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September 21, 2014

Kevin Harvick

Kyle Larson


KERRY THARP:テつ Let's roll right into our post race press conference, the second race in the challenger round of the 2014 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.テつ Our third‑place finisher with another strong showing is Kevin Harvick.
Kevin, certainly another strong performance.テつ You're positioning yourself where you want to be to get to the next round.テつ Obviously if you don't get the win, you certainly are going to be in a good position heading to Dover.
KEVIN HARVICK:テつ Yeah, you know, the first two weeks have gone really well.テつ It was important for us to get off to a good start to make sure we weren't scrambling after week one.テつ That stuff seems to pile on.テつ I think that a lot of that's what happens.テつ Towards the end of the race today, that's what happened.
You have to be aggressive.テつ This place is tough to be aggressive on.テつ We wound up with a ton of restarts, different strategies.
I thought at one point we were going to win the race, then the next thing I know the 2 is in the left rear quarter panel, I'm out of the groove.
It was hard racing.テつ I enjoyed it.テつ Hopefully we can keep running like we're running.
KERRY THARP:テつ Questions for Kevin Harvick.

Q.テつ Kevin, you indicated the restarts were a problem.テつ Were you upset with NASCAR, Joey Logano?テつ Explain your thought process.
KEVIN HARVICK:テつ I thought it was pretty clear:テつ on two stripes and one stripe, you start in between those two spots.テつ It was pretty evident he was a car length or two car lengths starting before that.テつ It was like nobody was watching upstairs.
Maybe I just need to be more aggressive on my restarts and start sooner than the double lines.

Q.テつ Kevin, this race felt like forever.テつ As a driver, does it get frustrating early on when you're leading, then it's Darwinian, survival of the fittest?
KEVIN HARVICK:テつ A lot of times that's the way these races turn out.テつ Once the caution comes out, you get close to the end, everybody starts playing strategy, you got to be more aggressive to get track position on restarts because that's the easiest time to gain spots.
Cautions bred cautions today.

Q.テつ Knowing that Loudon is similar to tracks like Phoenix or Martinsville, what can you take away from today's race that will help in the future?
KEVIN HARVICK:テつ I think Phoenix was a good place for us, has been a good place for me over the years.テつ I don't know that Martinsville applies much to anything we've done at many of these places.テつ You just have to treat Martinsville kind of like its own beast.
Loudon is like Martinsville, you can wind up in trouble really fast.テつ You want to survive and do what you have to do.
KERRY THARP:テつ Kevin, we'll let you go.テつ Good luck at Dover.
KEVIN HARVICK:テつ Thank you.
KERRY THARP:テつ Our race runner‑up, our top Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender, another strong showing here for Kyle Larson.
Kyle, just seems like there at the end of the race all of a sudden you show up.テつ Of course, that's where you want to be.テつ Talk about another very good showing.
KYLE LARSON:テつ We struggled quite a bit most of the weekend.テつ Then to start the race, I started 10th, fell back to I think almost outside of the top 20.テつ We definitely weren't even a top‑15 car for the first hundred laps of the race.
Everyone on the Target team did a great job.テつ Pretty crazy how it went from bad to really good with a flip of a switch it seemed like.
Didn't think we'd be a second‑place finisher.テつ We weren't a second‑place car by any means.テつ Top‑five car I thought.テつ Crazy how many cautions there were at the end.テつ Finally figured it out the last time, was able to get to second, hold off Kevin for two laps to get second.
Happy about the finish.テつ Hopefully someday soon I'll get one spot better.テつ Like I said last week, all these coming close, finishing second or third, is going to make that win feel really special.
KERRY THARP:テつ Questions for Kyle Larson.

Q.テつ The finishes you've had in the first and second races in the Chase, do you wonder 'what if'?テつ Looking back, where could you have made a difference to get one of the transfer spots into the Chase?
KYLE LARSON:テつ The only 'what if' I know is we'd be in the next round with the two finishes we had.テつ It's a little bit disappointing seeing how well we've been running and not being in the Chase.テつ Really proud about how we've been running.テつ Me and Jamie both.テつ I guess there are a few other Chase guys that were contenders today.テつ But me and Jamie the last two weeks have been really good.
I know other teams that are in the Chase notice that and I'm sure they're worried about us for next season already.

