NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES
BOJANGLES’ SOUTHERN 500
TEAM CHEVY DRIVER PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPTS
SEPTEMBER 4, 2016
CHEVROLET SCORES 2ND & 3RD PLACE FINISHES AT DARLINGTON
Chevy SS Race Cars Post 5 of Top 10 Overall
DARLINGTON, S.C. (September 4, 2016) – Kevin Harvick earned a second-place finish in this year’s annual Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway, the penultimate race until the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series field is decided. Harvick led the 367-lap Southern 500 five different times for a race-high 215 laps in route to his fourth second-place finish of the season. A late-race pit stop mired Harvick and his No. 4 Busch Beer Chevrolet SS deep in the top 10, but the former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion rallied to a runner-up finish.
Last week’s winner, Kyle Larson, followed-up his first Cup career win with a third-place effort at Darlington in the No. 42 Target Chevrolet SS.
Kasey Kahne driving the No. 5 Liftmaster Chevrolet SS earned his seventh top-10 finish of the season at Darlington by coming home seventh.
After leading nine laps late in the race, Ryan Newman took the checkered flag in the eighth position in the No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS. Despite the strong finish, Newman still sits seven points away from earning a spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship with one race remaining. He and fellow Team Chevy competitor, Jamie McMurray, who finished 15th tonight at Darlington, will fight for the final Chase position next weekend at Richmond International Raceway.
Chase Elliott was the highest finishing Rookie of the Year contender. He put his No. 24 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet SS in the 10th finishing position at the track known as, ‘Too Tough to Tame’.
Martin Truex, Jr. (Toyota) was the race winner. Denny Hamlin (Toyota) was fourth and Joey Logano (Ford) ended the night in the fifth position to round out the Top five finishers.
Next Saturday night, September 10, the series heads to Richmond International Raceway for the final race before the 16 team Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup field is decided.
POST RACE PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPTS:
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 4 BUSCH CHEVROLET SS – Finished 2nd:
THE MODERATOR: We will now begin our post‑race media availability for today’s Bojangles’ Southern 500. We are joined by the runner‑up of today’s race, Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Busch Beer Chevrolet for Stewart‑Haas Racing. Kevin, great car this evening, led a lot of laps here. Has to be very frustrating to be in this position, but could you walk us through how that unfolded from your position?
KEVIN HARVICK: Yeah, we had a great car. The guys in the garage and at the shop continue to do a great job, and we continue to give it away on pit road. Pretty much summed up the night. Just the dominant car and just three bad pit stops on pit road.
Q. Kevin, I know you’re frustrated, but how do you fix these things this late in the season? What do you do?
KEVIN HARVICK: Yeah, I really don’t know. We have championship cars and we’re just mediocre on pit road. It’s kind of been that way for a few years, and they’ve moved some things around, but it just seems like it’s just week after week after week. You have a couple good weeks here and there and every once in a while you just put together a day, but they just can’t put together a whole day on pit road right now.
Q. How do you balance trying to be a cheerleader ‑‑
KEVIN HARVICK: I’m over being a cheerleader. Those guys get paid a lot of money to perform on pit road, and cheerleading hasn’t really been working. You’ve got to get after it on pit road and do your job.
KYLE LARSON, NO. 42 TARGET CHEVROLET SS – Finished 3rd
THE MODERATOR: We’re going to continue on with today’s post‑race media availability for the Bojangles’ Southern 500, and we’re joined by third‑place finisher Kyle Larson, driver of the No. 42 Target Chevrolet for Chip Ganassi Racing. Kyle, fantastic run out there tonight following your win last week at Michigan. Just describe what it was like for you, particularly on that final restart where it looked like you were taking some chances trying to gun your way up front.
KYLE LARSON: Yeah, I got a decent restart there on that last one, probably cleared myself ‑‑ could have cleared myself up in front of Kevin through the middle of 1 and 2, but left in that lane and kind of pinched myself down a little bit and didn’t get a good enough run down the backstretch as I needed. He was on my back bumper, and I didn’t really know what to do into 3, and I thought if I went to the bottom I could kind of hold my own to exit, but Kevin nailed 3 and 4 and was able to squeeze around me and get back to second.
Ended up third, but it was a tough race. We had to work on our Target Chevy quite a bit there early in the night. When the sun was out, it drove totally different. As the sun was going down, I could feel my car change and I was getting a little bit change looser and had to keep up with that, but we made some good adjustments.
Our short‑run speed was really good, especially out front. I struggled on the long runs with getting loose off. I was trying to take care of my rear tires as much as I could, but it seemed like nothing I did would help me on the long run.
That was frustrating, but all in all, it was good to be a contender two weeks in a row. I thought maybe there was some things that could have gone our way to maybe get the win, but we’ll still take a third, build on our momentum leading up to the Chase, and hopefully have a good first round of that.
THE MODERATOR: How much fun was it to be out here tonight? We had a great crowd in the stands, everybody dressing up in the NASCAR throwback tradition. How much fun was that for you?
KYLE LARSON: Yeah, this is such a fun weekend with the throwback stuff, but this racetrack itself just feels like ‑‑ it doesn’t even have to be a throwback weekend, it just feels like it already is when you come here. You’ve got the small town, the racetrack is right on that road right over there, grandstands kind of back up to it. Just feels really old school. The red and white painted walls is awesome. Every racetrack I feel like should have red and white walls like that.
They needed to do all the old paint schemes and crew guys dressing up and all that; it’s really cool. It’s great for our sport. I think it gets a lot of eyes on this weekend, and what a great track to do it at.