Kevin Harvick, No. 29 Shell-Pennzoil Monte Carlo SS, met with members of the media at Daytona International Speedway to discuss what it means to win the Daytona 500, his championship hopes, the new-generation race car and spec-motor racing. HOW...
Kevin Harvick, No. 29 Shell-Pennzoil Monte Carlo SS, met with members of the media at Daytona International Speedway to discuss what it means to win the Daytona 500, his championship hopes, the new-generation race car and spec-motor racing.
HOW HAS YOUR LIFE CHANGED SINCE WINNING THE DAYTONA 500? "It's hard to explain the difference just between, with the magnitude of the Daytona 500 and something that I really didn't understand until we won the race. Just knowing the difference between the Daytona 500 and winning a race. So it's just a huge mark on your resume and to be a part of everything that's gone on has been fun to be a part of. It's something that we've all enjoyed and hopefully we get to do it again."
WHAT'S IT LIKE TO BE HERE IN THIS GROUP OF GUYS WHO HAVE WON OVER THE YEARS? "Yeah, it's pretty overwhelming, to tell you the truth. You walk up and you see Mario Andretti and A.J. Foyt and all the guys that have won Daytona 500s in the past and just knowing the history that you get to be around when you've won the Daytona 500 is something that for me, being a race fan, is something that is pretty special. It's fun to be a part of, to see all those guys and know that it's still pretty special to them is something that's neat."
HOW DO YOU ASSESS YOUR CHAMPIONSHIP HOPES THIS YEAR? "I think we've run very strong through the whole year and we've had a couple hiccups along the way at a couple race tracks but nothing crazy bad. For the most part we've been really good performance-wise and we've just had a lot of things go wrong and hopefully we've gotten all those things out of the way. Our engines keep getting better every week and I know we have a plan getting to the Chase with our engines being better and having different packages and things like that to choose from. It seems like we keep gaining momentum. It's just been a huge strain on everyone trying to run both race teams and try to keep everything going and test and do all the things that you need to do to keep up. It's run our guys down pretty good but for the most part it seems like we get stronger every week and we get more things out of the way that have happened that don't need to happen at the end."
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THE NEW CAR AT THIS POINT? "We've run well at all of them. Like I say, we've had some things go wrong but I probably the worst race we've had was last week. For whatever reason it seems like the flatter type of race track was the hardest for us to race on and you kind of were where you were running and it was hard to pass. It seemed like you could come in and put no tires on so I think we need to look at the tire situation just to see. With the corner speeds being so much slower and things we need to see if we can't make the tires a little bit softer to get us going a little bit faster. It will make the cars handle better and the tires should fall off at the end. I think you need to change tires as you get going through a run."
WERE YOU PART OF THE DISCUSSIONS TO USE THE SAME CAR THROUGH ALL THE NEW CAR RACES? "I used to ask every week just as far as what car we were running and things like that but I just don't ask anymore (laughs). They tell me that we've run the same car every time we run an oval race and I don't know if that's just to prove a point or if that's just because they think that's the best car. We have run the same car except for Infineon."
AS A TEAM OWNER, DO YOU LIKE THE REDUCED NUMBER OF CARS? "I think any time we can focus on one particular car or body, whatever we can do to have just one car is going to be better for the team owners and that's the most important thing is to know that the cars are going to be the same. The guys can work on the same stuff in the shop and be consistent as far as what you have. That's what we're working towards."
HAVE YOU BEEN KEEPING TRACK OF THE TESTING WITH THE NEW SPEC MOTOR AND HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THAT? "I think the spec motor would be the sorriest thing we could do to racing just for the fact of, I've talked to some of the guys that have run the spec motor and most of us depend on our manufacturers and our manufacturer is not necessarily interested in spec engine racing. From what I've heard from some of the guys and drivers that have tested is you basically just math the thing up off the corner and there's not a whole lot of technique for it so I think there are things that you can do to help the cost but if you want to make it a spec series it would probably wind up like IROC and out of business."
DID YOU HEAR THE ENGINE BLEW UP AT TALLADEGA THE OTHER DAY? "Did it? Good. I hope it keeps blowing up."
WOULD YOU RATHER NASCAR RAISE THE VALUE OF THE TRUCK SERIES TO MAKE IT EASIER TO GET SPONSORS FOR IT? "I think that there's other things we can do than go to a spec motor. We can seal the current motors that we have, we can not travel all the way to California to race in front of 50 people, we could do a lot of things to help the series whether it's travel-wise or seal the motors and make you race them twice. A spec motor is something that's great for the Busch East and Busch West Series but I just totally disagree with it on what we call a national series. It's supposed to be one of our top-three series and I just think they are pushing it for all the wrong reasons and I hope it keeps blowing up."
YOU'RE NOMINATED FOR AN ESPY AWARD - HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THAT? "I think it's pretty cool just for the fact that we got to be nominated a couple of times so hopefully we can win."
-credit: gm racing