Q.テつ There are obviously situations where the playoff is going along with everybody else in the field.テつ Drivers talk about how there are a lot of different agendas.テつ Brad can be loose because he won.テつ Some have pressure to advance.テつ You running well without being in the Chase, what are your priorities?テつ Does anything change because you're in the midst of people running Chase races?
KYLE LARSON:テつ Really the only thing that we're racing for right now is wins, I guess.テつ At the same time you got to be cautious of those guys, but still race 'em hard.テつ We're not just out there being field fillers, we're out there racing.テつ We're all out there trying to win.テつ I'm going to race hard, try to get that win, but do everything I can to not affect those guys' races other than beating them.

Q.テつ (No microphone.)
KYLE LARSON:テつ Like I said, you got to race hard.テつ But they've got a lot to lose.テつ You have to understand that.テつ They need to understand that, too, we're not all just going to back down just 'cause they're in the Chase.テつ But we're obviously not going to do anything stupid to affect them.

Q.テつ We saw you here in the July race and you finished third.テつ What has it been for you that has made you so comfortable or successful here at Loudon?
KYLE LARSON:テつ I really don't know.テつ I feel like this is the type of track that doesn't suit my driving style.テつ I really think it's just 'cause I got a good team.テつ They get me up front at the end of the races.テつ It's so hard to pass here, once you get up front, if you just maintain your ground, hopefully you don't back up.
That's kind of what we did both races here at Loudon, was do some pit strategy things the first race to get up front, and stayed there the whole race.テつ Then this race, once all the cautions started happening, we just missed the wrecks, would line up in the right rows, get to the front.テつ The 55 had to pit in front of us for fuel.テつ We were kind of gambling, I guess, but the cautions worked out.
Yeah, I don't know.テつ This place I don't feel like suits me, but this is probably my best track for my stats.

Q.テつ What does it mean for you to get all the respect from the veteran drivers?
KYLE LARSON:テつ It's cool.テつ Yeah, I mean, it means a lot.テつ I think it means a lot to them to see a rookie that can battle with them up front each and every week, race them hard but race them clean.テつ Got to do the same thing I've been doing but hopefully start winning races.

Q.テつ Looking at the results here the past two races, obviously Penske is flexing its muscle here.テつ What concerns do you have being able to catch up to them?テつ Both of their drivers have advanced.テつ How much pressure does it put on the rest of the field?
KYLE LARSON:テつ I'm sure it puts pressure on the Chase guys.テつ I haven't really thought about it because I'm not in the Chase.テつ Hopefully somebody with a Chevy can beat those guys.テつ They're really fast.テつ They've been fast all season long.テつ They've had a shot to win a lot of races.テつ Now it seems like they've been getting it done quite a bit.
It's cool to see how well they're doing, but hopefully, like I said, somebody in a Chevy can start beating them, hopefully go win the championship at Homestead.

Q.テつ Kyle, you mentioned how things kind of turned around for you after the first hundred laps.テつ What led to you being able to get up front?
KYLE LARSON:テつ Yeah, I mean, like I said, we weren't very good the first hundred.テつ My crew chief and engineers, I'm sure they got together and decided on what adjustments to make to the car.テつ I don't even really remember what adjustments they were.テつ Seemed like from to point on, we were really good.
The first couple runs, I was really loose on exit of the corner, tight in the center, loose on my entry.テつ After that, all three parts of the corner were fixed.
Once we got the car driving good, we just had to miss those wrecks.テつ We gambled on fuel a little bit, but all the cautions worked out, so it wasn't really a gamble very much.
Yeah, I mean, just really proud of my guys on how they got me into the game.
KERRY THARP:テつ Kyle, congratulations on another strong showing.テつ Good luck at Dover.
KYLE LARSON:テつ Thank you.

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