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July 19, 2020

Richard Childress

Fort Worth, Texas

THE MODERATOR: We are joined by Richard Childress. How was that, having to watch that from home?
RICHARD CHILDRESS: I wasn't at home. We have a command center at the race shop. That's where I've been watching the races. That's where all of our engineers and everyone calls the race from. They actually made the call from the command center to do what they did to both cars.
It was pretty cool to be in there, watch how everything works. I've been watching all the races there. They probably won't let me come back to another race for a while now (smiling).
THE MODERATOR: We'll roll into questions.

Q. Today might mean more because Austin picks up his first win in 88 Cup Series races. How proud are you of the developments Austin has made since last year?
RICHARD CHILDRESS: I mean, it's great. Chevy did a great job giving us a really good car. Having Tyler right there to work with, he has a teammate that he's really working good with. To see both those guys racing for the win. I was hoping they didn't wreck each other. It was pretty cool to see RCR in the front.

Q. How crucial was it to reunite Austin with Justin Alexander?
RICHARD CHILDRESS: It's great. I've always believed strongly in Justin from day one. He believes in Austin. Austin believes in him. That's what you got to have. You look back at all the greats throughout the time. I look back to the Earnhardt years with the crew chiefs he had, Chad and Johnson, the different people, how they worked together. That's what Austin needed, was someone like this to work with.

Q. This is the first 1‑2 finish for your organization since 2011. What does this day mean for the organization and for you?
RICHARD CHILDRESS: It means a tremendous amount because we've struggled, and everyone knows that, but Chevy has really worked hard and put together a great car for us. To be able to go out and be able to win in a Chevy and be 1‑2 today, it meant a lot.
RCR and ECR, we've got so many partners that stuck with us through the whole thing. To be able to have them bring the win home, a second‑place finish for Cat, it's just amazing.

Q. Have you even been to a race since the season resumed? You were probably at the Charlotte race because you were in the condo. Have you just been stuck at home? What has that been like?
RICHARD CHILDRESS: I really, really miss the people around the racetrack, the fans. That's my biggest miss. And the racing. But, yeah, it's different. I went there and seemed like it was one more that I went somewhere. That was the big one, was Charlotte. I was there for both of those races.

Q. What was that like to be there with nobody there?
RICHARD CHILDRESS: It was different. It's really different. It's great. My phone has been blowing up. I got over 200 texts, my voice mail is full. That means a lot of folks are watching us, people that I didn't even realize were watching races.
To give them live entertainment, for NASCAR to be the first to bring live entertainment back, it's great. The fans are loving it.

Q. Why do you think Austin is not given the credit that he deserves as a driver?
RICHARD CHILDRESS: You know, I don't know. I think you get in the 3 car behind Dale Earnhardt, people think your granddaddy gave you this. He earned it no different than Ty Dillon. They had to earn their right to drive their cars. I think that may be a little bit of it.
We didn't give him the cars he needed. I never forget '98 when Dale Earnhardt came and said, I want to retire, it's me.
I said, No, it isn't, Dale. We haven't given you the cars.
We haven't gave him the cars he really needs until this year. Tyler Reddick will win a race before the year is up.

Q. You just mentioned Tyler Reddick. Coming into the year with consecutive Xfinity titles. Talk about where you see Tyler this year.
RICHARD CHILDRESS: Just his attitude, what he brings, the pep he's got in his step. He and Austin have a really good relationship. I think that helps Austin, as well.
Austin drives awesome being competitive. Now he's got somebody that is going to push him. Both of them are going to do well, for sure.

Q. Over the last 26 laps and multiple restarts, either Tyler or Austin had to hold off Joey Logano and Kyle Busch. What was going through your head? At any point were you trying to give advice subconsciously to Austin the final laps?
RICHARD CHILDRESS: It was a nail‑biter, for sure. When we had that big lead there, when Austin jumped out there and got him a good lead, then the caution come out. Wow, man, we didn't need that. Had to restart. Did good. He had three restarts and was able to maintain and win the race.
Tyler was right there with him. That showed that both of them had cars that were capable to go. For him to beat the best of the best today, that shows where RCR is with both of our drivers.

Q. Obviously this year without the practice due to the pandemic, do you feel your teams have benefited maybe from a little bit less of that practice? Do you feel you need that back?
RICHARD CHILDRESS: No, I think actually the fans like it. If you look, with the amount of technology that every team has today, the majority of the teams, the technology is right there for everyone to come out and run really good. We've missed it a time or two, but we've been able to adjust back in. Just like today, we were a little off at the start, but we came right back in and were able to pull it off.

Q. Do you feel with Austin's win now putting him into the Playoffs that this team is capable of making that deep run?
RICHARD CHILDRESS: We sure plan on it. We've talked about it, talked about it all year. We think with everything that's going on, it depends on how the stages and everything run, we feel we can be right there for the win at the end of the day.
First you got to get in. That was one goal. Next you got to make it to the next round. Eve time you got to make it to the next round. I think if we get there to the final four, we may have a great chance.

Q. It's been a while since you've gone to the next round. Ryan Newman since you've really been a contender. What is going to make this team a contender after all these years matching Gibbs and Hendrick and everybody else?
RICHARD CHILDRESS: I think this year Chevy has gave us a lot better racecar. We got a lot better racecar than we've had in the past. I think that's going to be the difference this year than in the past.

Q. You mentioned you were in the command center for the final moments of the race. You mentioned technology. Andy Petree has been forward thinking with trying new stuff. Based on recent documents, you have used artificial intelligence from Pit Row. As an old‑school racer, what has been your view of that and how has it helped your organization?
RICHARD CHILDRESS: I got to go back to Eric Warren. Eric is a doctor. Andy had a lot to do with it. But we had this put in place, Eric wanted to put it in. We wanted to race Ryan Newman with it.
Today Pit Row and all the technology called for what to do with both teams there at the end. It definitely paid off for us. Pit Row has been a great thing.
I really enjoy it. I can actually see a lot more right there than I can at the racetrack actually, keep up with what every other car is doing. We can listen to every other car. We know where they're at, know their strategy, when they have to pit, how far they can go. It's Formula 1‑type technology. It's really working great.

Q. In addition to things like the new body, do you believe that has helped you this year and the last couple of years to get ahead?
RICHARD CHILDRESS: Ask me that one more time.

Q. With you being early adopters of that, technology building up, has that been something that has helped you get up front?
RICHARD CHILDRESS: I think it really helps us as far as knowing what our cars are doing and what some of our competition is doing. But I think the key to it is we've got a lot better car this year than we've had in the last several years. Not that the cars were that bad, but this car is closer to what the other manufacturers that we're racing is doing.
THE MODERATOR: Richard, thank you.

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