- Kevin Harvick won his seventh race of the season and 55th of his Cup career by winning today’s race at Dover.
- The win by Harvick marked the 700th all-time NASCAR Cup Series race win for Ford.
- Harvick is now tied for 9th all-time in Cup Series wins.
- All seven of Harvick’s wins have come since NASCAR returned to action on May 17 (14 starts).
- The win is Mustang’s 14th of the season.
- Harvick is now 13th on the all-time Ford Cup win list with 21. What makes that accomplishment so impressive is Harvick has done it in only three-plus seasons.
- This marks the 26th win for Stewart-Haas Racing since joining Ford (Harvick has won 20).
FORD FINISHING RESULTS:
1st – Kevin Harvick
6th – Joey Logano
7th – Aric Almirola
8th – Brad Keselowski
10th – Cole Custer
12th – Ryan Blaney
14th – Chris Buescher
16th – Clint Bowyer
17th – Matt DiBenedetto
20th – John Hunter Nemechek
23rd – Corey LaJoie
24th – Ryan Newman
25th – Michael McDowell
38th – JJ Yeley
40th – Joey Gase
KEVIN HARVICK, No. 4 Mobil 1 Ford Mustang — FINISHED 1st
ALL THE ACCOLADES COMING IN, INCLUDING THE 700TH WIN FOR FORD AND YOU JUST WENT TO 9TH ALL TIME IN THE CUP SERIES WIN LIST: “I have to thank everybody on our Mobil 1 Ford Mustang. Congratulations to Ford on their 700th Cup win. I want to thank everyone on this team. Rodney (Childers) and everyone at Stewart-Haas Racing for overcoming what happened yesterday with the track bar and nailing the balance today. I want to thank all the partners. Jimmy Johns, Hunt Brothers Pizza, Busch Beer. I want to say Happy Birthday to Delana’s mom and Dax, our engineer, same birthday. What a year. What a seven years. I am just really proud of everybody at Stewart-Haas Racing for being able to drive this car. Week after week they just put so much effort into making this thing go fast and it has been a great year.”
YOU ARE SETTING UP TO BE THE OBVIOUS FAVORITE GOING INTO THE PLAYOFFS. HOW DO YOU FEEL GOING IN? “I love the grit of our race team. I think that is what Gene Haas and Tony Stewart have built at Stewart-Haas Racing. A team with a lot of grit. Sometimes we don’t have the fastest car but we have guys willing to suck it up and when we have a weak link that day someone else will carry the team. I am really proud of that and that is what it is all about. You are only as good as the people around you and we have great people.”
YOU ARE THE REGULAR SEASON CHAMPION AS WELL: “With Denny (Hamlin) winning yesterday we needed to win today and we need all the points we can get. I think as you look at these playoffs you never know what to expect but I know that as we go week to week we will give it all we have and I am just really proud. Thank you to Mobil 1. They put a lot into the oils and lubricants in these cars and grinding to find more horsepower and less drag. It is an honor to drive for these guys.”
MATT DIBENEDETTO, No. 21 Menards/Monster Energy Ford Mustang — Finished 17th
“Dover killed us. We were pretty horrendous both days. I just tried to make the most of it that we could and it just wasn’t much. It was the perfect storm of really losing a lot of points and having a rough weekend. Going to Daytona. I hate to be negative but if we were going somewhere else I would feel better about it because we have been pretty strong at most tracks aside from here. I have struggled here. Going to Daytona and the Ford’s are strong but I have ended up at the infield care center the last two years there. We keep getting caught up in everyones mess. I am going to sit and hope and pray all week that we can just come out of there clean and make the playoffs. We shouldn’t be this close to the bubble. It is frustrating. A couple weeks messed us up. Getting wiped out at Texas and Kansas and then really hurt us points wise and then we come here and really hurt ourselves here. It has been a tough go of circumstances and going to Daytona is going to make it quite an uncomfortable week.”
DOES EXPERIENCE MATTER AT ALL NEXT SATURDAY NIGHT? “A little bit. Just to make sure you are not the one to cause any or makes any poor decisions or causes crashes. I have been at the receiving end for the last two years there. I don’t know. Experience might help a little. I have done a lot of superspeedway races and I feel like I race really smart at them but it won’t help the fact that there are just so many variables at those places that you can’t control. It is not the same kind of racing as anywhere else we go. I would say the thing that pays off the most at Daytona is luck.”
SO IS THERE ANY WAY TO CREATE YOUR LUCK THERE? “No, not really. I haven’t figured that out. If you know, please let me know. This would be a good week to figure it out. But yeah, I have crashed in the back, the middle, running second multiple times. On the bottom, the middle, the top. You name it and I have been minding my own business and gotten wiped out. So, sometimes it doesn’t really matter how smart you race and what you do and all the things you do right, even if you are running first or second. It just is a lot that is out of your hands at those places. I am not trying to be negative Nancy about it but I am just frustrated that we are even in this position that we are on the bubble and this close. We have had a lot of speed at most tracks. Erase Dover out of your mind. Aside from that we have been able to drive up to the top-five or top-10 at a bunch of them but just it seems like luck has not gone our way at a lot of places and it has put us in this position that is frustrating. Hopefully I will be in a better move after we get out of Daytona if we can have a little luck on our side.”
IF IT IS ALL ABOUT LUCK, IS THERE LESS PRESSURE ON YOU? “No, I don’t think so. The driver matters as far as making good decisions and things like that and having good teammates. My Penske teammates are encouraging and things that help going in there but there is a lot that is out of control. I would say it makes it more nerve racking. I don’t want to say nerve racking but just frustrating knowing you are going to a place where a lot is out of control. That is the excitement though when you are watching. But your whole season and year falls on for us on Daytona as a cutoff and that is the last situation you want to be in. It is tough. There are some good guys that are battling. Jimmy Johnson, William Byron and some tough competitors and a couple of surprise winners this year and that bumps us back further and that has been a perfect storm of things lining up for us to really fight this next week.”
A COUPLE WEEKS AGO IT SEEMED LIKE YOU WERE GOING TO BE IN THE PLAYOFFS. WHAT KIND OF MOUNTAINTOP IS IT AND MEANINGFUL IS IT FOR YOU TO MAKE THE PLAYOFFS. IS IT SCARY IT CAN BE TAKEN AWAY SO QUICKLY? “Yeah, a lot depends on that. That was kind of the goal starting the season and a lot has happened in 2020 and it has been a crazy year with a new group working together and making sure we were executing well weekly and all the thing that we have been doing during this pandemic. There have been a lot of variables and we are competing to make the playoffs which has been good but if we miss it knowing that the tracks the second half of the year that are in the playoffs would be beneficial for us, if we miss them I will be a pretty grumpy individual the rest of the year. It is what it is. We have worked hard to be in that position. I hope we make it. I don’t want to be negative at all but it is hard after coming out of this weekend and getting a huge deficit in points and a ton of points chopped from us because we ran so bad in both races. It is just frustrating and we will have to go to Daytona and do the best job we can and know we have really good teammates and the Fords are fast and try to come out of there clean. I would be very excited the rest of the season.”
A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE TALKING ABOUT HOW THIS RACE AT DAYTONA COULD BE ONE OF DESPERATION BECAUSE EVERYONE HAS A SHOT TO MAKE THE PLAYOFFS. IS THAT WHAT YOU ANTICIPATE? “Yeah, for sure. I think the last superspeedway race was — I don’t want to say clean but it was cleaner than normal. We still got crashed but it was a little smoother. This one, I don’t know what to expect actually at these things but if I was a guessing man I would say probably quite a bit more chaotic and a whole to of desperation because this is the last attempt or opportunity for a whole lot of people to make the playoffs. A lot of people can win at Daytona so I would assume it might be quite chaotic.”
BRAD KESELOWSKI, No. 2 Wurth Ford Mustang — Finished 8th
IN RESPECT TO THE 4 AND 11 WHAT IS IT LIKE AND HOW TOUGH IS IT TO MAINTAIN THAT WITH EVERYONE ELSE CHASING YOU? YOU HAVE EXPERIENCED THAT BEFORE, WHAT IS THAT LIKE? “Obviously if we knew what was going on there we would copy it the best we could. I agree that the 4 car has been the best car for the last six years and some could argue that the 18 has been with them a couple years. They deserve credit for that success. They deserve credit for being fast and putting all those pieces of the puzzle together. When you have that kind of speed you try to keep the band together and keep them motivated and something you can do as a driver quite honestly it comes down to the team and management in the company that you drive for and the crew chief. Especially in these latest of times, shoot, I haven’t seen my team but for a few minutes here and there every weekend so there isn’t much I am going to do to lead them and guide them because of the environment. Fast cars go fast. When you have a fast car and you are experienced you show up and try not to mess it up. You try to execute your perfect day. Restarts, getting out of the box, trying to give the feedback to make the car better throughout the race, you know. You put a great car with a great driver and you will get dominance like that. Kevin is a great driver and that is a great car.
JOEY LOGANO, No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Ford Mustang — Finished 6th
IN RESPECT TO THE 4 AND 11 WHAT IS IT LIKE AND HOW TOUGH IS IT TO MAINTAIN THAT WITH EVERYONE ELSE CHASING YOU? YOU HAVE EXPERIENCED THAT BEFORE, WHAT IS THAT LIKE? “If you look at the 4 car, he has been the dominant car for years at this point. It seems like there are a couple other cars that sneak in there for a year here anda year there but it always seems like the 4 car is just the benchmark for whatever reason. If we knew why, we would fix it. The sport and all sports in general, why it is hard to stay on top for long isn’t that you get up there and get comfortable. I don’t think anyone gets lazy about it, I just think whether it is rules changes or just other teams finding something knew that your team wasn’t able to find. The momentum piece that goes into it as well. It seems like it kind of makes teams peak a little bit and then back. You see that a couple times throughout a year where teams are really good for a bit and then fall off. You want to peak at the right team. We want to peak all the time. It seems like you may have a rough 10 weeks now and again. They are a strong race team and Kevin is a great driver and they are able to give him what he needs. Yeah, what is it that does it? I wish I knew. I would do it.”
WHAT HAPPENED EARLY IN THE RACE WITH STENHOUSE? “I screwed up. I don’t know any way better to put it. We raced each other hard and I was trying to make the bottom work and my car was tight. I got a little loose down into three which kind of sent me up the race track and there was a pocket of air that if your front is really close to someone’s left rear tire the nose really takes off. I am not making excuses for the mistake. it is on me. I got in that pocket and then got started really going up the race track and I barely tagged him. I am not sure if I actually tagged him or not but it was enough to spin him around and I needed to be further away to protect the damage to our car and countless others. Like I said, I apologize to him and his race team and the others involved. I got myself in a tight spot and I didn’t do a good job getting out of it.”
WAS THE TRACK DIFFERENT THAN WHAT YOU EXPECTED IT TO BE? “No, I thought the track was pretty much the same. Once it was rubbered up and after the first race it felt like it was fairly similar to start this one. It didn’t seem to be crazy different.”
— Ford Performance —