KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 SHELL-PENNZOIL IMPALA SS, met with members of the media at California Speedway and discussed the Shell Eco Marathon members attending; differences in Nationwide cars and Sprint Cup cars, new race track at Bakersfield, growth...
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 SHELL-PENNZOIL IMPALA SS, met with members of the media at California Speedway and discussed the Shell Eco Marathon members attending; differences in Nationwide cars and Sprint Cup cars, new race track at Bakersfield, growth of Kevin Harvick, Inc. and other topics.
ON WEATHER AFFECTING PLANS AND OUTLOOK FOR SUNDAY'S RACE: "I don't think it has affected a whole lot due to the fact that we were able to come out here and test. That is going to speed the process up here. With the Nationwide cars, obviously it is going to through a kink in everything because nobody really has a clue where we need to be with those cars. Those cars are a lot different than what they were last year with the engine package.
"We are excited to have our folks from the Shell Eco Marathon project here this weekend. These guys went almost 2,000 miles on a gallon of gas. We are excited that they are here with us today and are going to be back here in April with the car again. Congratulations on that. That is quite an accomplishment. I wish I could go that far on a tank of gas."
ON FRUSTRATION OF FINISH IN DAYTONA 500: "I think leading up to Sunday, we had a really good car. Obviously we had something that wasn't right in the race. When you go in to the race thinking you are going to have one thing and you go a different direction, you aren't happy with it. We have experienced winning that race before and we aren't happy finishing 14th."
ON WHAT WAS WRONG WITH THE CAR: "I just drive, I don't work on the cars."
ON EXPECTATIONS AT CALIFORNIA SPEEDWAY IN THE NATIONWIDE SERIES RACE: "I think we definitely have the experience when it comes to this particular race track. All of us are going to be at a little bit of a disadvantage tomorrow due to the fact that we don't know where we need to be with the car. We will probably adjust a little bit fast than some of the other guys that are new. I think that is what the Nationwide Series is for is to give you a measuring stick of where you need to be to get to the next level. All of us in the Cup Series have been at that point as well. That is just part of the nature of the sport, you could say, to really get the experience and try to get your car where it needs to be as quick as you can.
"I don't think being in Saturday's race helps us for Sunday, not anymore with as much difference there is in the cars. At a lot of race tracks, the Cup Series runs different tires than the Nationwide Series does. There is going to be quite a bit of a difference in the two cars, so don't if you don't like racing that much, a lot of guys won't wind up racing on Saturday anymore.
ON A MESSAGE TO MEMBERS OF THE UNITED STATES MILITARY: "Thanks to them for everything they do for us to let us show up on the weekends like this every week to go out to do what we love to do. They give us freedom to do that and we support them in everything we do."
ON WHAT THE DIFFERENCES ARE BETWEEN THE TWO CARS THIS SEASON: "The car has a lot of different characteristics. You could start at square one and work your way through it. We could sit here for a long time and talk about the differences because it is all different. The main thing is the safety aspects of the car are a lot better. That is where NASCAR started was to make the safety of the car better. The handling and everything else will come with it. We have a lot less travel in the front of the cars with the splitter in the front, that is the main thing we have been fighting is just to get the handling package that we need under this particular car."
ON SUCCESS AT PHOENIX: "That is a place that I grew up racing, Phoenix International Raceway. It is fun to go there, the track hasn't changed a whole lot, and actually it hasn't changed any other than the tunnel that they added with the asphalt above it. It is a fun place to go to just to see family and friends. We have a lot of laughs around that particular race track, it is fun to go back there and race.
"I think our flat track stuff has always been pretty good. We are pretty fortunate to have had some success at Phoenix and Richmond, Loudon and those types of places. We really enjoy going to those flatter race tracks."
ON NEW TRACK IN BAKERSFIELD: "I am very involved in the race track in Bakersfield. We participate in the weekly calls that go on with the track; they are working hard to get the race track done. It would be great to see the NASCAR Truck Series go back to Bakersfield where they started racing. It is going to be a great facility. We have tried to stay very involved in it. Last year we had our first fundraiser for the high school racing series there. That is going to be great. All 20 high schools are going to participate in the series. I know that GM donated all the cars to them. They gave them to all the schools. It is fun to see the kids come out and participate in the series and really watch them all have fun with it. I am just glad that the whole county and school district is participating in it. It is going to be fun to watch. Some of our sponsors will be involved in the track as well. It has been well supported so far and I think it will continue to be supported."
ON GROWTH OF KEVIN HARVICK, INC. AND ABILITY TO GET SPONSORS FOR THE TRUCK AND NATIONWIDE SERIES TEAMS: "Well, most CEOs are over 50 years old, so we are in good shape with our drivers, they can relate to them. I was just kidding, I saw Hornaday (Ron, drives the No. 33 Camping World Silverado for KHI) sitting in the back, so I figured I would crack on him there. (LAUGHS)
"We've been very fortunate on the sponsorship side of it to have the right scenarios. Camping World has been very supportive of the trucks and the cars. Road Loans has been on board for a couple of years. We take a different approach to it in coming up with sponsors. We have obviously been fortunate in the truck series to win races and a championship. The Nationwide car has had Stewart (Tony) in it over the past couple of years, which has helped. That is one thing that we have been pretty fortunate with. We work hard to keep them happy and try to come up with unique programs and try to get creative, not to just think in that box that everyone has thought in for the last 10 years but to go out and really give them something that you can really show them the value, instead of just taking their money and saying thanks and we will see you next week. That doesn't work anymore. You have to go out and show them that the money that they are spending has some value. Whether it is business-to-business relationships or whether it is pure airtime on TV and radio, or whatever it may be. If you go out and show them that it is working, then they are willing to participate. We have gotten pretty creative."
ON HIS DECISION TO DRIVE HIS OWN KHI NATIONWIDE CAR: "I will be honest with you, I just got bored. I know it is all about winning races, but Saturday is something that I don't have to do, but I was bored. I know that sounds funny but I really wanted the challenge of driving my own car. If we can succeed, I know how rewarding it was with the truck program to get it to the point with Ron (Hornaday). To me that was as rewarding as anything I have ever done. So that is what I wanted to do with the car. The ultimate goal is to win the Cup championship. The Saturday is something that I enjoy, well I thought I did, well; I think I do (LAUGHS). It is something I enjoy to put all of those pieces together and the people together with the challenges of getting a sponsor. Participating in the sport. I like being around the cars, I like being around the people and I like what I do. I enjoyed winning races and championships with Richard (Childress), he is probably the greatest boss in this sport that you could drive for. Saturday wasn't something that I necessarily had to do and just needed to do something different."
-credit: gm racing