Loudon II: Winning team press conference

KEVIN HARVICK AND CREW CHIEF, TODD BERRIER, NO. 29 REESE'S MONTE CARLO SS -- WINNER'S PRESS CONFERENCE: KEVIN HARVICK - "It is really awesome to be able to capitalize on the race car we had this weekend. To sit on the pole and run as well as...

KEVIN HARVICK AND CREW CHIEF, TODD BERRIER, NO. 29 REESE'S MONTE CARLO SS -- WINNER'S PRESS CONFERENCE:

KEVIN HARVICK - "It is really awesome to be able to capitalize on the race car we had this weekend. To sit on the pole and run as well as it did from the time we unloaded it, is something that hard to do. I think Todd (Berrier, crew chief) and I were more nervous about that because we didn't want to embarrass ourselves and have something go wrong. We made really good adjustments all day. They made some big adjustments I think it was the second stop of the race that really helped the car and it was really fast through the center of the corner. We were able to hold our own on the long run at that point. It was an awesome weekend and to wrap up the Manufacturers' Championship for Chevrolet is really good for everyone involved in that. We are looking forward to the next nine weeks.

TODD BERRIER - "Obviously the key pit strategy was not stopping that last time. At that time you are wondering how many people you get buffering yourself in between you and the guys who did pit and got tires. Obviously we had enough guys to do that. Had to put a few rubbers in the right rear today and do a lot of things in the pits that we typically don't have to do. We had really good pit selection from qualifying so obviously we could not lose many spots because of that and that really helped. Like Kevin said, it is easy to screw up and not capitalize when you have a car that good and get the win like we did."

ON MAKING IT LOOK EASIER THAN IT REALLY WAS:

KEVIN HARVICK - "It might have looked easy on TV, but the No. 24 was obviously the main reason we went to work and did as big of adjustments as we did on our car knowing how much better they were after the first 20 laps of a run. We made some major adjustments to our car today. We had a great test at Milwaukee and tried a lot of the things that we did in practice and in today's race. We felt very comfortable with the changes. Everything we did made it better. We got the car rolling through the center really good. We hurt it a little bit up off, but the center part of the corner was the key to the whole race track."

ON PASSING DENNY HAMLIN EARLY IN THE RACE:

KEVIN HARVICK - "It closed up in a hurry. It was a good idea in the center of the corner but it was a bad idea 3/4 of the way around. So the hole closed up faster than I anticipated, I rolled up in there really fast and then it was not good at that point. But at that point, you are committed, so you just hold the pedal down and hope for the best at that point because you have already screwed up. Luckily it didn't tear anybody up and everyone came out of it ok."

ON MICHAEL WALTRIP RACING HIM HARD TO STAY ON LEAD LAP:

KEVIN HARVICK - "If he would have raced that hard at the beginning of the race, we wouldn't have had to worry about being a lap down. That would have been the easiest thing for him to do was to keep up in the beginning. When I got there, all of a sudden he wanted to race. It not how I want to race, but sometimes you have to do what you have to do. I don't really like to do it that way, but you race what you are racing against."

ON RICHARD CHILDRESS BEING HERE AND NOT BEING BAD LUCK:

KEVIN HARVICK - "It was a precursor to the weekend. We sent him hunting to at least try to bring some good luck back. Richard obviously likes to go hunting and I believe he drew a pretty lucky tag there to go to Alaska and go hunting for for something, I don't really know what. I don't know where he is going to put it all, but he enjoys it."

ON CONCERN OF STEWART RUNNING HIM DOWN AFTER LAST CAUTION:

KEVIN HARVICK - "I knew the No. 24 (Gordon) wasn't as good on the restarts as we were and I knew the No. 20 would probably get around him with two new tires. Our car was extremely good on the restarts, for whatever reason, it would really take off. We could roll the center of the corner good and get in the gas actually better than we could 20 laps in to the run. It was kind of backwards from what it usually is. Usually we are sliding getting up off the corner and this time we slid a little bit in so I could back the corner up and get off the corner really good. If he was going to come up there, the best time for him to come up there was four or five laps from the end and on a restart."

