All-Star: Winning team interview

WINNING DRIVER KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 PENNZOIL PLATINUM MONTE CARLO SS; WINNING CREW CHIEF TODD BERRIER AND WINNING TEAM OWNER RICHARD CHILDRESS KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 PENNZOIL PLATINUM MONTE CARLO SS: "Everybody is just extremely excited. Just...

WINNING DRIVER KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 PENNZOIL PLATINUM MONTE CARLO SS; WINNING CREW CHIEF TODD BERRIER AND WINNING TEAM OWNER RICHARD CHILDRESS

KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 PENNZOIL PLATINUM MONTE CARLO SS: "Everybody is just extremely excited. Just really proud of these guys on our team to bring back a different car that what we tested for two days. We just didn't hit on a whole lot, Todd (Berrier, crew chief) got sick and had to go home, he had to get better. Everything just worked really well tonight. We got around them there on the outside and once we got the track position, we were ok. The No. 48 (Jimmie Johnson) ran us down. After about seven or eight laps, I just kind of changed what I was doing and tried to plant my car on the bottom and picked up speed.

"Just pretty awesome to put your name on that trophy. I know I haven't been the biggest fan of the All-Star race but I guess I have a million reasons to be now. I think anytime you have something you don't have success; we have torn a lot of stuff up in the past. I guess tonight makes it better and I understand why everybody likes it so much, just a lot of fun to be a part of.

"Any time we come and tear our cars up and don't get anything for it, other than thanks for being here, makes it hard to swallow just for the fact our guys have to go home and work on the car and we get a little bit behind. Being on the other side of the fence is a lot better. In the end, it is going to even itself out.

"Tonight we are here for the fans, to race as hard as we can. Whether I like something or not, when they throw the green flag, I am going to drive it as hard as I can and these guys are going to do the pit stops as fast as they as can, Todd is going to make the calls that he thinks are right and we are going to go after it as hard as we can. Whether we like a race track, dislike it a race track, an event, whatever the case may be, we are going to race as hard as we can."

TODD BERRIER, CREW CHIEF: "When the last segment started, we were thinking that the No. 5 (Kyle Busch), actually didn't even pit at all and got way out there. I figure there were a lot of guys that were going to play it that way. Part of me wanted tires, but I knew that we needed the track position to get out front and go. Because pretty much anyone that got out front was way faster than the second place guy, so we elected to take that gamble and that was what we were here for was to win so, pretty fortunate it all worked out."

RICHARD CHILDRESS, TEAM OWNER: "To win what was the Winston and now is the All-Star is pretty huge wins for us. This is the fourth win for RCR and to watch Kevin won it there and beat Jimmie and the whole Hendrick crew, I just have so much respect for Rick (Hendrick) and his whole organization. This is their home track. Just to see Kevin do such a great job of driving, one of the best I have ever seen, no pressure got to him. He just did a great job, this means a lot."

ON WHAT HE LEARNED FOR COKE 600:

KEVIN HARVICK: "We had our new Chevy R07 engine in the car tonight and that was our first crack at it in the car and obviously it ran really well. We were really able to compete. These mile and a half tracks have been our weakness this year; we struggled at Texas and Las Vegas. We came here with a different car and different engine package and we were able to be competitive all night. I think the worst we were was fourth the whole night. We put ourselves in a position to have a chance to win and we were able to pull it off."

ON DETERMINATION TO BEAT JIMMIE JOHNSON TONIGHT:

KEVIN HARVICK: "It is the All-Star race and I had really made up my mind to stay on the bottom and do what I had to do to stay there. He was going to have to drive around the outside and clear me. I knew there wasn't a whole lot of laps left and there wasn't really anything on the line. I think obviously we made the right choice on the pit strategy and that worked out for us. We were fortunate on the restart that it stuck on the high side there, everything fell in to our hands and we were able to capitalize on it. The No. 48 car has been the car to beat here. He came in on the outside there and I knew I didn't need to overdrive it going in to turn three coming to the checkered. I knew I needed to ease it on in there and get back on the throttle. He had gone up to the middle a couple times and I knew he was going to go where I wasn't. He went up there and drove in really hard, I was able to get back in the gas and go back by. Just a good race.

"It was only a check and a trophy on the line to tonight so I was going to do all to make it happen. Last year he got track position on us if I remember right and I am not sure exactly what happened, to tell you the truth, I didn't even remember we finished second to tell you the truth so I guess that tells you how much emphasis it put on winning at the All-Star race, I had forgotten that we finished second."

