Richard Childress Racing (RCR) announced that Kevin Harvick, driver of No. 29 GM Goodwrench Service Chevrolet Monte Carlo, will compete on a part time basis in the 2002 NASCAR Busch Series with Sonic as the primary sponsor. The following are ...
Richard Childress Racing (RCR) announced that Kevin Harvick, driver of No. 29 GM Goodwrench Service Chevrolet Monte Carlo, will compete on a part time basis in the 2002 NASCAR Busch Series with Sonic as the primary sponsor. The following are highlights of Harvick's Q&A's with the media:
(How many Busch and Craftsman Truck races will you run?) "Well right now, we have three planned. Last year, Sonic put their name on the Busch car for the first time at the Texas race. And they got spoiled and they wanted to go back to Texas as the sponsor of the whole car because we won that first race. This has been a great relationship that continues to grow.
I'm actually going to run my (Craftsman) Truck next weekend in Darlington and at Martinsville, and at Richmond; the two Busch races at Bristol, at Texas, Homestead and Phoenix. We're just putting them in here and there when it's convenient. Obviously we're not going to do any of them that we don't think we can win. This is the Chevrolet that I won five Busch races in and then I wrecked it and they put it back together for these three races."
(How will racing part-time in Busch and Craftsman Truck, plus full time in Winston Cup, be different for you this year?) "It was different last year because I made a commitment and I had to race the Busch races. I had to be at the Winston Cup races. But now, we're just going to pick the places where we like to race and where we think we can win, and just go out and get exposure for our sponsor and try to win the race. The only goal we have is to try to win the race - whether it's in the Busch car or the truck. If something comes up, I don't have to go do it. I can change it. There's no pressure when you don't have to do something."
(What do you remember most about winning here last year?) "I had to go home and watch the tape to figure out what was going on. This is where I won my very first Winston Cup race so I will remember quite a few of the things that went on for a long time. You can only do that (first win) once and obviously Atlanta will always hold a special place in my racing career. The last five or six laps of that race were pretty crazy."
(How are you doing this year compared to last year?) "Well, three races into this season, we're getting out butts kicked. Last year, we didn't really have anything to compare to. There were a lot of good times and a few bad times last year. Anything that we consider bad can always be a whole lot worse. The good teams are made from the bad times."
(Going into the fourth race of the year, do you feel pressure to do better quickly?) "Obviously, we're digging a hole here. It's pretty obvious after Rockingham and Las Vegas with myself and Jeff Gordon and Dale Jr. racing for 25th, that's not fair. All three of our teams are in the back and I promise you that we're better than that."
"We're behind the eight ball right now with the Chevrolet brand. NASCAR knows that and they're going to fix it soon. There's all kinds of stuff they're trying to clean up in the bodies, and unfortunately our cars are the ones that are suffering the most. In qualifying trim, it feels okay. But when you put them in a pack, it's a different story."
(Are the Chevrolets at a disadvantage?) "It's pretty evident. I'll be the first one to tell you that I hate the politics of this sport. We have to be on the other side of this and now we have to start complaining and whining. But that's how it is. It's not because they're trying to mess up the Chevrolets, it's because they're trying to make everything better. We're just a little bit on the bottom. They'll fix it, but we're four races behind. We got ourselves behind at Daytona when we crashed, but we've got two other races where we didn't run very good."
(On changing rules) "Oh, they've changed a bunch of rules. This car that we raced here last year is 60 counts worse on downforce than it was. It's changed a bunch. It's all those little things that have added up to that much. And it's big. Sixty counts of downforce on a total car - 30 of it is in the front - I wish you guys could ride with me and I'd show you what it's like."
Dale Earnhardt Jr., No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet Monte Carlo - qualified 3rd: "I wasn't wide open in (turns) one and two. I should have been, and probably could have been. In turns three and four, I had it on the mat. I'm real happy with Tony Eury Jr. and all the Bud guys. They've done a great job. This racecar was great rolling off the trailer and that's what we need. We missed that a little bit the first couple of races. And hopefully I can get us a good finish this weekend.
(Could this jump-start your season?) "Yeah, we need a good finish. We need a couple two or three top five runs in a row to get us up in the points where we want to be and where we should be. We came into the season thinking we were really going to be the team. We've still got that feeling, we just need back the finishes up."