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NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES: PURE MICHIGAN 400


August 17, 2014


Kevin Harvick

Joey Logano


BROOKLYN, MICHIGAN

THE MODERATOR:テつ We'll go ahead and get started with our post‑race press conference.テつ We're joined by Joey Logano.
Joey, take us through the race, the last few laps.
JOEY LOGANO:テつ No (laughter).
Just the guys did a good job all weekend.テつ From when we unloaded, we had a really fast car.テつ We showed that in qualifying, showed that in practice all week.テつ Woke up this morning, felt pretty good about it.テつ Felt like we were going to be pretty good.テつ When Todd feels this good, I think we're going to be all right.
Took off at the beginning of the race, pretty fast, leading a lot of laps.テつ Just kept tightening the car up, getting a little bit better.テつ By the end we were able to get the car pretty much where it needed to be.テつ Then just restart after restart after restart.
I won every single restart.テつ I was on the front row except the last one, so here I am.テつ It's kind of frustrating.
For the most part almost had him there, then kind of rode around in fourth hoping for a restart because the fourth spot is where you want to be.テつ Realized we weren't going to get the restart, tried to go for third from there.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions for Joey.

Q.テつ What do you take away from today?テつ You're right there.テつ You're not winning, but you're just about.テつ What is the message you take away and the lessons?
JOEY LOGANO:テつ That we can win a championship.テつ I really feel we can do that.テつ That's the message I want to put out there.テつ I want to put out for my team that we're strong enough to do that.テつ I think we showed that today.
We got to find a little bit more speed to keep up with one car today.テつ 24 car was the best, only because he was good on the long run, we weren't as good on the long run.
Yeah, we're close.テつ You know, we still got to keep working hard.テつ We got to find that next level here in three weeks now to be this strong in the Chase.テつ But right now we're in the hunt.テつ We're doing what we got to do.
I said this after Pocono, finished third.テつ I said, Doesn't matter because wins are the only thing that matters right now.テつ Yes, we like the momentum.テつ That's a good thing to go into the Chase with the momentum we got.テつ A lot of top‑five, top‑10 finishes.テつ Moves us up in the points, but doesn't matter unless you have wins.
That's why I raced so hard at the end, just to get that position.テつ Almost got him back there again in turn one.テつ Just wasn't able to clear him.テつ I got pulled back on the straightaway again.

Q.テつ Walk us through what the difference was in the last restart.テつ You were able to get back up to him a little bit, but seemed like you went from second beside him all the way back to fourth.
JOEY LOGANO:テつ Yeah, my strong point was turn one all day.テつ I was really good getting into turn one.テつ That was kind of the 24's worst spot.テつ So kind of worked out for me.
I got a good run off the corner, was able to draft on him down the straightaway.テつ So here is my shot.テつ This is my one shot.テつ I knew I had about four, maybe five laps tops before your tires get hot and you lose all your mechanical grip.テつ It's really hard to pass cars.
I drove off into there, tried to get it a little free, which I did, got underneath him.テつ He was able to pull me back.テつ After that, Kevin had a really good run on the top.テつ Then I was just trying to hang on.テつ When a car gets on your doors, you're just swatting flies inside the car.テつ Lost more momentum.テつ Lost a position to Paul, then was able to get it back.テつ They were gone by then.
THE MODERATOR:テつ We now are joined by our second‑place finisher today, Kevin Harvick.
Kevin, talk about your race out there today.
KEVIN HARVICK:テつ Yeah, I mean, we had a solid day.テつ Just the 24 had more speed than we did all day.テつ I felt like when Joey was out front, he could get away at the short run, we'd kind of even out.
But all in all, it was a good day.テつ The main focus for our team has been consistency heading into the Chase to make sure we can scramble and do the things we've done over the last month.テつ When you have a solid day, finish it off.テつ Those are the things we've been able to do.
Obviously you want to win, but all in all we had some different goals that are as important leading into the Chase.

