KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 GM GOODWRENCH CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO - Note: Harvick's back-up Chevy is the car the team ran in all four restrictor plate races in 2003. The team did not get on the track today. (HOW DID MEETING WITH JIMMIE JOHNSON ...
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 GM GOODWRENCH CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO - Note: Harvick's back-up Chevy is the car the team ran in all four restrictor plate races in 2003. The team did not get on the track today.
(HOW DID MEETING WITH JIMMIE JOHNSON GO?)
"Everything's good. We're preparing our backup car. Everything else is good."
(DID YOU AND JIMMIE JOHNSON COME TO AN UNDERSTANDING?)
"I don't think there was an understanding necessary. We talked about everything and just realized that everybody was racing hard and things happen. So it's just one of those deals and nothing you can really do about it other than pick up the pieces and go race again, so that what we all came here to do."
(DID IT LOOK WORSE THAN IT WAS BECAUSE YOU HAVE A HISTORY OF OTHER INCIDENTS?)
"We both just want to win. We just got out there and caught him so fast. I got to him and he got free and I got in the back of him and I couldn't get off of him. And by the time I got the car slowed down enough, Mark got in the back of me and we wrecked. It's one of those deals and you go out and we have to use the back-up car. We've raced it before, and we'll be fine."
(DO YOU THINK YOU HAVE A HISTORY OF INCIDENTS WITH JIMMIE JOHNSON LIKE PEOPLE SAY YOU DO?)
"I don't think there is really any history to anything. I just think it's one of those deals where, you know, a lot of things get blown way out of proportion. I went and sat in Jimmie's motor home for 20 minutes last night and we just talked about things and sometimes things just get blown way out of proportion. Whether there was a rivalry, paybacks, whatever you want to call it, I mean, this is not the place you do those kind of things."
(DID IT START WITH SOMEONE SAYING SOMETHING?)
"You guys can write what you think. It's done and over with. You can keep on blowing it out of proportion or you can write about something else."
(ON THE BACK-UP CAR)
"We lost a really good car but we feel we've got another really good car in our trailer, so we're lucky to have that. We know our engines are better, so we feel really good about it and everyone is really upbeat about it and really, really confident about everything that's going on."
(ON NASCAR ASKING HARVICK AND JOHNSON TO MEET)
"They just wanted to get us together and make sure there wasn't anything
festering or going on. After we all watched the tapes and really realized that it was a racing incident, you all come to an understanding and they kind of just left it up to us. (It was) nothing, nothing really major. We all sat down and that was it."
(WHAT WAS JIMMIE JOHNSON'S REACTION TO THE TAPE?)
"I think after you watch the tape -- we catch them so fast and there's a big bump right in the middle of the corner. He's up about half a groove and got a little bit loose and I got to him and, you know, it's hard to slow the thing enough. When somebody's trying to gather it up and you're on the bumper it's just like I say, one of those deals where I wish it might have come out different. But it didn't and it's done and over with and you try to do it better next time."
(SO YOU WEREN'T BUMP-DRAFTING?)
"No, I think I said that earlier."
(AFTER THE INCIDENT, SOME OF THE DRIVERS WERE AGAINST YOU AND OTHERS DEFENDED YOU. DO THEY SEE YOUR POINT NOW?)
"I think once everybody goes back and looks at it, I think they will really understand what happened. There's a couple, there's one (driver) in specific, and you kind of take what he says for what it's worth and just be done with it."
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO:
(WHAT DID YOUR CREW DO TO YOUR CAR AFTER YESTERDAY'S ACCIDENT?)
"We're pretty happy to have to exterior damage to the race car. There are some things bent underneath it. The guys just went through and made sure everything was straight. If it wasn't sound, they just replaced it. The car went out and I only made seven laps in practice. The car drove great; I worked my way through traffic and made some great passes. We've just figured we've made enough laps and took a big enough risk with the car yesterday that we figured we'd come in and put it up on jack stands and look everything over. We're going to go back out tomorrow and call that being it for practice. The car has been good."
(HOW WAS YOUR MEETING WITH KEVIN HARVICK?)
"A day makes a big difference. We were able to sit down and talk with NASCAR with all of us involved there. Through it all, we decided that today is a new day. We are starting over on a clean sheet of paper and going to move forward. I was fortunate yesterday in that I didn't have to go to a backup car. There are a lot of guys that are still upset and a lot of guys that have to go to backup cars. And I think some guys have some bruises and stuff from yesterday's crash. There were some heavy hits that went on yesterday. In the scheme of things, I'm pretty lucky. Our car is sound and safe and fast and we're still starting on the front row.
(WHAT DID YOU AND KEVIN HARVICK TALK ABOUT?)
"You just go through everything and discuss why the incident happened and where we go from here. There's no sense in really hashing through too many things. It's time to move forward and make sure everything is put behind us."
(WAS THERE BLAME PUT ON ANYBODY?)
(IS IT A RELIEF THAT YOU ARE GOING INTO THE 500 AFTER THE ACCIDENT AND YOU DON'T HAVE TO USE THE BACKUP CAR?)
"It's a big relief. You know I say that but then in the same light, the car we won the Shootout with is out backup car, so I don't think we would be in a bad situation.
"It looks like the guys from the No. 6 car were really counting on their car for the 500. We would have been comfortable enough to bring out our backup car and thankfully we don't. We're very happy with our car."
(WAS YOUR CAR TOO LOOSE?)
"No, the car was driving great. There's just the timing of the draft and the way cars suck up to one another. The timing of it didn't work out. He got into the back of me and turned me around. There's nothing that I was doing any different from any other lap. And when you're behind the other cars, you've got to be careful to not do that. For whatever reason, it took place yesterday and caused that wreck. I wish it didn't happen and we'll just go from there."
(WAS IT AWKWARD TO BE FORCED TO TALK IT OVER WITH KEVIN?)
"When you think about it, any time you're in a situation like that, it's not something comfortable. It's not like sitting with your parents talking. Of course it's not a pleasurable experience but it was needed and I think the thing we need to accomplish in the NASCAR trailer was accomplished. And it's just time to look a different direction and think about the 500 and let this be behind us."
(DOES THIS SET YOU BACK?)
"Well, we were leading the race and fell back to third and fought our way back to the lead. We had a great pit stop. Everything that the team was responsible for went just as we planned it and was right on par. We feel very comfortable with things. The only concern was with the car being able to run right. Today in practice the thing was flawless and ran seven laps and put a cover on it. We're great. More than anything, to rebound from what took place yesterday and start practice off so strong, it's given us more of a confidence boost. Our team has always been good at stepping up when things are down for us, and making the best of it."
(WILL THAT HAVE AN IMPACT ON YOU WINNING THE 500?)
"I really don't think that yesterday's ordeal is going to affect us at all. I think some of the other teams will definitely have to go to a backup car. But we're still right on target."
(WHAT WILL YOU WORK ON FOR PRACTICE?)
"Really just the balance of the car. With another race that's going to be on it, we're just getting the balance. The track is going to continue to change. We didn't want to chase the track conditions. We were happy with the way the car drove and we want to wait until tomorrow to do a long run and get the conditions that are going to be as close to the race as possible. You know, we're happy. Life is good."