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April 16, 2018

Adam Stevens

Bristol, Tennessee

THE MODERATOR: We are joined by the crew chief from the winning team, which was the No.18 Skittles Toyota. This is Adam Stevens. Adam, back‑to‑back wins, Texas and now Bristol. Why don't you take us through the race briefly from your view atop the pit box.
ADAM STEVENS: I don't know where to start. It feels like we've been here for two weeks. But it just goes back to survival. You know, Bristol is such a tough place. It's hard on equipment, it's hard on tires, it's hard on the drivers mentally, and it's hard on the crew chiefs trying to string it all together.
We had a lot of challenges with the weather, the cold temps. The speeds were up, green track, and multiple rain delays. So there was a lot of adversity. You saw a lot of fast cars have issues throughout the race. Being able to survive all that and kind of pace ourselves and be there at the end of this thing.

Q. Were you guys challenged in the same way that a lot of other guys were in the sense that when you run the bottom, it was eating up the left sides, and then if you tried to take the top or the middle, it seems like there was no safe place to try to conserve your tires?
ADAM STEVENS: Yeah, it was really hard on left‑side tires. Generally the PJ1 stuff will wear off, but it was reapplied, you know, halfway or not quite halfway last night when we had the big rain delay. That and the temperatures being down, track temp being down, the speeds were up, so it was really, really hard on tires. Thankfully NASCAR gave us a couple extra sets there, and there would have been a lot of carnage had they not.
There's not much you can do about it. You can only run the pace you can run unless you're going to go out there and go multiple laps down. You have to be aware of it. The second to last run there, I don't know if you guys listened to Kyle, but he could tell that he had some tire issues. No disservice to Goodyear, it's just wearing them out, and our left sides were pretty much good at that point. We got that caution with the 2 car and were able to come in and put tires on it.

Q. Is it a little ironic that the 2 car's caution helped you, the fact that you get a little help from Keselowski?
ADAM STEVENS: You know, I guess. Hadn't really thought of it that way. But it's just another competitor, another team to me. But it's a good group of guys. We were pitted beside them and worked well together, even when we were behind them. It seemed like Kyle gave their guys room and Brad and Paul gave us room.
I think there's probably more in the media or maybe in those two drivers' minds than there is between the teams for sure.

Q. Kyle kind of called his shot last week when he was at Texas, said he had a couple, three races coming up that he was really good at. Do you feel like there's more coming from you guys next weekend when we go to Richmond?
ADAM STEVENS: If I had to pick a track that just boggles my mind, I think Richmond would be at the top of my list. We just can't seem to get it right there. The couple times that we were pretty good, there was always somebody who was light years better. We ran second a couple races ago to the 20, and we had eight or nine seconds on third place, and Kenseth had at least that much on us leading. And then we go back there and think that we're really smart and we learned something and barely finish on the lead lap it seems like.
I'm not going to make any predictions at all about Richmond other than we're going to swing for the fence, I can tell you that.

Q. Did you set up the car expecting to race today, and so was the impact of the colder temperatures maybe something that you were kind of already prepared for?
ADAM STEVENS: That's a great question. The weather is hard to predict, right, so I kind of set the car up thinking that the bottom PJ1 was going to burn off and it was going to be a race around the top. Made quite a few setup compromises to make sure we were able to do that, and with the rain last night and the reapplication this morning or whenever they did it, it kind of got away from us a little bit.
I was not planning on it being 39 degrees when we were picking shocks and springs for this thing, so there was a fair amount of adjustment that we had to do, and Kyle had to do the rest behind the wheel.

Q. It's been kind of a wild weekend, obviously, with a lot of variables in it, but the racing itself was really exciting, lots of aggression, passing, things like that. What did you make of that from a viewership perspective?
ADAM STEVENS: This place almost always puts on an incredible race. You know, there's so much that the driver can do behind the wheel adjusting his line, you know, what little adjustments he has inside the car, and chasing the rubber as it moves around the racetrack and as the groove changes, and it always puts on a good show.

Q. Is it possible that Kyle gets more determined over time? Obviously we know his infatuation for winning and checkered flags and all that, but coming off of maybe a year like last year where he was so close and felt you guys were the better team, is it possible he gets more determined over time, and this year, not that he's driving any differently, but is there anything different about him?
ADAM STEVENS: It's probably a better question for Kyle, but in lieu of Kyle, I'll answer that for you. I don't think so. I think that the cup inside of Kyle is always full. He is always determined, and from my seat, he is always focused. You know, extenuating circumstances I don't think could possibly take him from 99.5 to 100 because he's set on kill all the time. Sometimes he channels that focus. Sometimes it comes out the wrong way, but it's always inside of him. I don't think that that really goes up or down with the circumstances.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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