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October 2, 2016

Joe Garone

Cole Pearn

Dover, Delaware

THE MODERATOR: We are going to continue with our post‑race media availabilities for today's Citizen's Soldier 400 here at Dover International Speedway. We are joined by the crew chief Cole Pearn and Furniture Row Racing general manager Joe Garone with the No.78 Furniture Row Denver Mattress Toyota which won today's race, the second in the Round of 16 here at the Chase and fourth of the season for this team.
Cole, why don't you start off and just talk a little bit about it and the momentum going into the Round of 12.
COLE PEARN: Yeah, I mean, this was kind of a bonus win really. We didn't need it at all, but you're never going to turn them down. We had a really good car today. I think the 48 was equally as good as us, and we were going to definitely have to battle them the rest of the race, and we were fortunate they had a penalty, and we didn't have any issues and we didn't make any mistakes, and no cautions. It really wasn't too difficult of a strategy at that point. Just, again, happy to get another win, and at the end of the day, it all resets next week and none of this really matters.
THE MODERATOR: Joe, why don't you talk a little bit about what this means for Furniture Row Racing as you head into the Round of 12 with the No.1 seed.
JOE GARONE: Well, it's amazing. Just as Cole said, it's about momentum and trying to get to the last race. You obviously have to keep knocking down fences, and today was definitely a big step, and carrying off into another mile‑and‑a‑half with this kind of momentum, it's just really positive. Really good for the company, for Furniture Row, and Denver Mattress and Barney Visser, our owner, who again is not here to celebrate with us, but a lot of hard work has gone into this from a lot of people.
At any race, you've got to have this momentum to continue from round to round. We're blessed to have gotten this win.

Q. Cole, obviously it wasn't a given that you guys had this in a bag or anything with ‑‑ Jimmie looked strong at one point there until those guys had their issues, but when you're in the latter stages of the race and you're leading by 12 seconds, any thoughts whatsoever of backing off just a little bit and not stinking up the show so NASCAR doesn't take a closer look than they might otherwise?
COLE PEARN: I don't know. You're going to have to stroke it pretty hard to get back 10 seconds, the lead we had. You've just got to keep going. Really the biggest thing we were concerned about was where the 48 was because we knew if he was able to get the Lucky Dog or get back on the lead lap, that's who we were going to be racing. They really drew our focused, and we kind of focused on what they were doing and kind of called the race off their decisions.
Definitely I know in the grand scheme it looked like we kind of walked the dog there a bit, but at the end of the day, caution comes, 48 is back on the lead lap, you've got to decide whether you're going to pit or not. A lot of things can happen at that point. We tried to keep them a lap down. I was trying not to say hell there, so anyways...

Q. Cole, I talked to Carl after the race, and you guys are supposed to be in the same equipment. He's like, I really want to know what they're doing to get a 12‑second lead on the field. What is it about you guys that can take that equipment and go out there and dominate like you did?
COLE PEARN: I don't know. I don't think it's any one thing for sure. We've got a strong team, and we didn't make it to Homestead last year for no reason. I really feel like we're in better equipment this year.
We just really had a flawless day. We're hitting on all cylinders right now. Every track we go to, even the tracks we haven't been good in the past, we've been pretty good at. I mean, and Dover for that matter has been a strong suit for us the last three years. Even in 2014 when we were struggling we ran good here. We really feel like we've got a good handle on this place.
We were good, but that 48 was just as good. I mean, at the end of the day, when you come to Dover you're going to have to beat Jimmie Johnson, and luckily it didn't come down to that being that close.

Q. Cole, does winning at Dover mean anything as far as how it relates to other tracks left on the schedule, and is there any fear that maybe you all have peaked too early?
COLE PEARN: I don't know. I mean, you're not going to say no. I mean, maybe we have, I don't know. I still feel like we've been good all year, so I don't really know how you can say we've peaked too early. At the end of the day, this was kind of an icing‑on‑the‑cake win. We didn't need it per se, but you're not going to turn it down. Martin has had a lot of wins taken away from him in his career, so to be able to make up for lost time in a way is good. You've just got to keep it rolling. We didn't do anything extravagant today. We brought a good car, we made solid pit stops, we never made any mistakes, and we won, so you're not going to knock that strategy at all.

Q. Cole, you guys weren't that good at Charlotte earlier this year. I just wondered if you were hoping maybe you'd do something a little different this time. Actually how much change do you anticipate from when you ran there in May until next week?
COLE PEARN: I mean, you can never be complacent. We had a good car here at Dover in the first race and we were different than we were then. Charlotte is another example, you can't get complacent and hold onto fond memories from the past or whatever. You've got to go and execute and work really hard this week. We've got a tough week coming up for our team. We've got a tight turnaround going to Charlotte. We've got to test Martinsville Tuesday and Wednesday, so I mean, it's a really tight week, and we're nervous about that.
But at the end of the day, it's definitely a track where we have good comfort with. I think we know what we need to do, it's just a matter of executing it and having it all go together over 500 miles.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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