KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 SHELL-PENNZOIL IMPALA SS, met with members of the media at Dover International Speedway and discussed standing in the Chase, racing at Dover, who is the favorite, starting a third NCTS team with Ricky Carmichael at KHI and ...
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 SHELL-PENNZOIL IMPALA SS, met with members of the media at Dover International Speedway and discussed standing in the Chase, racing at Dover, who is the favorite, starting a third NCTS team with Ricky Carmichael at KHI and other topics.
NINE OF THE GUYS IN THE CHASE HAVE WON HERE. DOES THAT PUT MORE PRESSURE ON YOU TO DO WELL? "I think the pressure is always there. If you look at what we led up to coming up to the Chase it seemed like all the top-twelve guys were in the top-twelve week in and week out. It seems like as that trend goes on the rest of the year it seems like that top-twelve group of guys are always running well. If you are going to make it happen you have to run in the top-ten every week and make some top-fives out of it as well."
IS IT TOO EARLY TO WRITE OFF KYLE BUSCH AFTER ONE BAD RACE IN NEW HAMPSHIRE OR IS THAT A DECENT HOLE THAT HE COULD DIG OUT OF? "I haven't ever thought he was the guy to beat in the Chase anyway. It's just that I think that the No. 48 is the car to beat still."
IS THERE SUCH A THING AS A MULLIGAN FOR SOME OF THESE TEAMS SUCH AS THE FORTY-EIGHT OR NINETY-NINE? "Well it all depends on how this Chase goes. I have said it week in and week out. I have been a part of both of them where a guy didn't win a race and then I have been a part of one where a guy had a bad race, fell out a couple of weeks and then came back and won the championship. So it just depends on how the character of this Chase goes and you just go out and race as hard as you can every week and see where it all falls in the end."
DO YOU LIKE GETTING AROUND THIS PLACE? (DOVER) ITS UNIQUE, IT'S DIFFERENT? "Yeah, performance-wise it's been a good race track for us and you don't always have the results to show for it and you can get in trouble here pretty fast. We got in part of that wreck here at the first part of the race the first time we were here. You can have tire trouble under the green and the next thing you know you are three laps down. So it doesn't take much to ruin a day here."
ARE YOU COGNIZANT OF THE TOP-TEN STREAK YOU ARE ON AND IS IT SENDING YOU IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION TO GET TOP-FIVES AND ULTIMATELY WINS? "Yes we have been scattered in the top-five and solid in the top-ten and you just have to keep that up and knock some top-fives off as the Chase goes on."
THIS WEEK KHI ANNOUNCED THAT RICKY CARMICHAEL IS GOING TO PARTICIPATE IN THE ARCA RACE AT TALLADEGA. DO YOU HAVE ANY PLANS FOR HIM IN THE TRUCK? "Our plan is to put him in a third truck and obviously we have to get the sponsorship rounded up and run him in some ARCA races and we will run him in the Talladega race this year. But he's done a great job and obviously he knows how to race whether it's in a car, a truck, or a motorcycle or whatever it is -- he knows how to race for a championship. He's got that will and determination to make something happen so I just like what he has done in the Camping World Series so we figured we would give it a try and see what happens."
YOU AND DELANA HAVE NOT BEEN AFRAID TO TAKE A CHANCE ON YOUNG GUYS AND GIVING THEM A SHOT SINCE YOU HAVE STARTED KHI. IS THAT WHAT YOU ARE LOOKING FOR IN RICKY SINCE YOU ARE GIVING HIM A SHOT TO RUN A SEASON IN A NASCAR SERIES? "Yeah, I mean the only one we have been able to bring out of the whole deal is Cale Gale and he's obviously going to run half of the Nationwide schedule next year with me, but he has been the only one that we have developed into something that is going to be going down the road further. He has got the potential to do it on Sunday, but Ricky, he's a little bit green as far as being involved in stock car racing, but I think from everything that we've done and watched he's got the potential and that learning curve should be a little bit faster with him. He knows how to do a test, and how to be mentally prepared and you don't have to teach him any of those things."
HE'S ALSO GOING TO HAVE TWO GOOD TUTORS THERE WITH RON HORNADAY AND JACK SPRAGUE. "Yeah, obviously Hornaday has been in the championship mix the last couple of years and in it again this year so I think as far as that goes, he'll have someone to lean on and to learn from with a lot of experience."
WHERE DO YOU FIND YOURSELF FOCUSING YOUR ATTENTION ON, BOTH AS THE DRIVER AND THE OWNER BOTH INVOLVED IN CHAMPIONSHIPS? "Well the driver is what drives the whole thing and without doing good on Sunday and even with all the success we have been fortunate to have in the Truck Series and in the Nationwide Series in the ownership side, the driver on Sunday is what drives it all."
GIVEN THE EXAMPLE OF KASEY DROPPING OUTSIDE OF THE CHASE BY SIXTY POINTS AT BRISTOL, THERE ARE A LOT OF GUYS LIKE KYLE (BUSCH) FARTHER BACK THAN THAT NOW, HOW ARE YOU DIFFERENT? "I just think the No. 48 is the car to beat. I don't think you can count anybody out, and obviously Kyle has had a good year and they can rebound and win races. They have proven that they can do that but the momentum is what the Chase is all about."
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT RICKY CARMICHAEL AND YOUR EFFORTS THERE? "Yeah, Ricky has obviously done a great job in the Camping World East Series and we are going to put him in the ARCA race at Talladega this year and hopefully put him in a third truck next year with Ron (Hornaday) and Jack (Sprague). It's exciting and amazing the amount of knowledge that he already has as far as testing and racing ability. Obviously we have to get him used to the cars and the things that happen there, but you don't have to teach him the mental side of it or the drive. You don't have to sit him down and say 'hey this is what you need to do off the race track, he already knows all that stuff. He's a really easy guy to get along with and that drive and determination is hard to find."
DID YOU KNOW OF HIM (RICKY CARMICHAEL) BEFORE AND JUST SNATCH HIM UP OR DID YOU JUST FIND OUT ABOUT HIM? "We've just been watching him and Clint (Bowyer) grew up with him and we've been keeping track of him since he's been going through the Late Model stuff and that's how I got to meet him. I just called him up and said, 'hey are you interested in trying to make something happen and do you think you can do it?', and everything kind of went from there. So hopefully we can put the sponsorship together and make something happen."
IF YOU GET BEHIND EARLY ITS HARD TO COME BACK, SO HOW IMPORTANT ARE THESE FIRST COUPLE OF RACES? "I have been on both sides of it. We have won the first race and run good here and got halfway through the Chase and didn't make it happen. We've run bad and got to the halfway point of the Chase and ran good the rest of the year so I have been involved in Chases where guys have wrecked the first couple of weeks and Jimmie (Johnson) came back and won and then Tony went through the whole Chase and didn't win a race but won the championship. It all depends on the complexion of the Chase and how it all builds up and you just race as hard as you can. You guys always want to make a big story out of it, but you get in the car and you drive as hard as you can and you get the best finish that you can every week regardless of whether it's the Chase or not the Chase."
DOES KANSAS HAVE ANY PARTICULAR QUIRKS THAT MAKE IT DIFFERENT THAN CHICAGOLAND OR ARE THEY BASICALLY THE SAME? "Kansas is a little bit different. I know on paper they are supposed to be the same but the corners are a little bit sharper, and the exits of the corners are a little bit sharper. Coming off turn for it seems like the wall comes in on you as you come off the corner. It's definitely a little bit different than Chicago."
-credit: gm racing