NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES
BUDWEISER DUEL NO. 1
DAYTONA INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY RACE NOTES AND QUOTES
FEBRUARY 20, 2014
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 4 BUDWEISER CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED SECOND, BUT WILL START AT THE REAR OF THE DAYTONA 500 DUE TO FAILING POST RACE INSPECTION
TAKE US THROUGH THE LAST LAP, SPECIFICALLY TURNS THREE AND FOUR TO THE START/FINISH LINE:
“Well I was prepared to go with a couple of laps to go it just depended on when they group really started getting antsy and getting tightened up as much as they could to get that run that you needed. I had to just go whenever I thought that run was going to be the biggest. We waited a lot longer. Everybody I guess was waiting for me to go and then we went. The way it all timed out we just went a little too late. I was able to side-draft and not clear him and I knew the side-draft was going to come back and just a matter of when I got back to him it was just too late for me to get back by him.”
DID YOU DO THAT IMPRESSIVE SIDE-DRAFTING MOVE TOO EARLY? OR, WAS IT ABOUT THE RIGHT TIME?
“Well, the first thing I would say is thank you to Budweiser and Jimmy Johns, Outback, and everybody on these guys. And I can’t tell you how bad I want to win a race with these guys early, just to repay them for all the hard work and effort that everybody at SHR has put in. But I knew I had to go when I had the momentum. So whoever those guys got to me, I knew had to pull out, whether it was two laps or one lap. When they were jammed up the tightest, is when we had to pull out. So, I pulled out. And I thought that I’d gotten under him soon enough to where he could get back to me and kind of do like we do a long time ago in the Daytona 500 but just the timing of the side-draft was off just a little bit. And then we about both lost it because when I went up to chase him, I noticed the No. 5 (Kasey Kahne) come to the bottom. But what a great way to start Speedweeks. We’ve had two solid races and we’ve just got to keep doing what we’re doing and everybody on this Budweiser team and give ourselves a chance to finish the race on Sunday and hopefully we’re in the same spot.”
EXPLAIN WHAT THE SIDE-DRAFT DOES AND WHAT IT FEELS LIKE IN THE CAR:
“It’s like putting the brakes on, exactly like putting the brakes on. When you go to go by a car basically the front air off the car that you are passing packs up against your rear spoiler and just slows the car down. It’s very effective with this package and made for an exciting finish tonight.”
KASEY KAHNE, NO. 5 FARMERS INSURANCE CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED THIRD
THIRD-PLACE FINISH, BUT ONLY BY A FENDER SO YOU HAVE TO BE PLEASED WITH THE WAY THE CAR PERFORMED TONIGHT:
“Yeah, I was really happy with our Farmers Insurance Chevy. We had speed from the start of the race. I kind of screwed up and went to the back there at the start. I didn’t realize everybody was going to get single file, but we caught back up through there pretty quick and had a great run. We were really close. Tried to stick with Kevin (Harvick) there and Dale (Earnhardt, Jr.) was behind us and we just about got it. It was close, it was exciting.”
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE NIGHT?
“I thought it was pretty good. I was really happy with my Farmers Insurance Chevrolet. I went to the middle early and dropped to the back and then we drove back through the middle there and got back to the front. So we had a strong car. When do you go when do you get the run and if you can get to the front. Matt (Kenseth) did a good job of being able to hold us off. Kevin (Harvick) was right there as well and Dale (Earnhardt Jr.). So, I had a good time.”
DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED FIFTH
WAS THIS RACE ABOUT LEARNING AS MUCH AS IT WAS ABOUT WINNING?
“Well we found out we’ve got a real good race car. We slid the left-front tire and got real tight that last run. So I’m not sure if we need to work on the balance or whether it was just that flat spotted tire. Real happy with the way my car drove. Sat there all the way until the end to make a move and you know that is what we are doing. We are all waiting to make a move and I went to make a move and nobody got on the elevator with me.”
