This Week's Shell-Pennzoil Chevrolet at Atlanta Motor Speedway ... Kevin Harvick will pilot Chassis No. 288 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. Earlier in the year, this Chevrolet scored a win at Michigan ...
This Week's Shell-Pennzoil Chevrolet at Atlanta Motor Speedway ... Kevin Harvick will pilot Chassis No. 288 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. Earlier in the year, this Chevrolet scored a win at Michigan International Speedway in August. Additionally, Harvick scored runner-up finishes at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and at Auto Club Speedway, finished ninth at Atlanta Motor Speedway, and finished seventh at Dover International Speedway. The Shell-Pennzoil team raced this chassis three times in the latter part of the 2009 season, finishing 18th at Charlotte Motor Speedway, fifth at Texas Motor Speedway and third at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Clincher ... Harvick and the No. 29 team clinched a berth in the 2010 Chase for the Sprint Cup following their win at Michigan in August. Harvick scored his third points-paying win of the year, and currently has 30 bonus points once the Chase field is set.
Follow the Leader ... After his 14th-place effort at Bristol Motor Speedway, Harvick remains the leader in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings. Harvick enjoys a lead of 279 points over second. For the season, he has earned three wins, 11 top-five and 16 top-10 finishes. At the same time, the 14-time NSCS winner has finished 14th or better in 21 of the season's first 24 events.
Remarkable Turnaround ... At this point last season, through 24 races, Harvick was 24th in the standings and had accumulated 2,300 points. In 2010, the point leader has amassed 3,521 points, an astounding 1,221 more points than last year.
Double Dip in Atlanta ... In addition to his driving duties with the No. 29 Shell-Pennzoil Chevrolet, Harvick will drive Kevin Harvick Incorporated's No. 33 Chevrolet Impala in the Sept. 4 Great Clips 300 Nationwide Series event. The race will air live on ESPN2 beginning at 6:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. The race will also be broadcast live on the Performance Racing Network and Sirius XM Satellite Radio.
How important is it to get all three RCR teams in the Chase like they did three years ago? "I think it's important for the company because we have all run well enough to be in the Chase, and really, if Clint (Bowyer) didn't have some silly things gone wrong earlier in the year, then he's solidly there as well. The performance of his car, and all of our cars, has been really good."
Last year, they ran the Atlanta race on Labor Day weekend. Did you feel it was a success with a better atmosphere for the race and the fans? "We thought it was a success because we ran so well. It was probably the best race we had last year. Hopefully, we come back and run like we did last year. Racing Atlanta at night is a lot different than racing it during the day. The hardest thing is that you practice during the day and you race at night. It is two totally different beasts. It's hard to know what you need in your car."
Earlier this year, you ran eighth at Atlanta. How did you feel about your day at Atlanta? "We had a terrible day at Atlanta. That was when I knew that our team was headed in the right direction, when you can have a terrible day, and turn something into a top 10, that's what it's all about. Our cars are adjustable and we know they run fast, but when you're off, you need to have something that you can make right, like we did that day."
What are your thoughts on the schedule changes so far? "Atlanta has created some great racing. You look at some of these markets such as California and Atlanta, the crowds have gone down so much that one race may be beneficial for them. The fans don't have an option to come to a second race, and it splits that crowd in half, so, hopefully, that works well."