This Week's Shell-Pennzoil Chevrolet at New Hampshire Motor Speedway ... Kevin Harvick will pilot Chassis No. 304 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. This Chevrolet is brand new for 2010, and was used by the No. 29...
This Week's Shell-Pennzoil Chevrolet at New Hampshire Motor Speedway ... Kevin Harvick will pilot Chassis No. 304 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. This Chevrolet is brand new for 2010, and was used by the No. 29 team at Phoenix where Harvick finished 13th, and at Richmond where Harvick finished third.
Follow the Leader ... Fresh off his third-place finish last week at Infineon Raceway, Harvick extended his lead to 140 markers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings. Harvick has one win, six top-five and 11 top-10 finishes in the season's first 16 races. At the same time, Harvick has finished 13th or better in 14 of the season's first 16 events.
Race to the Chase ... With just 10 events remaining before the 2010 NSCS Chase field is set, Harvick enjoys a 459-point lead over 13th. The Bakersfield, Calif., driver leads all competitors with 11 top-10 finishes. Additionally, he has finished on the lead lap in every event but one, with the lone exception being Martinsville. At the paper-clip shaped facility, Harvick led 57 of the first 58 laps, but suffered a brake failure that forced the team to go behind the wall for repairs.
Looking back to New Hampshire last year, you finished 34th, but you have a win there. What are your thoughts heading to Loudon?
"We ran well there last year, but there was a big wreck on a restart with us running seventh. That was the story of the year last year. I enjoy the flat tracks, but the worst we ran this year was at Phoenix, so I hope that's not an indication of what Loudon will be like for us. I think we should go up there and run really well based on how we have run all year. We are going to have weeks where we are a little off, and those are the days when you have to make something happen and get a top-10 finish, and we have been able to do that this year.
Based on your track record and how well you run at flat tracks, do you look at Loudon as a place where you know you will be a factor for the win?
"Usually, but I will be honest, I feel like our 1.5-mile program has been better than our flat-track program this year, for whatever reason. Our flat-track program has not been bad by any means, but I think our chances of winning right now would be on a larger track."
The racing groove has seemed to widen at Loudon. How easy or difficult is it to carve your way through traffic?
"It's difficult because the first few laps of a run are so hard to get a hold of the racetrack in traffic, and your car winds up pushing and sliding and doing all sorts of goofy things on restarts. The unique part of what happens at New Hampshire is if you don't pit for tires, you wind up getting these clumps of rubber on your tires, and the cars just slide around all over the place. You slide around and if you are in the middle of the pack, you wind up getting so far behind that by the time you catch back up, it's time to pit again. Track position is critical at New Hampshire."