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RACE WINNER POST RACE PRESS CONFERENCE
 
GREG ZIPPADELLI, CREW CHIEF, No. 98 Ford Mustang -- DID YOU CLIMB THE FENCE? "No, I would have but I am too old to run down there with those kids anymore. I walked down and they were coming back down when I got there. I did it before. It is a really cool win, a great place. I am glad I could be a small part of him experiencing that. I know he was pretty pumped up to come here being from Indiana and a lot of his heroes race here and grew up around here."
 
IS THERE ANY CONCERN TOMORROW WITH THE CUP CARS ON THE OVAL GOING OVER THE TIRE RUBBER FROM THE RACES TODAY? "I think it will all come up pretty quick. More of a question of there being only a little bit of rubber in a couple of spaces on the race track that the cup cars will run on. The rest of it doesn't have any rubber on it. You know how tires wear here. It will be interesting to see how the first 10 to 15 laps goes with the tire wear. We have run before where five or seven laps you get cords in those tires and the race track will take rubber pretty quick and it will go away."
 
WHAT DOES IT SAY ABOUT YOUR ORGANIZATION AND CHASE THAT YOU HAD TO MAKE THE CREW CHIEF SWAP THE LAST SEVERAL WEEKS AND HE IS PERFORMING LIKE HE HASNíT SKIPPED A BEAT? "I think it is pretty cool. Chase has not gotten down about it. He has dug down. He has done a really good job growing and learning and being a little more of a leader of this team, especially through this time. We have a lot of good guys and obviously in the organization and the Xfinity team. There are not a lot of them over there and these guys work their guts out. I am proud to be part of it and be able to fill in and help. I have been here anyway so it was kind of a natural plug and play."
 
BEFORE THE SEASON STARTED CHASE HAD SET A GOAL OF EIGHT WINS AND A LOT OF PEOPLE THOUGHT HE WAS ASKING TOO MUCH OF HIMSELF. HERE WE ARE 13 RACES IN AND HE HAS FIVE. WHAT DID YOU THINK OF THAT AND HIS POTENTIAL FOR THE REST OF THE SEASON? "I think the potential is obviously there. You know how it is in this sport. When things are good you have to jump on it and take advantage of it. A couple weeks from now you could lose a little bit and someone else picks up and wins a couple races. You canít get too confident and certainly canít get cocky or you will get run over. The people we have been beating every week are working just as hard or harder to catch what Chase is doing and this team is doing. I am very proud of him. He is a good little driver, man. A lot of fun to be around."
 
WE CAN ALL SEE THAT CHASE IS A GOOD DRIVER. WHAT ARE THE ATTRIBUTES IN YOUR MIND THAT MAKE HIM SO GOOD? "He is able to dig deep. There are some people that when it is time to close, I see that a lot in him, he finds a little bit extra. He has a lot of confidence but isnít getting cocky, which I love. Most of all he is just a good race car driver. You watch guys and guys go fast and then you watch guys that go fast and can pass cars and guys that go fast and takes the driver to learn how to pass or get by guys. He just has a natural understanding of racing. He does a good job racing guys and does a really good job of passing. A lot of these race tracks with the aero and things of that nature, the good guys learn that and they carry it out. Really he is just a good hearted kid with a lot of will and want to win."
 
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON WHAT THE TWO SERIESí MIGHT DOING FORWARD IN TERMS OF THE ROAD COURSE HERE NOW THAT WE SAW THIS PLAY OUT TODAY? "This was fun. I didnít know what to expect coming in. Nobody has really had any experience here. We saw F1 races and IndyCar races in the past, but not these bigger heavier Stock Cars. I don't know if you could have gotten a better last 10 laps of a race. It is racey. It was fun to be a part of. I was surprised. It was a lot better than I -- I didnít know what to expect I guess. I think it turned out really well. To get both of them in one day and it is only 5:30 and have two good races, I thought that was pretty cool."
 
ARE YOU READY TO GET OFF THE BOX OR HAVE YOU THOUGHT ABOUT STAYING? YOUR RECORD IS PRETTY GOOD SINCE YOU CAME BACK: "We will go to Kentucky and play the support role next week."
 
SINCE YOU HAVE BEEN ABLE TO SPEND TIME UP CLOSE WITH BRISCOE, IF AN OPENING OCCURRED ON THE CUP SIDE OF THE SHOP, WOULD YOU ADVOCATE FOR HIM TO GET A CUP RIDE? "Oh, without a doubt. I think he is still young and has a lot to learn but I am very, very impressed with how quick he is learning how to race these stock cars. I hope he is a part of Stewart-Haas for a long period of time. He is a good kid and we would love to see him on the other side with us."

YOU HAVE BEEN A PART OF SOME GREAT EXPERIENCES HERE AT INDY OVER THE YEARS. THIS TIME IT WAS AN INDIANA KID WINNING BUT NOBODY WAS IN THE STANDS. WHAT WAS THAT LIKE?
"Yeah, that is obviously a bummer but with what is going on we understand and accept it and move on. It is still a win for an Indiana kid in his hometown and it is very special to him. It is kind of cool for it to be the road course and for him to get his first win here. I believe the kid will have many other opportunities in his life."

 


 

NASCAR XFINITY SERIES 
SUNDAY, JUNE 28, 2020
PENNZOIL 150 - INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY (ROAD COURSE)
 
Chase Briscoe won his fifth race of the 2020 NASCAR XFINITY Series season with todayís victory at Indianapolis. Pocono Raceway.  His other wins have come at Las Vegas, Darlington, Homestead and Pocono.
 
CHASE BRISCOE, No. 98 HighPoint.com Ford Mustang -- YOU TOLD US YOU WERE DOING EVERYTHING. YOU WERENíT KIDDING WERE YOU? "No, everybody knows that I grew up and my hero in racing was Tony Stewart. To get to drive for him and watch him win the brickyard, that was always his signature thing and I just wanted to do it. Obviously it is not the same prestige as winning on the oval but you still won at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It doesn't matter if you are racing on the oval, the road course, the dirt track or even the parking lot, it is special when you win here. Growing up, coming here all the time, it is unbelievable to think that I just won here. I am so happy to get HighPoint.com in victory lane again. I am worn out. That fence climb will take a lot out of you."
 
IS THIS THE MOST SIGNIFICANT WIN OF YOUR CAREER? "From a personal standpoint, Darlington meant a ton just because of what I was going through. I have dreamed of coming to this race track and just getting to race here. To win here is unbelievable. I canít put it into words. To get our sponsors in victory lane and driving for Stewart-Haas at Indianapolis. It doesn't get any better than that."
 
YOU SAID YOU WERE HALFWAY TO YOUR GOAL TO EIGHT WINS. I THINK IT IS TIME TO REASSES THAT GOAL: "Yeah, we arenít going to stop at eight if we get there, that is for sure. We are really rolling right now. I think today is a statement win. I don't think anybody had us as a favorite today with Allmendinger and Cindric in the field but we knew down deep we could run with those guys. I am so blessed to be driving this race car. I am a luck guy that gets to drive it and it is truly a blessing. I hate that there are no fans here. I get to see so many of my fans, friends and family here that I don't get to see anywhere else. Kind of bitter sweet to win here but I know they are all watching on TV. I canít believe we won at Indy."
 
