Martinsville: Kevin Harvick preview

Harvick Carrying Short-Track Momentum into Martinsville HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (March 28, 2006) -- GM Goodwrench driver Kevin Harvick is coming off a strong second place run at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway and hopes to be able to carry over...

Harvick Carrying Short-Track Momentum into Martinsville

HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (March 28, 2006) -- GM Goodwrench driver Kevin Harvick is coming off a strong second place run at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway and hopes to be able to carry over some short-track momentum to another half-mile track this weekend at Martinsville Speedway for Sunday's running of the Direct TV 500. Harvick climbed 10 positions in the point standings last weekend and now sits in the 13th spot heading into Martinsville, Va. However, the seeming advantage of running short-track events back-to-back isn't necessarily the case thanks to the two tracks' individuality.

Martinsville Speedway and Bristol Motor Speedway are the shortest venues on the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup circuit, but Martinsville's .526-mile and Bristol's .533-mile distances are one of the few characteristics the two tracks share. Although the short-track excitement is the same, teams and drivers must adjust to different set-ups and driving challenges this week.

Last week it was Bristol's high-banked concrete surface with 36-degree turns. This week it is Martinsville's tight, paper-clip-shaped 12-degree turns and flatter surface. And because of the 800 feet straight-aways and tight turns, brakes can be a team's biggest concern at Martinsville Speedway. Drivers are always on the brakes which puts the pressure on crews to make sure their braking system can weather 500 laps of heat.

"Martinsville is one of those tracks where you can be good all day long and have something go wrong at the end," said Harvick. "You have to make the car roll through the tight corners and keeping the brakes on the car the entire race is very important. Avoiding wrecks is another key to a successful day at Martinsville. It's a short-track and things happen in a hurry. If we can stay out of trouble, I think we have as good a chance as anyone."

Points of Interest...

* Runnin It...Team GM Goodwrench will race chassis, No. 120, this weekend at Martinsville Speedway. They ran this chassis eight times last year. Bristol spring race (1st), Phoenix spring race (19th), Richmond spring race (5th), Dover spring race (25th), Richmond fall race (10th), New Hampshire fall race (10th), Martinsville fall race (15th), and the Phoenix fall race (23rd).

* Chase for the NEXTEL Cup...Harvick climbed 10 spots in the point standings after last weeks strong second place run at Bristol Motor Speedway. He went from 23rd to 13th in points and now sits 229 markers out of the lead. There was only one other driver to gain more spots in the standings than Harvick after last weekend's race at Bristol Motor Speedway. Kurt Busch jumped 11 positions after he took the checkered flag ahead of Harvick during the Food City 500.

* Track Stat...Harvick has nine starts at Martinsville Speedway. Of those nine starts, he has compiled a record of two top-10 finishes and winnings totaling $843,066. His best two finishes have both come in the fall races at Martinsville Speedway. Harvick finished seventh in 2003 and eighth in 2004.

* Laps Led/Laps Complete...Harvick has completed 4386 of 4500 laps (97.5%) in nine starts at Martinsville Speedway. Of those 4386 laps complete, he has led 147 of them.

* Avg. Start/ Avg. Finish...Harvick's average starting position at Martinsville Speedway is 17.2 with his best qualifying effort coming in 2003, '04, and '05 where he started fifth. Harvick's average finishing position is 20.4 with his best finish coming in 2003 during the fall race where he finished seventh.

* "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 a few of the features. You can also order Kevin Harvick merchandise 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.

No. 29 GM Goodwrench driver Kevin Harvick on Martinsville Speedway...

Talk a little bit about your spring race at Martinsville last year. You had a great day turn bad. What happened?

"It was a disappointing day for the No. 29 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet. We had one of the cars to beat, but we had a part failure. The clutch went out on us and it wouldn't engage. Once it was fixed, we were as good as anybody."

-rcr

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Kevin Harvick , Kurt Busch