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July 30, 2017

Kevin Harvick

Martin Truex, Jr.

Long Pond, Pennsylvania

THE MODERATOR: We'll begin today's post race media availability. We're joined by today's third‑place finisher, Martin Truex Jr., driver of the No.78 Furniture Row ‑ Denver Mattress Toyota for Furniture Row Racing.
Martin, not the result you wanted. Seemed like you had a great car out there today. Stagethree, a little issue with lap traffic. Walk us through that and how you felt that impacted your day.
MARTIN TRUEX JR.: Yeah, overall, I mean, it was definitely a solid weekend. Had a good practice, two good practice sessions, qualify second, finish third. It was just a solid weekend.
We kind of battled a little bit back and forth with the handling today of the car. We never could quite get it right. But everybody did a really good job of staying in it. We still had a shot there leading until the last pit stop.
We obviously lost the lead there when it cycled back around. Then just kind of got hung up in lap traffic a couple times. Got hung up once with a guy pitting and lost second to the 4 car.
All in all, I think Kyle, 18, probably had the best car. Especially at the end he looked like he was really fast, different strategy with fresher tires.
Nothing spectacular this weekend, but definitely a solid weekend. Really good job by everybody on the team, especially the two new tire changers that had to fill in today. I thought they did an excellent job for stepping in and filling in the way they did.
Everything was solid. We came away with a decent day.
THE MODERATOR: We're also joined by today's race runner‑up, Kevin Harvick, driver of the No.4 Mobil 1 Ford for Stewart‑Haas Racing.
Kevin, solid effort by your team today. Walk us through the final laps there where the 18 was able to get around you. Kind of the battle with the 18 all day.
KEVIN HARVICK: Yeah, there was no battle. He was way faster than we were. In the lap he happened to catch me, in my head I was thinking, All right, we just need to stay on the bottom. I got sideways going into three. Tried to park it. He was going to the throttle about the same time. Got in the back of me a little bit. That was just me trying to keep it on the bottom.
There was no battle. I mean, he was in a league of his own there at the end. Just got through traffic good. Got to us, got around us, gone.
THE MODERATOR: We'll open it up for questions.

Q. About 35 laps to go, did you think that fresh tires would have made that much of a difference with the 18 pitting about 10 laps after you guys did?
MARTIN TRUEX JR.: I don't know. I honestly hadn't thought about it. I was actually surprised when Cole said, Pit next time. But I'm thinking, you know, the 11 pitted. He said, Try to get to pit road if you can. I was already past it as the 11 was coming in. I think the 11 made a short pit a bit.
The 18 just stuck to their guns. It worked out obviously really well for them, being three of us actually got hung up in a bunch of traffic, and Kyle had a clean track for quite a while.
When he got to us, we were all half used up. He still had really good tires because he was in clean air the whole time.
Yeah, I don't know if it was the strategy or whose call it was or what. I was definitely surprised pitting that early. The crew chiefs have a lot going on. They see everything. Typically I don't question it.

Q. It looked like there was some hard racing there about 20 to go. When Kyle got to you, Kevin, the two of you worked together to get around Denny Hamlin, as well. How was it trying to pass out there? Seemed like it was hard at times, but when you had a run on someone, you could get around them.
KEVIN HARVICK: Well, I mean, the 18 just had a really good car. He could get through traffic. I got hung up by a couple lap cars. Took me a while to get around the 11. Everything took a lot longer than what it took him.
I think it's a number of things that happened there in the sequence of not getting out and getting going the first couple laps. He just made up tons of time there having clean track, then he had fresher tires. It all just kind of piled on there.

Q. Martin, when you pitted and gave up the win for the second stage, was the thinking there that was what Kyle was going to do, you basically had to cover his move?
MARTIN TRUEX JR.: You know, honestly, yeah, the thought there was if we didn't pit there, we probably weren't going to have a shot at winning the race. That was the gamble. That was our mindset before the race. We figured if we felt like we were good enough to possibly win the race, we'd have to pit before the end of that second stage.
Just stuck to our plan. That's kind of what we talked about before the race, hoping to get the overall win. It didn't work out, so obviously now I wish we would have stayed out and won that stage. That's part of it.

Q. Could you comment on what you thought of qualifying and racing on the same day.
KEVIN HARVICK: I thought this weekend was really good just the way that the schedule was laid out for the teams. I know how much the guys appreciate being able to stay at home. That's really what it's about, it's about quality of life for the team guys, giving them an extra day. If we can add that up 10, 15, 20 weekends, that's two or three weeks that you can keep those guys at home and let them spend some time with their families and kids and wives.
Everybody is just gone so much, it's almost becoming harder and harder‑‑ it is becoming harder and harder to hire people because it is such a grind. I thought it went well.
MARTIN TRUEX JR.: Yeah, I agree. I think it's definitely a big deal. One day doesn't sound like a lot, but especially for our guys being all the way out in Denver, having to load cars a day earlier than the teams here on the East Coast.
I thought the schedule was really good. Cole said it was a little tough getting to the track yesterday at 3:30 mountain time, a.m., but I definitely think it was worth the extra day at home just to get more things done, you know, have a little bit more family time, especially on those travel days.
So it was good. No issues from my standpoint.

Q. Kevin, this is your fourth runner‑up finish in the last seven races here. Is that something that's frustrating? Are you just happy you're running well here? Kyle broke through. Do you think sooner or later it's going to be your turn?
KEVIN HARVICK: I came here for 15 years and I don't think I had a top 10, so I learned a long time ago not to complain about finishing second or third or running good because it's hard to do. Sometimes you can't do it. I've been on the other side of that where you can't do it.
It's fun to win races. It's fun to be competitive. I'm never going to sit up here and complain about finishing second because, you know, it's a good accomplishment. The team has been through a lot, switching over to Ford, doing all the things they've done. As competitive as we have been, I think it's a huge credit to great people.
THE MODERATOR: Gentlemen, thanks for the show today. Good luck next week in Watkins Glen.

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