HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (May 31, 2005) -- Dover (Del.) International Speedway has been labeled as Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway on Steroids. If that's the case than GM Goodwrench driver Kevin Harvick should be a favorite for this weekend's MBNA ...
HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (May 31, 2005) -- Dover (Del.) International Speedway has been labeled as Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway on Steroids. If that's the case than GM Goodwrench driver Kevin Harvick should be a favorite for this weekend's MBNA 400.
Harvick swept the NASCAR racing action at Bristol back in April, winning both the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series event and the NASCAR Busch Series event. The GM Goodwrench team will unload the same winning chassis (No. 120) that Harvick used to dominate at Bristol.
"This car is probably the best car we have right now," said Harvick. "All of our chassis are either brand new or were new at the end of 2004, so every car we have is good. But this chassis just really drives well and reacts to changes the way you expect it to. We have run in the top-five every time we have unloaded it. With some luck here or there, we could have won a couple more races with it."
The "Monster Mile" has been another feast or famine track for the GM Goodwrench Chevrolet. In Harvick's first two races at Dover, he captured top-10 finishes with top-15 starts. But since those two races in 2001, the No. 29 Monte Carlo has struggled. Harvick started outside the top-30 four times, including both races last year. He also has just two top-10s since '01 with a best finish of fourth in the fall of 2003. Last year, the GM Goodwrench Chevy finished 10th and 19th respectfully.
"Dover is a tough track to get a hold of," Harvick said. "We have had some decent runs there but we haven't been consistently in the top-five like we need to be. I think this year our program is better. I didn't have this chassis last year, so I feel a lot more confident going in this time around."
* Chase for the Championship...Harvick has battled his way into seventh position in NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series points, just 262 markers out of first. Despite disappointing finishes for the GM Goodwrench Chevrolet recently, Harvick has managed to keep himself firmly in the top-10, which proved to be the cutoff for last year's Chase for the Championship.
* What Ya' Haulin'...The GM Goodwrench transporter will unload chassis No. 120 at Dover International Speedway. It is the same chassis that Harvick drove to victory at Bristol Motor Speedway on April 3rd. Harvick also ran the car at Phoenix (Ariz.) International Raceway this year finishing 19th after running out of gas on the last lap, while running seventh. No.120 recently raced at Richmond International Raceway, where Harvick finished fifth. In 2004, the chassis raced at Martinsville (19th) and Loudon (10th).
* Television and Radio...TV coverage of the MBNA 400 on FOX starts at 12:30 p.m., with radio coverage of the 400-lap event on MRN Radio. Remember times and dates of the race may change, so check your local listings.
No. 29 GM Goodwrench driver Kevin Harvick on the MBNA 400...
How difficult is 400 miles at Dover International Speedway?
"It really is one of the toughest tracks we race on. I can remember watching this race on TV when they ran 500 miles. That had to be brutal. The track is so fast and the corners are so long that is grinds you into the seat. You get that roller coaster effect from driving into a hole in the corners and then driving up out of the hole on exit. The straight-aways are banked as well, so it feels like you are constantly getting g-force load on your body."
We saw a lot of single file racing at Bristol with the bump and run used to pass. Will it be that way at Dover?
"It is very hard to pass at Dover. Anytime you are running that fast, it makes passing more difficult. You really have to set someone up and time it right at this track if you want to pass. I think it will be a single file race. If your car is setup correctly, then you will be able to make passes. If not, you really have to race the track and try to stay out of trouble."
Can you avoid trouble when it happens?
"Things happen really fast. There really isn't a lot you can do. But, you can usually tell when something is getting ready to happen in front of you. The real trouble spots are driving in too deep under someone getting in and washing up or getting a bad push or loose off the corners. The track is self cleaning with all the banking so, it's hard to get out of the way if you are in the groove and it all starts coming down the hill."
No. 29 GM Goodwrench crew chief Todd Berrier on Dover International Speedway...
How important is qualifying at Dover?
"From looking at our statistics, I would say it's a big factor. This year we have worked mainly on race setup and made maybe one or two qualifying runs in practice. I don't think we will change that routine this week, but we may switch over to qualifying trim a little earlier than we have anywhere else this year. It really depends where we are in race trim. If were good, I'll switch over. If not, we will stay in race trim. I think that is more important."