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NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES: FOLDS OF HONOR QUIKTRIP 500


March 1, 2015


Dale Earnhardt, Jr.

Kevin Harvick

Martin Truex, Jr.


HAMPTON, GEORGIA

KERRY THARP:テつ We'll start our post race press conference.テつ Joining us at the podium right now are Kevin Harvick, our race runner‑up, and Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
Kevin, your last five races you finished second, first, first, second, second.テつ You must be on a little bit of a hot streak here.テつ Talk about your run out here this afternoon.テつ Certainly track conditions were changing.テつ Talk about how you think you sized things up this afternoon.
KEVIN HARVICK:テつ Yeah, we had a solid day.テつ Everybody on our team did a great job.テつ Jimmie really got rolling there halfway through the race.テつ We had a heck of a race, had a lot of fun out there racing with him, trading the lead back and forth several times.
All in all it was a good, solid day.テつ I know everybody wants to win.テつ We just have to keep doing what we're doing.テつ You put yourself in that position, you'll be able to win races.
I had one bad restart on the outside where I spun the tires, fell back to fifth or sixth, never quite recovered that, then got stuck behind the 55 when they stayed out on tires.テつ Just never made those spots up.
All in all, still a solid day.
KERRY THARP:テつ Dale, talk about your run out there today.テつ The No.88 was pretty fast.テつ I think I heard you talk most of the weekend you thought you had a pretty good racecar.
DALE EARNHARDT, JR.:テつ We started out Thursday frustrated, not happy with the balance of the car.テつ Greg, Kevin, the engineers, they worked hard to study and improve.テつ We had a great car today, just not enough to beat Jimmie.
I got outside of him there on that last restart, but I knew in turn three and four I didn't have the preferred line.テつ He was pretty quick around the bottom.
We ran over something on the racetrack, knocked the grille out of it.テつ It hurt the aerodynamics.テつ Think we might have been able to race Kevin a little bit.テつ It was pretty much over with when that happened.
Real fortunate we didn't have another caution because I don't think we would have done well with the restart with that grille knocked out.
Happy with the car.テつ Happy with Greg.テつ Greg is great at communicating.テつ Our communication is natural, feels good.テつ He's a pretty decent cheerleader, too, for myself, the team.テつ Man, he's going to be something else for a while around that garage.テつ I'm glad to be able to work with him there.
KERRY THARP:テつ Also joining us is Martin Truex, Jr.
Martin, back‑to‑back top‑10 showings to start out the season, fifth in the points, showing the 78 team is going to be a force to be reckoned with.テつ Talk about your run out there today.
MARTIN TRUEX, JR.:テつ It was a good day for us.テつ Obviously a good weekend in general.テつ Felt like we had good speed all weekend long.テつ The guys made good decisions.テつ Everything has been going really smooth.テつ It's nice to start off the year with some momentum.
Really thankful for all the hard work put in over the off‑season to kind of turn this program around.テつ Really happy with Cole Pearn running the ship.テつ Have to thank Joe and everybody back in Denver for working hard in the off‑season to get us where we needed to be.
Had a good car all day long, but couldn't quite break into the top five.テつ Every time we got close, we got in a bad lane on the restart, or something else happened.テつ All in all a good day.テつ Have to thank my guys.テつ Glad to have some momentum.
KERRY THARP:テつ We'll take questions.

Q.テつ Dale, before the race started, you mentioned that Keselowski told you his track bar adjustor had broken on Friday or Saturday, then you had a similar situation happen.テつ Can you discuss what that feels like in the middle of battle and something like that happens.
DALE EARNHARDT, JR.:テつ I don't think that thing is going to be that big of a deal anyways.テつ I wasn't too worried about it.テつ We can adjust the car on pit road.
I've been messing with it a lot.テつ I haven't found it to be anything that sets the world on fire.テつ Actually moving it down really just hurts my car.テつ Moving it up made the back swing a little bit too much.テつ I never used it and got happy about it.
It might work a little better at some other tracks, particularly the ones that have a ton of grip where you can kind of tweak it a little bit here and there, feel the balance change.テつ At a place like this, moving it didn't seem to make a big deal.
I think it will help you a lot when your car is way, way out to lunch.テつ It will Band‑Aid until you can get it to pit road and work on it.テつ I don't think it's going to be much of a story after a few races.

Q.テつ Kevin, the records will always show you started second, however you didn't.テつ You started back in the back of the field.テつ How tough was the challenge to get yourself back to the front?テつ Was it enthusiastic?
KEVIN HARVICK:テつ Yeah, it was a lot of fun, to be honest with you.テつ As a driver, you look at this place that you have options.テつ You know you can pass people.テつ There's a lot of places you go to you're going to get stuck, you're going to have the aero push, have a harder time with it than you will here.
It was a lot of fun coming up through there.テつ Jimmie was right up in front of me coming up through the pack.テつ We made it to 13th or 14th on the first run in about 20 laps.テつ It was fun.テつ I was looking forward to it.

Q.テつ Martin, momentum going into Vegas.テつ What do you attribute that to with your team?
MARTIN TRUEX, JR.:テつ A lot of hard work in the off‑season.テつ We started to gain a little bit of momentum last year towards the end of the year.テつ We started to figure out kind of what our issues were.テつ We really only had one racecar that we could run good with or was consistent throughout our whole weekend.テつ We needed the off‑season to get things revamped, get things built, implement things we thought we understood.
Obviously everything is working out so far pretty well.テつ There's definitely room for improvement, obviously there always is.テつ But happy with the decisions that have been made.
This is just a good start to the year for us again so we can start building on this, start building some consistency.テつ If we can run towards the front each and every week, we'll put ourselves in position to win some races.テつ That's ultimately what we're here for.
Again, just a credit to all the guys back in the shop, all the guys on the team.

Q.テつ Martin, earlier in the weekend you said you were off in testing, off in practice.テつ What did you find overnight or in the race today that led to such a good finish?
MARTIN TRUEX, JR.:テつ We were off a little bit in the test day on Thursday.テつ Felt good about the car on the longer runs, which is where we were best today.テつ Didn't have that short‑run speed.テつ Little things here and there.テつ Cole and our engineer Jazzy did a good job all weekend, made good decisions.テつ They tuned on the car throughout the weekend.テつ We constantly got it better each run.テつ Today again we made some good gains throughout the race.
At the end of the day it was good work by all the guys.テつ This is what we need to keep doing.

Q.テつ We saw again today the outside line having a really hard time getting going on restarts.テつ The lead or control car gets to pick their line.テつ Would any of you like to see NASCAR implement the short track rule which you get to choose whatever line you want to start in?
DALE EARNHARDT, JR.:テつ No, I'm pretty good how it is.テつ He means like the cone rule, you can stay on the inside if you want, go to the outside, even the guy way back.
I think that would get real confusing.テつ We ain't that smart (laughter).
KERRY THARP:テつ I beg to differ.テつ I'm going to let you guys go.テつ Congratulations on this weekend.テつ We'll see you in Las Vegas.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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