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November 17, 2018
THE MODERATOR: We will start our champion driver press conference and open it up with the owner of the No.9 BurgerFi Chevrolet for JR Motorsports, and that is Dale Earnhardt Jr. Your third championship in the last five years, back‑to‑back. Maybe talk about this one in comparison to the other two.
DALE EARNHARDT JR.: You know, it's hard to compare them really, but I sit there‑‑ I don't know if I watched the races as intently as I did tonight, and I could see what Dave Elenz was trying to do with his strategy, and I think that the reason why I was able to do that was because being in the booth and listening to Steve. I remember the first time I saw a cycle under green at Chicago, I was‑‑ I almost had to pick my jaw off the floor. I couldn't keep up with everything that was happening and who was doing what and what guys were on what strategy because there were so many things happening, and as we've gone through the season, it's gotten a little easier to understand what guys are trying to do and how they're trying to get an advantage on each other.
At a place like this where there's so much falloff, I felt like if Dave could‑‑ we were catching the 00, Tyler was doing an amazing job running them guys down, and if we get to pit road first with the falloff on these tires, we'll cycle in front of that 00, and I thought for sure that once Dave came to pit road that would bring the 00 the next lap, but they decided to stay out there. Every lap that they were out there just was adding to our advantage as we were out there on them sticker tires.
Just real smart move by Dave. He knew his car had the long‑run speed. We weren't firing off real fast, but Tyler was doing an awesome job on the long runs, so if they did run us down, which they did to a point, I thought Tyler would be fast enough on the back end of the run to hold that position, make it really hard at least for Custer to get by. I don't know if Custer's car was quite as good as he had expected to be on that final run. But Tyler ran an incredible line, perfect, perfection, up against that fence.
When you run that fence as close as he runs it, as close as‑‑ you've got to run it that close to get everything out of it, to get the speed out of it. He knows that. You're going to hit it when you run that close, and he knows that. He said as much before we got here. He said, I'm going to run the wall, I'm going to hit it, we're going to keep running the wall.
Near the end of the race, I thought, well, if he's smart, he'll know that he's got to stay off the fence these last 25 laps. If he's precision, if he has that precision ability, he will stay off the fence these last 25 laps, and in just the very end of that race, man, he checked so many boxes for me, looking at talent or judging talent, owner to driver or driver to driver, I was so impressed by what he did those last 25, 50 laps. It is so hard to do that under so much pressure, coming down to the last few laps. You've got a championship on the line. Every little noise, vibration, shake, anything different than the lap before is freaking you out. Lap traffic, dirty air. There's so many things to contend with and think about, all the while literally running inches off the fence. Just a veteran drive by a very young race car driver. So I was so impressed by that.
Dave told me as they started to get into this playoff, he said, if we can get to Homestead, I can win. Me and Tyler can win this. I can help him win this race. He had a lot of confidence in Tyler, and they did everything they needed to do throughout the rounds to do it. Tyler was smart, aggressive, and put himself in position. We had a lot of ups and downs throughout the season, highs and lows that had us all kind of wondering what kind of race team we had with the 9 car, and it seemed like when it mattered and they got into the playoffs, all those questions were answered and then some tonight.
Q. How bittersweet is it that he's leaving? You had him for one year, he wins a championship, and most drivers, they're in a driver development type atmosphere where they go here, then they go off to Hendrick. That's not the case here?
DALE EARNHARDT JR.: No, it's not, but we still are used to turnover. We're used to one‑year deals and short‑term deals, and whether you want it to happen or not, that's‑‑ you know, there's a lot of things we'd love to do we can't do. There's a lot of things that I wish‑‑ I'd love if Tyler would stay or had stayed, but they want to go do something different. I want nothing but the best for them going forward. We'll have fun racing against him next year. I'm sure we'll be racing him a lot, especially with this under his belt, the confidence and evolution of him as a driver. He's just going to get better. I bet he'll be back here at Homestead again.
It is bittersweet for sure, but if there's one way to finish it, it's on top, and by being the champion, and so we're happy that we're able to do that tonight.
I think the fact that it makes so many people back in our business, in our company, happy takes away a little bit of that bittersweetness. There's so many people that are thrilled about this tonight and benefit from this bonus‑wise and everything else. This just drives our company. We need to win. We have to win to be able to survive and make our bottom line.
