Harvick Ready for the Nashville/Pocono Double HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (June 6, 2006) -- Last weekend's third place finish at Dover International Speedway wrapped up GM Goodwrench driver Kevin Harvick's first half of his regular 2006 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup...
Harvick Ready for the Nashville/Pocono Double
HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (June 6, 2006) -- Last weekend's third place finish at Dover International Speedway wrapped up GM Goodwrench driver Kevin Harvick's first half of his regular 2006 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series (NNCS) season. With 13 races down, there's that many more to go before the Chase for the NEXTEL Cup begins. Harvick, who leads the NASCAR Busch Series standings and is also in the top-10 in the NNCS standings, now heads into the hot, grueling summer months where drivers competing fulltime in both series must race at two different venues on the same weekend for the next three weeks. It's a logistical feat and endurance test that could make a difference in one or both series' standings.
The first double-duty weekend is this Saturday and Sunday, with the Busch Series at Nashville Superspeedway in Nashville, Tenn., and the NEXTEL Cup Series at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pa. "The thing I look at is that the next five guys behind me are in the same boat I am," commented Harvick on the schedule. "If it's weather, it's going to be for everyone. It's nice to have a big lead in the Busch Series, but you can lose it in a hurry. Randy (LaJoie) will drive the (Busch) car in practice, and I'll show up, qualify and race it."
Pocono's 2.5-mile triangular layout doesn't look menacing, but don't underestimate appearances. Cup teams must juggle three different turns, three long straight-aways and high engine stress in order to secure a good finish. None of Pocono's three turns are alike, which makes for an interesting strategy. Because of the differences, drivers and crew chiefs usually choose the one where they want their car to excel and factor that into their setups. It can pay a toll on equipment as well with heavy braking in the three turns and those long straight-aways requiring high RPMs.
"Last year we ran really well there during both races," said Harvick. "That was the first time in a couple of years that we've done that. The tires are softer now than they have been in the past so handling comes into effect a lot more than it did. Since they added the foot-high curb in the tunnel turn, that makes things a little bit challenging back there and the track is pretty rough. It's one of those places where you have to have a good handling car, and you have to sit in there for 500 miles and get through the day. There are a lot of things that can go wrong because it's so hard on the engines and things."
Points of Interest...
* Track Stat...Kevin Harvick has 10 Cup Series starts at Pocono Raceway. Of those 10 starts, he has compiled a record of three top-10 finishes, two DNF's and winnings totaling $960,534. He finished both events last year in the top-10. He finished eighth in June and sixth in July. His only other top-10 finish came in 2002 where he also finished sixth.
* #29 Goodwrench Expertise Challenge...29 lucky fans will receive an all-new 2007 Chevy Avalanche if GM Goodwrench driver Kevin Harvick wins 2 of 12 selected NASCAR Nextel Cup races. GM Godwrench will also set up a $200,000 scholarship fund to encourage young men and women to pursue careers as automotive technicians after the two wins occur. Fans can join the challenge by visiting a Chevrolet dealership or a Chevy display at select NASCAR events to get a ticket with an official promotion code. They then visit goodwrench.com/expert, enter the promotion code and submit the registration form to receive a sweepstakes entry. They can also visit goodwrench.com/expert to get a promotion code and complete the registration process. The next Expertise Challenge race will take place at Chicagoland Speedway during the running of the USG Sheetrock 400 on July 9th.
* Victory Lane Savings Promotion...GM Goodwrench driver Kevin Harvick gave all GM customers and NASCAR fans their first chance to cash in on a $10 rebate when he won the Subway Fresh 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on Saturday, April 22, 2006. Throughout the remainder of the 2006 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series season, anytime the No. 29 GM Goodwrench/Reese's Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS is first past the checkers, the first 5,000 people who visit goodwrench.com starting at 3 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) the Monday after the win can celebrate with a $10 mail-in rebate.
* Runnin It...Harvick will be behind the wheel of chassis No. 163 this weekend at Pocono. This is the first race this year where this chassis will be used.
* Chase for the NEXTEL Cup...Kevin Harvick moved up to the eighth spot in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings after his third place finish in the Neighborhood Excellence 400 at Dover International Speedway. Harvick now sits 420 markers out of the lead.
* Avg. Start/Avg. Finish...Kevin Harvick's average starting position at Pocono Raceway is 19.4, with his best starting position of sixth coming in 2001. Harvick's average finishing position is 18.3, with his best finish of sixth coming in 2002 and 2005.
* Back in Silver and Black...Kevin Harvick is back behind the wheel of the silver and black No. 29 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet this weekend. The orange Reese's colors will don the hood again at Michigan International Speedway on Sunday, June 18th for the 3M Performance 400.
* Did you know....GM Goodwrench offers convenient, efficient Goodwrench Multipoint Vehicle Inspections, comprehensive diagnostic testing and complete maintenance and service capabilities, just like a NASCAR race pit stop. GM Goodwrench is prepped to conveniently maintain and repair GM vehicles with a full line of products for one-stop service at over 7,000 GM dealership locations nationwide.
* The Service Brand...GM Goodwrench is the service brand for GM vehicles -- Chevrolet, Buick, Pontiac, GMC, HUMMER and Cadillac. With dealerships located nationwide, the GM Goodwrench network is one of the largest automotive service chains in the industry. GM Goodwrench technicians receive specialized training from General Motors to provide expert care for GM cars and trucks. Genuine GM replacement parts are manufactured to the same specifications of the GM vehicle. For more information, visit the GM Goodwrench web site at goodwrench.com .
* Start time...On Sunday June 11th, the running of the Pocono 500 is set to begin at 1:30 p.m. EDT on FOX. If you can't catch the race on TV, it can be heard on your local MRN Radio affiliate and XM Satellite Radio -- Channel 144 starting at the same time. Remember to check your local listings as dates and times of the race may change.
No. 29 GM Goodwrench driver Kevin Harvick on Pocono Raceway...
What is the best way to set-up the car?
"There are too many different kinds of corners to have any unique set-up. It's more of finding a happy medium. There are a lot of bumps in turn one that you have to get through. Then, the tunnel turn is flat and fast. The last corner is pretty flat and the exit opens up and the car rolls over a lot. Turn one has a little more banking than the other two corners. The other two are pretty flat. You just hope you find a common ground and make it all work."