Sunday, Dec 04

Transcript: Kevin Harvick & Rodney Childers - Richmond Raceway

THE MODERATOR: We'll roll right into our post-race media availability. We are joined by our winning team, driver Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Mobil 1 Ford, and crew chief Rodney Childers. Kevin, this is your 60th victory in your career, 10th driver all-time in series history to pull that off. How does it feel?

KEVIN HARVICK: It feels pretty neat. I think for me, it's -- I have a hard time putting things into perspective because I've just done this for so long: I think when you have Dale Jarrett and Kyle Petty talking about, Do you remember that first time when you won in Atlanta, does that seem like a long time ago, because it does to me, and I'm like, Yep, I agree, it's been a long time.

I think when you look back at just everything that's happened, that seems like just ages ago. I guess it was. I think as you look at the last 10 years, nine years at Stewart-Haas Racing and then you go back to RCR and just been very fortunate to work with a lot of great people and be able to drive some fast cars and go to Victory Lane a whole bunch of times.

It's been a lot of fun. I think as you look at today, this is a place that I think we both wanted to win at, I think, since the first time we ever came here, and for one reason or another, we've just never been able to get to Victory Lane while we've been at Stewart-Haas Racing.

It's nice to be able to get to Victory Lane, and to do that two weeks in a row, I think today was just a total team effort. They were great on pit road, they made huge adjustments and made the car better from where we started the race. Everybody is just communicating well, and I think that's really the key to evolving and progressing and doing the things that we've done.

THE MODERATOR: Rodney, back-to-back wins. Sounds like strategy has been a big part. How does it feel?

RODNEY CHILDERS: Yeah, it's been great the last couple weeks. Like he said, to get one here at Richmond is really special to me. It's my first one here at this racetrack. I don't even know how many times I've finished second or third here. It's been a lot.

To finally get to Victory Lane is really special to me personally, and I was thinking about this when he was talking about 60, I remember the day in Victory Lane when he looked at me and said this was 40, and today is 40 for me.

I remember that day, and wondering if I would ever get there.

It's just a cool win for all of us, and just to have everything go right again -- we had incredible pit stops, and every adjustment we made just happened to go the right way. Just everything worked out.

Q. Kevin, you mentioned forgetting to shift a couple times on those last laps. Does that suggest maybe some kind of nonchalance on your part that you were just kind of coasting? Because you did have a big lead.

KEVIN HARVICK: Well, I missed a couple early in the race, too. There's just a lot going on with the rhythm of -- when I started shifting, I was only shifting on the front straightaway and not on the back straightaway. When you just start running lap after lap after lap, sometimes you just get a little goofed up. But no, there's never nonchalance with us. We're going to run every lap fast.

I almost take offense to that. (Laughter.)

I screwed up, but it's not from coasting around, that's for sure.

Q. You talked about those big adjustments. When you go back on the track after a pit stop, obviously you have new tires, how long does it take you to figure out after the tires kind of wear off a little bit, hey, this change really worked?

KEVIN HARVICK: Yeah, you know, I think the adjustments were really good, and I could hear some guys that were shifting and started trying that, and I knew the car was better from a forward drive standpoint when they made that first adjustment, and I was like, well, I don't think I'm going to hurt the tires because I think the drive with our car was pretty good. It just kept taking the downshift and up off the corner.

I stuck with it for the whole run, and it didn't kill the falloff by any means, but it helped the car turn, it gave it drive, and just with the rhythm that I was in, I just kind of stuck with it.

I think we got a good restart there and were able to start making our way back forward. They cleaned up half the mess on pit road with a great pit stop and an adjustment, and then from that point on, we were going forward.

Q. With 215 to go did you think Buescher was going to be the threat? Were you surprised that Bell came up late?

KEVIN HARVICK: You know, I thought we had fended off the 17 pretty well, and then they told me that the 20 was coming, and I'm like, oh, man, usually when you're coming on new tires there's no defense for that. That's why I was a little bit frustrated with myself with the not shifting part on the front straightaway because I gave up the big chunk. It should have never been that close, just a lapse in my attention span, I guess, would be the best way to put it.