YOU MADE SOME AMAZING BOLD MOVES. YOU SPLIT CARS ON A RESTART. YOU BLEW A CORNER ON A RESTART AND STILL RETOOK THE LEAD. HOW? "I don't know. I think I had the Good Lord on my side for sure. The restarts, I was starting on the outside which I didnít think was the best scenario. It seemed like holes were opening up. I wasnít very good when guys were right behind me because I needed the back of my corner to be really good. You canít do that when they are right behind you, especially Allmendinger. He is so good in the braking zones. I did give it away in a sense over there. Cindric and him started racing pretty hard and that gave me a chance to get back in there and I threw a slide job into 1 and 2 and I think that was by far the hardest I have ran in my life to try to get a win.

 
BIG MACHINE HAND SANITIZER 400
INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY PRESS CONF. TRANSCRIPT
JULY 4, 2020
 
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 ALLY CAMARO ZL1 1LE, met with media via teleconference and discussed that he and his wife, Chandra, tested positive for COVID-19, his emotional and mental outlook, his activities over the past week or so, the concerns over his daughters, missing Sundayís race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and more.
 
Also joining the call were Jeff Andrews, Vice President of Competition for Hendrick Motorsports, and Cliff Daniels, Crew Chief of the No. 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE. Full Transcript:
 
WALK US THROUGH WHAT HAPPENED YESTERDAY AND TELL US HOW YOU AND CHANI ARE DOING
"Thank you to everybody out there sharing their concerns and checking in on me and my family. It was just clearly a crazy day yesterday. Chani had some allergy-like symptoms she was dealing with earlier in the week. And being the rule follower, and the ever-cautious individual she is, she felt she needed to go to the local hospital here in Colorado and have a test done just to be responsible and do our part. And then, we waited on her test results, which took a couple of days. And those came in yesterday morning around 9:00 am. And from that point on, we were just dealing with the issues at hand and trying to understand if I was positive. I was lucky to get in and be tested and get a quick result for myself and my children. My kids are negative. Chani and I are positive, which is a crazy situation to try to manage in our household right now, in self-isolation, and also trying to parent. So, thatís really the chain of events and how weíve ended up where we are today."
 
HOW ARE YOU DOING EMOTIONALLY? ARE YOU FEARING FOR YOUR HEALTH? ARE YOU FEARING MORE FOR GETTING IN THE RACE CAR? WHERE ARE YOU MENTALLY AND EMOTIONALLY?
"Thankfully, I am asymptomatic. So, I donít have the fear. We donít know how many days in I am right now, so there is some concern that my conditions could worsen. But, I have literally had zero symptoms. My wife, at the most, has had allergy-like symptoms, which isnít uncommon for us this time of year in Colorado. The Cottonwoods are doing their thing, and everyone in town has some kind of small allergy-related symptoms. So, I feel great. I think our biggest concern right now is for our children. They are negative as of yesterday. Of course, weíre being very responsible in our home and trying to self-isolate, but at the same time we have to parent. And, thatís really the tricky hurdle weíre trying to sort out right now on top of managing their fears. Thankfully weíre healthy and hope to stay that way, but for a 9 and a 6-year old to try and manage the fear right now and they canít come around Mom or Dad. And weíre got to feed them, and weíre concerned about feeding them and passing the virus. So, weíre trying to be as healthy as we can, but on the home front with our kids, weíre heart-broken right now to see the fear in their eyes and watching them trying to manage whatís going on right now."
 
HAVE YOU BEEN IN ASPEN SINCE WEDNESDAY OR SO? DID YOU GO TO INDIANAPOLIS? CAN YOU TAKE US THROUGH WHERE YOUíVE BEEN?
"Yeah, weíve been out here the last few weeks. Iíve been, obviously, to the race tracks to compete. We did go back to Charlotte maybe 8 or ten days ago for a brief trip. And then on Thursday, I did go to Indianapolis to Dallara to drive their simulator. That was a day trip out and back, and I was preparing to head to Indianapolis tomorrow morning."
 
YOUR RETIREMENT SEASON CONTINUES TO NOT GO AS PLANNED. YOUíVE HAD A LOT OF GREAT THINGS HAPPEN IN YOUR CAREER AND YOUR LIFE, BUT IS THERE NOT A TEMPTATION TO FEEL SORRY FOR YOURSELF AT THIS POINT AND GO MAN, NOTHING SEEMS TO BE GOING RIGHT?
"2020 has been interesting. Thereís no doubt about it. I can be down and out on my situation, but if I turn on the news and I see how this virus has impacted so many others, I quickly feel thankful that Iím asymptomatic and that I donít have any major issues. It would be very easy right now to get bummed-out and to look at this the wrong way, but Iím healthy. My wife is healthy. My kids are. Our prayers are that it stays that way. Weíre hopeful that through our situation that maybe some others can learn from this as well. If it wasnít for Chaniís diligence on trying to do the right thing at all times, we would be going on with life as normal. And who knows who we could have come in contact with and the repercussions that could have had? I know our country and the world right now is over quarantine and all these technicalities that we need to deal with, but as a family thatís been very safe and very cautious to end up testing positive just shows how diligent you truly need to be through all this."
 
THIS IS NOT HOW YOU EXPECTED TO SPEND INDEPENDENCE DAY WEEKEND. ARE YOU GOING TO HAVE A WAY TO MAYBE CELEBRATE A LITTLE BIT AS A FAMILY?
"Yeah, we hope so. Itís very tricky, though, with my wife and I testing positive and our kids are negative. Weíre very scared to be around them and interact with them. Not to mention my oldest, her birthday is coming up on July 7th and the combination of fear that she has and then heart being broken for the 4th of July and her birthday. Weíre going to be celebrating inside of our house and distancing as far as we can. Itís just been tough for our little ones to really grasp."
 
FROM A CONTACT TRACING PERSPECTIVE, ASIDE FROM NASCAR AND THE SIMULATOR, DID YOU HAVE ANY OTHER CONTACT WITH CHIP GANASSI RACING? WERE YOU AT THE SHOP FOR A SEAT-FITTING OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT?
"Yeah, to go back 14 days, clearly I was at Pocono. Iíve been to Ganassi for a seat fitting and then to Dallara. So, Iíve been through all those steps to notify everybody and let them know. The CDC has also contacted me and Chani and has gone through their survey and interview. So, weíve done everything we think we can and have called everybody that we could. So yesterday was extremely busy and in some respects, embarrassing to be in this position. And then you fear that maybe you came in contact with someone thatís going to have a more difficult time than we have had. I feel terrible for Ganassi Racing and any stress Iíve put on their system; and clearly, Hendrick Motorsports. Itís been a wild range of emotions in the last 12 or 14 hours in dealing with it all. But, weíre doing everything we can on our side to make sure we notify anyone and everyone."
 
TO CLARIFY, HAVE YOU BEEN TO HENDRICK RECENTLY?
"I have not been to Hendrick since, gosh, I was in the parking lot I believe, to drive one of our first cars for Darlington to make sure everything was correct. But that was distanced and with just one individual. And, since then, Iíve not been back to Hendrick. I was at Ganassi, but in a very small room off to the side. Theyíre very diligent about following protocol and creating compartments, as well. So, my interaction on the Ganassi-side has really only been with two to four people, I would say, at the most."
 
