Friday, November 12, 2010

Kevin Harvick Comments Friday From Phoenix International Raceway

ARE YOU SURPRISED AT HOW YOUR PIT CREW MOVE VERSUS JIMMIE JOHNSON’S PIT CREW MOVE ARE PORTRAYED DIFFERENTLY?: “I think when you do it in the middle of the race, obviously it’s going to be a bit more 100 percent and there’s no hiding. For us, it’s been very beneficial. We hadn’t gained a spot on pit road in the Chase and we haven’t lost one since we changed so the results for us have been very simple to look at. I’m sure they feel like they’re in the same situation and it’s different. I think it’s something that you obviously don’t expect to have happen in the middle of a race. It’s just very open and everybody gets to see it.”

WERE YOU SURPRISED THAT THE 48 TEAM CHANGED THEIR PIT CREW?: “Everybody’s got weaknesses though. I think on that particular day with the pit stall selections that you saw in that particular race – it was a very unique situation. If I was them, if you can and if you qualify worse than the 11 (Denny Hamlin), I would pit right in front of them again just to do it all over. We all loved watching it – it was great. I hope it all happens the exact opposite way this week.”

HOW DO YOU DEFINE YOURSELF VERSUS THE OTHER TWO DRIVERS YOU ARE RACING AGAINST FOR THE CHAMPIONSHIP?: “I think our whole team is just a lot different. Especially, it’s a lot different or we’re a unique bunch I guess you could say. I guess you could categorize us as a little rough or hardcore type of racers that have come up through the ranks. It’s just a little bit different than the other two teams. I think you guys can figure it out.”

IS IT BAD TO TRY TO WIN A CHAMPIONSHIP FOR AN ORGANIZATION RATHER THAN AN INDIVIDUAL TEAM?: “I think Mike (Ford, 11 crew chief) should take his own advice to his driver and not insert your foot into your mouth when you don’t do something that winds up being something that you say it should be. I think the comments that he made after the race about being better than the 48 (Jimmie Johnson) team and all that stuff, I think he’s just trying to stir stuff up. Whatever it takes to win is what you’ve got to do. If there’s something wrong with that then I’m missing something.”

WHY DO YOU THINK MIKE FORD MADE THE COMMENTS HE DID FOLLOWING THE RACE AT TEXAS?: “The only good thing that comes from being cocky like that is you better win because if you don’t, you’re going to have to answer a lot of questions about your comments when you get done. You create a lot more work than what you see initially when you say those things, if it all doesn’t go your way. I think when you’re trying to intimidate the guy who’s won four championships in a row, I think you might need to go rethink your strategy and just go out and worry about racing because it’s not really something that was probably necessary. He got all over Denny (Hamlin) at Dover for saying the things that he did about RCR (Richard Childress Racing) and the organization and how disruptive their team, in my opinion all the things that he said seem to be a disruption to his team and now Denny is going to have to come in here and answer all those questions.”

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ABOUT BEING 59 POINTS BACK WITH PHOENIX AND HOMESTEAD REMAINING?: “My thoughts are just to go keep doing the same things that we’re doing and being in the position that we’re in right now, we’ve stepped up the finishes and things that we needed to in the Chase, but over the next two weeks it’s all about trying to win a race or two in the next two weeks. This has been a great race track for us. The average finish through the Chase is great, but it looks like this Chase is all about taking those wins and that’s the one thing that we haven’t done so far is win a race. I think we have to over the next two weeks in order to keep control of our situation.”

IS THERE ETIQUETTE TO CHOOSING PIT STALLS AND DO THE TEAM MEMBERS HAVE TIME TO LOOK AT THE OTHER CREW NEXT TO THEM?: “I think last week, when you look at the pit stop stuff, when you’re racing against a guy that’s running in about the same spot on the track, it becomes a total nightmare for both teams whether you’re in front or behind. It becomes tough to make quality pit stops on the race track. There is etiquette and you want to be around the slowest car that you can be around that you don’t think will be on the lead lap so they won’t be around and you can have an opening in and an opening out. The pit stalls are a lot smaller here so who knows what’s going to happen. I tend to get frustrated in those situations and just gas it and make sure that guy doesn’t stop too short. It aggravates the rear tire changer because you just get a little too close to him.”

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