AAA 400
OCTOBER 4, 2015

Victory Marks 750th for Chevrolet

DOVER, Del. – (October 4, 2015) – In dominating fashion, Kevin Harvick won the AAA 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway in his No. 4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS by leading 355 circuits of the 400-lap event. The victory advanced the defending champion to the next stage in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. This was Harvick’s third win of the season, his first at Dover; and sixth consecutive victory for Team Chevy at the 1.0-mile concrete track.

In addition, the victory marked the 750th for Chevrolet in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, more than any other manufacturer. It is the 48th win for the Chevrolet SS since its debut in 2013. Fonty Flock, driving a ’55 Chevy, scored the manufacturer’s first-ever victory in the series on March 26, 1955, at Columbia (S.C.) Speedway.

“To be the first manufacturer to reach 750 wins is a credit to all of the drivers and teams who have partnered or worked with Chevrolet over all of these decades,” said Jim Campbell, US Vice President Performance Vehicles & Motorsports.

“These victories – from the very first by Fonty Flock 60 years ago, to Kevin Harvick’s today, to all of the others in-between – are a result of tremendous teamwork involving owners, drivers, crew chiefs, crews and technical partners.”

Dale Earnhardt, Jr. earned a third-place finish at Dover in his No. 88 Nationwide Plenti Chevrolet SS. The finish placed Earnhardt, Jr. in a tie for 12th-place in the point standings with fellow Team Chevy driver Jamie McMurray, who finished fourth in his No. 1 Nature Made Chevrolet SS. Earnhardt, Jr. won the tiebreaker, which was based on highest finishes in the Challenger round, and advanced him to the Contender round by finishing ahead of McMurray.

Six Team Chevy Chase competitors will now move ahead to the second round of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, known as the ‘Contender’ round. They finished the race as follows:

1st – Kevin Harvick, No. 4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS
3rd – Dale Earnhardt, Jr., No. 88 Nationwide Plenti Chevrolet SS
11th – Martin Truex, Jr., No. 78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet SS
12th – Jeff Gordon, No. 24 AARP Member Services Chevrolet SS
17th – Kurt Busch, No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS
19th – Ryan Newman, No. 31 Quicken Loans Chevrolet SS

Paul Menard, who made his first career Chase this season in the No. 27 Knauf/Menards Chevrolet SS, was not able to move on to the second round with a 25th-place finish at Dover.

The driver known as the ‘Master of the Monster’, Jimmie Johnson, experienced a mechanical issue on his No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS on lap 103. Following lengthy repairs, Johnson was able to return to action, but was multiple laps down and unable to advance in Chase competition. The six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion’s quest for a seventh title was thwarted at Dover, a track where he has 10 wins, the most of any other driver.

Kyle Busch (Toyota) finished second and Aric Almirola (Ford) was fifth to round out the top five.

Next week, the series heads to Charlotte Motor Speedway for 501-miles of racing under the lights on Saturday night, October 9.



THE MODERATOR: We’re joined now by race winner Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Budweiser Jimmy John’s Chevrolet for Stewart‑Haas Racing. Today Kevin led a single‑race career‑high 355 laps. His previous high was 272 laps led at Richmond on May 6 of 2006. Most importantly, he delivered yet another clutch performance in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, winning his way into the Contender 12 round.

Walk us through this race today, and with all the pressure that you had going into this race, just talk about your performance and yet another clutch performance for the 14.

KEVIN HARVICK: Yeah, I don’t think there was really any pressure. I think for us, we all knew what we had to do, and it was really no different preparation than what we would do on a weekly basis.

You know, all in all it was business as usual, and I think when you look at the first three Dover races that we’ve had here, it was definitely right in line with the things that we had done here before, just didn’t have any problems today, so just really, really proud of my group for getting the last little bit out of everything that they could. Everybody was flawless on pit road and up top, and everything just went well.

THE MODERATOR: This was also the 750th win for Chevrolet in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. What’s it like to bring home that record for Chevrolet?

