NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES
5-HOUR ENERGY 400
TEAM CHEVY QUALIFYING NOTES & QUOTES
MAY 9, 2014
CHEVROLET’S KEVIN HARVICK PUTS SS ON THE POLE IN KANSAS
Chevy SS Drivers Occupy 6 of top 10 Starting Positions
KANSAS CITY, KS – May 9, 2014 – Kevin Harvick placed his No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS on the pole for the inaugural NASCAR Sprint Cup race to be held under the lights night at Kansas Speedway. The pole is Harvick’s second of the season, making him the only driver with two poles in 2014. This is also Harvick’s second pole at the 1.5-mile track. The driver of the aptly named ‘Freaky Fast’ Chevrolet SS laid down a lap of 27.799 seconds, 194.658 mph, which is a new Kansas Speedway track record. The qualifying run marks the ninth pole for Chevrolet in 18 qualifying sessions at Kansas.
Harvick led five other Chevrolet SS drivers with top 10 qualifying efforts. Harvick’s Stewart-Haas Racing teammates all qualified in the top-10. Kurt Busch, No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS qualified sixth, two-time Kansas winner, Tony Stewart, No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS will start eighth followed by Danica Patrick, No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS in ninth.
Also demonstrating strong Chevy power in today’s qualifying session was Rookie of the Year Contender Kyle Larson, No. 42 Target Chevrolet SS, who led all rookies with a fifth-place effort. This is Larson’s third top-10 start of the season. Larson’s Chip Ganassi teammate, Jamie McMurray in the No. McDonald’s Chevrolet SS, was quick enough to make it to the final qualifying round and ended the session 11th fastest.
Joey Logano (Ford) qualified second, Brad Keselowski (Ford) was third and Carl Edwards (Ford) was fourth to round out the top five starters for the 267-lap, 400-mile race night race.
There will be 22 Chevrolet SS race cars in the 43-car starting field.
The 5-Hour Energy 400 Benefiting Special Operations Warrior Foundation NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Kansas Speedway will take the green flag on Saturday evening at 7:30 p.m. (ET) and will be aired live on FOX.
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 4 JIMMY JOHN’S CHEVROLET SS – POLE WINNER
KYLE LARSON, NO. 42 TARGET CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 5TH (TOP ROOKIE QUALIFIER)
POST RACE QUALIFYING TRANSCRIPT:
FIRST TIME SINCE 2005 YOU HAVE WON MULTIPLE POLES:
“It’s a miracle that I’ve ever won two in one year anyway.”
TALK ABOUT YOUR QUALIFYING SESSION, YOUR CAR, THE WAY THAT YOU ARE RACING, YOU ARE LOOKING GOOD TRYING TO CLAIM YOUR THIRD WIN THIS SEASON:
“Usually when Friday goes well it’s a good sign for the rest of the weekend. We had a good test as we came here a few weeks ago and felt confident we could go back and tell everybody that we felt really confident in the things that we had in our car. I think that showed up good in qualifying as an organization today. Our car was good when we unloaded it off the truck. Had to make small adjustments here and there to the different tire that they brought, but the guys are just doing a great job. I’m just the lucky participant that gets to ride in the car and reap the benefits from a good group of guys in an organization that is doing good work. It’s a lot of fun right now.”
WHAT IS IT ABOUT YOU FROM THE FRONT NOW?
“We struggled the first three or four weeks in qualifying and just had to sit down as a group and say what do we need to do to get better on Friday’s. Because we were making it a little harder than it needed to be with the cars speed that we had in race trim and putting ourselves in a position where we weren’t getting optimum pit choices. We were having to go through traffic and do things that were making it harder than it needed to be. The guys, Rodney (Childers, crew chief) and the engineers have done a great job in evaluating the set-up’s. Now they don’t resemble a whole lot of race trim in general as we go and change it for qualifying trim. I think as a group nobody’s ego is too big to say that we aren’t doing something right. They aren’t scared to tell me if something is not right from the driver’s seat. I think the communication is great and everybody is doing a good job in working together. I think that goes a long ways to seeing the gains that we have made in qualifying from about week four on.”
DID YOU ALL DEBRIEF BEFORE THE QUALIFYING SESSION?
“We did debrief after the practice sessions. We try to do that every week. Danica (Patrick) and I talked for about an hour and 15 minutes today about everything that was going on. She obviously did a great job in qualifying and just basically just needed to quit thinking about it and smash the gas. That is what she did. She’s done a great job in trying to take in all the information and I think all the teams have been communicating well and I think we are probably closer this weekend on Friday and in race trim than we have been anywhere that we have gone so far. The communication is good right now and all of us get along well so that makes things a lot easier and we can talk openly about what we think about what is going on, on the race track.”
