Ford Performance NASCAR: Harvick Wins in New Hampshire

Ford Notes and Quotes
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS)
Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 (New Hampshire Motor Speedway; Loudon, NH)
Sunday, July 22, 2018

HARVICK WINS SERIES-BEST SIXTH RACE OF THE SEASON
· Kevin Harvick won his sixth race of the season and eighth with Ford after today’s triumph.
· Ford now has nine wins this season..
· The win marks his 43rd career Cup Series triumph and his 103rd career NASCAR National Series win.
· This marks the 11th win for Stewart-Haas Racing since joining Ford last year.
· The win is Fusion’s 98th Cup Series triumph since becoming Ford’s flagship vehicle in 2006.
· Today’s win is Ford’s 667th all-time in Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series competition.

KEVIN HARVICK, No. 4 Busch Light Ford Fusion

Finishing Position: 1st

VICTORY LANE INTERVIEW – WALK ME THROUGH THE MOVE ON THE 18. “I just didn’t know if I was gonna get there at the end and I felt like that was my best opportunity to do what I had to do to win. I didn’t want to wreck him, but I didn’t want to waste a bunch of time behind him. I just got to thank everybody on this No. 4 Busch Beer/Jimmy John’s Ford for everything that they do – Mobil 1, Haas Automation, Hunt Brother’s, everybody from Stewart-Haas Racing. What a great weekend.”

WHEN YOU MAKE A MOVE LIKE THAT DO YOU WORRY ABOUT IT COMING BACK TO YOU IN THE FUTURE? “You do and you worry about that stuff later. It’s not like I wrecked him. It’s the same thing as Chicago.”

WHAT ABOUT THE FANS. “I want to thank all the fans for sticking it out in the rain today and what a great race today. Thanks to everybody from Foxwood and everybody from New Hampshire Motor Speedway.”

WAS THAT AN INTIMIDATOR MOVE WITH THE 18? “We were just running out of laps and I knew that I might not get to him again. As hard as both of us were pushing, we were chattering the rear tires, front tires and I got to him. I knew that I needed to take my opportunity and felt like I needed to try and get him up out of the groove and I got him up out of the groove and was able to get by. I’m just really proud of everybody on our No. 4 Busch Beer Ford. I’ve got to thank Jimmy John’s and Mobil 1, Outback, Hunt Brother’s, Morton Buildings, Textron Off-Road, Liftmaster, everybody who helps from Stewart-Haas and Stewart-Haas Racing.”

IS THIS FLEXING THE MUSCLES? “Winning is important and you’ve got to try to take every opportunity you can. I felt like my car was better. He was in the lane that I needed to be and as you get to the end, as you saw at Chicago, you’ve got to be aggressive and do what you’ve got to do sometimes to win these races. It’s one of those deals and we want to win. Points are everything and getting a “W” is what it’s all about.”

Ford Finishing Order:
1st – Kevin Harvick
3rd – Aric Almirola
7th – Ryan Blaney
8th – Kurt Busch
9th – Joey Logano
15th – Matt Kenseth
17th – Paul Menard
26th – Michael McDowell
28th – Matt DiBenedetto
29th – David Ragan
30th – Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
32nd – Brad Keselowski
35th – Clint Bowyer

ARIC ALMIROLA, No. 10 Smithfield Ford Fusion

Finishing Position: 3rd

“I’m disappointed. You think I’d be really excited to run top five and I’m not. We had the best car hands-down. There’s no doubt in my mind. We gave it away on pit road and then I gave it away again on the restart. I spun the tires on the restart and didn’t even give myself a fighting chance, so I’m just really frustrated. Chicago, we had a car capable of winning and we didn’t execute today again with another car capable of winning, and we didn’t get our Smithfield Ford Fusion in Victory Lane. It’s just frustrating. They say you’ve got to lose some before you win some and I feel like we’ve lost some now and it’s time to stop it and go to Victory Lane. I’m really proud of everybody at Stewart-Haas Racing. They’re giving me incredible race cars and we showed up with cars capable of running in the top five and challenging to win races these last seven weeks. I’m really proud of everybody back at the shop. I’m really proud of Johnny Klausmeier and all the guys on this 10 team. We’re gonna get Smithfield and Ford Motor Company and Mobil 1 and everybody that helps us out to Victory Lane really soon.”