Q. With 60 wins, you're behind Dale Sr. now on the all-time wins list. What's that mean to you given the lengthy history you and Dale Sr. and his team have?

KEVIN HARVICK: Yeah, I think, look, when you start mentioning the names that are on the top of that list, it's pretty special to be a part of those names. I don't take that for granted.

I think as you look back at it, I don't think as you start your career, you don't say, well, I want to -- it's easy to say, I guess, I want to win 70-some races and be close or win 60, and then you start doing this on a week-to-week basis, and I think that's the hardest thing, especially I see it a lot in today's world. You come out of the Xfinity Series and you see these guys winning a lot of races and you come -- I tell Keelan, you're a go-kart racer. When you want to go big-boy racing, you go Cup racing.

It's just a lot harder because everyone in this garage is just a killer, from the crew chief to the drivers to the guys changing the tires. It's the best of the best, and it's not easy to keep your team and everybody within your organization competitive, keep yourself competitive. It's hard.

I feel like we work as hard as anybody. We've put in a lot of time to try to be good at it, and we have a good system that works with a group of people that loves to be around each other. I think that's what makes it fun is when you have a group of people that you enjoy being around because this is hard to be able to do this.

I think that's 37 wins or so -- I think it's 37 at Stewart-Haas Racing, and they've all obviously been with him. I think as you look at a lot of the team, there's a lot of those guys that have been there.

I get a lot of satisfaction in seeing success from a group, and I think that that is what keeps the dips higher, and you're able to rebound and do the things that you do with good people. When you have people that are good people and you like being around them, it makes it easier. But still hard.

Q. Kevin, you touched on it a little bit in your intro to the press conference, but what worked for you today at Richmond since you hadn't won here at all since 2014 and in Cup since 2013?

KEVIN HARVICK: I don't even think we won here in 2014.

Q. In Xfinity.

KEVIN HARVICK: Oh, in Xfinity. Oh, man, we used to smoke them in the Xfinity car. We should have won every race here.

You know, I think it was always -- it's always just been a good track for us. It's just kind of like losing 65 times in a row. It wasn't because we weren't fast enough. It just didn't work out.

We never put a lot of pressure on ourselves or had a lot of conversations about losing. Winning here today is exactly the same thing. It's not that we haven't run good enough here, it's just that it hasn't worked out.

I think the quicker that you can understand that in this sport and still have a high level of preparation and let things go pretty quickly, the better off you're going to be, because it's not always going to go your way. But hard work and keeping yourself in a position to have a chance to win lets you capitalize on situations like we did last week, and today we just beat them.

Even though you think you have one of the best cars, it still has to go your way. We had so many races last year that we could have won in the last 10, but it just didn't work out, and Richmond is the same way. It's not that we did anything wrong. We had plenty of cars that were plenty capable of winning just like they did today. But it takes a lot for it all to go your way and get to Victory Lane.

Q. After the first caution, things kind of got a little bit chippy throughout the rest of the race for the middle part of it. What did you feel you had to do to stay away from the fray? You see people coming out of the turns --

KEVIN HARVICK: Yeah, I don't know what you're referring to as far as the chippiness other than -- I don't know. For us up front, we had good track position and were able to do the things that we needed to do and raced around a lot of the cars that we had raced around all day.

I think we did have a couple cautions -- were they running over each other? Yeah, well, I'm glad we weren't involved in that.

Q. There was some downforce adjustments that you had to make towards the yellow line. Could you describe a little bit of the adjustments you had to make?

RODNEY CHILDERS: During the race. We just started the race way too tight and we were just trying to free our car up as much as we could. We were able to make some round adjustments in the back to take some wedge out and made some air pressure adjustments throughout the race, a little bit each time.

