Harvick - Watkins Glen Friday media visit

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Team Chevy

KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 BUDWEISER CHEVROLET, met with members of the media at Watkins Glen International and discussed why he has done well at Michigan and Bristol over the years, road courses being wild car races, what his favorite part about Watkins Glen is and much more.

Kevin Harvick, Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet
Kevin Harvick, Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet

Photo by: Ashley Dickerson, ASP Inc.

HOW WAS THAT FIRST PITCH ON WEDNESDAY? “It was okay. I didn’t throw it in the dirt so that was my only objective. I had a lot of fun and go to see Geno and Joe and just kind of hang out for a couple of hours. So, that was fun.”

YOU’VE GOT TO FEEL PRETTY GOOD NOT ONLY WHERE YOU SIT IN THE POINTS BUT RACING HERE THIS WEEKEND AND AFTER HERE WE’VE GOT TWO TRACKS WHERE YOU’VE WON, WHY HAVE YOU DONE SO WELL AT MICHIGAN AS WELL AS BRISTOL OVER THE YEARS? “Well Michigan didn’t used to be that great of a race track for us in the beginning. Over the last few years it’s been decent and we were able to win this race coming up last year. We just have to have our stuff together for the last 10 weeks and that’s really what we’ve been working on for the last several weeks and kind of doing a lot of different things that are kind of out of character for us but we had to try some new things and different things and hopefully over the next few weeks we will get to race what we want to race at the end of the year.”

BRISTOL HAS BEEN A TRACK YOU’VE ENJOYED RACING AT AND ITS REWARDED YOU AS WELL. “It’s a lot different than it used to be. It’s a lot easier, there’s a lot of lanes so it’s definitely not the Bristol of old but still a great race track.”

WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO BE SUCCESSFUL AT MICHIGAN? “There’s a lot of things just because the tires fall off a lot. You still have to carry a lot of speed so you’ve got to have a good handling package along with a good engine package. Just kind of like everywhere else, you’ve got to have the whole package but Michigan gives you a lot of options as a driver because it is so wide and you can move around and make your car work in different spots.”

WHAT IS YOUR GUYS PLANS IN TERMS OF STRATEGY, DO YOU GO FOR BROKE OR DO YOU KIND OF SIT BACK AND LET IT COME TO YOU? “You just do whatever the situation brings toward you. You know that particular race has a lot of history of coming down to fuel mileage so you have to do all you can do before the race gets started. The rest of it as far as the strategy goes, really the only strategy might be if you run four or five laps you might put two tires on but other than that you’re going to put four tires on. It just depends on how it all plays out.”

CLINT SAID THAT THEY WERE BUILDING NEW CARS FOR HIS TEAM BECAUSE HIS CARS WEREN’T GOOD ENOUGH TO COMPETE IN THE CHASE, ARE YOU CONFIDENT THAT YOUR CARS ARE UP TO SNUFF? “We have a few new cars that are being built. We have not raced them yet, but I am fairly confident that we will be ready for the last 10 (races)?”

DO YOU CONSIDER ROAD COURSES AS WILD CARD RACE TRACKS? “You look at the road races and it’s not something we all do on a weekly basis, so it’s definitely a different style of racing. And the road courses have become wild, it seems like they have become really rough and fun to watch and fun to drive. You have some guys that are good at it and some guys that aren’t. If it’s not something that you look forward to or enjoy coming to it can be a long weekend. You can lose a lot of points here.”

ON THE FINAL RESTART, WHERE DO YOU WANT TO BE? “I want to be on the bottom, on the front row, controlling the restart going into turn one but with the double-file restarts I think that’s what has made it so crazy. It just seems like with everybody wanting to get to the bottom and you have to be single-file by turn two here basically so it becomes a little crazy.”

WITH BRAD KESELOWSKI WINNING HIS SECOND HOW DO YOU THINK THAT HAS CHANGED THE WILD CARD TO GET INTO THE CHASE? “I think the whole wild card thing changed when there was so many people winning races. That’s what really changed the game and obviously with Brad winning two I think he’s obviously put himself in a very good position to make the Chase as long as they can stay in the top-20. So it’s made it very interesting and I’m glad I’m not in the middle of it and getting to watch it.”

EXPLAIN WHAT THE SIDE DRAFT FEELS LIKE AT A PLACE LIKE MICHIGAN. “Side draft is just basically you get your car up to about the rear tire and puts all the air off the front of your car on the spoiler of the car next to you and just kind of woes it down. Pretty simple to do and frustrating for the guy beside you or you when you’re trying to get by somebody.”

WHEN YOU TALK ABOUT USING IT AT DAYTONA, IT SEEMS LIKE THE GUY ON THE OUTSIDE HAS A DISADVANTAGE, BUT THAT’S NOT NECESSARILY ALWAYS THE CASE. “No, it just depends on who is going faster. Like in a truck if a guy is going by you, you can pretty much stop him because they have so much more drag. It’s definitely a tool that you can use.”

A LOT OF DRIVERS HAVE COME UP HERE TO THE GLEN OVER THE YEARS, WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART ABOUT THIS TRACK IN PARTICULAR? “The weather. I love the race track. It’s a really fast road course that we go to. It’s totally opposite from Sonoma. For me I enjoy coming up to this part of the country this time of year and it’s a nice break for us. We get some cool weather and enjoy the scenery to go along with a good race track.”

WHAT DO THE GUYS THINK ABOUT HAVING A ROAD COURSE SO LATE IN THE SEASON? “I enjoy it. I really enjoy the road racing. I wish we got to do it a few more times a year. For us you race these cars at Sonoma several weeks ago so the guys have had plenty of time to get them back together and do the things they needed to do to get them ready for this week. So it’s actually a good break for everybody to get your downforce stuff ready for Michigan next week and you don’t have to use these cars again until next year so not anything pressing. You can race them and put them in a corner for a while.”

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Series NASCAR-CUP
Tags chevrolet, harvick, nascar, watkins glen