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November 16, 2014

Denny Hamlin

Joey Logano

Ryan Newman


KERRY THARP:テつ At this time we're going to hear from Denny Hamlin, Ryan Newman, Joey Logano, three outstanding competitors in the 2014 season who put on a race today that I think will go down as one of the most competitive races in the history of the sport.テつ Each one of you should be very proud of your efforts in 2014 and how you represented the sport here today.テつ Denny Hamlin drives the No.11 FedEx Express Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing.テつ He finished seventh in today's race.テつ Joey Logano drives the No.22 Shell‑Pennzoil Ford for Team Penske.テつ Joey finished 16th.テつ And Ryan Newman drives the No.31 Caterpillar Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing, and Ryan came in second today.
Let's start with you, Joey.テつ Just talk about your run out there today and how you thought things played out for the 22 car.
JOEY LOGANO:テつ Obviously not too good.テつ It's been an awesome season for this whole 22 bunch.テつ We were out there, a lot of top 5s, a lot of wins.テつ Coming into today, we knew what we had to do, we just didn't execute from every angle it seems like.テつ I got the wall a little bit early in the race, and we lost the shape of our car and we lost a little bit of track position before that.テつ Was able to recover towards the end of the race to where we were all in line, and we came down pit road, and I just had a mistake on pit road and went all the way to the tail end of the lead lap there, trying to fight back there with 15 to go.
Unfortunately, a great season like that makes this overall finish fourth because of one mistake, but that's what the rules are.テつ We understand that.テつ This team did a great job of consistently being fast.テつ In the previous years that would have been perfect.テつ But coming into this race and the way the points go, it doesn't pay any more obviously.テつ Just didn't execute perfectly tonight, and for that reason we'll finish fourth.テつ But we still feel like we did a lot better than fourth this season.
KERRY THARP:テつ Denny Hamlin, certainly you gave it all you had out there this afternoon.テつ Maybe just talk about your run and how you thought things played out.
DENNY HAMLIN:テつ Not too well for us.テつ Obviously we had a championship‑type car, championship‑type effort, but those last breaks just didn't go our way.テつ I thought once our car really came into its own as soon as it went dark, and I thought we had the best car, and we just struggled with restart speed.テつ Kind of the theme of the year, just struggling with‑‑ we don't have the all‑out speed that those guys have, and with that, it put me in some tough spots on restarts.テつ And I gave up a position to Harvick there with 20‑some laps to go, and Darian tried to make a call to make that back up and leave us out there on tires, and obviously we were sitting ducks as long as cautions kept coming.テつ We were able to jump out and get the lead, you know, had a decent lead, and just the cautions didn't go our way.テつ That's all you could ask.テつ We had a car that was capable of winning today.テつ We know that.テつ Our effort was 100 percent.テつ It's just that the breaks didn't quite work out for us.
KERRY THARP:テつ Thank you, Denny.テつ Ryan Newman, you certainly put on a championship‑like effort here this afternoon, finishing second in today's race, second in this year's championship.テつ Just talk about how you thought things played out today for the 31 car.
RYAN NEWMAN:テつ Just a lot of fight.テつ These guys did a really good job.テつ We had a couple pit stops that kind of put us back, but the guys stepped it up the last couple pit stops and we gained a few spots, gave ourselves a shot.テつ Luke, I thought, made a great call on the two‑tire stop, and we got some track position.テつ And then when Jeff pitted, that kind of caught me by surprise and gave us the front row.テつ Had a decent start there with Denny, and then luckily just got past him when the caution came back out again.
But the game changer for us I think really was the one caution that was before Gordon pitted that I think Denny was leading, and we were in a better situation than they were on tires.テつ We had rights and they had stayed out, which I think was the right call for them at the time had the race gone green.テつ But it had a couple late race cautions.テつ I didn't see why, but in the end, I'm just so proud of our team.テつ Caterpillar Chevrolet was good all day.テつ Luke and the guys did an awesome job.テつ We came back for the entire season to make our best finish our last finish.テつ It is disappointing, don't get me wrong, but there's no point in being a sore loser.テつ It's some motivation, some momentum for the off‑season to get started for Daytona, and just look forward to the opportunity for next year.

