A triple shot of Bristol HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (August 19, 2003) - There's no question that GM Goodwrench driver Kevin Harvick has been doing a lot of racing this season. Competing in four regular series in 2003 - Winston Cup, Busch, Truck,...
A triple shot of Bristol
HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (August 19, 2003) - There's no question that GM Goodwrench driver Kevin Harvick has been doing a lot of racing this season. Competing in four regular series in 2003 - Winston Cup, Busch, Truck, and IROC - he's participated in more races (40) than any other NASCAR Winston Cup Series regular. This has helped him keep his focus on racing, one thing he assured himself of doing at the end of 2002.
This week in Bristol, Tenn., the 2001 Winston Cup Rookie-of-the-Year will take his driving schedule to a whole new level. For the first time this season, he'll compete in all three NASCAR events. It will start with Wednesday night's O'Reilly 200 NASCAR Truck Series race. Running in his No. 6 Kevin Harvick, Inc., owned Chevrolet Silverado, this will be his fifth start of the season.
Friday night, he'll strap into the No. 21 PayDay Chevrolet Monte Carlo for his 10th NASCAR Busch Series event of 2003 and second in a span of five races. He picked up his first Busch win of the year at the bullring in March, and his third at Michigan International Speedway last Saturday.
On Saturday night, Harvick will hop in his No. 29 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet Monte Carlo for his fifth Winston Cup Series appearance at the .533-mile oval. He's posted four top-10s in his last four starts, including a career-best second at this race in 2001, and completed 99.9% of the laps. Happy, as he is nicknamed, looks to continue his string of consecutive top-five finishes in 2003, right now set at four in the last five events, and eyes his favorite racetrack as the next place to do just that.
No. 29 GM Goodwrench driver Kevin Harvick on Bristol...
How hard will all the racing be this weekend for you?
"I don't think it will be that hard. Bristol is one of my favorite racetracks and when we looked on the schedule and saw that they were all together, we decided to do it. The nice thing is that we have a day off between running the Truck and the Busch Series races. It will give me a chance to relax before going full steam into the weekend. Racing both series is something I've become accustomed to now. It really helps me get adjusted and into a rhythm for the races."
How tough was it to see the caution come out after your stop in the spring race there?
"Really tough. We had a great car in Bristol. We just got hung out there in the pits when we came in for a green flag stop that one time. We had a car capable of winning if circumstances fell a little different. We played our cards and came up a little short. There were a lot of wrecks and we didn't want to get caught in one back in the pack. We were looking for a caution to come out before we had to pit, but we didn't get it. That's just unfortunate circumstances. The thing is now we head back knowing we've got a chance to win."
How much will strategy come into play?
"Strategy is so much a part of racing these days. If the circumstances don't fall your way, you are probably not going to win, even if you have the fastest car. We almost always have a chance to win at Bristol, or at least finish in the top-five, and circumstances didn't fall our way this last time. All you can do is make your car as good as you can and see how things play out."
What kind of attitude do you have to have to race at Bristol?
"You have to be an aggressive person. Nine out of 10 times, that's usually the guy who's going to get the win there. You have to remember, whether you are leading, last, or in the middle, you are vulnerable at all times to get caught up in a mess. You have to pick and choose when to pass because it's so hard to do without using your front end."
You made the crew chief change here in the spring, how's it going?
"I think the whole scenario with Gil (Martin, team manager) doing what he's doing and Todd (Berrier) doing what he's doing makes it really comfortable for everyone. Todd and I, on the technical side, hit it off really good and always have. The whole scenario works good for whatever reason, and that's evident will how well we've been running lately."
No. 29 GM Goodwrench crew chief Todd Berrier on Bristol...
What's your biggest worry going back to Bristol?
"Probably qualifying to get the track position. If you start in the back, you've got a bigger chance of getting caught up in a wreck or something. It's interesting to see, though, that Harvick hasn't qualified all that great, but still he's been able to pull off some great runs. Last year, we were leading the night race and got bumped by Rusty Wallace with 10 laps to go, and earlier this year we were fast and got caught a lap down in the pits."
Points of Interest...
Team GM Goodwrench will take chassis No. 107 to the world's fastest half-mile, the same one that ran at The Winston and the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway earlier this season. This chassis also ran at North Carolina Speedway and Darlington Raceway this year.
Harvick's hot streak this summer has him burning up the NASCAR Winston Cup driver points standings. He's currently fourth with 2,953 points, matching his season-high, and is just 18 points shy of breaking into the top-three.
The Bakersfield, Calif., native is still one of only three drivers in the top-10 in points to not post a DNF yet this season. The other two - Matt Kenseth and Michael Waltrip.
Start time for Saturday night's Sharpie 500 is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET. TV coverage of the race on TNT starts at 7:00 p.m., with radio coverage on PRN beginning at 7:00 p.m. Remember times and dates of the race may change, so check your local listings.