Most of the questions coming out of Sunday’s Cup race at Sonoma had to do with the abrupt change in pit strategy by Furniture Row Racing that delivered Martin Truex Jr. a victory and snatched away Kevin Harvick‘s shot at his sixth win of the year.
Harvick’s crew chief, Rodney Childers, seemingly got snookered when Cole Pearn told Truex not to pit at the last moment on Lap 73 before Harvick and teammate Clint Bowyer pitted. Fresh tires from pitting eight laps later allowed Truex to retake the lead and win.
Though he apologized to his team after the checkered flag, Childers was in good spirits soon after. Fox Sports’ Jamie Little posted a video on Twitter showing the two crew chiefs talking and laughing in Victory Lane, with Pearn overheard saying “I’m sorry.”
Early on Monday, Childers responded to the video, noting his respect for the No. 78 team and joking about getting outsmarted.
“And at least @colepearn told me he was sorry,” Childers said. “That was kinda like sending your friend down the wrong haunted trail at Halloween.”
Pearn was asked about Childers’ visit to Victory Lane and where their relationship stands.
“We have a great relationship I feel like,” Pearn said. “I respect him a lot, and I feel like he does the same. Him and Martin worked together back at (Michael Waltrip Racing), so they’re good friends. At the end of the day, we’re playing a game … he’s a good guy, and I think it’s kind of cool for him to do that. … I always try and congratulate them when they win, and he always does it when we win. Like I said, we’ve raced against each other now for ‑‑ as long as I’ve been a crew chief, we’ve battled them a lot of weeks, and they’re a great race team, make us better. I think that was cool.”