HOW MUCH DID YOUR PERSONAL ANTENNA GO UP? HOUR BY HOUR, MINUTE BY MINUTE, TO SEE HOW YOU FEEL; IF YOUR THROAT FEELS GOOD IF YOUR SINUSES START UP? THE UNCERTAINTY HAS REALLY GOT TO BE SOMETHING
"Iím sure like many. My wife and I have joked around for months that we have a phantom symptom, and maybe we have it, right. Like when lockdown kicked-in, if we sneezed or we coughed; some of that was in our minds and we joked about it. And here we are, asymptomatic, and have the virus. At least where Chani is in her art, to test positive on Wednesday, and now itís Saturday, itís been five to six days for her. And from what we understand, sheís through probably one of the more critical points of all this. So, we feel optimistic that with her itís going to stay the course. For me, we donít know. We just know I tested positive yesterday. So, a little bit of fear, but all-in-all, Iíve had no symptoms. So, Iím optimistic that it stays that way and Iíve talked to many that have had the virus, and quite a few of my friends and people Iíve spoken to have been asymptomatic, as well. And maybe itís a tickle in their throat and thatís been the extent of it. Iím sure hoping it stays that way."
 
ANOTHER INDYCAR TEST WILL BE KICKED DOWN THE ROAD A LITTLE BIT. IS IT ALMOST A SITUATION WHERE YOU ALREADY FEEL LIKE A RETIRED DRIVER BEFORE YOU ACTUALLY GET A CHANCE TO TEST?
"Yeah, what a weird situation there. Again, Iím trying to keep it all in perspective. Thankfully Iím healthy. Thankfully, my wife is. That INDYCAR test will be there. Hopefully Iím cleared soon, and I can get back to the track. To get in the No. 48 car is my first priority of course. And weíll get to that INDYCAR test. Thankfully, I have interest on the INDYCAR-side and sooner or later Iíll be able to drive one and see what thatís like."
 
IF YOUíRE HEALTHY LIKE YOU ARE, THERE SEEMS TO BE A FEELING THAT YOU PROBABLY CANíT GET IT. DID YOU HAVE THAT FEELING IN TERMS OF DOING EVERYTHING RIGHT AND ARE SURPRISED TO KNOW YOU ARE STILL ABLE TO GET IT?
"Yeah, I feel like weíve been very diligent to do the best that we can. Weíve been wearing masks for a long time and of course, following the protocols of washing our hands and being as careful as we thought we could be. And then the other tricky part of this is being asymptomatic, if Chani wasnít the role follower that she is and as diligent as she is with things, we would still be going along through life and possibly infecting others. So, I have more questions, honestly, than I do answers at this point. I donít think you can be careful enough. With our best attempts, we still ended up positive, somehow. Weíre unclear as to how we ended up positive. Yesterday, in going to the hospital and getting my test and talking to healthcare professionals, having my positive test, and talking to more healthcare professionals, there are so many unknowns right now. And we really, as individuals, have to be diligent to do the best that we can. City, state, president, everybody involved; thereís just not a lot of answers. And I canít even get answers having the virus. Thereís really a lot that counts on the individual and on your family to self-monitor and self-regulate and to use self-discipline. So, thatís the takeaway that I have on all this and hopefully that can encourage others to be as diligent as they can and not let their guard down right now."
 
YOU HAVENíT MISSED A CUP RACE SINCE 2002. ARE YOU GOING TO BE WATCHING SUNDAY? IF SO, WILL YOU BE IN CONTACT WITH THE TEAM DURING THE RACE OR JUST BE A FAN SITTING ON THE SIDELINES?
"Yeah, Iíll definitely be watching. Crazy say to have your start streak come to an end. But Iíll absolutely be watching and hoping for the best for that No. 48 car. My team means everything to me, and I know weíre all very disappointed with the situation. Iím confident that Justin Allgaier is going to get in and do a great job. He has track position to start the race and I hope he can make the most of it. I know Cliff is going to call a great race and our guys on pit road are going to get it done. So, Iím wishing him all the best and Iíll be watching as fan, unfortunately."
 
DOES MISSING OUT ON SO MUCH MAKE YOU RE-THINK YOUR SCHEDULE FOR NEXT YEAR TO GET SOME OF THESE ĎLASTSí BACK, LIKE YOUR LAST SONOMA OR BRICKYARD? OR, IS THAT TOO FAR IN THE FUTURE TO THINK ABOUT?
"Every time I think what normal is, something changes. So, of course I want to race at the Brickyard and of course I feel disappointment that Iím not going to have some of these lasts that Iíd hoped to have had, but I just donít know where weíre going to be at the end of this year, let alone next year. I do know that I still want to compete, and I made that really clear. And Iíve had to inform Hendrick Motorsports that I do plan to not be in the car full time. So, they have to plan and do what they need to for the future. But Iím hopeful that I can have an opportunity to come back and run a Cup car in some races. Clearly, I have this interest in INDYCAR and Sports Car and other forms of racing. So, I assume thatís helping me deal with this and not feel like Iím having some things taken away from me. But, at the end of the day, Iím just thankful that Iím healthy and not in the shape that some people are right now and dealing with it. So, Iím trying really hard to not be disappointed in the professional side of maybe in some of these more selfish things, that Iím going to miss out on; and be thankful that Iím healthy and my family is healthy."
 
DID YOU TEST FOR ANTIBODIES EARLIER DURING THE PANDEMIC?
"I did. Earlier this year, early into the lockdown when I found out there was a semi-reliable antibody test, I did take that, and I did test positive for the antibodies. There was a big gap in the rate of being positive, to be truthful. Iím trying to think of the word that comes with that. The test rate or whatever it might be. So, it was just a data point for me out of curiosity. Chani and I both wanted to find out if we were antibody-positive, and I did get that result back that I was positive, and she was not. But we didnít know how much to trust the antibody test, I think it was like a 20 percent rate of being incorrect."
 
IS THAT ONE OF THOSE THINGS WHERE YOU HAVE A LOT OF QUESTIONS AND NOT A LOT OF ANSWERS?
"For sure. I was warned by my physician then that although I did test positive for the antibodies, thereís a 20 percent chance that itís incorrect; on top of the fact that they donít know what the antibodies mean. And still today, I donít know what they mean. Once I clear this and go back into life, I assume I still need to be very cautious and I could be re-infected once again. There are just so many questions regarding this virus and what means what. I still donít have clarity. The longer I get into this and the more issues I deal with, the more questions I have."
 
YOU HAVE TAKEN ON THIS ROLE OF A CHAMPION, AND HELPING BUBBA WALLACE, AND MAKING THAT VIDEO; DO YOU THINK THE VIRUS IS ANOTHER THING YOU CAN EDUCATE PEOPLE ON?
"Yeah, this is not a position I thought Iíd find myself in. Iíve been in the sport a long time and have won many championships and offered my opinion and advice through the years, but in the last few months with all the various things that have come along through the video and speaking up and supporting Bubba, and now this, Iíve found myself in a position that people are paying much more attention to what I have to say. I do feel that responsibility. Iíve felt it for a long time, and itís been interesting how in the last two or three months how my voice has carried much further. So, hopefully my voice is still carrying the same message of listen, learn, understand, be kind, open your heart, from the issues that we experienced last month. And where I sit now, itís hopefully to keep your guard up. We thought we were very diligent in our household. And it still found a way in. So, I can also expand on the fact that testing takes many days to get your results. And if you do feel symptomatic, do the right thing and just stay in. Bring your family indoors. The asymptomatic position that we found ourselves in really caught us off-guard."
 
