NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES
HOLLYWOOD CASINO 400
TEAM CHEVY POST QUALIFYING DRIVER PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT
OCTOBER 3, 2014
HARVICK CAPTURES EIGHTH NASCAR SPRINT CUP POLE OF SEASON
Five Chevrolet SS Race Cars Will Start in Top 12 at Kansas
KANSAS CITY, Kan. – (October 3, 2014) – Kevin Harvick broke his own track record at Kansas Speedway and captured his eighth pole position of the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup season with a fast lap of 27.325 seconds, 197.621 mph. in his No. 4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS. Harvick also held the previous track record of 194.252 set on May 10, 2014. He will lead the 43-car field to the green in Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400 on the 1.5-mile tri-oval.
It was the 16th pole of the year for the Chevrolet SS, and ninth track qualifying record thus far this season for Team Chevy.
Jeff Gordon, who was the winner at Kansas in May and also the winner of last week’s race at Dover, qualified his No, 24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet SS in fifth. Gordon’s teammate, Dale Earnhardt Jr., will start Sunday’s race from the eighth starting spot in his No. 88 Diet Mountain Dew Chevrolet SS. Tony Stewart was ninth fast in his No. 14 Rush Truck Centers/Mobil 1 Chevrolet and Kasey Kahne qualified 10th in the No. 5 Farmer’s Insurance Chevy SS; giving Team Chevy five of the Top-12 starting positions.
Rounding out the top five qualifiers were Brian Vickers (Toyota) in 2nd, Aric Almirola (Ford) in 3rd, and Joey Logano (Ford) in 4th.
Jimmie Johnson, a former two-time winner at Kansas Speedway, battled loose handling issues and spun his No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS during the first of three knockout qualifying rounds. He will start from the 32nd position.
The six Team Chevy drivers currently in contention in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup qualified as follows:
Kevin Harvick = 1st
Jeff Gordon = 5th
Dale Earnhardt Jr. = 8th
Kasey Kahne = 10th
Ryan Newman = 17th
Jimmie Johnson = 32nd
The Hollywood Casino 400 is scheduled to begin Sunday October 5th at 2:00 p.m. ET. Live coverage will be available on ESPN, MRN, Sirius NASCAR Radio Channel 90 and NASCAR.com.
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 4 BUDWEISER CHEVROLET SS – POLE WINNER
ON HIS YEAR THUS FAR, EARNING EIGHT POLES IN 2014 AND SETTING SIX TRACK RECORDS INCLUDING TODAY AT KANSAS SPEEDWAY:
“It’s been just a phenomenal year. We have had some bad luck, but these guys continue to focus on the thing that they need to focus on and that is bringing fast cars. They are staying focused one practice at a time, one lap at a time and they are grinding away through the tests and the things that you have to do this time of year. That bad luck can’t stay with us forever. You keep leading laps and qualifying well, you are going to win races. I have been in this deal before where it seems like everything is not going your way, but usually you are running bad too. Like I tell them, the problems we have are a lot better than the problems we don’t have. We will just keep at it.”
DO YOU FEEL PRETTY POSITIVE THIS IS THE RACE THAT IS GOING TO MOVE YOU TO THE NEXT ROUND?
“It could be anywhere. I truly feel like we can win at every style race track at any point. It’s just a matter of everything going right. I have that kind of confidence in the race team that no matter where we go you don’t think about how you are going to run. You know you are going to have cars that are capable of running well and if they don’t you adjust on it and they always figure it out. Confidence is just a beautiful thing. Everybody has that and hasn’t been deterred by the situations that we have been dealt.”
THREE STRAIGHT POLES HERE AND YOU HAVE 250 LAPS OR SO THE LAST TWO RACES HERE DO YOU FEEL ANY MORE CONFIDENT ABOUT SUNDAY AFTER THIS POLE THAN SOME OF YOUR OTHER POLES THIS SEASON?
“I think at this point you just go grind it out. You just never know what the day is going to deal you. You know starting in the first pit stall that is going to be better than not starting in the first pit stall. You know starting up front is going to be better than starting in the middle of the pack. Like I say I’m confident that I can win anywhere. I feel good about the things that we did here last time. This is the same car, same stuff underneath it and still running good. I like it.”
CAN YOU GET IN THE HEAD OF THESE DRIVERS THAT YOU ARE RACING AGAINST? IS THAT IMPORTANT TO BE ABLE TO DO THAT?
“Yeah, I don’t know. I think for us we just have our nose down to the ground. How everybody else takes it it’s probably not going to be Jeff Gordon that you deter from thinking correctly. As you run well and you continue to overcome circumstances you just become more confident in what you are doing. I have 100 percent confidence in what I’m doing and having fun with it.”
HOW CLOSE IS YOUR QUALIFYING SET-UP TO WHAT YOU THINK YOU CAN BE ABLE TO RACE ON SUNDAY?
“I don’t even know what they put under the thing for shocks and springs to tell you the truth. I have so much confidence in knowing that we have developed a good package I don’t even ask anymore. They just told me that we were bringing the same car and I said ‘alright, can I see my throttle traces from last time.’”
DO YOU THINK YOUR SON IS GOING TO BE MAD WHEN HE SEES THIS VIDEO AND YOU ARE JOINED BY ANOTHER YOUNGSTER?
“(Following a spirited discussion with Alex Almirola (Aric Almirola’s son who was joining him on stage asking if Keelan would be mad…) – There is so much going on right now. We have a lot going on at home as well. If we can win this week they can come the next two weeks and then they will have to stay home again at the races after that. That is our goal.”
WE SAW JIMMIE JOHNSON SPIN OUT ON HIS OWN, WE HAVE SEEN THAT THE LAST FEW RACES HERE SINCE THE REPAVE DO YOU EXPECT TO SEE THAT ON SUNDAY? DO YOU EXPECT IT TO BE KIND OF TREACHEROUS, DANGEROUS RACE?
“Yeah, this is just a tough place to race just because the speeds are so high. You have to guard against the tires. The cars have a lot of downforce and when you get in traffic they get really loose. It’s definitely a track position game. It’s tough to pass in traffic, but I think the groove was widened out last time and I think it’s going to widen out again. It should be a fun race.”
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