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June 10, 2018

Kurt Busch

Kevin Harvick

Brooklyn, Michigan

THE MODERATOR: We are now joined in the media center by our second‑place finisher, Kevin Harvick, driver of the No.4 Jimmy John's Ford.
You were out front all day, heard the stats of the first sweep for Stewart‑Haas Racing. Talk about today's race.
KEVIN HARVICK: It was a good day for us. Our pit crew was solid. Rodney made a good call there in the middle of the second stage to keep the track position and be able to drive away and get the stage win.
They had a good pit stop to close out there, and the 14 just gambled, rolled the dice that the rain must have been going to come, and he was able to keep me on the bottom there just by a little bit on the restart. Then it was just going to take me a few laps to work back by.
But he did a good job hanging onto his car and the gamble paid off for him.
THE MODERATOR: We'll now open it up to questions.

Q. So are you pissed? You looked like you were kind of in position to win and circumstances seemed to just not go your way.
KEVIN HARVICK: I don't control the weather.

Q. Were you confused at all at the end of the first stage when they were going to open the pits but then they closed because there were two laps left in the stage even though the caution had come out?
KEVIN HARVICK: I didn't know the scenario there. I saw the pits were closed. You'll have to ask somebody from NASCAR.

Q. Obviously you had great control of the race all the way through. I heard Clint Bowyer say one more lap you probably would have caught him. That's just racing luck.
KEVIN HARVICK: Yeah, look, I've been on both sides of this. If you're going to have racing luck work against you, you want to at least stay on your own team. It worked the other way at Dover. He was kind of in the same position, we went back green. Today it worked out for him.
Our guys, the exciting thing to me is we did a great job on pit road, were able to maintain the track position, beat everybody off of pit road. Obviously those guys took two tires and a gamble. It rained for them in three laps. Paid off pretty good.
THE MODERATOR: We are now joined by our third‑place finisher, Kurt Busch, driver of the No.41 Monster Energy Haas Automation Ford.
You started from the pole today. We knew there was rain heading in. Talk about your team's strategy heading into stage two.
KURT BUSCH: We had an excellent day all the way through. No big mistakes, no rough moments. Pit stops were solid, adjustments were solid. Restarts, I'd say three quarters of the time I was on the inside lane, so that might have been a little bit where we were pinned down.
But you have to make do with what you have, how the chips fall. I'm happy with our effort today. To finish third, rain shortened, of course you always want to go back racing again, but to see the two cars in front of me at the end, the 4 and the 14, that's a big day for Stewart‑Haas Racing. It's very special to finish 1‑2‑3.
Tried to get to your outside when we were on the track, maybe get a picture with the 14, 4 and 41 to symbolize such a special day at Michigan. To win at Stewart‑Haas for Ford 1‑2‑3, it's a huge day.

Q. What is it about a track like this where the Fords are showing their strength? Is it engine? Aero? Why on this track is it more obvious on other tracks?
KEVIN HARVICK: Well, I mean, you've been around this sport a long time. You've seen Dale Jarrett, Ernie Irvan, those cars have dominated up here for years with those engines under the hood.
I think it's a real honor to drive the Roush‑Yates engines when you get to a place like this because you can be a lot easier on your car. Obviously they're doing a great job with their cars, it's a combination of things. But Doug Yates and those guys, they like to make big horsepower on the big end of the motor, put a lot of effort into this particular race weekend.
KURT BUSCH: Yeah, I can echo those comments and also say it's a team effort to not have any weaknesses. We also come here to Michigan for bragging rights. I've always driven that way. It really shines through when you see Doug Yates here, Mark Rushbrook is here, everybody from all departments, the chief aero guy was here this weekend from Stewart‑Haas. We put in a full effort. It's bragging rights to win at Michigan.

Q. How surprised were you to see your brother Kyle up there in the middle of the Ford party at the very end after having to start from the back? Kevin, you were joking before the race started. Is that what you expected him to be able to do? Quite a drive for him to get up there.
KEVIN HARVICK: Yeah, I mean, obviously those guys, Larson, Kyle, if they get to the back of the pack, they're going to be driving through the pack, doing great on restarts. Both of them had a good car in practice. It wasn't really any surprise to me.
KURT BUSCH: Yeah, just a matter of time before you're going to see them pop up because we had the competition yellow at lap 25. There's stage one, another yellow, then there's the two tire sequence you can jump in on if you really want to gain some track position. Kyle and Kyle, you knew they were going to show up.

Q. Kevin, if it hadn't been your teammate that you were racing against there on the final restart, would the results have been different?
KEVIN HARVICK: I don't think so. I mean, we raced pretty hard. I got fairly loose up underneath him there in three and four when we went down there on the backstretch. I drove it in there, he drove it in there, slid the back. He was able to get me sliding enough to where he was able to clear me.
Yeah, I don't think it would have been‑‑ I wouldn't have raced anybody any different.
KURT BUSCH: I wanted two more laps. I just cleared Kyle, saw you two side‑by‑side. It's like a fishing reel, hoping I could get up in there.

Q. Almost like a Chamber of Commerce moment for your team, going for first, second and third. You're in the Chase, Clint is in the Chase. Kurt, you must really like your chances, team must really like what you have going forward.
KURT BUSCH: We've been consistent this year. We haven't had that super perfect All‑Star type day. We've chiseled away at being consistent, not making mistakes, and our day will come. We just have to put ourselves in position more often.
One of the times off pit road I came out fourth and then a car stayed out in front of us, that put me to the fifth spot. I'm like, Well, one of those times when things just don't quite go your way.
We had a fast car. Again, it's easy to smile and go into this off week and celebrate a Stewart‑Haas 1‑2‑3, it's very special.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, guys.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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