Our employees are probably the priority for us. Drivers, they're down the list, but that's how you have to operate your business. I don't care what business you're in. Drivers come and go, and that's part of it. I learned a long, long time ago that things are going to change, and you're not always going to have the same people in your life all the time, and you just have to get used to that and move on. But Tyler is such a great kid. I know you guys know that by working with him, and he just is so humble. Even tonight, he doesn't really even know what's happened.
I just wish the best for him because I know he's a good person. You love to see good things happen to good people.
Q. Is something wrong with your voice? Do you need to rest it for tomorrow's race?
DALE EARNHARDT JR.: Is that baiting?
Q. No, I was flat asking you.
DALE EARNHARDT JR.: Are you baiting me?
Q. No, I flat out was asking you concerned because I want to make sure you're okay tomorrow, big race tomorrow.
DALE EARNHARDT JR.: No, I'm fine. I think I'm good.
Q. Last week was a tough race for JR Motorsports, and probably Reddick was not the guy you thought would win the championship for you guys. How as an organization was everyone able to move past last week and come out here and kind of sneak a championship away from teams that were more favored?
DALE EARNHARDT JR.: Yeah, it's tough, I'm telling you. You know, you just wouldn't even believe some of the things that go on in the shop floor between the teams being competitive. They race each other, and when they race each other, sometimes they wreck each other. You know, what happened at Phoenix was just bad‑‑ a bad situation. Nothing that Tyler did. Tyler is underneath those guys. He can't control everybody else's race car. But not everybody is going to see it that way.
So you've just got to, you know, lean on‑‑ we are so lucky to have Dave, other experienced crew chiefs that know how to manage their guys and say, hey, if they've got a guy that's sort of upset or something about the way they're getting raced by their teammates, you've got to sit that guy down and say, look, man, this is the goal, this is where your head needs to be, let's get it together and stay on track. So there's a management ladder, and everybody sort of has the responsibility to keep everybody in line. But it gets tense sometimes, especially when you have all those cars racing in the playoffs, and especially when you have teams that feel like they deserve to be in this race tonight, like the 7 team certainly felt like they probably belong here. But Dave, I mean, he had‑‑ you'll have to talk to him. If you can get it out of him, I'll be surprised. But he just has a real confidence about what he's doing with these kids, and I don't know a lot of people that can take these kids and turn them into men so quickly, you know, and have them so mentally strong, and tonight that's what Tyler had to be running the wall like that, had to be really sharp mentally and tough mentally and disciplined to himself. And so Dave has a way of getting these guys to think that way, understanding what they need to do, they didn't want to disappoint Dave. I listened to Tyler talk about that on the stage tonight. He's like, when I get in the fence I knew Dave was getting mad, and I knew I had to back it down. And so Dave gets in their head, you know, and he's coaching them the whole way. He coaches them all year long. It's really impressive what Dave has become.
So I guess when it comes to keeping the team together, keeping everybody focused, keeping the company focused, it comes to management and the people in those particular roles doing a great job.
Q. Tyler had, I want to say, three top 5s in about the first 29 races, and he has three top 5s in these‑‑ three or four top 5s in the last four or five races. If he had that performance and you guys would have clicked better, do you think he would be with the team next year?
DALE EARNHARDT JR.: I don't know. The decision to do other things and go elsewhere I believe was his and his family's and the partners that they have. It certainly wasn't something on our end. But I feel like that we have a good opportunity with Noah coming in next year. He was on the box all night tonight with Dave and me, and I'm kind of excited about that. I'd love to work with Tyler again another year. But we're not going to get the chance to do that.
He's going into a program that's very successful and around people that I know and trust and love. So he's going to be in a great situation, so that makes it a little bit easier.
Q. You're in the lead, 20 laps to go. Having experienced it both ways, which is more stressful, sitting in the driver's seat or sitting on top of the pit box?
DALE EARNHARDT JR.: It's tough. You know, I think driving the car, you're in control. When I'm on the pit box, you don't have control of nothing. So that's probably tougher, sitting up there and just wondering what's going to happen, if something might take you out of it or a caution might come late because we didn't have the early run speed, so I was afraid if we had a late yellow the 00 was going to beat us on just pure speed out of the gate because he was awesome on early runs of all those tires he had.
But yeah, you just sit up there and wait. And really, it's weird, you don't have control of nothing. You don't do nothing. I don't contribute anything to the night. You just kind of stand there and hope your car wins. It's helpless.
