Q&A's with Kevin Harvick, No. 29 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet Monte Carlo (How has your new position with RCR and the Winston Cup Series changed the demands on your time?) "There's just a lot more demands. Time managing has become essential for...
Q&A's with Kevin Harvick, No. 29 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet Monte Carlo
(How has your new position with RCR and the Winston Cup Series changed the demands on your time?) "There's just a lot more demands. Time managing has become essential for myself and I'm learning a lot about it and just knowing when I can do things and when I can't. Sometimes you make some people mad and sometimes they just don't understand that I have to take time for myself, too. I think that's been the hardest thing - figuring out that fine line between what you've got to do and when you need some time for yourself."
(Are you surprised with the number of fans and autograph seekers?) "The fans have probably been the biggest supporters through this whole thing. Still, I only have so much time to do it (sign autographs) and I try to do as much as I can. But it's definitely different. It's something I've had to learn in nine weeks and it's a lot different than it used to be."
(Are you getting in the rhythm of it all and are you feeling more comfortable about things than you were in the beginning?) "Yeah, I'm feeling a lot more comfortable. I'm just kind of going with the flow and getting in the groove of doing what I have to do. I've been learning the ins and outs of the Winston Cup garage. We know about the Busch garage and still learn a lot every week. And that's helped the Winston Cup effort. But it's still a lot different over here than it is over there. There is a lot more of everything over here."
(How much of that learning to you transfer from the Busch races to the Cup races?) "Running in the Busch races prior to the Cup races really helps a lot. It helps everywhere but Talladega and Daytona where the rules are different. It helps every week. You get all the jitters out before you get in the Winston Cup car and by the time we get done practicing the Busch car, I'm really in the rhythm. It just makes the Winston Cup effort all that better."
(Do you have Monday morning discussions with Richard Childress and/or Kevin Hamlin, and if so, what advice do they give you?) "Usually most of that's done on the weekend. As little time as we have now, Mondays and Tuesdays are usually spent just relaxing. If I did something wrong and I need to be set straight, then we'll have a Monday morning meeting. But other than that, everything's usually done at the racetrack. I'm usually at the shop every day anyway, so if we need to talk about something, we can talk about it. I spend a lot more time with my guys than probably a lot more people in the garages do. And I think that helps."
(Have Richard Childress and Kevin Hamlin been telling you what to expect at certain tracks?) "Richard has probably been the biggest help to me, personally, just because of the fact that I can do something and he'll know that I don't need to be doing it that way and he can tell me and I don't have to do it. So it keeps me from going down a lot of roads that a lot of guys have to go down and he steers me clear of that and keeps me from going down there. Kevin is probably the calmest person you'll ever meet in your life. That really helps me because sometimes I get a little excited and wound up and he keeps me calm."
(What pops into your mind when someone talks about California Speedway?) "I'm close to home and not only are there a lot of fans, but there is a lot of family here. They're starting to understand that time is of the essence and it's tough to keep everything going and keep everybody happy in California just because we're so close to home. But it's also good to come home and race in front of all the hometown fans and know that we've got as much if not more support than anybody else here. So that's kind of cool."
(Dale Jr. feels like he has an extra teammate out there in you. What do you think?) "I think Dale Jr. would do anything in the world on the race track to help me and I'd do pretty much the same thing to help him. So yeah, I guess you could say that. If it was between him and anybody else in the garage, I'd probably pick him to go out there and help. That's kind of cool to have somebody on your side and know that he's on your side. We're about the same age and he likes a lot of the same things that I do."
(Is a third car, Jeff Green No. 30 AOL car, coming onboard going to have any affect on you?) "I don't think it's going to hurt us at all. If anything, I think it's going to help more. As long as we all keep working together, it's going to be a benefit. We can try one thing and (Mike) Skinner can try another thing and (Jeff) Green can try another thing, and at the end of the day we can put our notes together and pick the best set-up, it's got to help. I see it going that way right now. And if it doesn't go that way, then none of us are going to help each other. A third team can be a huge benefit as long as we all let ourselves benefit from out."
(How do you feel about Jeff Green being your biggest rival in the Busch race, and then being your teammate an hour later in the Cup race?) "He's a lot like me though. He's a competitive person and he had to work on his own racecars. We know that we have to go out and race against each other in the Busch cars. I've gained a lot more respect for Jeff last year. I just didn't know him. Last year we kind of went nose-to-nose and really kind of didn't get along very well. Over the winter and the last few races of last year and the first few races of this year have changed things a lot. Jeff Green and I actually get along pretty good. I have a lot of respect for him and I think he has a lot of respect for me. We'll get along good as teammates."
(Is Jeff Green using your entire Busch pit crew?) "Yeah, on Sunday it'll be the whole crew. There's some different guys working on the car and so they've got it worked out pretty good to where it's not going to take away anything from our Busch effort. He'll have a good crew on Sunday, I can tell you that much."
-Team Monte Carlo