DO YOU STILL THINK THERE IS A CHANCE EITHER WITH CHIP GANASSI RACING OR ANOTHER TEAM THAT YOUíLL HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO TEST LATER ON THIS YEAR, OR IS IT TOO EARLY TO TELL?
"As long as Iím healthy and the world stays open, I really believe there will be that opportunity. INDYCAR has a high priority to help with driver development for many other drivers who are interested in coming into the sport. So, the interest I have from teams and the friendships and relationships that I have with various teams, I do feel that opportunity will be there later in the year."
 
AS BEST YOU CAN, WALK US THROUGH THE EMOTION OVER THE PAST 14 HOURS
"I guess backing up to the phone call Chani received, in my head I felt like she was being Chani and being too concerned and that she just had some allergy issues and that was the extent of it. So, I played through two scenarios and then when we found out she was positive, it certainly kicked one of the scenarios into effect. And, I was blown-away and surprised and caught off-guard and embarrassed, I guess, to some respect and fearful of the impact this would have on my race team, and the folks at Ganassi that I came in contact with. All these emotions that are primarily fear-based, kick-in. And, it was interesting because they were much more work-focused than it was family-focused because we are all healthy. Looking back on that, Iím thankful that we feel well and donít seem to have any issues right now and we didnít have that fear in our lives. So, it very much went into the professional side and trying to manage of that. Of course, through contract tracing and trying to get in touch with anyone and everyone we could. So, again, thankfully weíre asymptomatic and seem to be healthy and well so far and my mind went to the emotions on the work side. As the day went on, watching the impact that the positive test has had on our children is heartbreaking. And itís something weíre going to have to manage over these next couple of weeks as weíre in quarantine and isolation. To see the fear in their eyes and watch them try to process all of this and wonder if their parents are going to be like what theyíve seen in the news and if theyíre going to experience that. And trying to stay isolated from them right now and parents at the same time is a challenge weíre not sure how weíre going to handle."
 
EVEN THOUGH YOU HAVE MORE QUESTIONS THAN ANSWERS RIGHT NOW, WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED FROM YOUR CONVERSATIONS WITH YOUR PHYSICIAN OR THE CDC OR WHOMEVER SINCE THE DIAGNOSIS?
"It appears that recently there have been more asymptomatic people out there. Iím not sure if thatís just because testing is more available. It seems logical. Even the medical professionals Iíve spoken to are theorizing more than they are giving facts. Iím surprised how many asymptomatic people have tested positive and those numbers I think, are staggering. Thankfully the mortality rate seems to be down. Obviously, thereís a big lag in how all of this works, so my prayers are for those that do test positive, including myself, that this does not progress and advance and is going in the wrong direction."
 
YOU MENTIONED THAT THE CDC CALLED. EVERYBODY WANTS TO KNOW HOW ONE OF THE HEALTHIEST GUYS IN SPORTS CAN CATCH THIS. WHAT WAS THE CDC CALL LIKE AND WHAT CAN YOU TELL OTHERS WHO ARE MAYBE IN THE SAME SITUATION?
"The conversation with the CDC was much more about trying to understand our location, the community that weíre in, and who we came in contact with in that community in the last 14 days. So, it was very much focused on contact tracing. Outside of that, just some basic health questions were asked, trying to understand if we had any pre-existing medical issue that we are dealing with; and I assume just to help with statistics that we see and read daily as we check-in on the Coronavirus and how thatís going. It was a very clinical conversation with them, if you will."
 
BECAUSE YOUíRE GOING TO BE SOMEONE THAT NOT JUST NASCAR FANS ARE LOOKING AT, EVERYONE IN THE COUNTRY RIGHT NOW. WHAT ADVISE CAN YOU GIVE TO OTHERS?
"Itís really just staying diligent. If Chani wasnít the individual the she is and the rule follower precautions she takes in life, I would be walking around asymptomatic and infecting people. I think trusting your instincts and being cautious. I know everyone is tired of the lockdown and tired of the new normal that weíve all had to experience, but it really is for a reason. And thankfully, weíre healthy and hope that we continue to stay healthy. Hopefully we have not infected anyone through the delay that it takes in testing on our side. I think thatís the part that kind of worries me the most. You go in for minor symptoms and think youíre just being overly cautious, and then you get a positive test and youíre like, wow. A couple of days have elapsed and who have I been in contact with?  Looking back, thatís the part that people should be most aware of. Stay diligent, trust your instincts and your intuition and take things seriously."
 
DO YOU HAVE ANY PHILOSOPHY ABOUT HOW THIS COULD HAVE HAPPENED AT ALL?
"Itís definitely been on my mind. Iím not sure if Chani gave it to me or if I gave it to her or if we got it separately from one another. Itís logical to think that one of us gave it to the other. I always have seasonal allergies that I deal with. So, having the need to take an allergy pill over the last few days, few weeks, is very common for me. Thatís one of the prescriptions that I take. I have a prescription for Flonase that Iíve always used since It has been available.  Again, I have more questions than I do answers. We came to Colorado because we felt like being in the mountains out here would be a safer place to be than in the city in Charlotte. So, we really donít have many answers. Hopefully through our unfortunate situation, we can help others be more diligent and mindful and prevent them from going through all this."
 
WHY IS ONLY ONE TEAM MEMBER UNDER QUARANTINE?
JEFF ANDREWS:
"On the team member situation, we immediately, yesterday, began to work with NASCAR and follow their protocol on how to deal with this very closely. We began to kind of re-walk, very diligently, the last 14 days with Jimmie and who he had been around and talked to and so forth. I commend first and foremost, NASCAR and their processes. Theyíve done a great job at the race track with keeping everybody safe and managing this. As far as our team, specific to Hendrick Motorsports, all of our employees are required to wear PPE of course. We have an N95 filter insert that goes into our masks, that all of our employees, wear. Purely out of precaution on our end, the interior mechanic was the one person that we could say had physically had contacts with some portion of Jimmieís suit or helmet and so on and so forth. We made that decision on our own, to hold that individual back this week. We put that plan in front of NASCAR, which they fully supported. Thatís kind of how we got there."
 
SINCE THE WHOLE OPERATING SYSTEM WAS JUST DOWN IN ATLANTA, AND YOU HAVE NOW TESTED POSITIVE, AND THERE WILL LIKELY BE OTHERS DOWN THE ROAD, WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO CONTINUE TO THE WHOLE OPERATION NOW?
JIMMIE JOHNSON:
"If you have pre-existing conditions, this virus can be really harmful. It can threaten your life and it can even take your life. So, from my standpoint I feel like we need to stay diligent and we need to listen to the specialists and do our part and follow protocol. This is something unlike anyone in our generation or recent generations before us have dealt with. So, I think we all still need to take it very seriously and I think even being more diligent now as it appears that itís more common now to be asymptomatic. Youíd hate to pass this on to an elderly person or somebody with pre-existing conditions and then have the worst happen."
 
