Daytona Shootout: Kevin Harvick preview

This Week's Budweiser Chevrolet at Daytona International Speedway ... Kevin Harvick will pilot Chassis No. 334 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable in this weekend's Budweiser Shootout. This No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet was built in-house by the Gil Martin-led No. 29 team over the winter months and will make its first competitive laps around the speedway this weekend.

Career Stats ... Harvick makes his seventh appearance in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season-opener during Speedweeks. In six Budweiser Shootout starts at the 2.5-mile tri-oval, Harvick has claimed two victories, four top-five and five top-10 finishes. Additionally, the Bakersfield, Calif., native has earned a 16.8 starting average and a 6.8 finishing average.

King of Beers ... Harvick hits the track with a brand new sponsor and paint scheme for the 2011 season, as Budweiser joins RCR and the No. 29 team. Harvick's black and red Chevrolet Impala will make its debut this Saturday night in one of NASCAR's wildest events of the year.

Winner, Winner ... Harvick has enjoyed quite a bit of success in previous years at Daytona's big-dollar shootout, and this year he will contend for his third consecutive Budweiser Shootout title. Harvick won his first title in 2009, competing against the largest field ever recorded. A win in the 2010 event added another notch in Harvick's belt, making him the defending champ two years in a row.

Introducing the Crew ... Harvick debuts a new pit crew for the Budweiser Shootout. The No. 29 team's 2011 pit crew includes two veterans from the 2010 crew, along with new front- and rear-tire changers and carriers and a new jackman.

Super Weekend ...Harvick spent his last weekend before the 2011 season cheering on the Green Bay Packers. Joining his new sponsor Budweiser, Harvick traveled to Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas for Super Bowl XLV. He stopped by FOX's Super Bowl Red Carpet pre-game show to talk about NASCAR's Super Bowl, the Daytona 500.

KEVIN HARVICK:

Talk about your new primary sponsorship with Budweiser.

"It's been fun to be a part of all the Budweiser stuff and see the car on the race track. The photo shoots have been pretty cool, because Budweiser is such an iconic brand not only in our sport, but around the world. It makes it a lot easier to promote a product that you actually like, so it's been fun to be normal and just hangout."

You won races last year, you led the regular season points and you came close to winning the championship. You must have some pretty high goals for this season?

"I think when you look at everything and where we are, racing for the championship is really what it's all about. We want to win a championship trophy. Coming so close last year, I think we learned a lot, from the mind set, to the expectation level that you need to set for yourself, to the preparation that goes into everything for those last 10 weeks. It's very important to be able to maintain that level of competitiveness throughout those last 10 weeks. We know what that feels like now, and we've done that better than we ever have before. We just have to keep doing the things that we're doing. We have to make our pit crew better. That'll help us a lot. If we do the same things we did last year and we improve on pit road, we'll win more races."

Paul Menard joined RCR's roster of drivers. What has it been like having him as a fourth team member?

"Obviously, with Paul coming here, he's a good guy first off and easy to get a long with. Bringing a fourth team in that's funded correctly and when you go out and hire the right people and do the right things, you really shouldn't miss a beat. It should help everything progress forward, with more R & D dollars and more opinions at the race track as far as what needs to get better or things you need to do differently. When the No. 07 team went away, all that stuff went to the truck team, so it really has been a complete addition of everything brand new."

-source: rcr

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Kevin Harvick , Paul Menard