Monday, Sep 25

Ford Performance - Buescher and Harvick Bristol Transcripts - Bristol Motor Speedway

CHRIS BUESCHER, No. 17 Ford Mustang – YOU ARE THE DEFENDING RACE WINNER. HOW MUCH DIFFERENCE DOES A YEAR MAKE? “A lot has changed in a pretty short period of time, but certainly this time last year we had some really good things happening at RFK. We found a lot of momentum. We had a handful of opportunities to win race and came up a little short and ultimately we didn’t have the consistency to make the playoffs and ended up not in the best place where we had our goals set at the beginning of the year coming into this race, but this has been a track that’s always been really good for and RFK. We’ve always had really strong chances to do great things here. We had one kind of stuck in the back of my mind that Scott and I actually lost together here on a green-white-checker in the Xfinity days and basically just had a fuel stutter late in a race and ended up costing us a win on that day. The Cup win certainly made up for a lot of what we felt like we had lost way back when together and really was the highlight of our year last season. We had a lot of good things happening and certainly hit our stride at a good time similar to this year, but the Bristol win was big for us. We come into it this time, obviously this has been circled for us. It’s my favorite racetrack. I love the night race here and concrete races here, so I’m a fan of the recent news and like that we’re heading into what I would think of as one of the best tracks for a playoff elimination race, especially knowing what we had last time here and knowing we’re in an OK spot in the point side of things and in the playoffs. We definitely didn’t need our issues at the very end of last week’s race. That put us way behind where we wanted to be coming into this race, but I’m excited for it. Again, it’s my favorite racetrack. I know we’re gonna have a fast BuildSubmarines Ford Mustang and that gives me a lot of confidence coming in aside from the fact we were able to win this one last year.”


WHAT GIVES YOU MORE CONFIDENCE KNOWING THAT YOU WON AT DAYTONA OR KNOWING YOU HAD SOMEONE TO PUSH YOU LIKE BRAD? “Comparing the two I think it’s more about the teammates and having Brad behind us there and knowing what we’ve talked about doing and what we studied to finish those races. Certainly that’s been a massive part of speedway racing in general for us. The Daytona win in itself is huge, but I feel there’s a whole lot more to the fact of how our teams are working together to make things happen and get those wins. We’ve been really close at a lot of those speedway races, so we had confidence that we had the speed there, but the execution and working together is a big factor.”


SO LESS TREPIDATION GOING TO TALLADEGA? “A little bit, yeah. Superspeedway racing isn’t my favorite. I don’t necessarily mind it, but it’s just really not at the top of my list. Now I say that, and it’s been very good to us, but you talk about trying to complete that last two percent of those speedway races has been very frustrating at times and we’ve talked a lot about if you’re consistently there the right opportunity will be there and we’ll be able to get the job done, but also realize how difficult it is to do that consistently. We’ve watched certain teammates go out there and make it work. We’ve watched some Penske teammates work really well together speedway racing and it’s certainly been something that we’ve talked about, Brad and myself and all of our teams, so when we go to Talladega we know we’re gonna find each other. We know we’re gonna have fast Mustangs and just control what we can, but know that if we can be there and stay out of some of the chaos that we’ll have an opportunity to win the race and we’ll work hard together to make that happen for one or both of us.”


HOW MUCH WILL YOU WANT TO KNOW WHAT OTHERS ARE DOING IN THE RACE TOMORROW? “I’m torn on this because with 10 laps to go I’d told you I didn’t want to hear a thing about it. Obviously, it couldn’t have timed out any worse for us to have that issue and have an overtime attempt to try and make up laps and positions and ultimately forfeited probably 15 points. That sucks. There’s now way around that and would have definitely come in here with a whole different feeling, so put all of that aside and, like I talked about a second ago, coming to Bristol being my favorite racetrack and knowing that our cars are always competitive here that kind of gets rid of everything and puts you in a really good spot. Then you watch the race back and you watch 10, 12 tires go down and you watch steering rack issues, stuff that one of our cars experienced a tire go down, not so much on the other issues, but there’s a lot riding on this race and quite a few unknowns – stuff that we haven’t talked about in a long time and kind of thought we were over before Kansas, but it’s got to be on your mind. The thing is there’s just not much you can do about it here. There’s no room to let up. There’s no 85 percent here. You’ll get run over. You’ve got to go out there and run 100 percent. We need to go out and have a good practice. We need to qualify well. We need to race up front, grab stage points. Hopefully,, that comes to us and we’re not having to do anything tricky to try and do that or outplay anybody. Hopefully, we’ll stay up front to where we can build cushion back up to where we don’t have to have those conversations, but we certainly need to be aware of cars that we’re racing – if anybody else has issues. You need to race smart about it and have some awareness. That was a really long way of saying, yeah, I want some info on it. I want a lot more when something significant is happening. If it’s a race where you’re not having any issues, you’re not having accidents, at that point you just have to race 100 percent and hope it’s enough. I kind of hope that’s how it plays out because you don’t want to have to get into the weeds at all with all the little stuff, but you’re gonna take more info than before.”


