Kevin Harvick Homestead Friday media visit

Team Chevy Racing press release

KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 BUDWEISER CHEVROLET, met with members of the media at Homestead-Miami Speedway and discussed his season to date, this weekend’s race, his charity work in the off-season, how he feels about KHI’s last race and much more.

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

Photo by: Action Sports Photography

YOU’VE HAD A GOOD YEAR, TALK ABOUT YOUR MINDSET AND THE SEASON YOU’VE HAD TO DATE AND YOUR THOUGHTS ABOUT THIS WEEKEND. “It’s been a fair season. Obviously we did a lot of things good and we did some things bad. We’ve got to work on things to make some things a little bit better. In this sport or in any other sport you always have things that you think you did right and the things that you do wrong you have to address at some point so it’s going to be a fun last weekend. Obviously we want to go out on a high note and do everything we can to do that. I enjoy racing here and it should be a good weekend.”

YOU’VE BEEN IN SOME CHAMPIONSHIP BATTLES WITH CARL EDWARDS BEFORE, THE WAY TONY STEWART IS KIND OF APPROACHING IT TRYING TO GET HIM TO CRACK A LITTLE BIT WITH SOME OF HIS OVERLY CONFIDENT THINGS, DO YOU THINK THAT WILL WORK? “We’ve never really been in a battle, I think we beat him by 800 points last time we raced with him for a championship. It’s just Tony being Tony. He’s obviously been there before. He knows what he needs to do. He’s been in tight championship races before. He’s got a lot of experience and in the end I don’t think Carl is going to crack though. It’s fun to watch but I think Carl obviously knows what he needs to do here but we’ll see how it all plays out.”

WOULD WE BE NAÏVE TO THINK THERE ARE NO TEAM ORDERS OUT THERE WITH THE CHAMPIONSHIP ON THE LINE AND FORD VERSES CHEVY AND ALL THAT GOING ON, HAVE YOU SEEN ANY THIS YEAR OR OVER THE YEARS? “Good question. I don’t have any answers for you though.” ARE YOU SAYING THEY’RE NOT OUT THERE? “I don’t know you have to draw your own conclusion to that.”

WHEN YOU’RE IN A CLOSE CHAMPIONSHIP RACE LIKE YOU WERE IN LAST YEAR AND YOU DON’T WIN WHAT LESSONS DO YOU TAKE OUT OF THAT THAT HELP YOU PERHAPS THE NEXT TIME YOU’RE IN THAT SAME SITUATION? “I think for us the things that we took away from it were just having a plan. I felt like we had a good plan this year. I felt like we had our cars lined out well for the Chase. I think winning so much early for us actually hurt us. I think we kind of got out of rhythm through the middle of the year and then got a little bit lost and we kind of got that back as we got towards the Chase. You learn those emotions and those pressures and things that come with that. Most everybody whether its myself or Carl (Edwards) or Tony (Stewart), once you race for a championship in something you pretty much know that you’re going to go through several weeks of what about this and what about that and worrying about this and you know that you need to control those emotions and just do your own thing. You don’t have to get wound up about anything. It is what it is and you just go about your business on the race track. I think last year taught the team that we can be contenders but contending for it and winning it are two different things.”

I GUESS EARLIER THIS WEEK YOU SAID YOU WOULD DO ANYTHING YOU COULD TO HELP TONY WIN, IS IT A FORD VERSES CHEVROLET BATTLE ON SUNDAY? “I think everybody in a Chevrolet would rather see a Chevrolet win just knowing how much it means to the manufacturer. Obviously Tony is a good friend of mine but you can’t disrupt the pureness of the sport and the emotions and all the things that go with that. You don’t want to be that guy that always shows up on the highlight reel that affected the championship. Yeah, if Tony has a question or needs something I’m not going to put myself in a position to where if we’re going to win the race we’re going to let somebody win the race for sure. So you go about cutting him some slack on restarts, little things like that and on pit road whatever the case may be.” IF IT WAS SITUATION WHERE YOU WEREN’T RACING FOR A WIN BUT GIVING HIM ONE SPOT MADE THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HIM WINNING A CHAMPIONSHIP AND LOSING A CHAMPIONSHIP WOULD YOU GIVE HIM THAT SPOT? “You watched the race last week. You saw the end.”

