Bristol: Kevin Harvick preview

KEVIN HARVICK Harvick Looking to Defend Food City 500 Title HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (March 21, 2006) -- GM Goodwrench driver Kevin Harvick has always liked Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway, but after his dramatic win last year at the "World's ...

KEVIN HARVICK
Harvick Looking to Defend Food City 500 Title

HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (March 21, 2006) -- GM Goodwrench driver Kevin Harvick has always liked Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway, but after his dramatic win last year at the "World's Fastest Half-Mile," it's safe to say he loves it. Harvick scored his first win since 2003 last year by winning the Food City 500 after overcoming a stack of obstacles and hopes to defend his crown this Sunday when the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series unfolds in Bristol, Tenn., for this year's running of the Food City 500.

As if having crew chief Todd Berrier sitting at home last year for rules violations wasn't hard enough, the team had to change the power steering pump after finding a puddle of leaking power steering fluid hours before the start of the race. Harvick had to start from the rear of the 43-car field after the No. 29 team made the unapproved repairs. But a brash young Harvick remained calm during a tense, wreck-filled race to persevere and become number one.

Harvick's stats at Bristol Motor Speedway speak volumes. In fact, Harvick has the best average finish, 11.4, of any active NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series driver with at least eight starts at the "World's Fastest Half-Mile." Greg Biffle is the only active driver with a better average finishing position than Harvick at 10.6, but Biffle only has six starts. In 10 starts, "Happy" has compiled a record of one win, five top-five finishes, seven top-10 finishes, and one DNF. Harvick also has four Busch Series wins at the track (2000, '01, '03, and '05) and has captured several Busch poles.

"The competition at the Cup level, especially at a track like Bristol is pretty tough," said Harvick. "The Cup race is twice as long, which at Bristol means twice as many chances for something to happen. We had come so close to winning in the past, but just didn't have the extra little bit to do it. Last year's win was great for this GM Goodwrench team. We overcame so much."

Points of Interest...

* Runnin It...Team GM Goodwrench will race chassis, No. 139, this weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway. They ran it last year at the Martinsville in the fall (32nd), Atlanta in the fall (21st) and Bristol in the spring (37th.)

* Track Stat...Harvick has 10 starts at Bristol Motor Speedway. Of those 10 starts, he has compiled a record of one win, five top-five finishes, seven top-10 finishes, and one DNF.

* Laps Led/Laps Complete...Harvick has completed 4845 of 5000 laps (96.9%) in 10 starts at the "Worlds Fastest Half-Mile." Of those 4845 laps complete, he has led 341 of them.

* Avg. Start/ Avg. Finish...Harvick's average starting position at Bristol Motor Speedway is 17.3 with his best qualifying effort coming in 2001 where he started third. He has the best average finishing position, 11.4, of any active NASCAR Nextel Cup Series driver with eight or more starts. Greg Biffle is the only active driver with a better average finishing position than Harvick at 10.6. However, Biffle only has six starts at Bristol Motor Speedway.

* "Rush Hour"... A new, high energy 30 second GM Goodwrench motorsports TV commercial debuted during the Daytona 500. The ad called "Rush Hour", applies the energy of racing to the morning commute. It shows Kevin Harvick in a typical rush hour situation daydreaming of being in his race car. His ultimate objective is to find the expertise of Mr. Goodwrench ...his own personal pit crew...at his GM dealership. The spot will continue to run throughout the year along with being integrated into general market programming such as; ESPN, CMT, MSNBC, Discovery Channel, TLC, Sci-Fi, HGTV and more. If you haven't seen the commercial, you can view it by going to Goodwrench.com.

* GM Goodwrench Racing Micro-site... Goodwrench.com has a whole new look. Part of the new design is a dynamic racing micro-site. The micro-site engages race fans into the world of the No. 29 GM Goodwrench race team. The design illustrates the vitality of racing and offers up a lot of new content for our loyal fans. Site enhancements like audio and text recaps of each race, car stats, along with photos highlighting the weekly races are a few of the features. You can also order Kevin Harvick merchandise and get to know more about Kevin Harvick and our "personal pit crew." We'll continue to add more excitement as the racing season continues. Check it out at Goodwrench.com/racing.

* A New Partnership...The 2006 NASCAR season has a new look as Reese's joins forces with GM Goodwrench to sponsor the No. 29 team in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series. With the success that both of the sponsors have enjoyed over the years, one could only imagine what the No. 29 GM Goodwrench/Reese's Chevrolet has in store for 2006. GM Goodwrench will hold the primary paint scheme for 24 races and Reese's will run the remaining 13 races.

* Start time... On Sunday March 26th, the running of the Food City 500 is set to begin at 1:30 p.m. EST on FOX. If you can't catch the race on TV, it can be heard on your local PRN Radio affiliate and XM Satellite Radio -- Channel 144 starting at the same time. Remember to check your local listings as dates and times of the race may change.

No. 29 GM Goodwrench driver Kevin Harvick on Bristol Motor Speedway...

Why is Bristol one of your better tracks on the NEXTEL Cup circuit?

"Bristol is special to me because it brings back a lot of memories. I grew up on a half-mile, high-banked racetrack in Bakersfield. I know Bristol is a lot more banked, but it's kind of the same mindset for me driving around the racetrack. It's short-track beating and banging, a lot of fun and what I really like to do. I seem to have a lot of success every time I go there, so I'm always looking forward to going back."

How is the concrete surface different from the typical pavement?

"When you are out on the racetrack, it's almost like you are riding your bicycle on the sidewalk with the bumps so constant. It usually takes a toll on the body when you have to sit through that for 500 laps. It wears you out. Physically, it's like running 500 qualifying laps, which is hard to do because you have to be up on it (the wheel) the whole time. That's probably the biggest factor, having to concentrate for so long and not lose focus."

-rcr-

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Kevin Harvick , Greg Biffle