Las Vegas: Kevin Harvick preview

KEVIN HARVICK Despite Rumors Harvick Needs a Strong Run in Las Vegas Huntersville, N.C. (March 7, 2006) -- Despite all the whirlwind rumors that are flying around regarding GM Goodwrench driver Kevin Harvick's future at Richard...

KEVIN HARVICK
Despite Rumors Harvick Needs a Strong Run in Las Vegas

Huntersville, N.C. (March 7, 2006) -- Despite all the whirlwind rumors that are flying around regarding GM Goodwrench driver Kevin Harvick's future at Richard Childress Racing, the Bakersfield Calif., native heads to Las Vegas Motor Speedway this weekend in need of a strong run to prove that RCR is on their way to reclaiming their elite status with their GM Goodwrench team.

The timetable has been set for April for Harvick and Richard Childress to regroup and evaluate the direction of their program. Hopefully, the No. 29 GM Goodwrench team can put it all together this weekend during Sunday's running of the UAW-Daimlyer Chrysler 400 to let everyone know they have done their homework and are headed back to their winning ways.

"We've kind of agreed to sit down in April and evaluate where things are," said Harvick. "I'm not going to rush into things and do things I don't want to do. I think right now we are in the same frame of mind about our goals, and our goals are to go out and get the season going on a good note and make the Chase. All the rest of it, the paper stuff, is something that's not high on the list right now."

Harvick left California Speedway two weekends ago disappointed in their team's 29th place finish and now heads to the first intermediate track of the year. The downforce tracks, the 1.5-mile ovals specifically, were where the No. 29 team struggled in 2005, particularly in the season's latter half. Harvick said those type of tracks are still a concern, but he expects the team to be much better.

"I think when we get to Atlanta we'll see that we've made some improvements," added Harvick.

Points of Interest...

* Runnin It...Team GM Goodwrench will race chassis No. 154. This chassis only has one race on it which was the Coca-Cola 600 last year at Lowe's Motor Speedway. They also tested this chassis this year at the January test session at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

* Track Stat...In five starts at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Harvick has one top-five and two top-10 finishes.

* Laps Led/Laps Complete...Harvick has completed 1332 of 1335 laps in five starts which is 99.8%. Of those 1332 laps completed, he has led 43 of them.

* Avg. Start/ Avg. Finish...Harvick's average starting position is 25.6 with an average finishing position of 14.4. His best starting position came in 2004 where he started 16th and his best finishing position came last year where he finished fifth.

* "Rush Hour"... A new, high energy 30 second GM Goodwrench motorsports TV commercial debuted during the Daytona 500. The ad called "Rush Hour", applies the energy of racing to the morning commute. It shows Kevin Harvick in a typical rush hour situation daydreaming of being in his race car. His ultimate objective is to find the expertise of Mr. Goodwrench ...his own personal pit crew...at his GM dealership. The spot will continue to run throughout the year along with being integrated into general market programming such as; ESPN, CMT, MSNBC, Discovery Channel, TLC, Sci-Fi, HGTV and more. If you haven't seen the commercial, you can view it by going to Goodwrench.com.

* GM Goodwrench Racing Micro-site... Goodwrench.com has a whole new look. Part of the new design is a dynamic racing micro-site. The micro-site engages race fans into the world of the No. 29 GM Goodwrench race team. The design illustrates the vitality of racing and offers up a lot of new content for our loyal fans. Site enhancements like audio and text recaps of each race, car stats, along with photos highlighting the weekly races are jsut a few of the features. You can also order Kevin Harvick merchandise by just a click and get to know more about Kevin Harvick and our "personal pit crew." We'll continue to add more excitement as the racing season continues. Check it out at Goodwrench.com/racing

* A New Partnership...The 2006 NASCAR season has a new look as Reese's joins forces with GM Goodwrench to sponsor the No. 29 team in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series. With the success that both of the sponsors have enjoyed over the years, one could only imagine what the No. 29 GM Goodwrench/Reese's Chevrolet has in store for 2006. GM Goodwrench will hold the primary paint scheme for 24 races and Reese's will run the remaining 13 races.

* Start time... On Sunday March 12th, the running of the UAW-Daimler Chrysler 400 is set to begin at 4:00 p.m. EST on FOX. If you can't catch the race on TV, it can be heard on your local PRN Radio affiliate and XM Satellite Radio -- Channel 144 starting at the same time. Remember to check your local listings as dates and times of the race may change.

No. 29 GM Goodwrench driver Kevin Harvick on Las Vegas Motor Speedway...

How did the car handle over the two-day test you participated in before the season started?

"We unloaded pretty well, but the track changed a lot from the time we got here until the time we ended. Both days were pretty good. We tried a lot of different stuff. The second afternoon we went through a lot of random things, motor stuff, just trying to see if we could hit on something. We don't run fast for three or four laps, but the fall off is not a whole lot, so that is kind of what you look for here. You want to be consistent through a run and not fast on one side or the other."

Since the test, how do you feel about your team's intermediate program heading into the 2006 season?

"I don't think this place is a fair test. I don't think we'll be able to judge until we get to places like Texas and Atlanta. Those are the places we had a little bit of trouble last year and I think those will tell where we are. We always seem to run good here, California, and Daytona so the mile-and-a-half stuff we will just have to wait and see. This place is a little bit hard to test at because it is so much flatter."

Do you still feel that you are seeing improvements and that RCR is headed back to the top?

"It is hard to tell. Everybody is working hard, but until we get in a race and really see where everything shakes out at 400 to 500 miles at a time, it's hard to tell. It's not just one part, we have to hit on all cylinders to make it happen. Everything looks good so far, so we will just have to wait and see."

How do you feel about Las Vegas Motor Speedway getting reconfigured?

"Las Vegas is one of those places where I grew up racing. I had a lot of fun there. The track is kind of worn out and you can move around the racetrack a lot and do a lot of different things. It's too bad they are going to re-pave it and screw it up for four or five more years, but I always enjoy it there and we always seem to run good."

-rcr-

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Kevin Harvick
Teams Richard Childress Racing