Learning Curves, Seat Time, and a Secret. What's the core part of running well each weekend? Keeping the learning curve on the upswing, every team knows that. This weekend at the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway (Bristol, Tenn.), Kevin...
Learning Curves, Seat Time, and a Secret.
What's the core part of running well each weekend? Keeping the learning curve on the upswing, every team knows that. This weekend at the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway (Bristol, Tenn.), Kevin Harvick and the No. 29 GM Goodwrench team will preserve the momentum they have created.
But Harvick has something else up his sleeve. Something other than a learning curve or momentum. Something he doesn't want to share with the rest of the garage.
Let's start with the bare basics? On a perfect day in the perfect car at Bristol Motor Speedway, which line do you prefer to run?
"I like to run the bottom. I like running the bottom everywhere, but at Bristol it's really important. Other than the fact that you run faster on the bottom, that's the better line because track is concrete. When you run on a place that's concrete, the top line is hard to run and hard to stick to. It's easy to end up in the wall when you stay up there. Bristol wasn't always like that. The track was actually asphalt a long time ago. For the most part, asphalt tracks have two lines that you can run, and run well on. Concrete doesn't always give you that security."
Other than your time in a Busch car, you've gotten some valuable seat time in the Craftsman Truck Series.
"Nothing is a better teacher than seat time. Sometimes it doesn't matter how well you did at a place, what matters is what you learned while you were there. A good driver is always looking to learn something every time they're on a track.
"In '98, I finished twenty-second (in the Craftsman Truck Series). The next year (1999) in trucks, I finished sixth. I learned some stuff and went on to the Busch Series with that knowledge. I'd say it helped. Any seat time can help."
What was it that you learned that made such a difference?
"Mostly I figured out that Bristol is a lot like the track I ran at home (Bakersfield, Calif.). There are a lot of things that make them completely different. But at the same time, there are certain things that are very similar. Ask anyone else about them being alike and they'll say I'm crazy. But, it takes a lot of the same things to get around both of those tracks."
And those things that get you around both of those tracks are... "My little secrets. I think I'm just going to keep them to myself."
Notes: - Harvick took the pole and the win at Bristol Motor Speedway in the Busch Series' August event (8-25-00).