ON ANTICIPATING NEXT FEW RACES BOTH MILE TRACKS AND MILE AND ONE-HALF TRACKS:

KEVIN HARVICK - "We have run really good on the mile and a half tracks this year. We ran good at Chicago, we ran good at Charlotte. We had a little problem there with the tail pipes, but we feel like we can run really good on the mile and a half race tracks. The flat track stuff we have been able to capitalize on with really good cars, and really do what we need to do there. Right now, we are doing what we have done all year, which is race week to week - at least I do. I know they have a lot of planning and work to do at the shop and I feel like they have laid out their plan with the cars and how we want to race them. We have stuck to our plan pretty much through everything. We are looking forward to going where ever it is we have to go and see where it falls. We are just going to race as hard as we can and take the most out of the weekend.

TODD BERRIER - "When you have a car that good, you obviously worry about somehow or another not making the right decision.. The first Richmond race we led every lap in the race almost except for the one that mattered. So obviously I am sitting there looking through everything, trying to look at history and trying to look at everything to make the right decisions. Fortunately we did today. But that is the hard part at the start of the race, knowing that you have had the fastest car all weekend and nine times out of 10, the fastest car doesn't win. We got lucky today."

ON FEELING LIKE THIS SUCCESS HAS BEEN A LONG TIME COMING:

KEVIN HARVICK - "When I started in Cup in 2001, we had really good cars. In 2003, we were in the middle of the championship race and had some trouble there toward the end of the year and fell back. The last couple of years, we have been hit or miss and struggled for the most part and missed the Chase. These guys had a good plan going in to the end of last year and the first part of this year and it has continuously gotten better. There is really not just one thing that is better. I think our cars are better. Our bodies, our motors, I feel like I am in a better frame of mind and I feel like we have got experience too. Every year, you gain a little more experience and you feel like you know how to handle situations better."

ON NOT DOING BURNOUT AFTER RACE:

KEVIN HARVICK - "I knew if I went over there and did a burnout, I would be sitting in the big trailer and that wouldn't be any way to celebrate our win. I am trying to stay as far away from that trailer as I can. Obviously there were ambulances, tow trucks, wrecked race cars, so we just went in and celebrated in victory lane. It is probably the first time we have ever won and not gotten to do that but, obviously safety first."

ON THE ROLL TEAM IS CURRENTLY ON:

KEVIN HARVICK - "The roll is incredible. If you look at how we have run and the finishes we have had, we obviously know the ends and outs of the bad runs too and know how good we were running at those tracks too. The whole year has been phenomenal. If it ended right now, I think we would be happy and know we have really improved upon where we were in the past. Right now we are having fun and trying to race to win. At the beginning of the year, nobody would have expected us to be sitting in this spot, so we have kind of run from the underdog roll from day one. It has kind of been nice to fly under the radar and just have fun with it."

ON BEING MORE COMFORTABLE WITH ROLL AT RCR:

KEVIN HARVICK - "There is obviously a deep heritage about Dale (Earnhardt) at RCR, but he never wore orange. We have changed a lot, the whole team is different, the sponsors are different, things are different. There is really not anything that is the same. That has always been something that has been hard to live up to but I feel like we have busted out of that a little bit by winning races and doing the things we need to do ourselves. We have tried to create our own mold as a person as we have gone forward. That will always be there, but I feel like it is our team and our people and we have been together since the Busch days. So there a lot of things that have changed.

ON RELISHING ROLE AS FAVORITE:

KEVIN HARVICK - "I don't know, we have really never been in this position before. Maybe that is a good thing because we haven't been in the Chase before. I don't feel like it is anything different, maybe it will be in the weeks to come. Todd and I have raced for Busch championship, we have raced for the Cup championship and fell short of it in 2003. I feel like we have been in this position but not the Chase-type position, which I don't feel is any different, I feel like we still need to race like we have raced all year and not do anything different. I know Todd feels the same way. We feel like if we are leading laps and winning races, everything else will take care of itself. That may be wrong when we look back on it and say we did this or screwed that up but that is our plan and we have stuck to our plan all year."

ON ENJOYING EXUDING CONFIDENCE:

KEVIN HARVICK - "I think it is a catch 22. You want to temper yourself to the point to where you are excited, we are excited about everything that is going on-we are excited that we have turned our organization around, we feel like we can race for the championship and we feel like we can do all these things - but I have also been on the arrogant and cocky side of it in years past, you don't to stick your foot in your mouth. Maybe at the end of the year, you can become a little bit proud of what you have done, but right now we just want to keep doing what we are doing. We don't want to fall on our face, we want to stay competitive and contend for the championship. Sure we are confident in our cars, I am confident, Todd is confident, everybody is confident, but we aren't going to get cocky about it."