ANYTHING YOU CAN TAKE FROM YOUR XFINITY TITLE IN 2015? “It was different. That was the last year before the playoffs on the Xfinity side and it was the most typical approach to win a championship was Daytona in February mattered all the way to the very end. We worked to win races and be very consistent. We worked to minimize bad days and it came all the way down to the end of the year where I believe our number was 13 no matter what the 9 car did. I remember getting yelled at that race for trying to pass three-wide down the backstretch at Homestead for ninth or 11th or something like that, getting yelled at by the same two people that are in my ears nowadays for not needing to race those cars, to not needing those positions. The 9 car was not leading the race and was not in contention for the win and our number was 20th or something like that and I didn’t need to be making the perceived mistakes that I was. I remember that. I don’t think it’s the same now, though. I don’t think you approach it very similarly to that championship or the ARCA championship even. That one is completely different, but it’s different when we have these three-race rounds. It’s just rapid fire. You’re not so much working off of three months ago, it’s very much in the moment. If the circumstances come up that there are a couple wrecks, a couple failures, something like that, where we start talking about some of those things and we need to gain 8 more points today and we’ll be fine or we need to figure out how to win this thing.”


WHY IS THIS PLACE HELD IN SUCH HIGH REGARD TO YOU AS DAYTONA? “It is to me comparable. I go back to watching this race growing up. This was one I wanted to sit down and pay the most attention to win an Xfinity race. This is the one race I’d stay after and go find an empty seat in turn three and try to sit down and watch the Cup race. It’s a track that I feel like there’s always movement here, that there’s always a hustle. There’s no breather and I also think that from a racing standpoint this brings in the very fundamentals of racing. This brings in short track racing. It brings in aggression, but smarts into it. It brings in mechanical basic race car technology versus being so far caught up in some of the aero and other things that are way above my head. It brings it back down the basics. Now, you’ll never get back to the simplicity of racing 20 years ago, but it certainly just hits home for me. The Bristol Night Race for me is top of my bucket list. To get that one first was certainly awesome. Now we’ve got to get another one and get a couple more races.”



KEVIN HARVICK, No. 4 GEARWRENCH Ford Mustang – A VIDEO THIS WEEK SHOWED SOME OF THE EMOTION YOU’VE HAD THROUGH THE YEARS. WHAT BRINGS THAT OUT HERE AT BRISTOL? “All of those weren’t from Bristol, but I think Bristol, especially this race, really in general, it’s short track racing and everything happens so fast here that you’re amped up and excited and mad and frustrated and all those things pretty much every lap, so you just have to take it with a grain of salt. It is what it is and sometimes emotion comes out and those things happen.”


THIS WILL BE A CONCRETE RACE IN THE SPRING. HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THAT? “I think that’s fantastic. I think the dirt race was what it was. I think it’s something that you try and probably tried it a couple years too long, but I’m always gonna vote for something that’s not dirt.”


ARE YOU AMAZED TRUEX IS BELOW THE CUT AND WHAT WOULD IT SAY IF HE DOESN’T ADVANCE? “It’s a tough scenario because it makes it exciting and stuff to talk about and I think even in the championship that I won and some of the ones that I’ve lost it doesn’t really represent your whole year. You get to the point of making the playoffs and trying to get through the rounds and doing the things that you do, but it’s still not representative of what you had as a year. I think you just go out and do what you can and try to put yourself in the best position that you can and these things work in weird ways. He probably hasn’t had that happen all year and then it happens in the first round of the playoffs. It’s definitely frustrating, especially when you’re in that position. That group has had a phenomenal year and won races and then you have one moment that could dictate your whole season.”


ARE YOU NERVOUS OR WORRIED ABOUT HOW CLOSE YOU ARE TO THE CUTOFF? “No, not at all. It is what it is. You go race as hard as you can and where it falls it falls. It’s like Martin's situation last year. There's nothing you can do about some things and I don’t worry about those things anymore.”


CAN YOU GIVE US ONE MORE FIERY MOMENT? “That stuff is not made up. Those moments happen naturally, but you never know. It is Bristol. You just never know what the day or night is going to bring.”


WHAT DO YOU SAY TO THOSE BEHIND THE SCENES WHO SAY YOU’VE ALREADY CHECKED OUT? CAN YOU ANSWER THAT? “Those are the ignorant people that are keyboard warriors. Obviously, they weren’t watching with three laps to go at Daytona and all but leading the race at Darlington. If they can’t answer that question. That’s a pretty simple question. They are people who just like to type.”


