Chicagoland: Kevin Harvick - GM interview

Kevin Harvick was the winner of the Tropicana 400 in 2001 and 2002. Harvick, driver of the No. 29 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet, also holds the race record for most laps led while leading 113 of 267 laps during the Tropicana 400 on July 15, 2001. ...

Kevin Harvick was the winner of the Tropicana 400 in 2001 and 2002. Harvick, driver of the No. 29 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet, also holds the race record for most laps led while leading 113 of 267 laps during the Tropicana 400 on July 15, 2001. Harvick is currently 10th in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup points standings.

ON KNOWING THE SECRET TO GETTING AROUND CHICAGOLAND SPEEDWAY

"It hasn't showed yet in practice. We've got a brand new car and had a little bit of trouble. We've had a lot of success here over the past three years. Last year we had a really good run going. We ran out of gas coming into the checkered flag and wound up 17th. We were running second coming to that point. We've had three really good years here and hopefully we can have a fourth."

WILL FUEL BE AN ISSUE THIS YEAR?

"I'd say fuel will definitely be an issue. It's one of them things that always seem to be an issue at mile and a half race tracks where it's smooth and things are going in that direction. It'll come down to fuel mileage again."

IS THERE MORE OF A SENSE OF URGENCY WITH THE NEW POINTS SYSTEM AND BEING 10th?

"I think the whole point system this year has created a little bit more tension with everything that is going on. You're racing to 26 (races), you've got nine races to go. We're kind of on the bubble point there. We've got to make sure that we really stay on top of our game and do everything that we can do to keep a cushion behind us as much as we can. It'll be tough. There's a lot of good cars. Somebody could go on a hot streak here and hopefully it's us."

HOW ARE THE GROOVES? ARE YOU ANTICIPATING ANOTHER MOVE THROUGH THE GRASS?

"(Laughs) I hope we don't have to run through the grass again. Spinning through the grass and coming back to win the race is not how we want to do it. I guess whatever it takes to do it. If that's the way it works out, then that's the way works out. The race track is a lot rougher than it was. You guys have some hard winters up here and it's made it a little bit rougher. They've done a good job trying to keep it ground. The tires have a lot grip and kind of make up for the wear on the pavement."

DO YOU HAVE A FEELING IT WILL BE EASIER TO GO SIDE BY SIDE THIS YEAR?) "Once the race tracks wear in and really wear out on the bottom groove and the grip becomes less than the bottom groove then you have a race track where the groove moves up."

DO YOU THINK THE TOP TEN NOW WILL BE THE TEN IN THE CHASE FOR THE CHAMPIONSHIP?

"It could possibly be. I'm sure we all hope it's that way. From fifth place in the points to 10th place in the points, I think it's 90 points. Everybody from about fifth on back has to keep an eye on what they're doing and try to make as few mistakes as possible. That's the key at this point is just not making any mistakes."

WILLING WINNING AT THIS STAGE OF THE SEASON WILL HELP SOLIDIFY YOUR PLACE IN THE TOP TEN?

"I think a win anywhere would help solidify that. The main thing is that you've got to put yourself in contention, try to be in the top five and the win will come."

ON COMING BACK TO CHICAGO?

"It feels good to come back here just for the fact that we've won a couple of times and always ran good every time that we've come here. We struggle a little bit in qualifying for whatever reason but always race really good. It's a good feeling to come back somewhere where you have won twice."

DO YOU LIKE THE NEW POINTS SYSTEM?

"I've told a lot of people it's hard to tell and give a good evaluation until we get through it once and really see how it all shakes out."

HAVE YOU CHANGED YOUR STRATEGY AT ALL?

"I think you got to do what you got to do to win the race and try to position yourself up in front of the pack and do everything you can to try to gain all the points you can during the weekend."

-gm racing-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Kevin Harvick
Teams CIP