Q.テつ Denny, how does this compare to the disappointment of 2010, the last race here?テつ And for Joey, at the end of the race, obviously you had a couple miscues on pit road.テつ What do you attribute that to?テつ Do you feel like the pressure might have got to your guys a little bit at the end?
DENNY HAMLIN:テつ You know, our situation is different.テつ We haven't had the speed to run with that 4 all year long, and we did tonight.テつ All things equal, I loved our chances, but they weren't at the end, and this is a little bit different because when we had an early incident in 2010, it kind of damaged our car enough to where we couldn't overcome that throughout the day.テつ So very proud of what we brought to the racetrack and were able to compete with, and they gave me some tools to try to win the race, but through‑‑ strategy is part of winning, and the strategy for us didn't work out with what happened with the cautions, like Ryan said.
Like I say, the race goes green, maybe things are‑‑ probably are a lot different.テつ But it's a part of racing, and you can't predict those things.テつ I'm proud of what we‑‑ the effort we put forth after the year we've had.
JOEY LOGANO:テつ To answer your question about the pit stop there, obviously I haven't re‑watched it, what happened there in the pit stop yet.テつ Obviously when you're pushing hard to try to make 11‑second pit stops or better, mistakes happen.テつ We can't have that happen, obviously.テつ We can't afford to have a mistake like that.テつ But without re‑watching the tape, I'm not going to say it was pressure or whatever it was.テつ We're all trying really hard, we're all trying to go as fast as we can.テつ It's like everyone running the wall out there going as fast as you can.テつ Sometimes you make a mistake, and we knew coming into this race you can't afford to make one mistake and put yourself behind.テつ We just made a couple tonight which put us back.テつ Obviously our pit crew has done a good job this year.テつ I'm not putting them down over one thing.テつ It just was bad timing on one of them.

Q.テつ Joey, during that pit stop or right afterwards, what were your emotions at that time?テつ And did you pretty much know that it was over?
JOEY LOGANO:テつ I didn't have good emotions in the car.テつ I was pretty pissed off, I guess, if that's an emotion.テつ But you still‑‑ there's still a sign of hope.テつ You know your chances went down a lot.テつ I didn't say it was over.テつ We didn't give up.テつ I just think at that point, try to pass as many cars as you can, try to work your way back up there and really hope those guys wreck each other, and that's really all I had going for me at that point.
When you're that far back, and I think I was 24th or 25th, something like that, it's like, oh, you can't make that up with 12 to go or whatever it was.テつ So it's just too hard to make that up.テつ All you can do is try.テつ It was an amazing opportunity to be here, and it would be dumb to give up, so you just keep trying and hopefully something happens.テつ We put ourselves in that boat to have to be able to pull back out, and it was hard.

Q.テつ Ryan, you mentioned in your TV interview something about you might have had a chance to do something with Harvick there at the end but didn't think it was the right thing to do.テつ Can you expand on that?
RYAN NEWMAN:テつ Yeah, just on the inside I was trying to kind of keep track.テつ I was kind of between fifth and eighth for most of those restarts and trying to keep track of who was beneficial, the bottom lane, the top lane, or whatever.テつ He took the top lane for a reason.テつ He saw more than I did.テつ But in the end, I just got down underneath him and he was close enough to me, took some of the air away from me.テつ I could have kept it wide open and washed up into him, and it wasn't the right move.テつ It wasn't what I would have wanted him to do to me.
If we were close enough on the last lap, it might have been a different game, but I wasn't.テつ I slipped off of Turn 4 coming to the white, and at that point it was pretty much over.テつ I really was hoping he would slip a tire, blow a motor, something like that, that was our only hope.テつ All those things go through your mind, but I had a pretty good run and cut down to the bottom and just ran out of racetrack, ran out of room, and he had the air, he had the line.

