Talladega II: RCR announcement press conference

RCR ANNOUNCES 2007 SPONSORS FOR NO. 29 MONTE CARLO SS DRIVEN BY KEVIN HARVICK Richard Childress (President and CEO of Richard Childress Racing (RCR)): "Good morning everyone. I am excited to be here at Talladega. We have a great announcement...

RCR ANNOUNCES 2007 SPONSORS FOR NO. 29 MONTE CARLO SS DRIVEN BY KEVIN HARVICK

Richard Childress (President and CEO of Richard Childress Racing (RCR)):

"Good morning everyone. I am excited to be here at Talladega. We have a great announcement here today for RCR. Speaking a little bit about RCR's season so far, it has been great season, having Kevin (Harvick) running for both championships with a great lead in the Busch Series and a great shot for the Cup championship. Jeff Burton now leading the championship is awesome. It has been a great year for RCR. It is all about people and companies that you associate with. It has been great to have RCR associated with so many great companies over the years. At this time, I would like to have Mr. John Hofmeister say a few words about the news we having moving forward for RCR."

John Hofmeister (President, Shell Oil Company):

"Congratulations Richard and Kevin on the year so far, it is going very well. Which it makes it even a greater reason for Shell today to announce along with Pennzoil that we are pleased to be sponsoring car No. 29 starting next year. It is a big for Shell and the No. 29 car. You said it is about people Richard and it certainly is. It is about 10s of thousands of Shell employees, more 10s of thousands of wholesalers, dealers, retailers all of the country lube, Jiffy Lube, we are all excited to be back in NASCAR. We are all excited to be here with RCR, to have Kevin in the car. It is going to be a great season next year, we are looking forward to Daytona and I have something for both of you (Richard and Kevin) that I would like to give you if you would be willing to wear it. (Presents both with Shell Racing leather jackets). We are very pleased to see you in those jackets and we look forward to your success."

Richard Childress: "I would also like to announce today that we have had a relationship with GM Goodwrench for 21 years. I would like to also announce today that they are going to be partners along the way with RCR in the future and Shell. They are a great company, and already have a lot of B to B going on. Also, The Hershey Company and Reese's will be back with us next year. I would like to introduce Mr. Jim Moloney, with GM Goodwrench."

Jim Moloney , General Director, SPO Marketing, GM Goodwrench:

"Thank you Richard and good morning. For over two decades, GM Goodwrench, the service brand for GM and our vehicle divisions, our dealers and our employees, have enjoyed a productive and memorable relationship with Richard Childress Racing. That incredible run was one of the longest primary sponsorships in the history of NASCAR. It allowed our Goodwrench brand, our company and our people to be linked to the very best in the business, the late Dale Earnhardt and certainly Kevin Harvick along with the backing of almost 400 talented RCR employees. We are grateful to all these dedicated RCR personnel both past and present that have contributed to this success.

"As we developed our plan for 2007 working with RCR, we found a solution that would maintain this important relationship. It gave us the opportunity to look at other to leveraging our relationship with RCR and NASCAR to further enhance our Goodwrench brand. The solution also allowed RCR the ability to align themselves with a new primary sponsor and secure a long-term agreement.

"We value our relationship with Richard, the entire RCR team, NASCAR and its fans. We will remain on the No. 29 car as an associate sponsor in 2007 as we continue to evaluate our options to further nurture these relationships and enhance the reputation of the Goodwrench brand going forward.

"However, today belongs to the future and to Richard Childress Racing and its new primary partner, Shell. GM has a long-standing relationship with Shell and we look forward to continuing to grow that relationship. For Shell and RCR, we wish you continued success."

Richard Childress: "With every good race team, you have to have a great race driver. We are proud to have Kevin Harvick. He will be representing Shell, GM Goodwrench and everybody down the road. I am proud to introduce my driver Kevin Harvick.

