Bristol II: GM teams Friday practice quotes

Friday practice quotes Bristol Motor Speedway Kevin Harvick -- ...

Friday practice quotes
Bristol Motor Speedway

Kevin Harvick -- #29 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet

RE: RUMORS OF YOUR CONTRACT AND STAYING IN THE #29 CAR I'm checking things out and really just trying to see how it all goes. We'll race to the end of the year and see what happens.

DOES THAT MEAN THINGS ARE NOT GOING WELL? OR DOES THAT MEAN YOU'RE BEING JUST MORE PENSIVE THAN NORMALLY? I think I'm just taking my time and just trying to make sure that things are going in the right direction. I don't want to be there and have us all run poorly-we want to run good. You know, there are a lot of things going on and I just want to see how it all goes.

RE: BRISTOL Yeah, Bristol has always been really good to us. Obviously, winning both races last time (Spring of 2005). This time, the Cup car is pretty good and the Busch car is pretty good, too. So, you also have to have some luck here to miss all the wrecks and dodge everything that comes at you. You've got to pull a whole night together and we've been fortunate to do that a lot.

TALK ABOUT GOING TO FONTANA AND RICHMOND AND HOW YOU PREPARE FOR THOSE PLACES Well, we ran well at Fontana and Richmond last time, so it's a different time of year. There are a lot of things different from where we started the year. Hopefully we can make some improvements from Michigan. We know we had a 12th-15th place car at Michigan and it just needs to be a little bit better than that.

RE: WHAT ARE YOUR CHANCES? I think our chances are as good as they should be for the year that we've had. I think coming into here we obviously have a lot of confidence and things have gone good today in practice. We feel really good coming in here but you still have to have a little bit of luck. We've run well at Richmond and California, so if there was three tracks coming up I don't think it could be any more favorable for us, but there's still a lot of ground to make up.

WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED FROM LAST YEAR ABOUT THESE RACES? Yeah, don't worry about the Chase. That's probably the biggest thing. You don't go out and race any different. You go out and race as hard every week. You don't worry about whether you're in the Chase or out of the Chase and run as hard as you can. The chips fall where they fall. You can't control whether you'll be either in or out.

BUT YOU CAN CONTROL IF YOU TAKE THAT DARING MOVE THAT CAN EITHER WRECK YOU OR NOT I don't think I race that way. You go out and you race as every week counts. You don't go out and make a move that's going to tear a right front fender off, whether you're racing for points or not, because if you do your car doesn't work anymore. The days of the daring moves is not going to happen. Everyone races as hard as they can every week and if you think any different, you're wrong.

IS THERE PRESSURE? I don't think so. I think after going through it for a year, you learn how to deal with things, you learn what you should and shouldn't do as far as media people, whatever the case may be. You go about your business and do what you've got to do to make your car run as fast as it can. If it doesn't run fast enough, there's not anything you can do about it. You need to make your cars better and do better next year.

SURPRISED THAT YOU'RE ALMOST IN THE SAME SPOT AS YOU WERE THIS YEAR Well, we started out the year good and just made a ton of mistakes. You know, all the through the first half of the season. It's starting to catch up with us now. We haven't run good in the last six or eight weeks. All those good runs we had, we didn't capitalize on. You know, when you don't capitalize on the good days, your bad days are worse.

ARE YOU AND RICHARD HAVING DISCUSSIONS ABOUT THIS? ARE YOU UNDER PRESSURE TO PERFORM OR ARE YOU PUTTING PRESSURE ON YOUR PERFORMANCE, OR BOTH? Well, I think I've been leaning on him pretty hard. Everyone wants to perform. It's just that there are a lot of things going on that are not going to happen overnight at RCR. They are going to take 6-8 months to a year to reap the benefits of it. See what they are and our Busch car has run good so that helps things week in and week out, so it gets your confidence level up.

RE: COULD OTHER DRIVERS CUT YOU MORE SLACK ON THE TRACK KNOWING YOU HAVE MORE AT RISK? I think you guys are making this way too hard. Everybody goes out and they race as hard as they can. They try to make the most out of their night and that's it. There's no, okay I'm going to let this guy go, he's ninth in the points, I'm going to be eighth. It doesn't work that way-especially here. You start letting people and doing things that you normally wouldn't do and you're going to get crashed. You go out and race as hard as you can and that's it.

