Daytona 500: Kevin Harvick preview

* This Week's Shell-Pennzoil Chevrolet at Daytona International Speedway ... Kevin Harvick will pilot chassis No. 295 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. This is a new Shell-Pennzoil Chevrolet that was built...

* This Week's Shell-Pennzoil Chevrolet at Daytona International Speedway ... Kevin Harvick will pilot chassis No. 295 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. This is a new Shell-Pennzoil Chevrolet that was built during the off-season and tested extensively in the wind tunnel prior to loading up and heading to Daytona.

* Career Stats ...The 52nd running of the Daytona 500 marks Harvick's 323rd career start in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

o In 17 starts at the famed 2.5-mile oval, Harvick has claimed one win, one pole, four top-five and six top-10 finishes.

o In eight Daytona 500 starts, Harvick has a 12.9 average finish in eight appearances, the best of the active drivers who have competed in more than one race.

* One Duel at a Time ... For the first time in eight starts, Kevin Harvick and the No. 29 Shell-Pennzoil team will compete in the first Duel qualifying race in Daytona. All previous starts in the 75-lap events have come in the second Duel.

* Former 500 winner ... Harvick and the No. 29 Shell Pennzoil Racing team made the trip to Victory Lane in the 2007 Daytona 500, making him one of only 33 drivers to win the historic event. While battling door-to-door with Mark Martin as they were coming to the checkered flag, a multi-car melee broke out behind them. Harvick claimed the thrilling victory by a margin of 0.02-of-a-second.

* Just What the Doctor Ordered ... After flu-like symptoms sidelined him from practice, Harvick made the most of his first race laps in his No. 29 Shell-Pennzoil Chevrolet for the 2010 season. The Bakersfield, Calif., native ran strong throughout the 75-lap exhibition race en-route to earning back-to-back Budweiser Shootout titles.

* Kevin Harvick Live ... Fans can see Harvick live Sunday, Feb. 14 from 9:25 -- 9:40 a.m. on the Sprint FanZone Main Stage as part of a question-and-answer session hosted by Coca-Cola.

* Double Duty ... In addition to racing the No. 29 Shell-Pennzoil Chevrolet Impala for RCR in the Daytona 500, Harvick is scheduled to drive the No. 33 Chevrolet for Kevin Harvick, Inc., in the NASCAR Nationwide Series season opener on Saturday, February 13.


How important are the 150-mile qualifying races?

"I think they are important because it's the first time you have to actually have the chance to run a full fuel run, and you get to set yourself up on how your car handles. It's the first real test with a lot of rubber on the race track, so it's important for the week, and leading up to everything you have going on for Sunday. It tells you what you need to work on for the last couple days of practice."

Does it become a nail biter because you don't want to mess up your car in a qualifying race?

"You definitely don't want to put yourself in a position to mess your car up, but you need to race it hard enough to know what you have in your car. That's the glory of racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Hopefully, whatever you have on the race track you better have another one equally as good sitting in the trailer."

You are one of the few guys who have won the Daytona 500. How tough is that race to win?

"By no means is the Daytona 500 easy to win because there are so many circumstances that have to play out right. You have to be there all day long and stay out of trouble. It's a race that's unexplainable to win and the magnitude of everything that goes with it is a lot different than winning any other race. We're just fortunate to have won a lot of the big races, and that's pretty cool."

You were runner-up last year, after starting 32nd. Understanding it was difficult to get up there, how did that race play out for you last year?

"The best thing that happened to us was that our Shell-Pennzoil Chevy was just tearing up tires at the beginning of the race. We were terrible tight, so we just stopped on the second or third pit stop and really made some major adjustments not to worry about speed but to worry more about just the handling of our car. That paid off big time for us. As the race went on, we were able to handle our way to the front. We got Clint (Bowyer) behind us and were in a position to have a good shot of winning the race there at the end, but, unfortunately, the rain came. But, it was cool that Matt (Kenseth) finished first and we finished second. That's kind of how my Daytona 500 played out but, it my mind, it was going to be me first and Matt second."

If the rain didn't come, or if you were able to go back racing, did you have a really good shot at the win?

"I think we had a good shot at the win. But, we had a shot at wrecking, too, so you can look at it both ways."

-source: rcr

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Kevin Harvick , Mark Martin
Teams Richard Childress Racing