Q.テつ Denny, could you take us through Michael Jordan being here today, how that happened, and what that must have meant to have him here to see you try to make history?
DENNY HAMLIN:テつ It was awesome, a guy that I grew up watching and idolizing.テつ I've been a basketball fan for a really long time.テつ He's just a good friend that came to support a friend.テつ You know‑‑
RYAN NEWMAN:テつ Did he bring you some underwear or anything?
DENNY HAMLIN:テつ No.テつ Hard to fit in that.
You know, it's cool for him to take time out to come down here and show support, and like I say, he's a friend, and we communicate on a weekly basis.テつ He's a race fan.テつ He is a huge race fan.テつ When he came in the motor home earlier today, just ‑‑ he brought a big group with him, and he's talking about how he's converted all these people into being race fans.テつ I mean, he knows everybody, and he knows the sport, and that's awesome that a guy like that that has accomplished so much thinks so much to come down and support his friend at a NASCAR race.テつ He's been a good friend, and can't thank him enough.テつ Wish we could have been celebrating with him.テつ I wish I could have had one ring to his six or so, but we'll have to wait another year for that.

Q.テつ Did you invite him or did he surprise you?
DENNY HAMLIN:テつ He asked for tickets.テつ I told him we could handle that.

Q.テつ Ryan, on Wednesday when we spoke to you, we kind of were wondering what might happen at the end of this race if it came down to you guys racing at the end, and you said you would be happy smoking fenders and everyone going for it at the end.テつ It seemed like it played out when you guys were nose to tail, but when it came down to you and Kevin Harvick there, was that the scenario that you had envisioned and was he obviously the guy to beat?
RYAN NEWMAN:テつ Yeah, I mean, I was happy the situation I was in.テつ I mean, our sport would have been better if the four of us were on the front two rows, absolutely, but in the end I was one of the guys that had a shot at it, and I was happy to be in that position.テつ But man, you live for the moment and you drive as hard as you can.テつ We didn't have quite enough.テつ That's disappointing, but like I said, it was an awesome team effort, and I think, again, this is a great racetrack to have a race like this, and I thought there was some amazing passing, and we don't get that at every racetrack.
It was fun from my standpoint to come from where we came from this year.テつ We started the season in Daytona getting spun out in the last five laps to being the runner‑up for the championship.テつ It was a good rebound for us.

Q.テつ You guys are three of four guys who have been through this situation now for the first time.テつ What was the experience like, and how does this change your approach to next season and the season after that knowing what it took to get here, and not only what it took to get here, but to win the title and how this race unfolded?
RYAN NEWMAN:テつ For me personally, it's the first real championship I've been in position to lose in the last race.テつ I think Denny has been close before with the Chase format, but this is the first time I barely had a shot of anything within the last race or the last couple races, I guess you could say.テつ I was thinking after I got out of the car, our tables really turned if you think about it when Gordon didn't win Phoenix because if he'd have won Phoenix, Harvick would have been out and we'd have been the top guy at the end of the race.テつ I blame all this on Jeff Gordon.テつ (Laughter.)
DENNY HAMLIN:テつ You know, for me there's not one thing I would have done different.テつ I mean, we brought a car that was capable of winning.テつ I just don't know how to express it enough.テつ Sometimes breaks go your way, sometimes they don't.テつ They just didn't go our way.テつ There's not much else we could have done with the strategy that we played with the cautions that came out.テつ I wouldn't do a thing different.テつ I think we overachieved greatly by being here, and we haven't had the speed to compete for race wins all year, and we did today, on the race that really mattered.テつ Just came up short.
You know, this is the third time around that I've had an opportunity to win a championship, but each one has been different, and this has by far been our best effort as far as going out there and trying to get it done.
JOEY LOGANO:テつ Yeah, it was an awesome experience.テつ Kind of like Ryan, this is the first time I've had a shot at winning a championship.テつ It's the first time I've won more than one race in a season.テつ It's been a spectacular year.テつ I'm a biased opinion right now, and kind of like Brad said, I'm probably too close to the fire to comment much about how it went.テつ But as the car that scored more points than anyone in the Chase, it's hard to say you're in love with it, but I do think it was a good thing for the sport.テつ I think the race was very exciting today, and just unfortunate, like I said, we didn't execute today.テつ It was a great experience.テつ We had fun with it, learned a lot for next time in my career that we get to compete for a championship again and how I can maybe do a few things differently and then learn from my mistakes.
KERRY THARP:テつ Joey, Ryan and Denny, congratulations on an outstanding 2014 season, for all the competitive racing that you showed us out here this year, and the professionalism and the way you represented the sport.テつ We appreciate it very much, and we'll see you soon.テつ Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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