Kevin Harvick Answers Questions About NASCAR and His Son, Who Needed to Pee
Harvick wins in New Hampshire, punches his ticket into the next round of The Chase.
Here’s a (much-edited) transcript of Kevin Harvick’s post-race interview after his win Sunday in the Bad Boy Off Road 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, where he locked himself in to the next round of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase for the Championship:
Q: After a disappointing performance last week at Chicagoland, you needed a great performance today, but you've got the best performance possible; how does that feel?
KEVIN HARVICK: Yeah, we needed a solid day, and really our car was good all weekend. As we went through practice yesterday, we just had some little things that we talked about doing this morning, and as we went through the race, made some small adjustments on the car, and there at the end we were able to keep ourselves up front with the track position, and they made a great call to leave us out two or three times. Our car would fire off really good on the restarts on the bottom.
Q. Kevin, you said going into the Chase you were already going max effort and you were already going to go hard, but it seems like there's another way that you can raise your game when you're in adverse situations like you found yourself in after this week. Do you have another notch? How are you performing so well in clutch situations again and again?
KEVIN HARVICK: I think it's really the nature of our team. It's one of those things where you get behind a little bit, and I feel like that's something I like because you can motivate yourself and you can motivate everybody around you by your actions and the things that you do and the attitude that you carry to the car on practice days and how you present yourself in the meetings. These guys were all ‑‑ they were mad after qualifying. I was kind of laughing, and it was like, it's going to be fine. I don't know if you guys have noticed but we passed a lot of cars over the last three years. We can pass. It's just that time of year ‑‑ last two years we've kind of just worn ourselves out and really stressed out over trying to perform at this level, but we already perform at that level. We've just got to keep performing at that level. A lot of times you can talk yourself into being so amped up that you can talk yourself into making mistakes or doing things wrong, and this team has done a great job.
Q. During the drivers' meeting you had [your young son] Keelan in your lap and he was squirming around all –
KEVIN HARVICK: He had to pee. He asked me, Dad, is there a bathroom in here, I've got to go. I could tell he was bouncing around, and I'm like, man, I'm going to have to send him out of the drivers' meeting to go pee, and he's like, Dad, I've got to go. I'm like, you're going to have to wait. I don't want to start at the back.
Q. The last two years, you've won races you've had to win. You say it's an addiction, but do you feel different getting into the car in those races? This race wasn't that magnitude, but it was pretty important to have a good finish.
KEVIN HARVICK: Well, I think for us it's really hard to maintain the level of performance that these guys have maintained in the shop, on the pit box and over the last three years because they really perform at a Chase level throughout the season every year. But I think being able to perform well and win races early allows these guys and everybody at SHR to come up with a good plan and really be prepared and have options and be prepared for the unexpected and have to do things differently than you have ‑‑ this week is no different obviously with the rules changing and having to prepare and go into R&D mode and do things and look for things that you haven't looked for all year because they weren't really available. So now you need to go into R&D mode and do those things to make sure that you're where you need to be. But you've got to be prepared for all that because you never know what's going to happen.
Q. Kevin, Tony [Stewart, Harvick’s retiring team owner]is currently in the bottom four of the Chase standings. Greg Zipadelli said he's got to go out and perform next week. Would you bet against Tony trying to get a win next week to stay in the Chase?
KEVIN HARVICK: Well, everybody bet against Tony to even be in the Chase, so I think as you look at Dover, it's a racetrack that ‑‑ he can go to any racetrack and perform. He can go to any racetrack and win. He's Tony Stewart. I wouldn't bet against him. I don't know what his circumstances and scenario are going into Dover, but we'll do everything we can to help him get to the point where he needs to be to try to move on.
Q. Kevin, you won here in 2006, and [crew chief Rodney Childers] you won here in 2013 and you've had some good runs in the last couple years but you haven't quite been able to get it done. What was the factor that you think made the difference today?
KEVIN HARVICK: I think it's just keeping yourself, like he said earlier, keeping yourself in position to have a chance because you just never know how the end of these races are going to turn out, and I think you see that in the amount of different winners that have come at this particular racetrack through the years because it just turns into strategy and restarts, and a lot of times you have a lot of contact and things that happen as you get towards the end of the race. So it's just a very strange racetrack to finish. You can have a fast race car and you can go through the green flag runs, but it usually comes down to the end of the race with restarts and where you line up and how the restarts go to finish off the win. The fastest race car I've ever had here was the one in the fall last year, and we didn't win the race with it. You just never know how it's going to work out.
Q. I assume you were still paying attention during the drivers' meeting, and Steve O'Donnell gave a pretty stern warning –
KEVIN HARVICK: I was just hoping I didn't get peed on to be honest with you.