Chevy Racing–NASCAR–New Hampshire Post Race

JULY 19, 2015

Team Chevy Takes Five of Top 10 Places

LOUDON, N.H. – (July 19, 2015) – Defending NASCAR Sprint Cup champion, Kevin Harvick, led the way for Team Chevy in the 5-Hour Energy 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (NHMS) by piloting his No. 4 Jimmy John’s/Budweiser Chevy SS across the finish line in third place. A strong contender in the 43-car field, Harvick led 59 of 301 laps at the flat track in Loudon known as the ‘Magic Mile’.

“I think we had the right strategy, just a little miscue on the last pit stop,” said Harvick, who posted his 15th top-10 finish in 29 races at NHMS. “Those guys have done great all year. They did great today. It just took me a little longer to get around a couple of those cars and lost the track position. We were off on Friday, but we were able to really rebound and have a good Saturday (practice) and good racecar today.”

Dale Earnhardt Jr. brought his No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS home in the fifth position, to give Team Chevy two of the top-five in the finishing order. The placement earned Earnhardt Jr. a berth in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. “I had to drive real hard all day long, said Earnhardt Jr., who has two wins thus far this season. “We had a pretty decent car, just need to be a little bit better if we want to come back here and do well in the Chase”.

Austin Dillon finished eighth in his No. 3 Dow Chevrolet SS, Jeff Gordon was ninth in the No. 24 AARP Member Advantages Chevy SS, and Kurt Busch came home 10th in the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS.

Jimmie Johnson, who has four wins to date this year, had to serve a pass thru penalty for speeding on pit lane in his No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS. He finished in the 22nd position. Like Earnhardt Jr., Johnson has now clinched a spot in the 10-race Chase for the championship.

Rounding out the top five: Kyle Busch (Toyota) was the race winner, Brad Keselowski (Ford) was second, and Joey Logano (Ford) finished fourth.
With two wins to date, Harvick leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series standings by 69 points over Logano.
Round 20 on the 2015 Sprint Cup tour will take place at Indianapolis Motor Speedway July 26.

THE MODERATOR: We’re joined by Dale Earnhardt Jr. Do you want to talk about your race today?
DALE EARNHARDT JR.: It was hot out there. It was fun. The car didn’t really drive that great. We tried to get it better during the race. We had some engine issues. I saw some stuff with the gauges that were way off. We were getting beat down the straightaway all day, even by the Hendrick stuff. Guys will go back and see what’s wrong.
I was real tight in the center early in the race. We could improve on that on the first couple adjustments. Then it started tightening up real fast towards the last half of the race. We couldn’t keep up with how tight it was getting.
I was shearing on throttle, real loose on throttle. I felt that, too. Real frustrating to drive. Got to drive hard here. Tough day. A lot of hard work.

THE MODERATOR: We’ll go ahead and open it up to questions.

Q. A lot of teams are targeting this race as a test, last remaining track that’s going to be in the Chase as well. The temperatures were so hot today. Probably won’t be like that in September. Does that change your approach at all? Are you concerned?
DALE EARNHARDT JR.: Not really. More concerned about going from yesterday to today, how different the car would be today. We practiced and got some great notes yesterday. That will be more similar to when we come back.
I’m more concerned that we don’t have speed. We ran fifth, but I didn’t like the car at all. My teammates didn’t have a lot of great speed. So as a whole, we need to really work hard, try to come here a little stronger next time.

Q. Dale, they mentioned you have a record for the most top 5s here without a win. Is that more frustrating or something to build off of?
DALE EARNHARDT JR.: I figured. Seem like I run in the top 5 or top 10 every damn time we come here. I’m always like the third, fourth, fifth best car. I’m never like the 2, the 18, the 4, the 11. That is very frustrating.
But at the same time, you know, I got to say something about my ability and the team’s ability. I take a lot of pride in having a good, positive statistic like that. But it sure would be nice to hold the lobster and do all the fun stuff they do in Victory Lane.

THE MODERATOR: Thanks, Dale, for joining us today.
DALE EARNHARDT JR.: Take it easy.