– And Kevin joins us now on NASCAR Race Hub. Kevin, how are you this evening?
– I’m doing great, guys. How are you guys?
– Doing well. Hey, I want to go back to Aric Almirola. We were just discussing your teammate. What’s your evaluation 14 races in to 2018 for driver 10?
– Well, I heard Aric talk a little bit right there just about the confidence factor and the things that you have to do to drive the car now compared to how he drove him before. And it’s probably easier to drive them now than it was when you have to– when you have a car that doesn’t have the speed, doesn’t handle like you want it to, and you just really don’t know why. So the biggest thing with Aric that I can hopefully help him relate to is just the fact that you can’t drive a slow car fast. And now you have a fast race car, and it’s really about working out the details and all the things that come with doing what you do on the weekend to get good results.
And they’re doing a great job. And they’re not going to do anything but get better. So that’s the promising thing. And I think as you look at the 10 car in general, for us as an organization to have Aric and that number 10 team and have those notes and that fourth car running well really helps accelerate things within SHR.
– Well Kevin, obviously I know at 7:00 Eastern tonight you’re going to be hosting Happy Hour. It’s one of my favorite radio shows in all of America, so I don’t know why Adam put me on spot. It made me nervous.
But I wanted to tell you I’ve got to ask a question. As a racer, when your crew chief says, when you’re just approaching pit road, do the opposite, that sends so many signals through my brain. I really don’t know what to do. If you had that to do over, would you have just said well, I don’t know what that means, I’m coming to pit road? Or how did all of that play out in your mind?
– Honestly, in end the car that was on the same strategy as us was Martin Truex Jr. and he won the race. And really all of us were pretty shocked actually that the old tires didn’t put us in a deeper hole than what it did. And really it didn’t even really matter after we had all the cautions and everybody got a few cycles on their tires.
So we did the opposite of what the 8 team did. We lost control of that race on a pit stop. And I really feel like that’s where it kind of came down to us not being in control of the lead and getting in a position where we were on the inside on the restarts.
I lost a couple spots starting on the inside lane a couple of times and wound up finishing fourth. So I really don’t think the pit call affected anything at all. And honestly, it probably turned out– it turned out to be their winning race call for the 78.
– You mentioned the fact that you guys finished fourth. That’s after qualifying on the front row. I said it earlier, Kevin, that your average running position on Sunday was 1.8.
And we look over all at your laps led in 2018, already over 900. That’s better than what you did throughout the entire portion of 2017. Sunday is a perfect example of what most would say is an outstanding day. But for you and the 4 group, how do you evaluate the afternoon in Pocono? Do you need to win right now to consider it a success?
– No, and here’s why. I think as you look at winning races, and we’ve been– I look at Kansas and I look at that as a comeback win and maybe a race that we might not should have won. You’re going to win some, you’re going to lose some. And the days that you think that you should have won the race and had the fastest car, and like a weekend that we had at Pocono, you’re not going to win all those races.
So you need to be disappointed about that, but you also need to be realistic. There’s a lot of good race cars on the racetrack. There’s a lot of good teams. There’s a lot of circumstances.
And there’s not going to– there does not need to be one moment that tears down the momentum that you have. And sometimes those good reality check moments are good for all of us to make sure that you keep your head down and you keep moving forward. So you can’t let moments like that– you’re going to win some, you’re got to lose some. And Sunday was one of those moments where we didn’t win, and felt like we had a great car.
– What are we going to hear on Happy Hour at 7:00 Eastern time?
– Well, we’re going to hear a lot about spotters tonight. I’ve got my spotter Tim Fedewa coming on tonight. So I can’t wait to hear some of those old stories. And I think as you look back at Timmy’s career, and seen what he does as a spotter, it’s going to be interesting to hear how he transitioned into that. And maybe you’ll have some good stories about donuts, Mike. What do you think?
– He didn’t get thrown off the roof in Pocono, did he? He’s OK, right? No, no. He only throws Jimmy John’s sandwiches off the pagoda in Indianapolis.
– There we go. Thanks, Kevin. We’ll be listening later on.
– All right, guys. Thank you.