Phoenix: Kevin Harvick preview

* This Week's Shell-Pennzoil Chevrolet at Phoenix ... Kevin Harvick will pilot Chassis No. 304 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. This Shell-Pennzoil Chevrolet is a completely brand new car which will see its first...

* This Week's Shell-Pennzoil Chevrolet at Phoenix ... Kevin Harvick will pilot Chassis No. 304 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. This Shell-Pennzoil Chevrolet is a completely brand new car which will see its first laps on the track during Friday's practice session.

* Career Phoenix Stats ... The Subway Fresh Fit 600 marks Harvick's 329th career start in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

* In 14 Sprint Cup Series starts at the one-mile oval, Harvick has claimed two wins, three top-five and six top-10 finishes.

* He has completed 99.5 percent (4,351 of 4,372) of the total laps contested.

* He has led a total of 316 laps at PIR.

* Loopy in Phoenix ... The No. 29 Shell-Pennzoil driver owns some impressive Phoenix statistics via NASCAR's loop data. Over the last 10 Sprint Cup Series races at Phoenix, Harvick is seventh overall in average running position (12.138), has accumulated the seventh most points (1,280), is sixth in total number of fastest laps run (142), and is fifth in total laps led (316).

* Phoenix Winner Times Three ... The Bakersfield, Calif., native swept both Sprint Cup Series races at Phoenix in 2006. In addition, Harvick owns one NASCAR Nationwide Series win, which also came in 2006 (April).

* Martinsville Recap ... Two weeks ago in Martinsville, qualifying was rained out and set by owner points, thus Harvick was granted the pole position for the 500-lap affair. He scampered out to a large lead and led 57 of the first 58 laps before a brake failure forced the team to go behind the wall for repairs. Harvick was credited with a 35th-place finish and dropped three spots in the standings to fourth.

KEVIN HARVICK:

What is the key to completing a good lap at Phoenix?

"I think there are two parts that are important at Phoenix. You have to be able to get through the middle of turns one and two and get back to the throttle early, and then you have to be able to get your car to come straight off the corner in turn four. If you can do that and keep your car turning in turns one and two, you will be in great shape."

This race starts in the middle of the afternoon and ends under the lights. What kind of challenge does that present to the teams?

"It's going to be a challenge because a lot of it depends on the type of weather that we have. If it's really hot during the day, then it usually cools off quite a bit at night. As soon as the sun goes behind the suites in turns one and two, the temperature really drops and the track gains quite a bit of grip. The lap times generally pick up a few tenths a lap."

Phoenix has historically been a good track for you, but you struggled there last year. What do you look for this weekend?

"Phoenix has been a really good race track for us in the past. Jeff (Burton) ran really well there last year, so hopefully we take his baseline and go with what they ran. We were absolutely horrible at Phoenix last year. I feel confident that we can take what Jeff ran last year, plug that setup in our car, tweak it just a little and be really strong this weekend."

Do you think the spoiler will play a large role in how the cars perform at Phoenix?

"I don't think anybody is really going to know until we get out there and race. It has to change a few little details, but I think Texas will be the first place that we'll see what will happen for sure. Most of our tracks are 1.5-mile facilities, so that will probably be the first real indication of what the spoiler is going to do to our cars at high speed. Phoenix is still going to be mostly about mechanical grip."

-source: rcr

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Kevin Harvick
Teams Richard Childress Racing