NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Food City 500
Topics: Food City 500
March 16, 2008
THE MODERATOR: We are going to roll into our post race press conference for the Food City 500. It's a 1-2-3 sweep for Richard Childress Racing. I believe that's the first time that has happened for that organization.
We have our third-place finisher in today's race, Clint Bowyer, driver of the No. 07Jack Daniel's Chevrolet. He won the Nationwide Series race out here last night. Kevin came in second today, driver of the No. 27 Shell-Pennzoil Chevrolet. Congratulations to both of you.
Clint, talk about your run out there today. You had a good weekend. Your thoughts.
CLINT BOWYER: Yeah, it was a great weekend. You know, I'm finally starting to figure this place out. It's finally about time. It's been here four years now. Slow learner.
Had a good night last night. Had some luck with this. We just raced hard. Had a solid day. We were good in the cloud cover. When the sun came out, we were way too tight.
It was a good weekend for us. I was excited for Jack Daniels, Chevrolet, excited for everybody at RCR. That's really cool. We've never been able to do that. Happy for Burton. Harvick has won here before. Burton never has won here. I want my chance, then he can have it back (laughter).
THE MODERATOR: We have our runner-up in today's race, Kevin Harvick. Kevin, your thoughts about the race. Certainly a lot of twists and turns, exciting finish.
KEVIN HARVICK: Yeah, I mean, our Shell-Pennzoil Chevrolet was pretty good all day. We started with a plan and we got a little bit tight in the middle, loosened the car up. Todd made a great call at the end to come in and get tires. We came out fourth. I just lost it there underneath of Tony.
You know, it's just the way it goes. I mean, he did the same thing in Indianapolis. I did the same thing here. Just made a mistake. They can take it for what it's worth and go on with it.
THE MODERATOR: We'll take questions now for Clint or Kevin.
Q. How surprised were you in the closing laps to find yourself in that situation, given everything that went on ahead of you? Third had to be better than you thought you were going to come out of here with.
CLINT BOWYER: I thought we were going to be sixth there. Biffle kind of came on. I got away from him a little bit. Things looked like, you know -- I was kind of just wanting it to be over with. We were able to get tires there. I knew that those guys were going to have to stay out. I mean, they had no other option. Business picked up after that.
You know, 1-2-3 finish for all of us, that's really exciting. You know, just things worked out.
Q. Can both you guys talk about Jeff Burton and the kind of driver he is, for him to have some success today.
CLINT BOWYER: Just really excited for him. He's a good guy, a good teammate. He ain't over. He ain't too old, that's for sure. He isn't giving up.
KEVIN HARVICK: That's not what we tell him.
CLINT BOWYER: We tell him he's an old fart.
He proves it week in and week out on the racetrack that he's plenty capable of getting the job one. Winning here at Bristol, I know that's important for him. Excited for him.
KEVIN HARVICK: Jeff, obviously he's been a big part of everything we've done at RCR. He's kind of the calm reason between myself and Clint. I'm one extreme; he's another extreme. Clint's in the middle of the road. He kind of bounces off of both of us.
I'm just glad that Jeff's a part of our team so we can all stay sane (smiling). It keeps us all straight. He's been great for me and great for RCR and everybody involved. Like Clint said, he's just a great teammate and fun to race with.
Q. Kevin, I know you were real clear in saying you just lost it when you got under Tony. I'm not questioning that at all. I think some TV viewers might. Is there anything you can explain or tell us about how that can happen and what that feels like when the car didn't stick?
KEVIN HARVICK: I already answered that once. I'll answer one more ignorant question.
I got down on the apron. I lost the car. I hit the side of Tony. That was pretty much the end of it. If you can't understand that, then I don't know what to tell you.
Q. Kevin, could you have won this race if you didn't have that contact?
KEVIN HARVICK: Well, I mean, it was mine to lose at that point, and I lost it. You know, I got up under there with three or four laps to go, however many laps there was to go. It's just time to go. I clipped the apron, you know, just lost the thing. I mean, it's not like -- if I'd have had it to do over again, I wouldn't want to spin out.
But, you know, it's just one of those deals where I was just trying to get all I could and just got a little too far.
Q. You mentioned something on TV about the spotter getting involved. Can you explain to us what happened there.
KEVIN HARVICK: Yeah, you know, I told my spotter to go over and tell him what happened. The first thing his spotter did was commence him to saying he was going to whip somebody's ass. If Tony didn't do it, he was going to do it.
Tony and I are big boys. We can handle that. We don't need somebody who doesn't really have anything to do with anything, really ticked me off. I'm to the point where I can talk about it. But when I got out of my car, I was more mad about that than I was anything.
Q. Kevin, you and Tony are good friends. You had a similar deal at Indy. What happens from here? Do you call him? Do you move on from it?
KEVIN HARVICK: We'll handle it.
Q. Kevin, my intentions here are good because I don't want to ask another ignorant question. I just want to make sure, clarify based on what you just said. About fighting, you're talking about a spotter, not Tony Stewart?
KEVIN HARVICK: Right. If his spotter wants to have a bad attitude about it, we can all come down here and handle it.
Nobody is going to have a good attitude about getting wrecked. I understand that from Tony's standpoint. His spotter was a little out of line. I didn't appreciate that part of it.
Q. Is the verdict in now that with the new surface, this is a much better race and a much better opportunity for you guys to pass people where you don't have to be banging somebody to get them out of the way?
KEVIN HARVICK: I thought the race was a lot better than the first race here. Like Clint said, I think the tire was good this week. I think the racing, you could see a lot of rubber buildup up on the top. You could see the tire working.
For some reason you could race from about three-quarters of the way down. It kind of seemed like the old Bristol, to tell you the truth.
Q. What do you feel like is the difference with this program, this organization this year? All the cars are putting together top-10 finishes. Seems to be a step up from last season. What's different?
CLINT BOWYER: Just hard work and dedication. I mean, you know, we were all behind. We set goals. We knew what cars we had to beat, to win, to compete for a championship. We worked hard over the winter, all of us as a whole.
You know, teamwork, that's the biggest picture to the successes and the numbers.
THE MODERATOR: Guys, thanks a lot. Good race.
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