We just kept after it, honestly. A lot of times when you have a good car, you kind of get scared and you quit making adjustments. It seemed like today we just kind of continued to stay after it a little bit at a time and trying to make it a little bit better because you know your competitors are going to do that too. It cooled off a ton there at the end with the cloud cover and a lot of different things. There was a lot to take into consideration, and just tried to keep it going best we could.

Q. Big-picture question for you. You've raced here when the stands were full on Saturday nights, through the leaner years and now as they've redone the infield and done some more fan friendly things. Can you reflect on how it's evolved and the crowds have evolved and your experience here over the years?

KEVIN HARVICK: Yeah, well, I remember I guess it would have been -- I don't know if it was the first or second one, but I got into the back of Ricky Rudd coming down the back straightaway, and all I saw were flashbulbs and people waving their arms, and then he moved me out of the race, and I think the whole place stood up and cheered.

It's hard for me to give you that perception because I've seen it with 100,000-some people here and full. I think obviously sports today are different than they were then as far as live audiences and things like that. It's just a different landscape that we live in.

But I'm glad that we got to experience racing and being competitive in the front of those fields and being able to live in 105,000, whether they were rooting for you or rooting against you. It was still pretty neat because they're close here. It's like Bristol. The boos are louder, the cheers are louder, and at that point nobody had phones, so they all had their cameras that would flash. That was always one of my favorite things coming to the green flag were the lightbulbs and all the things that would flash off on the cameras and things back in the day.

It's just different. I sound like my dad or my parents, right? You guys all know it and sound old and talk about how it used to be. It's just different. It's not the same.

Q. The first four races of the playoffs open at four of your best tracks, Darlington, Kansas, Bristol and then Texas. With that and the speed and the performance you guys have had really through the summer stretch, are you kind of looking ahead to the playoffs, that you guys can make some noise, and excited about that?

KEVIN HARVICK: Look, we're boring. We don't ever look ahead. They plan ahead, but it really winds up being -- I know that they're looking a little bit ahead if I show up at the simulator and they're like, hey, we're going to work on this particular race that's two weeks out. Then I'm like, oh, okay, we're working on a project here. I don't ever say anything but I can tell.

You know, we went to Texas and ran last this year. I think that all those things are out the window, and Darlington was good, Kansas was good. We'll go back and run better at Texas, but those are definitely good tracks for us.

RODNEY CHILDERS: Yeah, I mean, you have to look at those tracks a little bit ahead of time. Darlington, we were fortunate enough to do the tire test there and we were able to race there, and we honestly had a good car. But it's also one of the places that we did everything completely backwards than everything that has made us better in the last two months.

Monday I brought it up, and then Tuesday that's all I worked on all day was Darlington, and then at the end of the day I'm like, I've got to quit worrying about Darlington at this point and put it away. We went to the simulator Wednesday morning and I never brought it up again.

Yeah, you have to think about those things and what car you're going to take and all that stuff. You just got to continue to plan and do the right things, and like he said, our system is what is working right now. It's not that we've done a ton different. It's our system is working, and the people are communicating the right way and talking about the right things, and that's kind of what we've got to keep going.

Q. The genesis of this team, it seems like when you guys are in a corner and people doubt you guys and say you can't do something, you guys come out swinging and like to prove people wrong. Is that a wrong assessment of you guys?

KEVIN HARVICK: It's kind of like when they put those small boxes in the newspaper where they have to correct their story and you can't hardly read them. I feel like a lot of you should put those at the bottom of your story. I get great gratification out of that.

Q. Kevin, last week you talked about adhering to the routine, that you guys don't really change anything. But is there something about you at this point of your career, all the success you've had over the past decade, that you've been more malleable, more willing to adjust your ways or not get too set in your ways, especially in this new era and this new car. Is that something that goes into your success?

KEVIN HARVICK: I think for me I never have a problem speaking up if I don't agree with them. They may not ultimately agree with me, but I will just voice my concern of maybe we're taking this too far, not far enough. I have no problem when they show me data that says you're not doing a good job, whether it's steering, throttle, brake, gas, they just -- nobody is going to get offended and nobody is walking on eggshells to show you that stuff. If it's something to where another competitor is doing this and we're getting beat badly because I'm driving the car bad, I didn't know what was good and what was bad.