WILL YOUR FUTURE BE PREDICATED ON HOW YOU DO OR MAKE THE CHASE? No, I just want to see some improvement in the whole organization.

Jeff Gordon -- #24 DuPont Chevrolet

WHAT KIND OF RACING WILL WE SEE HERE? I think just a little more aggressive driving. I think Bristol brings that out in guys because of tight corners and fast. I just think that you're going to see guys that are battling to get into that Chase that are going to be pushing the envelope really, really hard. You've got some guys that are sitting in a good position and might want to conserve a bit more and you might see some guys that are not and have got to make some things happen. I think a lot of it is going to be about having a fast race car but also about having things go your way. And, at a race track like Bristol, things will go your way or they don't.

DO SOME PEOPLE HAVE REASON TO BE NERVOUS BECAUSE OF WHAT MIGHT HAPPEN ON THE RACE TRACK? Yeah, definitely. I'm outside of the top 10 and I'm certainly a little bit nervous about how hard I'm going to have to push and how hard other guys are going to push back. I want to get a good starting position. We've got a great race car and I want to get that good starting position and get up front and run our own race if we possibly can and not have to worry about those other guys.

STEWART AND MAYFIELD ARE TALKING ABOUT HOW THE PRESSURE IS KIND OF OFF OF THEM. DOES THAT HELP A GUY WHEN THE PRESSURE IS KIND OFF? We'll find out. Could find out. Could be good. All that means to me is that it doesn't matter what their results are. If I'm coming along I hope that they think about that! No, I think that there's nothing better than going to a race track and not feeling any pressure. All you do is focus more on your job whereas sometimes when the intensity level is on, the pressure is on and it's a distraction.

WHAT IS IT LIKE TO BE ON THE OUTSIDE LOOKING IN WHEREAS YOU'RE USUALLY ON THE INSIDE LOOKING OUT? It's just a little bit frustrating with the type of season that we've had and right now I'm using it as motivation. We know that we still have a shot at getting in there and anything can happen and we hope that we'll make some things happen. You know, what a great season turnaround it could be if we do get into that Chase.

Jimmie Johnson -- #48 Lowe's Chevrolet

RE: PRACTICE, SEEMS LIKE YOU WERE TRYING TO FIND THE BALANCE Yeah, Bristol is typically a place we have a hard time qualifying at. We always race well, but getting started is usually a slow weekend, so we're par for the course right now.

YOU ARE IN THE POINTS AND LOCKED IN THE CHASE No, the pressure is slowly getting stiffer and stiffer for everyone. If you're comfortably in the Chase, you're worried about keeping everything going and worrying about Loudon, so nobody is sleeping well in the garage area.

SO, NOT A LITTLE BIT MORE COMFORTABILITY KNOWING YOU'RE LOCKED IN THE CHASE? Well, there is but all the races you're going to have your eyes on the next highest mark. We're in, so yes we're comfortable with that. But at the same time we're worried about the #20, we're worried about the Roush cars. We're trying to make our stuff better and stronger so we'll be a champion at the end of the year. I think that everyone has the same amount of pressure which is a tremendous amount, it's just that every team has a focus in different areas. Ours right now is on Loudon and getting started in the final 10 (races).

ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN HERE Yeah, anything can happen at this track. We race here twice, but it's not in the final ten and this is one of the tracks with a very unique setup, unique way to drive. The fact that one of the final ten races isn't at Bristol, really makes Bristol kind of an oddball track, even like a road course. What you learn here and what happens here doesn't mean your shorttrack season is going to be bad or the rest of our season is going to be bad. It's a very specific race track that you just hope to come out of here alive at the end.

RE: THIS ISN'T A PLACE WHERE YOU CAN JUST POINTS RACE I think everybody is always being smart with points and trying not to lose any here, especially at this point of the season. Points are worth money, points are worth a shot at the Chase. Everybody is very cautious of where they put their cars and where they race. At Bristol it's harder than other places where you get caught up in stuff that you can't control. From my standpoint, I'm always points racing. I'm trying to win races as well, but my mind is on the championship, not race wins.

-gm racing-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Kevin Harvick , Jimmie Johnson