Kevin Harvick: "I just want to say how excited on behalf of RCR and everybody at Shell. I am looking forward to the future and getting ready everything going next year. It has been a great relationship with GM Goodwrench over the last five or six years and we have had a lot of success. I am looking forward to creating an identity with Shell and moving forward and hopefully winning a lot of races. That is why we are all here. Hopefully we can continue what we are doing this year and just really looking forward to the future."

Q: : Richard - nobody is going to forget Dale Earnhardt, but this is kind of breaking the last real link to him, have you given any thought to that aspect of it?

Richard Childress: "I don't think it is breaking the last link to Dale Earnhardt. That will be around for many, many years to come, way past when I and a lot of us are around. That is just that times change, the sport changes, business changes, there are decisions that have to be made that we have to move forward in life with. I think John F. Kennedy said it the best that you have to look at change as opportunity, and that is how we all have to look at this as.I think with the legacy of Dale, the No. 3 car and Goodwrench will live on for many, many years to come. We are looking forward to the future at RCR with Kevin Harvick and Shell Oil Company."

Q.: Kevin, is this a chance for you to establish a new era for yourself?

Kevin Harvick: "I think it is a great opportunity for myself to establish something from ground zero and to work with something that although they have had a history in racing, but not on the No. 29 car with myself and Richard. I think it is a great opportunity to kind of establish my own identity in the No. 29 car and move forward with the Shell brand on board."

Q: Richard, can you give us a breakdown of who is going to be on the car at what events next year?

Richard Childress: "All of that hasn't been finalized yet. We do have numbers but we aren't quite ready to say how many races it will be, but there will be some paintouts for Goodwrench and Reese's/Hersheys on the car. We are excited. When you can carry on a long term relationship and keep a company involved like GM Goodwrench and Hersheys and to partner along with Shell Oil Company is exciting times for us."

Q: Richard, can you talk about the process of finding sponsors in this day and age?

Richard Childress: "It is one of those things where the cost of our sport has escalated. These major companies today have to answer as to where and how they spend the money. Everyone is evaluating how they do it. There are companies that can look at the sport and decide that this is a great place for them to be and their economics are really good and to move forward. Then there are companies who say, hey we have to sit back and look at what we can do for the best dollar we can put in it. I think that is what has happened in a lot of the situations. The sport is as great as it has ever been, it is better than it has ever been. It is the best dollar value for a company this is involved today, and there are a lot of companies out there looking to get in the sport. We had talked to a lot of companies. I think you will find that NASCAR racing is as healthy as it has ever been and for major corporations it is the place to be."

John Hofmeister: "Richard, if I could just jump in a just add to it. Shell has been waiting for some time to jump in on this opportunity. For us it is seen as an investment rather than a cost. This is an opportunity for our Shell Global Solutions folks to really get under the hood and work with Richard and his team to see what they can do from a lubricants standpoint in particular. We are very proud of Pennzoil, and the Pennzoil team and what they can do with their lubricants. We are going to trying to work with Richard and his folks and see how this investment will deliver itself with technology in the car."

Q: Kevin, Talk about change NASCAR made this morning to restrictor plate size in Cup car. When did you know about it?

Kevin Harvick: "I just found out about the change when I walked out of my motorhome this morning. It obviously throws all of the teams a curve ball just for the fact of engine RPM, what gear we need to run and things like that. I haven't really found out too much about it yet other than I knew the plate was changed. But safety first, that is the most important thing."

Q: Was it too fast yesterday?

Kevin Harvick: "It didn't seem like it, but then it never seems like it is too fast until you hit something.

Richard Childress: "I have to take my hat off to NASCAR. They put safety first and I am sure that was they were looking at with some of the speeds we were running yesterday. It is just a call they had to make and I am like Kevin, I didn't know about it until just a few minutes ago. We will go in the garage and we will address it. We will race the race Sunday and put on a great show and then go on down the highway."

Q: Kevin, What does Shell program offer you?