A COUPLE OF WEEKS AGO YOU TALKED LIKE TALLADEGA WAS KIND OF WHERE IT GOT AWAY, AS YOU COME INTO THE LAST WEEKEND ARE YOU ALMOST KIND OF SURPRISED THAT THOSE TWO GUYS GOT AWAY FROM YOU AND YOU’RE NOT HERE FIGHTING IT OUT FOR THE TITLE? “Not with the way that we ran. We didn’t run good at Phoenix, we didn’t run good at Texas and those guys have kept themselves in a championship battle by running good.”

YOU’VE GOT THE CHRISTMAS TOY DRIVE FOR KIDS GOING ON, TELL ME A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THAT AND YOUR CHARITY EFFORTS HERE AS THE YEAR CLOSES DOWN. “Yeah, obviously we just had our annual function that we do in my hometown in Bakersfield and gave away our local college scholarship for Cal State University of Bakersfield. We had a dinner and golf tournament. We have our Christmas concert coming up in December here. We have the Eli Young Band and Jake Owens that will be playing and that’s basically a toy drive that we’ll raise toys. I think last year we delivered up to 700 kids in two counties right around where we live so that’s always neat and always neat to see the foster kids, see their faces and see all the things they like to do and make somebody smile.”

GIVEN HOW THE CHASE HAS UNFOLDED FOR BOTH TONY AND CARL, RIGHT NOW WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS THE BIGGEST ADVANTAGE FOR EACH ONE OF THOSE GUYS GOING INTO SUNDAY? “I think the biggest thing that Carl has going for him is this is a great race track for him but coming here racing for a championship and coming here just to win a race are two different things. I think that’s the position they have been in n the past, just to come here and win a race and not have to worry about parts failures or anything like that. I think Tony’s biggest advantage is he’s just so confident. He’s relaxed, he’s confident and his team has been rolling through race tracks they haven’t run good at the beginning of the year or whatever the case may be, they just have made it happen. I feel like they have that winning momentum and I feel like Carl has a race track that they’ve had a lot of success at.”

DO YOU FORSEE ANY PERSONNEL CHANGES ON YOUR SPECIFIC TEAM AT RICHARD CHILDRESS NEXT SEASON? “Well there’s definitely a lot of things happening at RCR with the one Cup team going away. We’re adding three Nationwide teams and a Truck team so obviously there’s going to be some personnel changes and I think if we had gone out and won a championship you’d say you probably don’t need to do anything. But if we sit on our hands and don’t evaluate everybody’s position at this particular point I think we’d be fools. I would anticipate some changes, yes.”

WITH THIS BEING THE LAST RACE FOR KHI AS A TEAM, ANY EMOTIONS? “DeLana and I couldn’t be any more excited. I’m excited for a lot of reasons personally; I’m excited for a lot of reasons professionally. When you look at the whole scenario for me, it should make my Cup car better, it should make the Nationwide cars better and the Trucks between the two teams have won half the races this year. It was a decision based on a lot of things but I think when you look at the performance of the race teams it should make them better. The Nationwide cars with all the Cup information should feed off of the Cup cars and get better instantly before we get back to the race track. I know everybody thinks we should be sad but I’m extremely excited because as a driver I get to do the same things next year and I did this year. I think I have 14 Nationwide races and three to five Truck races, so it’s going to be fun and should be able to be involved. I’ve been at the shop a lot watching the new Nationwide shop be built, watching everything be transferred from our shop to RCR and it’s all gone very smooth. We didn’t do this to get worse, we did this to win races and win more races.”

WHY DO DRIVERS, OWNERS AND EVERYBODY GET KIND OF NERVOUS NOT WANTING TO DISCUSS TEAM ORDERS WHETHER THEY EXIST OR NOT? “This is just one of those questions where you just really don’t have the right answer. You want to do what’s right for yourself and you want to do what right for your teammates.”

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Series NASCAR-CUP
Tags chevrolet, childress, harvick, miami, nascar-ns