HOW HAS THE TEAM REACTED TO THIS NEWS AND WHAT DOES JUSTIN ALLGAIER THINK ABOUT NO PRACTICE AND NO QUALIFYING?
CLIFF DANIELS:
"First and foremost, at the top of our mind, is the health and safety of Jimmie and Chandra and making sure theyíre well and that he is able to return to competition within a reasonable timeframe. And then beyond that, certainly since weíve been back, racing has not been business as usual for anyone. And so this just continues to be our process to go through things and to go race. Itís just not normal. I have the utmost faith in our teams and in Justin to come in and do a good job. We all spent a bit of time on the phone yesterday just to go over our plans for the weekend. There was a lot of work done by many individuals that weíre very thankful for at Hendrick Motorsports and the shop to get the seat in the car turned around and ready to go. So for the weekend, I do believe we will forfeit our fourth place starting position, because of the driver change, and start at the rear of the field. So, we have a job to do to go out and perform at the highest level that we can and to make good pit calls and to execute a good race. Obviously, Justin has a lot of history in Cup cars and at the Speedway, so we have a lot of confidence in him. And, our group has been building every week to make sure we can execute and perform at a high level. Even though itís a very unfortunate circumstance for us all, we still have to do our part to make Ally proud and to make Hendrick Motorsports proud and to do honor to Jimmie and the No. 48 car just to have a good weekend. So, thatís our plan."
 
DID YOU HAVE ANY SAY IN WHO WOULD REPLACE THIS WEEKEND FOR THIS WEEKEND?
CLIFF DANIELS:
"The decision to put Allgaier in the car, I give a lot of credit to everyone at Hendrick Motorsports and the process that weíve had in place since before we went back racing in Darlington. We have had our own basically secondary line-up and that includes anyone from driver to crew chief all the way through the crew members that travel to the race track. Jeff Andrews and the folks at Hendrick Motorsports have managed that and made sure that roster was strong, and everyone was in place in a situation like this. So, there really was no extra thought that we had to put into it. This lineup was already set. We had all the plans in place just out of the abundance of caution that we wanted to take. And again, even before going back racing in Darlington, this has been in place. There were no extra decisions to be made. Justin has been on stand-by this whole time and has been aware that this could happen."
 
JIMMIE JOHNSON:
"Just to add to that, Iíve been friends with Justin for a lot of years and raced against him. With him being at JRM and in the family, if you will, at Hendrick Motorsports, heís been a great resource for me to get information from him on how a Saturday goes. Heís just been a friend and a resource for many years. Iím highly confident in his ability and excited to him to get in there and wheel that thing."
 
SINCE NASCAR WENT ON HIATUS AND CORONAVIRUS BECAME AN ISSUE, CAN YOU TELL US WHAT STEPS HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS HAS TAKEN TO PREVENT THE SPREAD?
JEFF ANDREWS:
"Shortly after Atlanta, when the industry got shut down, team members of HMS began to meet daily to discuss our protocol when we would go back to work whenever that date would happen. A lot of planning and a lot of preparation went into that by a lot of people and departments. You know, just an overview of that, we worked two split-shifts. So, we have two, what you would call an ĎA Groupí and a ĎB Groupí and they are never thee at the same time. In general, the ĎA Groupí will work Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday; and the a ĎB Group; will come in and work Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. And we did that, just to always have a group of people, that should we have anything within the organization, to where we needed to sit the ĎA Groupí, we could still have a ĎB Groupí of employees that could come in and work. In between all of our shifts, we have a complete sanitization of our facility that goes on. All of our people are in proper PPE the entire they are there. We screen our people on entrance to the campus. We are not allowing things like food service and things like that, do not come on our campus currently. Any outside vendors that come on our campus are screened before they enter our campus. Weíve been very diligent about keeping our shop crews and our road crews separated. So, Cliff any myself and anyone else who travels on the road weekly to the race track, have not been back in the shop since we closed there shortly after Atlanta. Weíre doing that out of an abundance of caution. Iím not sure everybody is doing that, but weíre just trying to keep, first and foremost, everyone healthy, and keep in mind the safety of our folks and our employees and just have as much gap between those groups as we possibly can. I think thatís a quick overview."
 
WHAT IS THE PROCESS FOR YOU MOVING FORWARD? HOW SOON DO YOU GO BACK AND GET TESTED? WHAT ARE THE STEPS NOW?
JIMMIE JOHNSON:
"I have some calls this morning to better understand that. Iíve been through the chaos yesterday afternoon and I learned that once I have two negative tests that I can go back to the track. So, I think itís whichever happens first, either the 14 days or two negative tests. So, Iím optimistic that my system will beat this virus quicker than the 14 days. I know I can be tested daily. I just donít know when I can get my results. Itís just a nationwide problem, if not a worldwide problem that you take a test and it can be two or three or four days before you get the results. Hopefully I can close that loop and be able to do that. Of course, as an athlete, I feel that itís important to have that test done quickly so I can get back to my job, but clearly there are people out there that need this test and quicker response. The labs that can perform that quicker response, they need that priority more on their side than mine. So, Iíll do my best to try to get two negative tests as quickly as I can and hopefully thatís before the 14 days."
 
AT THIS POINT, DO YOU NOT EXPECT TO BE AT KENTUCKY ON JULY 12th AND THEN EVEN THE ALL-STAR RACE JULY 15th AT BRISTOL?
"Yeah, I guess with the 14-day scenario, I tested yesterday so the first day I could get back to the track would be Saturday, 14 days from now."
 
YOU FOUND OUT 14 HOURS AGO YOU WILL HAVE A NEW DRIVER, SO WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST ADJUSTMENTS YOUíVE HAD TO MAKE TO PREPARE IN SUCH A SHORT TIME?
CLIFF DANIELS:
"A few things come to mind quickly as we really need to make sure Justin is comfortable in the car. We had a lot of notes, fortunately, just throughout our company and our relationship with JRM to get the correct fit numbers for his seat, foot pedals, steering column, and things like that. We really want to make sure he is comfortable in the car. And then of course, we have a July weekend in Indianapolis, so itís going to be really warm. We want to make sure he stays nice and cool and comfortable in the car. So, the first priority was making sure we could get the car changed over adequately to suit his needs and to make sure he is comfortable. And then secondarily, since we will have to forfeit an up-front starting position and come from the back, our strategy is absolutely going to change. There are adjustments that weíll make to our outlook for the racer and how we call the race. Again, with Justinís recent experience with this Cup package and some of our cars, testing for the OEMís, and through the Chevrolet simulator, he does have experience with the package and just with the quality driver that he is, I know heíll be raring to go and to go have a good race. So, weíll make sure that we call a good race and keep him comfortable in the car and march to the front."
 
CAN YOU CLARIFY THE TIMELINE WITH JIMMIEíS TESTING AND GETTING BACK IN THE CAR?
JEFF ANDREWS:
"Yeah, so just for clarification, we walked through this yesterday with NASCAR. And what Jimmie needs to be able to return to the track is two negative tests, with a minimum of 24 hours between those two tests; followed by a doctorís release. So, if Jimmie were to go next week and test on Monday and go back again, 25 hours later and test again, and those tests are both negative, once he has a doctorís release, theoretically he could be in Kentucky if that scenario lines up."


