A new plan of attack. HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (October 28, 2002) - In February of 2000, Kevin Harvick, a young NASCAR Busch Series Rookie from Bakersfield, Calif. attempted to qualify for the first Busch Series event at (Rockingham) North ...
A new plan of attack.
HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (October 28, 2002) - In February of 2000, Kevin Harvick, a young NASCAR Busch Series Rookie from Bakersfield, Calif. attempted to qualify for the first Busch Series event at (Rockingham) North Carolina Speedway of the season. He failed. When he returned a full year later, he had not only come there as the 2000 Busch Series Rookie of the Year and the contender for the series' 2001 championship title, but also to make his first appearance on the NASCAR Winston Cup circuit. Harvick qualified for the race. And, when the NASCAR Series toured Rockingham in the fall of 2001, Harvick cemented his status as the 2001 NASCAR Busch Series Champion.
Many people have stories of the same nature, one place that earmarks their journeys through out their careers and personal lives. A place that everything comes back to. For Harvick, driver of the No. 29 GM Goodwrench Service Chevrolet Monte Carlo, that place is Rockingham.
Leaving chassis No. 100 (Benjamin) - the same car that plagued the GM Goodwrench Service team with a slew of problems and difficulties at Dover (Del.) and Martinsville (Va.) - at home, the Richard Childress Racing team brings a Chevrolet Monte Carlo that has spent most of its existence as a back-up car. Dodging any adversity that the No. 29 team can, the back-up car is the plan of attack to conquer Harvick's old haunt.
Kevin Harvick, the Driver of the No. 29 GM Goodwrench Service Chevrolet Monte Carlo, talks about loving and hating North Carolina Speedway and bumping Benjamin:
Love it, or leave it.
"When I was running my first season in the Busch Series, we didn't have any provisionals or anything, we were a new team. I missed the first race there. A year later I made my first Winston Cup start there. And then in the latter half of 2001, I clinched the Busch Championship there. So no matter what else may happen at any other given track, Rockingham will always be special to me.
"It's places like Daytona (Fla.) (International Speedway) and Charlotte (N.C.) (Lowe's Motor Speedway) that most people have as their career mile markers, but for me it's Rockingham. The strange thing is I don't have the love for it the way guys usually do for the track that acts as their career mile marker.
"To win the Busch Championship was our primary goal last year when we were running both the NASCAR Winston Cup and Busch Series. We thought we could finish top 10 in the Winston Cup points and get the Rookie of the Year honors. But, to win the Championship was always our primary focus. To do it at Rockingham - the place where I missed the only Busch event I didn't qualify for with RCR - was kind of closure, in a way. It's like I had defeated the track or something. Every time I used to think of Rockingham, I'd get tense. Now, instead of having some sort of lingering memory that might not be one for the better, I remember doing my burnouts and accepting the (Busch Series) Championship trophy and all of that good stuff. I knew that's how I'd remember it from the moment I clinched."
Benjamin Didn't Show the Benjamins "Chassis No. 100 (Benjamin) was named that because it was car 100 for RCR. We were psyched about the car but we just have never gotten the car accustomed to us. So, we're moving on. We're bringing out a car that has been to the racetrack a bunch, but hasn't been on it. We'll see what we can do with it there at Rockingham. The back-up bumped Benjamin."