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NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES: AUTO CLUB 400


March 22, 2015


Dale Earnhardt, Jr.

Kevin Harvick


FONTANA, CALIFORNIA

THE MODERATOR:テつ We're going to go ahead and roll into our post race media availability.テつ We've now been joined by our sixth‑place finisher, Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Dale, after last week, your team came back, had a very solid finish here, you were up there battling with the leaders on the final restarts.テつ Talk a little bit about your run today.
DALE EARNHARDT JR.:テつ Well, you know, the car was pretty decent in practice.テつ Didn't know exactly what to expect when we got the race going.テつ The car took off pretty good.テつ Top‑10 car taking off.テつ We made some great adjustments, learned a lot, learned exactly what the car needed.
I thought right at the end we were the third best car, obviously sitting there running third behind the 41 and the 4.テつ They were the class of the field.
We had a great day, lot of fun, fun racetrack, awesome crowd we had here.テつ Kevin was right about the single‑race market.テつ It's really working here in Fontana.
We're just glad to be able to rebound.テつ Last week was very dismal, disappointing and frustrating.テつ So, again, glad to be able to come here, run good, run strong.
Felt like we, you know, never really got exactly what we wanted out of every single restart to get the track position towards the end, but we did gain spots on all the restarts.テつ Things didn't go exactly our way.テつ We had some great pit stops.テつ Everything else was good.
A lot of fun.テつ What a fun racetrack.
THE MODERATOR:テつ We've also been joined by our second‑place finisher, Kevin Harvick.
Kevin, you extend your finishes of first or second to eight consecutive races now.テつ So talk a little bit about your strong run today.
KEVIN HARVICK:テつ Just really proud of everybody on my team.テつ We fought through a day of track position.テつ Pit crew had a little bit of trouble at the beginning of the race.テつ They rebounded, got us out in the lead.テつ That's the great part about an experienced group like that:テつ they come back, fire off, forget what happened last week.テつ That's what this team is made of.
I hate that the 41 wasn't able to hold on for the win there.テつ I would have loved to see those guys get their first win.
You never know how the strategy is going to play out here.テつ There's so many cars on the lead lap, you didn't want to get buried in there.テつ One little bad move for Brad, he would have been stuck in the middle of that traffic.テつ But it all worked out for him.テつ The second restart, he was in prime position up on the outside with fresh tires.
A great race and, like Dale said, fun to be part of it.
THE MODERATOR:テつ We'll take questions for Kevin or Dale.

Q.テつ Dale, it seemed like you and your crew chief made some good adjustments to pick up during the race.テつ Being that you're in the first year with Greg as your crew chief, is that something very encouraging to you?
DALE EARNHARDT JR.:テつ Yeah, absolutely.テつ I know Greg's good.テつ He's going to make great adjustments.テつ But Steve was always real good about that, really improving the car as the race went on, giving me some good adjustments to help me get faster.テつ I was always fortunate to work with Steve.テつ He was great on the box.
Greg's real sharp.テつ He's still, you know, learning the ropes and taking everything in.テつ He's a sponge, just absorbing everything he can.テつ He's got a great help, too.テつ Kevin Meendering is my lead engineer from last year.テつ There's a lot of great information that Kevin already knows about me, what I like, don't like, what's worked for us in the past to make our cars work.テつ So he's feeding off of that.テつ I'm sure Kevin is giving him a lot of great information.
I'm surrounded by a bunch of great guys, a great crew.テつ Look forward to getting to the next race.テつ We want to get a win, get that in the bank if we can.

Q. テつKevin, explain the pit stop where you sped out without taking four tires.
KEVIN HARVICK:テつ They put two tires on and I hit the gas when they told me to go (laughter).テつ That was pretty much it.
Rodney and those guys, they have a lot of information up there.テつ If the caution doesn't come out for a second time, it's 100% the right call.テつ You can't ever know what to plan on so you have to try to keep your track position and do the right thing.
Rodney made a great call.テつ He makes great calls every week.テつ Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.テつ A great call won us the championship.テつ It was still the right call today if the caution doesn't fly twice.
You just have to race and you never know what's going to happen with the caution and things as these races come to an end, especially here.

Q.テつ Kevin, tell me, was it a little bit slow on the restarts for you?テつ You seemed to go way up high.
KEVIN HARVICK:テつ Yeah, the first corner, I wasn't as good as the 41.テつ But I felt like, you know, the high groove was where I needed to be.テつ We made some good time and felt like I still had some in the bank.テつ We never really got to run through there, through three and four.
All in all, it just took me a corner or two to get going.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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