Kevin Harvick: Driver of the NASCAR Winston Cup No. 29 GM Goodwrench Service Plus Monte Carlo and the NASCAR Busch Series No. 2 ACDelco Monte Carlo Kevin Harvick adapts to a foreign environment this weekend: For the first time since Daytona, he...
Driver of the NASCAR Winston Cup No. 29 GM Goodwrench Service Plus Monte Carlo and the NASCAR Busch Series No. 2 ACDelco Monte Carlo
Kevin Harvick adapts to a foreign environment this weekend: For the first time since Daytona, he will be racing in only one series (NASCAR Winston Cup). The Martinsville Speedway (Martinsville, Va.) hosts a race favored and coveted by teams competing on the NASCAR Winston Cup Circuit. The event is not about flash and ostentatious grandeur, but instead it is an event dedicated to and solely about the sport of stock car racing. NASCAR's elimination of second round qualifying has transformed this weekend's schedule into a demonstration of each teams' skills. They will showcase their talents during one exceptionally calculated practice, one round of qualifying, a second practice, and an unpredictable and often fierce race. This weekend, the Busch Series is not competing. For Harvick and all of the Richard Childress Racing (RCR) operation, it offers the chance for the RCR teams to mentally prepare themselves for the summer.
It's almost like you're on a mini-break this weekend.
Kevin Harvick: "Judging from the schedules of both series (Winston Cup and Busch), this is one of the last times I'm going to get to stop and catch my breath. Next week while Cup is off, I'll have the chance to do the same thing with the Busch team (in Nashville, Tenn.). After these next weekends, the craziness starts. Both teams will have a few solid weekends of racing together, but come mid-May the series start splitting."
How do you feel heading into April, knowing what lies ahead of you this summer (with the series splitting)?
KH: "I'm not saying it's not going to be tough and that I can't wait for it to be over, but I'm actually excited about it. I probably sound crazy, but that's because most people don't fully understand it. I've got a lot of people counting on me. But I don't take that as pressure, it's just support from my team. I love to race, I love being in the car. Plus, I love to compete. The best way to get me to do something is to tell me I won't be able to do it.
"I'm looking forward to doing it (running both series full-time) mostly because people keep asking us the question about if we can. I want everybody to see us standing on the stage when I say, `I told you we could do it.'"
Martinsville holds some special memories for you. Isn't the Martinsville Speedway where Richard Childress saw you race and decided he wanted to sign you for his new Busch Series team?
KH: "Yeah, that's what he tells me. I was racing in the (Craftsman) truck series. I made a few moves that he thought were pretty gutsy- mostly I was beating up on another driver. I wasn't shooting for it, but it turned his head in my direction. For that, Martinsville will always be special. I didn't know it for a while, but my life completely changed -for the better- at that race."