This Week's Shell-Pennzoil Chevrolet at Daytona International Speedway ... Kevin Harvick will pilot Chassis No. 295 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. This Chevrolet is brand new for 2010, and was used by the No....
This Week's Shell-Pennzoil Chevrolet at Daytona International Speedway ... Kevin Harvick will pilot Chassis No. 295 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. This Chevrolet is brand new for 2010, and was used by the No. 29 team in the Daytona 500, where Harvick led seven times for 41 laps and finished seventh.
Follow the Leader ... Fresh off his fifth-place finish last week at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Harvick remains the leader in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings. Harvick has one win, seven top-five and 12 top-10 finishes in the season's first 17 races. At the same time, Harvick has finished 13th or better in 15 of the season's first 17 events.
Race to the Chase ... With just nine events remaining before the 2010 NSCS Chase field is set, Harvick enjoys a 472-point lead over 13th. The Bakersfield, Calif., driver leads all competitors with 12 top-10 finishes. Additionally, he has finished on the lead lap in every event but one, with the lone exception being Martinsville. At the paper-clip shaped facility, Harvick led 57 of the first 58 laps, but suffered a brake failure that forced the team to go behind the wall for repairs.
Double Duty in Daytona ... In addition to his driving duties with the No. 29 Shell-Pennzoil Chevrolet, Harvick will race Kevin Harvick Incorporated's No. 33 Chevrolet in the July 2nd Subway Jalepeno 250 powered by Coca-Cola Nationwide Series event. The race will air live on ESPN beginning at 7:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, and will also be broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network and Sirius XM Satellite Radio.
Looking back at the Daytona 500, you had the dominant car and were leading late, only to lose the lead on the third and final attempt at a green-white-checkered flag finish. What were your thoughts about that wild finish?
"Yeah, we were all disappointed after the Daytona 500 because we had the thing won twice, but we got shuffled out there on the third and final attempt. I remember Gil (Martin) telling Mike Helton that the rule stinks. And, Mike patted him on the back and he said don't worry, that it will come full circle. He was right, because we won at Talladega on the third attempt."
Having won at Talladega, does Daytona bode as a good chance for winning another one?
"Yeah, I feel like we had a chance to win the Daytona 500 and, obviously, we have won the last two Budweiser Shootouts and we lost the qualifying race by about six inches. Daytona has been a really good race track for us, so we go there with the intentions of having a chance to win. But, it is still restrictor plate racing, so you go there and it's still a crap shoot as far as how it all turns out."
They're going to repave Daytona after this race. How much are you going to miss the bumps and humps on the track?
"I know it's time and I know you have to do what you have to do, because, obviously, there are a lot of issues underneath for them to decide to repave it. So, we're going to miss the handling issues you have at Daytona and all the things that you always fight and it will be a lot like Talladega with a much narrower surface than what we have at Talladega. But, hopefully, it will eventually get back to having some bumps. Talladega has been the one race track that really hasn't changed a whole lot. It's all about speed and that's what it's going to be like at Daytona. You bring your fastest car and not worry about handling. You just play the chess match and see what happens."
There are just nine weeks left before the Chase. What are your thoughts about getting it done over the next nine weeks?
"Obviously, we're in a good position points-wise right now. We've just got to put ourselves in position to win another race or two before the Chase gets started, and also in that time, advance our cars a little bit as we get through the next few weeks. Usually, Indy brings out the new generation cars for us. So, we'll see how we run there and go on from there."
On points racing and Chase racing for a championship, how savvy do you think you are in doing that?
"Well, to be honest, you go and you race as hard as you can every week. If you're in position to win, then you take a few more chances than you would if you're racing for 10th. But, I think fortunately, we're in the spot where we are right now and we're able to do things differently than what we've done in the past. You come in with a different approach and a different attitude toward what's happening on that particular weekend. It's more of a wide-open just go-for-it approach than if you were 12th. That's the luxury of having been consistent, and the things we've done this year by running well, and hopefully, we can keep doing that. I don't think we've been on a really hot streak yet, to say the least, and hopefully, we save it for the last 10 weeks. We want to run well and win races, but the last 10 weeks is really all that matters."