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July 8, 2017

Joe Garone

Barney Visser

Sparta, Kentucky

THE MODERATOR: We'll start our post‑race Quaker 400 race‑winning team's press conference. We're joined in the media center by the ownership group of Furniture Row Racing, team owner Barney Visser and Joe Garone.
Barney, let's start off with you. Another dominant race from the 78 team, leading the series in playoff points with 28. The championship potential must feel pretty good. Maybe talk about that and the race tonight.
BARNEY VISSER: Well, that's been our goal all year is to get where we're at here, I guess, leading the points. We're trying to get Erik up there where we want him, and I think he's starting to really show what he's capable of doing. But that's where we want to be.
THE MODERATOR: Joe, how about you on that one?
JOE GARONE: Oh, it was just amazing. To have the kind of race we had with all the stage wins and then he had a pretty big lead, and that's phenomenal. It says a lot about the race team and just great accomplishments all year, and I think it continues to build momentum. You know, when you have these kinds of runs and you go back in to Denver and into the shop, all the guys that have been pouring their guts into it are just super hyped up, and it's a good way to carry momentum into the rest of the races here leading into the playoffs.

Q. Joe, for you, you made it look easy. What are you all doing out in Colorado to make these cars faster than where you're getting them from?
JOE GARONE: Well, a lot of support from Barney Visser. I've got to say that right off the bat. But it's about people, really. We have just a really good group of guys, and I mean, all the teams do, but sometimes you get a group that gels really well and just worked really good together, and in particular on the 78 team, the guys have been together for quite a while now, and with Cole's leadership and a few more of the guys at the shop, it just really works well out there, and we have a real isolated total focus on our program, and I think you see those kinds of results on the racetrack.

Q. You guys have three wins, Gibbs has none, and you guys are affiliates and you work a lot together; do you ever get a feeling that maybe the information flow might decrease if Gibbs doesn't win?
BARNEY VISSER: No, I think Joe is going to do exactly what he said he was going to do, and we both have a full‑on share of information, and we both stick to it.

Q. Obviously lots of rumors about the 77 team next year, will they be around, who will drive, especially with Matt Kenseth saying he probably won't be back at Gibbs next year? Do you know? Will you have a 77 team next year, and do you know who will drive?
BARNEY VISSER: We have nothing concrete pulled together right now.

Q. But do you hope to have two teams?
BARNEY VISSER: Our hope would be two, yeah.

Q. I know it helps having the fastest cars, but you guys have 12 stage wins now with Martin, which is I think three times as many as the next closest driver. Is there a strategy to that? Did you guys go into the season thinking we can out‑game the system and outsmart everybody and get more stage points than everybody else? What's happening there?
JOE GARONE: No, I don't think it's a total focus on stage wins, other than it's a race to win. You look at each stage as an individual race, and you want to win it, so you do the things that you can to win the stage. There are situations where you might sacrifice‑‑ there's been some, especially at the road course in Sonoma where you might use a strategy that keeps you from winning a stage to help you win the overall race, but I think our mindset has certainly been to win every time we're on the racetrack, these stages, and we've got to, again, go back to Cole and our engineering group and the strategy they put together and the calls they make that really help them push that.
BARNEY VISSER: You know, and we're talking a little bit about race cars here, but let's talk about Martin, and we've said it before, I think he's peaking right now, and I think he's‑‑ I've always thought‑‑ for the last year I've thought he was as good as anyone in the garage, now I think he's better than anyone in the garage. You saw what he did on that last restart, putting it down in Turn 1. He's just that good.

Q. Why do you think that is, another year in the series?
BARNEY VISSER: Yeah, I think it's just personal issues with him. Whatever it is, I think he was always better than people thought he was, and he's not driving for money, he's driving for fun. That's his game.

Q. Mr.Visser, can you discuss the type, or how the relationship has blossomed between Cole and Martin and how much that chemistry plays into the entire team?
BARNEY VISSER: Yeah, well, Cole was part of the group that originally picked Martin when he became available. He was the guy that Cole wanted and Joe wanted him. I think it helps Martin to know that these guys really wanted him, and obviously he's just blossomed here.

Q. Secondly, is it your intention to maintain a second team regardless of what happens next season? Have you been happy with how the corporation has blossomed into two teams, and do you kind of want to stay in that mode?
BARNEY VISSER: We'd love to be able to do that, but I'm not sure the finances are going to allow it. We'll see what we're able to put together. There's nothing concrete right now for the second team.
THE MODERATOR: Barney, Joe, thank you so much. Congratulations on a great win.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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