A LOT OF YOUR FANS WERE CONCERNED IF THAT TIRE, WHICH WAS FLAT-SPOTTED, WOULD LAST. BUT FOR YOU, THE MOST DIFFICULT DECISION WAS ANTICIPATING WHEN EVERYBODY WAS GOING TO MAKE THEIR MOVE
“Yeah, knowing when to be at the top with everybody and then knowing when the bottom was coming. And just trying to make that decision and we made some good ones tonight. We slid the left front tire coming onto pit road but that held up and we were able to make some spots up there at the end. We had a little trouble fueling the car, but this National Guard Chevrolet is real fast and I’m happy to be able to find that out tonight and load it up and deliver it to the starting grid on Sunday. That’ll be good.”
AJ ALLMENDINGER, NO.47 KROGER/USO CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED EIGHTH:
ON LOCKING INTO THE DAYTONA 500:
“It was really good. We were right on the edge, if we didn’t get in the top-15, whether we make the race, so we kind of had to be smart. I haven’t done a lot of drafting in these cars since I only had one race in this thing last year. More learning trying to watch the really good guys – (Matt) Kenseth, (Kevin) Harvick – really. How they moved around (Dale Earnhardt) Junior and all that. I felt like I learned a lot. Had to play it a little safe at the end. I felt like I gave a couple spots up, could have got aggressive. Overall we have a pretty fast race car. I think we work on a couple of little things. But, we are in the show, and I think we have a good shot on it.”
RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 31 CATERPILLAR CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED 10TH
ON HIS RACE:
“The outside lane won the race. The outside lane won the start of the race and the outside lane won the end of the race. Like I say my race isn’t until Sunday and we will see how we do then.”
DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU HAVE TO BE IN THE OUTSIDE LANE TO WIN THE RACE?
“Who knows you get 43 cars out there on a restart and you never know what is going to happen. We will see. The guys had a good pit stop, feel confident. We were a little short on raw speed that time it felt like for the first time. Just need to have a little look at that.”
TONY STEWART, NO. 14 BASS PRO SHOPS/MOBIL 1 CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED 11TH
ROUGH WEEKEND, BUT A PRETTY GOOD NIGHT:
“Yeah the good thing is I’m pretty certain that the No. 41 (Kurt Busch) is in now because we are in. It’s nice getting all four cars in and not having to worry about it half way through the qualifying races. We at least know we are going to have all four in.”
GOT A BIG THANK YOU FROM GENE (HAAS):
“Yeah, I mean that is what it’s all about. It’s hard to get four cars in, especially when you’ve got to race a couple of them in. Just to get through one qualifying race and know that you are going to have all four cars in that is a comforting feeling.”
HOW WAS THE RACING COMPARED TO WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE THOUGHT?
“I think it is just how many guys get on the bottom. I mean everybody gets on the top and then they start having to lift. As soon as they have to start checking up then the guys that can hold it wide open and go around the bottom can make time, it’s just a matter of who wants to be the first one to start it. We were kind of in a position there where we didn’t want to take any chances and we were where we needed to be at the beginning anyway. So, no need to get in a hurry. We just stayed in line up there and rode around with the guys we were with there for a while and let it shake out.”
IS THE BOTTOM LANE GOI
NG TO HAVE TO DEVELOP FROM THE GUYS IN THE BACK?
“Whoever the strong cars are if they, Matt (Kenseth) is a strong car so he gets on the bottom he is going to get takers to go with him and they are going to make ground. It’s not saying it can’t happen, but you are going to have to have a strong car leading it to do it.”
DANICA PATRICK, NO. 10 GODADDY CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED 14TH
ON LOCKING INTO THE DAYTONA 500:
“I think every time there is a chance that something could happen, then you worry that it could happen. From a couple of days ago, it was really more the mentality ‘Let’s just go out and race’ and ‘Let’s just see if we can make something happen. Let’s see what happens when we try various different things. That is kind of what I did out there. I kind of keep getting the same results when I try things as in like when I try this, this happens. When I try that, that happens. That’s all good information for Sunday to be honest.””
IS IT GOING TO BE POSSIBLE TO DRAFT UP FROM THE BACK?
“It could be challenging, but I think if you get a few people behind you, I think it will be fine. I know my pit crew is really good, so I know when it comes to pit stops; they’ll help get cars behind me. They are awesome. In know that (Tony) Gibson will try strategy to get me track position. With those two things, we’ll get in the thick of it. From there it will be a matter of using those things that I have learned over the last week, and put them to good use.”
