KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 SHELL-PENNZOIL IMPALA SS, met with members of the media at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and discussed winning at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, expectations of Sunday's race with the new generation race car, Randy Moss joining...
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 SHELL-PENNZOIL IMPALA SS, met with members of the media at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and discussed winning at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, expectations of Sunday's race with the new generation race car, Randy Moss joining truck series as an owner, economic affect on team ownership and other subjects.
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS COMING BACK TO INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY AFTER HAVING WON HERE? "Anytime you can win somewhere you are happy, but to win here is obviously a little bit different than a lot of other places that we go to. This is kind of our mid-year target I guess you could say as far as, which race you shoot for in the middle of the year. This is a big race for everybody, a lot of attention, time and effort put in towards everything that goes in to it."
DO YOU COLLECT THE DIECAST CARS MADE OF YOUR RACE CARS? "Yes, actually I have every car that they have ever made. We have a small display case in the office that we display all the cars in, so die casts are a big part of sport. I have a few cars of some other guys but for most part they are just the cars we have run."
HOW MUCH DIFFERENT DO YOU THINK THE NEW GENERATION RACE CARS ARE GOING TO RACE HERE AT IMS? "That is a good question; I guess we will find out when we race. I don't think anyone really has that answer until we actually get on the race track and see what the car is going to be like. I think all of those questions will be answered on Sunday. Most everything we did in the past is for sure, pretty much useless information. We know the tires are going to wear out when practice starts here. Other than that, just the characteristics of the race track, more than anything that we can use. Most everything on the cars is pretty much not useful from what we have done in the past."
WHAT WOULD ANOTHER WIN AT THE BRICKYARD MEAN FOR YOU? "Any time you can win a race it is a good thing, winning at Daytona and the Brickyard are a little bit different than most places that you go to. A lot of history and a lot of heritage of the Indy 500 and past Brickyard 400 here. Growing up and wanting to race Indy cars, this is a place that I always wanted to race and to be able to win here is something that personally pretty special. In the middle of the year, it is what the teams focus on putting your latest and greatest engines and cars on the race track as you come to Indy."
DO YOU HAVE TO PLAY IT SAFER NOW BEING CLOSER TO THE START OF THE CHASE? "You just go out and race as hard as you can, wherever it falls is where it falls and that is how it was meant to be."
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS OF RANDY MOSS BECOMING AN OWNER IN THE TRUCK SERIES? "I think it is going to be good for the Truck Series. Anytime you can bring somebody outside the realm of our sport and a sports figure of his stature is going to be good for the Truck Series and good for the sport in general. It will branch out to a different type of owner. It seems like he wants to have fun and be part of the race team and do what it takes to fit in so I think as that deal progresses, it is going to be even better than it is now."
AS A TEAM OWNER, WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE HIM? "There are going to be a lot of times that it is not very much fun. As you go from a weekly basis, there are a lot of times when you aren't competitive and things are not what they are cracked up to be. Take your time and take it as it comes."
HOW IMPORTANT IS STARTING POSITION HERE AT INDY? "The better you start makes it better, but I don't think it is the end of the world. I think track position is something you definitely want to pay attention to here but, I don't think it is going to be something where you can't win the race from the back, so there are a lot of things you can do to make up ground. We have started in the front and started in the back here and most of the time we have been able to make that ground up. It definitely makes it a lot easier if you can qualify good. That is definitely what you want to focus on tomorrow."
AS AN OWNER, HOW ARE THE CURRENT ECONOMIC TIMES IMPACTING YOUR ORGANIZATION? "From our standpoint, we have been looking at our budget for a couple of years to try to work more efficiently and do things as efficiently as possible. As a business owner, it isn't something you really wouldn't want to pay attention to; I know a lot of people are going to get caught by this as it creeps up on them. All of a sudden it is going to be a panic. We have tried to get creative with the way we market our teams and come up with different types of packages to attract sponsors. Our guys have done a good job at that, so right now, everything is good on that front, but you have to continuously reevaluate it as you go forward.
"I think is it different in the Truck Series and the Nationwide Series. We have made a lot of investments in our company, a couple million dollar investment in our company this year at KHI in equipment. I guess it all depends on the owner and how much he is really in to it and understands about it. To me that is the biggest thing, is understanding the equipment that you purchase to know how to maximize the gain from that piece of equipment to make it useful. I guess a lot of it is understanding what comes with it."
CAN TEAMS SURVIVE WITH MINIMAL SUPPORT OR NO SPONSORS? "We have survived with minimal support. We have run our Truck teams with no sponsors, run it bare bones. Luckily we have a happy medium with the top end of it and the bottom end of it and what takes to run it and what you can or can't do to still be competitive."
DO YOU AGREE WITH ALL THAT HAS BEEN WRITTEN AND SAID ABOUT THE RACING NOT BEING AS EXCITING AS IN THE PAST WITH THIS NEW CAR AND WON'T ALLOW FOR ANY SIDE-BY-SIDE RACING HERE AT IMS? "That is why I don't read anything you guys write or talk about. (LAUGHS) I try not to pay attention to people who don't necessarily understand how our sport works. I think the races have been as good as races as we have had in a long time at Daytona, Chicago. I think in the garage, everybody is getting a better handle on the car. I don't there has ever been any side-by-side racing here. The opinions come from a lot of people who really don't understand the sport. Unfortunately, some of our amateur fans that haven't attended a lot of races, have to the read that stuff and get kind of a false opinion of what they should expect when they come to this particular race track. This track promotes single-file racing, not necessarily this car. You can take an Indy car, you can take a stock car and you are not going to run side-by-side. If you want to blame something for single file racing, I would blame it on the track and not the car."
IS THE SPEED YOU CARRY IN TO A CORNER HERE THE KEY TO BEING FAST? "Absolutely. The biggest key is getting down that long straightaway and carrying as much speed as you can up off of turns two and four. Turn four to me is more of a challenge than two. It seems like you run out of space a lot quicker off of four than you do off of two. You have to get you car turning and be able to stay wide-open up off the corner to carry as much momentum as you can."
HAS ROADRACING GOTTEN MORE DIFFICULT AND MORE OF A CONTACT SPORT RECENTLY? "It seems like roadracing has become that way. Your cars come back looking like they have been at a short track. With the braking and things the way they are, you have to take some chances here and there to make some things happen."
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE ENGINE RULE CHANGE MADE IN NATIONWIDE SERIES? "When is the Truck Series rule coming? (LAUGHS) If you look at most of the engine stuff that they have from all the other types of race tracks, I think, it is pretty evident that the No. 18 was on the chip and doing a lot of things after the race that probably affected those chassis dyno numbers and the No. 20 car went high right off the bat so I think they did the right thing."
-credit: gm racing