But I have no problem just going out and trying something or trying to develop something. I think with our road course stuff, I think that's really been the biggest key with Joey Hand and just developing new braking strategies and the way that you use the throttle and the things that make this car tick.

He can probably speak to maybe there's something that sticks out more to him, but it's just -- nobody gets offended if you don't agree with them or they tell me I'm doing a bad job and you need to do something better. We all want to achieve the same things, and that's the great part about our group is nobody cares about you disagreeing or you saying something that it isn't going to offend them. Whether that's right or wrong, that's just the way that we do it. I think that just comes from years of trust, years of communication, years of talk. I think that's the biggest key to progressing in a positive way.

Q. Was that purely Kevin Harvick SHR driver or have you always been that way even dating back to RCR?

KEVIN HARVICK: You know, it's just such a different era. We talked about it Wednesday on the Little Motor Mouth show. It used to be a Sawzall and a hammer and trial and error. Now it's simulation and simulators, and it's just different, in order to try things and do things, you have to try them differently. Could you imagine if somebody said, okay, we're going to cut the bottom of the car off today and everybody would be -- we can't do that. Back in the day, it was just cut stuff off and, all right, go out and run it. It might make it around the racetrack, it might not, but we need to try it.

I think the way that you progress is just different. The trial and error is no different, and he always likes to tell me there's no guessing, it's all calculation. I don't know. I'm still kind of on the fence as to some of it's a guess, but I know that that pushes his button. He hates the word guess because those guys put a lot of time into it.

Q. Do you enjoy this kind of old-school strategy, long green flag run race that feels kind of like something out of the early 2000s, tons of tire falloff? Is that something you embrace because it doesn't come down to just best pure speed?

RODNEY CHILDERS: I know for me I do. I've always loved tracks like that. We don't have a lot left to be able to do that kind of thing. But to be able to split a stage into thirds is not something that the average fan would sit in the stands and realize that is going to happen. If they just look at the laps and how far each person can go on fuel, you're like, well, why would they do that. It's always interesting to see that play out, just like in the spring race, we pitted early and then the 11 realized what we were doing and pitted the next lap, and then we sit there and finish first and second.

I think you just see people like him excel, too. You've got a guy that knows every seam, every crack, every cranny of these places that he's raced at a long time, and you've hung around, you find different things, you do different things, and you just have a lot more options at places like this.

I mean, like we talked about in Victory Lane, this was a better race than any of us thought it was going to be today. To have cars running up against the fence and guys on the bottom, guys in the middle, when we walked in this garage yesterday morning, none of us would have said that. There was a lot of passing out there, a lot of different things that went right today.

You look back at last week, same thing. We all thought Michigan was going to be a bad race, and it's the best Michigan race we've seen in forever. You never know what you're going to see, but for us, I enjoy it, and I'm pretty sure he does, just saving tires and doing the right things.

KEVIN HARVICK: It's the grease on the shoe.

Q. Rodney, can you describe either the emotion or just the outlook of going from potentially not making the playoffs to now knowing you're in the playoffs and having 10 playoff points?

RODNEY CHILDERS: Within the group and within those meetings every Tuesday morning with the 4 team and that small group, you could see it two months ago. Two months ago it was like, we ran better here and this is better and this was better and this was better. Then the two months before that we would have those meetings and it was like, well, this was worse, this was worse, this was worse, this was worse.

It started two months ago, and you could just see everybody -- the communication and the confidence and the cars we were building and all that stuff just got better. It doesn't take a lot of confidence with our group to make a huge difference.

That group, like he said, has been a tight-knit group the entire time, and we push each other. When I have a bad day, Cheddar pushes me. When he has a bad day, I push him, and it's the same for our engineers, it's the same for our shop guys. I mean, every team in this garage goes through so many negatives that nobody in here ever hears about, whether it's somebody in your family that's sick or somebody has got this or got that. It's so hard to keep the positives going, even when things are going right.

