NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Quicken Loans 400
Topics: Quicken Loans 400
June 16, 2013
KERRY THARP: Let's roll right into our post‑race for today's 45th annual Quicken Loans 400, and our race runner‑up was Kevin Harvick. He drives the #29 Budweiser Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing, and today's performance moves him up to fourth in our points race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Kevin, just talk about your run out there today. Certainly listening to you on the broadcast interviews post‑race you've got to feel pretty good after you thought maybe you weren't going to have such a great performance here today.
KEVIN HARVICK: Yeah, I was pretty nervous as we finished practice yesterday. Those guys just did a great job again of talking through everything with myself and themselves to make some good decisions this morning, and they always do, and that's what makes this team good is they keep themselves in contention to be solid on days when you don't think you're going to be that great. So it's just one of those days where you had to survive. You had to try to keep your track position the best that you could. You had to manage tires and get them on the car because people were having a lot of trouble. So it's definitely one of those races where you had to manage numerous amounts of things to keep yourself in it.
Q. Based on what you just said, did you all make tremendous changes from practice time, or were they just very fine tuning?
KEVIN HARVICK: Yeah, I don't think‑‑ we didn't make any tremendous changes, but it's not one of those deals where you have to overhaul a car. We weren't completely in right field, but I felt like we were a 10th to 15th place car. But we knew the conditions were going to be different today. You knew that‑‑ we knew what we were fighting in traffic and what we were going to have to deal with, and the groove kind of spread out today, went from the center down, the bottom groove in 3 and 4 was fairly good. You could make some time there and move your car around if you needed to get around somebody. But they made a lot of little changes, and most of them the right way.
We took the time in the first couple stops today to make some big adjustments on the car, lost some awesome track position, but it paid off for us after that.
Q. Can you talk a little bit about the Gen‑6 car, its first appearance here at Michigan International Speedway, your thoughts on it and your thoughts maybe on what they could do to make it better for the race coming up in August?
KEVIN HARVICK: Yeah, I think the car performed really well. I think you could take Gen‑6, Gen‑5, Gen‑4, Gen‑3, and you're going to have a tough time on repaves to make it exactly what everybody wants because it's just‑‑ you've got to let the asphalt age, and I think everybody knows the direction that we need to head in with the asphalt, and it's got a lot of‑‑ it's got to have a lot of rocks in it. But these particular paves don't have that in it, and you have to just give it time to age, and as it ages it gets better. I thought this one was better than most because the groove was from the white line, and you could run two or three wide. But I didn't see anything too far fetched from a normal style Michigan race.
Q. When you saw what happened to Jimmie Johnson, did you feel with such little time left you were kind of already relegated to second as your best, or did you see an opportunity?
KEVIN HARVICK: My car started to shake really bad. That was about the third set of tires that started to shake really bad on my car, and I just backed it down and let the 48 go at that particular point. I wasn't catching the 16 and didn't really feel it necessary to have a tire failure or an issue at that particular point. So our best bet at that point was the 48 catches the 16 and something happening as those two guys were racing. But we just maintained and managed our gap between us and the 56 to just hold that track position and not have anything silly happen with the right front at the end.
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