KEVIN HARVICK: Yeah, well, Chevy has been a big part of our sport, and obviously been very successful. Just really, really proud to be a part of that, and hopefully we can be a part of a few more.
Q. I know you said there was no pressure and you were going out to do what you could do, but at the same time you haven’t won since March and you’ve had a ton of good cars and a lot of great weekends and haven’t been able to put it together, so clearly winning is not easy, even if everything falls right. How can you explain what happened today in terms of it was a high‑pressure situation even if you didn’t feel it? How did your team and you rise up to this level to deliver a clutch win like this?
KEVIN HARVICK: Yeah, I don’t really believe that we did anything different. We’ve led a lot of laps at a lot of different races, and it’s like I’ve told you guys, these things go in cycles. The circumstances today were pretty straightforward. We didn’t have any crazy endings, and we just came in, put tires on it, and were fortunate to have a couple lap cars in between us a couple times to just have a straight‑up race.
So I think as you look at last week, led a bunch of laps, and didn’t think it was close, and then wound up the car not having enough fuel in it because it just didn’t get enough fuel in it. We did everything the same way last week. We’ve been in these situations a lot this year and haven’t pulled it off, but there’s no way to get frustrated. If you’re going to get frustrated over running like we’ve run this year, you’re probably going to be a detriment to your team, and for us it’s something to where you show up on Monday and you do the same thing, whether you win or lose. We’ve been through winless periods before, just like last year, and we’ve been through periods where we’ve won races and consecutive races.

It really isn’t ‑‑ it’s just the nature of this team and what they do, and the character of it is deep, and they all believe in each other. When you have a group of people like this that doesn’t do things out of the ordinary for situations like this, you know, they just look at it as another task at hand.
Q. I can understand I think why you don’t feel like it’s really a pressure situation given what your team has been able to accomplish and what you know you guys are capable of, but what do you consider to be a high‑pressure situation? What would that be like for you?
KEVIN HARVICK: Probably stepping into Dale Earnhardt’s car. That was pretty high.
Q. Anything from today that ‑‑
KEVIN HARVICK: There will never be anything close to that one. I think that that’ll supercede any of these situations by a long ways. When you look at the sport’s biggest hero gone, you look at millions of race fans that are depending upon somebody to drive that car and you have 350 people that have jobs and families and you’re their guy, never done it before, but good luck. Know what I mean? That’s a lot of pressure.
Q. Sorry we’re kind of keeping the pressure theme going here, but you’ve had a number of these as you called them last year, walk‑off moments. Do you kind of embrace being in these situations as opposed to being in good shape?
KEVIN HARVICK: You know, the payoff when you get in these situations, the rush that you get out of these types of situations, just from the situation itself throughout the day and the moments, are something that are a lot of fun to be a part of. Obviously you don’t want to be in these situations, but no matter what, when you get to Homestead, you’re going to be in this situation.

If you’re not ready for it, it’ll eat you up, and luckily I had Tony Stewart and a lot of experienced people to help me through that week last year because it was a lot different, and I think that those comments and suggestions of how you handle your week have just rolled over into things that we’ve done this year, and you just don’t let those types of situations overwhelm you. I think that’s Zipadelli’s pretty standard line is don’t let this week overwhelm you because it’ll be to the detriment of you if you don’t pay attention and keep yourself at bay.

Just a lot of experienced people.

Q. I just want to go back to the last pit stop there when you took two tires. I know your car was really good today. Just when Kyle Busch took four, did you think at all that maybe he could get an advantage with that, or was your car just that good even with two tires?
KEVIN HARVICK: Well, their cars didn’t really run any faster or slower in the race when they took two tires. You know, it took me 15 or 20 laps to get back around the guys that came out in front of me, and I just didn’t think that losing control of the race was the right thing to do. I thought if we could keep control of the race and be able to control the restarts, because they just get more intense as you go through the end of the race and have to step things up. I just didn’t want to lose control.
Q. What does it mean to win at a track as unique as Dover?
KEVIN HARVICK: Well, I’m just happy we won because Keelan keeps asking for Miles the trophy. It’ll probably be the only one we don’t put in storage with the rest of them. It’ll go in his playroom. That’s what he asked to do with it. So I’m just glad that I didn’t let him down.
Q. When Rodney was in here, he was saying that the team really pulled out the stops the last couple weeks and pulled out a couple of cars maybe they weren’t intending to use earlier, like Dover this weekend in particular, and he said you guys didn’t know what you were going to use yet for Charlotte. Is there any concern on your part that so much is expended the last couple weeks to make sure you got through that next round that now it’s time to play catch‑up again in the second round?
KEVIN HARVICK: I think I’ve been here for two years, and I have no idea which cars I’ve raced. I have no clue. I couldn’t tell you which ones I’ve driven or haven’t driven, so I’m just ‑‑ usually every time I get in them, they’re fast, so I don’t even ask.
Q. Last week they talked about what if Harvick gets eliminated, what the advantage would be. Now the reality is that Johnson was eliminated today. What does that do to the rest of the way for the Chase, at least the next round?
KEVIN HARVICK: You know, I don’t even know who’s been eliminated, so we’re so narrow‑minded in the approach that we take to things, it’s really ‑‑ you try to stay in your garage stall. You don’t really look at the times on the board. You just try to focus on the things that concern you. You know, we’re just happy to be able to make it to the next round and be able to keep racing for a championship.

