May 2, 2021
Kansas City, Kansas
An Interview with:
THE MODERATOR: We're now joined by Kyle Larson and today's runner-up Kevin Harvick. Kyle, I know you had quite a run going today. Disappointing finish. Walk us through that final restart from your perspective, please.
KYLE LARSON: Yeah, just lining up behind Blaney, and my plan was just to push him as hard as I could and try and be with him on the backstretch to shove him and hopefully get them guys racing in front of me or potentially get inside or outside for the lead somehow. I had just planned on pushing him really hard, and obviously I did that and got him sideways and ended up getting us both in the wall.
Probably should have just laid off once I got to the corner and hopefully a run came to where I could get to his back bumper on the backstretch. Hate that I screwed that up and cost ourselves a good finish.
THE MODERATOR: Kevin, could you walk us through your finish today here in the Buschy McBusch 400?
KEVIN HARVICK: Yeah, you know, we were a little bit off at the beginning. The guys did a great job of adjusting our car and getting our car better throughout the day. Then we had a pit road penalty while we were running fourth there and had to go to the back, and luckily we had a couple cautions and Rodney made a couple great calls and put tires on the car a couple times and really put us on offense there at the end and were able to get a couple good restarts and come out with a good finish.
Q. Kevin, obviously NASCAR kind of waited for that tire that was in the infield for probably 10 or 15 laps before throwing the caution. They waited for the green flag cycle to kind of flush out. Is that okay? Are drivers okay with that rather than having a bunch of cars a lap down to kind of wait if they feel like they can?
KEVIN HARVICK: Yeah, I haven't seen it, so I don't really know exactly the scenario there.
Q. Kyle, did you feel good going into those final restarts or once you lost the deed did you feel like it was going to be tough to come back to win?
KYLE LARSON: I mean, nobody got to the lead from the second row, so I knew I was in trouble, and like I said, I just wanted to do a good job to keep Ryan side-by-side with Kyle and maybe get them racing and punch a big hole for me to get a run somehow.
Obviously I didn't want to be on the second row the final restart. I had Brad lined up behind me the one before, and he wasn't able to get to my back bumper. He had to protect from the guys behind him trying to pull out of line, so just got our lane slowed up, and yeah, just didn't work out.
Q. How frustrating have these opening 11 races been for you, and today's run and the aggression that your team showed kind of a sign of things to come that will eventually lead to Victory Lane this year?
KEVIN HARVICK: I think we all just want to win. You never know how the year is going to start. I think we've done a good job with everything that we have except for a couple weeks where we had some bad luck with flat tires, but some years start out good and you go like gangbusters and some years they don't start out good and you have to figure it out. So that's just part of the game. I've been around this for a long time, and you just keep grinding away, and hopefully eventually you pick it up, and if you don't, you start over the next year.
Q. Kyle, I know you're disappointed about today, but if at the start of this year with a new team you looked 11 races in, would you be satisfied with what's happened so far? Obviously you've been to Victory Lane but what about your opening 11 races and how do you feel about them?
KYLE LARSON: Yeah, I mean, it's great. We've got one win. Could have four or five. But yeah, just another day where I lead a lot of laps and don't win. Just got to figure it out.
Q. Kyle, did Blaney door slam you on the cool down lap? I wasn't sure if I heard that right.
KYLE LARSON: No.
Q. Second thing, I wanted to ask you the same thing that Bob asked Harvick. Obviously there's that tire sitting there for 15 laps. Had they called the caution, different part, there's a big debate, how do you feel as a driver about them stopping the race at that point, kind of changed the outcome of the whole rest of the race?
KYLE LARSON: I don't know. I mean, I don't really have an opinion on it because until Bob asked I didn't even know that was the reason why there was a caution. Yeah, I mean, I don't really have an opinion. Sorry.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you for taking the time to join us today, and good luck next week at Darlington.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports