Fontana II: Harvick - GM Top-10 interview



AS A TEAM OWNER, HOW TOUGH WOULD IT BE FOR THE BUSCH SERIES TO GO TO MONTREAL? "It wouldn't be that big a deal. It would probably be good for the series to go up there and get into a new environment."

WOULD IT BE MORE EXPENSIVE THAN COMING OUT HERE TO CALIFORNIA? "Well, it would be more expensive than going to Martinsville; I know that much. But it is part of what we do. I'm sure the purse will be good like it is in Mexico City. I don't think it'll be as bad as going to Mexico."

ARE YOU PLANNING TO RUN A FULL BUSCH SCHEDULE NEXT YEAR? "We'll just probably run all the companion events."

WHAT KIND OF PRESSURE DOES THE CHASE PUT ON YOU AND YOUR TEAM WHEN YOU COME TO CALIFORNIA? "It's a different kind of pressure for us this year because we have been on the outside looking in this is probably our worst tracks and so we haven't been too excited about coming here in the position we've been in. But we ran well at Michigan, which I feel is probably our second worst track compared to this one. And so it's probably going to be okay this year. But then everything has been better this year. We've run better everywhere and the cars have performed well. So hopefully we can have a good weekend and go to Richmond."

YOU AREN'T LOCKED IN, BUT SOMETHING WOULD REALLY HAVE TO GO WRONG FOR YOU TO FALL OUT NOW. WHEN WAS THE TURNING POINT IN THE SEASON FOR YOU? "I don't really know. The begging of the summer was good to us. Really, all through the summer we've been strong. The car has been strong all year. It's just that we had some bad luck at the beginning of the year and once we got rid of that and things started going okay and the performance of the cars was still okay. So (it was) probably after the first eight or 10 races after we shook some of that bad luck."

DOES THE CHASE MAKE YOU RACE ANY DIFFERENTLY? "I don't think so. You go out and race as hard as you can every lap and try to put yourself in position to win and if you can't do that you try to get the best finish you can out of the day. To me, you just go out and do the same things whether your in the Chase or out of the Chase you just try not to take any chances or crash or put yourself in a awkward position."

DOES IT SEEM LIKE THERE WAS A LOT OF GIVE AND TAKE AT BRISTOL LAST WEEKEND? "No, not really. It's still jus Bristol and there were still accidents and things. I don't think it was any different than it has been."

WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO START YOUR OWN TEAM AND WAS IT A GOOD MOVE? "I don't know that it was a good move (laughs). That will be yet to be seen in the future. But I just enjoy being around the cars. I've never been fortunate enough to own my own stuff and do it right and I feel like we're able to do it right and build good cars and we're just trying to build a good foundation for the future. So right now, it's just kind of trial and error to do things right or wrong - whatever it is. You just have to try it and see how it all works out. I enjoy it. I enjoy being around that stuff and being around the cars and the people and seeing it all function."

DOES OWNING YOUR OWN TEAM HELP YOU RELATE BETTER TO OTHER TEAM OWNERS? "I think the biggest thing that it helps me do is relate to Richard (Childress) and know where he's coming from on a lot of the ownership stuff on the Cup car and just knowing how long it takes to do some things. You always look around and try to see what other people are doing and try to take what you think is good and bad. Delana and I have been doing it our own way. But you definitely look at everything around you and try to make it as good as possible.

IS IT MORE CHALLENGING TO BE AN OWNER THAN BEING THE DRIVER? "It's a different challenge than it is in the car. There are times when you have to spend a lot of time taking care of your people to make sure that they're happy and that they're not complaining. It's just a lot of different challenges."

"All the guys have been here for a long time and have been with me since we started the Busch team back in 2000. We have a good relationship and you spend a lot of time with people through the years and at the track. So you have a lot of time to spend with the guys and most relationships are really good."

"It doesn't matter how good your car is if you can't have a good pit stop. You're not competitive. Without the guys having good pit stops, pretty much the whole weekend revolves around what they do if you have a good car."

WHAT DIFFERENCE DO YOU SEE IN THE WAY YOUR RACE TO GET INTO THE CHASE? HOW DO YOU ADJUST? "You don't adjust. You go out and race as hard as you can every week. There are really no adjustments that have to be made. We go out and do everything we can do week in and week out to perform as good as we can and not put yourself in awkward positions to tear up your car. Those are things you'd do every week and those are things we'd do in the Chase or out of the Chase or no matter where you are. That's just how you race. You go out and race has hard as you can and try not to put yourself in a bad position. That's not anything different that you do week to week."

IS THAT SOMETHING YOU'VE LEARNED OVER THE YEARS? "Well, I think you learn how to race. As you go through the years, you learn a little bit more and a little more and when to give and when not to give, and when to take and when not to take. It's just something that you lean. Well, you get better at it. I don't know if it's something you ever learn correctly but you try to train yourself to do it how you think it should be done."

ON GOOD PERFORMANCE AT RICHMOND IN BOTH CUP AND BUSCH "Oh, we've been fortunate to be really good in both cars and led the most laps in the Cup race and won the Busch race last time, so we've been fortunate to run really well there and hopefully we can continue that going forward."

WILL IT BE A RELIEF TO GET QUALIFYING OVERWITH AT RICHMOND NEXT WEEKEND? "I don't really like qualifying anyway, so..(laughs)

WHY HAVE YOU HAD SUCH SUCCESS IN BUSCH THERE? "We've just had good cars and just put ourselves in position to win in the end. It's just something where you have to put yourself in position and go from there and do everything tyou can."

IS IT LUCK? "Oh, you have to be lucky to win."

-credit: gm racing

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Cup