Bristol II: Harvick - GM Top-10 interview

SHARPIE 500 - WEEKLY TOP 10 BEHIND THE HAULER CHAT WITH KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 REESE'S / GM GOODWRENCH MONTE CARLO SS: ON BEING "BRISTOL PROOF": "I don't think anybody is Bristol proof. This is one of those places that no matter how good your...



ON BEING "BRISTOL PROOF": "I don't think anybody is Bristol proof. This is one of those places that no matter how good your car is, where you are at, or whatever the case may be, you are kind of proned to get in to trouble. You are always on the verge of wrecking anyway, no matter what. Then getting out there with 42 other cars, your odds increase of getting in to trouble. It is just one of those places that you just go as hard as you can and however it plays out, it plays out. That is why they feel the grandstands up and so many people come to watch."

ON APPROACH TO COMING HERE WITH A GOOD CAR AND GETTING CAUGHT UP IN SOMETHING THAT ISN'T YOUR DOING: "We come here expecting to run good and be competitive and have a chance to win the race, but you have to have the frame of mind that if you get in to trouble, this is Bristol and things are going to happen the way they are going to happen."

ON BEING MORE CONSERVATIVE AT BRISTOL BECAUSE OF CURRENT POINTS POSITION: " No, I think we have to go and do what got us here. If we are in the position to win the race, in the top-five or top-10, you are in control of your own destiny. For me, I would rather control my own destiny rather than have to worry about what everybody else is doing. You just try to put yourself in position to win and go as hard as you can."

ON ENJOYING ANOTHER SITUATION WHERE RUNNING SECOND TO KURT BUSCH LATE IN THE RACE: "Absolutely. This morning our car was really good in race trim and pretty good in qualifying trim. Last time we just didn't have quite enough laps. We were probably a little bit better than him, but we just never could get to him."

ON KURT BUSCH RUNNING WELL AT BRISTOL WHETHER IN FORMER ROUSH RIDE OR CURRENT PENSKE CAR: "Rusty ran good in the No. 2 car as well and Kurt is good here anyway. I think their (Penske Racing) setup was pretty close for him to come in and go fast. But obviously, he does a pretty good job here and gets it done."

ON BEING MORE EXCITING RACING AT NIGHT ON BRISTOL: "I like racing at night, but I think it is just more Bristol than it is anything else. The place is just a different animal when it gets dark and comes in to the night. You are just at Bristol, it is just a place where there is never a dull moment."

ON SIGNING SPONSOR FOR KHI TRUCK TEAM: "It is exciting. Now we don't have to hear the talk about whether it is going to run or not or what is going to happen. It makes it good for Ron (Hornaday) and all the guys to know that everything is set for next year. We were at the point that if something didn't happen, we were probably going to shut it down at the end of the year. We made that decision a couple of months ago and the marketing guys did a good job and we just kind of fell in to something with the AES people. It is exciting for everyone to know that everything is set. Ron (Hornaday) has a contract through next year"

ON DIFFERENT ASPECT HE WOULD INTRODUCE TO CHASE IN TERMS OF EXCITEMENT OR STYLE OF RACING: "I don't know, I hope we get to experience that opportunity. I feel like if we get in the Chase, we will have a chance to do what we need to do barring any circumstances performance wise. Once you get in it, you can pretty much let it all hang out and go for it. It is a 10-race shootout and that is the way we are going to treat it."

ON KEEP TRACK OF STATISTICS SUCH AS IN THE LAST 10 RACES BEING THE DRIVER WHO HAS SCORED THE MOST POINTS: "It would be nice if it was the last 10. Our cars have been really good and everything has been going our way. If we can keep the momentum on our side, and get through these next three races and put ourselves in position for the Chase, I feel like if we can keep that, we will be in good shape. The performance of our cars has been really good, it was good at the beginning of the year, even through the bad luck. Performance wise, it has kept us in the game. So hopefully that will continue."