AUSTIN DILLON, NO. 3 DOW CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED 19TH
ON THE RACE:
“I wanted to know that we had something I can move around with in the race. And, now we get to have some fun. Man, that car is super-fast. I think we could get to the draft from anywhere we wanted to.”
YOU LED A LOT OF LAPS. THEN, DID YOU DECIDE TO DROP BACK TO BE SAFE?
“Yeah, we ran on the outside there for a while. As soon as we got kind of going backwards and three-wide or whatever I said all right, now it’s time to go back there and play the patient game. It’s no fun, but we get to start on the pole for the Daytona 500 with a really fast car.”
WHAT’S YOUR PLAN FOR THE DAYTONA 500? IS IT TO RUN IN THE BACK AND BE SMART AND MAKE IT TO THE END? OR UP FRONT AND STAY OUT OF TROUBLE?
“I like leading laps. I like being up front. We’ll see what we can do. If it gets hairy; the only thing is trying to get to the back you can get yourself wrecked, too. So, we’ll work hard and see where we end up.”
AS A ROOKIE, DID YOU HAVE ANY ISSUES ABOUT GUYS NOT WANTING TO WORK WITH YOU?
“They were working with me well. It was good. I knew I had a chance to get in front of (Dale Earnhardt) Junior at one point and I didn’t want to take that chance that early. We already led laps. We wanted to lead some laps. It was a good day for us.”
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 4 BUDWEISER CHEVROLET SS, FINISHED 2ND, BUT WILL START AT THE REAR OF THE DAYTONA 500 DUE TO FAILING POST RACE INSPECTION
KASEY KAHNE, NO. 5 FARMERS INSURANCE CHEVROLET SS, FINISHED 3RD
KERRY THARP: Let’s roll into our post-race for tonight’s first Budweiser Duel at Daytona, the first qualifying race for Sunday’s 56th running of the Daytona 500. Our race runner up is Kevin Harvick.
Kevin, you said you were doing almost really good, but you have to feel good about this racecar as I know you’re trying to get that second Daytona 500 win under your belt.
KEVIN HARVICK: Yeah, just I want to win bad for everybody at SHR, on the new team. It was really close tonight. Obviously we’ve won some races that close, we’ve lost some races that close.
We’ve had two good races. Our cars have been fast. We’ve been able to run up front and lead some laps and do the things we need to do.
On Sunday we just need to do the same thing and keep it rolling for 500 miles. I think when you get more cars in the pack, it’s going to be a little more intense than what it was tonight. It was obviously a great finish. But I just had to go whenever the pack bunched up and decided to make a move like that. We made it just a touch too late to be able to get the last side draft by Matt there at the end. So it was a good race.
KERRY THARP: We’ll take questions now for Kevin.
Q. Kevin, was conservative driving more a function of less cars or also a function of you guys didn’t want to bust anything up in this race because Sunday is the most important one?
KEVIN HARVICK: I think we’ve all done a pretty good job at tearing a few things up along the way so far. I think everybody was a little bit conservative. I think obviously there was only 18 cars in the Unlimited and we tore the whole field up.
I think everybody wanted to do what they had to do to get the best finish that they could. Obviously those of us running up front tried to win the race. It just didn’t time out exactly perfect.
KERRY THARP: Our third place finisher has joined us, that’s Kasey Kahne.
Let’s hear first from Kasey.
KASEY KAHNE: I had a really good Farmers Insurance Chevy. Was happy with it throughout the race. Was right behind Kevin, trying to get a run. We got one right there at the end. Came close to getting by Matt.
It was a great finish. I was able to move around all over the racetrack depending on when people wanted to race. If people wanted to race, I thought our car was really strong. That’s really about it.
Q. Based on what we’ve seen so far with this, think we’ll have a good package to race in the 500?
KEVIN HARVICK: We just had a three wide finish for the win. I guess if you guys don’t like that, we’ll have to try something different (smiling).
Yeah, I mean, I think when everybody gets antsy and wants to go, you can group up and go.
KASEY KAHNE: Absolutely. If the guys want to race, then the cars suck up quicker. A bit more of a handful than what they were last year. I felt like, too, in the pack.
It will be exciting and a lot going on when people do want to race.
But 500 miles, you’re probably not going to run three wide all 500, I wouldn’t expect.
KERRY THARP: Congratulations for putting on a heck of a show. We look forward to Sunday.
NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES