Daytona 500: Kevin Harvick - Friday media visit

KEVIN HARVICK, DRIVER OF THE NO. 29 SHELL-PENNZOIL MONTE CARLO SS, TALKED WITH MEDIA ABOUT THE AFFECT OF NASCAR PENALTIES AND THE ONGOING IMPROVEMENTS AT RICHARD CHILDRESS RACING: ON A GOOD FINISH AT DAYTONA MAKING OR BREAKING THE REST OF THE ...

KEVIN HARVICK, DRIVER OF THE NO. 29 SHELL-PENNZOIL MONTE CARLO SS, TALKED WITH MEDIA ABOUT THE AFFECT OF NASCAR PENALTIES AND THE ONGOING IMPROVEMENTS AT RICHARD CHILDRESS RACING:

ON A GOOD FINISH AT DAYTONA MAKING OR BREAKING THE REST OF THE SEASON: "Not really. I have had it both ways here. We have had 42nd place finishes and fourth place finishes and had bad seasons on the good finish and good seasons on the bad finish so it can go either way. For me, we approach this race as almost a whole separate week itself. Once you leave here, the season actually starts. We treat this as its own race."

ON AFFECT OF PENALTIES THIS WEEK ACCOMPLISHING NASCAR GOALS: "I think it is just a big message as to where they want to see everybody. They have made it a pretty clear message, I think everybody understands that they need to not to do the obvious cheating stuff and do the things you know are right and try to work within that box."

ON ANY CONCERNS AS A TEAM OWNER OVER HEIGHTENED SUSPENSIONS AND OTHER PENALTIES: "Not at all. I have told my guys at KHI and I know Richard (Childress) has told everybody at RCR that we are going to stay within the box whether we run last or first. That seems to be the way they want it and needs to be, as owners in all the different series, that the thing needs to be played. If they are going to let things slide, you have to play by the rules and if they aren't going to let things slide, you need to play by those rules. Nothing is going to slide and I like that message. I think it is going to make it a lot easier to know what is right and what is wrong."

ON IF NASCAR IS BEING CONSISTENT: "I think it is consistent and I think they have done a good job so far."

ON WHAT HAPPENED TO THE CAR DURING THE DUEL: "It was one of those deals where the stars weren't lined up right and it snapped the pinion shaft on the rear end gear. We haven't had one of those break since 2001. It is a matter of dropping the car off the jack, me letting the clutch out and something not timed absolutely perfect. It snapped the pinion. It is unfortunate but better now than Sunday."

ON RACE PLAN FOR 500 GIVEN STARTING POSTION: "I think you need to get to the front as fast as you can. Just for the fact that track position is important and you want to have your car handling as good as you can, it becomes harder to make it handle when you are in traffic. So you need to get to the front as fast as you can."

ON CAR OF TOMORROW: "We have tested it a lot. It is a little bit wider and a little bit safer and we are looking forward to that part of it. As far as how it will be on the track in a race, I don't think anybody knows until we get it on the track with everybody else and see what we have to work on from there. We have had a lot of testing with it and everything has gone really well. It is just a matter of getting it in a race and really understanding where the areas are you have to work on because we have worked on these particular cars for a long time. We need to just get in there and work on the things we need to work on after we race it and see what we need to fix."

ON WHAT TEAM EXPECTS TO ACCOMPLISH IN PRACTICE SESSIONS BEFORE DAYTONA 500: "We know what we need to work on. We feel like our car is handling good, we are just a little bit down on speed. We feel like we are a gop-10-car, we just need that little big extra to be able to win."

ON VERSITILITY OF THIS TEAM: "We were good last year at all kinds on all different kinds of race tracks and that is the way you have to be to compete for a champion. We were able to put ourselves in position to compete for that championship, just came up a little bit short. But we have to stay good on the mile and halves and you have to be good in the COT and keep the development going in the right direction there. We have to stay good at all those different kinds of race tracks. Atlanta has become our worst race track for whatever reason so we have to get better there try to minimize the bad days and make them mediocre."

ON RCR FURTHER IMPROVEMENTS DURING THE OFF SEASON: "I feel like we have made our current car a little better on the downforce tracks. We have done a fair amount of testing with the Car of Tomorrow. It is hard to tell until you get in to the season and see where everybody falls and know what you have to work on. I always talk about the adjustments you have to make as a team to make sure everything is going right. We will continue to do that and hopefully our COT stuff is headed in the right direction. I know our engine staff is working hard everyday to try and get the new engine in the car as soon as possible. It is a lot of hard work or a lot of people. We will be all right."

ON DESIRE TO BE IN THE CHASE AGAIN THIS YEAR: "I think any time you run for a championship, you want to continue to a part of that. Every thing that happened last year and being able to do that is something you just want to do a little bit better. That is what we want to do.

"We want to win a championship, but in order to do that, you have to be competitive for one first. We proved to ourselves we can do that. What we learned from being in it will carry forward to this season."

ON CALE GALE: "It is going to be a lot of fun to watch him make his first laps around Daytona. He is a great kid. He has done a lot in his late model cars, and had a lot of experience. For the most part, I think he will do a good job and it is going to be a lot of fun to see him get his first experience."

-credit: gm racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Kevin Harvick