MIAMI (Oct. 30, 2000) - Kevin Harvick had plenty of reason to be grinning ear to ear Monday at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The NASCAR Busch Series rookie was still excited about Sundayâ€™s victory in the Samâ€™s Town 250 at Memphis Motorsports ...
MIAMI (Oct. 30, 2000) - Kevin Harvick had plenty of reason to be grinning ear to ear Monday at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The NASCAR Busch Series rookie was still excited about Sunday’s victory in the Sam’s Town 250 at Memphis Motorsports Park. He was also excited about his first "official" NASCAR Winston Cup test session.
But even a bigger reason to smile Monday was turning the fastest lap of NASCAR Winston Cup testing for the Nov. 12 Pennzoil 400 presented by Discount Auto Parts, 34.92 seconds (154.639 mph), driving the No. 3 GM Goodwrench Services Chevrolet usually driven by Dale Earnhardt. Harvick’s fast lap bettered Ricky Rudd’s time from last week (35.0 seconds), and just missed David Green’s Winston Cup track record of 34.66/155.759 mph). When the NASCAR Winston Cup teams return to Homestead-Miami Speedway, Earnhardt will be back behind the wheel of the No. 3 Chevrolet, while Harvick will be in action in Saturday’s Miami 300, the Busch Series finale, driving the No. 2 ACDelco Chevrolet owned by Richard Childress.
"I think today’s test really shows what the whole Richard Childress organization is about," said Harvick. "I’m happy to help, and be a team player to help everyone out. We’re just trying to go as fast as we can, and help Dale out by giving him the best car for the race that we can.
"Right now, it looks that way (like Earnhardt will have a shot at winning the Bud Pole on Lennox Qualifying Day, Friday, Nov. 10). When everybody comes back, there are many variables that come into play. But Dale should have a good race car.
"I don’t think you’ll ever get anyone in this whole organization to give up on winning that eighth NASCAR Winston Cup championship for Dale. None of the guys quit, and none of the drivers quit. That ‘never say die’ attitude is what’s gotten them so far."
Also testing at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Monday were Hermie Sadler in Joe Bessey’s PowerTeam Chevrolet, Geoffrey Bodine in the Miccosukee Ford fielded by Chip MacPherson, and David Green in Ricky Hendrick’s GMAC Busch Series Chevrolet. Hendrick is expected to test that car in final pre-race testing at the Speedway on Tuesday.
Harvick tested his Busch car at Miami last week, prior to his successful trip to Memphis. He’s looking to return to the Speedway for next Saturday’s Miami 300.
"We tested in Miami and we were pretty stout," Harvick admitted. "We weren’t real good in qualifying trim, but we ran pretty good with our race setup. I had a good race and overcame a few obstacles yesterday, so that gives us a boost for the end of the season."
Black-flagged for jumping the start of Sunday’s race at Memphis, Harvick lost a lap early but worked his way back to score his third Busch Series victory of the season. He remains third in the Busch Series points, and leads Ron Hornaday for rookie of the year.
Was he "intimidated" stepping into the famed No. 3 Winston Cup car?
"No, it’s just another race car with a different number on the door. But any time you get to drive anything of Dale Earnhardt’s, it’s obviously done a lot of stuff in the past. So it is kind of different.
"Running a Winston Cup car is more like a (NASCAR Craftsman Series) Truck than a Busch car," Harvick added. "It’s got horsepower, but it’s also got a lot of downforce. Compared to the Busch car, it’s actually a little bit more comfortable to drive. It’s a change for me."
Fans still have an opportunity to purchase great seats for both the Nov. 11 Miami 300 and the Nov. 12 Pennzoil 400 by calling (305) 230-RACE, by visiting any Ticketmaster Ticket Center, or by ordering online at the official Speedway web site, www.homesteadmiamispeedway.com or www.ticketmaster.com.