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June 10, 2018

Mike Bugarewicz

Greg Zipadelli

Brooklyn, Michigan

THE MODERATOR: We are now joined by our race winning crew chief, Mike Bugarewicz.
Mike, this is the first time SHR has swept first through third. Also seven of the top eight finishers today were Fords. Talk a little bit about today's success across the board.
MIKE BUGAREWICZ: Yeah, I mean, not enough can be said about, number one, SHR. Obviously one through three finish, all four cars at one point during the race in the top 10, obviously the qualifying effort speaks for itself. Man, everybody back at the shop, every person who touches these cars has done such a tremendous job. Then Doug Yates, like you said, seven or eight in the top 10?
THE MODERATOR: Seven of eight.
MIKE BUGAREWICZ: Top seven of eight, wow. What can you say about that with Doug Yates and his horsepower? That was pretty incredible there.
THE MODERATOR: We are also joined by Greg Zipadelli.
Greg, if you could also speak to the fact this is the first one through three sweep for Stewart‑Haas Racing as well as Ford's success today.
GREG ZIPADELLI: Yeah, I don't know, it's just awesome. I was saying to somebody, there's nothing better than winning other than winning on a weekend off. When you have a 1‑2‑3, makes that weekend even better. Enjoy time off with the family.
It's big momentum for our group. Pretty awesome to see Mike take a chance there. They had a good car. Give them the opportunity to win.
Kevin was pretty tough there. I think that was a good call.
MIKE BUGAREWICZ: I'm pretty pumped about winning on off weekends, because the next one is Indy, the next one is Homestead. This is looking pretty good so far (laughter).
THE MODERATOR: We'll open it up for questions.

Q. Mike, could you explain a little bit about your decision to go with two tires. Did you feel that was going to be the way you needed to go to make a difference?
MIKE BUGAREWICZ: Well, I would say everything prior to four laps to go we were watching the weather. Most of it hung around that 16, 17 miles out, mostly to the southwest, or the west in general. It just kind of would build, then break up, build and break up. Never really got any closer.
For the longest time I was thinking, We're going to run pretty far if not the whole thing in that third segment, probably going to need four tires at the end of the second stage.
All of a sudden with four to go, to the northeast the cell popped up. It didn't look like a real heavy cell, looked like a mist. Exactly what showed up. I was thinking, Man, probably a lot of these leaders are going to do two to keep the track position. They got to be seeing it, too.
When we were coming on pit road, I was 100% sure two tires was the right call. We got about three quarters of the way down pit road, I was about 70% sure. When he slid into the pit box, I was about 50% sure. By then, we were leaving. It was too late.
Clint asked, Are we the only one with two?
Yeah, we're the only one with two.
He did a great job on that restart, holding up one of the best, Kevin. Obviously six wins this year, one of the best in our sport right now. I can't say enough about the great job that Clint did holding him off there. Just as much as important as making that two tire call for sure.

Q. On some rain‑shortened races you see somebody win who didn't lead a ton of laps. Some say maybe got a little lucky. I assume when you're running second, you make a call, it works, you feel it's pretty well deserved?
MIKE BUGAREWICZ: Yeah, I mean, we qualified 12th. I think we really started around that 10th place position, 8th place position. Kind of worked our way up there into the top three, top four early in the first stage. We kind of hung around that second to third place for the rest of the deal until we were getting to the close of that second stage, finishing second.
At that point I felt like we had enough speed, we were running comparable lap times to the leader, and most of the time faster than third and fourth.
It's just a track position game at that point, right? You always see the first two cars are the fastest in the field. I felt like if we could get the lead, we had a chance to hold them off. Seemed like it worked out.

Q. Were you surprised none of like the back markers stayed out and tried some crazy strategy, hoped the rain came? I think the 95 stayed out and pitted with one to go. I'm not sure.
MIKE BUGAREWICZ: Yeah, to be fair, I didn't notice it right away. After we paced around the first lap, I saw on timing and scoring the 95 come up P1. I was like, Man, I didn't catch that, I didn't see that.
Knowing if he would have stayed out, I really would have wished I did four tires instead of the two because at that point we didn't have control of the race.
Then to see him pit, I was a little bit surprised that he did pit. It worked out in our favor.

Q. Why wouldn't somebody in that position go for it?
MIKE BUGAREWICZ: Yeah, I mean, I guess that's kind of a tough one to answer. In one sense, if you do that, yeah, maybe you win the race. But I think if you're that far off, if you're a 24th place car, you get thrown up, I don't know you're going to compete with the top five cars, to be honest. Maybe you can hold them off for a lap or a restart.
Look at Harvick on the inside of us. We felt like we were a very competitive car. Him on four tires, it was a battle for that point coming to the start/finish line on the first lap.
I think a guy staying out with no tires, already kind of struggling in the race, would have been a real challenge to try to pull that off.

Q. Your best guess f you take four instead of two, where are you on the restart? What drove this race most today, the threatening weather or cool track conditions, not as much tire falloff?
MIKE BUGAREWICZ: I would say for most of the race, once we got started, the weather wasn't too much of a concern. Just like I said at the end of that second stage where the cell popped up to the northeast of us is kind of when you're looking at it thinking, This could close in on us and end the race. Up to that point, you're kind of watching it creep in from the southwest. It was getting closer. Like I said kind of stalled out around that 17 miles away.
I think it's Michigan. At the end of the day it's track position. If you lose that track position, it's a fight to try and get back up there. You look at the restarts. You restart eighth to 10th place spot, it's brutal. Those guys are four‑wide, gauging, trying to get every spot they can. If you're going to gain spots, that's where you're going to gain the majority of them. Throughout the fuel run, you might gain one or two. Keeping the track position I think is key all day long.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you so much, Mike and Greg, for your time.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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