Yeah, I mean, like I say, I’m sorry I don’t follow any of you guys on Twitter, I don’t follow NASCAR on Twitter, I don’t read stories, I don’t go online, I just ‑‑ I think it’s better for us to stay focused on the people who are 100 percent in tune with our situations and around us and keep things as positive as possible to stay as narrow‑minded as possible, because the more narrow‑minded we can approach things, the more focused we’re going to be on those narrow‑minded things that we’re focused on.

You know, everybody has bought into that. Nobody listens to the chirping. But we’re just going to line them back up and see how it goes next week.
Q. Well, when you took the checkered flag, how much of a relief was it that you felt? Was it like a big weight lifted off your shoulders?
KEVIN HARVICK: You know, I never really felt any pressure. I would have been more disappointed for my guys and for Stewart‑Haas Racing than I would have for myself. I would have found a way to kind of cope with everything and move forward and do the things going forward. I would have been more disappointed for the guys on my team, for the guys at the shop that put their heart and soul into all these race cars that we put on the track for Stewart‑Haas Racing.

I could have dealt with it myself. I’ve been through a lot of ups and downs in my life and career of things that you’ve had to handle. But a lot of those guys haven’t, and I would have felt like I let them down more than anything and would have felt bad more for that than I would have myself for sure.
Q. Kevin, how much did the other title contenders blow it today by allowing ‑‑ by not beating you and not preventing you from advancing in this Chase?
KEVIN HARVICK: Yeah, I don’t really know how to answer that. You know, I know we did our job and we were able to punch our ticket to move forward. We’re still in the battle and still looking forward to the challenge of just trying to make it to the next round. It’s like I’ve told you guys before: Some stats are going to be ugly, some stats are going to be pretty, it’s just a matter of how they add up as to who moves on. It sounds like it was pretty intense as far as the points go, and just got to go at it again. We lived to fight another day.
Q. I know you didn’t spend a lot of time there, but what were your impressions of the changes in the restart zone?
KEVIN HARVICK: I felt like I was in way more control today as the leader. Before I felt like I had to do something to really jack everybody up to gain an advantage. I felt like as the leader I was in control of the race again, and I think as you look at the restarts and all the things that we’ve all as drivers been asking for, is when you’re the leader, you should be able to make it to the first corner and feel like you’re in control of that restart. That’s how we’ve all raced as we’ve grown up. It’s not a gimmick or a show. It’s about the leader having an advantage that he’s earned, whether it was on the racetrack, staying on the racetrack, on pit road, however you got to be the leader, you deserve to have that advantage kept.

So I think today as you look at the restarts, I thought ‑‑ I felt like I was in more control than I had been all year or over the past couple years, and I felt like the restart zone being widened out and being officiated correctly, you know, having to restart within the zone, the second place guy not beating the ‑‑ not getting in the gas first, I felt like everybody got the message, and I felt like widening that zone out gave me more options. When it gets to be so short, everybody knows when you get to the second line you’re going to have to go because you’re going to roll right through the zone if you don’t.

I definitely felt like I was in more control today.

Q. Your answers just sound completely laser focused, which is similar to how you were late in the year last year. But I’m wondering if your comments toward the beginning of the Chase had any impact. You kind of caused a little bit of a brief firestorm for yourself talking about the JGR cars. Was that a reminder for you to close down the ranks to get laser focused, the fallout from that? Did that have any impact on how you’re approaching this going forward?
KEVIN HARVICK: I don’t think so. I think as we got started, as the situation started to stack up there, I think it just ‑‑ that circle had to get smaller. The noise had to get quieter, and we had to really know exactly what we needed to be doing. Sometimes situations ignite that fuel.