Kevin Harvick: "We are looking forward to the relationship going forward for the next few years on the No. 29 Monte Carlo SS. It is exciting for me just all the different avenues it opens up for me with advertising to get our face and car in all the different places. We really excited and looking forward to the new partnership."

Q: Kevin, are you looking forward to going to Lowe's Motor Speedway next week?

Kevin Harvick: "We ran really well at Lowe's the last time. We had a tailpipe break and burn the transmission up. But we ran in the top-10 then the top-5 pretty much most of the first half of the race. We feel really good going in to Charlotte, hopefully we can do the same thing we did last time, "

Q: Kevin, what are your emotions on possibility of winning both the NASCAR Busch and Cup championships?

Kevin Harvick: "It is exciting just to have the opportunity to race for both. Obviously the Busch thing is in good hands and the Cup thing changes week in and week out with all of us in the Chase having a little bit of bad luck it seems like. It should be exciting the next seven weeks. Just to be in position to meet our goals of wanting to run for both championships is really exciting for everybody at RCR."

Q: Kevin, how important is it for drivers to do commercials and things like that for their sponsors?

Kevin Harvick: "It is really important to relate the driver and the company to the car and car number. It is important to put all three together so everybody can associate a car with a face and a sponsor. It is great to see the commercials and all the things that all the sponsors do to promote us get our faces out in front of the fans."

Q: Kevin, do you feel like you are stepping out of the shadow of the previous era at Richard Childress Racing and establishing your own identity?

Kevin Harvick: "Well, I think so. This gives me a great opportunity to kind of shed that last little piece of the past. Not that we ever want to get rid of the Dale Earnhardt/GM Goodwrench piece, because we don't. This will just really create a new avenue for me to open a lot of doors with Shell and Pennzoil to create my own identity and to know that those last pieces of race fans are really there for RCR and everything that we do. We are all really excited about it and for me personally, it is a huge step in my career.

"We have a whole different team than what they had before but this step here is something that it is really big for me and everybody involved in it. Everybody is here because they are here for the car, the team, the driver and everybody involved in the program. We are really looking forward to Shell and Pennzoil being involved. I think they are going to open up a lot of different avenues for us to be a part of."

Q: Kevin, What do you think is biggest issue from the plate change for tomorrow's race?

Kevin Harvick: "It does create a lot of question marks for us with RPM, gear, a lot of things we don't know about. We will have to go talk about it. All the cars are impounded as we go to qualifying and we can't work on them. But, I think if you are going to make a change like that, it is probably best for NASCAR to do it like they did so nobody has time to go home and make their people work all night. Just a few unknowns for us?"

Q: Kevin, did you expect the success you have had this season in the Busch Series?

Kevin Harvick: "It was our goal going in to the year to run for the championship, to race for both championships. When we started, we just didn't know where the performance of the Cup cars was going to be, where contract stuff was going to go -- there were just a lot of unknowns. The Busch program created, I guess you could say, a kind of get-a-way for me to kind of get out from underneath all the media, go over to the Busch side and create that out we needed if we had to have it. When we got to Charlotte, we knew we were going to stop and evaluate where we were points wise, and see what we needed to do going forward. We were running really well so we just decided to keep going.

"I don't think running for both championships creates pressure, I think it is rewarding for the teams and myself. Just to be able to be in the position to run for both was what we set out to do in the beginning of the year. To be in the Chase in the Cup car is what we all wanted."

Q: Kevin, what do you think is going to happen in tomorrow's race?

Kevin Harvick: "Obviously there is going to be some unknowns in the engine wise. Otherwise, I think it will be the same race we have been known to see at Talladega. It will be three or four miles and hour slower but, for the most part, I think there is just going to be a lot of unknowns. Gas mileage, engine RPM, valve train, we build these engines to specifically the RPM we need to run. A few unknowns. It will probably 500 miles of Richard pacing back and forth with the engine guy."

-credit: gm racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Jeff Burton , Kevin Harvick
Teams Richard Childress Racing