Dover II: Kevin Harvick preview

KEVIN HARVICK Momentum building for Harvick in September HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (September 20, 2005) -- After a frustrating month in August, in which GM Goodwrench driver Kevin Harvick failed to post a top-15 finish, it seems as if things...

KEVIN HARVICK
Momentum building for Harvick in September

HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (September 20, 2005) -- After a frustrating month in August, in which GM Goodwrench driver Kevin Harvick failed to post a top-15 finish, it seems as if things have turned around for the Bakersfield, Calif., native in September. The driver of the No. 29 Chevrolet Monte Carlo notched his second straight top-10 finish last Sunday at New Hampshire International Speedway. Add to that a 14th place effort at California Speedway on Labor Day weekend and the GM Goodwrench team is top-15 perfect for the late summer month.

All this momentum would have been nice one month earlier, as Harvick would have certainly made the Chase for the Championship. But given the speculation and rumors of the teams demise, the performance streak is a welcome sight and one that the Richard Childress Racing owned team hopes to continue.

"We have had some good runs lately, but we can still improve and winning is the goal," said Harvick. "I'm not about to give up just because we are not part of (Chase for the Championship). NASCAR racing wasn't built on the Chase. It was built on racing every race as hard as you can for the win. That's what this GM Goodwrench team is trying to do."

But Dover International Speedway has been a fickle "monster" to Harvick over his five year NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series career. Harvick has four top-10 finishes in nine starts. On the flip side, he also has four finishes of 25th of worse. That's why they call it the Monster Mile.

"Dover is a tough track to repeat success on," Harvick said. "It's so fast. Just the fact that the track is concrete, and you are constantly being thrown towards the wall coming out of the corners, makes this a difficult track for everyone. You have to be aware of everything going on, because things happen quickly and sometimes there's just nowhere to go."

Points of Interest...

* Chase for the Banquet...Harvick's top-10 finish at New Hampshire moved him up one position to 13th in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series point's standings. He trails 11th place Jamie McMurray by just 23 points. The driver that finishes 11th receives a $1,000,000 bonus and a seat at the NASCAR banquet in New York City.

* What Ya' Haulin'...The GM Goodwrench transporter will unload chassis No.137 at Dover International Speedway. This has become the team's favorite car. It has never finished outside of the top-20, including a recent 14th place finish at California Speedway. The chassis was also raced at Indianapolis (Ind.) Motor Speedway (19th). Harvick finished eighth and sixth respectfully with the car at Pocono (Pa.). The GM Goodwrench team also had good runs with No. 137 at Lowe's Motor Speedway in the Coca-Cola 600 (14th) and at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway (14th).

* Last Spring's MBNA 400... After qualifying seventh, Harvick fought an ill-handling car all day long. Despite adjustments, the No. 29 would not stay on the bottom and soon Harvick was forced to hang on as the GM Goodwrench Chevy seemed to have no grip. Harvick spent the day just keeping the car off the wall. He lost four laps to the leaders and finished the event in 25th position.

* TV and Radio... Start time for Sunday's MBNA 400 is scheduled for 1:10 p.m. EDT. TV coverage of the 400-lap event on TNT starts at 12:30 p.m., with radio coverage provided by Barney Hall and Joe Moore on MRN Radio. Remember times and dates of the race may change, so check your local listings.

No. 29 GM Goodwrench driver Kevin Harvick on Dover...

What's the key to conquering Dover?

"The biggest thing is just getting into a rhythm and getting comfortable in the car. It's probably one of the top-two places that you feel the speed of the racetrack in the seat because it crams you down in it so much. You have to unload pretty close and have a good first few laps, then go from there."

What makes it so fast? "Well, it's just a big Bristol, really. You carry so much speed through the corners, and the exits off the corners are really narrow. That's usually how you can screw up there. You come off the corner and hit the right side of the car against the wall because as you come out of the corner, you're going uphill. The momentum throws you out of the corner towards the wall."

No. 29 GM Goodwrench crew chief Todd Berrier on Dover...

What's the difference between racing on concrete vs. pavement?

"The way it changes with the weather is probably the biggest difference. Pavement tends to change more as the weather changes, where concrete will stay more consistent. They are both hard on tires, but you can still get good grip from concrete just like the pavement. They grounded the concrete at Dover two or so years ago to try and make it smoother. It's a lot smoother than it used to be. There's a little inconsistency on the racetrack, but most won't notice it."

-rcr-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Kevin Harvick , Jamie McMurray
Teams Richard Childress Racing