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May 9, 2015

Kevin Harvick

Martin Truex, Jr.


KERRY THARP:  Certainly quite the day, afternoon, evening, and we appreciate all the fans obviously staying here.  We've got two of our competitors, our race runner up, Kevin Harvick.  He drives the No.4 Jimmy John's Budweiser Chevrolet for Stewart‑Haas Racing.  And also with another strong effort tonight, he's second in points, is Martin Truex Jr.  He drives the No.78 Furniture Row Visser Precision Chevrolet.  Martin, certainly you were running up front a good bit of the evening, and probably pretty disappointed right now you couldn't get that W, but just talk about your performance out here today.
MARTIN TRUEX JR.:  Yeah, definitely not the finish we wanted, obviously, but proud of the guys for the weekend we had, just had good speed all weekend, brought a brand new car here and just proud of that.  It's kind of disappointing, but at the same time proud of the way we ran, and I think it's something we can build off of.
Felt like we were in a decent position there towards the end.  Really hate when it comes down to fuel mileage.  Seems like I'm always on the wrong end of that deal.  But really wishing we could have raced Kevin for it.  Seemed like we were both saving gas and then seemed like about 10 to go it we were both kind of hammer down, it would have been fun to see if we could have had anything for him.  But all in all, hard to be disappointed with how we ran, just disappointed in the outcome and the finish, but again, the guys have really done a great job and this is something we can, moving forward, build on and hopefully we can be in some position to win some races this year.
KERRY THARP:  Kevin, certainly running strong there the tail end of that race.  Maybe talk about how your car got better throughout the evening and then maybe how things just unfolded there the last few laps.
KEVIN HARVICK:  Yeah, we were just off compared to the 78 there at the beginning of the race, and just really couldn't get the handle on the car.
Rodney just made some great adjustments there under that green flag pit stop, packer in or out of the front, I don't remember what, and then two jack bolts in the rear and air pressure all in one stop and the car really came to life.  They just did a great job, they put us in a position to have a chance to win, and in the end, the 48 and 88 didn't have the speed so they gambled and they were able to get enough cars in between us that we were not able to have enough laps to get around them.
Just kind of a tough spot, as you're leading a race, as to what's right and what's wrong, because you know half of them are going to come in and half of them are going to stay out.

Q.  Martin, obviously this one is disappointing, but does it feel like a win is close?  Do you take that away, that you were obviously in this all night and it comes down to a call late in the race?
MARTIN TRUEX JR.:  Yeah, obviously I think we're getting closer.  We ran second at Vegas.  But we didn't quite have the speed compared to especially Kevin there as we did this weekend.  I felt like we were more competitive this weekend than we've been.  We've been a consistent top 5 to top 10 car.  I felt like tonight we kind of gained a big step in speed, and hopefully that's something that will continue.
We brought a new car here this weekend and it's kind of the newest and latest and greatest that we've come up with and definitely feel like we closed that gap a little bit.  We'll just have to wait and see if that plays out on other racetracks, but felt like if we can keep doing that and keep finding little things here and there to close that gap and keep being consistent putting ourself in position I feel like we can win some races.  We've got a great team, we've got everything we need to do it, and we've got a lot of confidence, so we've just got to keep get ting in that position and try to close the deal.

Q.  Kevin, you obviously took the two tires and it looked like you were able to, I think you restarted fourth‑‑

Q.  You were able to get up there around Jr. there.  Did you think that you were going to be able to finish that off?  I think you had three or four laps to go.  And why do you think Jimmie was so strong and you weren't able to get around him?
KEVIN HARVICK:  Yeah, he wasn't that strong, he was just trying to run right in front of our car, so for those first few laps when you're pushing like that it really takes the air off the front of the car and it gets the chatter in the front end and it snaps around.  But that was the strategy that they took, and it worked out for them.

Q.  Martin, what can you guys learn from this one?
MARTIN TRUEX JR.:  We should have either stayed out or took new tires.  We probably did the worst thing you could have done there with just staying out and getting gas only, because we ended up being the last guy with no tires.  Everybody else behind us had two and they ate us up on the restart.  If we'd have taken two, we probably would have come out sixth, been in a pretty good position.  All in all, I told Cole that he's still new at this, this is his first year calling races, and he's been spot‑on all year long.  He's taken gambles when he needed to that paid off, he's been smart when he needed to, he's done everything right, and tonight he just‑‑ he didn't make the right call.
Sometimes you don't always make the right call.  Sometimes the circumstances don't play out the way you think they will or whatever.
Hindsight is 20/20.  He's done a great job this year of calling races, like I said, and I just want to make sure that he doesn't get his confidence down, because he's been so good at it.  Live and learn.  He'll learn from tonight and get better next time around, and he's doing a great job.

Q.  Kevin, you and Jimmie had alternated the last six race wins on mile‑and‑a‑halfs.  It was supposed to be your turn.  Can you just speak, are you mad that Jimmie broke the pattern on you and why have you two been the cars to beat so consistently on the mile‑and‑a‑halfs really since the fall race in Kansas last year?
KEVIN HARVICK:  I'm not going to be mad.  I've been on the other side of this deal where the cars aren't running good and you don't have a chance to win.  We won a championship on pit calls and tires, and everything fell our way.  We've had a lot of things go our way, and we've had a lot of things work out, and running up front and having a chance to win, it's almost harder to win the races when you're leading races, because you've got guys that are a little off pace, like the first four were that stayed out, hoping that they could get a good restart and get the clean air and their car would hold on just long enough to get the win.  It's no frustration, just keep going at it.

Q.  Kevin, the track widened out real quick.  Right at the beginning we saw Kyle jump up there within like 10 laps and right after the rain everybody jumped right up there.  Can you talk about the track and how it widened out and how it kept the rubber up there at the top and how easy it was to get up there so soon in the race?
KEVIN HARVICK:  Yeah, the groove definitely spread out, and the hard part about that is when it does become the final groove it will become really hard to pass.  But it definitely widened out right now.  The cars were really edgy to drive.  I'm glad to get Sunday off this week to rest up, because my shoulders are wore out from driving loose all night.

Q.  You've run pretty well here.  Do you have that‑‑ is this just an unlucky track for you?
MARTIN TRUEX JR.:  Yes and no.  It depends.  It's been a good track because we've run well.  I finished second here when I didn't have a second place car, I finished second here when I had the best car, tonight I had probably one of the three best cars and finished ninth.  It's just‑‑ it comes down to the end of these things and anything can happen.  Everybody kept asking me in the rain delay, how much pressure are you putting on yourself to win and all this.  This is a long race, a lot can happen.
A perfect example, a caution comes out when it shouldn't, and we get put in a position where we have to pit or stay out.  You just never know in these races, there's so many guys that are competitive, so many guys on different plans, different strategies.  I can say I've never really been the luckiest guy in racing, but at the same time I really enjoy racing here and I enjoy the racetrack, and it's fun to be competitive.
KERRY THARP:  Kevin and Martin, thank you for putting on a good show here tonight.  We'll see you guys at Charlotte.

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