But I think as you look at the guys around us, I really feel like these situations make us tighter, stronger, better, believe in each other more, and we’ve just got to ‑‑ now we’ve just got to keep our nose down and grind away.
Q. In some ways today was kind of a surprising result. In other ways it wasn’t in the sense that the team that’s been pretty much the fastest the last year and a half advances to continue competing for the championship. Just for you, what has that been like the last one plus seasons, almost two years, as a racer, whether you collect wins or championships, but getting into a car without having to worry about whether you’re going to be in a position to compete and you know you are every race? That’s got to be the pinnacle of a driver’s career, isn’t it?
KEVIN HARVICK: Well, you know, for me it’s been about, all right, don’t screw any of this up. You know, how can I contribute to make this better. I think a lot of those things were talked about before Rodney ever started at Stewart‑Haas Racing on day one.

I think for me, you know, there’s been a lot of things change over the last four or five years for me personally. You know, we put a lot of effort into how we live and where we live and what we own, what we don’t own, just to try to make being parents better and be better on Sunday.

I think as you look at my situation, I have a group of people that believe in each other. I have a group of people that are experienced, and for me, as I’ve been able to get in these race cars, I don’t worry about how they’re going to run when I show up at the racetrack. I know they’re going to run fast. We’ve run fast at virtually every race we’ve ever been to. For me it’s about, all right, look at your notes, look at the past history, look at the things that you’ve done, and you’d better be ready when you get on the racetrack for the first lap of practice, because they are. There’s a sense of if I’m not prepared I’m letting them down because I know every one of them are prepared. There’s never a weekend that they show up that they aren’t prepared. So for me it’s almost been a good motivator to make sure that you show up prepared so you’re not letting those guys down that did their job during the week.


THE MODERATOR: We are now joined by crew chief Rodney Childers, the crew chief for the No. 4 Budweiser Jimmy John’s Chevrolet, the winning car in today’s 46th annual AAA 400, and Rodney, a lot of pressure on your team, and once again, the 4 team responds. What was going through your mind in the final laps of this race?

RODNEY CHILDERS: I don’t even remember what was going through my mind. It seems like when you get in a situation like that where you’re leading there at the end, there’s just so many things that ‑‑ every lap I would turn around to 3 and 4 where I could see us out of the corner and make sure the car was there again. There’s just so many things that can go wrong. It seems like we’ve had a lot of them this year.

It was just nice to have a fast car and to have things go smoothly today and just ‑‑ honestly, we’ve made mistakes, and that’s something that you can’t do as a race team to win a championship, and it was nice not to have those today.
Q. The last two races, coming in you talked about a lot of pressure, but the one constant was that you obviously had fast cars and speed. Did that kind of allay your concern a little bit coming into this race, or is it still a lot of really big pressure?
RODNEY CHILDERS: Well, you know, we felt like we had done a good job of preparing ourselves for the Chase. We got to Chicago, and we had a fast car, and qualifying got rained out, which put us on the pole, and felt like we had the best car in practice, and then we started the race, and really wasn’t as good as what we thought we were. It seemed like the racetrack started coming back around, and we started getting better, and then that’s when everything kind of broke loose.

But going to Loudon, we felt like we had been really strong there the two races previous. We felt like we were taking really one of our best cars there, and really Loudon I thought we could go up there and we could win, and I thought that we would be fast all weekend, and it turned out that way until three laps to go.

This week was a different story. I wasn’t 100 percent positive on everything. I didn’t have the warm, fuzzy feeling. This was a car that hadn’t been very good before. We had wrecked it at Bristol at the beginning of the year last year, and when we put a front clip on it, it didn’t turn out right, and it always took different slugs than every other car, and just nothing seemed to be right with it. We ran it at Kentucky earlier this year, and it didn’t run good again, and finally I was done with it. We cut the clips off, cut the body off, and said we’re going to get it ready for the Chase, and that’s what everybody did, and they worked really hard on it, and it turned out good in the wind tunnel and even when they turn out good in the wind tunnel if they’ve never run good before, you kind of wonder if you want to take them somewhere. But it did a good job for us all weekend. It had good speed and came through for us.
Q. Rodney, the cars the last two weeks were pretty phenomenal, but at the same time maybe some teams haven’t had to use their best stuff, the JGR guys. If they’re in prime position they don’t have to bring out their best cars. Have you guys had to use your best stuff? Do you still feel like you have bullets left in the tank, and are you at a disadvantage now with maybe not the best resources that you would have had?
RODNEY CHILDERS: I think you hit it on the head. I think we’re a little bit of a disadvantage. I’m not really sure what those guys have. You know, that’s their deal. But yeah, we’ve had to pull out stuff, cars that we really didn’t want to. You know, Clair asked me over in victory lane if we were ready for Charlotte, and I was like, well, we really don’t know what car we’re running yet.

So we’ve got a good race team. We’ve been through situations like this before. We’ve got good cars sitting at the shop. The car we raced at Loudon last week is already back on the floor ready to go. If we wanted to race it, we could. We’ve got a car going to the wind tunnel tomorrow morning that should be good, and then we’ve got our Charlotte car that we’re planning on racing sitting there. We’ve got a good race team, and we’ve got good cars sitting there, but definitely have had to show more the past two weeks than what we really wanted to.
Q. Rodney, I think it was before the next to last caution, Kevin was talking about maybe a vibration in the car. You guys come in and you only take two tires. I’m trying to figure out, well, if it’s a loose tire, what if it’s not one of the ones you change? How do you guys figure that and make that call?
RODNEY CHILDERS: Well, I mean, we got video on all the guys’ helmets. You can tell if it’s something like that. You know, we had an instance earlier in the race where a lug nut got knocked off and run a whole fuel run with three on there. But our guys do a good job. They make sure they stay on the nuts long enough and make sure we don’t have loose wheels and stuff like that. As soon as he said that, I just didn’t feel like that was a problem, and the guys that are over that stuff started going over all the video and all that, and they said it all looked good.

At that point I just blew it off and kept on racing.
Q. Last year when you guys won when you had to, it was at the end of the season, there was so much at stake, I’m sure that helped carry the team forward. They talk about this being more of a people sport. You’ve still got seven races left after these last three races, what you guys have gone through. What kind of an emotional task has this taken on you and on this team, and how do you rebound to do this seven more times?
RODNEY CHILDERS: Well, in all honesty, winning fixes everything. You know, if we would have lost today, it would have been a downhill spiral, I believe, and probably struggled the next few weeks. It is all about people. It’s all about attitude. It’s all about confidence. Our group is good at that. They never waver. They do a great job each and every day. They come into the shop with a smile on their face, and they just make it happen.

And I said this a lot last year: I got lucky. I’ve never been a guy that was good at looking over résumés and interviewing people and figuring out who the best guy was. I go off of my gut instinct, and I don’t know how I did it, but I got lucky. These guys have shown it over and over again that they can make stuff happen, and they do a great job at it.
Q. I just want to go back to the last pit stop. I know with the ‑‑ Kenny was saying about the possible vibration. When you took two and then Kyle took four, then the next restart Kyle wound up behind Kevin, were you getting nervous that Kyle had fresher tires or were you confident he was going to hold him off like he did?
RODNEY CHILDERS: No, not at all. They changed the tire this year, and there’s not really any falloff anymore, and I think here in the spring we stayed out with 60 laps on our tires and nobody could pass us. We felt like we had a strong enough car. We watched the 18 and the 78 put two tires on earlier. Nobody could really pass them. They ran the exact same lap times they did on four tires the run before.
And then that particular run, the 20 had stayed out ‑‑ he had a bad restart, but once he fell into line, he was faster than what he was earlier in the race on four tires. We felt confident that putting two tires on it was going to be just fine.
Q. Jimmie Johnson said it was a faulty axle seal that caused them to finish 41st. I know you’re no stranger to mechanical failures here with valve stems and whatnot. As a crew chief what do you think when you hear faulty axle seal?
RODNEY CHILDERS: Honestly, it’s one of the things that is the scariest of everything that race teams deal with. From the media standpoint you don’t really see that. You think that the race teams worry about engine trouble or things like that. But these axle seal problems, they happen all the time, and a lot of times you don’t hear about them. At Martinsville earlier this year we got done with the race and the whole inside the right rear wheel, the brakes, everything was covered with gear lube and there was hardly any gear lube left in the gear. It’s something that all the teams have fought for a long time. We fought it earlier this year. We still change stuff on it. It seems like every week we’re looking at those things trying to figure out how to make them better.

Over the winter we actually went to what Hendrick is running, so now that you said that, it scares me to death. But those things are pretty dangerous.

The 14 had it happen not long ago, too. It’s pretty scary.
Q. I know you’re a calm guy, but were you nervous? Did you have butterflies today, or were you kind of just letting it happen?
RODNEY CHILDERS: I don’t think I really ever felt nervous today. I felt that way last night. The last couple nights I’ve just thought about a lot of things, and you know, there’s so much in my life that changes from day‑to‑day, I’m lucky that I have a family that I do that understand all this stuff. But it’s dealing with the person that’s on the worst depression thing that they could be on to the guy that’s winning the race and happy as he can be when he gets home, and you just deal with that stuff all the time. It seems like the way things are now with the Chase, it’s even harder on all the teams.

But when I woke up this morning, I felt confident. The thing that scared me the most is I looked through every piece of history I could find last night, and not one time since I’ve ever been Cup racing was the track tent this cold here at Dover while we were racing. I was like, I don’t think it’s ever going to rubber up. I don’t think it’s going to do this, I don’t think it’s going to do that. I don’t know if the balance is ever going to change like it normally does. Really my engineer and myself, we talked back and forth last night, and kept watching old races and looking through notes and finally I sent him an email and I said, look, man, I don’t know what to do. I don’t know anything to change other than just leave it alone and we’ll deal with it.

We got ready this morning and set it up on the scales, and wrote all of our numbers down and took it back on the scales and rolled with it, and we just got lucky that it was as good as it was.

Q. Kevin led 355 laps; we’ve talked before about if somebody goes out there and really dominates that NASCAR might not be real happy with that. How do you think they’re going to react to your win today?
RODNEY CHILDERS: Well, I don’t know. I mean, if we would have had qualifying on Friday, we’d have led 400 (laughter), so you know, it’s just part of it. We came here to win. We’re that type of team that we don’t ‑‑ you know, when you’re backed in a corner like this, what are you supposed to do? We’re not going to ride around fifth all day and wait to take the lead at the end. That’s not what we’re made out of. We came here to lead laps and to do our job and to end up with that car in victory lane. You know, it’s part of it. You know, we’ve been over there 30 times, I think, now, so looking forward to going back and taking them breakfast again on Tuesday morning.
Q. You went back and looked at the records, how cold it was in the past; how far back did the records go, because I remember the first Delaware 500 here it was this cold.
RODNEY CHILDERS: Well, that was long before me. I just looked through my records, which would have been ‑‑
Q. I think it was about 45 that day, and that day there were only three lap leaders.
Q. Yeah, same as today.
RODNEY CHILDERS: Gotcha. Yeah, I guess back 2003 was my first go‑around here, and it’s never had a track tent this cold since then.
Q. Unfortunately a dinosaur like me goes back to ’71.


DALE EARNHARDT JR.: “Yeah, they were pretty eventful. We weren’t going to really advance. Jamie, he took off on that run before last with about 50 to go, and I didn’t see that kind of speed in his car all day, so it kind of surprised me, but I thought we were going to get to him and get around him, but he took off with the laps running out. But we had a late caution and got around him, him and Matt down there on Turn 3 and 4 on the outside. Jamie was trying to squeeze down in front of Matt into Turn 3 and get to the bottom, and they really slow‑rolled that corner for some reason, both of them, and I just went to the outside because it was about the only shot I had to pinch anybody down, pinch Jamie down if I could get to his quarterpanel, and that’s how it worked out.
We had a pretty good car. I thought we were about the third to fifth best car, and we just fought all day for track position, and we passed a lot of cars and had a lot of fun.”
DALE EARNHARDT JR.: “Yeah, the left rear was falling off. I was a couple laps from coming in. It was shaking real bad in the corner, and it started shaking on decel, and I knew it was a matter of time before it was coming off. It wasn’t going to make 50 laps. We had 50 to go at that point, and I wasn’t going to bash my head against a concrete wall somewhere for a damned loose wheel, so we just come in sooner than later.”


DALE EARNHARDT JR.: “Yeah, well, we’ve been competitive. We ran really good at Richmond, New Hampshire and here. I feel like we’ve got pretty good speed. We lost a little speed over the summer, and I think we’re gaining a little bit on it. We’ve still got some more to find, but we’ll see how these next few tracks stack up. We’ve just got to get a little bit of luck and not ruin it for ourselves.”
DALE EARNHARDT JR.: “No, I didn’t remember how we ran here, so I don’t ‑‑ I can hardly remember where we ran last week. But we were pretty happy with the way the car was in practice. I thought that even with the limited time we had, we had pretty good speed comparable to the competition. We usually ‑‑ if we practice good, we usually race good, because we never really practice good and tend to race really well, so if we’re going to practice good, I get pretty confident, and we seemed to have some pretty good speed in practice.”