Watkins Glen: Winning team press conference

AMD At The Glen - Post Race Press Conference Transcript Watkins Glen International Sunday, August 13, 2006 Watkins Glen, NY - Kevin Harvick, No. 29 GM Goodwrench Monte Carlo SS, captured the victory in the AMD at the Glen. The win is his 200th...

AMD At The Glen - Post Race Press Conference Transcript
Watkins Glen International
Sunday, August 13, 2006

Watkins Glen, NY - Kevin Harvick, No. 29 GM Goodwrench Monte Carlo SS, captured the victory in the AMD at the Glen. The win is his 200th NASCAR Nextel Cup start, and the seventh of his Cup career.

The win moved Harvick into third place in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series (NNCS) standings with four races remaining in the 26-race chase to the Chase for the Championship. Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 20 Home Depot Monte Carlo SS finished second.

With Harvick's victory, Chevrolet has won 13 of the 24 NASCAR Cup Series races at Watkins Glen International, more than any other manufacturer. Monte Carlo SS drivers have visited victory lane in nine of the last 10 NNCS events at WGI.

Chevrolet extended its lead in the NNCS Manufacturers' Cup standings and Monte Carlo SS drivers hold eight of the top-10 positions in the Chase to the Championship.

KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 GM GOODWRENCH MONTE CARLO
RICHARD CHILDRESS, TEAM OWNER, RICHARD CHILDRESS RACING

THE MODERATOR: We'll start with our championship press conference. Congratulations goes out to Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 29 GM Goodrich Chevrolet. Today was your 200th NASCAR NEXTEL Cup start. You've got your seventh career win here this afternoon, your second of the season, your first road course victory. Take us through today's win. By the way, you've also moved up to third in the points standings. Great afternoon for you. Take us through the victory.

KEVIN HARVICK: Well, it was obviously a good day. We kept our car in the Top 10 most of the day and had both front fenders caved in there at the beginning and had to hope that it didn't get into the tire too hard, and luckily it pushed itself back out.

We were racing there for seventh and eighth all day pretty much and decided to pit. We stuck to our strategy. We pretty much predetermined everything that we wanted to do and stuck to that strategy and it wound up working just the way it supposed to work. If you can catch those breaks and put yourself in position, that's all you can ask for at these places.

Track position is important, but I think to race Tony, who obviously everybody knows is one of my good friends and has won here a lot and a lot on the road courses, makes it that much more special because you know it didn't just come from pit strategy; you had to beat the guy that's been on top here, and that makes it really gratifying for myself.

Q</I>: THE DECISION TO PIT WAS WHAT TURNED THINGS AROUND AND GOT YOU TO THE FRONT. BUT THEN WITH THREE LAPS TO GO YOU'RE PASSING TONY TO WIN THE RACE. IT'S ALMOST LIKE THE PIT STRATEGY WAS ONLY PART OF THE EQUATION. TALK ABOUT TONY PASSING YOU AND THEN YOU PASSING HIM BACK.

KEVIN HARVICK: He passed me going into the interlude back there, and I knew for two laps I was really a moving chicane. My car would push really bad and the brakes wouldn't work for whatever reason when it was cool. But I knew I could go, and it was tough to hold Jaime off for those couple laps and drive away from him. Tony I went to the inside to block and he just flat?out drove around me. He bombed it in there 200 feet further than I had ever thought about driving it in there. He was in the dirt smoking the tires, and I said obviously I'm going to have to pick it up here.

I got a little bit more aggressive on the restart getting in the corners and knew if I could stay with him for a couple laps that I was probably going to have three opportunities to get by him getting into turn 1. He got a little loose and made a mistake there getting onto the front straightaway, and luckily I had had a good corner coming to that and was able to get underneath him.

Q</I>: ON A LOT OF THE ROAD COURSE RACES EVERYONE TALKS ABOUT JEFF, TONY, ROBBY, BUT YOU HAVEN'T WON ONE BEFORE. DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU'RE UNDERRATED AS A ROAD COURSE RACER?

KEVIN HARVICK: You know, I really hadn't even thought about it. I've kind of learned that everybody gathers their own opinion off of however they gather their information, and I know and our team knows that we've always been fairly good at the road courses and been in position to win them before and just had things happen.

Today they put us in position to win the race, and we were able to capitalize on it there at the end and come home.

THE MODERATOR: We're also pleased to be joined by team owner Richard Childress. Talk about the performance of the 29 today, outstanding win. It was Kevin's 200th career start, his first road course win. Tell us about how you feel as team owner.

RICHARD CHILDRESS: I feel great. Kevin is a great road racer. Great road racers know when to race and when not to. That was the thing. It's been so impressive to watch him run on these road courses. He did an excellent job once Tony got by him, but the caution before, it would take his car a couple laps to get going. The caution before he said if we can get going I might get back by him. I looked up and seen him on the inside over here, and I said, man, that 20 really ran well here, and for Kevin to get back in there and get under him and pass him and win the race, congratulations, Bud.

KEVIN HARVICK: Thanks, man.

Q</I>: RICHARD, AFTER FIVE YEARS DOES IT FEEL GOOD TO BE BACK UP HERE A LOT MORE OFTEN IN FRONT OF US, AND IS IT WORTH ALL OF THE AGGRAVATION AND CRAZINESS HE MIGHT HAVE PUT YOU THROUGH EARLIER IN THE YEAR?