 


 
BIG MACHINE HAND SANITIZER 400
INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY PRESS CONF. TRANSCRIPT
JULY 1, 2020
 
KURT BUSCH, NO. 1 MONSTER ENERGY CAMARO ZL1 1LE met with media via teleconference, and discussed his 700th NASCAR Cup Series career start on Sunday at Indianapolis, having both INDYCAR and NASCAR racing on the same weekend, the ages of drivers currently competing in motorsports, the tight pit road conditions at Indy, and more. Full Transcript:
 
INDY WILL BE YOUR 700th NASCAR CUP SERIES START. DID YOU IMAGINE WHEN YOU STARTED YOUR CAREER THAT YOU WOULD HAVE 700 STARTS?
"Itís amazing. To have this opportunity and to have been blessed to have raced with so many great race teams over the years, just making it past the local track was something that I thought was an achievement because my dad was a local racer. He won a lot. But it was like money, sponsors, and the whole challenge of even getting to like the Southwest Tour and Late Model division, that was even tough for us way back in the past. So, itís amazing. Twenty years of racing at the top series level and now having 700 starts, I never would have guessed."
 
WHEN YOU LOOK AT GOING TO INDIANAPOLIS, WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS? WE HAVE THE ROAD COURSE FOR XFINITY, WE HAVE INDYCAR THERE, AND IíM SURE ITíS A TRACK THAT YOU FIND INTRIGUING. WHAT WILL THE WEEKEND BE LIKE IN YOUR MIND?
"Itís a big marquee race. Itís our Brickyard 400. But unfortunately, we donít have our race fans. Thatís what I still think about first, each time weíre heading to the race track. And, with a special weekend like this with INDYCAR and Xfinity on the road course on Saturday, and then the Cup race on Sunday on the oval, Roger Penske is the only one that could have made INDYCAR and NASCAR happen on the same weekend. And Big Machine is there with their sponsorship and I know they would put on a great concert and the whole atmosphere around Indy, it was set-up to be fan-based and to have that extra entertainment value. So, itís something weíll miss. But Iím focused-in on Sundayís race. Iím just going to fly in day-of. I would have really liked to have enjoyed seeing the IndyCars and Xfinity on track, but itís time to stay in the bubble and stay isolated."
 
WILL YOU WATCH THE INDYCAR AND XFINITY RACE? AND, WHAT IS YOUR VISION FOR GETTING A WIN AT INDY?
"Oh absolutely. Iíll be tuned-in to watch and just enjoy it as a motorsports fan. I think thatís what this weekend is about with it being a July 4th celebration of our countryís birthday, and to have top forms in motorsport in America at Indy, you have open-wheel with INDYCAR and weíve got NASCAR with the fenders on and they go around the oval, so itís a great weekend for motorsports to tune-in.
 
WITH YOUR EXPERIENCED IN INDYCAR, DID YOU LOOK AT ANY CHANCE OF COMPETING IN THE RACE ON SATURDAY?
"I did. I looked at it and just with everything going on with COVID and the pandemic and lack of preparation, it just kind of shut everything down as far as the progress and the approach, because it takes a full effort of being tested and track time and being ready. And thatís something that I really put in when I ran the Indy 500 six years ago now. And so, everything just got shut down. But, it would have been fun to with Chip Ganassi Racing and then with Jimmie Johnson now doing a test next week with Scott Dixonís car, itís all right there in front of us. Itís just the timing wasnít right."
 
DO YOU HAVE ANY SENSE OF HOW THE NEXT GEN CAR MIGHT REACT TO THE OVAL? THEREíS SOME TALK ABOUT IF THE XFINITY RACE GOES WELL OF MAYBE NASCAR DOING THE CUP CARS ON THE ROAD COURSE. BUT THEN, THEREíS TALK THAT WELL, COULD THE NEXT GEN CAR RACE ANY DIFFERENTLY?
"As far as testing and gathering up information and data on the new car, itís all kind of shut down as well. And, I see those cars though, where theyíre able to adapt to any circumstances (like) a street course, road course, or oval. The way that Iíve looked at it and they way theyíre assembled, things can be changed out pretty quick. So, you could almost hammer out a road course on a Saturday and an oval on a Sunday with the same cars."
 
CAN YOU EXPLAIN WHAT HAS ALLOWED DRIVERS IN THEIR LATE 30íS TO BE VIEWED TO BE IN THE PEAK OF THEIR RACING CAREER STILL HAVING SUCCESS AND MAKING AN IMPACT? AND IS THAT EXTENDING CAREERS OR WHAT HAS THAT ALLOWED THOSE FROM LATE 30íS ON TO HAVE MORE SUCCESS AT A TIME WHEN PEOPLE DIDNíT LOOK AT IT AS BEING AS STRONG OF A PERIOD FOR A DRIVERíS CAREER?
"It takes a good team to have a driverís ability to find the success. A team is the foundation. But the way Iíve looked at things over the years is it seemed like drivers in the generation before me got in when they were in their young thirties and would go to their late forties. And then there was this guy named Jeff Gordon, who came into the sport and broke down a ton of barriers as far as age, and it opened up the flood gates for owners to look at all different areas of the country to find talent and to find racers. Itís been an amazing ride for me. I got in in my young twenties. And then a guy like Joey Logano got in in his teens. My little brother (Kyle Busch) got in in his teens. The change, the shift, has happened for younger drivers to get in and yet itís still tough to go past 25 years is extreme. I donít think weíll ever see that anymore. And so thatís that window that weíve all had this opportunity to race in, and I think itís just a matter of age blended with the experience level and with a top-tier team. And when you see that, itís usually in that 32 to 38 range that I would say could be the peak.
 
"But Iím having some of the best years of my career as far as consistency because Iím using that experience level. Iím using that calmness and that ability to project the future in the car, and thatís leading to good, consistent, and quality finishes. Itís just that weíve got to cross over another barrier of sometimes you just throw caution to the wind and let it rip. And thatís when you see guys like (Ryan) Blaney, who now has won the last couple of restrictor-plate races, but yet ran into my little brother the other day at Pocono just driving over the nose of the car. So, youíve got to blend in the youth and the experience and thatís when youíre going to find the right combination."
 
WHAT IS PIT ROAD AT INDIANAPOLIS LIKE? THERE ARE A LOT OF CHALLENGES AT MANY TRACKS, BUT WITH HOW NARROW AND TIGHT INDIANAPOLIS IS, WHATíS THAT LIKE IN AVOIDING ANY CONTACT THERE, WHICH CAN RUIN SOMEBODYíS DAY?
"Yeah, Indianapolis has the toughest pit road in all of the NASCAR circuit. Itís compounded because of the difficulty of passing on track. And so, weíre all trying to gain every inch, every foot possible, on pit road. And so, when youíre coming down pit road at speed, guys are trying to look ahead and see where to peel off to get into their pit box, and then it creates an accordion effect of guys that are sitting there right on top of their lights and their pit road speed, and so that checks people up. And then when youíre coming out of your pit box, youíve got to turn hard to the right to get around the guy thatís in front of you, and youíre mostly likely blending straight into traffic and people usually just throw all caution to the wind and go you know what? Iím just going to block you and itís up to you to check-up because weíre that aggressive on pit road to keep that track position."

 

 
BIG MACHINE HAND SANITIZER 400
INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY PRESS CONF. TRANSCRIPT
JULY 1, 2020
 
TONY LUNDERS, TEAM MANAGER FOR CHIP GANASSI RACING, met with media via teleconference to reflect NASCARís first doubleheader race weekend at Pocono, the expectations going into Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and more. Transcript:
 
REFLECT A LITTLE BIT ON THIS PAST WEEKEND GOING TO POCONO, THE FIRST EVER NASCAR CUP SERIES DOUBLEHEADER. HOW DID YOUR TEAM PREPARE FOR THAT AND WHAT WERE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THAT?
"We were looking forward to a double, especially with the lack of practice that weíve been able to have since the Covid-19 pandemic started. So, we were looking forward to having an opportunity to race, and then put our heads together, talk with the drivers and then be able to adjust and see what types of changes we could make on our cars. It was good to have that. We didnít know quite what to expect. We havenít done that with using the same car back-to-back yet Ė we still have a couple more of those to go. So, I think we learned some things that we can apply going forward and we were happy to be able to do that."
 