HOW MUCH HAVE YOU CHANGED YOUR MENTALITY THAT A TOP 5 IS DISAPPOINTING? “It’s different from my past, but I’m competitive. We played Candyland in the bus earlier during the rain delay and I don’t like to lose to my kids playing Candyland. I’m just competitive by nature and I want to win, especially for everybody that believes in me and support me – Tony Stewart, Gene Haas, everybody at Haas Automation and Stewart-Haas Racing and Ford Motor Company and Smithfield – everybody has put so much into believing in me and giving me this opportunity to come here and I feel like I owe it to them to win and to prove them right that they made the right choice. I’m frustrated that I didn’t get to Victory Lane today.”

KURT BUSCH, No. 41 Monster Energy/Haas Automation Ford Fusion

Finishing Position: 8th

“The good news is we had good speed. We had good lap times most of the day. For 95 percent of the day we had pace to be a winner and to lead laps, so that’s what I take away from a day like today, where sometimes we’d be glued sixth to 10th and don’t have the power to lead laps a lot, so I’m happy with that. Pit road, once in 1,000 years that’s gonna happen. We just shouldn’t have pitted on that lap. Blaney is a good kid. He wanted to let me go, but then I would have blocked him in. I was like, ‘No kid, go.’ That just turned into a total disaster and then restart I just didn’t’ get a good restart behind Almirola when we fifth, so you mess up twice you’re not gonna win the race. That’s just how it works in Monster Energy Cup.”

WHAT DID YOU TALK TO WITH BILLY ABOUT? “We also have to do things to the car to find that right adjustment, to be able to tailor the car for speed for a win at the last 50 to 70 laps. Today, that last adjustment wasn’t quite right, so that’s what we were discussing. When the crew chief says pit, I’ve got to pit. And then he says, ‘he should be gone by the time you get there,’ and sometimes wishful thinking won’t carry you through. It’s part of racing. Things like that happen. I’ve just got to thank Monster Energy, Haas Automation, Ford, Doug Yates. We had the pole today and we had some good steam.”

WERE YOU DISAPPOINTED ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED ON THE PIT STOP? “We ended up on the same lap as Blaney. That’s just bad luck or bad communication between two crew chiefs. And then the crew chief is like, ‘he’ll be gone by the time you get there.’ And I initially thought that, and then they were still hanging left-side tires and I was like, ‘Oh no, oh no. He’s gonna be there.’ If I would have come around him, I would have blocked him huge. I would have been at a bad angle and that was just one of those we’re two guys walking down the hallway and we bumped into each other and had to hold each other up. That just kind of pushed us back too far on the final restart and I didn’t get a good last restart. If we could have come off pit road in fourth, it might have been a whole different race. I think that might have been where Harvick might have been or the 78, but we were in the mix today. That’s what counts. We had a Playoff type of day today.”

IS THE FIRST PIT STALL NOT AS BIG OF AN ADVANTAGE AS SOME OTHER PLACES? “You just aren’t supposed to pit on the same lap they do under green. That was a fundamental mistake.”

MATT KENSETH, No. 6 Constantine Sealing Services Ford Fusion

Finishing Position: 15th

“We were just way off Friday and then in the race we got some decent track position with some good strategy by Matt. We were off on pit stop and something happened. We got in the back and got my fenders banged in, so we had to fix that. We were just behind the whole day after that, but our performance today was a whole lot better than Friday for sure.”

CLINT BOWYER, No. 14 Haas 30 Years of the VF1 Ford Fusion

Finishing Position: Retired on lap 256; Finished 35th

“It just sucks. First and foremost, I hate that for my teammate. It was his first win and he was dominating the race. I was trying to nurse it around. Something in the left-rear was broke and no more than Brett (Griffin, spotter) told me, ‘we’re having trouble, let’s just get off the track,’ and I was kind of thinking the same thing. Literally, as he was saying that and I’m thinking it, something broke on the right side and away it went. That sucks. I hate it for him.”

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