RICHARD CHILDRESS: Well, it hasn't been aggravation or craziness. You've got to love what you do, you've got to have a passion for what you do. We've got off, and a lot of it has been our race team, and I feel that everybody has worked hard for the last year and a half to get us back there. We got the drivers, we've got the crew chief, we've got the talent I think to make a serious run for this championship, making the Chase.

Q</I>: KEVIN, DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU SURPRISED TONY WITH THAT LAST MOVE? ONCE HE GOT BY YOU, YOU THOUGHT, OH, I'VE GOT IT DONE DOWN, BUT HERE YOU COME AGAIN.

KEVIN HARVICK: I was taught to never give up, and that's kind of the attitude that I kind of work in is to never quit and never just roll over. I knew that everybody that I wanted to win the race, and I knew everybody else was obviously hoping that we could make another run. I don't know that Tony is just going to say that's it. I mean, he's obviously going to go as hard as he can go. But I think it probably surprised everybody else that we were able to drive back by and win the race.

Q</I>: ONE OF THE THINGS THAT SEEMS TO BE TOUGH OR HAS BEEN TOUGH THE FIRST TWO YEARS WITH THE CHASE IS THERE'S ALL THIS TALK ABOUT MAKING IT AND THEN ALL OF A SUDDEN YOU HAVE TO GO IMMEDIATELY INTO THE TRANSITION TO TRY AND WIN IT. I KNOW YOU'RE STILL THINK ABOUT TRYING TO MAKE IT BECAUSE YOU'VE GOT FOUR RACES LEFT, BUT TALK ABOUT ?? YOU AND RICHARD BOTH, TALK ABOUT THAT TRANSITION, IF YOU GET THERE, HOW DO YOU GO FROM QUALIFYING FOR THE CHASE TO WINNING THE CHAMPIONSHIP ALMOST OVERNIGHT.

KEVIN HARVICK: I think the mindset has to be a lot like it was today. If you're running seventh or eighth you have to figure out how to finish seventh or eighth, trying to get sixth without wrecking or doing something stupid. But when you have a chance to win, you throw all that out the window and you have to go after winning the race and not worry about anything else. I think you're going to have to win a race or so in the Chase if not two to be able to capitalize. But it's the days that you don't have a winning car that you have to make things happen.

We've had a good plan coming into this year, and these guys started working on stuff last year, middle of the year, and had the cars ready for the Homestead test last year and had a great plan. I feel like we've got great communication, all the drivers and crew chiefs and the whole organization has a plan, and I think we have one for going forward in the last ten, too.

It's just exciting to see it all turn around and a lot of fun to be a part of it.

Q</I>: RICHARD, YOU'RE TOASTING WITH YOUR VINEYARD PRODUCT THERE. TALK ABOUT THAT AND ALSO ABOUT THE FACT THAT WHEN YOU WERE WATCHING FROM THE PIT BOX YOU SAW TONY COMING. WHAT WERE YOU THINKING FROM THE BOX?

RICHARD CHILDRESS: Well, I actually was watching the race and I walked back down there and talked to Todd and I'd walk back and go to Jeff's crew chief. I walked to stay active.

When Tony got up there, I knew Tony had been fast, but when Kevin came on there and told us that he thought he'd have a shot at him if he could get a couple of good green laps, we knew we wanted a shot at winning the race, and what Kevin said there is it's all about winning once you get into position.

Q</I>: EITHER ONE OF YOU GUYS, THIS LOOKED LIKE A REAL SLOPPY RACE TODAY. THERE WAS A LOT OF CAUTIONS, A LOT OF TIME SPENT UNDER CAUTION, SOME STRANGE CALLS MADE, CALLS NOT MADE, ET CETERA, ET CETERA. HOW DO YOU KEEP YOUR MIND IN SOMETHING LIKE THAT?

KEVIN HARVICK: Well, I didn't see what a lot of the cautions were. Richard will have to answer on that. I knew I didn't want to see that last caution because I felt like we were driving away and I knew that we didn't need a restart. We didn't need a late restart or any restarts. We just needed to keep going. For me personally I was a little bit angry just that it came out. I can't answer the rest of it, I didn't see the rest of the race.

RICHARD CHILDRESS: Everybody was really racing hard, and this thing brings this time of year going into the Chase and people trying to stay in the top 35, everybody is doing everything they can, and I think that bred a lot of the cautions today.

Q</I>: IS THERE A POINT IN THE CHASE WHERE YOU PEAK AND YOU'RE PEAKING AT THE RIGHT TIME NOW, AND HOW DO YOU NOT LET IT GET TO YOUR HEAD AND JUST KEEP RACING, NOT START THINKING ABOUT BEING IN THE CHASE?

KEVIN HARVICK: Well, we think about being in the Chase every week. That's a topic of conversation before we even get in the race car, before we even get to the track. Richard preaches consistency, but it's the days when you have that good car and you have to run in the Top 10 because all the guys that you're racing against run in the Top 10 pretty much every week. But it's the weeks where you have the car that you can win the race that you need to try to do everything you can to win because it's not easy to win in this deal.

We've been on the other side of the fence and been running 15th to 20th struggling to do that, and so when you have an opportunity to win, you need to give it all you've got and go for it.

Q</I>: RICHARD, HOW DOES THE CHAMPAGNE COMPARE TO ANYTHING THAT CHILDRESS VINEYARDS PUTS OUT?

RICHARD CHILDRESS: When you win a race, when you can win a NEXTEL Cup race like you did today, you take a bath in champagne if that's what it took. It's good. Kind of like our chardonnay this season.

-credit: gm racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Tony Stewart , Kevin Harvick