NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Brickyard 400
Topics: Brickyard 400
July 25, 2010
THE MODERATOR: We are joined by second-place finisher, Kevin Harvick. Kevin remains in the championship points lead, currently 184 points ahead of Jeff Gordon.
Kevin, tell us about your day.
KEVIN HARVICK: Well, it was a good day. We had a solid top-five car. We took a gamble there at the end to take two tires. On the first restart, it took off great. We were able to run Jamie down and pass him. Second restart, it didn't take off so great. Just got tight. He drove around the outside of me.
I guess just the first cycle on those new right side tires carried us through. We were just tight the whole second restart.
But still a great day. Took a chance to try to win the race. All but capitalized on it and came up one short.
THE MODERATOR: We'll open it up to questions.
Q. Before that last restart, Jamie and his crew were talking back and forth. He said, I don't know, there's something wrong, something does feel right. I guess y'all were monitoring that. Did you pay attention to that? Did you think he might have a problem?
KEVIN HARVICK: Nobody ever said anything to me. It looked like the roles reversed on the last restart. He took off and I didn't. I guess we didn't need the last caution. Like I say, I just think the sticker right-side tires carried us through on that first restart. Once we got that one cycle on them, I just got way too tight.
THE MODERATOR: We're also joined by today's third-place finisher, Greg Biffle. Greg with his finish today is now 11th in points.
Greg, tell us about your day.
GREG BIFFLE: It was a pretty good day. Car ran really good. I was excited we could run with the 42 car. Last couple years he's been really fast here. We could run with him today. Wish we would have done two tires at the end like everybody else.
We thought more guys would do four, but wasn't the case.
THE MODERATOR: We'll continue with questions.
Q. Kevin, you're not piling up wins like some of the other guys have done, but yet you're able to be consistent out there every week. Is that a concern for you or are you know you're good enough now to be contenders in the Chase? Are you fine tuning on that?
KEVIN HARVICK: You know, we've won a couple times this year, been in contention to win a few more. I didn't see the 48 or the 11 today, so... You figure it out. You're a smart man.
Q. Greg, you mentioned earlier on TV how really hard it was to pass out there. You were awful quick late. Do you think if you would have found a way to get around Kevin at that last restart you would have really had something for Jamie?
GREG BIFFLE: Well, I don't know because Jamie was about the same speed as Kevin. So I would have had the same issue with Jamie as I had can Kevin.
The four tires, they're only good for probably five laps, then they start falling off and equalizing with the two-tire cars.
Never know. I could have gave him a try. But he was running a lot different line than Kevin was. Kevin was blocking the corner, entering low, really protecting that line. I saw Jamie arcing it out. I don't know if Jamie was because nobody was pushing him. It's possible we could have got up there and maybe got our nose inside of Jamie.
Q. Greg, everybody talks about the difference between being out front and being two cars ahead of you. Can you describe how the car behaves or what you feel in the difference between those two.
GREG BIFFLE: It's really unbelievable the difference. It's like you got brand-new tires when you're out front, it's like you have 20-lap tires when you're six car lengths behind a guy. The thing just stops. Just slides all four tires.
I was behind Kevin, sliding the front, sliding the back, right up against the fence. I couldn't get enough run to get to him.
Q. Kevin, your voice alluded to it on the radio when you missed the shift, then you were worried about whether it hurt the engine, then you decided it was the ignition box. How was that for you in the car?
KEVIN HARVICK: We actually had an issue in practice, decided to just roll the dice with the transmission. I've had trouble with third gear. We knew if we changed it, we would have to start at the back.
We left the transmission in. Everybody looked at it and decided that would be okay. I've had trouble with it the whole day in the race. That time I actually missed the shift. I thought I had broke a valve spring or bent a valve or something and it started missing. Within about three laps, the ignition box went out. I flipped the ignition box, luckily that was it.
So missed the shift, broke the ignition box, lost five spots. It was a disaster for a couple laps, but we were able to get it all reined back in.
Q. Kevin, you talk about Jamie taking off and your car not going as well as the previous. Did you realize that right away or is it a feel or you see him going by? How do you know that?
KEVIN HARVICK: Well, you roll in a corner, your car doesn't point in the right direction. For me the front tires started chattering, I had to wait for the throttle and wasn't able to maintain the momentum through the corner I needed to. Really the whole last run, I was just way too tight compared to how I took off.
When I got the two right side tires and took off, got a good restart, got by Jamie, we were just driving away. The flip switched on the second restart.
Q. I know you're not thinking about it right now and you're competitors, but could you maybe give us some appreciation for what Chip Ganassi has been able to do this year with winning the Indy 500, Daytona 500 and this one? That's really saying something for a team.
KEVIN HARVICK: I think as race teams and race drivers and owners and sponsors, you come into the year, if you're in the IndyCar Series, you want to win the Indy 500; if you're in the Cup Series, you want to win here and you want to win at Daytona. To win all those in one year is remarkable. It will probably never happen again.
Q. Greg, when you took the four tires, there were five or six cars in front of you that took two. You were able to get by some of those guys when most of the other guys that took four didn't seem to be able to move forward. Was your car handling really that well on the four and it cycled and took away that handling?
GREG BIFFLE: Yeah, my car was really, really fast all day. I could just cut to the bottom, just lay the throttle to it. I was closing on the guys 10 miles an hour faster than they were. I just drove by Tony on the short chute. Arced it out into three to the bottom. The car was so fast. Took me a few laps to get up to the back of the 29.
As you get further to the front, the cars are running faster because they have less traffic. When you're back in traffic and the cars are slower, the four tires are way more effective, it seemed like for me. When I got to the 29, he was running much faster than the 31 and the 14 was.
When I got to him, I didn't nearly have that advantage I did. Then my tires were starting to fall off a little bit. I was a lot faster than Kevin, but I just couldn't -- I tried the top a little bit, which was probably stupid. But I tried to get my fender outside of him a little bit on the top to see if I could get a little run at it. Might have been able to make that work, but I didn't want to wreck, so I just gave up on that.
THE MODERATOR: Gentlemen, congratulations.
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