OF NINE TRACKS REMAINING IN CHASE, ON ONE MAY BE WORRIED ABOUT:

KEVIN HARVICK - "If you look at the past record, there are probably several that on paper we haven't performed well on, but I feel like the race tracks we are going to, we have ran well at this year. The mile and a half's we have run well, Dover we had a chance to win the race. Talladega can go either way, you can flip over or you can win the race, you have a 50-50 chance going there. I have been conservative in the past and I am not going to do that this time, we are going to go and we are going to race as hard as we can and however it shakes out, it shakes out. Whether we have been good in the past or bad in the past, I think each week is different from here on out."

TODD BERRIER - "There is no where we are going that we haven't run good in the past at one point or another. There might be a year or two that we haven't been good at that certain place. Talladega is the crap-shoot not knowing where you may end up, it might be upside down like he said. That is going to be the only one that is out of your control so we worry about finishing that one. Outside of that one, everything else is good."

ON HAVING SEPARATE POINTS STRUCTURE FOR CHASE GUYS:

KEVIN HARVICK - "Well, I don't know, I hadn't really thought about it. Our sport has always been built around consistency and you really can't compare it to a lot of other sports. I feel like if you had a 43rd place day, you should be awarded 43rd place points and if you have a good day, you should be rewarded good points. So if you have something go wrong and you finish 43rd, there are 43 guys in the race and there is no reason you should get 10th place points. You can look at it both ways and I really haven't thought about it much.

"I was really good with five points at a time, I could keep up with that. But I can't keep up with it. There is no possible way. You see the No. 48 and the No. 5 sitting down there crashed, I don't know where everybody is. The points are what they are, everybody races for the same thing at the beginning of the year and you know what you have going in. If you are the best car and don't have bad luck, you can come out be where you need to be. We really haven't paid much attention to it until it came down to the last couple of races before the Chase. We knew where we were but our plan didn't change."

ON WHAT IS DISCUSSED BEFORE A RACE: WHEN YOU HAVE BEEN THE FASTEST AND HAVE THE POLE:

TODD BERRIER - "We didn't say anything. It is nothing we talk about, I am not to kind to either boast or worry about whatever, it is what it is. You give it 200% and you can sleep at night knowing that you did. It doesn't matter at the end of the day. If we ended up 20th yes I would be pissed off and I wouldn't be sitting here, but as long as we give it all we can give it, then that is all we can do. Kevin gives all he can, we as a team give it all we can give it, sometimes it works out for the best and sometimes it doesn't."

ON PERSONAL CHANGES:

KEVIN HARVICK - "Through the time period of the whole contract thing, I know this is where I want to be. I looked because I wanted to make sure for myself that I wanted to be a part of RCR and what they wanted to do. And I wanted them to be a part of what I wanted to do. I knew when it all came time down to the end that Richard and I were on the same page, I knew I was on the same page with my team and everybody was pulling in the same direction. We all knew we were getting better. Everything was kind of made a little bit bigger than it really was. Richard and I were on the same page. There were things I had to look at but he understood that. But in the end, I think this is by far the best decision I have ever made in my life. I feel really comfortable knowing I can look everyone in the eye and tell them the truth about the whole situation and there are no second thoughts or second guesses and that is what I wanted and that is what Richard wanted. Everybody needed to be pulling in the same direction and understand and not be mad at each other, say things we shouldn't say.

I should not have said things about the race team, I should go in to Richard and say this is how I feel or go to Todd and say this is how I feel and they should be able to come to me and we can work on it and go forward. So from that standpoint, Bristol was one of the biggest lessons I have learned in my life, and felt like, if I am going to be a part of this team, then I have to be a part of this team. I can't be a thorn in the side and causing commotion all the time, you have to go in and all pull in the same direction and I feel like we are on the same page.

"Owning my own race teams has helped me understand where Richard is coming from, knowing hard it is to get good people. Know how hard it is to build good cars, how long it takes to change things, how expensive it is and the commitments to the sponsors and to understand why you can't do certain things. Sponsors are hard to come by so if you can't keep them, you can't race. In a six month period my life has turned around and it has been good for a lot of people."

-credit: gm racing

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Teams CIP