ARE YOU CONCERNED AT ALL WITH THE TIRE ACTING THE WAY IT IS WHAT THE RACING IS GOING TO BE LIKE TOMORROW NIGHT?
“I think we should straighten something out first. I think that the race track has put the tire in the position that it is in with the fresh asphalt. I think we ran a lot of laps here at the test and Goodyear came back and the track has taken a tremendous amount of rubber. I’ve already run several laps above the first seam. There are already two grooves of rubber on the race track and feel like for taking in all the data and all the things that we did from the test and as fast as we were wearing tires out at the test they did a good job in bringing it back. The speeds are going to be high. There is not going to be a lot of fall off in the tires. There are going to some tire strategy games, but there is just no way around that when you repave these race tracks. There is nothing wrong with the tire. I’ve been telling them for a while now that you need bigger rocks in the asphalt if you want the tires to wear out. Otherwise Goodyear has to protect everybody against themselves and make the tire harder so that it doesn’t wear out because the speeds are so high. It’s a catch 22. You’ve got to repave these race tracks when there is stuff wrong with them, but I think we could do a better job with the asphalt itself.”
WOULD YOU EXPECT THEN THAT THE RACE TOMORROW NIGHT WON’T BE LIKE THE LAST TWO RACES?
“Well the tire wear is low. We couldn’t give you a fair or honest opinion about what is going to happen when they drop the green flag. I don’t think it’s going to be like it was when they dropped the green flag last fall here, but I think that the cars are not going to handle like they have been by themselves in a single file line. The handling is going to be different, but I mean qualifying today was two seconds faster than race pace basically. Well a second and a half faster than race pace. The speed is probably going to be about the same as it was in practice, but it could be a little bit faster it could be a little bit slower. I don’t think anybody really knows exactly where that is going to go and what the speeds are going to be and how much it’s going to fall off. It’s going to fall off some, but it’s not going to be much.”
PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT:
KYLE LARSON, NO. 42 TARGET CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 5TH
“It was a really good day for the Target Chevy team. Our first run out I think we were in the twenties and then went back out and ended up se
cond in the first round. We just made small adjustments to keep up with the track or the tires had changed a little bit. So, it had lots of grip and we had a good run there. We’re proud to start in the top 5 here and hopefully we’ll have a good race tomorrow.”
WHEN CHAD KNAUS COMES OVER THE RADIO AND SAYS TO JIMMIE JOHNSON THAT HE MIGHT WANT TO FOLLOW THE NO. 42’s LINE, WHAT DOES THAT SAY FOR WHAT YOU’VE BEEN ABLE TO ACCOMPLISH IN SUCH A SHORT TIME?
“I don’t know. I always seem like I’m running a different line than somebody. So, I guess that’s pretty cool. Jimmie has accomplished a bunch and Chad is one of the best out there too, so to have teams like that paying attention to our No. 42 team says a lot about how well our cars are running right now. We’ve just got to keep it up and try to be in front of those guys.”
YOU ARE KNOWN NOW AS THE GUY WHO JUMPS TO THE TOP REAL QUICK. CARL EDWARDS SAID THE SPEEDS ARE SO GREAT THAT THE GROOVE IS NARROW. DO YOU FEEL WITH THE SPEEDS THE WAY THEY ARE THAT YOU WILL BE ABLE TO GET TO THE TOP?
“The speeds are high and I was talking to Ricky Stenhouse who also like to run at the top and he said he was up into the third groove at this race last year. So, I guess it just depends on how the night racing is tomorrow. Hopefully it widens out some. I thought (Turns) 1 and 2 widened out pretty well just in the two Cup practices and (Turns) 3 and 4 are still pretty narrow but I imagine that will widen out. It seemed like it did last year when I ran the Nationwide race. I don’t know. I think for a freshly repaved track this is a pretty exciting place. The groove already seems wider than it is at Michigan or somewhere like that that’s been repaved.”
ON HOW HIS CREW CHIEF KEEPS HIM CALM DURING A RACE
“I think we’re both always calm. After the first lap at Richmond I was a little stressed out. I was calm after that and decided to go to work and I think both of us have similar personalities and maybe the thinks I get stressed out but I don’t a whole lot. But it’s good to have a guy like that that kind of talk to you a little bit and try to keep you more calm than you already are. I think we work well together and we’re just going to keep growing as a team and start running even better than we are.”
Chevy Racing–Kansas–Kevin Harvick Pole
NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES