Friday, November 7, 2014
Kevin Harvick Q & A Friday at Phoenix
THOUGHTS ON COMING TO PHOENIX:
“We are excited. I think last week was a little bit unexpected just for the fact that we made up a lot more ground than I think we anticipated going in (to Texas). Came up a little bit short on the win, but we couldn’t pick a better race track for us to come to next and need to try and win a race. We are really excited. The team is in good spirits, and we are looking forward to this weekend’s challenges.”
HOW DO YOU LIKE HAVING A HASHTAG NAMED AFTER YOU?
“(Laughs) The situation after the race…I’d rather not have a hashtag named after me to be honest with you. The competitor in me loves the controversy and loves the situations that it puts the competitors in. The Dad in me doesn’t really enjoy the hashtag, and doesn’t really enjoy the circumstances of the situation. But, live and learn, and you move on. That is the one thing about this sport is you have to get over things quickly. From me, personally dealing with it during the week was fine. I think as you move forward you just have to do the best that you can to try to handle things different. All in all it was a good weekend for us, but obviously afterwards it’s not the way you wanted it to end for us.”
WHEN YOU PUSHED HIM (BRAD KESELOWSKI) IT ENDED UP IGNITING THE BRAWL, BUT THEY WEREN’T BRAWLING AT THAT TIME. WERE YOU JUST TRYING TO GET HIM TOWARD HIM AND SAY ‘HEY GO TALK TO HIM’ OR WERE YOU TRYING TO START A FIGHT?
“No, I think for me… honestly I was leaning on the back of the car just kind of taking it all in and seeing what was going on. I have been in that situation with him (Brad Keselowski) before. For me it is like the week of two totally opposite situations. I have no problem with the way Brad races. I think he races hard. I think that is what we are all supposed to do and in those positions you would probably do the same thing yourself. But, I think that the problem that I have with it I have been in that situation with him before and have him turn his back on me and just walk off. I don’t think that is the appropriate way to handle those types of situations. It just kind of rubbed me the wrong way and I reacted and obviously didn’t really realize that it was going to ignite that. All in all it just kind of rubs me the wrong way when you have to just turn your back on situations and walk off and mumble your way off into no man’s land and not just handle the situation. I think in those situations you at least deserve, even if you are going to get yelled at or whatever the case may be, you at least need to handle it like it needs to be handled.”
YOU ARE NOT KIND OF SNICKERING ABOUT THE WHOLE THING?
“I think in the end, you guys know, I love the controversy. But I think in the end the difficult part for me is to go home and realize that one day you are going to have to answer those questions to your son. It’s definitely two different sides and how you have to look at it and how you have to approach it. I think you look at Martinsville and how that situation was handled. I have a lot of respect for Matt (Kenseth) and what he does on the race track. You leave the track and you talk about things and you figure out what went wrong and how to handle things moving forward. There is just never that opportunity really presented with Brad (Keselowski) and I think that is what frustrates me. I’m not going to speak for everybody else.”
DO YOU NEED TO WIN THIS WEEKEND?
“I think you need to win this weekend. I think it would leave a lot less in everybody else’s hands. I think we are very capable of winning this race and we have been fortunate to have a lot of success here in the past from my driving side and the first race this year. That would be the easiest way to do it.”
DO YOU HAVE A FEEL FOR WHERE THE LINE IS WITH ALL THIS POST-RACE STUFF? WHEN INTENSITY TURNS INTO SORT OF A SIDE SHOW AND GETS AWAY FROM THE MAIN PURPOSE WHICH IS RACING?
“Yeah, I think it is the old argument that everybody has. There are fines and different things for everything that happened, but it’s the head advertisement on Monday morning and the week leading up to the race. I think all in all, the hardest thing is having the crew guys get involved. That is really the biggest problem with the whole thing that I see. In my opinion you should park the cars in a fenced off area and if you have a crew member go inside that fenced off area your car is disqualified for the race. We can all get out of our cars by ourselves and take our helmets off and take our window nets down. I think that would solve a lot of problems. A lot of these guys are 280 pound linebackers that came from whatever school, professional football, baseball, whatever team. That part of it is not good.”
WHO DO YOU SEE AS THE FOUR DRIVERS ADVANCING OUT OF HERE AND MAKING IT TO HOMESTEAD?
“I never even thought about it.”
A LOT OF PEOPLE HAVE BEEN SAYING THAT YOU ARE SO SMART BECAUSE YOU STOOD BACK AND DECIDED YOU WANTED TO TRY TO START A FIGHT SO THEY COULD FIGHT IT OUT AMONGST THEMSELVES AND IT WOULD BENEFIT YOU IN THE CHASE:
“These people don’t realize how dumb I really am (laughs). These people all think I’m way smarter. I think I’m lucky more than smart when these types of things happen. Like I say there are a lot of things stirred up with your competitors in the garage that are talking about things that are things other than their race car. That side of it is okay. But in the end it’s really not the perception that you want to send. I look at it from my son’s stand point. That is my new measuring stick of how I react to something. In the end you are going to make mistakes you are going to do things wrong and you are going to have to figure them out and move forward and explain those things better. The competitor side of you is not completely disappointed.”
COULD YOU IMAGINE HAVING TO MAKE A SIMILAR MOVE TO WHAT BRAD KESELOWSKI MADE ON JEFF GORDON LAST WEEKEND?
“Like I say, I have no problem with the move. I have no problem with the way that he raced. I just have a problem with the way that you know in those situations that there is going to be controversy when all that stuff happens. In the end you can’t just turn your back and walk away and just act like it didn’t happen and blame it on somebody else. It’s just not how it works.”
TO BE CLEAR DO YOU REGRET MAKING THE SHOVE?
“I never look back on something as a regret. I think you look back on them as lessons. Things happen and you have to react. I think as you look at the situation you probably could have handled it differently. But all in all you just take it as a life lesson and move on.”
HAVE YOU PASSED ON YOUR OPINION OF POSSIBLE NEW POST-RACE PROCEDURES TO NASCAR OFFICIALS?
“Yeah, and it was … NASCAR is actually asked how they could handle things better in that situation. It is pretty simple. You park all 43 cars or however many cars are running. You have a contained area, where ever you want to put it, and you put that in whatever the specified area is and if a crew member goes in then your car is disqualified. It is a pretty simple policing process. They are definitely listening. They don’t want to see something like that, which could have an outcome that nobody wants.”
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