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October 1, 2017

Adam Stevens

Dover, Delaware

THE MODERATOR: We are now joined by our race winning crew chief Adam Stevens with the No.18 M&M's Caramel Toyota. Adam, pretty good opening round of the playoffs here for the No.18 team. Why don't you talk about what that does for you guys going into the Round of 12.
ADAM STEVENS: All right. Yeah, you know, the goal this weekend was just to come here and score some bonus points, and we had high hopes coming in, but we just didn't give KB the best car to go out there and do it, so it was kind of up to him to give us some feedback and up to us to make some good adjustments, and thankfully we had some long runs there at the end and were able to close that gap. We were best when it mattered most, and that was the story of our day.

Q. Does this give you any momentum going into the next round with these wins, or does this format not really allow for momentum?
ADAM STEVENS: I think it does. You know, you can't put a price tag on the bonus points for sure, but it shows that this team is performing at a high level even when we're not our best. You know, nobody got down, nobody made any mistakes, and KB was able to kind of put the team on his back there and close that gap. You know, that gives me a lot of encouragement to see the effort that he put in and the focus and determination that he had to really grind it out.

Q. Adam, how did Kyle close the gap because like Jimmie Johnson said afterwards here that 95 percent of the time this race is won on the bottom, and if Chase stuck to the bottom you would think he would be able to prevail, but Kyle made the top work. Did you expect that would be the case?
ADAM STEVENS: You just never know. These concrete tracks, it's a new tire combination. We haven't been on this tire before, and you have to be willing to move around. The preferred line is going to depend on your balance and what you've got and what you're fighting. The best guys at these type of tracks aren't scared to move around, and even if they're making decent lap time. You're not going to pass the guy if you're running in his tire tracks, so you have to be able to move and find something different, and he was able to do that all day today.

Q. How does the next round start to change in terms of intensity? I know you guys probably want to keep things on an even keel, but that's in one sense probably not realistic. How do things start to change as you go into the next round and move forward and especially one with Talladega in it?
ADAM STEVENS: Sure. You know, Talladega is just a crapshoot, kind of like playing bingo. Bingo is not really fun for me, so you need to have all the bonus points you can going into that, and NASCAR was smart to put it in the middle of the segment. Everybody is going to have to race their guts out all day long. But as far as the next round, any time you eliminate four drivers, the field gets thinner and the points you need to score to advance are even more. You know, you're going to have to be that much sharper, that much better, and that many fewer mistakes. Aside from winning, you just have to perform each and every week, and it just ramps up each time we go to a new round.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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