ON BOOST IT GIVES TO THE TEAM:

TODD BERRIER: "There is no doubt coming here and winning a race at Lowe's Motor Speedway with the No. 48 still in the race, racing you hard for the win, when they have had such success here, it does give us a big boost. Especially knowing these mile and a half tracks have been tough for us and these tires are really really hard, it is something that is hard to get a handle on. So it is a big stepping-stone for us to know we have made some right changes and doing a lot of things better than maybe we did say at Las Vegas earlier in the year. But I would also feel better if we were talking about it next Sunday in here instead of tonight."

ON WHAT THIS MEANS TO HIS CAREER TO ADD THIS WIN TO BRICKYARD 400 WIN AND DAYTONA 500 WIN:

KEVIN HARVICK: "Well, I think he means we need a championship. We have been fortunate to have won both the Daytona 500 and the Brickyard 400 and now the All-Star race. Just winning races in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series is hard to do. I am fortunate to be with a good team, be with a good owner who has been in the sport a long time and able to capitalize in situations when we have been in them. It is pretty special to put you name on all of those trophies. We want to win every week and have been fortunate to win some of the big races."

ON MISSING INGREDIENT THAT HE AND TIME HAVE FOUND THIS YEAR:

KEVIN HARVICK: "I don't think it is just this year, we had a great year last year, won a lot of races and were in contention for the championship. This is the same team we have had for a lot of years. Todd was crew chief when I started at RCR in 2003 so it has been five years that we have had the same group of people together. When things are down, we have been there. When things are up, we have been there. I feel like we are kind of even keel across the board as far as we don't get too high on the highs or too low on the lows. I think we all understand each other. They all know I can be a pain in the butt sometimes. They all just kind of look and me and know tomorrow I will hopefully wake up on the right side of the bed. It is just great to have a group of people who have been together and know each other like family. I have never really driven anywhere else and Richard understands who I am and I understand what he is all about. We have all been together for a long time.

"We have momentum after Daytona. We went to California and had a flat tire with just four laps to go. Went to Vegas and struggled. We were in contention in Bristol and Martinsville. We have had two places where we were out to lunch. The performance of the cars has been really good, the pit crew has been really good, every thing has been really good. Last year the luck all went our way when we had the momentum of the wins carrying week-to-week and we were able to keep the finishes up good.

"This year, we have been able to have a couple of key wins now. After Daytona, we capitalized on the performance side of it; we just haven't had the breaks going our way. We were strong enough to not have disasters and are still where we need to be up in the top-12 in points, not sure where we are, seventh or eighth in the points. I think that shows the strength of our team, knowing we have had trouble but we haven't been a disaster when we have had those bad days."

ON SOME OF THE ON-TRACK INCIDENTS TONIGHT IN THE OPEN AND ALL-STAR CHALLENGE:

KEVIN HARVICK: "That doesn't surprise me that the Busch brothers caused the first accident, does it? (LAUGHS) The All-Star race kind of brings out the best in all of us. It is one of those things where everybody is just going for it; the cars are hard to drive side-by-side. It is a lot better than it was last year, I will give them that. We can from the top of the race track to the bottom of the race track. But when you get side-by-side and your car is already free, they are just harder to driver.

"The first part of the Open was painful to watch. There were only, what, seven or eight laps of racing? It cleaned up as we got in to our race, I don't think we had too much trouble."

ON GOING THREE WIDE ON THE START OF THE LAST SEGMENT:

KEVIN HARVICK: "I came over the radio and told the guys "we had just thrown the haymaker boys and I think it landed." I didn't think we had anything to lose. I had run up there in practice and through the truck race so I decided what the heck, I will just drive it up on the top and didn't let off the gas. I didn't hit the wall and it came out the other side so it was just kind of the way our night went. I just kind of took a chance right there and it worked out."

ON CHEVROLET DOMINANCE:

RICHARD CHILDRESS: "I have been in this sport long enough to see the cycle come and go and go and come and go and I think right now the cycle has swung over to Chevy. Tonight was the first win for an R07 GM engine. For RCR to win that, it meant a lot to us. Our engine had worked hard on this new program and to see the performance they put out tonight made me extra proud of that. Chevy right now, well, things are just going our way. Two years ago, Roush won a lot of races and had five cars in the Chase and we weren't doing that great in Chevrolet. It just comes and goes, I have been in the sport long enough to see that. But we are all working as hard as we can.

ON WHAT A WIN WITH JEFF BURTON WOULD HAVE MEANT NOW THAT at&t IS ON THE CAR:

RICHARD CHILDRESS: "It would have been...I was pulling for both of our drivers when they were running one-two. They have a tremendous amount of respect for each other. It would have been great to see either Jeff (Burton) or Kevin win it. We won the race and it was great to do that.