Q. Dale, Noah Gragson was also competing for a championship last night. I was wondering if you watched how he raced and how he progressed, and his focus last night just seemed uncharacteristic a little bit for him, as much as he struggled throughout the year to close the deal. How do you feel he raced and what he can do and bring to JR Motorsports next season?
DALE EARNHARDT JR.: He's super young, super impressionable, has a lot to learn, asks a lot of questions. I've had a chance to talk to him and chat with him, and he's inquisitive, and Dave will have another good challenge on his hands to try to mold him into the guy he needs by the end of the season. That's the great thing about this playoff system is that you really just gotta get in. It's awesome that you can get a bunch of playoff points and stage points and all that stuff, but obviously that stuff is not critical. It's helpful. So if they stumble and have some issues, they'll just have to learn from those mistakes. I believe that he's going to be paired with a guy that can help him do that. Our relationship with HMS and the opportunity it provides us to have guys like Dave and Kevin Meendering and Jason Burdett come to our organization and be part of our team is every bit of the reason why we're as competitive as we are. Those guys are the reason why our cars are fast and why our drivers seem to get smarter and better as the season goes on, and they seem to give those guys the confidence and the calmness they need behind the wheel.
We've got great spotters that we use from HMS, as well, pit crews, motors, so all that stuff from HMS just builds a ton of confidence in our program and in our organization, and we've just got to tell our drivers that we're going to give them the equipment to succeed, and they just don't have to get over their head driving the cars, and everything will be fine.
Q. Is it safe to say that Noah is going to drive the No.9 then next year? Is Dave Elenz going to be his crew chief next year?
DALE EARNHARDT JR.: That would be awesome, I think, if we could pair them up. I don't know if I just announced that. You know what, Kelley and LW can come in here now and clean up my mess. They'll be in here in a bit.
Q. Off‑topic question, but you were on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast last week. In your media realm of your career, how much did you really take from that experience with Joe?
DALE EARNHARDT JR.: The fact that we do our own podcast, any time you get a chance to go into someone else's studio and see how they do it, it's really helpful. Obviously going on Joe's show helped us get a lot of people the information that we wrote this book that's important for people to read. That was kind of our goal to go on the show in the first place was just to express to as many people as we could about the book and get more people to read it.
But it was very conversational, very fun, very relaxing, and Joe was great. It was a lot more people listen to that show than I even realized. I knew it was popular, but just the feedback from it was great. Big plus for us to go out there and do that. And again, yeah, you just watch‑‑ we are always trying to do better with our own podcast. Like we've got so many‑‑ there's things about it that I don't like, that I don't even know I don't like. The physicality of‑‑ the room, the way the room is set up and where we're sitting and how we're sitting and what mics we're using and all that stuff, and it's great to be able to go to those other places and see how they do it.
It was very helpful. They were able to spit those videos out, too, for Instagram and so forth while the show is happening, so that was great to be able to go back and tell Matthew Dillner that he can do that quicker than 24 hours. He did not like to hear that.
THE MODERATOR: We are also joined‑‑
DALE EARNHARDT JR.: I think I'm gonna leave.
KELLEY EARNHARDT MILLER: They said I had some messes to clean up. What's that mean?
THE MODERATOR: We are also joined by the crew chief of the championship winning No.9 car, Dave Elenz, and the owner, Kelley Earnhardt Miller. Let's start with you, Kelley. We were talking about the back‑to‑back championship‑‑
KELLEY EARNHARDT MILLER: I couldn't even guess what the mess is to clean up, so let's just move on.
DALE EARNHARDT JR.: It's not bad. It's not bad.
KELLEY EARNHARDT MILLER: I'm teasing.
THE MODERATOR: Three championships in the last five years, all of them with rookie drivers. Maybe start there.
KELLEY EARNHARDT MILLER: Gosh. I mean, it's just pretty phenomenal. You know, I think Dave has got a good way to work with those guys, and he's won two of those championships, right? And these young guys, they're just hungry. You saw Tyler tonight just put it out there, and I think that that's what our company is built on, winning races and championships with these guys to move on up to the next series is what JR Motorsports was built for and what we started the race team for. It's pretty awesome to be able to sit here as a three‑time champion with rookies.
THE MODERATOR: Dave, I know this was a big strategy race, especially that last round of green flag pit stops. Maybe talk about that strategy and sort of how maybe nerve‑racking that was with all the Championship 4 bunched up as close as they were.
