CHEVY NSCS AT MICHIGAN ONE: Kevin Harvick Post Race Press Conf. Transcript

JUNE 16, 2013


Six Team Chevy Drivers in the Top-15
American Muscle

BROOKLYN, Mich. (June 16, 2013) – Kevin Harvick, No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, led Team Chevy at the ultra-fast Michigan International Speedway with a key second-place finish for his Richard Childress Racing (RCR) team.   Harvick, who has one win at the 2-mile speedway (2010), was unable to catch the leader after the final restart, but settled for his fifth top-10 in a row, and fifth top-five finish of 2013, to move up one spot in the overall standings to fourth.

Three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart, No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS, kept his hot streak going by scoring his third straight top-five finish in a row – coming home fifth today.   Stewart, who was outside the top-20 just four races ago, now moves to 10th in the overall standings with the finish.

RCR teammates Jeff Burton, No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS, and rookie Austin Dillon, No. 33 American Ethanol Chevrolet SS, finished 10th and 11th respectively to put a total of three RCR cars inside the top-10 today.  Burton moved up four positions in the standings to 17th with his third top-10 finish of the season.  Dillon, in only his seventh Sprint Cup Series start, earned his best career finish to date.

Danica Patrick, No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS had a solid run in today’s race and came home in 13th position.   It was Patrick’s third-best career finish in 25 NSCS starts.  She was followed by another RCR driver, Paul Menard, in the No. 27 Menards/CertainTeed Chevrolet SS, who finished 14th overall.

Greg Biffle (Ford) was the race winner, Martin Truex Jr. (Toyota) was third, and Kyle Busch (Toyota) was fourth to round out the top-five finishing order.

Next stop on the circuit will be Round 16 at Sonoma Raceway, the first road course race of the year, on Sunday, June 24. Green flag is set for 3:00 pm ET and will air live on TNT, Sirius/XM Channel 90, MRN Radio



KERRY THARP:  Let’s roll right into our post race for today’s 45th annual Quicken Loans 400, and our race runner up was Kevin Harvick.  He drives the No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing, and today’s performance moves him up to fourth in our points race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.  Kevin, just talk about your run out there today.  Certainly listening to you on the broadcast interviews post race you’ve got to feel pretty good after you thought maybe you weren’t going to have such a great performance here today.

KEVIN HARVICK:  Yeah, I was pretty nervous as we finished practice yesterday.  Those guys just did a great job again of talking through everything with myself and themselves to make some good decisions this morning. They always do, and that’s what makes this team good is they keep themselves in contention to be solid on days when you don’t think you’re going to be that great.  So it’s just one of those days where you had to survive.  You had to try to keep your track position the best that you could.  You had to manage tires and get them on the car because people were having a lot of trouble.  So it’s definitely one of those races where you had to manage numerous amounts of things to keep yourself in it.

Q.  Based on what you just said, did you all make tremendous changes from practice time, or were they just very fine tuning?

KEVIN HARVICK:  Yeah, I don’t think    we didn’t make any tremendous changes, but it’s not one of those deals where you have to overhaul a car.  We weren’t completely in right field, but I felt like we were a 10th to 15th place car.  But we knew the conditions were going to be different today.  You knew that    we knew what we were fighting in traffic and what we were going to have to deal with, and the groove kind of spread out today, went from the center down, the bottom groove in 3 and 4 was fairly good.  You could make some time there and move your car around if you needed to get around somebody.  But they made a lot of little changes, and most of them the right way.

We took the time in the first couple stops today to make some big adjustments on the car, lost some awesome track position, but it paid off for us after that.

Q.  Can you talk a little bit about the Gen 6 car, its first appearance here at Michigan International Speedway, your thoughts on it and your thoughts maybe on what they could do to make it better for the race coming up in August?

KEVIN HARVICK:  Yeah, I think the car performed really well.  I think you could take Gen 6, Gen 5, Gen 4, Gen 3, and you’re going to have a tough time on repaves to make it exactly what everybody wants because it’s just    you’ve got to let the asphalt age, and I think everybody knows the direction that we need to head in with the asphalt, and it’s got a lot of    it’s got to have a lot of rocks in it.  But these particular paves don’t have that in it, and you have to just give it time to age, and as it ages it gets better.  I thought this one was better than most because the groove was from the white line, and you could run two or three wide.  But I didn’t see anything too farfetched from a normal style Michigan race.

Q.  When you saw what happened to Jimmie Johnson, did you feel with such little time left you were kind of already relegated to second as your best, or did you see an opportunity?

KEVIN HARVICK:  My car started to shake really bad.  That was about the third set of tires that started to shake really bad on my car, and I just backed it down and let the 48 go at that particular point.  I wasn’t catching the 16 and didn’t really feel it necessary to have a tire failure or an issue at that particular point.  So our best bet at that point was the 48 catches the 16 and something happening as those two guys were racing.  But we just maintained and managed our gap between us and the 56 to just hold that track position and not have anything silly happen with the right front at the end.


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