WHAT DO YOU EXPECT, TONY, AT INDIANAPOLIS, IN GENERAL? IF YOU LOOK AT THE WEEKEND AND THEN LOOK AT WHAT NASCAR MIGHT DO THERE, IT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE SUCH A BIG WEEKEND FOR THE FANS.
"For sure. First off, Indy is an important place for our team. Thereís a lot of history there with our IndyCar group, Chip (Ganassi), and weíve had some success there in the past. We take it like we would most other races, as far as the prep and all that stuff. Obviously having the IndyCar group there before we get there, thatís exciting for us. Itís been a long time Ė I think back in the early 2000s we did some companion races with Trucks and IndyCar, and that was fun to do. So, weíre looking forward to it from the sense of one, in our team, we have both groups going up there. We wish were able to interact with those guys a little bit more and be there on the same day. But for our Cup guys, it will be somewhat business-as-usual as weíve had these one-day shows. I think from that aspect, it wonít be anything different. Weíll show up the morning of Ė weíre actually flying out Sunday morning. So, our day will look similar to some of these one-day shows that weíve been doing."
 
WHATíS YOUR OUTLOOK FOR YOUR TEAMS ON THE CUP SIDE OF THINGS AT INDY?
"Indy is a unique place. Some people relate it to some of the other stuff, maybe even some aspects from Pocono where we were just at. We need to run a little bit better there. We didnít have as good of performance that we wanted at Pocono. I think we took some steps forward and did learn some things. But weíre optimistic. Indy is sort of a unique place. Weíre optimistic and we look forward to getting out there."
 
HAVING GONE THROUGH THE POCONO WEEKEND, OBVIOUSLY THERE SEEMS TO BE AT THIS POINT, THE EXPECTATION THAT THERE COULD BE ANOTHER ONE OR TWO DOUBLEHEADER WEEKENDS EVEN THIS YEAR. WHAT ARE THE THINGS THAT WERE LEARNED FROM THIS PAST WEEKENDíS EXPERIENCE TO MAYBE CONSIDER FOR ANY OF THE OTHER ONES?
"When you have a weekend or a race, youíre trying to makeup for practice time and the ability to throw some changes into. So, you come into it and put your best effort forward for the first race. But it gives you an opportunity to turn right back around and make changes. Not only the good stuff that you come across, but youíre also going to make some mistakes. I think in hindsight, you get a chance to digest and look at what happened throughout the weekend, what you think you did well and what you think you could improve on. And you can apply that same type of thing going forward. Itís a little bit difficult with the protocol stuff that weíre going through now at the track. The way our team operates as a two-car unit and using the other team and information you can get from them Ė having our groups split up at the race track presents some unique challenges for us. So, a big part of this for us is just trying to overcome some of the communication stuff and how to apply stuff that your teammate is learning. One of the strengths, luckily for us, we have two drivers that are similar in maybe their styles. They both know each other well and have experience with each other in the past. Their communication was really high from the beginning. They have a friendship and a mutual respect for each other that has definitely helped us through this."
 
WITH THE 42 TEAM HAVING A LITTLE BIT BETTER PERFORMANCE THIS PAST WEEKEND THAN WHAT ITíS HAD, WHAT HAS BEEN THE CHALLENGE THERE AND WHERE THAT TEAM IS AND WHAT IT NEEDS TO DO TO HAVE EVEN STRONGER PERFORMANCES?
"I think a couple of things - across the board, obviously nobody has been able to practice and that hurts most teams equally. I think for us, itís even a little bit more of a challenge with plugging that in there. Obviously heís a champion and has won a ton of races, thereís a lot of respect there. But just getting plugged into our system, itís taken a little bit of time. And I think in any situation, when you put a new driver with a new team, you go through that learning phase. Unfortunately, we have not been able to get a lot of that done in practice. In a normal practice, you can run through six to ten changes and get a leg up on that stuff. So, thatís been a little bit of a challenge where weíre starting a race many times and having to learn things throughout the race, where I feel like that would have been accelerated quite a bit given some practice with that group. Weíve had a couple better finishes, which is good. So, weíre just going to try and build on that going forward."
 
OBVIOUSLY, INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY IS A SPECIAL PLACE FOR CHIP. IíM WONDERING IF THERE REALLY ARE ANY SORT OF THINGS THAT YOU NOTICE IN A TEAM AND THE DRIVERS THAT MAKE IT, WHEN YOU GO THERE, SOME PLACE THAT THEY FEEL EITHER MORE OPTIMISTIC IN WINNING OR CERTAINLTLY MORE ENTHUSIASTIC ABOUT DOING SO.
"One exciting thing is Kurt (Busch)ís 700th start this weekend, so thatís pretty cool. I had the opportunity to work with Kurt when he first got into the Truck Series and itís been fun to watch him throughout the last 20 years or so. Like you mentioned, the history with Chip Ganassi Racing, Chip, Indy, the Indy 500, the Brickyard Ė thereís just a long history of respect for that place and what it is. Teams always circle that race as a big one in their year as one of their goals, one of the top races you want to put a lot of effort towards winning and having success there. I think as the year goes, you have realistic expectations of where youíre at and what you think you can do. Like I said, thatís a unique place and you lean on some past experience there in what has worked and what hasnít worked. A lot of it is confidence in how the teamís working. I think weíre in a good spot going in there. The teams are working really well together Ė jellying on pitstops, the pit crew and the road crews. Itís just different. It will be different showing up there without a huge fan base. Itís nice to be able to see some of these tracks moving towards having some fans there because it definitely adds to the environment when weíre there. Having the empty garages Ė when I say empty, just a lot less people Ė itís just a different feel to it, for sure. But the teams, none the less, have put a lot of effort into winning that race."
 
WHAT ARE YOUR LONGTERM PLANS FOR THE 42 TEAM? DO YOU SEE MATT AS THE LONGTERM SOLUTION FOR THAT TEAM OR ARE YOU JUST LOOKING TO GET THROUGH 2020?
"We wanted to get some races with Matt (Kenseth) under us, kind of build that effort there and see where it took us. If Matt decided at some point that heís enjoying whatís going on and weíre having some success, maybe thereís something more there. But I think the team is more focused on now, being mid-season, and what we need to do to get that car into the playoffs. Weíre back in the points a little bit and we need to win a race. So, I think our focus is how do we build that group now to try to get towards the playoffs, win a race, and weíll let the next year stuff take care of itself as the year goes on. Hopefully, the success is there. Certainly, there are others that know that seat is open and would contact us. And thatís all good, but I think our main focus now is just to get the performance and let the rest take care of itself."
 
SPEAKING OF PERFORMANCE, ARE YOU CONTENT OR SATISFIED WITH THE COMMUNICATION BETWEEN MATT MCCALL AND KURT BUSCH AS IT STANDS RIGHT NOW?
"Yeah, those two work really good together. That relationship has just gotten better as time has gone by. Kurt has a lot of confidence in Matt and that shows. And likewise, Mattís communication to Kurt is working really well. Weíve got Kentucky circled coming up here. We got into victory lane there last year and that was really cool. So, weíre just trying to build on that and those guys are doing well together. I think that helps keep us as a company moving forward."