"I am sure there are going to be more challenges but the way I look at it is - from my viewpoint, I think it is great to have a company involved in our sport like at&t or Shell or any of these major corporations that are going to activate and do the things that they have done. It can only be good for the sport. You go and see the activation; you see the major TV commercials. You go 50 states with Shell and see the things they have done. You see the things that Cingular did and at&t is going to do, it is going to help the whole sport in the long run. If I was going sitting on the other side, I would probably look at it differently, but I look at the whole big picture at where I think it can be positive for NASCAR and for the whole sport of NASCAR racing. I am just proud to carry the colors of at&t on our car tonight and hope that things work out where we can keep carrying it and make it better for our sport."

ON EMOTIONS THROUGHOUT THE LAST FEW DAYS:

RICHARD CHILDRESS: "First of all, I haven't slept a lot, I can tell you that. It has been a long year. For our teams to still be competitive, we have had a lot of challenges. To start off this week, I was really happy to come here. We have been working on the DEI/RCR engine merger. I talked to Teresa (Earnhardt) a couple of months ago about it. Then I got with Richie Gilmore and Max (Siegel) and started working through it with Rick Mann and the guys at our engine shop. We have really put together what I think is going to be a model that you will see in the future. Already Roush and Yates has got it. Toyota has a lot of teams out there. Hendrick has a lot of teams. I was looking at where we are going to be two years and where DEI is at. I want to do everything I can as a joint venture here with those folks to make DEI as strong as ever as well as RCR. I know Dale (Earnhardt, Sr.) would be proud of what we are doing today."

ON FEELINGS ABOUT ALL-STAR RACE:

RICHARD CHILDRESS: "I have always liked it, this has been one of my favorite races. I can remember when they came up with this thing back when Winston had it. It brings back Saturday night racing like it used to be. All the families are around. You look around at all the teams and all the wives and kids are here and it has the emotions of a Saturday night race like we used to have. I know Dale loved this race. This was one of his favorite races because you are either going to win or tear it up usually. Tonight was a pretty safe race except for a couple of incidents. This has always been one of our favorite races.

"We have torn up a lot of cars over the years at this place. I think Kevin wrecked the first night he was here the night is was raining and they started the race in the rain."

ON FEELINGS WHEN KEVIN WENT HIGH ON LAST RESTART TO GO THREE-WIDE:

RICHARD CHILDRESS: "I know how Kevin is on restarts, I think he learned some of that from ole Ron Hornaday, I knew running in there with Jeff Burton he would be cautious, but I knew both of them were going to drive in there as hard as they could to try and get the advantage of getting out front and getting the clean air. Kevin was able to pull it off and come out with the lead.

"I am just amazed year-after-year watching the growth and experience and how Kevin Harvick has come to himself the last two or three years. He just gets better and better, he is smarter and he making a lot of smart decisions. I am proud of what he was able to accomplish tonight."

ON WHERE HE SEES RCR IN TWO YEARS:

RICHARD CHILDRESS: "We have been planning on a four-car team for the last couple of years. We had to get our cars competitive where we are. What I meant about where RCR is going to be is with Toyota, they are a serious contender in this sport, they will be. They are building a big engine shop and doing a lot of things that are going to make them stronger. Again, look at Yates/Roush model and how it works and you look at Hendrick with 11 or 12 engines every week. It is resources. I didn't want RCR to be sitting here two years from now and us be behind again. We just want to be proactive and help bring DEI in to the mix was really great. They have a lot of great people over there and I know it will be a great relationship."

ON KEVIN BEING A TEAM OWNER HELPING HIM:

RICHARD CHILDRESS: "Yes, Kevin and I had a rocky year or two there. But I think when he became a car owner and he understands the challenges as far as owing a race team and working with people, dealing with people and the ups and downs. Everyday isn't a holiday as a car owner, I can assure you of that. With him in there now owning teams and understanding and seeing how bad pit stops happen and things that can get you behind, I think has helped our relationship. He understands now, this side. It is no different than when Dale Earnhardt got involved as a car owner back in the 90s, he had no idea what I was going through a lot of the time when we would have some tough times. It is a tough business, just proud to be around as long as I have."

ON YOUNG DRIVERS AT RCR:

RICHARD CHILDRESS: "We have two young guys at RCR so I want to go see them run tomorrow (Sunday) at Iowa Speedway and then they asked me to be the Grand Marshall.

"Ryan Foster is with us and is Timmy McCreadie, who is really really great dirt track driver, who I have been watching him and working with him. We are excited about that.

"My Grandson, he is with us, set a new track record in super late models at 311 Speedway so we have another development driver.

-credit: gm racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Jeff Burton , Kevin Harvick , Ron Hornaday Jr. , Jimmie Johnson , Ryan Foster , Kyle Busch