WHAT DO YOU EXPECT SATURDAY NIGHT? “I don’t expect it to be any different. You guys know I’m boring. I give the same answers every week. It’s really just about each moment and each lap and trying to do everything that you can do to put yourself in position to be in the best position possible. That’s really everybody else’s goal and I think the racetrack itself will dictate a lot of what happens. If they do spray the racetrack again and try to keep the top groove from ever being used like they’re talking about, it could be a one-lane deal. There’s just a lot of scenarios that have to come together and play out and you just never know where those are going to go. It’s hard for me to predict anything because it’s so unpredictable.”


HAVE YOU AND RODNEY BEEN LEANED ON BY THE CREW WITH THE SITUATION YOU’RE IN? “Nobody has even talked about it. That’s how irrelevant it is to us.”


WHAT WILL YOU LOOK AT TONIGHT AS FAR AS TRACK CONDITIONS AND WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE? “This particular car is not like the old cars. You have to have options. Multiple cars following other cars around tends to make the cars not be able to get close enough to even push each other out of the way with the aero situation, so you need options. I hope tonight it at least moves up into the three-quarter mark of the racetrack to be able to at least get it cleaned off. I think there’s definitely some guys that are gonna push that issue to try to move the groove up the racetrack and once it gets cleaned it comes in pretty quick, but it’s not gonna come in for our practice I don’t think. I’m sure Larson and a couple of those guys will try to run up there, but it’s very unlikely that it comes in in practice unless everybody commits to going up there and trying to blow it off. That’s really all it takes, just a bunch of cars making a short amount of time up there to blow it off and then it really comes in quick. If it doesn’t move up more than it is now in tonight’s race, it’ll take a while, especially if they repave it, but not having multiple grooves with this car is tough.”


SO WOULD YOU HAVE TO BE MORE FORCEFUL TOMORROW NIGHT? “You can be forceful and do other things, but you’re gonna be aggressive and race hard and do the things that you need to do, but typically if you run somebody over, you’re gonna get run back over, so you just have to balance all that stuff. It doesn’t change. If it’s just one groove, it’s not gonna change any of the thought process that goes into trying to put your car in the front to me personally.”


HOW SPECIAL IS IT TO SEE COLE CUSTER WITH A TRIBUTE MOBIL 1 PAINT SCHEME IN YOUR HONOR THIS WEEKEND? “That Mobil 1 scheme has been really good to us and Mobil has been such a big part of everything that we’ve done at Stewart-Haas Racing and a big part of the success. I’ve been around Cole ever since he started at Stewart-Haas Racing and I’ve enjoyed watching those guys learn, whether it’s Cole or Chase or Ryan or whoever has come through there. It’s fun to be able to share your opinion on what’s right or wrong and help them learn the sport because that’s what kind of builds our sport into what it is. You learn from somebody and then you develop your own ways and methods and thoughts and things. Cole is a hard worker. I’ve always enjoyed being around Cole and it’s fun to watch the younger guys, especially that you have a relationship with like I do with Cole, to be able to have success and do the things that they do. That’s an honor to see that car on the racetrack and I know he’ll do it proud tonight.”


HOW DO YOU FEEL THE NEXT ROUND LINES UP FOR YOU IF YOU ADVANCE? “The mile-and-a-halves just haven’t been very good for us. I think we overachieved last week. We got some stage points and did the things that we did last week at Kansas and had a chance to finish seventh or eighth and finished 11th, but still way overachieved with where we were. They did a great job and we were able to make something out of it. With the Ford stuff you have to hit it right with where we are with our cars right now and you have a very small window to get the car right on the bigger racetracks. If you don’t, it’s just a battle all weekend like we had all weekend to make something out of it. You never know at any of them, so you just grind away and really take it one lap at a time and try to keep doing everything that you can do, collect as many points as you can and make it where you just try to grind away. They’ve done a good job. We had a winning car at Darlington and got bit by circumstances and last week we had a 20th-place car and ran in the top five for a small amount of time and had a chance to finish in the top 10. Those are things you battle back and forth, especially with this car. Some weeks are good and some weeks are just a grind all the way through, so you have to be mentally prepared to go out and be ready to address whatever that is. That’s why it’s so unpredictable to say, ‘hey, we’re gonna run good here or we’re gonna run good there.’ It’s just hard to tell with where and how you go about everything that we do in today’s world with simulation and simulators and all the things that come with the changes from last year’s rules to this year’s rules as far as that goes and then the body change and the difference in car and only racing at those racetracks once make it even more difficult just because of not having anything from the beginning of the year.”


Ford Performance PR


No right click

Please link the article.