KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 PENNZOIL PLATINUM IMPALA SS, met with members of the media at Bristol Motor Speedway and discussed differences in being a team owner and a driver, Cup drivers in the Nationwide Series, the penalties against Joe Gibbs Racin...
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 PENNZOIL PLATINUM IMPALA SS, met with members of the media at Bristol Motor Speedway and discussed differences in being a team owner and a driver, Cup drivers in the Nationwide Series, the penalties against Joe Gibbs Racin and other topics.
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MORE, BEING AN OWNER OR BEING A DRIVER? "There are different aspects you enjoy of each part. For me, from the ownership side of it, it is a challenge to put the people together and the day-to-day challenge of keeping the business going forward in a positive direction is fun for me. I enjoy that challenge. But, the competitive driver is what drives me on a day-to-day basis to stay enthused about everything that is going on. They both have different drives and different aspects of what you want to achieve and the gratification that comes out of them."
IS THERE A COMPARISON TO WHAT YOU WENT THROUGH AS A YOUNG DRIVER GETTING THRUST IN TO SPRINT CUP AND WHAT JOEY LOGANO WILL GO THROUGH NEXT SEASON? "I don't think there is any comparison in that particular situation. I think as close as you are going to be able to come to that scenario is Kurt Busch getting in Rusty Wallace's car and he had already established his career. I can't think of a good example for you, but I don't think there is really a comparison in that particular situation."
TALK ABOUT JEFF BURTON STANDS IN THE NASCAR LANDSCAPE BY MAKING HIS 500TH CAREER START AT CALIFORNIA. "If there is one thing I have learned this about Burton and I am glad I know this now because I will really be able to give him some grief about being old, Clint (Bowyer) and I actually give him a lot of grief about that. I think if you go ask Jeff Burton and I can pretty much tell you what the standard answer is going to be, is he has never really thought about it. It is not that he doesn't care about anything that is going on, he just goes about his business and he is very focused on what he does as a driver and as a person in our sport. The sport means a lot to him, but if you ask him about himself, he will down play the role he has played in taking our sport to what it is. Jeff is obviously a leader in our sport that has taken it to the level that it is from a safety standpoint, from a spokesman, from everything that comes with the sport. I don't necessarily know that you can rank anybody in this sport. I am sure everybody has their opinion, but he is definitely a big part of our sport and why it is what it is today in his own way."
AS YOU CAN TALK ABOUT YOUR CONVERSATIONS WITH NASCAR ABOUT NATIONWIDE INSURANCE'S SPONSORSHIP OF THE SERIES? "I think when they came in, obviously everything kind of happened last minute and they were very anxious to get everything activated from their standpoint to get their name out there. As we have gone in to the process, the whole Nationwide team has really asked a lot of questions of the teams of what we thought with our sport, working with NASCAR about where the Series is going and what the Series is all about. So they have been very involved with the teams from, not necessarily day one, once they got their feet on the ground, they have been very involved going forward in what we need to make better.
"I think as we go forward, I think things are going in a good direction and from a team owner standpoint, we feel very good where our particular team is going in to next year. We are happy with everything is going on too.
"From my standpoint and DeLana's (Harvick) standpoint we've learned a tremendous amount about the sport that a lot of drivers don't get to really understand about the sport, and really, probably, never will understand about the sport unless they own a team. Just for a fact that it is hard to understand to relate to somebody that a brake rotor costs X amount or tearing your car up under caution cost me $15,000 for no reason. There is no way to really take that in unless you really understand it and you are sitting there looking at the budget and writing those checks. It has brought a lot of things to mind that you definitely wouldn't have seen just driving the cars. From a NASCAR standpoint, I think it has helped my relationship with NASCAR and really understanding where they are coming from. The most important thing is it has helped me understand where Richard (Childress) is coming from on a lot of things. When you walk in as a driver and your car isn't running good, it just doesn't just happen to turn around. It takes a lot of work and a lot of effort and a lot of money to go out and do the things you need to do to make it right. So just understanding all those things has been a really good thing for me."
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT YOUR THOUGHTS AS A NNS TEAM OWNER IF YOU WOULD LIKE NASCAR TO MAKE A RULE ABOUT HOW MANY RACES A FULL-TIME CUP DRIVER CAN RACE IN THE SERIES OR WOULD YOU RATHER IT BE LEFT UP TO THE TEAM OWNERS? "We don't need any more rules, I know that for sure. Not racing this weekend in the first time in my career that I haven't raced this Nationwide Series since 2000. For me the schedule is all jam packed in one day. They used to practice and qualify on Thursday afternoon and there is too much happening on this particular day and that is why we chose to not race this race. Strictly from a racetrack schedule. For me, I am going to race 15 or 16 races as we go to the future. I am not going to run for the championship again. We feel like we are building our team, as we did our truck team. I started in the truck and in the Nationwide series case, (Tony) Stewart started in the car to help establish the team and now I feel like we are getting closer to being competitive week in and week out. It has always been this way with the Cup drivers in here; we have great developmental series in the Camping World East and West late model divisions around the country. The Cup drivers are what a lot of the people in the grandstands come to see. I think there are a couple of things that could be done to keep the guys racing for the championship that you want racing for the championship, scheduling and things like that. The series has been built on Cup guys coming in and running and the good guys, Carl Edwards and Bowyer; they all made a name for themselves in the NNS racing against the Cup guys. If you can't race against those guys, then you aren't ready to go to the next step."
AS A TEAM OWNER IN THE NATIONWIDE SERIES, WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE GIBBS PENALTIES: "Well I think there is a new promotion that all Toyotas are giving away free magnets with any purchase a new car. Obviously, and I truly honestly feel this, J.D. and Joe Gibbs don't run their company like that. It is obviously not a decision that was made at from the top or the people that represent their company. It was a mistake made by somebody that put their own mind to it. I don't think it is a representation of anybody at Joe Gibbs Racing and I think the penalties were obviously pretty harsh for a situation that I don't a lot of people had ever seen happen or been involved in. It is unfortunate because they have had such a great year and obviously it is going to have a little bit of mud thrown on it. I hate for it to put anything over what they have accomplished this year. We all want to win and when you see things accomplished like that, you don't want it to be tarnished in any way. Unfortunately the circumstances are what they are. I don't think anybody should point fingers at Joe or J.D., I don't work there I just know them from in the garage and talking to them, they don't get in trouble much so I don't think a whole lot of mud should be thrown on the organization. I think it was a bad decision on a few people's part. I don't know anything about the situation from an internal point that is from the outside looking in."
-credit: gm racing
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