Phoenix II: Kevin Harvick preview

* This Week's Shell-Pennzoil Chevrolet at Phoenix International Raceway ... Kevin Harvick will pilot chassis No. 285 from the Richard Childress Racing Sprint Cup Series stable. This Chevrolet Impala SS was previously raced in September at Richmond...

* This Week's Shell-Pennzoil Chevrolet at Phoenix International Raceway ... Kevin Harvick will pilot chassis No. 285 from the Richard Childress Racing Sprint Cup Series stable. This Chevrolet Impala SS was previously raced in September at Richmond International Raceway where it finished ninth and New Hampshire International Raceway where it finished 32nd. It was also raced last month at Martinsville Speedway where it finished 10th.

* Fine with Phoenix ... In 13 previous starts at PIR, Harvick has two victories, three top-fives and six top-10 finishes to his credit. He swept the 2006 NSCS events at the uniquely-shaped, one-mile oval.

* Happy Stats at this Track ... The Bakersfield, Calif. native has completed 4,041 of 4,060 (99.5 percent) laps contested, and has led three races for a total of 316 laps. Harvick has an average starting position of 17.4 and finishing average of 14.5 through 13 starts.

* Did You Know? ... Phoenix is the site of Harvick's first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory, which occurred in 2002 in his 75th start, leading 77 of 152 laps.

* The Hat Trick ... After Harvick won the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event in 2006, he became the first of only two drivers (with Kyle Busch being the other) to win in all three of NASCAR's top national touring series at PIR. He won the spring Nationwide Series race at Phoenix and carried over the momentum into the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event to complete the weekend sweep. Additionally, Harvick won NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races at PIR in 2002 and 2003.

* Kevin's Krew One Last Time ... This will be the final Kevin's Krew gathering of at-risk children for the 2009 season. Sponsored by Shell-Pennzoil, the group of school-age children will be treated to raceday at the track, lunch, Shell hat and T-shirt and a personal meeting with Harvick prior to driver introductions in the PIR Victory Lane area.

* RCR at PIR ... In 58 races at Phoenix, RCR has earned three wins, including Harvick's sweep of both races at PIR in 2006. Prior to that, Dale Earnhardt won the Checker 500 in November 1990. Additionally, the Welcome, N.C.-based organization boasts 11 top-five and 24 top-10 finishes at the one-mile desert-oval. Childress is tied with Robert Yates for number of car owner victories with three each. In 58 races at Phoenix, RCR has earned three wins, including Kevin Harvick's sweep of both races at PIR in 2006. Prior to that, Dale Earnhardt won the Checker 500 on Nov. 4, 1990. Additionally, the Welcome, N.C.-based organization boasts 11 top-five and 24 top-10 finishes.

* Double Fun in the Phoenix Sun ... In addition to wheeling the No. 29 Shell-Pennzoil Chevrolet, Harvick will drive his self-owned No. 33 Rheem Chevrolet Impala SS in Saturday afternoon's NASCAR Nationwide Series race.

KEVIN HARVICK:

You have two wins at PIR, then you come here for the first race this year and finish 30th. That had to be tough to accept?

"Yeah, that's when we knew we needed to start doing some work on our cars. What made it really evident was that we ran 30th, it wasn't like something happened to put us back there. If it was because we made contact with another car or brushed the wall, I could see us running back there for that reason."

They've put some new grandstands in Turn 1 at PIR to help with the setting sun this time of year. Is it really that big of a deal for the November race?

"Yeah, the sun is in a different location on the horizon this time of the year than when we go to Phoenix earlier in the season. As you get late in the race, the windows get dirty and the sun starts to set making your view a little different going down the frontstretch. The grandstands have definitely helped, but you still have a pretty good blind spot. So, you end up picking spots on the wall to go off of through that blind spot as you head into the corner."

Because you've raced at PIR so much, does it just become kind of a routine thing or do you pick a marker to help get your through that part of the track, at that time of the day?

"I use marks on the ground, actually. There's a bunch of scrape marks on the surface from car's splitters and cross members hitting the surface that I use to help me. When I see them, I know it's time to let off going into the corner."

If you have a good car at Phoenix, what are you able to do during the race?

"The thing about Phoenix is you're definitely going to have some fall off in the tires. But, you have to have your car turning in the center of the corner under the rolling part. Then, you want to be able to get up off the corner wide open to carry that speed down the straightaways. If you can roll through the center of Turns 1 and 2, and have good grip off there, that's where a lot of people get tight or a little bit free up off the corner. You can make some passes there. As far as Turns 3 and 4, you can maintain your speed there and make it through there a little faster because of the way the dogleg is on the frontstretch. "

-credit: rcr

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Kevin Harvick , Robert Yates , Kyle Busch
Teams Richard Childress Racing