Kevin Harvick Texas II Friday media visit

Team Chevy Racing press release

KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 RHEEM CHEVROLET, met with members of the media at Texas Motor Speedway and discussed the changes at Phoenix International Raceway, how he keeps his composure through the tough days, differences he’s seen in the No. 48 team this season and more.

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

Photo by: Ashley Dickerson, ASP Inc.

AFTER LAST WEEK’S RACE TONY (STEWART) SAID WITH THREE RACES TO GO HE’S GOT SOME TICKETS TO CASH IN, DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU’VE GOT ANY TICKETS TO CASH IN THE REST OF THE WAY? “I didn’t hear that so we’re just going to go do the things that we can do and go race.”

HAVE YOU ANTICIPATING A TEXAS RACES BEFORE KNOWING WHERE YOU ARE IN POINTS AND IN THE THICK OF THINGS? “I think it’s a pivotal weekend for us. We virtually have to come out of here at least running ahead of the No. 99 (Carl Edwards). So obviously this is a big weekend for us and with the position the Talladega race put us in, I think this is the one.”

LAST WEEK A LOT OF FOLKS CONSIDERED MARTINSVILLE A WILDCARD, THIS YEAR DO YOU THINK PHOENIX WOULD HAVE TO BE CONSIDERED THE SAME WITH THE REPAVE? “I think there are a lot of unknowns with the repave and the things that have the potential to happen. I look at Phoenix a lot like Martinsville. The Roush cars didn’t run very well there and we have to run well there. So we’re looking forward to it.”

YOU TESTED IN PHOENIX A COUPLE OF WEEKS AGO, WHAT ARE YOUR IMPRESSIONS ON THE TRACK AND IS THERE ANY TRACK OUT THERE THAT YOU GUYS CAN COMPARE IT TO? “I don’t think right now. It’s definitely unique. (Turns) three and four is definitely not like it was but it is similar to what it was with the new asphalt as far as the radius of the corner. The exit of turn two is a lot different and the back straightaway is definitely different. They did a good job by designing the track so the fans can see the cars and I think if the second groove comes in it will be a really good race. That’s really the only concern I’ve heard from anybody and the only concern that we have is the whether the second groove comes in and if it does its going to be a good race.”

YOU SAY YOU HOPE THAT SECOND GROOVE COMES IN, WHAT TYPE OF RACE DO YOU THINK WE ARE GOING TO SEE BEFORE THAT SECOND GROOVE COMES IN? “If the second groove doesn’t come in it will be a track position game with a lot of wrecks.”

KIND OF LIKE THE OLD BRISTOL? “I don’t know about that.”

AROUND THIS CHASE YOU GUYS AND EVERYBODY ELSE HAVE KLIND OF HAD THEIR TOUGH DAYS AND HAD TO BATTLE BACK FROM THEM, HOW DO YOU MAINTAIN THAT COMPOSURE IN THE CAR AND WHAT IS A GOOD TIME TO KIND OF YELL AND RELEASE THAT TENSION? “For us, we had a bad day at Talladega. You just know that going in there. There’s really nothing you can do about it. I felt more uncomfortable in the back of the pack racing than I did in the front. We thought the front was a better spot for us to be in and if you’re going to win those races you have to run in the front. Very seldom do you see what the No. 48 and No. 88 did to come from the back and just kind of sneak in there and win the race. You’ve got to know what your car is doing and you’ve got to have the patience and things to be able to do that. We were just in the wrong spot. We’re controlling the things that we can control and we’ve done a fairly good job at that. It hasn’t been perfect by any means but it’s all you can do.”

OBVIOUSLY EVERY CHASE IS DIFFERENT BUT THIS IS NOT A YEAR WHERE SOEMBODY HAS DOMINATED, IT SEEMS LIKE A LOT OF CONTENDERS HAVE HAD TO FIGHT THROUGH BAD DAYS, DOES THAT SURPRISE YOU WITH HOW THAT’S SHAPED UP? “Not at all. I think if you look at the way the whole year has gone, it’s just kind of been one of those years that the Chase has gone exactly like the regular season did. You just got to stay in there and battle. I think the only guy that everybody hasn’t counted out of the Chase is the No. 99. The No. 14 is back in it and we’re hanging on there but we’re still in it.”

IS THIS THE TOUGHEST THING YOU’VE EVER DONE IN RACING? “My first day on the job was my toughest day. I don’t have anything else that can compare to that.”

WHAT WAS JIMMIE’S (JOHNSON) REPUTATION AS A DRIVER BEFORE HIS STREAK STARTED? “I was around Jimmie a lot while he was in the Nationwide car. It just goes to show you that there’s a lot of people who can drive. There’s a lot more good drivers in this country than there are good race cars and I think that shows you the value of having a race car that you can show off your skills in I guess you can say. Jimmie was just in a situation where he was getting the most out of the car he had while he was in the Nationwide Series and when he moved to the Cup Series with Hendrick and those guys it was pretty much an instant success. He’s always been a lot of fun to be around and a good person.”

YOU TALKED ABOUT THERE BEING BETTER DRIVERS OUT THERE THAN RACE CARS, IF THERE WAS A DIFFERENT DRIVER IN THAT CAR DO YOU THINK THEY COULD GO ON TO WIN FIVE IN A ROW LIKE JIMMIE DID? “I don’t know.”

WHAT HAVE YOU NOTICED DIFFERENTLY DURING THIS CHASE RACING AROUND THE NO. 48? “I think the whole year has been more competitive. When you look throughout the season they’ve had to push a little bit harder and made some mistakes. They’ve had some days that have been bad like the rest of us usually do. I think it’s just been one of those seasons where the competition has been really close, it’s hard to win races and when you have so many cars that are that competitive you’re bound to have some bad days and they’ve had some bad ones.”

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Series NASCAR-CUP
Tags chevrolet, childress, fort worth, harvick