Ford Performance NASCAR: Texas 2 (Kevin Harvick Media Availability)


KEVIN HARVICK No. 4 Busch Beer Ford Mustang 


AT THIS POINT IN THE SEASON, WHERE DO YOU LOOK ON HOW NON-PLAYOFF DRIVERS SHOULD BE RACING PLAYOFF DRIVERS? “You know, for me, the only thing I can relate to that is where I feel like I would be if I were not in the playoffs and that is I just don’t want to be in the storyline unless I am racing for a win. I think from that standpoint you just don’t want to be the one that ruins somebody else’s chance at having a championship. The further you go into this the higher the stakes get. I can’t speak for anybody else but I know that is the feeling that I have when I am not in a position to have a chance to win it. You don’t want to be a part of the story.”

WHEN IT COMES TO MIAMI AND THERE ARE JUST FOUR CARS LEFT, HOW MUCH ARE GUYS GETTING IN YOUR WAY AND HOW MUCH OF AN ISSUE IS THAT? “I think the guys that do this on a weekly basis know when too much is too much. You know when somebody is racing for something and you just need to get out of the way because you have one or two or three of them behind you. Most everybody knows when too much is too much. That is when you have scenarios like last week where you have Joey and Denny, one in and one out, becomes more difficult than probably needs to be. It just depends on those types of scenarios. Those were usually ones that become more difficult. I think as far as the teams go, I think the guys that have done this before just don’t want to be a part of the story and you don’t want that controversy dragging around if you are the guy racing for the win you don’t want the story to be that your teammate held someone up and that is why you won a championship.”


I GUESS YOU CAN YELL AT ME ON SUNDAY IF YOU GET ONE. WITH EVERYTHING THAT GOES ON AND YOU HAVE TO MONITOR, HOW TOUGH IS IT TO MAINTAIN THAT WHILE STILL TRYING TO GET AS MUCH AS YOU CAN GET? “We have been as aggressive on pit road as we have always been. I tell our young guys this, whether I have something to do with them or not. We still practice every week. Every week we go up and down pit road, in and out of the pit box. Hard onto pit road, hard off of pit road. It isn’t something you can let your guard down with. As you look at it, I feel like it is one of the reasons our team is still in it. I don’t feel like we have had that knockout speed that the Gibbs cars have had on a week to week basis. We have had it a few times and been able to capitalize on that but I feel like we have done a good job minimizing the mistakes and we have three more weeks to do that and hopefully you didn’t jinx us. It has been those types of scenarios. Solid execution of things, except for a few weeks that we have had here lately for the most part that have kept us in the mix all year.”

“I think as you look at that it reminds me a lot of 2017 where we just switched to Ford. I think this year we have had the speed. It just has been sporadic at different races to whether you hit it or don’t hit it. The execution has still been our number one thing that we have done that has kept us in the mix in my opinion consistently on a week to week basis.”

Ford Performance Notes and Quotes

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS)

Friday, November 1, 2019

Page 5


YOU HAVE A SHOT AT BEING IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP 4 FOR THE FIFTH TIME IN SIX YEARS. WHERE WOULD YOU SAY THE TEAM IS AND THE ORGANIZATION RELATIVE TO THOSE PREVIOUS YEARS? “We have done nothing but shoot ourselves in the foot that last few weeks. We started last at Kansas and crashed at Talladega and I don’t know what we did last week, I guess it was just typical Martinsville. I feel like we probably had top five cars in those three weeks at the end of the race and didn’t have that solid execution finish in front of where you probably should have. I think the experience of the number 4 team and the execution and the things that we have done have definitely made the most out of what we have had as an organization. I think as an organization we haven’t been as consistent with the speed as we would like to be and it is difficult. We started behind, guessed the wrong direction, migrated back to the same direction – we have been in a number of different directions and still not 100-percent sure every week of where we need to be with all the different things you can do to the car from an aero side of things. It has definitely been a fight every single week in order to get the finishes that we have had and keep ourselves in contention. I think for us the experience and the continuity of the race team and the experience of being around each other has allowed us to get the most out of everything that we’ve got.”

THEY WILL PUT TRACTION COMPOUND ON THE TOP GROOVES NEXT WEEKEND AT PHOENIX. WERE YOU PART OF THOSE DISCUSSIONS AND HOW DO YOU THINK IT WILL CHANGE THE RACING? “I have been a small part of those discussions. I think NASCAR has done a good job of keeping most all of us in the loop as to what they are thinking. When you look at Phoenix, it wasn’t a great race for us to watch at the beginning of the year. I think that the traction compound is a good option. As you look at some of these race tracks where it has changed the complexion of the race. We have to have options and more than one groove. That particular race migrated to one groove and I hope that this opens it up a little bit.”

WITH THE START-FINISH LINE CHANGE AT PHOENIX WITH HAVING ALL THAT EXTRA ROOM ON THE RESTARTS, HOW DIFFERENT IS THAT THAN THE WAY YOU HAVE TO RESTART THERE COMPARED TO WHAT YOU HAVE ALWAYS BEEN DOING? “It is an awkward restart zone just because you wind up in that corner and you wind up in an awkward spot on the race track and then you go into that dogleg and it winds up being able to go as many lanes as you feel like going. Usually that means if you go too far that the guys inside of you on the race track are probably going to go straight up the race track. You are going slow enough that you can use that whole apron in turns three and four as well all the way down to the wall. At some point traffic has to merge as you come off of what used to be turn four, now turn two, in order to make it in between the two walls. We have seen a couple accidents happen on the exit of turn two and it is just a lot different. You would think they would just move the start-finish line and it has affected the restarts way more than it affects the finishes of the race. It is a cool area that they have created down on that end of the race track with the start-finish line and grandstands and fan zone and everything that is on that end of the finish line. Aside from all the chain link fence and the maze to get in and out, we could have a heck of a maze if we just made those fences solid and tried to find our way from point A to point B to get out of the place. It has created a neat little zone down on that end of the race track.”

Ford Performance Notes and Quotes

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS)

Friday, November 1, 2019

Page 6


DO YOU FEEL THE INTENSITY RATCHETING UP MORE THIS YEAR THAN PREVIOUS YEARS? “I don’t think it is any greater, personally, aside from the first year. I think after the first year everybody learned that you had to make some things happen every once in awhile and had to put it all on the line for your team when you had those situations to do that. You look at Joey (Logano). He is usually pretty put together but the pressure of the situation and things he lost last week kind of put himself in a position where it caused some chaos. Even Matt Kenseth. Look back at Martinsville, he lost his mind. That never really happened with Matt. It is not any more intense than it was. Maybe there are some guys getting to experience that for themselves in different situations but we have seen some of the most mild mannered people and guys that are pretty good at handling themselves lose their mind. I would say it is pretty close to the same.”

ANY COMMENT ON WHAT HAPPENED AFTER THE RACE LAST WEEK? “I don’t want to have a comment about it. Let those guys answer the questions.”

WILL YOU BE DOING MORE TV WORK WITH FOX NEXT YEAR FOR XFINITY RACES? “Right now we are just focusing on driving the car and making sure we get through the end of the year and we will worry about all that secondary stuff later.”

IS IT SOMETHING YOU ENJOY DOING? “At this point, I don’t do anything that I don’t want to do. I do the things that I enjoy and try to enjoy and that is something that I have enjoyed doing. It is definitely that I have had fun doing but it isn’t something that I have been focused on currently.”

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