Racing like 'Back in the Day' HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (April 29, 2002) - The .75-mile oval Richmond (Va.) International Raceway (RIR) offers two racing favorites: a race under the lights and tight racing quarters. Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 29...
Racing like 'Back in the Day'
HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (April 29, 2002) - The .75-mile oval Richmond (Va.) International Raceway (RIR) offers two racing favorites: a race under the lights and tight racing quarters. Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 29 GM Goodwrench Service Chevrolet Monte Carlo, offers two racing favorites: a racing style meant to be showcased under the glitter and flare of thousands of 100 watt bulbs and a love for short-track, tight-racing conditions. It's a marriage made in NASCAR heaven.
Harvick covets short-track racing as, "the true spirit of what we do." According to the 2001 NASCAR Busch Series Champion, Richmond keeps you on your toes because while you need to race your fellow competitors, you're also there to race the track. Running the race at night, temperatures rise and fall intermittently, so while you need to keep your eye on your rear view window, you need to keep your mind on the changing climates.
Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 29 GM Goodwrench Service Chevrolet Monte Carlo, comments on racing at RIR:
Back in the day.
"We run really good at Richmond and we finished second there last year. We had a good race with Ricky (Rudd) there at the end. We always seem to run good there. Under the lights on a Saturday is kinda back to where we came from. Most guys driving or working in NASCAR came from a short track, Saturday night background and it always gets into everyone's blood. It's really a look at where we raced back in the day and I think that's why everyone looks forward to night racing - be it at Richmond or Bristol or even Daytona."
Plenty of room in the kitchen.
"Richmond is your optimum race track. It's a three-quarter mile, wide racetrack that you can run all over on. You can go to the top and bottom, the middle. If you've got the car you can win from anywhere. There's plenty of room to pass and the groove usually moves three lanes up. It's a lot of fun. It's usually in front of a packed house, and while we can't hear a whole lot while we're in the cars, driver intro's are big there and the atmosphere really gets the teams going."
The Real Deal.
"Night racing is a the whole deal - a complete package. Your car's handling comes into major play because a lot of times the track conditions are completely different from what you qualified on or practiced on. The rise and fall of the temperature affects everything. You need to have a car that'll respond to quick changes and come around (to the changes) fast. You have to think about that as much as the guys in your rear-view."
Instinct gets you everywhere.
"I approach every race aggressively. I just go out and race. Racing is so much of where you are or what the instinct is. You just have a natural instinct whether it is to go three-wide, or on the apron, or on the outside. Whatever the case may be or however that stuff happens. A lot of it is instinct, the way I was taught to race - to make laps and race hard."