ON RACING IN FONTANA, NEAR FAMILY AND FRIENDS: "It is nice to go out there, I don't treat it as time to go see family and friends, I treat it as a job and go out like everybody else. We get there the day before everything starts on the track so I don't spend a lot of time with them. It is cool to have them all there and obviously we are supported well there but we still have to go out there and make it happen. "

ON AFFECTS OF ABOUT 50 FULL-TIME CUP TEAMS IN 2007: "I think there are going to be a lot of them coming in affected. There are probably going to be some hurt feelings in the first five races and it is going to be tough for them. It is already tough, but I think it is going to be a situation where there are going to be some good teams with no points and too many champions and not enough provisionals. There is certainly a possibility of a lot of things that can happen."

ON DIFFERENT EMOTIONS FROM LAST YEAR FIGHTING SO HARD AND NOT GETTING IN CHASE AND THIS YEAR BEING IN A BETTER POSITION: "It is still really stressful because you don't want to have a hiccup and lose a bunch of points in one night. We are at Bristol and then go to California, which I feel is our worst track. I felt Michigan was our second worst track. It is just a lot of pressure on everybody to make it happen. The year that we have had, it would be a shame not to be in the Chase but there is still that possibility that it could happen. But until it happens, we aren't going to count our chickens before they hatch and it is a lot of pressure on everybody."

ON IMPORTANCE OF HANDLING AT BRISTOL:" You want your car to be consistent. Obviously it has to be fast, but you have to be able to drive it every lap and it has to be something to where you can manhandle it to a certain degree. You also have to be patient and get by people. Usually the cars that win here aren't torn up very bad because they have been able to pass cars and do what they need to do all night without having to run over somebody to get it done. When you car is not handling very good, sometimes you have to run in to people to get by them here and that usually causes a crash."

ON CHANGING LUCKY DOG RULE: "I don't think so. You could line up all the stars in the Kyle Busch situation at Watkins Glen and it won't happen again for 100 races. The intent of the rule was to keep people from racing back to the caution for the safety of the drivers and the paramedics. I think it is fine, I think the Watkins Glen situation is just out of character for the whole series and what happened. How many times have you got to a race and there is a guy five laps down and no one between him and the lead lap cars?"

ON RACING IN NASCAR TOURING SERIES IN EARLY YEARS OF RACING: "You learn how to race and the things you need to do to go around the race track. It is one of those things you just go through the ladder and just race. You have to learn the things you have to do to take the next step."

ON RACING AT MESA MARIN IN BAKERSFIELD, CA: "It is one of those places where you had to race hard and the tires fell off. It is just a shame that they tore it up."

ON WHY CALIFORNIA IS WORST TRACK: "it is just that our finishes haven't been that good there. We have run really bad there and we have run really good there, we have just been kind of hit or miss. It has been that same way at Michigan for us. We have been decent at Michigan both races this year. We are pretty comfortable with where we are going back to California."

ON ANY AFFECT ON YOUR TEAM WITH JEFF BURTON MOTOR PROBLEMS AT MICHIGAN: "We talked about it Monday and everybody is of the opinion we just need to go do what they need to do and race like they have been all year. Stuff is going to happen, things like that are going to happen to other teams and our teams.

It is all about how you recover from it. He is really good with those situations and I believe it was handled really well."

ON IF IT WILL SPOIL THEIR (No. 31 team) SEASON IF THEY DON'T MAKE THE CHASE: "It would spoil everything that they have accomplished this year to a certain degree. You could make good with it just for the fact they have had a good year, I think in the end it would be a letdown if they aren't in the Chase."

ON HUMBLE ATTITUDE OF KURT BUSCH: "I think Roger Penske has a lot to do with that. Roger is really good with people and understands how things work, understands how the business world goes around. I believe if there is anyone to credit, it would be Roger. He has rubbed off well on Kurt, on a lot of us actually in the garage. He just knows how to handle situations. We all do things wrong and stuff happens and you go from there."

-credit: gm racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Roger Penske , Kyle Busch
Teams Team Penske