CHASE FOR THE NASCAR SPRINT CUP
ROUND 4 OF 10
BANK OF AMERICA 500
CHARLOTTE MOTOR SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY QUALIFYING PRESS CONF. TRANSCRIPT
OCTOBER 6, 2016
CHEVROLET TAKES TOP THREE STARTING POSITIONS IN CHARLOTTE
Seven Team Chevy Drivers Qualify in Top 12
CONCORD, NC – (October 6, 2016) – Kevin Harvick captured the pole position for Chevrolet for Saturday night’s Bank of America 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Charlotte Motor Speedway with a lap of 27.547 seconds, 196.029 mph in his No. 4 Busch Hunting Chevy SS. This was Harvick’s first pole and 17th top-10 start in 2016.
It was the 685th pole in NASCAR Sprint Cup competition for Chevrolet and 32nd top starting spot at the 1.5-mile, D-shaped, Charlotte Motor Speedway.
The fourth race of the 10-race Chase playoff from Charlotte Motor Speedway is scheduled to begin Saturday, October 8 at 7 p.m. Live coverage of the 334-lap/501-mile contest will be available on NBC, PRN, Sirius NASCAR Radio Channel 90 and NASCAR.com.
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 4 BUSCH HUNTING CHEVROLET SS – Pole Winner
POST-QUALIFYING PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT:
HOW DOES STARTING UP FRONT MATTER IN THIS FIRST ROUND OF 12?
“I think any time you can eliminate track position, that’s definitely a bonus for us. This hasn’t really been our strongest day all year, qualifying day, in general has not been very good for us. So, to see the speed that the car immediately had today and really through all three rounds… We’ve struggled to hit all three rounds this year and tonight it was just spot-on every time on the race track. I’m just really proud of the guys who will hopefully catapult us in the right direction to get the night started right. And then hopefully we can hit it pretty close for Saturday.”
AT THIS STAGE OF THE GAME GOING INTO A CRITICAL ROUND AND KNOWING YOU’VE ADVANCED IN EVERY ROUND IN THE CHASE IN THE LAST TWO YEARS, IS THERE ANY PHYSIOLOGICAL ADVANTAGE TO PERFORMING THE WAY YOU DID TODAY? DOES IT PUT THE OTHER GUYS BACK ON THEIR HEELS? OR, IS THAT SOMETHING YOU GUYS DON’T CARE ABOUT?
“Here’s the deal. I think there are just so many good guys and team in this deal; I think anybody can hit it. If practice goes the way I think it’s going to go tomorrow, it’s going to be a little bit of a guess as to where the car needs to be for Saturday night. So, I think there’s a lot of good teams and a lot of good engineers that can hit it spot-on for the race. It definitely doesn’t hurt. Like I say, we haven’t had the speed that we’ve needed on qualifying day really, all year, and this is the first time it’s just fired off like it did today and run fast and had the speed that we needed.”
ALEX BOWMAN, FILLING IN FOR DALE EARNHARDT JR., IS STARTING OUTSIDE NEXT TO YOU. WHAT HAVE YOU SEEN OUT OF HIM THIS YEAR? HAVE YOU BEEN IMPRESSED OR IS IT EQUIPMENT OR HOW WOULD YOU EVALUATE HIS PERFORMANCE?
“I think he’s done a good job. I think he’s finished all the races, most all of them, that he’s running. I think that’s probably the biggest goal. But he’s had speed everywhere he’s gone and he’s done a good job.”
THIS IS YOUR FIRST POLE OF THE SEASON IN SPITE OF HOW GOOD YOU’VE BEEN IN QUALIFYING. ARE YOU SURPRISED THAT IT TOOK YOU THIS LONG TO GET THAT POLE?
‘No, because we just haven’t had the speed on Fridays like we’ve had the previous two years with this particular downforce package and things that are going on with this car. We just hadn’t hit on anything all year that felt comfortable enough to drive it like you could tonight. They’ve continued to work on it and we’ve hit on his here and there throughout the year, but all in all this is definitely the best we’ve performed on qualifying day all year.”
FIVE CHEVROLETS IN THE TOP 10, AND IT SEEMS LIKE WE’VE BEEN TALKING ABOUT A LOT OF TOYOTAS ALL YEAR LONG. WHAT CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT CHEVY’S GAINING? IS THIS KIND OF A ONE-TIME DEAL, OR ARE WE EXPECTING TO SEE THIS THROUGHOUT THE REST OF THE YEAR?
“I think a lot of it has to do with a lot of things. I know our guys have been working on our setup stuff. But you could probably walk across the street to the engine department and thank a lot of those guys, too. They’ve been continuously working on trying to make things better just like we have been on the cars. But, both sides have definitely continuously stepped it up and you see a lot of things starting to come together.”
WITH THIS POTENTIALLY BEING THE FINAL LAP AROUND THIS TRACK THIS WEEKEND BEFORE THE RACE (POSSIBLE RAIN), DID YOU LEARN ANYTHING THAT CAN TRANSFER TO THE RACE?
“Yeah, we learned a lot. When we unloaded in race trim and really only made one lap in qualifying trim today just because we needed to run through a bunch of things to see where the balance needed to be and applied all that to our qualifying stuff to adjust the balance. So, hopefully we can hopefully go back, and that’s usually what our guys do the best, is put all the pieces together and apply that to race stuff. So, we’ve already been talking about that some. But it is definitely going to be punching a lot of numbers and going through a lot of things that we did because that’s really what we focused on today, was race trim.”
HOW IMPORTANT IS IT FOR YOU OR FOR THE OTHER 11 DRIVERS IN THE CHASE TO WIN ONE OF THESE FIRST TWO RACES IN THIS ROUND AND NOT HAVE TO GO TO TALLADEGA NEEDING A GOOD FINISH?
“It would be a lot easier on my blood pressure, I know that for sure. I think everybody has the same goal to try to win one of these two races to eliminate that possibility. But really, any of these races can jump up and bite you at really any particular time just because of the fact that you just never know. Obviously Talladega has the most things out of your control. So if you can get to Victory Lane it’s a huge benefit in this first round in the next two weeks.”