 

NASCAR CUP SERIES 
INDIANAPOLIS RACE WEEKEND PREVIEW
WEDNESDAY, JULY 1, 2020
 
KEVIN HARVICK NASCAR ZOOM MEDIA AVAILABILITY
 
KEVIN HARVICK, No. 4 Ford Mustang -- WHY DO YOU THINK IT IS, OR HOW IS IT, THAT DRIVERS HAVE BEEN ABLE TO HAVE MORE SUCCESS AROUND THE AGE OF 40 THRESHOLD THAT IS BELIEVED TO BE A POINT WHERE ABILITY CAN DIMINISH? "The things that I would tell you is that the sport has changed a lot. I think with less practice and cars changing and a lot of the things are done through simulation and things like that now. The experience level obviously comes into play. I think when you surround that with a good team and a good organization and are able to work those details out, I think the potential is to drive into your 50ís. Why not? I think with the health side of things and the way that people take care of themselves and workout, I think the longevity of the body on most of us going forward is going to be more durable than what it has been in the past. I think that experience for the most part is the biggest key. Especially when you surround that with a crew chief and team that are good. That is the situation that I am in. I think I kind of had a second life I guess you could say coming to SHR. That was very motivating and I think as you look at it now, for me it is still very motivating. You work your whole career to get into a situation like this and I had a long conversation with Mark Martin. You work your whole career to get in this situation, why would you want to give that up and just say, ĎI quití? As long as Delana and my family are supportive, I don't think the drive and enthusiasm as far as showing up to the race track every week will go away anytime soon. You just have to balance those things. I think as you look at Martin (Truex Jr.) turning 40 and Denny (Hamlin) and a lot of the success has been from that particular age group. I don't think that is going to change any time soon."
 
SOME TRACKS HAVE STRATEGY THAT PLAY A KEY ROLE. INDIANAPOLIS CAN BE ONE OF THOSE. WHEN THERE ARE DIFFERENT DRIVERS ON DIFFERENT CYCLES, IS IT EASY FOR A DRIVER TO JUST DRIVE OR HOW MUCH ARE YOU WORRIED OR THINKING ABOUT THE STRATEGY PLAY DURING A RACE? "We have talked about it before the race and during the race I typically just let them handle it because they have way more information. From a driver's standpoint it is a little more stressful because you arenít really around the cars all the time that you are racing. You know if you give up a little here and there, you don't know how much they give up through lap traffic or coming back through the field or what strategy they are on. From a driver standpoint it is a little more stressful and you have to push every lap to make sure you get the most out of that lap to give up the least amount of time. It is just a different style of race, which is good, right? You have all these different elements that play in at different styles of race tracks that arenít the same style and element that play at all the other race tracks. It is actually more stressful in my opinion because you canít judge it off a car that is around you. It is somewhere else on the race track but it all cycles together."
 
WHEN DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU WERE OKAY TO SPEAK OUT AS A DRIVER? WHEN DID YOU START SAYING WHAT YOU THOUGHT? WAS IT RIGHT WHEN YOU CAME INTO THE SPORT OR DID IT TAKE SOME TIME? "Unfortunately when I started I talked too much. It was a thought that it was more fun to rile everybody up than it was to actually just worry about racing. My opinions were too many. Then it affects your team and the things you do. They start having to answer questions. I think there is definitely a balance and I would definitely consider myself a little bit of a loose cannon for the first several years because I didnít care what I said, didnít care what you thought and didnít care about much other than just driving the race car. It was a pretty self-centered approach. I think a lot of that process changed when I came to Stewart-Haas Racing and then had kids. You have a whole different responsibility that comes with the things you say and do when you have kids. I think for me in the race car, in order to get Rodney convinced to come to Stewart-Haas Racing, his first questions were, ĎYou don't have a very good reputation with your team and you yell on the radio and do all these things. The first time all this stuff happens I am out of here and most likely we wonít even get started unless we can make some changes in that process.í I think in order to get the right person and start building a team it was important to commit to not only for my family but for Rodney and his situation and our relationship. To have that kind of reset button in order to start over and really have a different reputation of how you handled yourself, it really didnít affect the things you do on the race track but how you handled yourself and that observation that you put out to the world needed to be different. I think coming to Stewart-Haas Racing and Rodney are the biggest reason for that."
 
THE DOUBLE-HEADER WITH INDYCAR AND NASCAR, ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO RUNNING INTO PEOPLE IN THE GARAGE AND WATCHING WHAT THE INDY CARS DO? "I am definitely not going to run into anybody. I know that for sure because they will all be gone by the time I get there. That part, I wish that I was able to be in the garage and go over and see what the Indy cars are all about and watch in person. We will definitely be watching on TV. It is a great situation for all three seriesí to be together and a huge step for racing. As you look at IndyCar and Xfinity and Cup cars all at the same venue because we are all racers. We all want to see racing be successful and I think this is definitely a great step for both seriesí to be in the same venue and bring our fans together and show both sides that it is not about picking sides, it is about watching a great show and being a part of a great event."
 
DO YOU HAVE A CURIOSITY OF THE XFINITY CARS ON THE ROAD COURSE AND WHERE DO YOU WAY IN ABOUT POSSIBLY RUNNING THE 400 ON THE ROAD COURSE?  "I would never vote for that because I love everything about the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. For me it is all about the oval, I guess you can kind of call it an oval, racing on the traditional track because for me I am kind of old school and I think that the Cup cars belong and really started the Brickyard 400. That was kind of what it was always meant to be, that iconic one-off just the Cup cars event. I think with the Xfinity cars and the trucks and K&N cars and all the things that used to race at IRP, it was a great event. Hopefully the road course can kind of take that role that IRP used to have and be able to bring the IndyCars and NASCAR together to add to that event at the speedway. For me personally, I would never vote for the Cup cars to not run on the oval."
 
DO YOU THINK WITH THE LACK OF PRACTICE THAT YOUR EXPERIENCE HAS BEEN AN ADVANTAGE THIS YEAR? "I think it could go either way. I think the experience of our team being together going on seven years now is definitely a big part of that. Being a part of that evolution of the things I like in the car and things they like to do, the evolution of the race cars themselves and what they figure out on the engineering side kind of evolves naturally. You canít set too far out on a limb and try a bunch of things like you would in practice on a normal race weekend. The other peiece of that is that you don't have a bunch of people studying what you do with all the SMT data to try to copy it and drive their car and set their car up like what you are doing because the race is over by the time all that happens. It has been very unique and it has been something that plays well for our team to just show up and race because I think for the most part that experience is helping us get to where we need to be quicker."
 
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY HAS GONE RIGHT FOR YOU GUYS IN GENERAL THIS YEAR? "I think we have just been consistent. I think the other thing is for the most part when we have had chances to win races we have won them. I think Sunday was probably the only one that I could point to and say that we had the car to win the race and didnít win the race. I think for the majority of the races that we have had chances to win we have capitalized on those situations and the days that we haven't. We have collected some stage points and had a solid day to go with it. It is not anything out of the norm of what we have done in the past but I think capitalizing on those moments you have to win, we have done well."

 

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