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NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES: ORAL-B USA 500


August 31, 2014


Denny Hamlin

Matt Kenseth


ATLANTA, GEORGIA

MODERATOR: We're now joined by our third place finisher of tonight's race, Denny Hamlin, driver of the number 11 Sports Clips Toyota.テつ Denny, you want to talk a little bit about your race out there tonight?
DENNY HAMLIN:テつ We had a pretty good race, a little disappointed.テつ I thought we had a little bit better car than that yesterday during practice.
Just couldn't quite grab hold of the handling like we needed to.テつ After it went fully dark and after about the third run and so it was, we fell back to 8th or so.テつ And then pit crew was just doing an amazing job, giving us an opportunity to win the race there at the end, and we just came up short.
Third is kind of about the place car we had tonight.テつ We optimized the day pretty much.
MODERATOR: We'll open it up for questions.テつ All right.テつ You're free to go.テつ Free pass.
DENNY HAMLIN:テつ Thank you.テつ Appreciate it.
MATT KENSETH:テつ Will be Matt Kenseth.
MODERATOR: We're now joined by our second place finisher of tonight's Oral‑B USA 500, Matt Kenseth, driver of the number 20 Home Depot Husky Toyota who finished second tonight.
Matt, this was a, let's do this weekend and you did it.テつ Clinched your spot in the chase for the Sprint Cup.テつ Talk a little bit about your night.
MATT KENSETH:テつ That was good.テつ We were pretty solid most of the night.テつ I thought that worst case scenario we had a 7th or 8th place car most of the night, I thought we had a top‑5 car, especially on the long run.
The 4 had everybody covered, but other than him and a few guys different runs, the 2 was pretty good a few runs, the 22 was about the same as us most of the night.
So, overall, we had a good solid car, we got a little bit behind there at the end and Jason made a great call to put us in the front and give us a shot at the win.テつ I was feeling pretty good about it on the first restart where everybody was lined up, but that second one, I just, man, just couldn't hang on there.
MODERATOR: All right.テつ We'll open it up for questions.

Q.テつ It looked like there was a little bit of a wiggle maybe on the‑‑ well there was, on the next to last lap.テつ Can you tell me what exactly happened there?
MATT KENSETH:テつ Probably not.
(Laughter.)
That last lap and a half, last two laps was fairly intense.
So, anyway, I thought I got rolling okay on the restart, and I know Denny spun his tires a little bit.テつ And he said he got out a little bit and Kasey got rolling and just drove up in between us and almost cleared me in 1 and 2, and I was able to get alongside of him and get a good run down the back stretch.
And I was planning on driving into 3 and waiting until he lifted and then go a couple car lengths and hoping to clear him.テつ But, we were in there so far, if I shot the corner any harder, I was going to shoot out the other end and he was going to pass me back.
So, I got in there as far as I could and make it stick and got back to the gas as soon as I could and just couldn't quite‑‑ just didn't have enough muscle to clear him.

Q.テつ How do you feel the JGR cars?テつ You all looked pretty stout this weekend.テつ Do you think you've made improvements as far as speed and down force?
MATT KENSETH:テつ I feel like we have been on a steady climb improving our stuff the last few months.テつ Really.
So I think we can go back to, I don't know when exactly it started, I feel like we're always trying to get our stuff better.
We all ran good in Kentucky and New Hampshire as a group, last week we ran pretty good.テつ So, I feel like we have been steadily gaining on it.テつ We wish we were a little bit faster and was out there dominating races and winning more races for sure, but I feel like my team's really operating at a high level.
Denny was real fast this weekend and I haven't got to watch anything to see anything about Kyle's day yet, but it's typically a good place for him.テつ So I feel like we're gaining on it and hopefully we'll go next week and have a good run and go try to race in those final 10.

Q.テつ Do you think the Gibbs cars will have anything for Harvick and the Hendrick cars on intermediate tracks in The Chase?
MATT KENSETH:テつ I hope so.テつ That's what we're aiming at right now.テつ Those 8 cars especially are it's hard for one of those 8 not to win every week.テつ They just got a ton of a ton of speed.テつ They're hard to keep up with, on short runs like that when you have restarts and stuff like that, it's almost impossible to beat them.
So we're working on it.テつ Hopefully, we'll keep gaining on that area a little bit and hopefully some races will come down to longer runs and handling will come more into play and we can try to wear them out.
But we're always working on it and trying to always get them better and I feel like we're gaining on it, but like I said, those 8 cars especially are pretty tough.

Q.テつ One area where you were beating the 4 car consistently was off of pit road.テつ Both you and Denny both and they were saying on their radio that they couldn't beat your guns.テつ TV was speculating that you have got some sort of new technology with the air wrenches.テつ Is that the case?
MATT KENSETH:テつ Oh, I don't know.テつ If it was, I wouldn't tell you.テつ But, honestly, I have no idea.テつ Our pit crew's been doing a really good job.テつ JGR has a pretty impressive program when it comes to training pit crews and coaching them and doing all that stuff as you would expect.テつ So guys are really doing a good job

Q.テつ Can you just kind of describe what your thinking was with the chaos going on at the end of the race, what you thought your chances were on the second green‑white‑checkered.
MATT KENSETH:テつ Well, I felt better about the first one.テつ Because that outside lane was really slick and hard to get going.テつ I had Denny behind me on the inside and I had the 27 on the outside, which I'm assuming was on two tires.テつ Then the rest of the guys with Hendrick stuff was lined up on the outside after that.
So I felt pretty good about that one.テつ I got rolling really good through the gears, I hardly spun the tires.テつ I felt really good about that.テつ I thought that I might get beat, but you felt good about that one.
The second one I didn't feel nearly as good about.テつ The 5 was up behind me and I had to defend left the best I do.テつ I got rolling got through the gears really good, but they got so much speed, he just drove right up between me and Denny.テつ I don't know, I ran wide open through 1 and 2 and got into 3 and did all I could and I just couldn't get him.
So I just, I just don't feel like I could have really done any more than what I did.テつ So I really felt good about both of them, but I definitely felt better about where everybody was positioned on the first one.
MODERATOR: Congratulations on your run tonight and your Chase clinch.テつ See you next week in Richmond.
MATT KENSETH:テつ Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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