KEVIN HARVICK GIVES CHEVROLET RUNNER-UP FINISH AT BRISTOL
Reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion Maintains Point Lead
BRISTOL, Tenn. – (August 22, 2015) – Another strong run by defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion, Kevin Harvick, in the No. 4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, gave Team Chevy the runner-up finish in the Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway, Round 24 of the 2015 schedule. It was Harvick’s 13th Top-10 finish in 30 races at the ‘world’s fastest half-mile’, and his 21st top-10 of the season.
He continues to maintain the lead in the point standings by 43 markers over the second-place competitor.
“We went to the back twice and passed a bunch of cars,” said Harvick, who rallied back from two pit road penalties during the 500-lap race. “I think all-in-all, it’s just a huge credit to our Budweiser Chevy team. They just keep bringing fast cars to the racetrack, and we’re able to overcome a lot of things. Obviously you want to win races, but we’re in position, and feel like we can get that momentum swing at any point, if it just starts going our way. But it’s fun to be able to come to Bristol and be competitive.”
With Jimmie Johnson’s fourth-place finish on the half-mile short track in his No. 48 Lowe’s Pro Services Chevrolet SS, Team Chevy captured two of the top-five finishing spots. Dale Earnhardt Jr., was ninth in his No. 88 Nationwide Chevy SS and Ryan Newman finished 10th in his No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS.
Joey Logano (Ford) was the race winner, Denny Hamlin (Toyota) was third, and Clint Bowyer (Toyota) finished 5th to round out the top five finishers.
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series resumes September 6 with Round 25 at Darlington Raceway.
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 4 BUDWEISER/JIMMY JOHN’S CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED 2ND
THE MODERATOR: We’ll begin our post‑race availabilities for tonight’s Irwin Tools Night Race. We are joined by our second‑place finisher, Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Budweiser Jimmy John’s Chevrolet. Kevin, why don’t you walk us through your race tonight?
KEVIN HARVICK: Yeah, we had an interesting night. We went to the back twice and passed a bunch of cars. I think all in all, it’s just a huge credit to the team. They just keep bringing fast cars to the racetrack, and we’re able to overcome a lot of things and everybody just keeps grinding away at whatever the circumstances are, and we’re able to overcome things, and that’s really what it’s going to be about over the last 10 weeks.
Obviously you want to win races, but we’re in position and feel like we can get that momentum swing at any point, if it just starts going our way.
So it’s great to be part of a team like this and just really excited to be able to run like this at Bristol. This hasn’t been notoriously my best racetrack. I know Rodney loves it, but for me it’s just frustrating. I get wound up pretty quick. But it’s fun to be able to come here and be competitive.
Q. Kevin, you were in Joey’s shadow there for a while. Did you feel like you might have a shot?
KEVIN HARVICK: He was just one step ahead of me in traffic. I couldn’t get my car to rotate across the center like I needed it to, and every time I tried to force it would snap the back out. He was able to go in really high and before the center of the corner drive down the corner and I was just having to wait just a split second to be able to put the throttle back down, and I couldn’t do that, that huge diamond all the way to the bottom like he could, and that was really beneficial for him through traffic, and I kind of had to just part throttle it through the center and grind the tires away through the center to the corner and just hope that they were going to lift, but he was able to get those huge runs up off the exit of the corner and just stayed one step ahead of me through traffic I felt like, and in clean air we probably were a little faster, but it didn’t really matter. I had to be in front of him to show that. All in all, he was just one step ahead of me in traffic.
Q. Kevin, you finished second 10 times now this year. Does that suck? Does that get frustrating?
KEVIN HARVICK: Well, I can tell you that we finished 39th at Michigan and 39th here, and that wasn’t near as cool as finishing second. I think you have to put it all in perspective, and I think when you’re ‑‑ I’ve been in position where you’re fighting for your life to run 15th, and I know that the momentum and just as it did last year, we were kind of in this little slump, and this isn’t really a slump, this is just kind of circumstances we self‑created tonight with two penalties on pit road. But still, in the end those circumstances have kept us from winning some races, and we’ve had lug nuts knock valve stems off twice and we were leading an engine blowup. But when you’re in position to do that and finish second 10 times and win a couple races, that’s half the races that we’ve run so far. I’m honored to drive the car. I’m not frustrated at all because I’ve been on the other side of this fence, and you’d give everything in the world to finish second every week because it’s not easy. This is a hard sport, and to go to all these different types of racetracks and see the success that the team has, I couldn’t be prouder of all the guys on my team and to drive the cars because I know that at any moment you can rattle off two or three wins in a row at any type of racetrack, so it’s fun.
Q. Both you guys I think are testing at Homestead this coming week. Seems like it’s a pretty pivotal test ‑‑
KEVIN HARVICK: There’s no off weeks in racing. Only for you guys (laughing).
Q. What are you looking for at Homestead and could that be a real indicator on who will be strong in the Championship Round?
KEVIN HARVICK: I think that’s a lot like what he just said. You’re going to go there and you’re not going to have a lot of rubber on the racetrack. You’re going to need to run right up against the wall to really analyze what you have. You’re going to practice during the day. But in the end it’s better to have that track map and those data points and all the things that you have to have a starting point when you go back and be able to run through some things and just kind of have an idea and go back and look at what you’ve done in the past. So it’s better to know just from a data standpoint and have that data than it is to not.
You hope that you’re going to be there and you can use it and be able to benefit from it if you need it.
THE MODERATOR: Kevin, thank you for joining us tonight.
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