Q.テつ Joey, after the June race, your teammate said he felt like Hendrick was far ahead, like a year ahead on engine development and power.テつ Do you feel like you closed the gap a little bit today?
JOEY LOGANO:テつ Yeah, we've closed the gap.テつ I don't think we're a year behind.テつ Do I think the Hendrick Chevys are the best motors out there right now?テつ Yes, I do.テつ But I think this racetrack caters to the Ford motor a little bit more than normal.
We're good on the high rpm stuff.テつ Not slowing much in the corners.テつ This is kind of our wheelhouse.
Then for the Hendrick Chevys, it seems like the bottom end horsepower is where they got it.テつ That's not speed.テつ That's race‑ability stuff, you're able to get that spot on somebody off the corner.
We've closed the gap, worked a lot on it.テつ We're coming.テつ We're coming.テつ We're just not there yet.

Q.テつ Kevin, emotionally how important was your performance today for your team after a very difficult week for everyone in motorsports?
KEVIN HARVICK:テつ Well, it has been a difficult week.テつ I think the hardest part for me has been the way the whole media thing has shaken down.テつ It's an absolute tragic accident that has happened on both sides of the fence.
You have one young man who is dead.テつ You've got a guy that we know and are part of an organization that is just getting a lot of just crazy press.
I've known Tony Stewart for a long time.テつ You look, you know, you see what happened.テつ I still don't believe that he even knew that he ran into that car.テつ I know for sure that Tony Stewart is not going to run over somebody that's on a racetrack. テつI don't think there's anybody in this garage that would.テつ It would be hard to find somebody in the racing world that could point that car, just run somebody over.
You have just a lot of unknowledgeable people reporting on a situation that know absolutely nothing about racing.テつ It's just really unfortunate, the perception that has been given to him.
I know he'll stay strong and fight and he'll get the right people and do all the right things.テつ That's the part that's bothered me the most, is just the poor misrepresentation on the media side for him.

Q.テつ Did your team need this?テつ Did you feel like your team has been beaten down at all?
KEVIN HARVICK:テつ Well, we finished eighth, second, seventh and second.テつ I don't know that that's beaten down.テつ I think everybody has stepped up and did what they've had to do inside the shop.
You know Brett Frood is at the racetrack making sure that everything's right.テつ Gene Haas was there last weekend.テつ Everybody just has to pitch in and do their part, make sure we do everything we can to help Tony get through his situation.
There's a lot of strong people at our company.テつ Gene brings a lot to the table from a financial standpoint, being a leader.テつ There's a lot of great sponsors that are there that are very supportive of everything we're doing.
I think it's added more fire to everybody just to step up and keep everything headed in the right direction.

Q.テつ You finished your fourth straight race here finishing second.テつ Talk a little bit about that.テつ Then you also just said while you would have liked to have won, you have bigger things heading into the Chase.テつ Expound on that.
KEVIN HARVICK:テつ For us, we've had some moments where we've been kind of sporadic, inconsistent, fast one week, fast the next week, make mistakes, have something go wrong.
I think I've tried to do a better job at handling situations.テつ I think we've all worked together a little bit longer, and going back to these tracks for a second time, know what we want in our cars.
There's just a lot of things that are different as we came back from the break.テつ We were able to have a lot of discussions, set some goals.テつ It's hard to set goals when everything is brand‑new.テつ Sure, you want to go out and win.テつ But it's been a little bit different for all of us to have fast cars every week and feel you're in contention to win just about every race.
It took myself and Rodney a little while to get used to that, how to handle it, whether it be from tech inspection, the criticism, whatever it may be, it's just been different.
We just have a better handle on everything.テつ The pit crew, they've done a good job in stepping up, and had a great month.テつ It's just about having all your ducks in a row when we get to Chicago.テつ When something goes wrong, they're not going to let you start over.
Right now it's kind of like we get to start over.テつ We've been able to fix a lot of things.テつ But when you get to Chicago, you have to have 10 solid weeks to win this championship.

Q.テつ Kevin, given your long friendship with Tony, you're very close to him, is there anything you can share with us about what you've said to him, what he's said to you, how he is?
KEVIN HARVICK:テつ I have not spoken to Tony.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Guys, thank you very much.テつ Congratulations on your run today.テつ See you next week.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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