Daytona II: Kevin Harvick preview

GM Goodwrench team looking to get back lost momentum HUNTERSVILLE, N.C., (June 28, 2005) -- Kevin Harvick and the No. 29 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet return to Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway this weekend hoping things will be better at the...

GM Goodwrench team looking to get back lost momentum

HUNTERSVILLE, N.C., (June 28, 2005) -- Kevin Harvick and the No. 29 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet return to Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway this weekend hoping things will be better at the beach than they were back in February. The GM Goodwrench Monte Carlo was involved in two separate crashes back at Speedweeks, which kicked off the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series season.

The team gathered momentum after leaving Daytona. Harvick climbed into the top-five in NASCAR points and looked like a solid contender for the series championship after a dominating win at Bristol Motor Speedway in April. But the positive direction the team had back in the spring has slipped a little as the heat of summer has approached. Harvick has finished outside the top-15 in five of the last six races, including finishes of 25th or worse in three of the last four. That tail slide has dropped Harvick out of the top-10 in the standings.

"We have just missed it over the last few weeks," said Harvick. "It hasn't been one thing. It's been several. And while it has been frustrating, we still believe we are one of the best cars out there. We have just lost some momentum. We need to get back to where we were a month ago, and Daytona is a track where we can get it all back."

There is no question that Richard Childress Racing is one of the restrictor plate kings. The GM Goodwrench Chevrolet has been a front runner at every plate track since the plate was implemented. But while Harvick has racked up a ton of top-five finishes on the "big tracks" he is still missing a victory.

"We have won poles at both Daytona and Talladega (Ala.). We have run in the top-five and finished second more times than I can recall. But we still need to get the win," Harvick said. "Our cars have been as good as anybody and I think this year the field is more wide open than ever. I feel we have a great chance to get the momentum back on our side and a victory Saturday night would be exactly what this team needs."

Points of Interest...

* Chase for the Championship...The GM Goodwrench Chevrolet continues to hold on to its spot in the top-10 in NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series points. Harvick dropped from seventh to 10th after finishing 25th at Michigan International Speedway last week. He trails leader Jimmie Johnson by 370 markers.

* Last Year at the Pepsi 400...A decision to take two tires on the last pit stop put the No. 29 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet second with 18 laps to go. But the silver and black racing machine was too loose to stay with the leaders. Harvick wound up in the 14th position, his fifth consecutive top-15 finish at the 2.5-mile oval and first outside the top-10 in the last four attempts

* Busch Whacking...Harvick will make his return to the Busch Series this weekend in the No. 21 Reese's Chevrolet. Brandon Miller has been splitting time with Harvick in the Orange and Brown Monte Carlo. Harvick was the 2001 NASCAR Busch Series Champion and was the primary driver for Richard Childress Racing's 2003 NASCAR Busch Series Owner's Championship.

* What Ya' Haulin'...The GM Goodwrench transporter will unload chassis No. 087 at Daytona International Speedway. It is the same chassis that Harvick raced in the Daytona 500 and Talladega 500 this year. It sat on the Bud Pole at Talladega just nine races ago. In both events, Harvick was involved in late race crashes. The car has once again been rebuilt with a new Monte Carlo body. Chassis No. 087 is the oldest current car in the GM Goodwrench stable. It was a backup for all four restrictor plate races in 2004, but it was the primary superspeedway car in 2003.

No. 29 GM Goodwrench driver Kevin Harvick on Daytona International Speedway...

You had a very disappointing Speedweeks back in February. Have you been looking forward to getting back to Daytona and turn things around?

"I think we never had a chance to show how good we were back in February. We had the wreck with Jimmie Johnson in the Twins and that really turned into a media frenzy. We did the best we could with the backup car and actually drove it into the top-10 before getting caught up in another crash when (Greg) Biffle and (Scott) Wimmer got together. Anytime you race on a plate track you have a 50-50 chance at crashing. We hopefully have had our share for the year and can stay out of trouble."

This team was really strong back in the early part of the season. But lately, it seems you have lost some momentum. What seems to be the difference?

"I think the competition just cycles like that. I know that everyone at RCR is working on it. It just seems like when we fix one thing another pops up. We have a stretch of races which we can be a factor. We just need to keep working. I think we can get back what we have lost."

No. 29 GM Goodwrench crew chief Todd Berrier on Daytona International Speedway...

You proved with the Bud Pole at Talladega that you can put the fastest car on the track. What needs to happen next to get the win at Daytona?

"We just need to stay out of trouble and be in the right position at the end. I think we had a top-five car at both the Daytona 500 and at Talladega, but we got crashed and you can't win with a torn up car. Kevin Harvick is one of the best I've seen at working the draft. He knows when to go and when to work on the proper positioning to make a run. Some of these other guys don't understand that and they make mistakes. I will be amazed if we are not one of the five or six fastest cars this weekend. We should have a great chance to win."


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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Kevin Harvick , Jimmie Johnson
Teams Richard Childress Racing