Atlanta II: Kevin Harvick preview

Kevin Harvick A Triple Threat in Atlanta HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (October 26, 2004) - GM Goodwrench driver Kevin Harvick likes his chances this weekend as the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series circuit hits Atlanta, Ga., for the second time in 2004.

Kevin Harvick
A Triple Threat in Atlanta

HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (October 26, 2004) - GM Goodwrench driver Kevin Harvick likes his chances this weekend as the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series circuit hits Atlanta, Ga., for the second time in 2004. With three races on his plate, the NASCAR Busch and NEXTEL Cup races along with the final International Race of Champions event, he knows he's more than capable of winning at least one of them and may even have the chance of winning all three.

The Bakersfield, Calif., native has shown in the past few years that he is a proven winner on all three of these racing circuits. Just look at some of the numbers. Harvick's won 12 Busch Series races in 106 starts, four NEXTEL Cup races in 139 starts, and one IROC race in eight starts. He's also collected two Rookie-of-the-Year championships, one Busch Series championship, and an IROC championship, which he won during his rookie campaign in 2002. These numbers easily show his capabilities to get to the Winner's Circle in all three races, but right now he'd be happy with one.

"It'd be nice to win something because it's been awhile," states Harvick, whose last win of any kind was at Las Vegas Motor Speedway back in March in a NASCAR Busch Series event. "We just haven't performed this year. We need to get better. I hope it comes sooner than later."

Harvick's record at Atlanta Motor Speedway has been hit and miss when it comes to NASCAR events. He captured one of the biggest wins of his career in his first two outings in 2001, but has struggled since collecting only two top-20 finishes in his last five tries. On the Busch Series side, Harvick scored top-10 finishes in his two NBS starts. So is AMS a good track for Harvick or not?

"I like the track. It's real fast and a blast to drive. We have been really good every time out. We have either had bad luck or chased the car late in the race. I feel like we will have enough track time this weekend to finally get it figured out," said Harvick.

Points of Interest...

* First Cup Win... In just his third start in the No. 29 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing, the 28-year old took the checkered flag in memorable fashion for his first NASCAR Cup Series win. Harvick battled door-to-door with Jeff Gordon, beating the four-time NEXTEL Cup champion by mere inches.

* Winless Streak...It has been 50 races since Harvick last won a NEXTEL Cup Series race. His last win was the Brickyard 400 on August 3, 2003. Harvick's last NASCAR Series win was the Busch Series event at Las Vegas, Nev., on March 6, 2004.

* The New Chase...Now that Harvick has been eliminated from the Chase for the NEXTEL Cup, there's a new chase on his horizon. The battle for 11th in the NEXTEL Cup Series standings is on and Harvick is currently in the 13th position, 244 points outside of Jamie McMurray who sits in 11th and 48 points ahead of Bobby Labonte who is 14th.

* TV and Radio...Start time for Sunday's Bass Pro Shops 500 is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. EST. TV coverage of the 500-mile event on NBC starts at 12:00 p.m., with radio coverage on PRN beginning at 12:00 p.m. Remember times and dates of the race may change, so check your local listings.

No. 29 GM Goodwrench driver Kevin Harvick on Atlanta...

What do you like about Atlanta? "Atlanta is fast, very fast. It's always going to be a special place to me because it's where I won my first Winston Cup race. You can't go back and do that again anywhere else. The track is very abrasive, and you can race all over the place, from the white line to the wall, and still be competitive. I always seem to run good there, even though our finishes haven't showed that in the past few years. You have to have the complete package to contend for the win there, and horsepower is always important. It's a lot of fun to race on and very fast."

Does your first win in Atlanta bring some added confidence?

"It's always good to know you're going to a place where you've won a race. It brings back good memories, and you feel like you have a little bit more of an advantage than everyone else when you return a winner. Right now, I'm not feeling that great behind the wheel so hopefully going back to Atlanta will help."

What happened to you guys in the spring race there?

"I don't really know. It looked like we had a bad set of tires after that first run, but things didn't pick up. It felt as if I would start off on flat tires and I couldn't get any grip in the corners. Richard seemed to think it's the new spoiler and tires when I'm in traffic, but I don't know. We were fine in the practice sessions and Robby seemed to run okay. I thought we had things figured out because we had been so strong early in the weekend."

No. 29 GM Goodwrench crew chief Todd Berrier on Atlanta...

How do you rebound from the struggles of the spring race at Atlanta?

"You keep working at it. That's all you can do at this level. We left here in the spring feeling like we had really let one get away from us. We were good all weekend and then we just couldn't do anything right for the car on Sunday. Hopefully we can hit on a setup that will work all day and we can keep up with the adjustments."

-rcr-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Bobby Labonte , Kevin Harvick , Jamie McMurray
Teams Richard Childress Racing