DAVE ELENZ: Yeah, you know, at the start of the race, we definitely weren't where we needed to be, so we were playing from behind at that point when we got to the green flag pit stop. The 20 took the opportunity to short pit, and we had a pretty good gap to him, but I was really assuming the other guys were going to play that pretty hard, especially based off what we did last year, and I wanted to be on pit road right away, which I was actually a lap late from what I wanted to do.
But you know, the other guys didn't follow suit. That gave us, I think, a four‑and‑a‑half‑second lead when everybody came back out, and our car did not go on a short run, so that was part of the reason to try to pit early, so we had that gap in front of them, so when it came in, we would be in a good spot.
And when the car came in and track rubbered up on the high line, it was amazing what he was doing out there.
Q. This actually works well because now he can respond if what I think Junior might say is right. Dale, would you call Dave the secret then to these rookies continuing to be able to win championships for JRM because Kelley said she wasn't sure what the recipe was.
DALE EARNHARDT JR.: Dave is critical. All of our crew chiefs are critical to the speed of our cars and the ability for the drivers to drive them to the limit and for them to be fast enough to win championships. Dave's ability to take those young guys and mold them into men and mold them into people that believe in themselves and know what they need to do and don't drive over their head, don't make a lot of mistakes, they're going to make mistakes. Everybody does. They will continue to make them. But Dave has them ready when it's time to be ready. You saw it in Tyler throughout the playoffs.
He had a good focus and ran hard, ran aggressive but never took himself out or did anything to hurt their chances of getting here to Homestead. And tonight just really incredible. As Tyler is running those last few laps, I know that he's doing that. Dave has a big involvement in his ability to do that, as Dave is coaching him throughout the year to put him in position to make those last few laps and keep the car out of the fence.
Q. Dave, what's turned you into this coach for the rookies the last couple years? It seems like you've really taken on that role well, but what is it that you've found to be able to help these first‑year drivers go on and now become champions the last couple years?
DAVE ELENZ: I don't really know. I guess as they grow throughout the season, because every year it's a fresh guy with a new style of driving, new thoughts and everything. As they progress throughout the year, you let them make their mistakes, try to be easy on them and just when they're down, try to bring them up a little bit. But I don't really know what it is. I know we have great teammates like Dale was saying, and with Elliott and Justin, they help guide the 9 team quite a bit because it's tougher for the young guys to tell us what they need. We've got two of the best right next to us in the crew chiefs that help me out to make sure we're not getting too far off base.
So I think that's a lot in why we're able to have success with these younger guys.
Q. Dale or Kelley, is there any sort of extra satisfaction or maybe a wider smile for Tyler to win this because I think with the other two rookies that you won it, people kind of thought they were the favorites going into the race, and this year you could argue Christopher Bell had all those wins and things like that, and I don't know that Tyler received all the pre‑race publicity like the other guys. Is there a little bit of extra joy, I guess?
DALE EARNHARDT JR.: There's joy. There's joy‑‑ I'm certainly happy for Tyler. He does‑‑ like I said, he doesn't know what he's done, and maybe he won't for a little while. He told me on the stage that he's still waiting for the race to end. So he really doesn't know what's happened yet.
But the first thing that I could think about when we crossed the finish line is all our employees, and Kelley talks to me about it all the time, when we want‑‑ I want to do X and we've got to do Y because of our employees. The employees are the first thing we have to think about. That's the way we make all our decisions is what's best for those‑‑ that giant group of people.
And so when we do things like this, I think about how happy they are and how we're going to all celebrate this throughout the off‑season and enjoy all that work that went into it, enjoy the payoff of all the work that went into it.
Q. Dale, how did these successes in running your own team differ or compare to your own successes in a race car, and are they any more special now that you're out of the race car?
DALE EARNHARDT JR.: I think this is special because I know that‑‑ this is special because I'm watching everyone else do it. Like Kelley is the hands‑on every day all the time with the business. Dave is hands‑on with the drivers, crew chiefs are hands‑on‑‑ I'm sitting there and just watching them do this, and that's what's so fun for me is that when you're driving a car for the team, you're responsible for your role, and you screw it up sometimes and maybe you're the weak link one day. With this, I just get to sit there and watch them make it go. And when it succeeds, it's just awesome.
I mean, I'm watching Dave create his future as a Cup crew chief, and just like Kevin Meendering. Kevin Meendering was our lead crew chief, came down, worked there for a while, now he's going up to be a crew chief, and I feel he'll succeed. Greg Ives came down, worked for us for a while; Brad Keselowski, all those people that came through our company and went back out and took off. It's just fun watching that happen.