Like the year we won 10 races, a guy on our team had cancer. Like those types of things, that's what you talk about in the meetings more than you talk about making your cars better because you know that that guy makes it, right? That's the kind of group that we are. We talk about anything and everything. We talk about somebody's birthday, we talk about somebody's anniversary, we talk about somebody's kid being born last week. Those are the types of things we talk about. But it's really just about keeping the system the same and not being over here one week and over here the next week and just treating people the same, treating people right and doing the right things.

Q. What are your thoughts, your mentality when you were trailing in this race, and what ultimately prepared you to actually win this race?

KEVIN HARVICK: How we got faster. You know, I think that the key was just nobody -- we didn't make any mistakes and were able to survive those green flag pit stops and maintain with the 20. I think when -- or the 22. When we were able to get on the outside of Joey and kind of wore him down - took a while to wear him down that last run there when we got by him. That was really the key was getting control of the race and being able to run the lap times and be the leader and kind of -- they had a good strategy and just needed -- they needed it one lap shorter it seemed.

But I think getting around the 22 car was the key, and coming out in front of that last green flag pit stop, we didn't have to waste any time, and ultimately we needed every lap to make as much pace as we could to stay in front of the 20.

Q. Are you wishing this race was still in the playoffs right about now, because you'd be well on your way to next round.

KEVIN HARVICK: Wishes don't do much around here.

I've learned a long time ago that things are going to change, and I have very little control of that stuff.

We'll enjoy today and the things that come with that and worry about the coulda-shoulda-wouldas we do not worry about.

Q. This run feels like that Harry Gant kind of run -- you're not that old yet, but does that make you feel like -- days like today, does that make you feel --

KEVIN HARVICK: I don't even know what month it is. August? I guess we could go with August. I guess when we get done with Daytona we'll see where it's at, but we can't have another Mr. September, right?

Q. Does today make you feel like you could do it for five more years, be that Mark Martin, Harry Gant guy that's doing it in their 50s, winning?

KEVIN HARVICK: My wife is going to kill you if you talk about racing into the 50s. I don't know about that.

We're going to enjoy what we're doing and do the things that -- we'd like to stay present. We'll worry about wherever we're going, Watkins Glen, this week.

Q. I have another old guy question but let's call it a perspective question. Since you've turned 40, this is your 29th Cup Series victory, which ranks third all time and also means almost half of your career Cup wins have come since turning 40. As someone who tweeted "Old guys rule," do you take pride in that?

KEVIN HARVICK: I do take pride in that. I love it. For me, a lot of the guys that I grew up racing with are -- Dale is up in the booth and Kyle and Dale Jarrett are down here and you've got Bowyer in the booth. Jeff is on pit road. After the race I saw Jeff, and driving to Victory Lane.

So a lot of the guys that I grew up racing with, they're all retired and doing other things, but I get to still see them. It's those quiet high fives that are a lot of fun and kind of keep it in perspective for me because of the fact that you're older and supposed to be done and kind of headed down a path that is toward the end.

I've always prided myself in trying to be competitive and do what it takes to be competitive and make the sacrifices that it takes to be competitive. But I do enjoy it. There's nothing better than winning. That's what we do. I don't know how to really put it all into perspective because it's just not something that I just stop and really ever look at. I never really stop and say, where are all those 60 wins? The first one is easy. Today is easy to remember. Last week is easy to remember. But if you guys wouldn't have told me that the last race that we won was at Bristol, I would have argued with you. I would have told you it was Darlington.

I don't really look at the numbers. It's always about -- maybe this is a fault of mine, but I think it's also one of the reasons that we progress forward. But it's never about what you have done, what the numbers look like. It's what do we got to do next week, what could we have done better last week, how do we keep this all in perspective.

