Budweiser Racing Team Notes of Interest
· Following the first off weekend of the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, Kevin Harvick and the No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet team will compete in the Jeff Byrd 500 presented by Food City on Sunday at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway.
· In 20 starts at the short track, Harvick has earned one win (March 2005), nine top fives and 11 top-10 finishes. In addition, the Bakersfield, Calif., native has completed 97.8 percent (9,791 of 10,013) total laps and has led a total of 390 laps. Harvick has scored an average starting position of 18.5 and an average finishing position of 12.3 at Bristol.
· Harvick will pilot chassis No. 304 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable this weekend at Bristol. He raced this car four times in 2010 and collected three top-10 finishes, including third at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway (5/1), fifth at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (6/27) and ninth at Richmond International Raceway (9/11).
· The driver of the Budweiser Chevrolet will pull double duty this weekend as he steps behind the wheel of the No. 33 Rheem Chevrolet NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) entry for Kevin Harvick Inc. in Saturday’s Scotts EZ Seed 300. The race is scheduled to air on ESPN at 2 p.m. EDT/3 p.m. CDT. PRN and Sirius NASCAR Radio will provide the radio broadcast.
· In 20 NNS races at Bristol, Harvick has visited Victory Lane five times, and scored his most recent win there on March 21, 2009. The two-time series champion has also earned two pole awards, 13 top fives and 16 top-10 finishes. Harvick’s average finishing position is 7.5 at Bristol.
· This week in Budweiser Racing history: In 1984, Darrell Waltrip took home the win in the Valleydale 500 at Bristol, driving the No. 11 Budweiser Chevrolet for Junior Johnson. He started the race from third position, led 205 laps and took the checkered flag two seconds ahead of Terry Labonte, who finished second.
Kevin Harvick discusses racing at Bristol:
What do you think of Bristol being the first short track race of the year? “Well technically, we consider it the second because we consider Phoenix a short track. I think Bristol is the first full-contact, short track race that we’re going to go to. It’s obviously a lot different complexion than it used to be. You can race all over the race track, and you have to really work on your car to get it to turn sooner into the corner. You never know whether you’re going to end up at the top or the bottom. It’s become an interesting track.”
At Bristol, we never know what kind of weather we’re going to get. Does that track change with the weather? “I think with the concrete surface it’s a lot more consistent than a lot of the other race tracks. It allows you to not have to worry about the inconsistency with the weather. I think it’s a lot more consistent than a lot of places that we go to.”
Talk a little bit about racing at Bristol: “Well you get the side-by-side (racing) and you get the bump and run, but you have to keep the fenders on at Bristol now. You have long stretches of green-flag runs. I can remember we ran 100 or 150 laps straight the last time we were there, so it’s different than it used to be.
“Bristol’s a lot better than it used to be. There’s a lot of room and a lot of long green-flag runs. It’s a much easier track to drive on than it used to be. You have to take care of your car a lot more than you used to, to be able to keep up. It’s a fun place to race. You’ll see when you get there if it’s high or low as far as the groove goes. You have a lot of options as a driver.”