Back to Victory Lane at New Hampshire; Kevin, I know it’s been a while since you’ve been back here, buddy. Congratulations.
KEVIN HARVICK: Yeah, just want to thank all those fans up there. (Cheers.)
We knew ‑‑ I didn’t think we had the best chance to win staying out, but Rodney and those guys made a great call with our Busch Beer National Forest Foundation car here. We had a good car all day, we just never could get track position and stayed out there, ran a lot of good laps. I didn’t want to see their traffic there at the end. It really made my car tight, and he got to me. He tried to move me out of the way down there, and I knew that was coming as close as he was. So, I just stood on the brakes and I’m like, half throttle down the back straightaway. I’m like, you’re not getting under me again, and he drove to the outside of me, and I waited until he got near me, and I just put a wheel on him.
Q. I know you couldn’t hear these fans going crazy for that battle, but they were loving it.
KEVIN HARVICK: Yeah. I’ll tell you what: These fans, I came up here and ran the Oxford 250 in about 2007, and these fans have been on my side ever since. You guys stuck it out in the heat today, and we really appreciate that. Just got to thank all my guys, everybody from Mobil 1, Hunt Brothers Pizza, Fields, Mobil ‑‑ gosh, I can’t even talk, Jimmy John’s, everybody who supports this car, everybody back at Stewart‑Haas Racing.
I can’t do a burnout because we’ve got to run this motor again, so I’ll just wave. We’ll cheer. How about that?
Obviously solidly in the playoffs now, Kevin, but what more can this win do for this team and for SHR as a whole?
KEVIN HARVICK: Well, we’ve run well enough a few times this year to win, and we’ve just made mistakes, and to finally battle and get over that hump is a great day for everybody at Stewart‑Haas Racing, everybody on the #4 car.
I was really questionable about how that was going to go, and the thing took right off. The only thing that was not good for us was we got the traffic and my car started pushing. I knew he was going to take a shot. I would have taken a shot. I just stood on the brakes and tried to keep it straight. I just didn’t want to get him back on the inside and let him have another shot. I at least wanted to be in control of who was going to have contact in 3 and 4.
It was a heck of a finish, closer than we wanted, but like you said, it was our only chance. I would have never done it, but that’s why he’s on the box and not me.
Let’s talk to Rodney, the man who made the call to leave him out. What gave you the confidence that he was going to be able to hold off fresher tires behind him?
RODNEY CHILDERS: Well, I felt like we had had a great car all weekend, and everybody had been doing a good job, and we were just in a bad spot there with track position, and I didn’t think we were going to win from where we were at. Sometimes you have to make those decisions, and Kevin did a great job on the restart and holding his own, and that track position was key today, clean air, and just really proud of everybody at Stewart‑Haas Racing and everybody at Ford and everybody that has pushed hard for us all year to try to get our cars better and to get back in Victory Lane.
You said on the radio, I knew what I should have done but I didn’t want to take him out. What should you have done?
DENNY HAMLIN: Well, I kind of shoved him up a little higher and tried to get him out of the groove. I’m kind of watching it back right now. I mean, yeah, I just ‑‑ I wanted to just tap him there, but I didn’t want to completely screw him. I at least wanted to give him a fair shot there. Down the backstretch, I kind of let off, and I’m like, all right, well, I’ll just pass him on the outside and kind of do this thing the right way, and once I had that big run, he just turned right. But I would do the same thing. It was a fun race, and congratulations to him and his team. They made a great call there at the end.
It was fun. We had a fast FedEx Express Camry today. Really happy about our performance and how we’ve been for the last few months, and Chris has done a great job with this backup car. This is nowhere near the car that I wrecked on Friday. S‑‑‑, I don’t know. Second sucks.
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