Q. Congratulations to all three of you. I was wondering about the conversation you had with Elliott Sadler after (indiscernible)?
DALE EARNHARDT JR.: Yeah, I got a‑‑ I was going to get a seat made because I wanted to run the Ice Breaker at Myrtle Beach in a late model race but I don't think my wife is going to let me do that. But that's what we were talking about. Elliott is like, man, let's run some late model races next year. I'm like, yeah, I'm probably not going to get to. I'm going to have a car ready if you want to drive it, but it needs to be in the first half of the season so I can go with.
You know, I'm just so‑‑ we were such‑‑ we did so much running around having fun together when we were young in Xfinity Series, in the Cup Series early years and all that, we raised hell and partied. Everywhere we went we looked for each other. And so the friendship has been there for so long. We never thought we'd work together or race together. Why would that happen? And here we are.
When Elliott came in, he was coming off of some down years. People would tell me you've got a wild one on your hands. He was not wild at all from the moment we had him. He's been calm. He's been a model employee. He has always held our company up, lifted our company up, supported our partners, did anything and everything we asked him to do. He was A+, first class, all the time. Every time he was talking and speaking in front of a camera or microphone, representing us, he was first‑class.
I remember when the funniest thing, he came into the bus, I don't remember where we were, man, but we were talking‑‑ we weren't racing together yet, and he said, we've got to talk about my crew chief, who my crew chief is going to be, and I said, I've got this guy Kevin Meendering. He said, I don't know who he is. I don't know about that. I'm a little nervous about that. I've got these other ideas. I was like, I'm going to put you with Kevin, man, it's going to work out, I promise. I was 90 percent sure, he was 10 percent sure. And they became great friends. I'm so happy and proud of that because he tells me now that I was right, which feels good every time he says it.
And we just‑‑ he was able to just have fun, racing with us, and he had nothing to worry about. Job security, anything like that, he could just enjoy racing his car.
And now he's ready to go do whatever he wants to do with his family. So I'm happy with him, but we'll probably run some damn late model races, have some fun.
Q. This is for Dave. Can a Cup driver do what Tyler did, or is it the composite body that allows you to do something like that?
DAVE ELENZ: No, they wouldn't be able to hit it that many times with a Cup car. The bodies we have are really strong. They're held together front and back pretty solid, so as long as you don't smack it with the corner of the body, you're pretty much good to go. You can hit it flat on the wall all day long, just don't hit the corner of it, which was better for him because he was so close to the wall, he couldn't hit the corner.
Q. Kelley, after hearing what Dale just said about Elliott, can you speak to what the loss of his leadership and example is going to be to the team on a daily basis around the garage?
KELLEY EARNHARDT MILLER: Yeah, I mean, I'm sure that his‑‑ he's a veteran, and he's done this so long, and he's wrapped his arms around people like William and Tyler to help teach them, but we'll miss that. Like Dale said, he's extremely positive about our company, and I think that really helps those employees that I love so much that Dale talked about. When they hear the drivers and talking about how much they appreciate them and how much work that they put into it, it really goes a long ways, and internally within the company, so he was really a champion for everybody there.
But we have Justin is the same caliber kind of guy, and I think that he'll lead well in that same role, and Michael, we're slowly pulling Michael out of his shell. He's just such a shy individual, and I think we've in the last several weeks just been really working hard with him and trying to lift him up and give him the confidence that he needs. He put on some great laps out there tonight and was really competitive with the other cars and the laps that they were running.
He's a great guy for that, and having Noah come in, you know, them two will certainly give Noah the support that I think Elliott has done in the past. So I think we'll be all right. But it'll be missed because he was a champion for the whole company, and when he got in front of an opportunity to say how much fun he was having and what he was doing with JR Motorsports, it really went a long ways.
Q. Kelley, when we did the podcast over the summer you laughed when I asked you about each of the drivers, what they bring to the organization. You said, Tyler is young and he just wants to know when the next concert is. Were you seeing Tyler develop into what we've seen the second half of the season, or is this kind of come out of nowhere?
KELLEY EARNHARDT MILLER: Well, I don't know if I can speak to that. Dave really spends the greatest amount of time with Tyler. I see him here and there, and we get to have conversations every now and then about different things, appearances, or if he's rolling through. But he spends a lot of his time down with Dave.
