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MARTINSVILLE, VIRGINIA - NOVEMBER 01: Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Mobil 1 Ford, hits the wall after an on-track incident on the last lap of the NASCAR Cup Series Xfinity 500 at Martinsville Speedway on November 01, 2020 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images) | Getty Images
MARTINSVILLE, VIRGINIA - NOVEMBER 01: Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Mobil 1 Ford, hits the wall after an on-track incident on the last lap of the NASCAR Cup Series Xfinity 500 at Martinsville Speedway on November 01, 2020 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images) | Getty Images

Kevin Harvick Martinsville post-race comments

FORD PERFORMANCE QUOTES

KEVIN HARVICK, No. 4 Mobil 1 Ford Mustang — DID YOU BELIEVE COMING INTO TODAY THAT THIS WAS A POSSIBILITY?  “For sure with the way that we’ve run here in the past.  Everybody kept battling there.  I tried to run into the door of the 18 as a last-ditch effort there and spun him out.  Sorry to put him in the middle of trying to gain a point, but not a great three weeks.  It didn’t go our way.  We fought for everything we had and it just came up short.”

FOR ALL THE WINS THIS YEAR TO NOT MAKE IT TO THE CHAMPIONSHIP 4 WHAT ARE THE EMOTIONS?  “Look, these championship aren’t like winning like Petty and Earnhardt used to win them.  You have to put them together three weeks at a time and it comes down to one race and it came down to one race for us tonight and came up short.”

IT WAS A STRUGGLE TODAY.  “Yeah, we just weren’t good and everybody on our Mobil 1 Ford just kept battling to make it better and gave ourselves a shot there at the end.  I tried to drive into the door of the 18 to get that last point to make it and spun him out.  I don’t usually drive like that, but you’re trying to make it to the Championship 4 and doing everything you can.  Just came up short.  Just not the night we needed.”

KEVIN HARVICK POST-RACE ZOOM 

DID YOU FEEL LIKE THE MOVE ON KYLE WAS GOING TO WORK OR WAS IT ONE OF THOSE YOU WHERE YOU THOUGHT YOU WERE GOING TO CRASH AS WELL BUT YOU HAD TO TRY IT?  “It was just a move I had to try knowing that I needed one point.  I needed to hit him square in the door, but at that point I was too late and wound up hitting him in the back.  It was just a Hail Mary that didn’t work out.”

ARE YOU STILL OKAY WITH THIS SYSTEM?  YOU HAVE 9 WINS AND DON’T MAKE THE FINAL FOUR.  “We had a great year.  Like I said earlier, they aren’t won the same way that Earnhardt and Petty did.  You have to put together a few weeks and we didn’t put together these last few weeks like we needed to and just came up short.”

IS THIS UP THERE AS ONE OF THE WORST GUT PUNCHES YOU’VE HAD TO TAKE?  “No, I’ve been punched in the gut a lot harder.  We won nine races, had a great year, and, like I said, the championship is kind of a bonus.  It would be great to win it, obviously, but I’d rather go through the year and win races and do the things that we did and just came up short.”

HOW DO YOU JUSTIFY TO PEOPLE THAT YOU WON’T BE RACING FOR THE CHAMPIONSHIP WHEN YOU ARE CLEARLY ONE OF THE TOP FOUR TEAMS THIS YEAR?  “That’s the system that we work in and it’s obviously skewed more towards entertainment than the whole year, so it’s exciting to watch and has that format that goes with it and you take them as they come and we race within the system that they give us and do our best.  It just didn’t work out for us.  The last three weeks didn’t go exactly how we needed them to and you’ve got to be right when you get to this Round of 8.”

WHAT IS IT WITH MARTINSVILLE THAT GIVES YOU AND RODNEY DIFFICULTY?  “We just got to make our car handle better.”

WHAT WOULD IT MEAN TO WIN AT PHOENIX AND RAIN ON THE CHAMPIONS’ PARADE?  “It’s been a great racetrack for us and obviously that’s what we want to do.  I just want to get the season over with.”

YOU WERE NOT ON THE LEAD LAP FOR MORE THAN 200 LAPS.  HOW DID THAT IMPACT THINGS FOR YOU OR WAS THAT MORE OF A SYMPTOM OF THE CAR WASN’T GOOD AND THAT WAS JUST AN EXAMPLE OF THE STRUGGLES ALL NIGHT FOR YOU?  “No, we had a flat tire and had to pit under green.  We got a couple laps down and every time we’d get close one of the other cars would get lapped and so it just wound up not working out for us quick enough to get back where we needed to be.”

BRAD KESELOWSKI, No. 2 Dent Wizard Ford Mustang — WHAT WAS IT LIKE IN THE CAR KNOWING YOUR PLAYOFF LIFE WAS ON THE LINE?  “I thought I was part race car driver part mathematician.  I can only imagine what my wife was feeling.  She’s here in a suite watching, let alone my fans, but I’m really happy for Team Penske to have two cars in.  Just a hard fought day.  Got a speeding penalty there with like 70-80 to go and I’m not sure how.  The box where i got the speeding penalty is where my car was pitted, so I don’t know.  I’ll have to figure that one out later, but just really thankful to be going to the Championship 4.”

HOW AWARE WERE YOU IN THOSE FINAL LAPS THAT IT WAS CRUCIAL?  “Not enough.  There was nothing I could do other than just pass as many cars as I could and look forward.  The last two runs, I don’t know if we were the best car, but we were close to it.  Credit to Jeremy Bullins and the team.  They just kept adjusting on it at the end and we got good when it counted.  It was just frustrating because that pit road penalty I did not see it coming, to be honest with you.”

DID YOU DO ANYTHING DIFFERENT?  “No.  It’s the same thing I’d been doing and the place where I got the penalty was right outside my box, so I didn’t even think it was possible to speed right there, and I was wrong.”

WHAT DID YOU BUILD ON HERE FOR NEXT WEEK?  YOU FOUGHT BACK HARD, DOES THAT HELP?  “Oh, yes.  I know we’ve got great cars on these short tracks and one-mile tracks.  At the end of the race we might have had the best car.  It was probably pretty close between Chase and I.  If we bring this kind of an effort at the end of the race at Phoenix, we’ve got a great shot at it.”

— Ford Performance —