HARVICK LEADS THE WAY IN QUALFIYING FOR TEAM CHEVY AT KANSAS SPEEDWAY
KANSAS CITY, KS - April 21, 2011 - Kevin Harvick led the way for Team Chevy in today’s NASCAR Sprint Cup qualifying session at Kansas Speedway by putting his No. 29 Rheem Chevrolet on the outside front row with a time of 30.726 seconds and 175.747 mph to start 2nd in Sunday’s STP 400.
Seven of the top 15 starters are members of the Bowtie Brigade! Dale Earnhardt Jr., No. 88 Diet Mountain Dew Chevrolet rolls off 7th, Kasey Kahne in the No. 5 Farmers Insurance Chevy starts 9th, Jeff Burton, No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet will start 12th, Ryan Newman, No. 39 Haas Automation Chevrolet qualified 13th, Kurt Busch, No. 51 Phoenix Construction Services Inc. Chevy qualified 14th, and Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowes’ Chevy will start 15th.
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 RHEEM CHEVROLET – QUALIFIED SECOND
HOW WAS YOUR QUALIFYING RUN OUT THERE TODAY? “We struggled a little bit in practice to get our car to do what we needed to in qualifying trim yesterday. The guys did a great job getting our Rheem Chevrolet where it needed to be grip wise today. All in all I probably got a little excited getting into turn three and over drove the car a little bit. That probably, in hindsight cost us the pole. All in all it’s been a great year qualifying wise for us so far. The cars have been fast every week. As soon as we put together the whole weekend without me making a mistake or things not going exactly right. I think everything is going to come together nicely. I’m pretty happy with the way everything has gone so far this year.”
HAS QUALIFYING BEEN A POINT OF EMPHASIS THIS YEAR FOR YOUR TEAM? “Well it’s been a lot better. I think our worst qualifying so far; knock on wood, has been 15th. They put a lot of effort into working on the balance, working on the weight of the cars and the things it takes to qualify well. We knew in the past that one of our biggest weaknesses was qualifying. Even on the days when our car is not running exactly right and we qualify well it seems like it makes your day a lot easier. Hopefully, we can keep it up.”
YOU HAVE RUN WELL AT KANSAS SPEEDWAY BUT HAVE NOT CAPTURED A WIN. CAN THIS BE THE YEAR? CERTAINLY YOUR QUALIFYING EFFORT TODAY PUTS YOU IN A POSITION TO FINALLY WIN ONE HERE? “We can win anywhere. We have proved that in the past. It’s just a matter of putting it all together and making the right pit calls and making the right adjustments. Tonight or in the morning to adjust to the weather and what we think the race track is going to do. It’s not a matter of whether we can or can’t win here. We can win anywhere on any style race track at any time it’s just not making any mistakes and putting that whole day together.”
DRIVER QUALIFYING NOTES & QUOTES:
DALE EARNHARDT JR., NO. 88 DIET MOUNTAIN DEW/NATIONAL GUARD CHEVROLET - QUALIFIED 7th:
ON HIS LAP “It was a good lap. We weren’t very good in practice so we made a lot of changes to the car and the car drove really, really good in our qualifying run. So that was a personal victory for the team, I think.
ARE YOU FEELING POSITIVE ABOUT TOMORROW’S RACE? “Well we were really happy with our race trim; but when we went into qualifying trim, we were six to seven tenths off. Just terrible. And so we borrowed a lot of notes from Jimmie (Johnson) and the No. 48 team and put together a set-up that got us a great run.”
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S CHEVROLET – QUALIFIED 15th:
WERE YOU PRETTY EXCITED ABOUT YOUR SAVE? “Yeah, my commitment level was a little higher than my grip level in (Turns) 1 and 2 that first time through (laughs). I just want to get a pole bad and I know we have a race car that’s plenty capable of it. I think going as fast as we did on our second lap showed the type of car we had. Just coming out cold turkey I went in there over 100 percent. I know now. I wish I had known that before I turned off into Turn 1. But it was just an eventful (Turns) 1 and 2 and I got an okay lap. Hopefully it holds up in the top 15 or something. But we know we’ve got an awesome race car. I just hope we didn’t hurt ourselves too bad with that (qualifying effort).”
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 RHEEM CHEVROLET – QUALIFIED 2ND
TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR LAP: “These guys have done a great job in qualifying this year on our Rheem Chevrolet. We were off yesterday in practice. We sit down, like we do every week now, and look at data and talk about things on the car that we think we need to do better. They made some great adjustments. I thought I over drove it a little bit down there (turn three) but it pushed up a little bit and I was able to get back in the gas and stay in it. That’s the key.”
KASEY KAHNE, NO. 5 FARMERS INSURANCE CHEVROLET – QUALIFIED 9TH
HOW WAS YOUR LAP? “The car actually felt pretty good. I tried running a little higher in turns one and two to see if that would help and it didn’t work. I think I would have went faster if I would have ran the line that everybody else was running through one and two we would have been a good bit better. I just thought I’d try.”
JEFF BURTON, NO. 31 CATERPILLAR CHEVROLET – QUALIFIED 12TH
HOW WAS YOUR LAP? “It was okay. We struggled a little bit yesterday. I didn’t put a whole lot of effort into our qualifying trim because we have struggled on these race tracks. We want to spend as much time in race trim as we could. I think that is going to end up okay. Obviously, it’s not going to be great, but I don’t think we are going to have a big hole to dig out of with that.”
RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 HAAS AUTOMATION CHEVROLET – QUALIFIED 13TH
TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR LAP: “It was actually really loose. I think our Hass Automation Chevrolet is pretty good. We didn’t have the ideal balance there in qualifying trim. It was a fairly decent lap. We will switch it back over in the race.”
KURT BUSCH, NO. 51 PHOENIX CONSTRUCTION SERVICES INC. CHEVROLET – QUALIFIED 14TH
“We had a little bobble off of Turn 2 and that hurt our speed just a little bit. We got through Turns 3 and 4 really good, so we’ll take 14th. I think we’ve got a good No. 51 Chevrolet for tomorrow and coming off our good run last week at Texas, I’m looking forward to it.”