You can look at all that stuff when it's over, and if you gave it all you had, hopefully you can be successful, and if you outwork them and you have a better group of people and a better relationship with those people, how do you -- that's one thing that KHI really opened my eyes is all the people, every person in that shop you had to treat different, whether they were doing good or bad, and how you approached that, you had to treat them different.

We have a group of people that have a lot in common on our team, very similar in age, a lot of them have kids, and for whatever reason, that has all meshed.

It's just this constant communication and we don't ever talk about how cool it was two wins ago. We'll talk about how great it was to win this week and then it'll be, all right, see you Wednesday.

Maybe sometimes I need to just stop and kind of take it all in, but I don't know, it's that -- I always feel like it's bragging when you stop and talk about yourself. I think for me, I just want to be -- I like most of the kids in the garage. I like being around the competitors. I've got a much better relationship with most everybody in the field, the crew chiefs, the owners. I like that part. You want them to respect you when you're done.

It's hard to -- I don't know, the perspective of what has happened is really not something that I stop and say, that was pretty cool. I thought it was cool that I could put my little girl in the car last week and we could do stuff like that. Those are the things that I think are neat right now.

Q. Rodney, about the race, you mentioned in April it was just you and the 11 that were on that strategy and it seemed like everybody was on that strategy this time. Was this a more straightforward easier type of race to call?

RODNEY CHILDERS: Yeah, it was, and all these teams are good at that stuff, right, so we look at the practice falloff, and man, we weren't 20 laps into practice and my engineering back at the shop is telling me on the intercom, yep, it's going to be that, you're going to have to pit twice, do all those kinds of things. It's about five or six faster doing it that way, but it ends up being more than that. From a math standpoint it's about five or six seconds, but on the racetrack when you have those old tires, you just end up handicapped. You can't do anything. You can't get out of the way, you can't do this, you can't do that, and the five seconds turns into 15 seconds.

It all comes down to that math and practice and looking at the falloff. It was pretty easy to see yesterday.

Q. Rodney, Joey said the difference for him was the weather came in and you guys were getting better. Were you surprised how much the weather changed? Particularly in that third stage it got really cloudy and started to cool off. That seemed to be to your benefit.

RODNEY CHILDERS: I wasn't sure if the weather was helping our car or if the adjustments were helping our car. We had made one adjustment under green, and right after we pitted we went back out, and I looked up at my monitor, and we were 11.9 seconds behind Joey, and he was the leader at the time. Then we ran all the way to the end of Stage 2 and we were like 1.6 seconds, I think. Like we had caught him 10 seconds over 50 laps, which is unheard of at a place like this.

I felt like the adjustments were making it better, and looking back on it, maybe the weather was helping our car and doing half of the stuff for us.

You don't really know that, right, so you just kind of keep going with your gut and what you think is right and what you think you need.

Q. For Kevin, something Rodney told me last month was he and the team were putting it on themselves to try to make you more comfortable in this race car because you had made comments that sometimes the car was faster than you and you were just still adjusting. Where do you feel like you're at with this car because you've spoken about what an adjustment and how it's been different this year learning a new car. Where do you feel like you are now?

KEVIN HARVICK: I think it depends on the racetrack. I think we've obviously figured out ways to make it more comfortable, and I think once it's more comfortable week after week, you just become more confident. You've got to remember, the first lap of the first downforce race, backed it in the wall, so that was really where the confidence started from that standpoint, and then you just work different weeks and different tracks and different things, and you have good tracks, bad tracks, and now we're kind of getting into a rhythm.

I feel pretty good about where everything is right now and being able to lean on things and do the things that you need to do in the car.

Q. Rodney, you probably couldn't hide anyway, but now that you guys are so strong the past couple weeks, sneaking up in the playoffs is not going to be a thing. Is this going to make it harder in a way for you now that you'll be more of a target when the playoffs start because you are running so well?