But I have seen Tyler mature. I think when he came into the company, obviously he didn't know any of us and what he was getting into, and we were learning him, and I think the relationship like Dave talked about earlier, just working and progressing throughout the year to learn who they are and try to just focus on those strengths where he can come in and help them focus and mature, and I think that's what won Tyler tonight. They were constantly tonight on the radio just talking to him, you've got this, it's in your hands now, he's in the lead. Earl, I mean, he's a saint, just every single lap, focus, focus, just keeping him focused where he needs to be.
So yeah, we've seen him mature. I'm sure he still likes to go to concerts, though.
Q. You guys have won several driver's championships now but you have yet to win an owner's championship in the series. Is that like a bucket list for the organization?
KELLEY EARNHARDT MILLER: We'd certainly love to do that. We turned around on the stage tonight and were like, who did win the owner's championship?
DALE EARNHARDT JR.: We didn't know who won it, but Dave mentioned on stage that he was hoping ‑‑ we'd better get that next year. Definitely that would be nice. It's certainly just amazing to be able to accomplish what we've accomplished.
Q. There were a lot of people that said Tyler was the underdog coming in, and we saw that last night as well with Moffitt. You think about some of these high‑dollar organizations, whether it's some money Toyota puts into KBM or Joe Gibbs Racing or the money that Gene has over at Stewart‑Haas Racing. Is it becoming increasingly tough to compete? You guys pulled it off tonight, but is it getting harder to compete against that level of financial spending?
KELLEY EARNHARDT MILLER: Well, I think, I mean, Dave‑‑ you may want to take this one, but I think from the standpoint of what you guys want to do to race cars‑‑ I know we want to win a lot of races, and I think we put ourselves in a position to be there when it counts, and we've done that multiple times. But I think we want to win more consistently, and we want to be fast more consistently, and I think that's where Gibbs has an edge from the Toyota perspective and what they put behind that.
We just continue to fight our way through that and just work smart and sit down. We started this year, a new meeting internally with all the guys, just to sit down every Monday morning and have those conversations and talk about that kind of stuff because we do have to look at it finitely through our budget and talk about what you're going to gain or whatnot if you do X, Y, Z and that kind of thing.
But I don't know all the tricks and trades that they've got going on on the race car and what they do to make them go fast, as much as Dave does.
Q. It's hard to look at you guys as an underdog when you win three championships over the last four seasons.
KELLEY EARNHARDT MILLER: Yeah, but I think the thing for us at JR Motorsports is we don't live inside the Hendrick walls, and those teams that live inside the walls of those Cup organizations, the Gibbs, Xfinity teams, the Penske Xfinity teams, Stewart‑Haas Xfinity teams, they automatically have an advantage because they're within the whole corporate fold. And it's no disrespect to Hendrick, but when they're running their organization and their four Cup cars, that's what they're concentrating on. But we call up and we need something and we need to get into the right person, we know the right people to get in touch with and what we need, and I mean, they support us in so many ways with our chassis and parts and the engines and all the different things that they do.
But I think within any time you're running a business, we have a production company that's across town, they don't work like we do at JR Motorsports because they're not in our building. So I think any time that you're inside that fold and you're able to lay that all out to company wide, it's a much greater advantage, and I think that's why we're different at JR Motorsports, and I consider us kind of a standalone team in that realm. We're buying the chassis that Hendrick puts together and the engines they put together. We're not involved in what that looks like and how that works. We're just pretty much kind of a customer, and then from the engineering and sim, we obviously work really close on their platforms and with Chevrolet and all that they've got going on.
I do think we're a little bit different, but we just work hard and smart, don't we?
DALE EARNHARDT JR.: Yeah.
KELLEY EARNHARDT MILLER: We work hard.
Q. Kelley, Dale hinted or‑‑
DALE EARNHARDT JR.: Somebody is going to ask it. I've been waiting.
Q. Dale hinted or predicted or said that Dave he will lens was going to work with Noah Gragson next year as crew chief.
KELLEY EARNHARDT MILLER: Oh, shucks. Yeah, I think that's how it's going to happen. I mean, I'm pretty sure that's going to happen. Is there anybody in here that says we're not supposed to talk about that? I guess since me and Dale are in charge, we can say it, right? Yeah, I think that only makes sense. Kevin moving up, and we're still working on our fourth car, but the three cars that we have in place, we've got three crew chiefs in house, and seems like that would make the most sense.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports