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August 4, 2019

Rick Hendrick

Watkins Glen, New York

THE MODERATOR: We will begin our post‑race media availabilities with our race winning owner, Rick Hendrick. Thank you for joining us, Rick.
RICK HENDRICK: Good to be here.
THE MODERATOR: Can you tell us what this win means to your organization?
RICK HENDRICK: Well, every win is important, and this sport is extremely competitive, and we're really proud of Chase, leading that many laps. It's always good to get a win, and it builds momentum.
I think all our cars ran pretty good today, so looking forward to the rest of the races.

Q. Do you see Chase as a championship contender with all the wins and his variety of wins this year?
RICK HENDRICK: I think Chase has shown that he can win at any track. He's really good with equipment, doesn't tear up anything. I think if we can get the car good enough for Chase, he can win a championship, and he can win it this year. So we'll just have to keep tuning on the car and giving him good stuff like they did today.
He's just so smooth, so good, reminds me a lot of his dad. Knows when to race, doesn't wreck a car, but he can be aggressive when he needs to.
I think Chase is going to be a contender for a lot of years to come.

Q. You talked about your other cars. I was curious what you thought of William Byron today. He's in the middle of a points battle to make it and did some retaliation. Where do you kind of stand on what he did and maybe having to stick up for yourself at times versus potentially hurting your race?
RICK HENDRICK: Well, I think you have to stand your ground in this sport. If you let people push you around, they're going to push you around. He's running up front, so I think this was his eighth front‑row start, and he's learning. People don't cut him any slack because he's a rookie, then he needs to let them know he'll come back. I think probably in hindsight he would not not messed with Kyle and would have had a chance to have a really good finish with a good car.

Q. It looked like William hit the 18 because Chad Knaus told him to. Do you have any thoughts on that?
RICK HENDRICK: I didn't know that until someone told me that coming in here. You know, I think it goes down‑‑ like back to what I said. I think if you let guys push you around and you let them know that you're not going to let that happen‑‑ and I think he got the worst end of the deal when Kyle brake‑checked him and knocked the front end out of the car. But sometimes in the heat of the battle you want to do things, and if you thought about it a little bit more maybe you'd just settle down and go finish the race. But in the heat of battle‑‑ and I didn't know Chad told him to, but if I'd had a radio I'd probably tell him the same thing.

Q. The first time I think we can get your thoughts on the 48 crew chief change. I'm sure you monitored how they did today. Your thoughts on that?
RICK HENDRICK: Yeah, I think Jimmie was in a really good spot there, and Cliff is super smart, and the deal there is they have a chemistry together, and when Cliff came back on the road with Jimmie, you could see it made a difference six or seven races ago.
So the communication, knowing what Jimmie likes, Jimmie‑‑ he was Jimmie's lead engineer, so I think it gave Jimmie some comfort. Kevin is one of the smartest guys in the garage, but you can't replace time and years together, and I think that's all Jimmie wanted, so I think it's going to work out. Cliff is a sharp young guy.

Q. (Thoughts on Chad Knaus relationship with William Byron.)
RICK HENDRICK: Absolutely. I think Chad is a great leader and gives the guys‑‑ he has the experience of a lot of structure, and William needed that. They respect each other a lot. Chad has taught William a lot about racing and how to race, and I love that combination. I think that's going to be a great combination for a lot of years.

Q. What's it like seeing Chase have a dominant race like this, because I believe this is the first time he has swept all three stages in route to a win this year.
RICK HENDRICK: You know, that's‑‑ I was trying to remember watching any car do that, with pitting and having to come back out. It was an amazing run to be able to come back to the front and hold off Martin. He couldn't make a mistake all day. He had a great car last year, great car this year, and he's a heck of a road racer. He's just getting better.
Any time you can lead all the laps in a race and end up winning, that's kind of like whipped cream and a cherry. You don't get to do that very often. In all my 35 years I don't think there's been many of those.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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