RODNEY CHILDERS: Man, like I told Claire, you go week by week and you're only as good as the last race. Man, you look at the 8 today, Tyler come by on pit road and said, good job, and I was like, man, what was wrong with y'all. You've got somebody that has been so dominant here lately and they were just completely out to lunch. Honestly, that could happen to us. It could happen next week, it could happen the next week, and there's just so much of a learning curve still.

(Inaudible) run and this and that and that's part of giving him confidence driving the car. At the beginning of the year, that stuff was changing every week, like that's too fast, that's too slow, like these brakes do this, these brakes do that. That's really where it all boils down to is all that stuff has to be perfect to win races.

Yeah, I mean, we've got confidence, but like we said earlier, you've just got to keep doing the same things we've been doing and your same system and concentrating on the right things and doing the right things and keep the guys at the shop motivated and just where it goes is where it goes.

You've got to just keep doing your thing.

Q. Kevin, she said that you have a good relationship with the younger drivers in the garage; is that what you said? I'm thinking back to last September and October where it didn't seem like you had any relationship with the young drivers.

KEVIN HARVICK: Well, I mean, you're just speaking of Chase, though.

Q. But it seemed at that time that there was more -- I could be wrong --

KEVIN HARVICK: Yeah, and I think I still feel good about talking to most of them. I think it's kind of fun actually because I look at Noah right now and I'm like, oh, man, he's going to be entertaining. And in the same sense I'm like oh, man, he has no idea what's coming as far as the week-to-week grind of trying to be competitive because I've seen it with Cole, I've seen it with Chase. You look at Blaney, took him, what, two or three years to kind of get going. Elliott was the same way.

I think it's kind of fun to see guys that are young enough to be your kids starting to drive the cars. They're young. Like Ty Gibbs is what, 19? So it's funny to -- I rode around in the truck today with him, and it's just -- just some of the things that you talk about are very entertaining, and also just opens your eyes to the different perspectives of how people see things and just what's happening.

It's like we talked about the crowd, right? We had a good crowd today and good crowd at Michigan last week, and next week we're going to go to Watkins Glen and there's going to be people everywhere. But it's still never going to be what it was, right? Like it's still never going to be 105,000 people here, it's still never going to be 250,000 people at the Daytona 500, it's never going to be 200,000 people at Charlotte and nobody has got cameras with flashbulbs anymore that you're going to have 200,000 people snapping a picture at the start of the rate. It's just different, and perspective has changed and different and expectations and all those things that go with that.

Yeah, I think I've tried to be more open with a lot of those guys and just trying to -- you hear so many people, well, that guy wouldn't talk to me or that guy wouldn't talk to me. I just try to talk to all of them, right, because why not. You want to be kind of engaged with your competitors and peers and people that you're around. Imagine if Nate didn't like you. You guys would be battling, right?

Q. What you were talking about is a good segue; having weathered this drought, as it were, was it easier to do that given that you have a driver-owner, a seasoned crew chief in yourself knowing what you are capable of because you really seem to be kind of Mr. Cool throughout this thing, at least in the public view.

KEVIN HARVICK: It didn't bother me one bit. Obviously we'd all rather win, but I've been through longer losing streaks. That stuff is -- you can fall right into that trap and let it suck you in. It's just too hard to take time to do that because there's just way too much to do. There's way too many conversations to have. I've got a million things going on, and I'm glad I have a million things -- maybe I'd think about it different if I wasn't as busy as I am and you have time to just sit there and go through the same thing day after day. I don't know, but it didn't -- it was really nothing that ever affected us just because of the fact that you're always worried about next week.

It's no different than what we've done the last two weeks. We haven't done anything different, but the cars have run good for a couple months, and now a few things went right and now we've won twice. That's just the way this deals goes. You can take the fastest car and not win with it 10 weeks in a row. If you keep pounding away and putting yourself in position and doing a good job and communicating and talking and trying to progress things on a week-to-week basis and don't quit, things will come back around. Maybe that's wrong. I don't know. Works for us. It's working for us.

THE MODERATOR: Gentlemen, thank you for coming in, and good luck next week.



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