your team, your organization, you're unsure about the people and the effort that they're going to put in, because it's hard on them and they're looking for jobs and things as well," he said. "So that's always been kind of difficult. The good thing is, our guys always stepped up and did a really nice job for the circumstances.
"And this year, we've been solid since the start of the year, as far as speed goes. And each week, we're kind of a top-10 car in practice, and in the races, we're a top-10 car. And it just took a while to get those finishes. But once we started getting them, I felt really good. I haven't been too nervous or anything. I've just been trying to do the best I can and figure out what I need to go fast throughout the whole race."
After that questionable start, Kahne can make a run for a spot in the Chase. His six consecutive top-10s have him 15th in points, and Sunday's victory makes him third in the wild-card hunt behind Brad Keselowski and Ryan Newman.
He's in the right equipment for it.
Now he just wants to reduce the pressure on himself and let his ride do the work.
"I feel like I need to perform with the opportunities I've had in racing," the nine-year veteran of 300 Cup starts said. "They've been really solid opportunities. And so I put a lot of pressure on myself. But I think earlier in the year, I definitely felt like you're going somewhere, coming into a spot where you know you have the best of everything and everybody out there knows that 5 car is as good as any car on the racetrack every single weekend, and now I'm driving it. And I need to make it look like it should look."