Harvick's Ribs Still Sore from Daytona; Brandon Miller on Standby for Mexico WELCOME, N.C. (March 1) -- Kevin Harvick, scheduled to drive the PELON PELO RICO Chevrolet in the Mexico 200, is still sore from his crash during the Gatorade Duel...
Harvick's Ribs Still Sore from Daytona; Brandon Miller on Standby for Mexico
WELCOME, N.C. (March 1) -- Kevin Harvick, scheduled to drive the PELON PELO RICO Chevrolet in the Mexico 200, is still sore from his crash during the Gatorade Duel at Daytona International Speedway on Feb. 17. Brandon Miller will be in Mexico in case Harvick decides during practice for the Mexico 200 that he cannot drive.
Harvick's ribs and sternum are sore. He says he has trouble getting in and out of the car. He plans to test his ability to shift the car in the turns during practice.
"I am extremely excited to run in Mexico," Harvick said. "Well, I am hoping I can drive the No. 21 Chevrolet. My ribs and chest are still really sore from my crash in Daytona, and I am not sure if I can shift the car through the turns in the road course. If I cannot run this weekend, Brandon Miller will take over."
If Harvick is unable to drive this weekend in Mexico, it will mark the first race Harvick has missed due to injury. This will be very disappointing for Harvick and crew chief Rick Viers. They felt they had a great chance to win the inaugural Busch Series race in Mexico City.
"Kevin has always been pretty good at road-course events," Viers said. "He will have a few road-course experts to deal with, but the experts always seem to have bad luck. He will also have Robby Gordon to deal with, but in the past couple of road-course events, Kevin has been a thorn in Gordon's side. We really like our chances of winning this event."
This will also mark the return of road-course events to the NASCAR Busch Series. In 2001 NASCAR announced the Busch Series would no longer run at Watkins Glen, a 3.37-mile Grand Prix road course in the Finger Lakes region of New York. Harvick is pleased to return to Watkins Glen since he had two top-five finishes in two starts at the track.
The sponsor and paint scheme on the No. 21 Chevrolet will change this week to promote PELON PELO RICO, one of Mexico's leading brands of spicy candy. "Pelon" grows a head of sweet and spicy "hair" (Pelo Rico) when you push up the bottom of the container.
Points of Interest...
THE CAR... The REESE'S Racing team will take chassis No. 048, a new chassis, to Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez this weekend. If all goes well in Mexico, the same car will make its way to "The Glen" in August.
Road Course Stats... Harvick has competed in two Busch Series road-course races: June 2000 and July 2001. Harvick started both of these events in the top 10 and finished in the top five.
Start time... Sunday's Mexico 200 is scheduled for 3:10 p.m. ET. TV coverage of the Mexico 200 event on FOX begins at 3 p.m. ET with live radio coverage beginning at 2:30 p.m. ET on your local affiliate and on XM Satellite Radio channel 144. Remember, times and dates of the race may change. Check your local listings.
Kevin Harvick on Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez
Is racing in Mexico City good for the sport?
"I think Mexico will prove to be a great move for our sport. The reaction from the sponsors has been fantastic. I'm sure the fans in Mexico City will react well to a new spectator sport. You'll see a lot of cars painted differently than they usually are to connect with the fans down there. My car, usually REESE'S, will be the PELON PELO RICO Chevrolet."
Do you think the No. 21 team has an advantage since it was the only car to test in Mexico?
"I think we will have a good place to start knowing that nobody else had a chance to bring a car down to test in Mexico. However, all the guys in the garage are pretty good at setting their cars up for the track. All the knowledge we got in Mexico was distributed to the other teams. But it definitely didn't hurt us being the only team to have a car on the track in Mexico."
How big is practice going to be for you since you haven't driven on this track yet?
"The first day we will try a lot of different things. We will bring the car in and out of the garage until we find something that works. I will also be testing my ribs and sternum during these practice sessions to see if I will be able to drive in the race on Sunday."
Crew chief Rick Viers on Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez
What was the biggest thing you guys took home from the test in Mexico?
"We didn't really get anything out of testing in Mexico. We were there to help NASCAR test the gear ratios. Once we were done with that, our test in Mexico was over."
When will the decision be made regarding Harvick's ability to compete in Mexico?
"The decision is up to Kevin, and he will not make it until after practice on Saturday. There is a chance that Brandon Miller will run the No. 21 machine during practice since it's about five hours long. This will also give Miller some seat time just in case Harvick can't run the race on Sunday. I think in the end Harvick will tough it out."